The Instigator
Alain.Ginger
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
kuttu
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Death Penalty Ought to Be Legal for Capital Crimes

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
kuttu
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/27/2016 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 693 times Debate No: 87340
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

Alain.Ginger

Pro

The United States should have death penalty for capital offenses, which include first-degree murder and treason.

Don't hesitate to state your opinions but be respectful.
kuttu

Con

Murder and treason are by all means unacceptable however violence is not the solution and never should be. If murder is unacceptable and unforgivable than taking the life of another human in the name of a death penalty is just as unacceptable. Murder is evil no matter who it is that murders or the purpose behind it. The purpose of punishment is to teach and promote good values. By choosing murder as an answer to eradicating inhumane acts such as murder and treason, we would be contradicting the very morals and values we call humanity.

An eye for eye will make the whole world blind~ Mahatma Ghandi
Debate Round No. 1
Alain.Ginger

Pro

My opponent has chosen an interesting direction to take this debate.

What they said is basically that, if we call murder bad, then why should we advocate murderers getting murdered?

The answer is simple. 1. There is a difference between the government and regular people. 2. murder is different from any other crime 3. the death penalty is a deterrent .

There is a wide and distinct difference between a just court ruling and a homicidal maniac. The government is in a position to provide retribution for those who break the law. It can be equated to the difference between a child stealing away the food of his sister and a parent withholding the child's food as punishment to him. It is possible for the government to maintain their morals while still punishing crime. According to Death Penalty Curricula for High School, "When someone takes a life, the balance of justice is disturbed. Unless that balance is restored, society succumbs to a rule of violence. Only the taking of the murderer's life restores the balance and allows society to show convincingly that murder is an intolerable crime which will be punished in kind."
Also, are you implying that everything the government does that isn't consistent with the laws for the people is evil?

The second point my opponent brought up is that murder is the same no matter where you find it. This relates to my first point somewhat. It is necessary, vital that the government punish wrongdoers with capital punishment because it is the only just consequence. Genesis 9:6 "Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind." Destroying human life should have no lesser penalty than death itself.

Lastly, the advantage that death penalty is a deterrent. Other potential murders know that if they kill, they will be killed. In this way, innocent lives are actually saved. According to Death Penalty Curricula for High school, "(T)he theoretical execution of an innocent person can be justified because the death penalty saves lives by deterring other killings."
This point is extremely strong and its effectiveness been scientifically tested.

I have sources and statistics for all my arguments upon the Negative side's request.
kuttu

Con

"There is a difference between the government and regular people":
Firstly the government is made up of a group of humans just like any other human that walks our planet. Governments and its policies are systems that we as humans established. In the eyes of god there is no difference between one human to another- be they be a member of the government or not. Therefore there should be no reason for the rules that apply to citizens to be different for the government."And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth,".

"the death penalty is a deterrent":
The death penalty is a deterrent. I agree. By establishing a death penalty there may be reduced crime however this will only be due to the fear of prosecution rather than as a result of moral consciousness or a development of moral beliefs.

Furthermore a death penalty can not reverse the effects of the crime. It can not bring the life of a victim back. It cannot undo the physical or psychological effects of the crime. There is however one thing that a death penalty system can do, I admit- encourage a culture of vengeance.

Lastly there is the risk of a case being misjudged which is not improbable. For example in a study by Horvath (1977), 10 experienced polygraphists were told to independently score the charts of 28 suspects who turned out to be definitely guilty and 28 who turned out definitely to be innocent. Of the 560 blind-scorings only 64% were correctly judged. 49% of the innocents were mistakenly called deceptive. What this study shows is that the probability of mistaken judgements exists and it is more probable than we think. Mistakes such as these are inevitable- it is a part of our human nature however how will the government be able to justify the undeserved death of an innocent man.

Will the argument that the killing of an innocent man should only result in the killing of the murderer apply to the government.

Or do you still think that they and their morals lie superior to everyone else.
Debate Round No. 2
Alain.Ginger

Pro

In response to my opponent when he said, "In the eyes of god there is no difference between one human to another- be they be a member of the government or not."

The fact is, God instructs us to submit to governing authorities. They hold power over people in a different way than people hold power over each other.

Romans 13:1: "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God."

The government does have the power to implement laws in order to establish justice. The verse that the Negative made was clearly taken out of context... the Bible here was talking about the population spreading across the earth, not that governments shouldn't exist.

