The Instigator
Jokerdude
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
CiRrO
Con (against)
Losing
15 Points

Death Penalty in Society, does it have a place

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/22/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,747 times Debate No: 4760
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (11)

 

Jokerdude

Pro

So I dont want to scare away any possible member so Ill let my opponent make the first move and Ill go from there I guess. Good luck to who ever accepts this and let have a good debate on the death penalty.

And here are some ground rules/ stipulations

Method- Lethal injection

Usage- 1st Degree Murder
CiRrO

Con

As a fore note, I am indeed pro-death penalty. However I've decided to play devil's advocate. So, without further a due, lets begin.

Death Penalty in Society, does it have a place.

-Negative, it does not.

[Definition]

Death Penalty: the execution of a criminal, in this debate method is lethal injection.

Contention I: Hypocrisy Theory

Essentially, the government cannot tell society that killing is wrong by killing the person. This is hypocritical and sends the wrong message. It is illogical to use the same tactic that you are trying to suppress. This is like a teacher telling a kid that bullying is wrong by hitting the him. An "eye for an eye" mentality is inherently hypocritical.

Contention II: Arbitrary Punishment

A) Killing of innocents

The death penalty is final. If an innocent person is killed then the government has committed a horrible crime against one of its members. Essentially, if you follow the logic of the death penalty, then by killing an innocent the government must receive death as well. This is obviously illogical. However, the government must try to protect it's citizens from final and arbitrary punishment, i.e. the death penalty.

B) Racism

The death penalty throughout history has been used arbitrarily against non-whites. More blacks are killed by the death penalty then whites. If this is indeed racism, then the government is going against one of it's fundamental obligations, i.e. unbiased equality. Yes, punishments are arbitrary, however when the punishment is final, then the government has indeed committed a crime against it's people.

Contention III: Right to life

According to the constitution, we are guaranteed the inalienable right to life. If the government violates this right, then they themselves have committed a crime.

Contention VI: Morality

A) Categorical Imperative

Maxim 1: Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.

The government is violating this first maxim because by killing, they are universalizing the action of killing and thus justifying killing altogether.

Maxim 2: Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means to an end.

The government is violating this maxim because it is violating the right to life of a person for a "possible" temporary security. They are violating a right to a good consequence that could happen. This violates deontological morality.

Contention V: Cost

The cost of the death penalty far exceeds that of life in prison without parole. Seems weird right? Not really. On an individual scale,. the death penalty would cost the same as one day imprison. However, the appeals process in the court system makes administering the death penalty really expensive. And what money pays the prosecutors? Tax payer money. So essentially, the death penalty costs society a lot of taxes.

Contention VI: 8th Amendment

"No cruel and unusual punishment." The death penalty is indeed cruel because it strips the right to life from another. Beccaria once said that the death penalty is the most barbaric and cruel punishment imaginable. (Beccaria was the philosopher behind the 8th amendment) Administering the death penalty violates the 8th amendment.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen
Debate Round No. 1
Jokerdude

Pro

Based on my opponent definition I would like to say this on the word "Criminal" This is a person that has violently and often committed a premeditated murder. This is to say that they took the life of another human being, this is a reprehensible action that deserves to be punished.

Contention I

It isn't really a hypocritical theory, it is law. Law is the guidelines for which societies are ruled and it is through these laws that a minimal peace is created. The death penalty is a form of punishment for those who choose to break the law, causing chaos and in this case death. It is a guarantee that someone will never have the chance to commit the crime again.

Contention II

A. The killing of innocents has dramatically dropped in the past two decades. Those who were once on death row and were innocent have been released because of some of the newest technology; DNA. DNA testing is an almost 100 percent way of checking whether a person committed a crime. Also with the court trials just to figure out whether the person is guilty or not helps weed out the innocent and guilty. So by the time sentencing comes around there is around a 99 percent chance that the person did the crime.

B. Really in itself by looking at the number of people by "race" is racism in itself. The way I perceive it is that several hundred "people" are killed by the death penalty. By drawing lines you promote racism and a division between races. So ethnicity doesn't matter, what matters is whether a guilty person is sentenced and put to death.

