The Instigator
elijah254
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Oromagi
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Capital Punishment in USA

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Oromagi
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/24/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,266 times Debate No: 38109
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

elijah254

Pro

I am new to this site.

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I think that capital punishment should be totally reinstated in United States.

United States is facing a financial deficit, and by executing rapists, child predators and murders can save the American taxpayers millions if not billions per year.
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Firstly, the cost of looking after these criminals is too much; it"s a major burden to our economy. It costs around $90,000 a year to look after these people; so if an inmate is in jail for 20 years the cost is outstanding, Almost a quarter of a million dollars per person.

In 2010 over 30,000 inmates were incarcerated in maximum security prisons, these prisons house the worst of the worst and yet some of the most expensive jails in the country.

If capital punishment was fully reinstated in United States we could save taxpayers millions of dollars per year, this money could be put into education or infrastructure.
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Secondly at least 26% of criminals re-offend, by executing prisoners that percentage can be cut

drastically. As America"s population grows so does crime rates. As the economy gets worse more people are resorting to committing violent crimes.
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Lastly multiple studies show murders were drastically decreased after a public execution; the foresight that they could be killed for their actions may prevent them from committing the crime.
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All of my information should be accurate, if there are any minor mistakes simply overlook them for the sake of the debate.
Oromagi

Con


"What says the law? You will not kill. How does it say it? By killing!"
-Victor Hugo

Thanks, Pro, for an opportunity to debate on an important subject. I am tempted to argue against the Death Penalty in its entirety, but in this case I think it will be more useful to stick to refuting the expansion proposed by Pro. Since Pro is new to the site, I would prefer to overlook errors as Pro requests, but this issue is an important one and Pro has, so far, based his conclusion on a wide range of erroneous assumptions.

Pro has argued that the death penalty ought to be applied to all murderers and sex offenders for 3 reasons.

I) RECIDIVISM- There can be no denying that execution will prevent recidivism. A dead prisoner will never commit another crime. I'll take exception to a few of pro's facts, however.

A) The 26% re-offend rate pro cites is too low. Roughly 67% of released prisoners are re-arrested and 52% re-incarcerated.[1] However, recidivism rates for rapists who rape again trend significantly lower (2.5% in 3 years after 1994 release) and lower still for murder (1.2% in 3 years after 1994 release). [2]

B) Pro states: "As America's population grows, so does crime rates." This is false and demonstrates a lack of awareness of the significant decrease in crime rates in the U.S. since the early 90's. In 1980, the U.S. population was 225 million people and the crime rate for all crimes was 5,950 crimes reported per 100,000 people (6%), violent crimes 596 (.06%). In 2012, the U.S. population had increased by 40% to 314 million. The crime rate for all crimes was 3,246 crimes reported per 100,000 people (3.2%), violent crimes 387 (.04%). [3]

C) Pro states: "As the economy gets worse more people are resorting to violent crime." The economy shrank for 4 quarters in 2008, 2009 and has been slowly improving since. The economy is not getting worse and using the same data as above, crime decreased a little both in 2008 and 2009. This statement is false.

2) DETERRENCE- Pro argues "studies show murders were drastically decreased after a public execution"

The U.S. is the only Western Democracy that permits the death penalty, yet has by far the highest violent crime rate of any Western Democracy, twice that of the second highest.

In fact, "studies of capital punishment have consistently shown that homicide actually increases in the time period surrounding an execution. Social scientists refer to this as the "brutalization effect." Execution stimulates homicides in three ways: (1) executions desensitize the public to the immorality of killing, increasing the probability that some people will then decide to kill; (2) the state legitimizes the notion that vengeance for past misdeeds is acceptable; and (3) executions also have an imitation effect, where people actually follow the example set by the state, after all, people feel if the government can kill its enemies, so can they (Bowers and Pierce, 1980; King, 1978, Forst. 1983)."[4]

This effect can be documented by studying murder rate statistics per 100,000 for those U.S. states with a death penalty vs. U.S. states with no death penalty.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...

