The Instigator
mcc1789
Pro (for)
Winning
30 Points
The Contender
Sky_ace25
Con (against)
Losing
20 Points

Capital Punishment in the United States is Flawed and Should End

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
mcc1789
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/30/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,443 times Debate No: 9911
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (8)

 

mcc1789

Pro

I will thank my opponent for accepting this challenge in advance. I will present the following arguments to start with in favor of my position.

Capital punishment is replying to one death sentence with another. Murder indeed constitutes the death penalty. It deprives an individual of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It should therefore not be answered in the same way. Thus we are doing that by killing them in return also.

Essentially by using capital punishment we accept universality, yet this is flawed. Kant said "act not unless you would have it be a universal law." So by killing someone, it is argued, they said everyone should act this way. Setting aside the irrational basis of that, responding the same way is no way to show disapproval.

"We kill people who killed to show them killing is wrong?" According to the idea of universality they have shown how they want society to be. We disagree, or this would not be a crime. So how does this not set a bad example? Doing this we say "You're right, society should be this way." The reciprocity of this says to do that is ok.

An eye for an eye, or simple reciprocity, is a large part of the reason for capital punishment. Someone killed, and so it is argued they should be killed in turn. Yet
the very fact we do not rape rapists or kidnap kidnappers should say something. This biblical idea has never deterred. We are not supposed to be the same. Thus death for death has sunk into the same level.

It is argued that insanity or incompetency defenses will prevent killing of insane and or mentally incompetent defendants. The amount of not guilty by reason of insanity pleas is less than 10% of all criminal defenses, and for good reason. It nearly always fails, because of legal standards that do not follow medical diagnoses. Furthermore, lay jurors decide insanity, whereas competency is based solely on understanding the charges and the ability to assist your defense. Many clinically insane people or mentally challenged people meet that standard. It does not mean they were sane or competent while committing murder. There have been many cases of clearly insane or mentally incompetent people being put to death. For instance, a man was put to death in 1995 who attempted to save part of his last meal "for latur (sic)." Though we require that prisoners understand what is happening, clearly he did not, yet was passed by. Similarly, then-candidate Bill Clinton rushed back to Arkansas in 1992 so he could sign away the life of a mentally retarded prisoner, so he could look tough on crime in the campaign. This unfortunate prisoners claimed he was going to heaven and would take care of God's pet animals.

Capital punishment is useless. You can insure a prisoner has no more victims by placing them in confinement, under severe restrictions-if necessary, for life. Anger, hate and revenge have much to do with capital punishment. I do not trust the state to decide who lives or dies in this way, nor should anyone. Furthermore, countries without capital punishment do not have more crimes of this nature, in fact much less. The idea of death being their due is a devaluation of life.

The idea that our system prevents innocent people from being put to death or that DNA precludes this is simply laughable. For instance, many death cases are based on circumstantial evidence. All types of evidence have been flawed, including DNA. While nothing is perfect, at least in other cases a defendant is not dead and so could potentially be exonerated. There have been many cases of innocent people being put to death, bringing into question far more. The "long appeals process" does not prevent this, especially in the states which have the highest execution rates. The Court of Criminal Appeals in Texas, for instance, has essentially ruled the standard for adequate counsel down to "has law degree, is human, alive, was not asleep the entire trial, presented at least something for their client." Eyewitness testimony, possibly the most common evidence, is shown to be flawed scientifically. However this is often key, if not the only direct evidence of a crime. Only a small percentage of crimes involve DNA evidence, even capital offenses don't for many cases. The kind of evidence used to convict in even capital cases is often simply outrageous, and dismissed as unrealistic in fiction. We have misconduct from parties involved, bad eyewitnesses, coerced confessions, jailhouse snitches or guilty accomplices fingering the defendant, junk science, trial by media, flawed DNA, tainted juries, etc, etc. As ever, this can occur in any case, but death is different by its nature. You can wind up dead by-the state's action. This is my greatest argument. Whatever one thinks about capital punishment, few will be flippant as Pat Buchanan was and say the risk is acceptable. If they do, that's an equally appalling disregard for innocent lives as that of murderers.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.aclu.org...
Sky_ace25

Con

Interesting topic.
_Refutes_

My opponent argues a quote by Kant, "act not unless you would have it be a universal law". Under this quote my opponents analysis is flawed, because by killing someone they are not saying everyone should act that way. They are saying by killing someone a LAW is established that allows for the killing of someone. Thus death is punished by death, eye for an eye.

