The Instigator
ericjpomeroy
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
rwebberc
Con (against)
Winning
41 Points

Being in favor of abortion and against the death penalty is hypocritical and typically liberal.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,899 times Debate No: 2637
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (41)
Votes (15)

 

ericjpomeroy

Pro

Being in favor of abortion and against the death penalty, is not only morally wrong, it doesn't make sense. Kill babies that haven't had a chance at life save the adults that had a chance at life and chose to use it to murder people. I went through profiles of people I disagreed 50% or more on and most of them were liberal, in favor of abortion and against the death penalty. I personally think that is sick.

How can you want to snuff out an innocent life, yet want to let an evil person, that has proved to society that they are willing to kill others, live out his life? Liberalism at its finest. Only in favor of killing those that can't defend themselves and opposed to killing people that would murder others.

I am against abortion except in extreme cases like rape, if the birth would be danger to the mother, or the child would end up with severe disabilities. But I don't think it should be legal otherwise to be used as a form of birth control. I am in favor of the death penalty. First off it makes prison's safer for the guards and inmates, and it is a great way to make people think twice before doing something stupid. That is if it is used properly and often. That is my stance on those two subjects.
rwebberc

Con

ateInteresting debate. I'm not going to address the notion that these positions are typically liberal because that seems to be a fairly obvious assertion. Many liberals are against the death penalty and are for the women's right to choose, I absolutely agree.

First off, I'm going to start with some definitions since my opponent decided not to provide any.

Merriam Webster defines the following as such:

Hypocrisy: feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion

Murder: The unlawful killing of another person

The first definition seems to unhinge my opponent's argument. Liberals only say that they believe in these two things, not some all-encompassing belief in a right to life. Therefore to believe in these two things is not hypocritical. Interestingly enough, it is conservatives who profess this aforementioned "right to life", and yet favor the death penalty, but that is neither here nor there. I suppose by hypocritical my opponent means morally inconsistent.

The second definition is where most liberals find their point of stasis from conservatives. They believe that the fetus is not a "person", and many people tend to agree. The US Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey states that a fetus only becomes viable after 22 weeks and upheld a woman's right to an abortion before that point. Neurophysiological definitions of personhood state that one must be a sentient being in order to qualify as a person. Therefore, it is not inconsistent to support abortion because those who do don't see it as the killing of a person, but rather a medical decision made by the woman.

As far as the death penalty is concerned, there are a multitude of reasons why liberals and non-liberals oppose it. Oddly enough, none of them include letting "an evil person, that has proved to society that they are willing to kill others, live out his life." Many studies have shown that the death penalty is no more effective as a deterrent to murder than life without parole (1, 2). Moreover, since 1973, 127 people on death row in the US have been exonerated based on DNA evidence, and experts say that numerous other innocent people have been put to death in that time frame (3). Opponents of the death penalty argue that this provides too high a risk of executing an innocent person to justify the use of capital punishment. Finally, one more argument against the death penalty states that its application is unequal and discriminatory. A black defendant on trial for murder is 38% more likely to be given they death penalty than a defendant of any other race; and nearly 90% of all victims in death penalty cases are white, despite the fact that whites make up only about 50% of all murder victims (4).

In conclusion, to say that supporting a woman's right to choose and opposing the death penalty is not only un-hypocritical, it is also morally consistent, as I have shown.

1.http://links.jstor.org...(197512)85%3A2%3C187%3ATIODII%3E2.0.CO%3B2-E
2.http://cad.sagepub.com...
3.http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
4.http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
Debate Round No. 1
ericjpomeroy

Pro

I also have a Definition for you Hypocrite: 1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs. http://dictionary.reference.com... which is exactly my point.

So you didn't unhinge crap.

Now is abortion is ending a life, not just a life, and innocent life that hasn't had a chance to have an impact on the world at all. Trying to deny your ending life by having an abortion is a lie. At conception life begins, that is a fact. It may not spring up and start doing cartwheels for you but it is life.

Now you say that conservatives that are "Pro Life" and for the death penalty are hypocrites? I totally challenge that. Being opposed to abortion, saying it is murder to kill a child that is alive and growing inside you, that you created, is very pro life. Also, killing a person that has shown a they have no respect for another person's right to live is actually defending life.

