The Instigator
Pro (for)
15 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
2 Points

We should Revert to medieval Trials and Punishments

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Post Voting Period
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after 4 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/5/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,315 times Debate No: 48467
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (4)




--------First round is for acceptance and definitions----------

------I request that any clarifications be made in the comments BEFORE accepting----

----------No new arguments in the last round-----------------

In this debate I will be arguing that we should revert to medieval law and order, our crime and punishment system nowadays is too soft on psychotic criminals.

There were three main courts in the middle ages, For those who are not familiar I'll cite them with a brief description from a public site.

There was three different types of courts. The first court was the less serious court which was the Manor Court. The second court was the Church Court this court was used against people who didn’t obey by the church’s rules. The third was the Royal Court which is the most harshest court which usually resulted in the death sentence or some sort of torture.

Manor Court Punishments: Even for the little things such as a wife nagging her husband could have resulted in her having to wear a bridle so she couldn’t nag her husband or being put on a ducking stool. People who sold bad food would be dragged around the manor with the food tied around their neck. Another punishment was being put in the stocks were the people in the manor could throw food and rubbish at you.

Royal Court Punishments: The Death Sentence could be carried out in a few ways such as being beheaded, hung drawn and quartered and bricked up. The torture punishments were getting your tongue cut out, nose slit, ears or hands cut off or your eyes burned.

Church Court Punishments: The Church Court punishments were very unfair. One of the punishments was truth by fire. The offender would have to hold a red hot piece of iron for a certain amount of time and then they would bandage up their hand and in three weeks if the blisters were healed you would be innocent. Another punishment was truth by water. They would tie your hands and feet together and threw you in the river or lake and if you sank you were innocent. Truth by combat was another punishment the offender would have to fight the accuser to the death if the offender won he would be innocent.



I accept... i guess you already did the definitions.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank Con for accepting this debate and look forward to their arguments! Good luck and have fun!

In this round I will be arguing that with the application of my suggested Trials and Punishments, It would Deter Criminals from commiting unlawful acts. And also with this application we would save a lot more money on Adult Correctional Facilities (AKA: prison are full of hardened psychopaths who are just serving jailtime, getting free food and fighting eachother)



With the application of Medieval Trial and Punishments in our modernday society it would decrease the crime rate on exponential levels. In the medieval ages there were severe punishments even for petty crimes. You could easily be sentenced to death for the following:

Attempted murder, sex offenses, arson, and political and religious offenses also carried the death penalty.

Murders committed during robberies and so on resulted in breaking on the wheel.

Your hands could be cut off for stealing, your tongue might be cut out for lying, or heresey.

With severe punishments like these, and our modern day surveillence and investigative capabilities the crime rates would be lowered on huge scales due to the fear of possible punishments for petty crimes.

The above website states that murder rates in Medieval England were quite low.

Also stating the following:

the homicide rate averaged only about 15 murders a year, which he finds low, especially compared with other English counties. For example, Essex averaged 25 murders a year between 1272 and 1285, while Devon had close to 37 homicides on average between 1268 and 1281.

The modern annual(every year) murder rate in the UK is about United Kingdom 722
As provided by wikipedia.

America's annual murder rate is United States 14,612

If we applied execution as a punishment for murder, it is safe to assume that the murder rates in america would dramatically decrease.

Economical Benefits

The above website has stated the following:

The costs of our incarceration binge fly in the face of economic sense. From 1982 to 2006, the amount spent on corrections rose by 660 percent. The 2009 bill for jails and prisons was over $60 billion

By doing a bit of research I have read that most websites state that we are spending about 60-70 Billion a year on the prison system.

With the annual expense for each prisoner being around $22K-$33K

Not only is this a gigantic waste of money but also completely unnessecary, With the application of medieval punishments most of the criminals would be hung, or have their hands or noses lopped off.

We would be saving billions of dollars per year, and therefor enabling us to spend more money on our childrens education, and college tuition. Therefor eradicating the law breakers, and enabling the next generation to have a succesful and non- threatening enviroment.


