The Instigator
Complicated-Character
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
debater409
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Capital Punishment

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
debater409
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/8/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 638 times Debate No: 68009
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)

 

Complicated-Character

Pro

I would like to begin by saying the obvious, that not every crime is worthy of the death penalty, and that not all killers deserve it either. But if someone is perfectly aware of the atrocities they are committing, can it even be questioned that they deserve to die? In my opinion: no. But logically, this should be treated as case by case.
For an example of a case where capital punishment shouldn"t be considered as a form of punishment, I bring up a book I read in middle school, titled Monster. It was about a young man who was put on trial seeking the death penalty for either taking part in a robbery gone wrong as the lookout, or being stupid enough to walk through the neighborhood knowing full well what was going down that night. Either way, the punishment should fit the crime, and the death penalty simply does not fit.
However, not every case is so easily made into a band-aid for the bleeding hearts among us. Take one of our most recent murderers, James Holmes, the "Dark Knight Shooter", who in my opinion, sloppily attempted to cover up his cold, calculating, killer mindset behind "the joker" as he pretended to understand the character. He got one part right though, the absolutely senseless mass murder of innocents. He knew what he was doing, how could he not? He walked into a movie theater, armed in more ways than I could describe fluidly, and gunned down several innocent civilians, men, women, and children. Some survivors will be mentally damaged for life, and according to reliable police testimonies, he smirked when questioned. Ask yourself, what does this kind of thing, pretending to be human as it wishes, truly deserve? Does he not deserve the death penalty? Do we all not deserve the cheapest, cleanest way to dispose of such filth? As a certain enlightenment philosopher named Immanuel Kant once said, "If an offender has committed murder, he must die. In this case, no possible substitute can satisfy justice. For there is no parallel between death and even the most miserable life, so that there is no equality of crime and retribution unless the perpetrator is judicially put to death."
debater409

Con

Well first off, thank-you Pro for this debate. I'm afraid future responses won't be quite this fast.


Introduction,

Pro's argument is founded upon the idea that men deserve death if they have killed blatanly. Basically, justice requires men recieve their due. I would agree that death penalty makes sense morally, however in an imperfect world the death penalty does not serve justce. Let's take a closer look at the goals of the dealth penalty in my first main point.

1. The goals of capital punishment are deterrence and justice.

Rachel C. King (J.D. Northeastern University School of Law, counsel for the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security for the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives), “No Due Process: How the Death Penalty Violates the Constitutional Rights of the Family Members of Death Row Prisoners,” published by Berkeley Electronic Press’ Legal Series (Paper No. 1584), August 19, 2006 <accessed July 5, 2011> http://law.bepress.com...

In its post-Furman jurisprudence, the Supreme Court has acknowledged several state interests that may support capital punishment. These interests include deterrence, retribution, [and] incapacitation, and denunciation and vindication of legal and moral order. Deterrence and retribution are the two most commonly cited reasons for maintaining the death penalty.

However the dealth penalty fails in these purposes. To prove this, let's take a look at my next few points.

Death Penalty does not serve Justice.

2. Innocent people sentenced to death

Prof. Victor Streib (professor of law at Ohio Northern University, attorney specializing in violent crime and the death penalty, frequently cited by the U.S. Supreme Court), “CLASSIC ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY,” Elon Law Review (Vol. 1 Issue 1 pp 1-16),2009 http://www.elon.edu...

The ultimate end result of discrimination, caprice, and just plain bad luck can be clear error: convicting and sentencing to death an innocent offender. The death penalty system is operated and controlled by human beings who are not immune to human error. [later, in the same context:]Over 120 innocent persons have been sent to death row in the current era (since 1973), and several other states have ordered a moratorium on executions until the causes of these fatal errors are found.”

The death penalty also has a violently negative effect on other innocent victims; the families of death row inmates.

3. The innocent suffer with the guilty

Rachel C. King (J.D. Northeastern University School of Law, counsel for the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security for the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives), “No Due Process: How the Death Penalty Violates the Constitutional Rights of the Family Members of Death Row Prisoners,” published by Berkeley Electronic Press’ Legal Series (Paper No. 1584), August 19, 2006 <accessed July 5, 2011> http://law.bepress.com...