"The death penalty is a deterrent. I agree. By establishing a death penalty there may be reduced crime however this will only be due to the fear of prosecution rather than as a result of moral consciousness or a development of moral beliefs."

The fact is simple, the death penalty is a deterrent and it deters potential murders thereby reducing crime and restoring justice. It doesn't matter how the bad guys are deterred, the important fact is that we're saving innocent lives.

"Furthermore a death penalty can not reverse the effects of the crime. It can not bring the life of a victim back. It cannot undo the physical or psychological effects of the crime. There is however one thing that a death penalty system can do, I admit- encourage a culture of vengeance."

In implementing the death penalty we are not attempting to do something impossible, like bring lives back. I challenge the negative to find any evidence that the death penalty encourages vengeance.

There is finally the fact of the case being misjudged. There is a risk in every court decision that it is not just. This is a risk we must take. I understand that there are false convictions but I also personally believe that polygraph evidence ought to be abolished because they are often so untrustworthy. In real life, more innocent lives will be saved with the death penalty because of the deterrent factor. The death penalty saves innocent lives. In 1973 Isaac Ehrlich employed a new kind of analysis which produced results showing that for every inmate who was executed, 7 lives were spared because others were deterred from committing murder. Similar results have been produced by disciples of Ehrlich in follow-up studies.

Will you please restate you last question? I'm not sure I quite understand it.
kuttu

Con

I apologise for the misinterpretation of the verse from the Bible. I accept it may not have been the best quote to use.

In spite of this I am still not in favour of the death penalty. A law or punishment should not be merely a form of deterrence. It should be a way to enforce and promote good values and attitudes. Simply putting a barrier rather than giving people the opportunity to change their ways will not change anything in my opinion. There will always be crimes, the law will always be broken and so it cant be said that a death penalty is the complete answer to problems. My point is that if this act was lifted or simply if the criminals were to move to a location where the death penalty is not in place, then crime rates will increase again. A death penalty will not ensure the stability of our community in the long-term as in order for a more permanent state of stability. peace and prosperity needs to occur because people are willing to refuse immoral acts, not just because of the punishments placed by the law, although I accept that this will have an impact.

By your request I will reinstate my last question. You mentioned how "Only the taking of the murderer's life restores the balance and allows society to show convincingly that murder is an intolerable crime which will be punished in kind." My question is why does this verse only apply to the public and why does it not to the government should they make a mistake in their judgement.

Also, I would appreciate if you made it clear to which extent a death penalty should be placed. Do you think that death penalties should apply for every serious crime or murder irrespective of the circumstances (such as the accidental killing) or do you think that it should only be applicable in certain situations? If so which?
Debate Round No. 3
Alain.Ginger

Pro

I acknowledge my opponent's recognition of their misinterpretation of the Bible verse. Because they cannot supply another verse supporting their point about people that make up the government being equal to other people, their point does not stand.

Kuttu countered my point about deterrence with:

"A law or punishment should not be merely a form of deterrence. It should be a way to enforce and promote good values and attitudes. Simply putting a barrier rather than giving people the opportunity to change their ways will not change anything in my opinion."

But the fact is that punishment promotes good values. This is my first point. Punishment promotes good values.

A person who has murdered is a DANGER to society. Showing mercy to the worst criminals DOES NOT promote good values. It makes sense that it will cause worse problems in society. Punishing criminals in the worst way is the ONLY way to deter future criminals.

Kuttu goes on to say:

"There will always be crimes, the law will always be broken and so it cant be said that a death penalty is the complete answer to problems."

What the death penalty does is make LESS crimes. Ideally, it COULD create a crimeless society but the least it can do is significantly REDUCE crime. The death penalty is the closest thing to a complete answer to problems.

Then Kuttu contradicted everything he just argued by saying:

"My point is that if this act was lifted or simply if the criminals were to move to a location where the death penalty is not in place, then crime rates will increase again."

Yes, that is true. If murderers are moved to a city with no death penalty, then of course crime rates will increase again. Therefore there is yet another advantage to the death penalty: that murderers can no longer kill. Kuttu appears to agree with me on this by saying that crime rates increase in places with no death penalty.

Kuttu again agrees with me in a round-about way here:

"A death penalty will not ensure the stability of our community in the long-term as in order for a more permanent state of stability. peace and prosperity needs to occur because people are willing to refuse immoral acts, not just because of the punishments placed by the law, although I accept that this will have an impact."

