Abolish the Death Penalty
Debate Rounds (3)
I will do my refutations in round 2, but now, I will introduce my own points:
So without further ado:
My first assertion is that the people put on death row have committed terrible crimes. What do people get on death row for? Not for small violations, but for felonies. These felonies can include murder, bombings or rape. Don't you believe that criminals should be responsible for their actions? According to Constitutional Lawyer and General Counsel to the Center for Law and Accountability, "The crimes of rape, torture, treason, kidnapping, murder, larceny, and perjury pivot on a moral code that escapes apodictic [indisputably true] proof by expert testimony or otherwise. But communities would plunge into anarchy if they could not act on moral assumptions less certain than that the sun will rise in the east and set in the west. Abolitionists may contend that the death penalty is inherently immoral because governments should never take human life, no matter what the provocation. But that is an article of faith, not of fact. The death penalty honors human dignity by treating the defendant as a free moral actor able to control his own destiny for good or for ill; it does not treat him as an animal with no moral sense." The criminals should not be kept in the jails. They deserve to die, not live. Its a matter of fact that after these criminals murdered so many people, the US government should put then to death.
My second assertion is that people should get what they deserve. Once those men have committed a crime, they have done an unforgivable act. These men and women deserve to be punished by the government. Life in prison would not be enough. According to Professor of Government and Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin, "Society is justly ordered when each person receives what is due to him. Crime disturbs this just order, for the criminal takes from people their lives, peace, liberties, and worldly goods in order to give himself undeserved benefits. Deserved punishment protects society morally by restoring this just order, making the wrongdoer pay a price equivalent to the harm he has done. This is retribution, not to be confused with revenge, which is guided by a different motive. In retribution the spur is the virtue of indignation, which answers injury with injury for public good... Retribution is the primary purpose of just punishment as such... rehabilitation, protection, and deterrence have a lesser status in punishment than retribution."
My third assertion is that abolishing death penalty guarantees safety
For the last two years, debate about the relevance of the Kermit Gosnell case to wider political concerns has focused on the abortion issue. But with Gosnell now found guilty of murder, the possibility of his execution (now removed as the result of a deal struck with prosecutors) has pitted pro-lifers against one another in a debate over the death penalty.
First, Professor Robert George issued a plea for mercy. Ashley McGuire seconded this, arguing that pro-lifers "must stay focused on saving babies, not on killing their killers." Calling for Gosnell"s execution, McGuire argued, simply perpetuates the culture of death. John Zmirak then disagreed with both George and McGuire, arguing that sparing a murderer the death penalty "shows profound disrespect to his victims."
Given that all participants in the debate seem to be Catholic, it might be instructive to look at what the Catechism says about capital punishment:
Assuming that the guilty party"s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.
If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people"s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.
I"d like to ruminate a little on what precisely the Catechism means when it says that authorities should limit themselves to non-lethal forms of punishment if these "are sufficient to defend and protect people"s safety."
Pro-life Catholics who oppose the death penalty generally take an extremely narrow view of what this means. Professor George, for example, has argued that "the state does not have the right to inflict capital punishment"no matter how grave the offense and no matter how clear the guilt of the accused"unless effective incarceration is impossible and execution is the only way to prevent this particular murderer from killing again."
But it is not clear that this is the only possible way of framing the question. The decision of whether to impose the death penalty is not simply at the discretion of a trial judge who is dealing with the case of "this particular murderer." Legislators will have already specified the offenses that may merit capital punishment, and will usually provide judges with further guidance such as identifying "aggravating factors" (for example, multiple killings) that invite a capital sentence. Whether the death penalty is imposed is conditioned to a large extent by the legislature. The role of the judge is simply to apply the law in a particular case. Even the Supreme Court"s decision in Gregg v. Georgia (1976) that ruled mandatory capital punishment as unconstitutional does not leave sentencing simply for judges to decide. The Court upheld sentencing guidelines for capital punishment in Georgia that were wholly pre-determined by the state legislature. It goes without saying that strict guidance from legislators is necessary to avoid arbitrary sentencing by judges; this guidance largely determines how the death penalty operates.
Lawmakers cannot deal with the question of whether to execute this murderer, but only of whether to execute murderers in general. In making a judgment as to whether the death penalty is necessary for the protection of public safety, legislators have to consider more than merely the question of whether "effective incarceration" is theoretically possible. The fact that it is possible not to execute killers doesn"t establish that that it is morally obligatory to do so, particularly when there are arguments to suggest that the overall result of abolishing capital punishment (rather than the result of merely commuting sentence in a particular case) would be to place public safety in jeopardy.
When Demetry Smirnov killed his ex-girlfriend in Illinois in 2011, prosecutors discovered that he had researched the law on the internet to discover if the state had the death penalty before going ahead with the killing. It is reasonable to assume that if Illinois had not just abolished it, she might be alive today.
It has also been pointed out that, where the death penalty is abolished and life sentences remain for rape, rapists may be more likely to kill their victims in order to prevent them testifying, since the sentence in either case will be identical. The only way to prevent the incentivization of murder is, therefore, to lower the sentences required for a range of other crimes. But these lower sentences simply make those lesser crimes more likely to be committed, and so on. Abolition has a cascade effect down through the criminal justice system that potentially places public welfare at risk. One only needs to look across the Atlantic at Britain, which, within a few decades of abolishing capital punishment, has gone from having one of the most rigorous sentencing systems in the West to one of the most lenient, leading to frequent and widely-supported calls among the general public for the reintroduction of hanging.
Even when abolition is accompanied with mandatory life sentencing for killers, there is no guarantee that future legislators, judges, state governors, and prison officials will honor this. In 1966 Kenneth McDuff was sentenced to death for the killing of two teenage boys and the brutal rape and murder of their female companion. When the Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in Furman v. Georgia (1972), his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Under pressure of serious overcrowding in Texas prisons, he was released in 1989. Within three days he had killed again, and over the next three years would go on to kill at least five more women before finally being apprehended. Countless other examples can be cited of killers who have been released or escaped and have gone on to kill again, or who have killed again in prison. Whether or not the death penalty is required as a matter of strict retributive justice, it is morally repugnant for the state to privilege the safety of a violent criminal over the safety of an entire population.
It often happens that those who spend their lives fighting for a particular cause can"particularly when it is as crucial as the pro-life cause"become blinded to other values which are of equal or greater importance. Fighting to ensure due respect for the sanctity of life should not lead us to canonize human life as the ultimate moral value, as if the final destiny of the human person was simply to go on existing without reference to any further end or purpose. Even when considered in purely this-worldly terms, social order is clearly a higher good than human life. Without social order a genuinely human life is impossible, since humans are by nature social animals.
Thank you, vote con.
The death penalty should be abolished as it serves as not a punishment,but letting them get away.Making a human sit in a cage alone to contemplate at they did is the worst punishment(the mentaly ill put in asylums).It also can create a negative aura for the public,making them feel the government is judge,jury,and exacutioner.By doing this,you create a government that the people fear,when it should be vice-versa.On a different note,exacution doesnt do anything to refine prisoners,it only kills off several bad eggs.Look at Iraq,we have "killed off" a number of terrorist groups,new groups always appear(Im not suggesting a solution to the war aggainst terror in Iraq).You are guaranteeing that they wont have a chance to change,and can anger your own people unnecessarily.I would recamend life in prison,but only for terrorists and mass murderers.It is different however to you a lethal weapon if threatend.I didnt cite much information but hopefuly provided valid points.
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Vane01 11 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: No arguments of con were refuted and overall, con had more points. Pro had no evidence.
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