Further more we kill people to show them a punishment. A punishment that sends a message that says killing is WRONG. This doesn't set a bad example, because if we just allowed killers to go on without a punishment a government would not have control over the enforcement of law in it's own territory which undermines sovereignty.

My opponent offers the examples of a rapist or a kidnapper that we do not enforce an eye for an eye for. However, the death penalty was not designed to follow an eye for an eye. It was designed to be one of the highest enforcement policies that is to be enacted by a government to ensure that people follow the rule of law. The whole reason our entire society is not a raging cage of hell is because people are afraid of the consequences of such actions. It is this fear that keeps people from committing atrocities and thus the death penalty substantially protects the loss of life.

Further more it is not up to an individual citizen to decide if the state can put people to death or not. A citizen has forfeited their rights to execute punishment by being part of the social contract and thus they have trusted a higher authority to do this. Thus unless a majority can be motivated behind this ideal whether you agree with the death penalty or not is not going to change anything.

When you say "The idea of death being their due is a devaluation of life", the people who have warranted the death penalty have already committed a massive felony or multiple felonies. They have already devalued life on their own and thus the government should not treat them in any different way. When the murderer, the rapist has already deemed another persons life less important than theirs, they have already devalued life and thus the government by enforcing the death penalty is just keeping with the idea of universality, to use my opponents case, by treating them the same way they have treated their victims.

My opponent claims that innocent people can be convicted in our system, I do not deny that this is possible. However,if all evidence was as flawed as my opponent claims then why is it we do not have a massive riot against our court system? Why is it our court system has survived all these years if it was so flawed? It's quite obvious that my opponents claims of flaws are completely unrealistic, because at the instance that we do not have massive riots against our criminal court system, and the fact that Americans go when they are called to jury duty, they have accepted the court system for the entity that it actually is.

Appeals are obviously a long process, because were it easy for a mass murderer to appeal his punishment than this system would be abused. The appeal system is designed for people who actually have a chance to have a lower punishment. Your average felon has warranted their own death by the actions they have committed and thus chances are the appeal system would not help them much. Further more when you argue for the standard for counseling, who are we to be elitists and say only the best of the best can be on a counsel. At the instant that they agree to the criteria and that they are accepted they have the right to have that job. You can not blame a criminal appeal court to deny a lack punishment to someone who has obviously committed such a great crime. That is not the fault of the court.

Further more when you argue that most crimes are based on little evidence again you are flawed. If their is little evidence than the PROSECUTORs also have a burden of proof to prove as long as the defendant. If the prosecutors are able to get enough evidence to convict a felon then that felon is to be convicted. Each defendant is represented by a lawyer as given in their rights, and thus you can not blame falsified evidence. If every single court case was falsified evidence as my opponent claims nobody would ever belong in prison. However, my opponent accepts the existence of murderers, rapists, and kidnappers. Thus their are people in prison who deserve to be in their.

As for my opponents "greatest argument", my refute above address the main fears of that point. However, again I ask if our court system was so flawed why are we not causing a massive revolt and why are we not anarchy in our streets. Why is it our court system has remained structured and accepted by the general population. It can only be that my opponents claims of falsified evidence must fall on deaf ears. If it was that easy to convince a jury then all one would have to do is walk in and point the finger and it would be guilty. Our court system goes on innocent till proved guilty. MY ultimate rebuttal to this main argument of falsified evidence, even if you accept it, is that if it's that easy both sides can use falsified evidence. My opponent makes it seem that only the Prosecutors can lie, but at the instant that its "that easy" then the Defendant can do exactly the same. My opponent doesn't show a situation where the defendant has been denied their right to trial and thus it is easy to see that his argument of falsified evidence is not applicable because people accept our court system; and even if it was it works both ways and thus it would not affect the outcome to the trial.