"A recent survey of the most leading criminologists in the country found that the overwhelming majority did not believe that the death penalty is a proven deterrent to homicide. Eighty-eight percent of the country’s top criminologists do not believe the death penalty acts as a deterrent to homicide, according to a new study published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology and authored by Professor Michael Radelet, Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and Traci Lacock, also at Boulder.

Similarly, 87% of the expert criminologists believe that abolition of the death penalty would not have any significant effect on murder rates. In addition, 75% of the respondents agree that “debates about the death penalty distract Congress and state legislatures from focusing on real solutions to crime problems.”[5]


3) COST SAVINGS

A) Pro places the cost of incarcerating a criminal at $90,000 per year. In fact, $90,000/year is the cost of maintaining a death row inmate in California. [6],where the average cost of a prisoner is $47,102.[7] The National cost per average prisoner is about $23,876 [8]

B) Pro calculates that $90,000/yr for 20 years would be almost one quarter of million dollars. Bad math. 90,000x20=$1.8 million

C) Pro states: "If capital punishment was fully reinstated in United States we could save taxpayers millions of dollars per year." In fact, taxpayers typically pay more to put a prisoner to death than to incarcerate him for life. This may seem counter-intuitive at first glance, but because death penalty cases almost always maximize the appeals process and require so much specialized infrastructure, the bill for death exceeds the bill for Life without parole. The State of California estimates that if it immediately commuted the current docket of prisoners on death row (727) the State would save $170 million/year. Put another way, each Death Row inmate in California costs taxpayers an extra $233,837 per year. Each death penalty case in Texas costs taxpayers about $2.3 million. That is about three times the cost of imprisoning someone in a single cell at the highest security level for 40 years. ("Executions Cost Texas Millions," Dallas Morning News, March 8, 1992).[10]

The Dept. of Justice estimates that in 2010 there were 188,200 prisoners sentenced for murder in state prisons and roughly 160,800 prisoners sentenced for sexual assault. Let's assume that California's death row costs are high and take half that to estimate the extra cost per prisoner at $117,000. Then let's multiply that number by the 349,000 prisoners Pro would like to put to death. Additional cost? $40,833,000,000.

There are plenty of deeper questions to ask about Pro's plan. For example, Pro makes no distinction between first degree murder and manslaughter, between statutory rape and violent sexual assault, between child rapists and online creeps. Additionally, Pro takes all of the sentencing power out of the hands of judges. Not even all murder convictions result in jail time (96% incarceration for convicted murders). For 1 out of every 25 people convicted of murder, the judge does not include prison time in the sentence. Would Pro round up all of these people and execute them as well? What about the tens of thousands who are now on parole or probation as part of a murder sentence? Would Pro kill these populations?

So far, Pro has argued for a massive expansion of the death penalty that will cost taxpayers billions per year in additional costs and may actually result in increased murder rates, if the experts are to be believed.

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


[2]
http://www.bjs.gov...


[3]
http://www.disastercenter.com...


[4]
http://www.e-archives.ky.gov...


[5]
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...


[6]
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...


[7]
http://www.lao.ca.gov...


[8]
http://www.pewtrusts.org...


[9]
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...


[10]
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
Debate Round No. 1
elijah254

Pro

elijah254 forfeited this round.
Oromagi

Con

Pro forfeits. Continue arguments from previous round.
Debate Round No. 2
elijah254

Pro

elijah254 forfeited this round.
Oromagi

Con

Pro forfeits. Continue argument from round 1 and VOTE CON
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Beverlee 4 years ago
Beverlee
elijah254OromagiTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con rebutted the core of Pro's arguments, and presented some good arguments of his own. Conduct for the FF
Vote Placed by bsh1 4 years ago
bsh1
elijah254OromagiTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
elijah254OromagiTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeits