The Instigator
smartone
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
KevinL75
Con (against)
Winning
36 Points

Capital Punishment is wrong!!!

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/20/2008 Category: Technology
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,932 times Debate No: 2014
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (16)
Votes (13)

 

smartone

Pro

Capitalism is wrong because we are hurting or killing the murderer who we accuse so harshly. Therefore we deserve to be killed ourselves. Why can't we just keep that person in jail. Being alive and isolated is torcher in itself but that is the price they should really pay. What ever happened to, "Don't stoop down to the level of those who do wrong"?
KevinL75

Con

I'd like to preface this by saying that I don't personally have a strong opinion either way on the death penalty, but I'm willing to defend one side or the other for the sake of debate.

You said: "Capitalism is wrong because we are hurting or killing the murderer who we accuse so harshly. Therefore we deserve to be killed ourselves."

This depends on the assumption that killing someone as punishment for a crime is morally equivalent to killing someone for another reason. There is a difference between killing and murdering - murder is killing unjustly. Executing someone for their crimes is a just killing.

The purpose of the criminal justice system is to protect society from dangerous individuals, and ensure that the public is safe from them. For crimes as heinous as first degree murder, there are two ways to do this: imprison the individual for life, or execute him or her.

Either way, we are condemning someone to die. The only relevant moral difference between the two is whether or not they died at the hands of the state.

How can it be morally wrong to execute someone for their crimes when it is morally permissible to confine that person until they die of natural causes? We are simply prolonging a life in order to avoid being the agents of death, but there really is no difference between a state execution and a death of natural causes within a prison after being sentenced to life without parole.

The act of killing itself is not wrong - there are plenty of situations where it is morally permissible (self defense, the defense of others, war situations, etc.) I argue that state execution is an area where it is morally permissible to kill, because it is not relevantly different than allowing someone to die of natural causes in prison.
Debate Round No. 1
smartone

Pro

I understand your point. But if we are to punish them through death, then shouldn't we AT LEAST make it equal to how they killed the victim. Also, what more can a killer do in jail to bea threat to society?
KevinL75

Con

You said: "But if we are to punish them through death, then shouldn't we AT LEAST make it equal to how they killed the victim."

Ah but THAT would be equivalent to stooping to the level of the criminal. The point of execution isn't to "get even," it's to eliminate a threat to public safety. So the method of execution is irrelevant - we're not trying to give the criminal his or her just desserts, we're simply removing a dangerous individual from the population permanently in the interest of public safety.

You said: "Also, what more can a killer do in jail to bea threat to society?"

Again, you're correct that if we put a killer in jail for life that ALSO eliminates the threat posed to society. But your argument is that it's not just for us to execute those criminals. I'm saying that we can choose to do either one - it doesn't matter. We can choose to eliminate a threat to society by locking him or her up for life, or we can execute that person. They achieve the same result, so I'm arguing that they are morally equivalent, and that the death penalty is not impermissible, as you're arguing it is.
Debate Round No. 2
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
Are you talking about the innocent vs. executed number? If so, here's the link to the quote:

http://archives.cnn.com...
Posted by Cobjob 9 years ago
Cobjob
Doesn't the fact that the states judiciary has sentenced so many innocent people to death completely destroy any credibility they might have. I don't by that stat. i'd need a good link that showed how they came to that number.
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
Those numbers were said by the Illinois governor himself. I wish all states were a thorough with checking to make sure everyone on death row was innocent. I doubt every state has rates as high as 50%, but even one innocent person being executed is unacceptable when we could just stick them in jail for life. Even if one mistake is made, it can be found later when the guy is still alive.

DNA can be used if it's present at a crime scene. Most of the time, there will be, but not always. In those cases, prosecutors still rely on other evidence that is less accurate. Even if there is, there is sometimes a decent reason for it, which will only serve to falsely incriminate some people. It is impossible to make sure that everyone that finds themselves on death row for any reason is totally guilty, so I would rather have the safeguard that they are in jail for life. Since it also saves money for the state, I really don't see the problem with it. I'm sure there will be plenty of executions if the death penalty were reserved for jail-house offenders, so you need not worry if you're concerned about it going extinct.
Posted by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
Are YOU serious? You really expect me to believe that 50% of the people on death row are innocent?

The people were cleared most likely with DNA evidence which is being used alot more these days. The possibilities that someone could now be sentenced to death that is innocent is minute and you know it.
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
Are you serious? The fact that they got convicted and put on death row in the first place, only to be plucked out by a concerted effort to find innocent inmate on death row, shows that the system worked? The findings in Illinois show that perhaps over 50% of everyone on death row is innocent, and that shows the system is working? Just think about how many people that could mean in states like Texas. It's obvious to any reasonable person that the system is FAR from working. Which is why having a system like the one I mentioned makes that much more sense.
Posted by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
That only helped out my point thanks. The system obviously worked since the innocent were let free. They were NOT excuted.
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
The republican governor of Illinois, that is. Sorry.
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
So that's why the republican governor, when he put a moratorium on his state's death penalty, mentioned how they had let more innocent people go off of death row then they had actually executed? He said he let 12 people go and executed only 11. Almost nonexistent? This might be an extreme case, but I doubt Illinois is much different than the rest of the country. Besides, what's so wrong with saving money in the system and still executing repeat offenders when they offend in prison?
Posted by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
Mindjob, the possibility that we MIGHT execute an innocent person is alomost nonexsistent. Prosecutors usually only seek the death penalty in extreme cases and where there is more than enough evidence.
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
I forgot to mention. I love the profile pic, con! Lol.
13 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Sherlock_HolmesXXI 9 years ago
Sherlock_HolmesXXI
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