Regarding the mentally handicapped; if a person commits a crime they have to be held accountable no matter what. First of all a person who commits a felon most likely has some form of mental illness or some form of inner mental struggle. My opponent argues that the right thing to do is to be lenient on them and that will solve the problem. If we should be lenient on mentally challenged then EVERY felon would plea insanity. My opponent also contradicts himself, because if it was so easy to lie in a court system then couldn't every felon plea mental insanity? This would such a huge loophole if we were lenient on them that everybody would plea insanity. Their is no justification for a felony. If somebody is so twisted, so problematic, no matter what their mental diagnosis is, they don't deserve to be affiliated with a society that is trying to protect the safety of its citizens. You can't judge jurors as all being "lay", the point of the court system was to give a fair trial by your peers. If a majority of jurors agree that the person deserves the death penalty, then that person deserves the death penalty; no exceptions.

Ultimately, the role of a death penalty is to ensure the enforcement of a punishment for "x" offense to ensure that this felon is punished. It deters the people who would wish to commit a felony, because their is a fear for loss of life. Not all people accept the death penalty with a giant smile on their face. My opponent can't claim the court system has a flaw, because as proven before it is a acceptable court system. Capital punishment obviously is not useless, because the higher authority is not filled with "anger, hate and revenge." The people hear the case and they judge based on what they believe is right. The people speak for their country, for the people are the country. If a group of people agree that somebody has done something so rotten, that they deserve the death penalty. Then they deserve that punishment. No matter what my opponent says is morally wrong with the punishment, he can not prove it's ineffective, he cannot prove that it is not wanted, and he can not prove that it is not justified.
Debate Round No. 1
mcc1789

Pro

Thank you for accepting my challenge.

"My opponent argues a quote by Kant, "act not unless you would have it be a universal law". Under this quote my opponents analysis is flawed, because by killing someone they are not saying everyone should act that way. They are saying by killing someone a LAW is established that allows for the killing of someone. Thus death is punished by death, eye for an eye." Yet this is precisely what universality and "eye for an eye" argues. Murderers have accepted that all should act in this way, so we should answer the same. As I said:

"We kill people who killed to show them killing is wrong?" According to the idea of universality they have shown how they want society to be. We disagree, or this would not be a crime. So how does this not set a bad example? Doing this we say "You're right, society should be this way." The reciprocity of this says to do that is ok.

"Further more we kill people to show them a punishment. A punishment that sends a message that says killing is WRONG. This doesn't set a bad example, because if we just allowed killers to go on without a punishment a government would not have control over the enforcement of law in it's own territory which undermines sovereignty."
There are many punishments which also show this, including life without parole (L-WOP), and uphold the rule of law.

"My opponent offers the examples of a rapist or a kidnapper that we do not enforce an eye for an eye for. However, the death penalty was not designed to follow an eye for an eye." Here you contradict yourself as earlier you said: "Thus death is punished by death, eye for an eye." So which is it?

"Further more it is not up to an individual citizen to decide if the state can put people to death or not. A citizen has forfeited their rights to execute punishment by being part of the social contract and thus they have trusted a higher authority to do this. Thus unless a majority can be motivated behind this ideal whether you agree with the death penalty or not is not going to change anything." In what way? Should we argue the social contract or democracy as well? I am merely speaking about my ideal. Could this not be part of this "social contract"-to have a legally defined human life be inalienable by capital punishment?

My argument is precisely that: Yes indeed, murderers have devalued life. Killing in return does not restore their value. Again these specific arguments were addressed, universality particularly.

I do not claim that all evidence is flawed and every conviction wrong. However, when dealing with death cases this is a more dangerous risk. Our court system has in fact been questioned severely in recent years because of the people who have been exonerated. As for the rest, it appears to be argument from popularity. That is not proof of right. I also note the widespread dislike of the court system and jury duty, but again this does not prove anything by itself.

The appeal system is supposed to exist precisely in order to stop miscarriages of justice. Your argument that it can't be too easy to appeal and wouldn't help much anyway is appalling. If you're innocent, appeal is often your only hope. I reject the view that it's elitist to expect a standard of competency for attorneys, especially in death cases when needed most of all. They do not have a "right" to such represent someone when their lack of competency may jeopardize the defendant's chance. It is the fault of the court if they allow ineffective assistance of counsel to stand.

