The Instigator
its_vinamra
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
ColeTrain
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points

Capital punishment to criminals should be banned.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
ColeTrain
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/30/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 919 times Debate No: 81821
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

its_vinamra

Con

First round is acceptance round....
ColeTrain

Pro

I accept the challenge issued by my opponent.

To clarify, I will advocate that capital punishment SHOULD be banned, or abolishd. Essentially, I am AGAINST captial punishment or the death penalty.
Debate Round No. 1
its_vinamra

Con

From my point of view Death Penalty should be accepted. Humanity already have evidence of the deterrent effect caused by the death penalty.
For instance, according to 'Does Capital Punishment Have a Deterrent Effect? New Evidence from Post-moratorium Panel Data' by Hashem Dezhbakhsh and Paul H. Rubin, Emory University and
Joanna M. Shepherd,
Clemson University and Emory University.
Statistics results suggest that capital punishment has a strong deterrent effect; each execution results, on
average, in 18 fewer murders"with a margin of error of plus or minus 10.
Prisons waste tons of money by keeping these people who were sentenced to live in prisons for the entire life! They don't work, they don't bring any benefit to the society, but differently from starving people, they still are being given a shelter, food and even being looked after. Death penalty would reduce the spendings that can be used for other, more beneficial purposes.
ColeTrain

Pro

Morality Argument:
The first and foremost problem with is the morality of such an issue. Though lawmakers and politicians push for such a system, claiming it gives justice to the criminals, it simply isn’t moral. The ideology behind the death penalty, and the mindset that is required to sentence and carry out the death penalty creates deadly cyclical killing. The simple reality is that the advocates for the death penalty assume that killers must be killed. But that formula is flawed. Allow me to demonstrate.
A. All who kill mustbe killed
B. a killed b
C. x must now kill a to preserve the ideology.

From there, y has the obligation to kill x, z must kill y, et cetera. This deadly cycle (literally) goes against any moral groundings of killings, and the laws of our land. If murders must be punished for killing, executioners must be punished for killing. If continuing with this problematic strategy, a never-ending cycle of murder will ensue, causing harm not only to the original family affected by murder, but continuing along the chain. If murder is a crime (which it is) the death penalty goes against predetermined laws; thus, leaving of the death penalty in action causes hypocrisy and contradiction of the law. Moreover, “Allowing our government to kill citizens compromises the deepest moral values upon which this country was conceived: the inviolable dignity of human persons.” [9]

Justice is also found in other methods of punishment. “Given the value we place on life and our obligation to minimize suffering and pain whenever possible, if a less severe alternative to the death penalty exists which would accomplish the same goal, we are duty-bound to reject the death penalty in favor of the less severe alternative.” [11]

Inhumanity Argument:
Along with being simply immorality, the death penalty is inhumane. Besides the fact of looming death, capital punishment is often painful for victims, as there are multiple forms of the death penalty. Even though many would argue that lethal injection is the best and least painful form of capital punishment, a study shows criminals can and have been conscious throughout their death. This study comes from the British Journal, The Lancet, where they explain, “43 percent had concentrations of anesthetic in their blood — as measured by medical examiners during autopsies — that would indicate consciousness rather than sedation during an execution.” [4] Dr. Leonidas Koniaris, chairman of surgical oncology at the University of Miami asks us the decisive question, “As a society we need to step back and ask whether we want to torture these people or not.” [16] The answer is that we SHOULDN’T torture these people. Professor Stephen B. Bright of Yale Law School asks, “Does a society torture those it believes guilty of crimes?” [16] Once again, a just society should not.

“Worthy” Crime Argument:
Studies have shown that the DP has deviated from the previous standards of only SPECIFIC crimes resulting in capital punishment. As of only last year, governments are using the death penalty to punish to combat crime and terrorism as well. A study done by Amnesty International documents, “An alarming number of countries used the death penalty to tackle real or perceived threats to state security linked to terrorism, crime or internal instability in 2014.” [5] What we see is that these penalties are being given for reasons that deviate from the primary and regulated reasons.

