The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

This house believes that the insanity plea is just

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 5/9/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 718 times Debate No: 54364
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




First round is acceptance. This round will be debated like a regular parlimentary debate round, aside from the number of rounds. Con will be debating that the insanity plea is unjust. Con must remain ethical (no rude comments or hate speech in the arguments) at all times during the debate and must not commit any formal or informal logical fallacies.


Hello all thank you very much for judging/voting and thank you opponent for challenging this great debate, ok so I would like start with a brief road map. Firstly I will address definitions, secondly I will be addressing the affirmatives case, and finally I will be presenting the negations case
Alright so to define terms
The insanity plea: Defendants found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI) are those whom a judge and/or jury has found to be so mentally-disordered during the commission of a crime that the individual should not be held criminally responsible for that crime. This does not necessarily mean that all mentally-disordered persons are not criminally responsible, nor does it mean that criminal responsibility requires the individual to be perfectly healthy. Mental disorder does not equate with being not guilty of one's crimes.
Unjust: not based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.

ok so todays round is a fact round. My weighing mechanism is Net Benefits to American society and justice system. So what I am essentially saying here is that whomever can show that their argument better supports justice in america and the well being of american society as a whole should win todays debate. As some brief background information the insanity plea is used in 35 US states (Cirincione and Jacobs 1999), found that on average only slightly over 30 defendants are acquitted of crimes by reason of insanity each year in the United States.
That out of the way I will now be addressing the affirmative case,
So just to briefly start off my opponent hasn't really followed up with his burdens. Ok so the affirmative team has the burden in parliamentary debate to provide a weigh criterion, a definition of what kind of case it is, and definitions to clarify the topic. My opponent has neglected to do these basic burdens and thus I should simply win on the fact that i have followed burdens, this is also why my definitions and weigh criterion should stand over his. He also has not really presented any case there are no reasons in his speech of why the insanity plea is just he has no points,
my own contentions

1. Its not equaitble
a. What I mean by this is the simple idea that there is evidence showing that those who win the insanity plea are those of a certain race, gender, and/or occupation. We see that the defendant is often judged by his or her socio economic standing as well. to see my example pleas view this
2. Road blocks true justice
a. families and closure. A great example of this is in Sept. 14, 2006 James Masino killed Jim McNally. Now hims wife knows that James killed her husband but she will never receive the satisfaction go knowing that he is behind bars because mason has been found to be not guilty by reasons of insanity.
b. Not truly insane
I will be elaborating on my sub points b in my second speech as I seem to have run out of characters
Debate Round No. 1


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." It is because of the critical importance of preserving justice in the United States of America that I stand resolved: "This house believes that the insanity plea is just." Initially, I would like to point out that the first round was acceptance, meaning no arguments were supposed to be made in Round 1. In fact, the first four words of my speech were "first round is acceptance." With all due respect, either my opponent did not read it carefully enough, or is too new to DDO to know what an "acceptance round" is. That aside, all arguments that my opponent made about how "I wasn't fulfilling my burdens" are false, because no arguments were supposed to be presented in Round 1.

Even though I was supposed to be presenting all definitions for the debate, I eagerly accept my opponent's definitions, as all are accurate and correct. One emphasis point may include the fact that justice is based off of morality. We will look at that later.

I absolutely agree with my opponent's value of Net Benefits to American society and justice system. To shorten that phrase, I will call it judicial pragmatism.

~affirmative case rebuttals~
As I previously mentioned, all of the arguments of me not fulfilling my burden should be dropped, due to the fact that the first round was acceptance, which was stated clearly in my first speech. If I had not stated it in my speech, I would understand why my opponent would make these arguments, but because the reality is on the contrary, these presented arguments are inexcusable. Thus, she should not "win" on that fact alone.

~Contention rebuttals~
1. (It's not equitable) I checked out statistics on this point and they are indeed correct. But the deal is this: It shouldn't matter what race or gender they are; what matters is if they are insane. The fact that the majority of insanity pleas belong to a certain race DOES NOT mean that they aren't insane. My opponent I believe is interpreting this as "this race gets by easy," but that is not true. IT just so happens that the particular race has the most insane people. This argument is not a legitimate reason to vote Con.

2. My opponent is making it sound like insane "criminals" are released if found "not guilty," Not true at all. In fact they do go to a type of prison, just a prison that has a hospital where they are treated for insanity. Until their insanity is gone, they are still for all practical purposes "behind bars."
b. Not enough support to stand. Only truly insane people get by with insanity plea treatment, not anybody that is not insane. The reason? Extensive lab reports.

So in the end we see that Con's arguments do not stand.

U must ask yourself; should kids who didn't know that knocking over a candlestick was wrong be charged with arson? ITs the same with insane people: They don't know better.


Sources in comment section


I'm so sorry my opponent is completely correct in saying I am new to DDO and that I was not careful enough in reading what the first speech was for this I completely apologize, i am accustomed to a regular parliamentary style debate so i just assumed that opening arguments began in the first speech. I was wrong and i apologize sincerely

so to briefly refute points my opposition has brought up

1. Equability: In refutation to my original point he has said that it just so happens to be a particular race. This simply is not true because we see that with a certain race comes a certain amount of privilege and agency. So what i am trying to say is that it cannot be simply coincidental that white women tend to get off with the insanity plea more often then African Americana men. By allowing a particular race to get off of crimes easier then another we are not achieving the weigh mechanism of today's debate as my opponent phrased it Judicial pragmatism because it goes against the one of the main ideals of our justice system equality
2. Accountability; My opponent states that people are not just "getting off" that their in their own prison in a way. This again is simply factually incorrect my evidence for this is JFK's assassin John Hinkely Jr. was deemed "not guilty' by reason of insanity. He is now deemed "cured" and is living in a half way house like any other recovering addict or mentally ill person. HE ASSASSINATED A PRESIDENT and hes getting off with 10 years in mental facility, i simply do not see how this is net benefits to the American society or justice system if we are allowing a Assassin to get away with murder!

Before i close my portion of today's debate i would simply like to address the issue that while i did go first (by mistake and im so sorry) my opponent still must present his own arguments and not just refute mine would have to do this even if he decide that he is now the negation. I have shown you how my points uphold the weigh criterion and my opponent has not even offered his own arguments. Thank you for reading this and i urge a strong vote in favor of the negation
Debate Round No. 2
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Nathaniel2840 2 years ago
Carmen Cirincione, PhD, Henry J. Steadman, PhD, and Margaret A. McGreevy, MA

Sparr, Landy F. "Personality Disorders and Criminal Law: An International Perspective". (2009)

Carl Elliott, "The rules of insanity: moral responsibility and the mentally ill offender" (1996)
Posted by Nathaniel2840 2 years ago
katiekat first round was acceptance. Neither I nor you were supposed to present arguments. U must be new to DDO.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Taylor-Magnuson 2 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: WAY better arguments ;P