I have not said that most or all capital cases are based on little evidence, but that it can be and is flawed. Enough evidence to convict does not mean the defendant is actually guilty necessarily. I have already addressed the issue of counsel or lack thereof. I have not claimed that every case if falsified. Furthermore, some can and do go to prison upon falsified evidence. We are not arguing whethere there are "some" people in prison who deserve to be there.

Again, the argument from popularity is not enough alone. Because claims of falsified evidence or anything else "fall on deaf eyes" does not make them wrong by itself, assuming that's true. Assuming the defense is also able to lie and or falsify evidence in no way disproves my point. Both are wrong. Being convicted in the ways I listed is not dening the right to a fair trial? "It works both ways" and thus does not effect the outcome is a shocking argument. Does this mean because the defense can lie too it's all good? I should point out we know who usually has the most resources, to lie or falsify and whatever else-the state.

I see. Then no situation exists in which a person is not mentally responsible for their actions? I'm not saying you should set the standard so low everyone can plead incompetence or insanity. We have the opposite problem. There is no justification for a felony, you say. Apparently so, because we have a "justification defense" along with incompetency and insanity. Though I'm for jury trial, but some issues go beyond that, such as incompetence. Juries must also be checked. "If a majority of jurors agree that the person deserves the death penalty, then that person deserves the death penalty; no exceptions" is strikingly equivalent to mob justice or tyranny of the majority. Again, it can't be just argument from popularity.

Allow me to address deterrence, since you have mentioned it:
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
Not only do states without capital punishment endure lower murder rates, they have fallen steadily in them, while rising in those which have it. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org... I agree this is based on many factors. However, it can be manifestly shown that capital punishment is not effective at lowering murder rates.
Although government is by people, the individual has to be protected from the majority too. Again, simple majorities thinking something is right or wrong does not make it so, and accepting that it does is frightening. I reject your contention that you've proven the court system is not flawed, or anything else. As to proving it ineffective, see my posts above. Whether it's wanted is not in contention. I contend that it is not justified.
Sky_ace25

Con

_I will refute my opponent's case paragraph by paragraph_

1. Murderers have not accepted that all people should act this way; in fact many times murderers have their own hidden motives to commit a felony unless they have a mental handicap which alters their view on the world and thus they believe killing is justified. However, if we were to use the principal of Universality, the idea is that a law is established. Not everyone agrees with laws and probably not all murderers agree with the death penalty. Thus my opponent can't make the broad claim that all murderers want society to be raging chaos, because their other motives.

2. As proven before if a killer kills according to how my opponent defined Universality then we are arguing for a law being established. That means the murderers have shown that they want a law to be established that murders murderers. However, even if we enact the death penalty we are not saying all people are going to start killing left and right. We are saying you have committed a crime, and thus we will punish you by the same crime that you wished to commit (in reference to murderers).

3. My opponent offers the alternative of life without parole, however this is flawed for two reasons. A. it's morally wrong even more than capital punishment, because we essentially take people and let them rot forever in a cell. This destroys one's own mental state even more, because imagine knowing that your entire life from now on is basically going to be pointless and meaningless. Imagine the 21 year old who gets this sentence, from their on his/her entire life is going to be doing absolutely nothing useful. This punishment is much more corrupt and it leads to a much higher loss of mental state and thus the Death penalty in regards to this is also more humane. B. Keeping people in prison for long periods of time causes prisons to become over-crowded which costs money for the state as best shown in California having to close some of their prisons. Am I saying we should kill everybody so we'll save money? No. But to send everybody who commits a felony to just live in prison is not even in our best interest. The rule of law is upheld anyway with the Death Penalty because the government is punishing crimes with their own set penalties.

4. I apologize for my lack of explanation, I meant in regards to murderers the death penalty is an eye for an eye. However, our society deems one of the highest punishments to be that of death. So when it comes to rapists and kidnappers we deem them deserving of such a higher punishment; because they also low the standard of life by making other people suffer.