These crimes can also give capital punishment to minors, such as George Junius Stinney Jr., who was 14 when he was executed. “Stinney, the youngest person to receive the death penalty in the last 100 years, was executed on June 16, 1944. At five feet one inch and only 95 pounds, the straps of the electric chair did not fit the boy. His feet could not touch the floor. As he was hit with the first 2,400-volt surge of electricity, the mask covering his face slipped off, ‘revealing his wide-open, tearful eyes and saliva coming from his mouth.’” [6] The article further explains that Stinney was never actually guilty of the crime with which he was charged.

Innocence Argument:
We see cases where individuals are not guilty of the crime they supposedly committed, and in serious cases, we see executions when the “criminal” is guilty. In fact, a study from the University of Michigan Law school shows, “a conservative estimate of the proportion of erroneous convictions of defendants sentenced to death in the United States from 1973 through 2004, [is] 4.1%.” [7] Because capital punishment is death, errors are vital, and very important. Justice systems cannot accurately be described as just when they convict and murder innocent individuals. Thus, without conclusive evidence, governments execute innocent individuals and are not just.

Deterrence Argument:
Though it is a common argument, little credible evidence even suggests that capital punishment deters crime. In fact, the evidence points the other way. In a study published by John J. Donohue and Justin Wolfers, they back up the claim that the death penalty doesn’t deter crime. “Sociologist Thorsten Sellin’s careful comparisons of the evolution of homicide rates in contiguous states from 1920 to 1963 led to doubts about the existence of a deterrent effect caused by the imposition of the death penalty… the National Academy of Sciences to issue a 1978 report which argued that the existing evidence in support of a deterrent effect of capital punishment was unpersuasive… We find that the existing evidence for deterrence is surprisingly fragile.” [8]

In reality, deterrence is not a result of capital punishment, and the evidence that supports it is not credible. In fact, “a University of Florida researcher’s new study shows 90 percent of the nation’s top criminologists say killing people to deter violent crime is an immense waste of time and money.” [2] Even besides murders, the death penalty is ineffective at deterring other crimes, including drug trafficking. [12] Moreover, the United Nations nor the Malaysian Bar president have found that the death penalty doesn’t deter criminal activity. [13] [14]

Cost:
The death penalty costs too much. "A study found that the death penalty costs North Carolina $2.16 million per execution over the costs of a non-death penalty murder case with a sentence of imprisonment for life (Cook & Slawson. 1993). On a national basis, these figures translate to an extra cost of over $700 million dollars spent since 1976 on the death penalty." [10] They continue to say, “It costs six times more to execute a person in Florida than to incarcerate a prisoner for life with no parole.” In fact, “A 1982 study showed that were the death penalty to be reintroduced in New York, the cost of the capital trial alone would be more than double the cost of a life term in prison.” [15]

These reasons explicitly explain why the death penalty should be abolished.

Sources:


[1] http://tinyurl.com...

[2] http://news.ufl.edu...

[4] http://tinyurl.com...

[5] http://tinyurl.com...

[6] http://tinyurl.com...

[7] http://www.pnas.org...

[8] http://tinyurl.com...

[9] Prejean, Helen. "Executions Are Too Costly--Morally" Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States. 1993. Rpt. In Current Issues and Enduring Questions. Ed. Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau. Boston: Bedford St. Martin's, 2002. 584.

[10] http://www.uvm.edu...

[11] http://www.scu.edu...

[12] http://www.thejakartapost.com...

[13] http://www.un.org...

[14] http://tinyurl.com...

[15] N. Y. State Defenders Assn., Capital Losses (1982) [http://www.worldpolicy.newschool.edu...]

Debate Round No. 2
its_vinamra

Con

The example of deadly cycle of killing you gave, is MUNDANE!! Do you also punish your teacher when she punishes you on not doing homework?

