Archive for the ‘Death Penalty’ Category

The Death Penalty Debate…

November 6, 2008


The Phil’s death penalty debate took place on the 6th of November, when we tackled the motion ‘That This House Believes That No Criminal Should Suffer the Death Penalty’. A paper was presented by Sinead Finegan (Treasurer, ex-Schools Convenor), who argued that the death penalty could never be justified, paving the way for a heated discussion on the subject.

Jonathan Wyse (Debates Convenor) contended that the death penalty was an effective deterrent, and was roundly criticised by Sinead Waldron (MC). Marc Klaas, founder of the KlaasKids Foundation for Children, gave an impassioned speech in favour of the death penalty, talking of his own experiences with the tragic loss of his murdered daughter. Baroness Vivien Stern, who has worked extensively with charities for prisoners, spoke next, insisting that the death penalty has no place in civilised society. She was followed by Declan Meehan (Vice-President) who, in a lively speech, appealed to the crowd’s instinct for revenge.

Edward Gaffney (ex-Secretary) insisted that the death penalty is unjustifiable, and was countered by Richard Waghorne of the Irish Daily Mail, who announced that he does “not necessarily believe in human rights”. Marie-Agnes Combesque, member of the French Human Rights League and anti-death penalty advocate, spoke passionately in favour of life. She was followed by Kiera Healy (Registrar), who insisted that the public should have a right to choose how to punish criminals.

Alannah NicPhaidin
and closed the debate with her maiden speech, arguing in favour of the right to life. The house thanked Sinead for her paper, and the motion was defeated in a very close vote.