5. My opponent should understand that the United States has Democracy ideals and it also is applicable to the theory of the social contract which is why both of them can be argued here. I understand you are arguing about your ideal, but because we speak in reference to the country both these principles are applicable here. The point of the social contract is that people have given up their rights to self-enforce so that they have a higher authority to appeal to. Thus if a government decides to enact the social contract by utilizing their right to self-enforce they have the right to do so.

6. Killing in return does not restore the value of life, I agree with that. One can't make up the loss of a loved one. The point of the punishment system is to deter criminals which I shall address later on. Further more it also gives some form of closure to the suffering party, because they know that the offender of a crime will be punished. A lot of the times the death of a loved on if not properly punished, could lead to even more deaths as the victims believe they have not received an adequate amount of retribution.

7. My opponent goes on a long paragraph about how evidence is flawed and now he decides that he changes his mind. Yes I agree with you that in death cases the damage of falsified evidence can be massive. However, first of all remember that if false evidence could easily be admitted both sides could do it. Second of all we believe in Innocent till Proven Guilty, we do not just hang everyone at the first sign of a fingerprint. Further more just because people dislike the court system doesn't mean that they refuse to abide by it. If people truly had a problem with a court system you would have anarchy or massive riots such as the times in the slavery era of the U.S.; obviously people are able to abide by the court system.

8. Yes the appeal system does exist, and I stated before that it was designed for people who actually have a chance at a lower punishment ex: innocent people. Further more I didn't say anything about attorneys, I said that a counsel of judges can't be expected to be of such a high standard. I absolutely agree with you that a LAWYER must be competent in these cases; however in terms of the counsel if they meet the criteria of the state then they have the right to serve. You can't deny them this right, because you believe their stupid. For every person their are at least 5 people who would call them stupid. Nobody is perfect, because humans are flawed. Get over that fact, if their approved by the state, again if you don't have anarchy or them being shot in their sleep, that means they have been accepted.

9. You kept saying how easy it was to falsify evidence. If you have enough evidence to convict than obviously the defendant is guilty. It's not like evidence is buyable off Craig's List. If they can get enough then obviously their is a deserving of punishment. Further more most people in a DEATH PENALTY trial would obviously pay more attention to evidence in the case. I will refute the rest in the next paragraph.

10. First of all, if it was easy to claim false evidence EVERYBODY would do it. If enough evidence has been present to convict a felon then they deserve their punishment. And actually if the defense is able to fabricate evidence it does disprove your point; Essentially both sides have the same corrupt advantage so you can't blame a flaw because of that. If in a race both people have a head start, they are still at the same level. Your case revolves around the idea that people are constantly shoved the death penalty based on petty evidence. To assume that all humans are so stupid as to not be able to realize falsified evidence is ridiculous. Further more if it was this easy both sides could do it. Also, both sides can point out that the other side is lying. If the Defendant or the prosecutor can not find a way to gather enough evidence then obviously they have a rational disadvantage.

11. If you read my argument you would see that every felon most likely HAS SOME FORM OF MENTAL INSTABILITY TO COMMIT A FELONY IN THE FIRST PLACE. We have a justification defense, because we have all heard of the very rare extreme cases that result in a warrant for a lower punishment. Most Felonies however, deserve a punishment because of that crime. If we screened every juror do you know the excess of money that would take? Further more we believe in trial by peers. Thus everybody has the right to be on a jury, not just the high income flashy ivy league degree people. EVERYONE; and America is based on majority rule that is how most of our system works. So if you believe the Americans voting on what they think is right is tyranny of the majority, you neglect minority rights. However, America was founded on the ideal of rule by the people; so chances are not everyone will always agree with the majority, but that is the trial of peers.

12. All your sites prove two things. First of all crime rates have gone down in all states, regardless. Second if a state enacted the death penalty; they must have had so much crime that they needed some reform of their punishment system. So is it not fair to say it is expected for it to have more crime, and yet we see it has decreased over time. Thus as of now my side stands strong.
Debate Round No. 2
mcc1789

Pro

As I've stated twice now, Universality in this case goes as follows: by their action the murderer has said all should do the same, regardless of personal motivations. This does not apply to what is actually their reason (if there is one) to kill, but once again refers to "act not unless you would have it be a universal law" the Kantian categorical imperative. My opponent states "However, if we were to use the principal of Universality, the idea is that a law is established." Yes indeed, and my argument is that such a law itself accepts what it claims to combat. How can we say killing is wrong and thus should not be universal law by accepting that as punishment for the same? By doing so, we are saying by example (whatever our motivations, if you follow this idea) that it should be universal law.