You also state: "Many studies have shown that the death penalty is no more effective as a deterrent to murder than life without parole." This is complete bull. Think about the lifer's in prison, they are the most dangerous people in that prison simply because they have nothing to lose. The murder rate in in prison is over 50 to every 100,000. The majority of the offenders are men serving life in prison. Rather than execute them you would have them being a danger to other inmates as well as guards? Being alive they are a danger to life. As far as the death penalty being a deterrent, we don't use it enough to be a deterrent! Saying that 127 people could have been wrongfully executed isn't a reflection of the death penalty in any way. You could make that argument about life sentences, we should abolish those sentences too? How many killers got out of prison and went on to commit more violent crime? I bet you it is more than 127. Considering the average sentence served for commiting murder is less than 12 years, I think we NEED the death penalty to be used a lot more frequently. We don't use the death penalty nearly enough to be a deterrent. We have executed 1,056 people since 1976. That is about 35 a year, that is nothing. China executes around 1400 people a year and they have a low violent crime rate.

You say: "Finally, one more argument against the death penalty states that its application is unequal and discriminatory. A black defendant on trial for murder is 38% more likely to be given they death penalty than a defendant of any other race; and nearly 90% of all victims in death penalty cases are white, despite the fact that whites make up only about 50% of all murder victims." Well, when you consider that Blacks make up 47.6% of all murderers, and only about 10% of the population, that is about right. They get convicted more cause they commit more violent crimes and are often repeat offenders. But another thing that is typically liberal is to accuse everything they don't agree with as being racist. Stop hiding behind the liberal shield of racism and face facts. The death penalty is a PENALTY, it isn't a random thing, they don't pull people off the street and execute them on a whim. Some times death is necessary to support life. http://www.benbest.com...

I wouldn't have as much of a problem if you were pro abortion and pro death penalty, or anti abortion and anti death penalty, but pro abortion and anti death penalty? Think about what your saying! You want to kill children and protect killers! That is the bottom line. That is evil. If you don't see it that way then that just shows how evil that liberal America is.

Conservatism is giving people a lot of freedom, but holding them responsible for their actions. Liberalism is to give people some freedom but absolve them of all responsibility for their actions. That is exactly what you are saying. Sleep around, it is cool, you can just have an abortion later. Kill as many people as you want, we won't hurt you. That is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. If we had a standard for the death penalty, like any type of murder results in the death penalty which is to be carried out within a year or after their first and only appeal. The murder rate would decline. If abortion were made illegal, the number of people using protection while having sex would increase, making people safer. The world would just be a better place.

In closing, being pro abortion, is supporting the ending of innocent lives. Being anti death penalty, is protecting people who are anything but innocent. How is that not hypocritical?
rwebberc

Con

I will start by addressing your points from the last round:

"I also have a Definition for you Hypocrite: 1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs. http://dictionary.reference.com...... which is exactly my point."

Hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing another. People who hold these views only say that they support a woman's right to choose and that the death penalty is unjust for the various reasons I have previously stated. That's not hypocritical. It would be hypocritical for them to bomb and abortion clinic or call for the execution of a murderer, but saying what they believe is not hypocrisy.

"At conception life begins, that is a fact."

True, an embryo may be alive, but that doesn't make it a person. You can only "murder" sentient beings. A house plant is alive, but if I cut it down that doesn't make me a murderer. You haven't addressed my argument that an embryo is not a sentient being until a certain point, and therefore it is not hypocritical to deny it the same rights as one would give to an actual living, breathing, thinking, sentient human being.

"You also state: "Many studies have shown that the death penalty is no more effective as a deterrent to murder than life without parole." This is complete bull."

How? I provided two studies, one from the Yale Law Journal, another from Crime and Delinquency Journal, both of which are peer-reviewed sources knowledgable to the subject. Nice try.

"Saying that 127 people could have been wrongfully executed isn't a reflection of the death penalty in any way. You could make that argument about life sentences, we should abolish those sentences too?"

The thing about life sentences is that they are reversible, you can release them from prison and pay them retributions for their false imprisonment. Can you un-kill someone? Until you can, then your argument doesn't hold water.

"As far as the death penalty being a deterrent, we don't use it enough to be a deterrent!"

The only countries that execute more people than the USA are China, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, and the Sudan (1). That should give you some insight into your twisted logic. Are these really the countries you want us to emulate as far as domestic policy goes?

"China executes around 1400 people a year and they have a low violent crime rate."

