The Instigator
MissPiggy
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
randolph7
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Capitol Punishment

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/28/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,640 times Debate No: 18514
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (2)

 

MissPiggy

Pro

I value life, and with this value i uphold the people who have died by murder. The innocent people who lost their life by currupt minded people. By losing their life they have lost all happiness their life had to offer, or any joy they brought to their families or friends.
Capital punishment is just. because how else do we punish these sick minded people who go out and slaughter our innocent people of America? We kill them, so they feel the same pain and loss that the person they killed felt. It's fair, and it's right even though it may be harsh.
randolph7

Con

Even though the title says, "Capitol Punishment" I will assume capital punishment is meant for this debate. I value life as well. To truly value life one must value all life. Pro only value's the victim's life. A just society would punish criminals in a way that values life. Like the saying goes "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."

Also, if murderers are to have the maximum punishment and a just society would seek the maximum penalty, wouldn't life in prison be the better alternative? To die by lethal injection or electric chair (most often lethal injection) where any pain is over shortly hardly serves as a just penalty. Life in prison would deprive the person of freedom for the rest of their natural life as well as subject them to the rigors of prison life for much longer.
Debate Round No. 1
MissPiggy

Pro

My opponent thinks that prison is a good enough punishment for murder, yet how is it really a punishment when the prisoner does not have to pay house payments, taxes, pay for their food, etc... My point is it's really in a way a relief to paying your taxes and food. Plus there is happiness in prison, like talking to cell mates, writing poems or stories, and being able to have quality time with yourself. This is not punishment, when the family of your victim is mourning over the loss of their loved one. How would you feel if someone killed a person you deeply loved and truly didn't suffer any consequences?
randolph7

Con

Thank you Pro, for inciting this most intriguing debate.


.-== Pro's Case ==-.

The resolution appears to be Capital punishment is just, so I'll operate under that notion until disputed by Pro.
I've broken down the first two rounds into what appears to be pro's premises:

P1: The victims of murder are vindicated by taking the life of the murderer.
P2: The murderer should feel pain/loss that victim felt
P3: Life in prison is relief from responsibilities/allows murderer happiness
P4: Capital punishment is the only way for a murderer to suffer the consequences of their actions.
C: Therefore, Capital punishment is just


.-== Rebuttals ==-.

P1: The victims of murder are vindicated by taking the life of the murderer.

I could say something here but I think I'll let Elizabeth Brancato whose mother was murdered in 1979 speak.

“I will admit that for some time after my mother's murder, I had angry, vengeful thoughts and wished my mother's killer dead. I thought I wanted vengeance and justice. What I really wanted was to have my mother back and to not have to think about the horror of her death. Gradually I came to believe it would dishonor my mother to kill for her sake, because if we really believe it was wrong that her life was taken, then it would also be wrong to take another life. Rather than being a way of ending violence, I see the death penalty as part of a spiral of never-ending violence.” [1]

P2: The murderer should feel pain/loss that victim felt
Why is this so? Car thiefs don't get sentenced to losing their car, rapists don't get sentenced to being raped. Criminal law is not designed to extract pain from the guilty except in this one unique circumstance. And even in the case of murder, capital punishment is far from uniformly applied. For example, a murderer is 700 times more likely to be executed in the Southern US than the West, Midwest or Northeast, yet the South only has a murder rate that is less than 1% higher than the national average [2]. Also, 96% of states that reviewed the races of the convicted vs. the victim found that when a black killed a white person they had a much higher chance of getting the death penalty [2].

P3: Life in prison is relief from responsibilities/allows murderer happiness
I'm not sure where Pro got that belief from. Sure, prisoner's basic needs are met but this not much different than the welfare system. What is different than welfare provided for the poor is that prison is a tough, tough environment. I would say if Pro truly believes this then she watches too much TV. Try visiting a prison or talk to a real ex-convict (not just someone who spent the night in a holding cell for drunk and disorderly).