We can argue over whether life without parole is right, under what conditions, etc. My point was merely to point out that capital punishment is not the only possible sentence for murder. If you argue that life without parole is worse than capital punishment, fine. What is preferable to capital punishment? This may be a false dichotomy between life without parole v. capital punishment. So it's better for a 21-year old to die than spend the rest of his life in prison? The rest of your life may-I stress "may"-be pointless and meangingless. However, if you were put to death there is no life, to be pointless, meaningless or anything.

You regard capital punishment as more humane as such. Again, why is either the humane choice? Perhaps there is some third option we have not considered or even found yet. I agree the prisons are overcrowded, but the solution is hardly more killing. Prevention and rehabilitation are things which the system is less focused on than punishment. Without life without parole categorically, it does offer what capital punishment lacks. A chance, however slim, for rehabilitation, even when imprisoned forever, and exoneration. I can say the possibility of an innocent person killed is what my greatest objection is. Even if we could somehow ensure no innocent was killed it would still be a barbarity.

I do not see how the eye for an eye motive in this explanation contradicts my critique of Universality, which it is part and parcel of.

I am fully aware of how the United States government is structured. The inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are at the principles in the Declaration of Independence, commonly held as our values. The word "inalienable" means "not alienable; not transferable to another or capable of being repudiated", thus cannot be given up, transferred, or legitimately taken away http://dictionary.reference.com.... Now, I am fully aware of the fact that when these principles did not affect capital punishment, slavery or many other institutions then. However, if we are to "live out the spirit of our creed" as it were, they can and should. Hence, the state has no right to kill a person for their past act of killing, to "alienate" their right to life, only to prevent a person to deprive someone of the same right, which does not require homicide necessarily. Life is of course foremost, as the other rights can only exist with it.

Well, it's good we agree that nothing will bring someone back. I personally know people who have suffered the loss of someone to murder, both heartless, pointless crimes. Now, according to you punishment is not an end itself (which does seem to contradict eye for an eye) but deterrence is the goal. We'll get to deterrence later as you said. The offender has been punished if sent to prison as well, and this may give closure to victims. "A lot of the times the death of a loved on if not properly punished, could lead to even more deaths as the victims believe they have not received an adequate amount of retribution." Are you referring to vigilanteism, people taking law into their own hands? In your own words "the point of the social contract is that people have given up their rights to self-enforce so that they have a higher authority to appeal to." So this means to appease the desire for blood vengeance, the state has to do this for them? Hang the killer by law or we'll string him up from the nearest lamppost?

Please do point out where I have changed my mind on this. Again, the government has far more resources in most cases, along with influence, so it's not as if both sides have an equal chance to fix things. As for believing Innocent Until Proven Guilty, the presumption of innocence, that's a principle, which all people do not believe in necessarily. I will remind my opponent how many criminal statutes exist and the large number of citizens who violate them (as evidenced by our having a largest percentage of our population imprisoned than any other country). We have the "anarchy" of jury nullification, people acquitting defendants contrary to evidence when they believe laws are unjust or the charged offense justified, which a lawyer is not allowed to say they may do anymore. Once more, abiding by the court system is not a sign of it's merit in all cases. Argument to popularity-again. Public executions were abolished in no small part because of people disliking to see it for themselves, as society advanced.

The appeal system was not designed for innocent people in large, rather to prevent abuses by the government. In many cases, without an error of some kind at trial, evidence which points to doubt about the guilt of a defendant or even proves innocence will not be enough for a conviction to be overturned. Finality, which you mentioned would be of comfort to victims, is used as justification for this. I misunderstood what you meant by "counsel", my apologies. I do not know that judgest cannot be expected to meet such a high standard-they hold people's lives in their hands, so it would seem a reasonable expectation. So a lawyer must be competent at least, but that can be any standard which the state decides, that is to say it could be very low. I am merely expressing my distaste and worry over the low standard which often exists. I am well aware that stupidity is relative and if they serve this means they were accepted. Because something exists that is not always right or good.