YOUR INHUMANITY ARGUMENT
A just society, should provide justice to the victim and his family! There are rights of victims and their family too! Hangings or headshots are not that inhumane. Also, many criminals say they should be let free, or be killed. So for them, getting deprived of their liberties is more inhumane

YOUR "WORTHY" CRIME ARGUMENT
See buddy, we are not saying that a person should get death on stealing a candy. Death penalty should be reserved only for the RAREST OF THE RARE cases. Such cases should include murders in the most inhumane ways or doing crimes which may lead to public outrage. DP should be given when there is a threat to national security or nation sentiments are getting hurt. In short, DP should be given when a serious crime affects more than one people.

As long as minors are concerned, laws like the Juvenile Justice Act 2000 of India help.

YOUR INNOCENCE ARGUMENT
Bro that is the fault of your judiciary and not of DP. Tell your crime departments to carry out better investigations.

YOUR DETERRENCE ARGUMENT
According to you, if DP doesn't deter crime, abolishing it will do so? By giving DPs, we give a strong message to similar minded people and the world that the respective country is not soft on heinous crimes.

YOUR COST ARGUMENTS
Don't use lethal injections. Use hangings or headshots. They cost less than a good pizza.

Sources:
My own brain
ColeTrain

Pro

Rebuttals:

Deterrence
Though I have thoroughly addressed this in my case, it is the only substantial point brought up by my opponent. He claims that there will be a deterrence effect. This has proved false time and again. An overwhelming majority (90%) of criminologists agree the death penalty will not have a deterrent effect. [1] In a more recent study, 88% of the nation's top criminologists disagree with the notion of deterrence in regards to the death penalty. [2] Criminologists are the experts in the field of crime. This point of deterrence is illogical, as these studies have the same conclusion.


Cost
My opponent incorrectly claims the death penalty will save prison costs. However, while true, that doesn't outweigh the extra costs that accompany the death penalty. In reality, it costs less to leave prisoners in prison for life rather than execute them via the death penalty, as each individual trial can cost between $2.5 million and $5 million. [3] Moreover, "Capital cases are more expensive because they involve - on average - five times more pretrial motions, five times more investigation by the defense team, 66 times longer to select and exclude jury members, 30 days more in court, twice as many lawyers (by statute)" and longer and more complicated appeals.[4] (pg. 544) The cost argument is nullified because the cost of the death penalty is actually more than it would be to keep them in prison for life.


Defense:

Morality Argument:
My opponent's interpretation of this argument is severely flawed. The death penalty operates under the assumption that if person A kills person B, person C has the obligation to kill person A by means of redistributive justice. This is flawed, because you can't continue cyclical killing because it's illogical and immoral to continue killing people. And, if carried to the extreme, it would exterminate the human population. The teacher analogy is also flawed. Killing is unjust, punishment for not doing homework is expected. Punishment can be achieved in a variety of ways, including areas where the punishment is not unjust or immoral. The same, the death penalty is neither just nor moral, so we should pursue more just options such as life in prison.


Inhumanity Argument:
Just societies do what is best for their citizens, and provide justice to the families. This is done by sending criminals to prison (which is a better deterrent of crime, costs less, and is moral) rather than killing them and thus extending injustice to the killer's family. Hangings and headshots are NOT humane. Moreover, most death penalty cases have been executed through lethal injection, so my arguments are very applicable. The point is, as you mention, they either wanto to be set free or killed. So by killing them, you actually grant their wishes, and no real punishment is given. The "easy way out" would be to just end it. Rather, punishment dictates they pay for their crimes in prison where they exercise community service and other benefits to society.


"Worthy" Crime Argument:
I understand stealing candy doesn't necessitate the death penalty. However, as I have pointed out, there has been abuse to the system and the death penalty has been used when it should not have been. Skeptical conjectures should not be punishable by death. This is what has happened, as well as children who can't rationally consider their decisions being punished by death. This gives no chance of rehabilitation, for crimes that may or may not be worthy of the death penalty.


Innocence Argument:
This is actually not necessarily true. There have been numerous cases (mentioned last round) where people have been found innocent after the execution has taken place. This allows no room for initial human error. So essentially, by assuming the intital investigation is correct, you do neglect the pursuit for justice for the killer/criminal. If they were actually innocent, there is no opportunity to free them later. Essentially, the DP takes away any possibility of justice later.