IT WILL HAVE AN IMPACT. Nothing the negative can possibly bring up will have an impact as much as the death penalty. The death penalty IS a stabilizing device for justice. Punishment is the only way to restore justice.

Kuttu clarifies his question:

"You mentioned how 'Only the taking of the murderer's life restores the balance and allows society to show convincingly that murder is an intolerable crime which will be punished in kind.' My question is why does this verse only apply to the public and why does it not to the government should they make a mistake in their judgement."

I see the question now even though he still forgot to add a question mark. He's saying that if the government makes a mistake, then it doesn't restore justice. Today forensic technology has progressed an immense amount, so the event of a false conviction is extremely unlikely. We have to look at the whole picture. With the death penalty MORE innocent people are saved (like the statistics I read before). False convictions are so unlikely it's hardly a reason to prohibit the death penalty.

Kuttu concludes by saying:

"Also, I would appreciate if you made it clear to which extent a death penalty should be placed. Do you think that death penalties should apply for every serious crime or murder irrespective of the circumstances (such as the accidental killing) or do you think that it should only be applicable in certain situations? If so which?"

At the very beginning of the round I said,

"The United States should have death penalty for capital offenses, which include first-degree murder and treason."

For clarification purposes, first degree murder is defined by FindLaw (which is a credible legal source):

"An unlawful killing that is both willful and premeditated."

Accidental killing (or manslaughter) is second-degree murder, so it does not apply. Premeditated simply means it is intentional, the premeditation may take place anywhere from months to a few seconds before the actual murder. It's up to the jury to decide what degree of murder the crime is.

Both murder and treason are legally recognized as capital crimes, and the death penalty should apply in those situations.
kuttu

Con

Since I have spent this debate arguing the negative impacts of the death penalty, I realise that I should probably also offer alternative punishment methods that "promote good values as effectively as the death penalty "(as my opponent has claimed) . But the truth is I dont see what is wrong with our current methods of preventing crime- which does not require the taking of lives- be those lives sinners or murderers. In fact according to a report found in the guardian: http://www.theguardian.com... ) ,crime rates have fallen- and guess what- the government didn't even have to kill people!!.

Personally I am a big supporter in preventing crime (or any sin for that matter) before they happen rather than acting after it has happened. In particular, I believe that education is an extremely powerful tool to PROMOTE GOOD VALUES and that if we were to put more stress into creating awareness of these issues, their causes and preventive measures into the syllabus in schools , maybe then we may find the COMPLETE ANSWER. An answer that IS more promising.

I am new to this site, this being my first proper debate however i really enjoyed it. This experience was although at times challenging, incredibly interesting. Thank you Alain.Ginger.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Alain.Ginger 11 months ago
Alain.Ginger
klaralein please vote!
Posted by klaralein 11 months ago
klaralein
If I was voting for this debate, I would give the win to Pro. Both people used very credible sources, like Law websites to support the definition of murder by Pro, and the Horvath study used by Con, so I'd keep sources as a tie because neither person used any source that was more credible and well used than the other. Both parties maintained a professional and nice tone even in the heated debate, and both parties were fair and just in their rebuttals; so I would keep conduct as a tie. Both parties has little to no spelling and grammar errors so that would be a tie.

Arguments is really what my vote would come down to. Con, being against the resolution, was required to provide a counter-plan for the resolution. Unfortunately Con did not provide this until the last argument, which is unfair because Pro was not able to give a response. So thus I would give arguments to Pro because Con did not succeed in creating a counter-plan until it was too late.

Very good debate on both sides.
Posted by Alain.Ginger 11 months ago
Alain.Ginger
It's ok!
Posted by kuttu 11 months ago
kuttu
Sorry, I am new to debating and so I do not know all of the rules. Definitely I will keep this in mind in future debates.
Posted by Alain.Ginger 11 months ago
Alain.Ginger
Kuttu, the arguments you brought up in your speech (education and that statistic) are new points. It's unethical to bring up new points in the last speech.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Cooldudebro 11 months ago
Cooldudebro
Alain.GingerkuttuTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: This was an interesting debate. Reliable sources go to Con since he's the only person who gave an actual link to back up the studies he claimed to be quoting from. Overall, Pro was dominating the moral and ethical argument throughout the debate until the final round. Pro's claims fell apart in the final round when Con showed that crime rates fell with evidence I could see myself; which made the moral argument favor Con as well. Con really pushed through in the last round. Good job, guys!