Here's the view from the inside:

"Tougher prisons don't deter crime either. They only force you to grow accustomed to a harsh environment, one that you come back to because the free world seems out of step with you. It's not fun inside here unless you are as insane as your captors which some of us are. You're either predator or prey here. There's no medium point in it because what you have to do to survive or become somebody's punk. You can project yourself as one of those guys who doesn't care about anything including yourself, but people can tell if you're faking it. It's madness in here, but you find the strength to live in it and function, or you lose your mind completely and your history."
- Robert, prisoner in California [3]

"Making it harder on prisoners only makes it harder on society. Why release an angry man who was treated like an animal as opposed to releasing a carpenter or an electrician? After all, these men you want to punish more will be rejoining you in society. I can't even use a bathroom in private; what do you propose, painting the windows black? I don't know who "we" is, but you all need to ask your government why there is no emphasis on education and reform."
- Eugene, prisoner in New Jersey [3]

P4: Capital punishment is the only way for a murderer to suffer the consequences of their actions.
As earlier stated prison life is not easy. A life sentence without parole would a pretty severe penalty. Think about it for a minute, the average stay on death row is 169 months or 14 years, 1 month and most of these prisoners are between 30-54 so a life sentence without parole is at least double the time they would spend in prison on death row [4]. By comparison, death row would be the easier sentence, however final.


.-== My Case ==-.

C1: To truly value life, one must value all life.
If one truly values life, then one must value all life. Value means "to consider or rate highly (e.g. prize, esteem, i.e. " [5]. Life has intrinsic value in that your life or my life's value isn't determined by anyone or anything else. It is valuable in and of itself. It is the disconnection between the intrinsic value of life that has lead many to accept that abortion should be allowed. If we allow that any life doesn't hold intrinsic value then the value will be held meaningless as applied the whole of humanity. If we allow that the retarded or poor are worth less than we cheapen all of humanity. We must uphold the value of all life by upholding the value of each individual life.

C2: Capital punishment only values the victim's life.
However, capital punishment puts lifes on a scale and tries to balance that the murderers life is less valuable than the victim's. Thus, capital punishment does not value all life.

C3: A just society punishes criminals in a way that values life.
A society that fails to uphold the value of life ultimately devalues it. The US is in the top five executors of Capital Punishment along with countries as China, Iran, North Korea, and Yemen [6]. Freedom House published a report of "Freedom in the World 2010" which listed relative freedoms of countries around the globe. With the exception of the US, all have dismal human rights records according to the report [7]. These are hardly just societies. This leaves the US as the only country that has Capital Punishment and yet supposedly respects human rights. We must become a more just society and that should be reflective in our punishments for severe crimes.

I eagerly await your reply.



Sources:
[1] http://www.murdervictimsfamilies.org...
[2] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[3] http://gangsandkids.com...
[4] http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov...
[5] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[7] http://www.ifex.org...
Debate Round No. 2
MissPiggy

Pro

MissPiggy forfeited this round.
randolph7

Con

What? Forfeit?

Okay extend all aeguments
Debate Round No. 3
MissPiggy

Pro

Rebuttals:
P2 response:

The difference is a person's life is different than a car, virginity or being raped. (Also the car thief you mentioned has to pay a fine which is normally the cost of the car or more.) Life will go on if a person was robbed or raped, but their life ends when they have been killed thats why we should enforce the punishment, because imagine if you were murdered? Life would just go on for your murderer if they were to be put in a cell, doing who knows what. When a murderer beneficially spends time in a cell, it's hard to believe that their life has changed so it doesnt make an impact on their view of other's lives. So imagine, how many murderers we would have then? (without the punishment)

P3 response:
My opponet believes i have not visited a prison or have had any contact the a former prisoner.. I have and the people i have encountered would only steal or commit a crime to go back into prison, so that they wouldn't have to pay taxes or take on their responsibilities as a citizen.
-My opponet has a quote about how only insane people enjoy prison, well dont you have to be insane to kill someone from the start??
C2 response:
Your saying the goverment doesn't value life? I think it most certainly does. If you value life to the extent that i do then you would understand a innocent life taken away is extremely wrong and the person who has taken the innocent person's life is insanely currupted in the mind and deserves their life to be taken away. I understand it comes accross harsh, but don't you think killing a little girl just cause it harsh as well?

My Case:
C1: If we just lock up insane people who think murder is ok or even an option, then when they have served their time chances are they will only go out to make the same mistake again. This is why we have the capital punishment system, thisis why it's just. So that if a innocent person is killed, let's say a small five year girl, is killed by a insane minded forty year old man. When the citizens of the state are disgusted by this case or situation we can mostly (by mostly I mean most of the watching citizens) see it's only right to kill the currupted man.
I believe there is no more to say, I of you to vote in favor of pro.
randolph7

Con

Thank you once again, MissPiggy, for this debate. I will first address Pro’s R3/R4 arguments/cross-examination then move to my conclusion.