Many people lose the support of their friends and community when a family member is on death row. One woman whose brother was on death row said, “[a]ll my friends . . . just abandoned me. They didn’t support me at all during the years, and when I came down for [my brother’s] execution, not one of them showed any support. Not one of them called or came over, NOT ONE!” This woman eventually developed high blood pressure, migraine headaches, depression and sleeplessness as a result of her brother’s arrest.

Not only does the death penalty punish the innocent along with the guilty, but capital defendants are also given grossly incompetent legal representation, severely lessening their chance at a fair trial.

4. Capital defendants are given incompetent representation

Prof. Scott Vollum (Ph.D. in Criminal Justice, Associate Professor of Justice Studies, James Madison University), Prof. Stacy Mallicoat (Ph.D. in Sociology, Assistant Professor in the Political Science and Criminal Justice Division at California State University—Fullerton, CA), and Prof. Jacqueline Buffington-Vollum (Assistant Professor in the Political Science and Criminal Justice Division at James Madison University), “Death Penalty Attitudes in an Increasingly Critical Climate: Value-Expressive Support and Attitude Mutability,” Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice, published in Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice (Vol. 5, Issue 3, pp 221-242), 2009<accessed July 2, 2011>http://www.utsa.edu...

“Organizations such as the American Bar Association, countless observers and participants in capital trials, capital jurors, and scholarly research studies have all testified to the grossly incompetent legal representation offered to many capital defendants during their trials and sentencing. In addition to the often ill-prepared, ill-equipped, inexperienced, or simply incompetent representation in many capital cases, numerous cases of mentally ill, drunken, and sleeping lawyers have been documented in recent years.”

These three points put together shows how capital punishment cannot serve its goal of justice.

5. Non-deterrence

Prof. Scott Vollum (Ph.D. in Criminal Justice, Associate Professor of Justice Studies, James Madison University), Prof. Stacy Mallicoat (Ph.D. in Sociology, Assistant Professor in the Political Science and Criminal Justice Division at California State University—Fullerton, CA), and Prof. Jacqueline Buffington-Vollum (Assistant Professor in the Political Science and Criminal Justice Division at James Madison University), “Death Penalty Attitudes in an Increasingly Critical Climate: Value-Expressive Support and Attitude Mutability,” Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice, published in Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice (Vol. 5, Issue 3, pp 221-242), 2009<accessed July 2, 2011>http://www.utsa.edu...

“In spite of decades of studies, researchers have failed to find the death penalty to be a general deterrent (i.e., the death penalty has not been found to deter or stop other people from committing murder).”


The bottom line is this, the dealth penalty is flawed and does not serve justce. Nor does it deter future violence. A much more just sentence with less error woulfd be life imprisonment. I apologize for any mispelled words.

Debate Round No. 1
Complicated-Character

Pro

I admire my opponent's resourcefulness, but I am trying not to argue that the system is flawless, but that it is the logical course of action, and thus I believe that the defendants deserve mediocre lawyers, good enough to free them if they are truly innocent, but not sly enough to free a monster.
On the plight of their family, I believe that they deserve counseling, but what can we do without interrupting justice?

I realize this response sounds rushed, but I was hoping this round would actually be a time to answer questions from the audience.
debater409

Con

Alright. Thank-you again Pro for this debate.

Basically Pro's argument rests upon the fact that the death penalty is the most logical course of action to take. Criminals should be killed, if they murder deliberately.

"I am trying not to argue that the system is flawless, but that it is the logical course of action,"

I would have to agree with my opponent that in theory, the death penalty makes sense. A life for a life. However in reality it is not the most logical course of action. Look back at the goals of justice: justice and deterence. As shown with evidence, the death penalty does not effectively these goals. Since the death penalty does not achieve these goals, it is not a logical solution.

"I believe that the defendants deserve mediocre lawyers, good enough to free them if they are truly innocent, but not sly enough to free a monster. On the plight of their family, I believe that they deserve counseling"

These are some of the flaws in the death penalty. These along with some of the evidence I presented earlier are the reasons why the death penalty is unpractical. However Pro raises a good question. A question I shall spend the rest of my speech answering.

"but what can we do without interrupting justice?"

Now my purpose in this round is to show why the death penalty is unpractical. However I would like to propose what I believe is the practical solution to this problem.