Deterrence Argument:
I've already addressed this in the rebuttal. Abolishing the death penalty will allow better deterrence (life in prison) becuase, as my opponent conceded, many criminals actually want to die rather than live in prison. The restriction of freedom in prison is a better deterrent than death.


Cost Argument:
My opponent misinterprets the actual cost argument. The cost of death penalty is considered primarily from judiciary costs. As mentioned in source 4, there is a lot of cost in the trials. [4] Moreover, it costs less to actually enhance crime prevention before rather than use the death penalty afterwards. In fact, studies estimate that each additional hired police officer by a city prevents an average of 24 more serious crimes annually. [5] This is important becuase the certainty of punishment is more important and has a larger deterrent effect than the severity of said punishment (i.e. death penalty). [6] Essentially, the certainty of prison time and capture (i.e. more officers to ensure capture) is more effective than a blatant execution.

Conclusion:
The death penalty (capital punishment) has a host of flaws, and should be abolished. Specifically, it isn't a crime deterrent, it has moral issues as well as problems with the success of punishing guilty/innocent people. Thus, it should be abolished.

Sources:
[1] http://news.ufl.edu...
[2] http://www.colorado.edu...
[3] https://www.law.columbia.edu...
[4] Sherod Thaxton, “Leveraging Death,” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 103, No. 2, 2013

[5] https://www.majorcitieschiefs.com...
[6]
http://www.sentencingproject.org...


Debate Round No. 3
its_vinamra

Con

its_vinamra forfeited this round.
ColeTrain

Pro

Extend arguments and rebuttals...
Debate Round No. 4
its_vinamra

Con

its_vinamra forfeited this round.
ColeTrain

Pro

My defense and rebuttals remain uncontested. Extend all of these.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: fire_wings// Mod action: Removed<

4 points to Pro (Conduct, Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: FF, so Pro arguments are standing.

[*Reason for removal*] The forfeits don't automatically decide arguments. The voter has to examine the arguments given in order to determine why Pro was winning, and not merely state that a lack of response gives him the win.
************************************************************************
Posted by Insignifica 1 year ago
Insignifica
Most moral arguments both for and against the DP suck.
Posted by donald.keller 1 year ago
donald.keller
The first problem I see in the morality syllogism is that presumes all killing is the same. The law differentiates between killings done by law, in self-defense, in murder, etc...

The syllogism instead would like this with the logic placed forward.
A. All who illegally kill must be killed
B. b illegally killed c
C. a legally killed b
D. a need not be killed.
Posted by ColeTrain 1 year ago
ColeTrain
Thanks! :) Maybe you can vote on this debate when it is finished?
Posted by fire_wings 1 year ago
fire_wings
agree with Con, however Pro is convincing me.
Posted by GoOrDin 1 year ago
GoOrDin
Bolstered, revamped, enforced.
Capital punishment should reach new heights to prosecute perverts and womanizers and home invaders.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by AgentRocks 1 year ago
AgentRocks
its_vinamraColeTrainTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Seems like the arguments were better anyhow.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
its_vinamraColeTrainTied
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Reasons for voting decision: It's a pretty straightforward win for Pro. The only offense Con brings is based on deterrence and costs. Pro successfully refutes Con's deterrence point, by proving that criminologists disagree with the deterrence theory. Con successfully points out that it's defensive, but it manages to mitigate Con's most major line of offense. Pro's cost turn becomes a major offense, and the entire cost argument of Con's is turned against him. Con says something irrelevant about lethal injection, which doesn't affect the turn. Con tries to turn Pro's justice argument, but fails, since I don't see how "bringing justice" equals the death penalty (no proper explanation is given). Con basically drops innocents, saying it's the judiciary's fault, which doesn't mitigate the links or the impacts. Con drops all of Pro's responses due to forfeits, so most of Pro's impacts stay, and Con's arguments are refuted or turned. Con loses conduct because of multiple forfeits. Thus, I vote Pro.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
its_vinamraColeTrainTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Con ff many times, so conduct to Pro.