Once again I'd like to thank Con for accepting this debate and look forward to his arguments in the next round.

In this round I have made 2 points, about deterence and economical benefits.

I have cited 3 websites which support what I was stating.




Frikcha forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Con has failed to present an argument in his Second Round, I will wait one round to see if he will catch up, hoping that he may have been busy and missed the deadline.

I am still looking forward to how this debate might go, and hope that Con will present an argument in the next round!



[I would like to say straight up that i won't be using links to sites or altered text as it keeps it simple for me so i can think better. you're welcome to though]

Also i just had personal family issues to attend to and i apologize for the absence.

Medieval trials and punishments are gone for a reason. They are inhumane, unfair and usually ineffective. Also, with our modern society, the repercussions could be apocalyptic. People all over the world would turn on their respective governments causing a fall of society. Since we can never be 100% sure if someone is guilty of the crime they are accused of we shouldn't kill someone who might be innocent.

These laws, trials and punishments take human life too lightly. Children as young as 6 could be jailed or even mutilated when they aren't even old enough to drive. Everyone makes mistakes and the laws/punishments we have today may not be perfect but they are much fairer and efficient than medieval ones. Those punishments and such were extreme because times were extreme. We didn't have massive scale prisons or psychologists like we do today which is why crimes were punished much harsher. Which also brings me to the next point; we now know much more about psychological illnesses and have better methods to treat them with.

Back then; people believed that "Mad" individuals were incurable and deserved to die rather than get treatment. Today we can rehabilitate mentally ill people in hopes they can live a full and happy life.

I will end my argument by saying that medieval trials, punishments and laws worked effectively only in that time period. With wars, diseases and less understanding of the world, medieval times had laws and such suiting their own problems and needs for that point in time. Just as society has evolved so has the justice system. Concepts evolve with society and that is why everything works out for the best. The world isn't perfect but it's a much better place to live in since a long time ago.
Debate Round No. 3



-Con has stated that due to family issues he was being held back from debating. I understand this and ask that everyone would please not give him points off for forfeiting a round.

-Con has failed to refute any of my points listed, I will assume that he has no rebbutals for the points which I have listed so far (Detterence, Economical Benefits)


Inhumane, unfair and Ineffective

Con has stated that the Medieval trials and punishments are gone for the above reason. That in our society these punishments would have repercussions to an apocalyptic scale. And that we cannot be 100% sure of a commited crime.

I beg to differ, I believe that if people fear the government enough they will not step up against it. Let it be known that the goverment does not do this to innocent people. It provides a safe enviroment for everyone including our children. and In our modern day society with our modern day surveillance I believe that it will definitely be a lot easier to prove someone as guilty.

The only people this would be unfair to is the rapist who had his way with our daughters. The stick up thief who stole the 400$ in our wallet. The muderer who killed our beloved family member for money. The con artist who cheated our fathers into bankruptcy. The drug dealer who pollutes our neighborhoods.

These laws, trials and punishments take human life too lightly

I would like to inform con that I am not debating we change our laws. I agree that medieval laws were ludacris. This would apply to our modern day laws. and the severity would be determined upon the severity of the crime. Obviously children wouldn't be hung for commiting a minor offense.

Con states that these punishments were only extreme because times are extreme. And I'd like to ask him to define what exactly determines the extremity of an Era of history. I would like to argue that times are extreme right now. Prisons are overpopulated and crime levels are going through the roof. simply because criminals now just get a slap on the wrist for the horrific crimes they commit. They are treated gently by the law for doing unspeakable things. I believe that constitutes as extremity.

Con argues that they didnt have massive scale prisons and psychologists in those eras. I am saying this is exactly why we should revert. because of the prison systems and how much they are costing us. Con's Prison systems cost us 72 Billion dollars a year which is money that should be spent on lowering the price of education and housing. When someone is a sociopath do we really need them to pollute our gene pool? I say NO. if they do not consider the law and its punishments they should be left to suffer its wrath.