I briefly mentioned what I thought would be a solution in my last speech but didn't make a point of it. Life imprisonment.

1.) Life Improsinment Serves the Purposes of the Death Penalty

Prof. Victor Streib (professor of law at Ohio Northern University, attorney specializing in violent crime and the death penalty, frequently cited by the U.S. Supreme Court), “CLASSIC ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY,” Elon Law Review (Vol. 1 Issue 1 pp 1-16), 2009 http://www.elon.edu...

Death penalty opponents note that other than the extremely small chance of escape from prison, an imprisoned murderer also is incapacitated, essentially permanently, from committing any murders outside the confines of prison. Therefore, it may be that long term imprisonment is nearly as effective an incapacitant as is the death penalty."

2.) Life Imprisonment Causes Less Damage to the Innocent

Rachel C. King (J.D. Northeastern University School of Law, counsel for the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security for the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives), “No Due Process: How the Death Penalty Violates the Constitutional Rights of the Family Members of Death Row Prisoners,” published by Berkeley Electronic Press’ Legal Series (Paper No. 1584), August 19, 2006 <accessed July 5, 2011> http://law.bepress.com...

“Because of the fundamental nature of this right, the government may not infringe upon it “unless the infringement is narrowly-tailored to serve a compelling state interest.” The death penalty is not narrowly-tailored because it fails to serve the compelling penological interests for which it purportedly exists—to deter crime, to incapacitate offenders, to restore moral order, and to serve as a form of retribution. Lengthy incarceration, including life in prison without parole, more effectively accomplishes these penological goals with less damage to the family relationship.

Life imprisonment serves the goals of justice, deterrence, and incapacitation better than capital punishment and with much less damage to the innocent.

So sum it up, one more article.

Rachel C. King (J.D. Northeastern University School of Law, counsel for the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security for the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives), “No Due Process: How the Death Penalty Violates the Constitutional Rights of the Family Members of Death Row Prisoners,” published by Berkeley Electronic Press’ Legal Series (Paper No. 1584), August 19, 2006 <accessed July 5, 2011>http://law.bepress.com...;(JH)

In conclusion, the death penalty fails to accomplish any of its stated criminal justice goals [those being retribution, deterrence, and incapacitation]. To the extent that the death penalty does accomplish any of these “compelling state interests,” a life sentence would accomplish them as well as or better than a death sentence. “Strict scrutiny requires that state action limiting the exercise of a fundamental right serve a compelling governmental interest and be the least restrictive means to serve that end.”467 Because life in prison is a less restrictive alternative than the death penalty, states that choose to practice the death penalty have not “narrowly tailored” its infringement on the “fundamental liberty interests” of family members of capital defendants.468


In the end, life imprisonment is more effective at detering crim and serving justice. I know that I have strayed abit from my original point, simply that the death penalty is uneffective.

To me a debate isn't that effective if you only try to take down the others point, I put forward life improsinment as a solution because I believe it is the most effectve for society.

Back to Pro.


Debate Round No. 2
Complicated-Character

Pro

Complicated-Character forfeited this round.
debater409

Con

Unfortunatley my opponent did not respond to my arguments. At the end of today's debate, I urge you to vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by debater409 1 year ago
debater409
Thanks Pro for the debate.
Posted by debater409 1 year ago
debater409
I don't know if anyone has questions, but that would be fun.
Posted by debater409 1 year ago
debater409
Final round at last. haha
Posted by Complicated-Character 1 year ago
Complicated-Character
I actually haven't been on this website for a long time. I haven't been in any serious debate like this until now.
Posted by debater409 1 year ago
debater409
What other topics do you debate in?
Posted by debater409 1 year ago
debater409
Haha thanks. You are correct, I worked on this a three years ago, pulled it out today. No worries.
Posted by Complicated-Character 1 year ago
Complicated-Character
Hmmm, you're good. So, like me, were you just waiting to copy paste your paragraphs from a different page that you worked on? I'm prepping for a friendly debate coming next week, actually. This is my rough draft. Hope you don't mind.
Posted by Complicated-Character 1 year ago
Complicated-Character
glad to help. It's clear this will be a compelling case, either way.
Posted by debater409 1 year ago
debater409
I have had this case for a while, glad I can debate it again. ;)
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 1 year ago
lannan13
Complicated-Characterdebater409Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture