The Instigator
Logical_Reason
Pro (for)
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The Contender
debater99
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Death Penalty over Life Imprisonment Without Possibility of Parole

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/9/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,005 times Debate No: 45502
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

Logical_Reason

Pro

This is how the debate will function;

Round 1: State your stance and that you will be debating (for instance "I accept this challenge and oppose the death penalty").
Round 2: Opening statements
Round 3: Rebuttals to opening statements
Round 4: Closing statements and second rebuttals

Before we begin the debate, I state the following: I am arguing for the death penalty with Propositions 3 and 4 from judges Judge Arthur L. Alarcon and Paula M. Mitchell. I hope there is no confusion of what is being debated, and look forward to debating this topic.
debater99

Con

I accept this challenge and I oppose death penalty.
Debate Round No. 1
Logical_Reason

Pro

The death penalty is morally justified. My value is vengeance. I define vengeance with the definition from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary; the act of doing something to hurt someone because that person did something that hurt you or someone else. I will be speaking specifically of capital punishment in America throughout the duration of the debate, although will cover capital punishment in general. The death penalty, with revisions, can cost far less than life in prison, is morally justified, and constitutionally justified.

The death penalty should still stand, though under laws regarding the five California Propositions on capital punishment by Judge Arthur L. Alarcon and Paula M. Mitchell; in particular the fourth and third. The problems with the death penalty, is that it is expensive. That is the only viable argument extended by those who oppose it. This can be cut, dramatically if we follow propositions 3 and 4. Proposition 3 is, in its essence, narrowing the number of death eligible crimes. This will remove many persons from death row. Proposition 4 is stating that video and/or scientific evidence is required for the accusation to stand against the defendant. Eyewitness accounts are very unreliable, as many times they can relate to viewing a silhouette, or viewing someone in the dark (as seen in the Mark Zimmerman case).

When I regard proposition 3, I propose that death penalty eligible crimes be limited to first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and third degree murder. I am not including manslaughter and matters where a person purposely ended the life of another, without regards to self-defense of he who is convicted of murder.

The cost of the death penalty in California has been the following: Pretrial and trial costs, summed, are 1.94 billion dollars, Automatic Appeals and State Habeas Corpus Petition, 0.925 billion dollars, Federal Habeas Corpus Appeals, 0.775 billion dollars, and last but most certainly not least, cost of incarceration, or 1 billion dollars. This costs about 170 million dollars more than life in prison. This can easily be fixed to be cheaper and plus efficiency. You can cut costs dramatically with propositions 4 and 3, by putting fewer people there to begin with, and faster trials (caused of course by scientific or video evidence needed). That is the economical portion of this case.

The death penalty is purely human. If you were to have your family killed by a man, would you want to see that man in prison for life, where he would receive free medical care, longer life than your family in general, access to the ability to experience (sunlight, taste, well-rested day, feeling in general), or for the person to be properly taken action upon, as you would feel best fit naturally, as a dead man? This is the reason for wars. To kill and avenge those who are dead and cannot fend for themselves. This is not a violation of human rights. This is the vengeance for human rights succeeded by this criminal of whom my opponent argues do not deserve death. The human right found in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 3, as it states "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person". This right has allegedly been refused by the alleged criminal.

The death penalty is constitutional. The 5th Amendment to the Constitution states: "No person shall be ... deprived of life ... without due process of law." The 14th Amendment states: "No state shall ... deprive any person of life ... without due process of law.". Not only do these amendments support the death penalty, but the Supreme Court noted that when the Eighth Amendment was written regarding cruel and unusual punishment, capital punishment was a common sanction in every State. The US Supreme Court, for over 200 years, repeatedly declared the death penalty to be constitutional (except for the time span between 1972 to 1976).

Capital punishment is not "wrong" or "evil", it is not hanging a given person for speaking up against an ideal, is not a punishment for graffiti, nor is it such as for vandalizing a store. It is for punishments we feel are especially harmful to our society. This is not a tyranny, and shall not be ruled as such. This is a republic based on the idea that all men are created equal! We cannot do with one committing murder, as he had not treated the victim as such equality as framed by our forefathers, and by such an action he shall be treated equally as his victim, with death and nothing lesser.

Capital punishment being nonexistent and replaced with life in prison without possibility of parole, is unfair to he who may have been killed by the criminal. For such a strongly cynical action against that person, if not against the American people in general, is it not best for us to penalize these people so harshly that no others dare make the mistake. Is it truly well to show those who may commit murder that the penalty is not just spending a large to meek remainder of their life in prison? All this truly would be is being separated from society. That is it. I could kill someone. I could be imprisoned and not receive capital punishment, as my opponent believes. I could live significantly longer than with death penalty, speak with peers, have foodstuffs provided, have medical assistance, and even see daylight! Prisoner-committed acts of violence are the small price to pay for life.

