The Instigator
garrett005
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
Deathbeforedishonour
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Abolish the Death Penalty

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/24/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,693 times Debate No: 16691
Debate Rounds (2)
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Votes (2)

 

garrett005

Pro

In my opinion the death penalty in the United States should be abolished because of its current extreme financial costs and the possibility of accidently executing innocents. Executing criminals is not worth it if the cost of doing so is radically more than simply confining them for life and the chance of mistakenly executing an innocent. DNA evidence has already proven some thought to be criminals as innocent. New inventions in technology may also free innocents as DNA technology has, but If they have already been executed it is too late for them to freed. The small deterrence effect of the death penalty is nowhere near effective enough to justify the financial cost of the death penalty in the United States nor the possibility of executing innocent civilians.

Report of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice (2008)

"Using conservative rough projections, the Commission estimates the annual costs of the present (death penalty) system to be $137 million per year.

The cost of the present system with reforms recommended by the Commission to ensure a fair process would be $232.7 million per year.

The cost of a system in which the number of death-eligible crimes was significantly narrowed would be $130 million per year.

The cost of a system which imposes a maximum penalty of lifetime incarceration instead of the death penalty would be $11.5 million per year."
- http://www.deathpenalty.org...
Deathbeforedishonour

Con

First off, I would like to thank my opponent for a chance to debate.

I do acknowledge that in some cases that innocent people have died out of mistakes, but this in no way calls for it abolishment. It merely calls for reforms in procedure. The numbers of innocent people on death row have been exaggerated over the years.[1] We should just use DNA technology to confirm if the suspect is innocent or not.

My opponent's next premise is based soully on cost. I would like to ask the voters and my opponent a simple question. Is it really right to deny adequate justice to a person who has taken many lives just because it costs a few extra penny's out of our wallets? What are we to tell the victims families? I woulds also like to add that even though the cost is a bit high, simple reforms in the procedure would in fact take care of this problem. Rather then spend a lot of money on chemicals to kill the condemned, we should use procedures such as the firing squad which costs a lot less money then the countless chemicals that are used in current death penalty procedures.

Contention 1: If a person who has been proven to have murdered another individual. The this also proves that the murderer has silenced that person or persons. Therefore, it is justified to silence the murderer.[2]

Contention 2: There have been many condemned criminals through the years who have been executed. If we deny the current people who are responsible for the same crime the punishment that the condemned in the past had, then we are not being fair to the people in the past that have been executed for committing the same crime.[2]

In conclusion,

We should reform the procedures in both the conviction and the procedure in which a death sentence is carried out to solve the problems rather then abolishing the death penalty all together.

Abolishing the death penalty would be denying justice.

Abolishing the death penalty would not be fair to those who were executed in the past.

The death penalty should not be abolished.

Vote Con

[1] http://www.prodeathpenalty.com...

[2] http://socyberty.com...
Debate Round No. 1
garrett005

Pro

Thank you as well for the chance to debate. I am going to start by replying to some things my opponent has stated.

"Is it really right to deny adequate justice to a person who has taken many lives just because it costs a few extra penny's out of our wallets?"

Rather than cost pennies to execute criminals today it is more around millions of dollars. For example, I cited before that on average it costs California around 10 times more to simply kill a criminal when compared to incarcerating them for life. California's planned reformation of the death penalty would yet again raise the price to almost double of what it is now to execute someone. As a nation that is 14 trillion dollars in debt and rapidly growing we cannot afford to waste this much funds on simply killing a criminal. Ideally, it should only cost the price of a bullet, gun and an officers time to deal out death penalty cases because it should only be appropriate to use the death penalty when these cases are so cut and dry that there are no need for large amounts of legal fees to determine the truth of the matter. Other states are wasting money too:

"A 2003 legislative audit in Kansas found that the estimated cost of a death penalty case was 70% more than the cost of a comparable non-death penalty case. Death penalty case costs were counted through to execution (median cost $1.26 million). Non-death penalty case costs were counted through to the end of incarceration (median cost $740,000).
(December 2003 Survey by the Kansas Legislative Post Audit)

In Tennessee, death penalty trials cost an average of 48% more than the average cost of trials in which prosecutors seek life imprisonment.
(2004 Report from Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury Office of Research)

In Maryland death penalty cases cost 3 times more than non-death penalty cases, or $3 million for a single case.
(Urban Institute, The Cost of the Death Penalty in Maryland, March 2008)
In California the current system costs $137 million per year; it would cost $11.5 million for a system without the death penalty.

(California Commission for the Fair Administration of Justice, July 2008)"
-http://www.amnestyusa.org...

"Contention 1: If a person who has been proven to have murdered another individual. The this also proves that the murderer has silenced that person or persons. Therefore, it is justified to silence the murderer.[2]"

I have to agree with my opponent here. It is a just punishment for a murderer to be murdered, but as for his intended reform to bring the death penalty costs back down to nominal fees and (hopefully) only use the death penalty when cases are cut and dry I just do not see how our current government is capable of that feat. We are talking about the same government that has been consistently for raising the costs of the death penalty to ensure "fair practice" but I do not see why it should cost millions of dollars to ensure the right person is being executed because the death penalty should only be used when it is easier to tell who the real criminal is. It is probably not too improbable that some cases are determined by who has the better lawyer instead of the truth of the matter.

In conclusion: because of the vast amount of abuse that the death penalty has endured from being practiced when cases are not cut and dry and the cost of performing an execution being raised, I imagine, at least a hundred times more since the founding of our nation, I have to conclude that the power to perform the death penalty should be taken away from the government. Once we have a government that is competent enough to use the death penalty only when the guilt of the criminal is not a matter of question and to not inflate its costs by millions of dollars in the false pursuit for a "fair process" I will agree with my opponent that our nation should have one, but I fear that day is becoming farther and farther away.
Deathbeforedishonour

Con

My opponent is clearly basing all of his argument on the fact that the death penalty costs a lot of money.

While it is true that the U.S. has trillions of dollars in debt, we must not cut budgets for giving justice to those who deserve it. Rather then that, we should cut the funding for things such as our military which right now the U.S. is giving $663.8 billion [2] and the United Nations. The U.S funds the UN more then anyother country of the world. We fund 22% of the UN's regular budget[3]. This comes to my questions. Do we really need a military with that much funding? Do we really need to fund the UN that much?

in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag we say...

' I pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands one nation under God with liberty and Justice (key word) for all.' [3]

At the end it says 'justice for all', if we were to not give the proper punishment to those who deserve it then we are not giving justice are we?

In Conclusion,

Rather then cut funding for justice we should cut funding for other things like our military and the UN.

We promise to give justice for all, and therefore we must keep that promise.

The U.S. should not abolish the death penalty.

Vote Con

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://www.betterworldcampaign.org...

[3] http://www.usflag.org...
Debate Round No. 2
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 3 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
garrett005DeathbeforedishonourTied
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Total points awarded:12 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not handle the justice rebuttal well but readily pushed cost which Con only weakly answered. In the event of a tie it has to fall away from the BoP 2:1 Con.
Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 3 years ago
ReformedArsenal
garrett005DeathbeforedishonourTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This one was tough to call and it was even throughout. However, I think that Con carries the day in pointing out that the point of the death penalty is about justice, and if we eliminate the death penalty we eliminate justice. This point was basically unaccounted for in Pro's response.