This is completely laughable. China's government has one of the worst human rights records in the world. The reason China executes so many people is because there are a total of 68 offenses punishable by death, including theft, embezzlement, tax fraud, and numerous other non-violent crimes (2). For those of you voting, I implore you to consider the implications of my opponent's suggestions.

"Well, when you consider that Blacks make up 47.6% of all murderers, and only about 10% of the population, that is about right."

You seem to have misinterpreted my statistic here. I'm not just saying that more blacks get the death penalty, I'm saying they are MORE LIKELY to get it. If a black man kills person X, he is 38% more likely to get the death penalty than if a person of another race were to kill person X. Understand?

"it is typically liberal is to accuse everything they don't agree with as being racist"

Not sure what your point is here, but I have provided facts and statistics to show that the application of the death penalty that is racially biased. You didn't refute those statistics in any way.

"The death penalty is a PENALTY, it isn't a random thing, they don't pull people off the street and execute them on a whim. Some times death is necessary to support life. http://www.benbest.com...;

This is my favorite part of your argument. I have chastised you for not providing any evidence to support your arguments and you finally do...and it supports MY argument! Here is a quote from the page you cited:

"On average, two countries per year have abolished the death penalty since 1976, the year it was abolished in Canada. Since then the Canadian murder rate has dropped from about 3 to about 2, undermining the argument that capital punishment is a deterrent."

Wow. Awesome. Thank you for that.

"Think about what your saying! You want to kill children and protect killers! That is the bottom line. That is evil."

This is what those in the debate community like to call a straw man. You can't refute any of my arguments, so you misrepresent them and then call them evil. I don't want to kill children, I wish there weren't any need for abortion, but I'm not going to tell a woman what to do with her body. As far as protecting killers goes, I think life in prison is a pretty bad way to live out your years and I think people who actually commit murder deserve harsh punishment.

"If we had a standard for the death penalty, like any type of murder results in the death penalty which is to be carried out within a year or after their first and only appeal. The murder rate would decline. If abortion were made illegal, the number of people using protection while having sex would increase, making people safer. The world would just be a better place."

Once again you fail to support your arguments with anything but your own opinions. I can say that if we outlaw violent video games, murder rates will drop, but that doesn't make it true. Your entire argument is opinion-based, and you simply aren't qualified to be making the statements you're making. There are people out there who have actually dedicated their lives to researching these topics, and they know a whole lot more about them than either of us. That's why I cite their studies and research. You might want to consider that in the future.

I have shown that 1: Hypocrisy is to profess to believe something that you don't actually believe or practice, this is not a characteristic of the people my opponent is intent on villifying. 2: There are logical reasons to believe in both positions, and doing so does not make one evil, immoral, or hypocritical. 3: My opponent's arguments are not based in fact, they are based on opinion. 4: In the process of making his arguments, my opponent has praised such oppressive entities as the Chinese government for killing more of its own citizens than the rest of the world combined. This is morally questionable at best.

What else is there to say? Vote con.

1. http://www.amnestyusa.org...
2. http://news.bbc.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 2
41 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by rwebberc 9 years ago
rwebberc
6. Interesting. Dr. Cassell's argument is that life in prison gives killers the opportunity to potentially kill other inmates and that we should be more worried about letting killers out than executing innocent people. How is the latter something which isn't solved by life in prison without parole? It's not. So all we're left with is the danger that murderers pose to other murderers. That's not enough to warrant capital punishment.

7. Once again, this just talks about the risks posed by violent offenders who are released from prison. It makes no case for why we should kill people rather than give them life in prison.
Posted by rwebberc 9 years ago
rwebberc
I will address your articles one by one.
1. First of all, I wouldn't exactly consider the American Daily, a far right wing online newspaper, a scholarly source. The conclusions it makes are purely based on numbers and don't take into account the race of the victims, the circumstances of the crimes, or the race of the juries, as the studies I cited do.

2. The murderer in the Enquirer article is not on the list I cited from Northwestern and is not representative of the typical murder case. It's essentially a red herring in terms of this argument.