Back then; people believed that "Mad" individuals were incurable and deserved to die rather than get treatment.

These mad people Con speaks of are Psychopaths and Sociopaths, who has no understanding of empathy and sympathy, they do not function in society and therefor do not belong in society. They are selfish liars who manipulate people for their own gain. Nobody innocent is treated badly. Only those who commit crimes against their country would be persecuted. I believe that our justice system today is part of the reason we have so many law breakers and sociopaths. Because they don't care if they have to go to prison for 5 years.


Our prison system is messed up

Our prison systems today are in complete shambles. Low class offenders get put with rapists and murderers, they become prison B*tches, they get involved in Gang related activity, They commit a murder defending themselves. They are abused by correctional officers. In a justice system where your consequence is not made clear it produces hardened criminals rather than changed men.


I have refuted all of cons arguments and added 1 more of my own. So far Con has not refuted any of my arguments which are the following :

-Economical benefits.
-Prison is a Mess

I look forward to Cons argument and hope that he doesnt have any issues keeping him from replying this time!



I will attempt to refute your arguments and add more of my own now

[Economical benefits]
While the prisons today cost a fair amount of upkeep they still provide a second chance to those who break the law. Petty thieves aren't always bad people, sometimes they are just desperate or in a bad place. Drug users/dealers can also be decent human beings because they just feel like they are entitled to do what they want with their body. Marijuana users only wish to partake in a harmless drug that relaxes them, but face punishments of life in prison (or with the punishments my opponent suggests, death).
The amount of money we invest in rehabilitation facilities such as prisons is justified as it provides criminals an opportunity to return to society and continue living as a law-abiding citizen and, in future, make themselves a use to society. If anything it would be beneficial to invest more money into these prisons to give prisoners better treatment and take further action into making prisons safer and more effective.

My opponent suggests that these punishments will deter people from committing crimes in fear of their lives.
People will always commit crime and no matter how extreme the punishments are, people will continue to challenge the system. If anything the crimes committed will be of much more magnitude. As the justice system will change, so will the people who oppose it. People will continue to invent more ways to break the law. While i agree that some punishments should be made more extreme for certain people like child rapists and serial killers, some people with mental illnesses cannot help the way they are without outside intervention. You say that psychopaths and sociopaths have no understanding of empathy or sympathy; they do not function, therefore do not belong, in society. I find this statement to be quite ironic as my opponent suggests the exclusion, mutilation and/or death of someone, merely due to the way they were born. You have the correct definitions but there is a much deeper aspect to these people.
Think about it from the perspective of the fore-mentioned: A child (psychopathic or sociopathic) is raised being taught that they must get a job, have a family and contribute to society. These people (as mentioned) lack sympathy and empathy meaning they usually only care for themselves which is a perfect way to live life. In most cases these people do not go out of their way to harm people, they simply do not understand why they shouldn't. People like this are fragile, different but above all still human beings. As long a we can invest extra time into these people they shouldn't be any issue to society, so long as they can at least be forgiven for the way they behave and receive unique treatment for their unique cases.
Long story short; there will always be people who commit crime, be it intentionally or unintentionally. Reverting to these forms of punishment will only lower peoples trust and opinion of the government.

My opponent states "Prison is a mess".
I don't know where you live but i live in Australia and i believe our prison system functions perfectly well. We have only a small number of maximum security prisons and while we may see a lot of violence and negative things on the news, this only covers a small percent of the population and you never hear of the individuals who make positive rehabilitation and re-integration into society. It may be informal to mention this but i feel it is necessary. My uncle was born with schizophrenia. While i may not understand much about schizophrenia i know it can really change the person you are. My uncle was an alcoholic and cannabis addict and made some very poor choices in his life. He would often throw fits of rage and always spoke with a drunken slur. 3 years ago he was sent to a minimum security prison for stealing an elderly woman's purse (he intended to us the money to buy alcohol and cannabis). He spent a year in prison and returned, minus the alcohol and cannabis addiction. He will always speak with the drunken slur which i now realize is just a part of his condition. He now has a full time job as a brick-layer and is enjoying life to the fullest. Prison changed his life in so many ways and gave him the chance he needed to get his life back on track.
You may point out the insignificance of a single persons good experience in prison but that takes me back to my previous point. Human life is a beautiful thing and no person in the world has the right to take that away from someone. If someone murders someone else and is sentenced to death, anyone involved with the decision to take his life is just as bad as him. The death sentence is murder, pure and simple. You are taking the life of another simply because you or your party do not agree with their ways of life and opinions. If someone is unable to live in society and follow its laws, they deserve to spend the rest of their life in a prison while they can still live out the rest of their life without inconvenience to others. The 60-70 billion dollars spent on the prison system is an insane amount of money. A human life (any human life) is priceless.

