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Should someone be charged if they commit a crime against one who has committed a crime against them.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/12/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 279 times Debate No: 82465
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
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To clarify the question as I did not have enough room in the question section to fully write out and explain the question in it's entirety: Should someone be charged with a criminal offense if they commit a crime against someone in response to that person committing a crime to them or their family as long as the crime committed in response is within proportion to the original crime?

If you require clarification on the question or have any questions regarding itjos debate please ask in the comments.


Yes they should be punished. If person B retaliated against person A for committing crime X, then person B admits crime X is a punishable offense. On the other hand, person A might not even be aware that crime X is a crime and being punished for it would be unjustified.
Debate Round No. 1


If a person is not aware that crime x is a crime and they do it then they either believe that action x is not wrong and would not mind crime x being done back to them or they do not care that it is wrong and do it to you anyway in which case they are not showing fairness to you and fairness to them should not be be required of you. In addition even if someone does crime x unaware that crime x is a crime court would still declare them guilty of committing the crime. For example if someone is unaware that vandalism is a crime and they commit vandalism they would till be charged for committing vandalism.

In the situation where they do not believe the action is wrong if someone were to retaliate by vandalising the property of the person who first committed this to their property they would not mind as they do not think it is wrong. In the case where they think it is wrong buy do it anyway and in so show no fairness or respect to you and you vandalise their property in return you are showing them the same treatment of showing no fairness or respect to them and it becomes a mutual aspect between them. In both cases though they receive the same treatment as they have shown to others which would make these situations fair as A should not be required to give better treatment to B than B has given to A. This is because we are all regarded as equals to require better treatment for B than A would be inequality.

In addition lets say a more serious crime was committed such as battery, rape, or murder to one of the retaliaters family members and seeing this person goes into extreme rage and attacks this person. It would not be fair to this person to charge them for justifiably acting out on their rage that may have even been too strong to control due to the nature of their crimes and the relationship with the victim such as their child. I feel attacking this person was justifiable because of the person's disregard for others well being and their rights to not have their person attacked. As this person displayed disregard for others well being and their rights they should not be rewarded with protection of well being and their rights. People should have to abide by the same rules as everyone else to have those rules abided to for them. If this person did not want to be attacked in response they should not have attacked someone else to begin with. To explain this I am saying that if A commits B then A should not be protected from B from as Y was not protected from B from A. This does not mean that everyone has the right to commit B against A nor does it mean Y and representatives of Y should be able to continuously commit B against A as A committed the crime once and not continuously so to forever have the right to freedom from B removed would not be justifiable.


Excellent answer, but you are missing my point.

If I grew up in a town where cutting flowers from my neighbours garden is allowed and move next door to you, unaware that it's illegal to cut flowers from a neighbours garden in this town. I then cut flowers from your garden one day and in response, you cut flowers from my garden. To me its perfectly OK, whereas to you, its a crime you knowingly commit. Lol I know its unlikely either of us will get the death penalty for such a heinous deed, but in principle you should receive a harsher punishment.

Debate Round No. 2


I see your point of intent. I agree intent has a lot to do with someone's guilt. However the fact that something is a crime or not does not effect the action in itself. While it is know by the old neighbor that it is a crime to cut someone's flowers and not known by new neighbor the fact of it being legal or not does not have any effect as it being illegal would just be the reflection of the problems with cutting someone else's flowers. Some people have paid for the seeds and possibly arranged them in a specific pattern they would not like to be destroyed or just enjoy their natural form. These are the reasons cutting someone's flowers is wrong not because it is a crime it being a crime is a reflection of it being wrong. This goes to all other problems it can apply to as well, if something is illegal there is a reason or reasons behind why that can be known even without the knowledge of it being illegal. This leaves the intent of both the original and retaliater the same. The new neighbor should be aware that cutting someone's flowers may be unwanted and permission should be asked for first. The one who takes the flowers back while aware that it is a crime does the same action with the same problems that it may cause to the neighbor leaving him with the same intent as they are not doing it to commit a crime they are doing it for the original reasons and are just aware of it's status as a crime. to simplify it if A is a crime it has reason or reasons B for it to be so. B exists independently of A so If action A is not a crime there are still reasons B not to do it. If C does A without regards to B then D should be able to do action A to C regardless of knowledge of it as a crime as both C and D are aware of B which is the base of the problem.