Fear of death is a superior deterrent when placed alongside life imprisonment without possibility of parole. The human will to live is an instinct outdone by absolutely nothing. Every human wants to live. Every human can say they do not want to live, but they are instinctually programmed to. Amnesty International states "In-depth report on United States' executions of the mentally ill. Includes definitions of terminology, explanations of common and relevant mental conditions, primary-source quotations, current national and international statistics, and recommendations by an American Bar Association task force. The report finds and provides startling new information such as that 5-10% of today's Death Row inmates suffer from serious mental illness; it also draws unique connections between certain states' mental health funding and execution rates." This "serious mental illness" can interfere with instincts, for those who are labeled as such have minds, which are not oriented as the rest of the population of the United States of America. This would mean that they would think slightly differently, and therefore 5-10% is the maximum percentage of persons in death row who could be lacking the instinctual will to live.
debater99

Con

Death, a cessation of an organism's life. For the religious people, Heaven or Hell. For the atheists, darkness. The ultimate fate has not been discovered yet, but giving the unknown fate can be manipulated.
As I said earlier, I am against death penalty. To end anyone's life is immoral, innocent or guilty. Take a guilty mass murderer for example. Jury has found him guilty and even the whole case conveys that he is guilty. Telling the case is unnecessary to tell. Back to topic now. Now his/her punishment is death penalty, whereas it should be life imprisonment. Why you ask? Both the victims and the murderer have their own families. Killing the murderer would just pressure his/her family with sadness and with other emotions. For the victims families, you might think it vanquishes their vengeance, sadness, etc., but it doesn't. What good has it done to you? Maybe a little hope, a little less sadness...? There is and will be a burning fire inside you mixed with hatred, sadness, etc., till you die. You'll still remember that missing, loving smile of your loved one.
Say you were the mass murderer that had a death penalty as a punishment. You wouldn't like the sound of that! At least there is some point in life. There would be some chance you getting released even without parole. What if the prisoners broke out somehow and made an army to go against the government because of its actions. There are things that could happen without parole. You never know what life has in store for you.
What if that murderer was your favorite uncle/aunt? What if he/she was your mom/dad that you loved a lot? Having to give them a death penalty would shatter you to pieces. Your heart would break like a dropped fragile plate. It would plunge you into a river of sadness. At least a life imprisonment punishment would give you a dent or a broken piece. With a death penalty, you will also miss that loving smile of your loved one.
Debate Round No. 2
Logical_Reason

Pro

My opponent stated "For the atheists, darkness" This is in so way true. Atheism is the disbelief of god(s). Atheists can be classified as such even if holding belief in reincarnation.

My opponent states "The ultimate fate has not been discovered yet, but giving the unknown fate can be manipulated" Change is one of the greatest fears of humankind. Especially transition to death. The strongest instinct in the majority of humankind, is that prompting survival.

My opponent states "What if the prisoners broke out somehow and made an army to go against the government because of its actions" This is exactly the kind of danger, although minute and highly unlikely, that exists when keeping the prisoners alive.

The actions of one man are upon his own burden. Unjust would be to execute the entire criminal's family. This alleged criminal worthy of the death penalty has done actions which have consequences. Has not this criminal violated the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Right's Article 3, which states "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person." This is one of the worst crimes one human can commit unto another.

Life imprisonment does not mean a person is sealed from society. There are still others in the prison system who are open to suffering from the murderer. If he who murdered others in the past was placed in a prison, would it not be likely that he kill his fellow prisoners, whom he deems worthy of such a punishment, as well? Certainly afterwards you can place him in solitary confinement, but what good would that do the family of the criminal who was just murdered? If anything, the murder of a family member would hurt them emotionally! Why not consider the sadness of those who have not yet been affected? If you were the family of the initial victim(s), would you not want the murderer to end his dangerous presence in this reality of ourselves?

My opponent's argument, essentially, is that one must feel bad for the family of the killed. Think about this. The families of the murdered. Think about their loved ones. Think about how they are dead. Think about how the one responsible for their death was still breathing. Think about how the one responsible for their death was still eating. Think about how the one responsible for their death was still dreaming. If your family member was killed, would you not want the murderer to be killed? You cannot answer this question, as it is hypothetical for most, although you can think about it.

My opponent states "There would be some chance you getting released even without parole" Parole is the legally valid release of a given prisoner, with promise of good behavior. Parole is not the release of a prisoner. Therefore my opponent's argument is invalid.
debater99

Con

My opponent has said "You can cut costs dramatically with propositions 4 and 3 by...faster trials." This is not true. A fast trial has no relation towards a cost of a case. Maybe I might be wrong. Also without death penalty, the money saved can go to families for funds and for other causes.
Also the opponent stated that life imprisonment is better than death penalty. This is not true. It leads to more suffering. There are bad people in that prison, tasteless food, etc.. My opponent has not stated many of these challenges.
As my opponent stated that prison breakouts have low chances. This is true, so my statement was invalid and I admit it. But we are talking about the death row. They are bond to be placed in prisons with high security. It would be nearly impossible to escape it. So why not give the murderer more suffering than just death. As I said "The ultimate fate has not been discovered yet", so don't know what happens after life. So as my opponent said "(W)ould you not want the murderer to be killed?", my answer would be no. My idea is also vengeance, but I would not want to act like him/her even if it is constitutional. I would want him/her to suffer and think about it death is not the only deterrent. When the judge says life imprisonment, you would still get scared. There are still many more cons than there are pros for life imprisonment. For death, you might have a lot of suffering in a small amount of time, but the total suffering for life imprisonment is probably more than death.
Debate Round No. 3
Logical_Reason