Contention III

I would like to point out that you have the right to life and all other rights within the constitution but you lose all of them once you severly violate another persons rights. So in this case the inmate violated someone elses right to life under the constitution. Thus the inmate loses his protection under the constitution. Also the Supreme Court agrees with me as I state below in contention VI.

Contention IV

This is probably one of the most black and white arguments in the death penalty debate. It is a moral action because you are terminating the life of some of the worst humans on the planet. If they had the chance they would probably continue committing crimes and harming other citizens. By implementing the death penalty you help make the world a better place and allow people to sleep better knowing that they are just a little bit safer

Contention V

The cost for one injection is 86.08, this is a one time usage. To keep one person in prison it costs 74 dollars, for one day. Multiply this by 365 days and by an average life span in prison of 45 years then add all the medical expenses for that life that is total to over 2,000,000 dollars. Now that is at face value 86: 2 Million. I took court costs out because both life in prison and death row are entitled to the same appeals, life in prison just gets then their entire life. So in the end enacting the death penalty more often would save the federal government untold billions which would greatly benefit us in this time of economic downturn.

Contention VI

Interesting point but just in the last 4 months the Supreme Court rendered a decision in Baze and Bowling v. Rees. They came to the conclusion that lethal injection is humane and does not violate the 8th amendment. This point adds to why lethal injection should be used more often.

Contention VII

It has been speculated that the death penalty is a deterrence to crime this has never been proven because the death penalty has never been enacted to the fullest of its ability. So once we implement it to its fullest we can see crime deter because of the fear of facing the death penalty. There was a time in the 70's for 4 years where the death penalty was banned everywhere in the US during this time the murder per capita in the US more than doubled until its reimplementation.

For these reasons you should vote Pro and implement the Death Penalty in a greater measure and that it holds a strong place in our society
CiRrO

Con

"It isn't really a hypocritical theory, it is law. Law is the guidelines for which societies are ruled and it is through these laws that a minimal peace is created. The death penalty is a form of punishment for those who choose to break the law, causing chaos and in this case death. It is a guarantee that someone will never have the chance to commit the crime again."

My Response: Ok, then if you universalize my opponents action we should rape rapists and torture torturers. The eye for an eye mentality if very hypocritical. Punishing is not just if done in the same way. My opponents failure on this attack it that by universalizing his decision, he will make it worse then it is. My opponent then mentions incapacitation. Ok, let's kill all criminals so they will not commit the crime again. That will solve everything.

"The killing of innocents has dramatically dropped in the past two decades. Those who were once on death row and were innocent have been released because of some of the newest technology; DNA. DNA testing is an almost 100 percent way of checking whether a person committed a crime. Also with the court trials just to figure out whether the person is guilty or not helps weed out the innocent and guilty. So by the time sentencing comes around there is around a 99 percent chance that the person did the crime."

My Response: Ok, the checks are good. That doesn't make it 100% fool proof. Even if one innocent person dies, then the government has their death on their hands. Also, what about the people before the past 2 decades? Do they have no human worth anymore?

Really in itself by looking at the number of people by "race" is racism in itself. The way I perceive it is that several hundred "people" are killed by the death penalty. By drawing lines you promote racism and a division between races. So ethnicity doesn't matter, what matters is whether a guilty person is sentenced and put to death.

My Response: Yes, racism does matter if the death penalty is a tool sued for racist means. The areas in which the death penalty is most frequently used still are rated the highest racist states in the country. Ex: Texas and Louisiana. It is arbitrary, final, and thus cannot be reversed. My opponent has not responded to that fact, thus extend it.

"I would like to point out that you have the right to life and all other rights within the constitution but you lose all of them once you severly violate another persons rights. So in this case the inmate violated someone elses right to life under the constitution. Thus the inmate loses his protection under the constitution."

My Response: I argue differently. No one should lose their right to life, no matter what their crimes. Also, link this to another point I made. If the government kills an innocent, then they have lost their rights as well. It is a circle of losing rights, it would never end. Right to life is an inalienable right given at birth and ought not to be taken away.