As you stated, intent is relevant, but more importantly is awareness of the crime.
Awareness requires mental stability and conscious awareness of our actions. Everyone has moments where they lose control and their subconscious takes over. For some it may just be saying something you later regret saying, but in extreme cases, people can kill someone during a fit of anger. I'm sure you have heard of road rage.
What I have come to realize is that ethics are a conscious awareness but our morals are subconscious. We are taught what society deems appropriate behaviour and these are our ethical values, but our moral values we learn as children by watching how adults behave. This sets the tone for our subjective moral values. A boy who never witnesses a man hit a woman will never hit a woman. No matter how angry he gets or how drunk he is. On the other hand, a boy who does witness a man hitting a woman out of anger will consider this appropriate, even if consciously he is aware that it is unethical. So during a moment of extreme emotional distress, his subconscious mind would take over and he would hit a woman. But once his conscious mind regains control he would regret his action.
In fact, most of us are not even aware of what our true moral values are as we learnt them at a very early age and the memories of the events have faded. We do not realize why we do the things we do when we are angry. So to get back to our debate, if a mentally unstable person commits a crime, unaware that they are committing a crime, do they need help or punishment? Ethically the right thing to do would be to help them. But morally it depends on your experiences while growing up. If you were punished for disobedience, then it would be in your nature to punish an offender. You have no choice in the matter if you act out of anger. Your subconscious controls your actions. But if your actions show rational thinking, such as premeditation, then you commit the crime conscious of it being a crime and you deserve to be charged.
Debate Round No. 3


There is currently a defense in our legal system that allows them to receive help rather than be punished this is the insanity defense which is only used in 1 percent of criminal cases and is successful only one fourth of the time that it is used. making it so that 0.25 cases would in our current system be let go. This means that the majority of the people who committed the crime would have been found guilty and punished regardless of whether or not you were the one who punished them.

While the retaliating person may commit a crime of conscious by thinking about it and not being a subconscious decision most of the original crimes are also crimes of conscious.

In cases where a non violent crime takes place it is very unlikely that it occurred out of anger rather they were thinking clearly.

Not all violent crimes are committed without conscious.

In cases of a violent crime occurring out of anger it is possible that this triggers the other person into rage where they commit a violent crime against them back. Even at a later time if it was a serious crime such as murder or rape the sight of the person who did it to you or a loved one may be enough to set you into anger to attack them.

If it is not triggered by anger retaliating can also help you to prevent them from committing crimes against you in the future as they will be aware that whatever they do to you you will do back.

Retaliating to some crimes can make it so that things are restored such as if someone steals something from you and you steal something of equal value you have restored your lost property. If someone cuts your flowers you can cut theirs to put them as a centerpiece for your table to recover the lost flowers. If someone purposely breaks your window you could remove a portion of theirs to fix your broken window.

There are very few times where it may be unjust to retaliate against someone which would be when they have a mental illness or rage that drove them to commit a violent act which is not conscious while there are many where it would be unjust to punish someone for retaliating such as for the same rage driven actions used to defend the person who committed the original crime, retaliating to restore loss from the original crime, or retaliating against a repeated offender of a crime so that they will not repeat it.

During the few times where retaliating would be unjust it does not make sense to punish the retaliater as they have already paid for the unjust with the original crime committed against them which creates a balancing effect. Punishing retaliaters sets them back to having paid for their unjust but still having received an unjust to them

Punishing people for wrong doings even if not committed due to subconscious can still help them as their subconscious will make the connection that it will lead to consequences in addition having the same crime committed will connect it in their mind how it is effecting them making them less likely to opt for it.

In court no matter the reason you committed the crime unless you successfully use the insanity defense which is only used in 1 percent of criminal cases and is successful only one fourth of the time that it is used. This means that the majority of the people who committed the crime would have been found guilty and punished regardless of whether or not you were the one who punished them.


And this is what is wrong with our current legal system. People are judge on the assumption that their actions are conscious decisions when in fact, most violent crimes are the result of subconscious conditioning.
Nobody chooses to be a rapist or murderer, just as nobody chooses to not to be. The difference is our desire and ability to control our subconscious impulses. Although I agree its in the best interest of society to remove people who are unable or unwilling to control their desires, it must be taken into account that it's their past experiences which have made these people who they are and not a choice on their part.

You would not seek revenge unless someone has done something bad to you or someone you love. Likewise a criminal would not commit crimes unless his experiences during childhood have conditioned him to commit those crimes. You learnt empathy, the criminal hasn't. Is he to blame for his upbringing? You know better, he doesn't. I have learnt many things in my life and one of the most important lessons I learnt was to forgive. Holding on to anger and resentment makes you bitter and miserable. It rots you from the inside and the act of taking revenge never brings you the peace you require to be happy. The satisfaction is short lived.

In a eutopian society we would all grow up with the same self respect and moral values and in that case we could all be judged equally. But I believe that in such an environment, there would be no violent crimes. We would however lose our individuality.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by noxdoloris 11 months ago
Thank you as well for debating with me.
Posted by Furyan5 11 months ago
Thanks. Interesting debate.
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