Pro

My opponent states "My opponent has said 'You can cut costs dramatically with propositions 4 and 3 by...faster trials.' This is not true. A fast trial has no relation towards a cost of a case." This is simply not true. Cost of incarceration for death penalty, currently, has cost California 1 billion dollars alone since the 1980's. Since the 1980's the death penalty has cost 170 million dollars more than life imprisonment [1]. Those in death row might as well be serving life imprisonment in many cases[2]. Although, with a trial with more adequate evidence and being faster would both lower cost to put margins of cost for death penalty below that of life imprisonment [1]. Not only would implementing proposition cut cost of incarceration, though would cut costs from all trial-related happenings.

My opponent states "They are bond to be placed in prisons with high security" which is grammatically incorrect.

When my opponent states "'(W)ould you not want the murderer to be killed?', my answer would be no" My opponent has never been in the given situation, therefore his opinion is invalid.

My opponent states "here are bad people in that prison, tasteless food, etc.. My opponent has not stated many of these challenges." The person deemed eligible of death penalty, under propositions three and four with modifications earlier mentioned, is just as dangerous if not more than the average prisoner, and therefore a danger to the prison system.

My opponent states "For death, you might have a lot of suffering in a small amount of time, but the total suffering for life imprisonment is probably more than death." My opponent has no basis of which to make this claim, nor do any sources exist standing by the argument, therefore the statement is invalid.

My opponent states "For death, you might have a lot of suffering in a small amount of time, but the total suffering for life imprisonment is probably more than death." Life has suffering. No matter how small of a situation, there is always suffering in life, be it physical, mental, or both [3].

My opponent states "without death penalty, the money saved can go to families for funds and for other causes." The "funds and other causes" would be a misuse of tax revenue.

My opponent states "Also without death penalty, the money saved can go to families for funds and for other causes." My opponent did not place a comma directly after the word "Also" therefore the statement is grammatically incorrect.

My opponent states "My idea is also vengeance, but I would not want to act like him/her even if it is constitutional." My value was vengeance, not my "idea". Furthermore, the constitution can be modified by elected representatives of these United States of America. The constitution is one of the highest, if not the highest, ruling document in the United States of America, and seeing as judgers of the constitution, and that of itself, have deemed such as justified for the United States of America to use, the death penalty is justified in the United States of America.

Those eligible of the death penalty wish to be killed in some cases[4], so not only would we be doing the prison system a favor by removing such persons, but we would be ending the life they themselves deem unfit to live. Such as Parsons put it "I"m not scared about the time between now and my execution. It"s easy. The hard part is living every day here"[4].

My opponent states "My opponent has not stated many of these challenges." To answer this, no person can address every detail of a place, no matter how hard the attempt becomes, there are always things left yet to be described.

Sources:
[1]http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[2]http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[3]http://www.yale.edu...
[4]http://www.uvu.edu...
debater99

Con

All the links are links to graphs. The links are on the BOTTOM of this debate. Sorry for the inconvenience.

My opponent states "Fear of death is a superior deterrent when placed alongside life imprisonment without possibility of parole." This is untrue as you can see in the graph "Murder Rates in Death Penalty States and Non-Death Penalty States". [1]

As you can see death penalty states have higher homicide rates than non death penalty states. From this graph you can conclude that death penalty is not a superior deterrent. This makes this argument inaccurate and invalid.
My opponent states "Every human wants to live. Every human can say they do not want to live, but they are instinctually programmed to." From what the opponent states it is not true. In round 4, the opponent states "Those eligible of the death penalty wish to be killed in some cases..., so not only would we be doing the prison system a favor by removing such persons" This statement does not help the former statement. The opponent said instinctually, which is not a word.
My opponent states "When my opponent states "'(W)ould you not want the murderer to be killed?', my answer would be no" My opponent has never been in the given situation, therefore his opinion is invalid." My statement does not have to be invalid because I gave my opinion and supported it. I don"t have to be in that given situation.

[2] "Is the death penalty a deterrent?" graph supports this statement. This is a poll created by Professor Michael Radelet and Traci Lacock of the University of Colorado. The study finds that 88% of criminologists don"t believe that death penalty is an effective deterrent. These aren't just from any criminologist, these are from U.S.A"s leading criminologists.

[3] "Does the death penalty act as a deterrent to crime" graph supports this statement. Over the recent years, the most of the public has answered "no" to the question above. In 1985, 62% of the public answered "yes". In 2004, 38% of the public answered "yes". In 2006, only 34% of the public answered "yes". This also makes the argument invalid.
With these graphs, they make my opponent"s argument invalid and death penalty a VERY inefficient deterrent.
[1]. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...

[2] and [3]. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
change it to 3 rounds and ill take it
Posted by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
change it to 3 rounds and ill take it
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