"This is probably one of the most black and white arguments in the death penalty debate. It is a moral action because you are terminating the life of some of the worst humans on the planet. If they had the chance they would probably continue committing crimes and harming other citizens. By implementing the death penalty you help make the world a better place and allow people to sleep better knowing that they are just a little bit safer"

My Response: Ok, then lets kill all criminals. If society wishes to sacrifice morals for temporary safety, then indeed that society has collapsed. Also, you didn't even refute the point itself, so extend this.

The cost for one injection is 86.08, this is a one time usage. To keep one person in prison it costs 74 dollars, for one day. Multiply this by 365 days and by an average life span in prison of 45 years then add all the medical expenses for that life that is total to over 2,000,000 dollars. Now that is at face value 86: 2 Million. I took court costs out because both life in prison and death row are entitled to the same appeals, life in prison just gets then their entire life. So in the end enacting the death penalty more often would save the federal government untold billions which would greatly benefit us in this time of economic downturn.

My Response: My opponent is very ignorant by using this point. The reason why less people appeal in jail sentences, is because 90% of the time it was a plea bargain. They have already claimed guilty. Therefore, they don't need an appeal trial. The death penalty cases cost a lot more. This is a fact.

"Interesting point but just in the last 4 months the Supreme Court rendered a decision in Baze and Bowling v. Rees. They came to the conclusion that lethal injection is humane and does not violate the 8th amendment. This point adds to why lethal injection should be used more often."

My Response: Ok, so what. The Supreme Court allowed slavery for a long time, and was that just? The Supreme Court is a human and fallible institution. Thus, what they say can be questioned. Also, the criminal justice system is a human institution, thus can make mistakes. I.e. kill innocents with the death penalty.

His case:

Contention VII

It has been speculated that the death penalty is a deterrence to crime this has never been proven because the death penalty has never been enacted to the fullest of its ability. So once we implement it to its fullest we can see crime deter because of the fear of facing the death penalty. There was a time in the 70's for 4 years where the death penalty was banned everywhere in the US during this time the murder per capita in the US more than doubled until its reimplementation.

My Response: A deterrent effect cannot be proven or disprove. He is using a non-unique argument that doesn't affirm or negate the resolution. All stats contradict each other. Examples: The countries without the death penalty have the lower crime rates compared to the US. I.e. Britain, France, and Germany. Also, Texas who holds the most executions have the highest murder rate in the country. The deterrence point does not affirm the resolution. Thus, you can drop it under non-uniqueness.

Even if you do buy his argument, that doesn't justify the use of the death penalty. Safety is important yes. However, safety at what cost. Killing criminals, torturing them, even televising it. Security done with immoral means should not be used in an enlightened society. We must leave this evil mentality behind us as a society.
Debate Round No. 2
Jokerdude

Pro

So Im going to put them back into Contentions because I think it is easier to read a flow the arguments

Contention I

I would like to say that I never advocated the "eye for an eye" policy but simply for a just punishment for such a hanus crime. My opponent over exaggerates the situation, there are better solutions. Like in Louisiana recently the governor passed chemical castration as a punishment for convicted rapists, a just punishment for the crime committed. The punishment has to be a fair punishment to prevent further intrusions. Also if you kill most killers it wont solve everything but it will be a good start to solving the problems.

Contention II

A. Nothing is ever fool proof we are humans we do make errors there is nothing you can do to stop that from happening. If we can get to around 99 percent certainty then that is leaps and bounds better than a lot of the other policies that the government does. Even if one innocent person dies then it would be a sacrifice for the betterment of society, it is a core democratic value called common good.

B. It is not a racist punishment, the people have been tried and found guilty. If there is more ethnicity's on death row that does not necessarily institute that it is a "racist" punishment. This assumption only promotes racism which is bad

Contention III

Any right can be taken away if the consequences call for it. If its such an unalienable right shouldn't be taken away what should we do for those who take it away? The death penalty is the correct way of dealing with those who have been convicted for doing such. Also the government isn't the one who necessarily will take away the life the power lies within the court and more specifically the jury. Also as I have stated humans make errors but 99 percent is still better than what most policies do and it is the right choice.