"If you have enough evidence to convict than obviously the defendant is guilty." Legally guilty, yes. Actually guilty, not always. In referring to falsity, this is not black and white. Eyewitness testimony being wrong, for instance, does not often mean people intentionally lie, but misremember. Further, fitting the facts to the case is not the only way it works. The other way arounds occurs also. Frame-ups, when they outright occur, would be usually because the defendant is felt sincerly to be guilty and can't be allowed to get away, whether they really did it or not.

I've addressed the points you repeat in this next paragraph, so I'll just address this: "If enough evidence has been present to convict a felon then they deserve their punishment." So the actual truth does not matter? Actual innocence should not count? The honorable justices of the US Supreme Court appear to agree.

Just because most felons have some form of mental illness does not disprove the point-quite the opposite. I never said people do not have the right to sit on juries. I did say certain things should not be put to a vote. They are the rights on what all else, democracy especially, rests.

No, my sites do not show crime rates, homicide particularly, have gone down in all states. Capital punishment has not deterred apparently. In fact, New York State has less homicide now, without ever using it's death penalty from 1995-2004, when their highest court stopped it. Furthermore, states which have capital punishment on average have more homicide now than in the last decade, which is the point and shown by the data. So your argument on deterrence, in fact, has been disproved by this.
Sky_ace25

Con

Good Debate I'd like to say.

_Refuting my opponents case same way as before_
1. Again I don't really understand my opponents point here. By Kant's statement we are saying that it should be a law that is enacted. It's not universal law if a government wants to punish by using a death penalty. Further more if that was the case why is it when somebody over-drinks the punishment isn't we get drunk as well?

2. I agree that their are other sentences than murder, however my opponent has admitted to the fact that somebody who rots in prison may be pointless and meaningless. Their should be nothing preferable because the intent is to punish a crime and thus their can be no other "friendlier" alternative. Further more at the instant that a 21 year old is going to spend his whole life rotting in a jail cell, yes his life is meaningless. If he dies instantly he is mourned, he is remembered, he is loved by people who may have cared for him. If he rots, he most likely ends alone.

3. I won't deal with the humane issue, because my opponent has not offered up a third option that is more humane, although their may be one. Further more a lot of the time the Death penalty is more humane than just "lynching" such as lethal injection. Also, I don't see the point of rehabilitation if you're never going to actually go back into normal society.

4. I've already dealt with the issue of Universality, again my opponent assumes that the state enacting a death penalty means that it believes everybody should do it and yet we do not kill drunk drivers with drunk driving. Only an eye for an eye in regards to murderers was the first one, because we deem murder to be one of the highest violations and punishments.

5. If somebody breaks the state's laws they are basically nullifying the rule of law set out for by the constitution. That means they have effectively put their own being above that of the constitution. At the instant that they refuse to live by the rules set out in the constitution, the constitution no longer applies to them. They have nullified laws and the constitution does provide for punishment else it would not go through the process of a court system to begin with. Hence the state can take away "life" because the murderer has already put himself at a level where he doesn't wish to tolerate the state.

6. Umm...yes when Madoff stole people's money I think it's safe to assume a lot of them were infuriated with him. I think it's safe to assume that their would have been a blood mob outside of his hotel had the state not intervened. In regards to killers the state does have to punish them or yes you would have a vigilante mob. Do you honestly think we can just leave murderers living in their quiet little home and not a single person would want retribution?

7. The government can't influence the trial by jury which is why the whole point of trial by peers was enacted; further more the government doesn't allocate resources to solve crime it is the law enforcement system of that state. Further more the same person who arrested you is not the same person who takes you to court. Further more obviously if somebody is being put to trial somebody doesn't believe their innocent; the main point is that the judge and the jury must remain under that principle. Yes, their are a lot of laws that are broken; this has nothing to do with the Death Penalty unless we refer specifically to felonies which you don't. Your final statement I agree with, nobody likes to see an execution. Does that mean we believe that criminals shouldn't be punished? Absolutely not.

