The Instigator
kckettler
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
hghppjfan
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Capital Punishment should be abolished in the United States

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
kckettler
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/24/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,686 times Debate No: 25805
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

kckettler

Pro

Rounds
1-Acceptance of terms
2-Opening statements
3-Rebuttals
4-Rebuttals/Closing Arguments

I look forward to a great debate about this topic!
To be clear, the topic is US specific.
hghppjfan

Con

Thank you for doing this debate. If I am correct, I will debate that the capital can punish people. If I am wrong, I will obviously debate the other way around. I wish good luck to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 1
kckettler

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate! I'm sure we'll have some fun with it.

Argument I. Capital Punishment is financially costly

A. According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation[1], life imprisonment costs, on average, $44,653 per prisoner per year. Considering the number of people and how early they can be imprisoned, that can come to a sizable sum. Even so, the cost of inflicting the death penalty is about $90,000 per prisoner per year than life imprisonment. That comes to $63.3 million additional annual cost for the State of California.

B. The Urban Institute conducted a study for the cost of the death penalty in Maryland[2]. The study looked at all 1,227 cases where the death penalty could be sought from 1978 to 1999. Factoring in Trial(and appeals) and Prison costs, cases that did not seek the death penalty costed an average of just over 1.1 million. Cases that did successfully sought the death penalty costed over $3 million.

The pattern of costing roughly 3 times as much to use capital punishment holds true for most of the states. To put it bluntly, in a time when states are worried about keeping fiscal sanity, I would rather cut capital punishment than increase taxes or cut benefits to our citizens.

Argument II. Capital punishment is applied unfairly

Capital punishment is applied against the poor. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated:

"I have yet to see a death case among the dozen coming to the Supreme Court on eve-of-execution stay applications in which the defendant was well represented at trial... People who are well represented at trial do not get the death penalty."

If we are concerned about a fair and equitable system of justice, we can't enforce the law against the poor and let the wealthy get off because they can afford a good lawyer. The courts are supposed to be the one place where all men really are created equal. The fate of someone's life shouldn't be calculated down to their net worth.

Argument III. Capital Punishment

False convictions of Capital punishment are relatively common compared to the number of people executed. In truth, hundreds have been taken off of death row for false convictions, being mentally retarded, and being minors. [3]
273 exonerated since 1976; reasons other than those stated:
Faulty DNA Evidence
"Mentally retarded"
Persons under 18
In the 80s, DNA evidence was not nearly as reliable as it is now, and resulted in a great many false convictions not dealing with capital punishment. But Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says there has not been, "a single case"not one"in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit"

And he's right, no court has found evidence for it. But then, no court looks for evidence once the convicted person is in the ground. And the truth is, the number of people found released from death row after they were convicted is over 15% of the number of people executed.

Argument IV. A brief cost-benefit analysis.

The costs of capital punishment is quite high in a number of ways, as I've stated. The wealthy will never get the death penalty. There is a terribly high cost of a false conviction, and even if there has never been a single person killed, we are still paying, as a country, 100s of millions of dollars every year to execute people. So to those that still advocate the death penalty, I offer you your prize.

1,301 Executions
From 1976 to August 1, 2012

I hope it's enough.

[1] Barr, G. (2011, March 24). The cost of life without parole. Retrieved from http://www.mountain-news.com...

[2] "The Cost of the Death Penalty in Maryland" The Urban Institute

[3]Neubaeur, D. W., & Meinhold, S. S. (2007). Judicial process: Law, courts, and politics in the united states.
hghppjfan

Con

When I looked up capital punishment, I am against it, but oh well.

