The Instigator
my_original_username
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Kinesis
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points

Capital Punishment

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/1/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 7,497 times Debate No: 11050
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (33)
Votes (3)

 

my_original_username

Con

Capital punishment is immoral and hypocritical. There is a quote that goes something like this, "Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?" It is so illogical to murder a murderer because they murdered someone. If that is the ideology that is to be used, then the person who killed the murderer should then also be murdered, and so on and so forth. It is a barbaric form of "punishment" and is wrong.
Kinesis

Pro

First, I am playing devil's advocate. I believe Capital Punishment is deeply flawed, but Con has presented no arguments I agree with; so here goes. :)

'There is a quote that goes something like this, "Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?'

--> At first glance, this seems like a persuasive and witty refutation; unfortunately, it crumbles at closer examination. For instance, consider the following argument against imprisonment: why do we kidnap people who kidnap people to show people that kidnapping is wrong? Surely, this doesn't mean we should abolish prisons?

'If that is the ideology that is to be used, then the person who killed the murderer should then also be murdered, and so on and so forth'

--> Here, Con simply uses an incorrect understanding of the term 'murder'. Murder is the unlawful killing of a person, which is why fighting in wars isn't considered murder. This is also the other problem with Con's quote: it doesn't distinguish between killing and murder. Surely Con does not thing all killing is equal? Is using lethal force to defend yourself the same as murdering an innocent child?

'It is a barbaric form of "punishment" and is wrong'

--> Con has provided no standard to distinguish between right and wrong. The death penalty is a way to remove dangerous criminals, and more importantly, it is a deterrent against serious crime. It is likely that people will think twice before committing some heinous act if they have the electric chair to look forward too after they do it.
Debate Round No. 1
my_original_username

Con

"Why do we kidnap people who kidnap people to show that kidnapping people is wrong?"
I see your point, but then again, people who steal do not get stolen from as a punishment, but rather they are sent to jail or prison for x amount of time. That is not the way our society works; we don't do things in an "eye for an eye" sort of way. "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." We have prisons for criminals. Criminals are people who break the law. Criminals go to prison for breaking the law. And so people who murder have very much broken the law, and should spend their lives in prison for doing so.

The verb, to murder, by definition, is to kill or slaughter. The noun, murder, is by definition, the killing of another human being. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but killing someone as a punishment isn't doing any less killing than that person did, is it? If you kill someone, you are taking their life, there is no way around that. It's when we start to try and alter definitions of a word that things begin looking different than they once did. Murder is murder because in murdering someone, no matter what the cause, a life is being taken.

To bring something new to the debate, the United States is considered to be one of the most "civilized" countries in the world, but isn't it strange that as one of the most civilized countries, it is one of the only of those civilized countries to use capital punishment? Most European countries don't use it BECAUSE it is so barbaric. Also, capital punishment was used long ago when there were no alternative ways to protect society from criminals. Now we have prisons that criminals can spend their lives in, and in doing so, not harm society.
Kinesis

Pro

======
Pro Case
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I realise the burden of proof, as Pro, is partly on me (although it's mainly on Con as the instigator). So here, quite briefly since this isn't a particularly in-depth debate, are some of the main reasons Capital Punishment is justified;

1. Critics of the death penalty often cite the fact that innocent people have been executed in the past, and probably will be in the future. This is a supporting argument in the general claim that we should be building a society based on respect for human life. Con has made similar claims in his first post and last. However, ladies and gentlemen, the exact opposite is true. In fact, far more innocent people have been killed as a result of released, paroled or escaped murderers than by the death penalty. By executing the most dangerous among us, we are actually building a society based on respect for innocent life. [1] [2]

2. Capital punishment is completely effective as a deterrent to the criminal being executed. In addition, studies show that for every execution, 18 murders are prevented [3]. This more than justifies the need for the death penalty.

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Refutations
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Firstly, Capital Punishment is NOT murder, according to the definition. This is little more than a semantics point, but I would like to forestall Cons emotionally appealing use of the word: as in 'the state murders people!'. A much more appropriate use is 'execution', which hardly backs away from the moral implications.

Murder: http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Execution: http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Con realises the fallacious nature of his quote, but then muses on the saying: 'an eye for an eye', and how it applies to the justice system. I think he is correct: the law should not work like that. Punishments should not be equal to crimes. But how on earth does he think that this applies to the death penalty? The criminals who are executed are the worst scum society has to offer. They are often serial killers, the ones who rape then murder their victims, who have no sense of what it means to be moral, and who revel in other peoples suffering. Is that what the death penalty is? No! It is the relatively clean, quick death of somebody with a disgusting amount of blood on their hands.

Con seems to have this idea that since both the criminals and the state have killed people, then both crimes are equally heinous. He says: 'Murder is murder because in murdering someone, no matter what the cause, a life is being taken'. Let me ask him this: to you think that killing somebody in self defence is equal to killing an innocent person? Do you think a soldier doing his duty is equal to a paedophile raping and murdering little children? If not, he must admit that some killing is justified, and consequently that it is perfectly possible for the death penalty is justified, regardless of if it involves killing people.

That most European countries do not have the death penalty is utterly irrelevant. Indeed, it's nothing more than an appeal to authority. We are debating the merits of the application and morality of Capital Punishment, not how many countries have it and how many don't. Perhaps they have good reasons: if so, present them so we can debate them! On the other hand, perhaps it's nothing more than the result of misguided aversion the killing criminals, combined with excessive media attention on the criminals themselves, rather than the victims who really should be being paid attention to.

[1] http://www.talkleft.com...
[2] http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
[3] http://www.heritage.org...
Debate Round No. 2
my_original_username

Con

my_original_username forfeited this round.
Kinesis

Pro

Ah well, vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
33 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ellabella 2 years ago
Ellabella
The majority of people on death row for homicide in the USA based on the 2012 statistics did not have a prior homicide conviction (91.4%). It is more expensive to use the capital punishment rather than keep them in jail for life. It does not deter people as the reasons for killing are not logical. It is inhumane to kill and against basic human rights.
Posted by dollydo 6 years ago
dollydo
It is just a joke...not everything has to be a debate! :P If I remember correctly, I am on the comment page, not the debate round. If I wanted to debate, I would have posted a topic! But I don't, so get over it. lol!
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
Hurr durr, let's not let people condemned to die appeal their case when hundreds of cases have been overturned on appeal.
Posted by dollydo 6 years ago
dollydo
lol!
Posted by lordgoldion 6 years ago
lordgoldion
why do we have to be humane who cares for murderers and rapists anyway.
Posted by dollydo 6 years ago
dollydo
Nah...I'm really not that heartless! :)
Posted by dollydo 6 years ago
dollydo
I didn't say that I agreed with the appeals process either. I say put them out of their misery ASAP!
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
It's actually cheaper to keep inmates for life because the cost of the appeals process for death row inmates is so ridiculously high...
Posted by dollydo 6 years ago
dollydo
You win Kinesis! You are right, some killing can be justified. Quite frankly I don't feel like my tax money should be spent on inmates sentenced to life in prison anyway. Just telling the truth!
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
There's a thread for forfeited debates, you know...
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by lordgoldion 6 years ago
lordgoldion
my_original_usernameKinesisTied
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Vote Placed by Koopin 6 years ago
Koopin
my_original_usernameKinesisTied
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Vote Placed by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
my_original_usernameKinesisTied
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Total points awarded:07