Instigator / Pro

Gary plauche killing his child's predator was unethical


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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Contender / Con

All of us common folks love a good revenge story. Take a look at the shocking footage of Gary Plauche murdering a child molestor before accepting this debate. Judges can refrain from watching the footage and probably should, but my opponent should look into the case a bit before accepting, though the arguments in the debate will mostly be more philosophical and not necessarily about the specifics of the incident.

I've personally always favored revenge as a fair form of justice. Especially given the problems with our justice system, and am looking forward to having my views challenged.

Round 1
 During 1983 and 1984, his 11-year-old son, Jody Plauché, was taking karate lessons with an instructor, 25-year-old Jeffrey Doucet, who had been sexually abusing the boy for at least a year. In February 1984, Doucet kidnapped Jody and took him to a motel in California where he sexually assaulted and molested him. Police searched the country for Jody, and he was eventually found after Doucet allowed the boy to place a collect call to his mother from the motel. California police raided the motel and arrested Doucet without incident

For anybody interested, you can easily find a video of the shooting by simply googling it. Imagine losing your son, thinking he is dead and then later on learning his karate coach molested him. Kept him the 11 year old in a motel room for weeks, while he sexually tortured and humiliated him, destroying his life permanently. 

It’s very important to remember the frame of this debate. It is not about whether what Gary did should be punished or not. We can fairly say that Gary should be punished for breaking the law, while simultaneously arguing that his actions were ethical. 

Raping Children is BAD

My opponent will probably argue that raping kids is fine, but it causes some irreparable damage that follows a child for life. They have a hard time forming relationships, often develop eating disorders and body issues and end up with a lifetime of depression, and blaming themselves for the abuse.

The Purpose of the Criminal Justice System

The reason we have a criminal justice system is to punish criminals. Anybody claiming it is a deterrent or rehabilitating crime is just fooling themselves. Most prisoners return to a life of crime after being released from prison, study after study confirms.

To learn more about the probability of engaging in criminal activity after release from prison, the researchers looked at data for 110,000 people convicted of violence-related felonies during the years 2003 to 2006 in Michigan—some had been sent to prison, others we given probation. The researchers followed the records through the year 2015 looking for examples of arrests or incarcerations.
The researchers report that they saw a slight decrease in crime for those sent to prison compared to those who received probation, but only for the time they were in prison. After they were released, they were found to be just as likely to engage in crime as those who had been given probationary sentences. The data indicates that serving time in prison did not serve as a deterrent for those convicted of a crime.

We must conclude that if the justice system neither deters nor rehabilitates, that it’s purpose is to punish criminal behavior. 

That’s what Gary Plauche did, he punished a crime. There is no argument for why the state has more legitimacy than Gary did in that particular situation. Gary Plauche felt helpless at defending his son, so he punished the perpetrator, and if we agree the just system’s intent at justice is ethical, than we cannot say what Gary did was wrong. He punished the criminal, it was a fair punishment given recidivism rates and he judged correctly the guilt of the defendant. It should also be noted, that Gary saved the taxpayers, likely hundreds of thousands in costs to housing the pedophile, and even more when they would inevitably arrest him again for raping some other little kids.

If we are arguing in favor of retributive punishment, which is what the criminal justice system is for, then it looks like Gary did nothing unethical. 

RESOLUTIONS: Gary plauche killing his child's predator was unethical
POSITION: PRO (I am fine with being PRO.  Additionally, my opponent has argued for the CON side, which is what he alluded to in the description. )

  • involving or expressing moral approval
  • conforming to accepted standards of conduct
  • involving questions of right and wrong behavior
With these definitions in mind, let us analyse the resolution. The resolution asks whether or not the killing of some guilty individual is unethical, meaning, if it involves behaviour that does not confirm to accepted standards of conduct (a social field), or is deemed wrong by morality (a philosofical field). I am here to argue that this murder was indeed immoral; and CON is here to argue the opposite, that the murder was not immoral, that it was acceptable by social standards. With this probably vague BoP in mind, I am going to move onto my arguments.

Murder means the unlawfull (and intentional) killing of a human being, as opposed to public execution, war, or accidents with lethal results. Murder is considdered wrong by every human society, and its immorality is intellectually undisputed in both religious and philosophical circles, and it has always been. Unless CON specifically denies this point, that murder is unethical, it must be taken as a truism. Now, the killing of Gary Plauche's child molester was not lawfull but intentional, making it murder by definition --- thusly, unethical. No matter the guilt of any person, this holds true. Only an execution after fair trial can be considdered an acceptable punnishment instead of being unethical murder.

Look at the situation from an objective perspective rather than the very subjective perspective of Gary Plauche. A child has been scarred for life, abused and harrased. The person who did this has done much harm to society, and is therefore what we call "guilty". The guilt of this person is high, as the damage he has done is great. However, does that justify the murder of this individual? If one murders a man that has murdered your friend, then you are taking an eye for an eye, and some imaginary virtue of "fairness" has been established (not saying that the murder of a murderer actually acomplishes anything of value). However, if you murder a man that simply beat up and harrased your friend, or child, then you are not taking an eye for an eye --- you are taking a head for an eye. The so called "punnishment" is unproportional to the crime. If everyone did this, society would collapse. Imagine if we cut of the hands of children because they lied to their parrents, or if merely driving too fast meant you would spend your life in prison. 

This is the kind of world that would arrise if everyone did like Gary Plauche. This world would be a dystopia, and anyone who works towards creating such a world is making the world a worse place. Sure Gary Plauche's child is hurt for life, but he that did this has no life anymore. The guilty who is now dead surely has a family and friends. These people have just lost their friend, colleague or employee, and Gary Plauche is thus "guilty" from their perspective. If it was not unethical for Gary Plauche to unlawfully murder a person just because he was "guilty" from his perspective, then surely it can't be unethical to take revenge on him, no? If Gary Plauche's philosophy was applied universally, he would be tortured his entire life for murdering someone. Both Kantian Ethics and Utilitarianism would agree that a world where subjective feelings of anger dictate what punishment is dealt, that such a world is bad, and that therefore, acting in this manner is unethical. 

Unproportional personal revenge detached from objective justice systems is unethical, beacause it contradicts itself by letting the act of "punnishing" someone be a crime worthy of punishment. If applied universally, this lust for revenge would destroy society as a whole; furhermore, without objective standards for right or wrong, anyone can do anything as long as they see it as just ---- meaning to support "personal justice" is a self-contradictory belief.

Gary Plauche killing his child's predator was unethical --- because murder is unethical, and the ideas justifying it are unethical, self-contradictory and destructive
Round 2
My opponent forfeited. I will use this rond to rebutt his R1. Simply put, he does not provide actual evidence that the purpose of our justice system is solely to punish. More detrimental to his case is how he fails to show why an individual can break the law in order to get personal revenge, and still have one's act be considdered "serving justice". Moreover, my opponent fails to even address ethics, or the link between it and the formal justice system. For all of these reasons, his argument simply does not work to prove his case correct.

I considder my opponent's argument firmly rebutted.

Extend all R1 arguments.

Good luck, wylted.
Round 3
Easy win, unfortunately.
Round 4