Pro does not seem to object to the theory of criminal law being about rationale punishment rather than vengeance but rather argues from the finality of murder, setting it apart from other crimes. She does however miss my point that capital punishment is far from uniformly applied. If I’m an innocent black man in Texas who is accused, I’m far more likely to be executed than in any state north of the Mason-Dixon Line. If I was retarded, black, and innocent even more so, but I digress. If my family member was murdered, I would feel like Elizabeth Brancato – understanding of the emotions of revenge but ultimately seeing justice as more important. I can’t imagine being murdered and even if I could it’s a useless exercise, I’m already dead; justice would have to serve the living. To answer Pro’s other question, there is zero proof that capital punishment acts as a deterrent and Pro has provided none.

My supposition that you do not have enough experience with the criminal justice system to have yourself speak as an expert on the conditions of incarceration stand. I sincerely doubt you know people who commit crimes solely to duck their responsibilities. And murder has many causes besides the criminal being “insane”; that was just one criminal’s perspective on why other criminals might enjoy prison. There has been a trend in this recession for people to kill their families because they can’t deal with the stress of unemployment and hunger [1]. There is also the many cases of post partum depression that makes the news every so often of a seemingly normal woman killing her children. So, no, insanity is not necessary to murder.

A government that takes a life most certainly does not value it. Look at the many useless wars that the US has been engaged in, the rise in euthanasia and abortion. The value of life is not a value I believe the US upholds to maximum. Justice cannot and should not rely on vengeance. To do so would mean that the most vocal and sympathetic victims get the most justice and such a system is inherently unjust. Killing a little girl isn’t just but neither is killing someone in her name.


.-== Conclusion ==-.
If one truly values life, then one must value all life. Life has intrinsic value in that your life or my life's value isn't determined by anyone or anything else. It is valuable in and of itself. It is the disconnection between the intrinsic value of life that has led the US to be so far outside the rest of the civilized world with respect to capital punishment. If we allow that any life doesn't hold intrinsic value, then the value will be held meaningless as applied the whole of humanity. If we allow that the retarded or poor are worth less then we cheapen all of humanity. We must uphold the value of all life by upholding the value of each individual life.

However, capital punishment puts life on a scale and tries to balance that the murderer’s life is less valuable than the victim's. Thus, capital punishment does not value all life.

A society that fails to uphold the value of life ultimately devalues it. The US stands alone as the only country that has Capital Punishment and yet supposedly respects human rights. We must become a more just society and that should be reflective in our punishments for severe crimes.

My opponent has provided nothing but her opinions on what is fair to this debate. While I respect her opinion, it should be backed by evidence if it is to be debated. Thank you gentle readers, I have enjoyed my time with you and thank you Pro for taking the time to discuss this with me.

Sources:
[1] http://www.thedailybeast.com...
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DHDebate 5 years ago
DHDebate
"don't you think killing a little girl is just as harsh' actually detracts from the argument. Also, provide sources to back up what you believe are factual statements."
Remember this, take it to heart, and grow from it.
Posted by randolph7 5 years ago
randolph7
Why are no votes giving me the source point? Im the only one to source.
Posted by MissPiggy 5 years ago
MissPiggy
Thank you! Freshman debater so the advice is definitely taken :)
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
MissPiggy, when you are debating, I think the most important thing that you could have done here were to think of the main reasons why the death penalty is just, organize them in contentions and provide evidence to support each contention.

For example, you could say the DP is just because it

C1) Values Life
(Provide Justification)

C2) Provides retribution to the victims
(Provide evidence of victims feeling vindicated)
(Most importantly, provide statistics)

C3) Effectiveness
(Give statistics on how many prisoners escape and murder again)

Hope this helps.
Posted by MissPiggy 5 years ago
MissPiggy
My apoligies for the forfeit.. i had not been keeping time since my last arguement.
Posted by randolph7 5 years ago
randolph7
Cutting it close?
Posted by randolph7 5 years ago
randolph7
Yay?
Posted by DHDebate 5 years ago
DHDebate
:-) Yay!
Posted by randolph7 5 years ago
randolph7
thett, this is not really a topic I'm interested in so I'd rather not do two debates on it back to back. I took the debate as a courtesy to Pro.
Posted by DHDebate 5 years ago
DHDebate
Thanks for debating her randolph :)
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by dappleshade 5 years ago
dappleshade
MissPiggyrandolph7Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: The forfeit brought this down but Pro definitely improved in the third round. Arguing using emotional language such as 'don't you think killing a little girl is just as harsh' actually detracts from the argument. Also, provide sources to back up what you believe are factual statements.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
MissPiggyrandolph7Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This was not even close. But I think Pro is here to learn how to debate, so I added a few suggestions in the comments section.