The Instigator
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The Contender
Pro (for)
5 Points

Do life sentences breach human rights?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/18/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 935 times Debate No: 46169
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




I don't think that life sentences breach human rights. The right to liberty has allowances where the right is allowed to be breached. Where someone is arrested and sent to prison is one of these allowances. Also, if people were let out of prison, yet were a hazard to public safety; then the publics human rights are therefore actually being breached. I'm sure you'd agree that it is better to breach a criminals human rights rather than breaching an innocent citizens human rights.

I have decided to debate this topic after it being over the news about life sentences breaching human rights. I should explain that this is life without the possibility of parole.

I look forward to the debate.

Thank you.


Life sentences obviously take away human rights. That is the point of life sentences. Life sentences don't "clean people up so they are better to renter society." If you are given a life sentence you no longer have rights. That is the point of prison. Their is no need to argue.

Life sentences do not benefit anybody. The point of jail is to keep the public safe and to teach the criminal a lesson. How is keeping someone in jail for the rest of their lives a lesson? its not. Life sentences do not reduce crime rate and keep prison population high. Norway has a maximum sentence of twenty one years and has one of the lowest crime rate in the world. Norway if proof that we do not need long prison sentences to keep society safe and twenty one year maximum is long enough. It is morally wrong to keep someone in prison for their entire life. Their is no benefit to keeping someone in prison for their entire life and obviously it infringes upon prisoners basic human rights. Thus you should negate.
Debate Round No. 1


You said yourself that the point of jail is to keep the public safe. Some felons never learn and commit more crimes after they have been released. This could mean that because you are releasing someone from jail to protect their human rights, you are keeping someone from their right to life, article 2 of the 1998 human rights act. So because of that, I think that life sentences do affect people.

Mentioning Norway was a very effective argument, however, the people are different and more respecting in different countries. Maybe, if they did have life sentences, the crime rate would be even lower.

You said that prisoners don't have rights. Actually, they do. (You can check the following at

Prisoners have rights, including:

  • protection from bullying and racial harassment
  • being able to get in contact with a solicitor
  • healthcare - including support for a mental health condition

All prisoners should be able to spend between 30 minutes and an hour outside in the open air each day.



protection from bullying and racial harassment
being able to get in contact with a solicitor
health care - including support for a mental health condition

This is straight from my opponents last speech. My opponent listed only three human rights that are not being breached with a life sentence. Saying that their are only three human rights not being breached upon actually agrees with my side. The only way my opponent can win this debate is if he or she proves that life sentences uphold all, human rights. The United States Constitution even says prisoners do not have equal rights.

Debate Round No. 2


I can't really see how you can think that prisoners should have the same human rights. Someone who has murdered has taken the right of life away from somebody else, why should they have the same rights as other people? I'm not saying that the right to life should be taken from the murderer, but it's not a big deal if they no longer receive the right to liberty due to their actions.

Do you not think that sentences of small periods, such as 28 days, breaches human rights as well? I think that they do, so because of that, all life sentences do is the same as shorter sentences for longer.


My opponent and I are not arguing whether it is OKAY to breach human rights, but if life sentences breach human rights. This isn't an argument on life sentences being morally wrong, but a debate on if human rights are being violated.

Twenty eight days in prison DO take away human rights for twenty eight days. Once again the only way for my opponent to win this round is if he or she shows how life sentences do not breach human rights.

If we look at the resolution ,do life sentences breach human rights? It says nothing about what prisoners do and do not deserve. My judges will have to ignore all arguments on if it is okay to take away human rights or not. This is making the majority of my opponents case not topical.
Debate Round No. 3


Life sentences do not breach human rights as they are protecting the public from dangerous criminals out on the streets. Mostly, if you commit murder once, then you will get the chance of parole with your sentence. However, if you are released, and then you murder again, you will not get the chance of parole.

I emphasise my point, life sentences are to protect the public.

Thank you for debating this topic Social-twitterfly. I wish you luck in the voting period.


If we look at the evidence I had presented earlier about Norway's shorter sentences and lower crime rate, we can see that locking someone up for the rest of their life does protect the people, it does it in a pointlessly punishing way. The person in jail for life most of his or her human rights. This is an unarguable resolution. The point of jail is to take away human rights and protect the public. My opponent has failed to prove human rights are being upheld in life sentences. Meaning he has no case to prove what he is arguing.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by TheIndividualRights 6 years ago
There are no Human Rights, or Woman Rights, or Gay Rights, there is one and only right Individual Rights.
Posted by zmikecuber 6 years ago
Life sentences: Sentences that end with the word "life."
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's Norway argument could have been potent, but without statistical evidence and elaboration, Con was able to nullify it with a few choice words. However, Pro then argues that the rights of humans are taken away when locked up, which is arguing the resolution, and Con insufficiently rebuts by saying either: 1) Not all human rights are breached; 2) There are benefits for locking criminals up. Pro's source was enough to win source points, because it was relevant and argued with well.

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