3. This represents one family's view on capital punishment, but that doesn't make it a universal sentiment. This is an excerpt from a Newsweek article on the subject: "'There is enormous individual variation,' says James Acker, a criminal-justice professor at SUNY Albany, who coedited a book on the issue. While some witnesses say they're freed to move on, others remain consumed by grief or hatred, and still others come to oppose the death penalty, concluding that it did nothing to assuage their pain. But most agree that there is no such thing as closure. 'It's a concept that simply doesn't describe the loss that they've suffered,' says Acker."
http://www.newsweek.com...

4. Once again we have a political opinion magazine, and its slant is apparent from the beginning. The author uses loaded language and tugs at heartstrings in order to paint Bob Herbert's legitimate questioning about this man's sentencing in a negative light. Even if Herbert were wrong in this case, it is only one case. This article was so biased that it has prompted me to skip the next National Review article you posted.
Posted by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
http://www.americandaily.com...
http://www.enquirer.com...
http://www.baltimoresun.com...
http://www.nationalreview.com...
http://www.nationalreview.com...
http://deathpenaltycurriculum.org...
http://www.ncpa.org...

rwebberc, I am sorry to say your study is the one using cherry-picked facts. Saying they MIGHT of been innocent is not evidence that they have. I have provided more links at your request.

I think people like ourselves will never be able to change our mind about this issue. The exchanging of ideas in this mature way has been refreshing. It is a shame people like Doctafly can not disagree with someone in this fashion.
Posted by rwebberc 9 years ago
rwebberc
godlspurs, I'm sorry to say that the article you provided is rife with cherry-picked facts that don't actually help it's cause. Not to mention the fact that it's unsourced. The reason none of the persons cited in the study were technically "innocent" was because there is no process for post-execution exoneration; the criminal justice system ends at execution. However, here is a quote from the Northwestern University Law School Center on Wrongful Convictions:

"at least 39 executions have been carried out in the United States in face of compelling evidence of innocence or serious doubt about guilt. While innocence has not been proven in any specific case, there is no reasonable doubt that some of the executed prisoners were innocent."
http://www.law.northwestern.edu...

I must say, also, that all my sources came from law schools, policy journals, or government officials, while your only source was "prodeathpenalty.com". I could've gone to "anti-deathpenalty.com" or whatever and found far more "damning" articles, but those have no place in an educated debate.
Posted by rwebberc 9 years ago
rwebberc
The problem with this solution is that it is unenforcable. As I have shown you, the racial bias in the death penalty's application is widespread in the American criminal justice system. The reason the reason it is unfairly applied isn't because of rogue prosecutors, it is because of social attitude towards minorities. Racism is deeply seated in American society. To make sure that the death penalty is enforced fairly, you would have to end racism in America.

Not executing someone isn't allowing them to escape, it is forcing them to live out their lives in a small, joyless room. It is allowing them to contemplate their act, and possibly become remorseful and seek forgiveness from the family they have wronged. But it is not leniency, and it is not some sort of free pass.
Posted by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
rwebberc,

you should read section VI of this link. It says some under reported facts about the study conducted by Hugo Bedaut and Michael Radelet.

http://www.prodeathpenalty.com...

As far as bias in the death penalty my only complaint is that it does not look into the severity of each case. If there is an overzealous Prosecutor who seems to favor trying minorities for the death penalty he should be disbarred. Here is a good quote from Ernest van den Haag :

"If and when discrimination occurs it should be corrected. Not, however, by letting the guilty blacks escape the death penalty because guilty whites do, but by making sure that the guilty white offenders suffer it as the guilty blacks do. Discrimination must be abolished by abolishing discrimination - not by abolishing penalties. However, even if...this cannot be done, I do not see any good reason to let any guilty murderer escape his penalty. It does happen in the administration of criminal justice that one person gets away with murder and another is executed. Yet the fact that one gets away with it is no reason to let another one escape."
Posted by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
Doctafly,

Your comment says everything I need to know about you. Do not confuse your fantasies with my beautiful (formerly liberal) wife. You really should get some new material if you intend on trying to sting me.
Posted by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
rwebberc,

Thanks for providing the links. I will look over them and get back to you.
Posted by DoctaFly 9 years ago
DoctaFly
goldspurs is going sledding with the "wife."

ROFLMAO

your well worn and sticky barbie doll does not constitute said wife, and you should not be sledding without mommy, goldspurs. Being 13 does not make you all grown up!
Posted by rwebberc 9 years ago
rwebberc
I ran out of characters, but I gave you plenty of articles and studies to look over if you still don't believe me. Let me know if you want more proof.
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