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America's Debate > Archive > Assorted Issues Archive > [A] Big Trials and Legal Cases
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VDemosthenes
The third arsonist was arrested in the string of Alabama Church fires.


The Story


Questions for Debate:

1.) Do you believe them?

2.) How would you define a joke? Was it a joke?

3.) What punishment should be given?



And, yes, I made a big grammatical error in the title. Bonus points if you find it. whistling.gif



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Victoria Silverwolf
1. Well, it's impossible to say when anybody is telling the truth, of course. In this case, this looks like a confession to me, so there doesn't seem to be much motivation to lie. (A false confession is always possible, certainly, but this seems unlikely.) I suppose there is some possibility that the person who has confessed to these crimes is trying to claim a "joke" as a motivation for them, rather than some other motive, in order to receive a lesser sentence. (This is a good example of why laws about "hate crimes" cause more problems than they are intended to solve. How do I know if an arsonist hates Baptists, or just loves to watch fires?)

2. Even much more innocent practical jokes have always seemed cruel and unfunny to me, so I suppose I can accept this as a "joke" of a particularly evil kind.

3. The usual punishment for arson on this scale, which I assume would be a fairly lengthy imprisonment. As I have said, I would not suggest making the penalty more severe due to laws about "hate crimes." I would also not suggest making the penalty any different for arson against a church than for arson against any other structure designed for human occupation.
Bikerdad
Questions for Debate:

1.) Do you believe them?
Pretty much ditto what VS said, unless somebody knowing these knuckleheads comes forth with substantive evidence that there was more to it than a "joke."

2.) How would you define a joke? Was it a joke?Not a joke. A vicious prank perhaps.

3.) What punishment should be given?Lengthy prison terms where they have the task of building new pews for the replacement churches. Oh, and randomly torch all of the stuff in their cells when they're out in the yard during their incarceration.
Politaca
1.) Do you believe them?

I don't think it even matters if anyone believes them or not. There is nothing "funny" about what they did and they should not get any breaks for being sick enough to think burning down churches is a joking matter.


3.) What punishment should be given?

20 years in prison for each. They are little freaks.
TruthMarch
Something is missing here. They start a fire, then, to fool investigators, they start more fires? Something isn't kosher about this story yet.
No I don't believe them.
No it's no joke.
nebraska29
QUOTE
1.) Do you believe them?


I do, if it was done out of religious or racial hatred, they would've added something to indicate that. No action is undertaken of this nature without a very outward sign as to why it was done.

QUOTE
2.) How would you define a joke? Was it a joke?


Where I live, high school kids will fill a paperbag with animal feces and then light it on fire on someone's porch. The idea is that in putting out the fire, the homeowner steps in...well.....yeah. whistling.gif shifty.gif Something like this may have been what the kids were trying to accomplish, however nonsensical.

QUOTE
3.) What punishment should be given?


Just that which would be the norm for their crime and criminal history.
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