Contention IV

Let me reiterate and reword my previous argument. The morals in the death penalty lie in the fact that you are making the world a safer place. The morals are what you use to help keep bad people away from those who have not committed such crimes. Our morals are needed because the death penalty is far from cold blooded murder.

Contention V

So my opponent calls me ignorant yet he provides no evidence to prove my argument. And now any stats he might use I cant even refute so right now I refute them all :P. The fact is that is a choice they make, the statistics are real the fact remains that the cost between lethal injection and life in prison are astronomically apart. Logically think about how much each would cost with any use of your brain it is easy to see that you will save money by using the death penalty.

Contention VI

If the death penalty is so fallible why has it been in use since the beginning of time. In these cases that the supreme court has dealt with every case but one has allowed the death penalty to continue. That one time it wasn't was the time in the 1970's that I listed in contention VII and that was a disaster in itself. But now we have gotten to the point where there are almost no wrongful convictions as you keep trying to find. This is a time tested punishment that has worked but never to the fullest of its ability. If you want to see this go here http://www.oyez.org...

Contention VII

That is my point exactly Texas may have the highest murder rate yet has the most executions. The problem is that's still only less than 100 deaths a year. With plenty more on death row and even more with life in prison. What needs to happen to make it a deterrent is to kill several hundred a year. Criminals would have to think twice for fear they might get the death penalty over life in prison. The rates are also much lower in other countries because there are less people in prison to begin with. The US has one of the largest populations in the world so even if we only have 1 percent of something that still can be the same as 10 percent in another country.

Vote Pro on this argument because as of now I have proven that this is a humane punishment that needs to be exercised even more in our society. I never said torture or televising it like my opponent keeps trying to fill your heads with. I am advocating for a penalty for those who take the life out of others in cold blood. We must use this moral action.

Thank you to my opponent, this was a good fun debate
CiRrO

Con

"I would like to say that I never advocated the "eye for an eye" policy but simply for a just punishment for such a hanus crime. My opponent over exaggerates the situation, there are better solutions. Like in Louisiana recently the governor passed chemical castration as a punishment for convicted rapists, a just punishment for the crime committed. The punishment has to be a fair punishment to prevent further intrusions. Also if you kill most killers it wont solve everything but it will be a good start to solving the problems."

My Response: Killing a killer is the eye for an eye mentality. Even if you have never mentioned it specifically, that's what it is. The eye for an eye mentality is hypocritical. A better solution is to put him in jail without parole. This can be equated with your castration example. We shouldn't kill killers and we shouldn't rape rapists. That's my point. Legal equivalence is an evil mentality. Life in jail without parole is much better then killing them.

"Nothing is ever fool proof we are humans we do make errors there is nothing you can do to stop that from happening. If we can get to around 99 percent certainty then that is leaps and bounds better than a lot of the other policies that the government does. Even if one innocent person dies then it would be a sacrifice for the betterment of society, it is a core democratic value called common good."

My Response: So essentially you would justify the killing of an innocent member of society for possible safety. I ask any member who wishes to vote this question. would you want to be that one person? Would you want to be an innocent cruelly convicted by a government not looking at you as an autonomous individual but as a non-unique member of a greater society?

"It is not a racist punishment, the people have been tried and found guilty. If there is more ethnicity's on death row that does not necessarily institute that it is a "racist" punishment. This assumption only promotes racism which is bad"

My Response: I'm not saying the punishment itself is racist. The application of it has been sued for racist means. Take lynching for example. They were killed for no reason. The death penalty had been used as a mechanism of this.

"Any right can be taken away if the consequences call for it. If its such an unalienable right shouldn't be taken away what should we do for those who take it away? The death penalty is the correct way of dealing with those who have been convicted for doing such. Also the government isn't the one who necessarily will take away the life the power lies within the court and more specifically the jury. Also as I have stated humans make errors but 99 percent is still better than what most policies do and it is the right choice."

My Response: Yes, rights can be taken away. However life is different. Life includes all rights. Thus when the government violates the right to life, they have violated every right against this person. Life is the right of all rights. That should never be taken away, no matter what crime has been committed.

