Ronald Ryan was Innocent
They say that he shot a police officer in the heart right after his prison escape. There was never any evidence - forensic nor verbal - that proved he was innocent/guilty. During the trials, he never hinted any signs of guilt and he passionately stuck with the statement that he was innocent.
Many victims of the law, who have afterwards been proved innocent, have passed away; they have been hanged. The law was their murderer, and the guilt of the crimes lies on the public conscience. Capital punishment is absolutely worthless as a deterrent to crime. This could have been the case for Ryan, as well.
One man, named Peter John Walker, was Ryan's accomplice in this prison break. Recently, he has stated that he is so sure that Ryan was innocent and that he didn't kill the officer, because Walker himself had JAMMED Ryan's gun prior to the incident.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome.
What has my opponent offered?
In analysis my opponent only offered 4 arguments, in chronological order:
-There was never any evidence
For the first argument we can see that <even if> there w against Ronald. Ronald however is directly responsible and guilty of the following charges:
-any crimes prior to his arrest and sentence to the prison.
-planning and executing a prison break.
-threatening to harm a prison guard and stealing his rifle.
-using a prison chaplain as a human shield (taking him hostage).
-Seriously injuring said chaplain with the end of the rifle.
-Causing public terror as he waved said rifle around trying to stop traffic and obtain a car.
-pointing the gun at innocent civilians.
-Threatening Hudson with the rifle. [possibly killing him]
-Grand theft auto.
In less than an hour or so Ryan along with Walker had committed over 8 federal crimes. That isn't innocent by far. In a state where capital punishment had been given out on occasions such as burglary, sheep stealing, forgery, sexual assaults and once, 'being illegally at large' whatever that meant, along with murder and manslaughter, I'd reckon that nearly fatally injuring a chaplain, stealing a car, threatening a federal officer and prison escape would have triggered a hanging cause none the less. Ronald was desperate, he had already harmed someone. What stopped him from shooting the guard that was holding his accomplice captive?
Ryan was by no means innocent, he had at that point a long trail of crimes, he was desperate to escape. He did however admit to a respected prison guard later at the trials that he had not intended to kill the man, only stop him.
-He never hinted any signs of guilt
My opponent then brings up his behaviour in the courtroom. Saying that someone that defends his name and does not act guilty in a court of law is as valid as stating that anyone that pleads “not guilty” is innocent and as idiotic as saying “a psychopath is always innocent because he cannot show remorse.”
-a moral argument (many victims of law)
The third argument does not relate to Ryan in any way. It is a moral argument designed to bring voters to a moral or emotional decision instead of a rational one. As it has no direct relations to the debate it can and should be ignored and dismissed by voters.
-The gun was jammed
The last argument that my opponent brought up was a cited testimony that states:
There we see Walker, Ryan's fellow escapee, state in an interview that the gun must have been jammed on the account that he himself had jammed it. This is all fine and dandy, but it doesn't hold up simply because Walker never had any time to do so nor did he have access to the gun at any point during the break.
Out of the few arguments my opponent offered we can see that none of them successfully hold enough proof to show that, without doubt, Ronald Ryan was innocent. My opponent neglected the 37 witnesses that testified against Ryan, he has not convinced us that Ryan would not have hung even if he had not killed the officer on the grounds of the other federal crimes he had committed in the escape itself.
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