8. You keep assuming their is this huge mass of innocent people that go to jail. This is a completely ridiculous notion as remember that we do not have mass riots demanding the removal of the jail system. Further more, a counsel has to be at a standard level that judge, because else we are saying that only the elite have the right to deem the goodness of the country. Further more when it comes to lawyers; have you ever heard of PRIVATE PRACTICE. Not every lawyer has to be a state lawyer and if they are as incompetent as you keep acting they are. Then isn't it fair to say that anyone who goes up against a state lawyer will instantly win? IF their was such a low standard we would have all these incompetent rulings and hearings; and yet obviously this isn't what take place. I am deeply concerned with what a huge belief my opponent has that we have such low standards that we would accept complete idiots in positions of power.

9. Again...false evidence can be used by both sides. If we're talking about a death penalty their is obviously a higher expectation in evidence. Again...evidence isn't buyable off craigslist. Further more, you pre-screen all evidence before you put them in, you just don't abstractly leave a witness in and pray she/he is good. You always zoom out to look at what aspects are useful in your case. Of Course obviously since you're going up against such an "low-standard state lawyer" then shouldn't you obviously beat them in a case?

10. Of course innocence matters, the whole point is that if their is enough evidence to convict a felon that outweighs the counter-evidence (Again remember that in a death penalty evidence is taken much more highly into account); then obviously isn't it fair to say the defendant must be guilty? However, the state's role in life is too not convict as many people as it can, it's to deal a fair punishment to a crime that has been proved to have happened. If you don't accept this again my opponent believes that state lawyers are of a low standard. In a death trial most likely the defendant will hire a good lawyer that the trust; for obviously everything is on the line. So it should be easy to get enough evidence to prove the innocence since the state lawyer must be so stupid.

11. My opponent accepts that most felons have some form of illness, but he beliefs this doesn't justify a punishment. I wonder what my opponent sees as his perfect world, do we just put all the felons and murderers in a little insane asylum and we just ignore their punishment? Well then everyone would plea insanity, that would be such a huge loophole their would be no point in a punishment system. Is that what you are saying is the best thing for democracy?

12. My opponent has been caught and now he is trying to worm his way out of the most important argument.
Voters please follow the links that my opponent provided, (they are in round 2, his case). They all show that crime rates have gone down throughout the years universally to all states. My opponent has not refuted my argument that states with a death penalty, obviously have more crime because their would have been no need to enact the death penalty unless they had a big problem which they obviously do. Remember this is the most important argument here, because it directly proves if the Death Penalty is flawed or not. Remember that as my opponent has shown; ALL CRIME RATES HAVE GONE DOWN IN DEATH PENALTY STATES. Thus the Death penalty has successfully deterred crime. It doesn't matter if it's not the same rate as non-penalty states; what my opponent can't refute is that is has deterred crime. This means even if it is or isn't as useful as non-death penalty states. This doesn't mean it's flawed because it still has worked. Further more their are other reasons in which why a death penalty state has a higher crime rate as my opponent has agreed to before.

What this debate will really come down too is not really the arguments on the criminal court system, because these are mainly just proving the idea that the court system of America is/isn't flawed. The main argument here is the one right above this statement; has the death penalty done anything useful. As proved it has, and thus their is no reason to remove the Death Penalty, because it has not been proved flawed. Thus a vote for the Con is to be advised and justified.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by yayawhatever 7 years ago
yayawhatever
Philosophical views aside...its more expensive to give someone the death penalty than it is to give them life behind bars
Posted by mcc1789 7 years ago
mcc1789
Yeah, wow it went fast. Best of luck, Sky, great debate.
Posted by Sky_ace25 7 years ago
Sky_ace25
This is going to be a close vote...
Posted by mcc1789 7 years ago
mcc1789
That's ok, I do too. It's good to have people argue the issues passionately if we're civil about it :)
Posted by Sky_ace25 7 years ago
Sky_ace25
By the way sorry If I seemed a little bit offensive =P, I sometimes get too worked up in a debate.
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kingofslash5
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