Thank you for your understanding of my situation and i look forward to your arguments.
(i also apologize for my informality of layout and arguments but i strongly believe they are all valid)
Debate Round No. 4


Counter Rebbutals:

Enconomical Benefits

Con tries to defend thieves and murders by saying that they are just misunderstood people. We have to ask ourselves one question though, is it worth it that 72Billion dollars of potential money for our children go to these Misunderstood people, who take advantage of the law and the soft justice system.

Futhermore I'd like to state that con has not properly refuted this point. he simply says its worth the money however. it is undeniable that with the application of my Trial and Punishment system we will be saving huge masses of money.

So my point still stands.


While i agree that some punishments should be made more extreme for certain people like child rapists and serial killers

some people with mental illnesses cannot help the way they are without outside intervention.

With my implication of the medieval trials and punishments, We can be spending the 72 billion dollars we use on prisons to help treat the mentally Ill, Including Schizophrenics and anyone likely to be a danger to society.

With this giant budget increase we can get rid of child rapists and serial killers. and treat those mentally ill.

I would like to hear Cons opinion on this rebbutal.


I appreciate Con's personal testiment to this argument, however I still believe with my implication of medieval trials and punishments we could decrease crime rates exponentially and put more money into education about commiting crimes and being a good person.

Also we would have more money to treat certain persons with I.e schizophrenia. as I mentioned in my last rebuttal

Why you should vote for me:

I appreciate anyone who votes on this debate, and think that you should vote for Pro because Con has failed to properly refute my points directly. Simply stating that it's necessary or we need to tolerate it etc. etc. I hope that anyone will view this and vote with an unbiased opinion. I know it is drastic and sounds cruel however if you consider my points it does not sound completely outlandish and has been proven to work.

I'd like to thank Con very much for accepting this debate and arguing with me about this topic.


You have certainly given me a new view on things and i thank you for the debate.

I completely agree that certain people may not be fit for society and that perhaps death is the best solution, but i still have trust in our current justice and punishment system and i will always value human life over money.

You make extremely valid arguments and i respect each and every one of them.

With that, i will leave this up to the voters. I believe Pro had better formality, support of arguments and greatly argued his belief in harsh punishment for the good of others. But i believe, from a moral standpoint, that i have the advantage, as i value human life over money and believe in second chances.

Thank you for a great debate and i hope the viewers were enlightened and enjoyed themselves, as i hope you have as well.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by JernHenrik 2 years ago
I have been found guilty of stealing a car
I am giving the choice between:
One year in Jail
20 servere lashes with the whip

I might very well choose to bare my back in the city square ;-)
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession, but Con FF'd a couple rounds.
Vote Placed by Dakota-Hiltzman 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con could have easily won this debate by a more focused argument, especially as some of the punishments suggested rely on woo (i.e. healing time) rather than facts. However, this was missed and so Pro gets argument points. Conduct is shared as requested. S&G and sources are shared, as I cant take a blog as a serious source.
Vote Placed by Defro 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:52 
Reasons for voting decision: In the end, Con conceded, so arguments go to Pro. Sources also go to Pro because he at least had some sources, whereas Con had none. Conduct and spelling and grammar goes to Con because Pro used profanity and made a couple grammatical errors.