Reasons why we should have capital punishment:

I. Safety
1. Criminals that get the death penalty are generally violent people. For the safety of the prison""s guards, other prisoners, and the general public (in case a death row inmate escapes prison), then it dictates that safety is a reason for capital punishment. (1)

II. Appropriate punishment
1.It is commonly believed that the punishment of a crime should equal the crime, if possible. Using common knowledge, the appropriate punishment for murder is death. (1)

III. Vengeance
Some crimes are so horrific that some people think that revenge or retribution is the only option. This reasoning is not based on logic; but rather, it is based on emotions. Therefore, this reason should not be deemed a valid justification. (1)

1.http://www.philforhumanity.com...
Debate Round No. 2
kckettler

Pro

While you clearly cited your source, apparently all of your arguments are copied verbatim from the website. Im not really sure if that's considered plagiarism here, but that will be up to the voters to decide.

1. Safety
I notice there are no statistics given for the number of prison guards killed by death row inmates. I cant find a single example in my research where that has happened, but I welcome my opponent, and commenters, to find out. If prison guards were terribly concerned with the safety of other prisoners(in and out of death row) that would only require proper enforcement.
In my research I have also found only 2 examples of a death row inmate escaping prison at all, neither of which committed violent acts afterwards. I can provide sources if asked.

2 and 3.
These are essentially the same argument, an extension of, "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."- Code of Hammurabi. In any case, the last sentence of argument 3 states that the argument is invalid, which makes my rebuttal alot shorter. So I'll leave you with one last thought.

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."- Mahatma Gandhi
hghppjfan

Con

While you clearly cited your source, apparently all of your arguments are copied verbatim from the website. I'm not really sure if that's considered plagiarism here, but that will be up to the voters to decide.
A. I tried to reword it, but of course, it was a fail.

1. I believe you, but I will not argue this until you tell me your source. I normally don't do this, but I want to make sure, now that I am starting to get this website, that I help my opponents and myself to get more sources, so please, say your sources.

2 and 3. Why do I always disprove myself? Oh well. What I am trying to make of points two and three is if you do good, you deserve the equal amount of good. If you do a bad crime, you deserve the equal level of punishment. In other words, I am trying to show justice (my definition is the two sentences before).
Debate Round No. 3
kckettler

Pro


1. There may very well be other escapes, but my opponent seeks to exaggerate the scale and scope of such occurrences, which was my original point. Additionally, my opponent does not provide any evidence that protection for any of the people involved is a major problem currently. Certainly not enough evidence to suggest the death penalty is warranted because of it.
(here it is)
http://www.usatoday.com...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com...

2 and 3. Whether people 'deserve' something or not probably has the biggest role in answering why capital punishment is still applied. That is, people generally support capital punishment because of this argument.

When we see a person who has ended someone's life, why should we be forgiving? Someone who has raped a child, someone who has killed several people- What right does such a person have to live? They destroyed decent people, people who could have made something great of themselves. What right does the man who killed Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi or Jesus Christ have to live?

Lets ask them.

"Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars."
- Martin Luther King Jr.

"God alone can take life because he alone gives it."- Mahatma Gandhi

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."- Jesus Christ

When we are in rage against those who have wronged us, we forget who we are. We forget that when we kill others, we hurt ourselves. We pay for the hangman's noose and the electric chair. We have killed children, the mentally retarded, and we may very well pay for the killing of innocent lives.

We must remember what justice is. Justice is not killing people to make ourselves feel at ease. Justice is not an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth until we are all blind and toothless. These 3 men were men of Justice. They showed us how to make peace with our fellow man. They showed us how to live. They showed us how to love.

"But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" - Jesus Christ



I would like to thank my opponent for a great debate! It was plenty of fun! I look forward to some great feedback from the voters.
hghppjfan

Con

hghppjfan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by hghppjfan 4 years ago
hghppjfan
Hello to all in the debate!

I forfitted the last round because I was not on my computer before this!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by emospongebob527 4 years ago
emospongebob527
kckettlerhghppjfanTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Although Pro had the upperhand throughout the course of the debate, that FF may have cost Con the debate..............
Vote Placed by DeFool 4 years ago
DeFool
kckettlerhghppjfanTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture win for Pro.