"Let me reiterate and reword my previous argument. The morals in the death penalty lie in the fact that you are making the world a safer place. The morals are what you use to help keep bad people away from those who have not committed such crimes. Our morals are needed because the death penalty is far from cold blooded murder."

My Response: Morality is not consequential as you make it appear. Morality is an imperative and is deontological. You have failed to address that, thus this point still stands.

"So my opponent calls me ignorant yet he provides no evidence to prove my argument. And now any stats he might use I cant even refute so right now I refute them all :P. The fact is that is a choice they make, the statistics are real the fact remains that the cost between lethal injection and life in prison are astronomically apart. Logically think about how much each would cost with any use of your brain it is easy to see that you will save money by using the death penalty."

My Response: I don't need to show it, look it up. The cost of all the appeals processes make the death penalty more costly then life in jail. You also didn't respond to my point about appeals in death penalty cases vs. those in jail cases.

"If the death penalty is so fallible why has it been in use since the beginning of time. In these cases that the supreme court has dealt with every case but one has allowed the death penalty to continue. That one time it wasn't was the time in the 1970's that I listed in contention VII and that was a disaster in itself. But now we have gotten to the point where there are almost no wrongful convictions as you keep trying to find. This is a time tested punishment that has worked but never to the fullest of its ability."

My Response: LOl, slavery was used since a long time ago. It doesn't make it right. You want to sue the death penalty to it's fullest extent. Ok, then let's televise it too, for everyone to watch. You wish to create a society full of scared people. You wish to strip their autonomy away so that temporary safety can happen.

"That is my point exactly Texas may have the highest murder rate yet has the most executions. The problem is that's still only less than 100 deaths a year. With plenty more on death row and even more with life in prison. What needs to happen to make it a deterrent is to kill several hundred a year. Criminals would have to think twice for fear they might get the death penalty over life in prison. The rates are also much lower in other countries because there are less people in prison to begin with. The US has one of the largest populations in the world so even if we only have 1 percent of something that still can be the same as 10 percent in another country."

My Opponent: Stats contradict. My opponents argument cannot be proven or dis proven. It is non-unique. You can drop it.

Reasons for negation:

1) My opponent wishes to create a society where the government takes away your autonomy and where you are only seen as a part of a greater being, not an individual. This merits an immediate negation.

2) Innocents can be killed, my opponent has conceded this. This also merits immediate negation. The government cannot condone an action that kills innocent members.

3) My opponents one contention is non-unique, thus doesn't stand. He has no points that affirm the resolution.

4) The death penalty is a hypocritical action, and should not be sued by the government.

Thus, I negate.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by liberty 6 years ago
liberty
Yes that woud be great and I'm looking foward to it.
Posted by CiRrO 6 years ago
CiRrO
Well according to the Site Admin. people will be able to make private and public groups. I don't know when that will come =( And it would be cool if we could do group debates. ^^
Posted by liberty 6 years ago
liberty
I asked this question 1 hour before you offered a place in the group 2 me. LOL funny uh. Anyway when will this group thing start and what will we do, group debates?
Posted by CiRrO 6 years ago
CiRrO
Sure you can. You are a good debater liberty. ^^ You would be a great asset.
Posted by liberty 6 years ago
liberty
Hey dudes can I join ? I like both of you as debaters and would be more than glad to be in your group.
Posted by CiRrO 6 years ago
CiRrO
Hmm, why does it say on your profile that your for the flat tax, and for the progressive tax? you cant be for both.....
Posted by Jokerdude 6 years ago
Jokerdude
Yeah I think I would join that
Posted by CiRrO 6 years ago
CiRrO
Ah cool. Star Wars in my favorite. Revan of course owns all. When the ability to make groups start on this site, you want to join my future "Conservative Members" group? Lol, I'm already planning to make it when the time comes. Of course, that means that a liberal group would also start as well >.>
Posted by Jokerdude 6 years ago
Jokerdude
As a side note I love star wars too the books included XD
Posted by CiRrO 6 years ago
CiRrO
Yes, but little mistakes like that annoy me ^^
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