The Instigator
taylorbot
Con (against)
Tied
7 Points
The Contender
SPF
Pro (for)
Tied
7 Points

Death Penalty in America

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/14/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,691 times Debate No: 7395
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

taylorbot

Con

I will argue against the application of the death penalty in the United States , my opponent must argue the merits of the death penalty.

Whoever is more convincing should win.
SPF

Pro

Reasons for the Death Penalty:
1. One merit of the Death Penalty is that it discourages people to murder other people if death is the consequence. If people know they would die if they killed someone, then they are less likely to kill someone than if they know that they would got to jail when they kill someone. The Death Penalty is, an incentive to save lives.

2. Why should people's taxes go to feeding, and housing murderers? Most people who say that murderers shouldn't be executed, are in effect saying that we should spend taxes on feeding murderers for the rest of their lives.
There are a few problems with that. Among them are:
1. The immorality of feeding, clothing and housing murderers for the rest of their lives.
2. Unfairness to tax payers, who would rather their money be spent on roads education, etc. than the immoral support of murderers.
Debate Round No. 1
taylorbot

Con

Thank you for accepting my challenge.
If I am correct, you are making 2 points: the first being that the death penalty is a deterrent, and secondly that is more fiscally responsible to use the death penalty.
As to the first point, it has been demonstrably shown that the death penalty has no affect on rates of crimes that have death penalty consequences (Capital Punishment and the Judicial Process. 3rd ed. Coyne, Randall, c2006).
Not only do statistics bear this theory out, but so does logic. Death penalty offenses are inherently irrational acts, so to assume that people who commit these crimes are applying a rational analysis of their actions is basically flawed.
Secondly, you posit that the death penalty is in some way cheaper. However, it was been shown that it is actually cheaper to incarcerate someone for life than to try to utilize the death penalty. This is in large part due to things such as pretrial motions and appeals. Finally, taxes should go to more effective deterrents.
SPF

Pro

"As to the first point, it has been demonstrably shown that the death penalty has no rates of crimes that have death penalty consequences."
1. What is your source?
"Death penalty offences are inherently irrational acts, so to assume that people who commit these crimes are applying a rational analasys to their actions is basically flawed."
According to that argument, punishment for any crime is uneccesary for that reason. So it is as if my opponent is arguing for anarchy. Crime will certainly flourish without punishment.
"However, it has been shown that it is acturally cheaper to incarcerate someone for life that to try to utilize the death penalty."
1. Once again, what is your source.
2. I was also making a point about the MORALITY of tax dollars going to inprisoning murderers for life.
One topic I would like to debate is Justice! Yes, what did happen to justice!
Debate Round No. 2
taylorbot

Con

The source for my first argument is in parenthesis. Secondly, there are other reasons to punish besides a deterrent effect. These include removal from society, which can be accomplished through means other than the death penalty, most notably life imprisonment. This has been a reliable alternative to the death penalty. Another reason for imprisonment / punishment is rehabilitation to turn the criminal into a productive member of society. This obviously cannot be accomplished with the death penalty. A source that death penalty is more expensive than life imprisonment: The Execution of Injustice 23 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 59, 133 (1989). It is moral to allocate tax dollars in a more responsible way, and to decrease crime generally. It is less moral to use those tax dollars on an expensive system that does not meet its goals. Thus, the American Death penalty system is not worthwhile.

Justice is a much larger topic than what we are debating here, I cannot add a new topic in the 3rd rd
SPF

Pro

SPF forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by SPF 4 years ago
SPF
It's odd, and a bit eery to see that a few years ago, I believed that it was moral for the state to kill people. The real word for it is muder. The Death Penalty is murder, and as my opponent effectively demonstrated, it doesn't even serve any practical end.
Posted by meespr 8 years ago
meespr
Demosthenes says: "A penal system is not meant to rehabilitate or improve its inmates. A penal system is meant to punish."

Half-right, and half-wrong

Penal comes from the Latin word "Paena", from which we render Pain, Penal, Penalty, Penance, Penitence, Penitentiary, Punishment, and a whole slew of other words. A penal system is meant to rehabilitate THROUGH the application of punishment. Punishing prisoners does no good if they don't rehabilitate and then go out and do the same things (Recidivism).

The legal definition of Punishment: A penalty inflicted by a court of justice on a convicted offender as a just retribution, and incidentally for the purposes of reformation and prevention.

While I agree the punishment has been taken out of the penal system these days (hard labor, etc) due to the stigma it bears, it's purpose is to show the offender through punishment that their behaviors are not acceptable in American society and to correct any underlying problems (mental, social, etc).

taylorbot says: "I agree that murder is different, but there are many different gradations of murder, to assume that all murders and murderers should be treated exactly the same is ridiculous. And the worst can still be both punished and removed from society without the death penalty."

Of the four ways to remove offenders from society (exile, execution, life sentence, penal colony), I believe the two best options are to streamline the process of Capital Punishment or establish life-sentence penal colonies on uninhabited islands. Teach prisoners basic farming, fishing, water gathering and other sustainment techniques, establish a small community there and let them go to town. No guards, no fences, no walls. Although, there need to be boats circling the island with "shoot-to-kill" orders on any escapees. At first, it would be a bloodbath. Then they'd start to form a rudimentary civil order once they realize that... TA-DAA! Stabbing people is not socially acceptable.
Posted by taylorbot 8 years ago
taylorbot
First, I am not missing the point of the penal system, you are over simplifying it. There are a number of reasons to incarcerate: retribution, rehabilitation, removal, and deterrence. To say that the prisons in our country are meant only to punish is A) wrong historically and B) wrong socially. This is not the idea of hippies or leftists, but is understood by the legislative, executive and judicial branches. What is irresponsible is continuing a system that is proven to be a failure. What is responsible is taking nonfunctioning elements of society and taking efforts to making them productive members of society. This does not suggest that it can be done in absolutely every case. Thus, life imprisonment.

I agree that murder is different, but there are many different gradations of murder, to assume that all murders and murderers should be treated exactly the same is ridiculous. And the worst can still be both punished and removed from society without the death penalty.

Even in your pure retribution model, there is not a need for the death penalty, as retribution can be achieved in other ways.
Posted by Demosthenes 8 years ago
Demosthenes
I think Con is missing the point of the penal system.

A penal system is not meant to rehabilitate or improve its inmates. A penal system is meant to punish.

The prisons in this country are meant to isolate and control dangerous threats to society. It is the opinion of leftists and hippies that, instead of forcing criminals to pay for their mistakes, that we should educate and improve criminals in order to successfully re-introduce them to society. I believe this is a mistake, as re-introducing people who have proven themselves to be dangerous and cancerous to the populace is clearly irresponsible and NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

For lesser offenses like larceny and assault, that may indeed be the case. But for crimes like murder, there is no rehabilitation, nor should there be. Murderers should be tried, sentenced and punished differently from other criminals because there is no crime more serious than murder. Thus the death penalty.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by SPF 8 years ago
SPF
taylorbotSPFTied
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Vote Placed by taylorbot 8 years ago
taylorbot
taylorbotSPFTied
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