The Instigator
fedicdougas
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
drhead
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Death Penalty

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/13/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 822 times Debate No: 32458
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

fedicdougas

Pro

The death penalty gives closure to the victim's families who have suffered so much.
It creates another form of crime deterrent.
Justice is better served.
Our justice system shows more sympathy for criminals than it does victims.
It provides a deterrent for prisoners already serving a life sentence.
DNA testing and other methods of modern crime scene science can now effectively eliminate almost all uncertainty as to a person's guilt or innocence.
Prisoner parole or escapes can give criminals another chance to kill.
It contributes to the problem of overpopulation in the prison system.
It gives prosecutors another bargaining chip in the plea bargain process, which is essential in cutting costs in an overcrowded court system.
drhead

Con

I thank my opponent for giving me the opportunity to debate this topic. I will be taking the position that a life without parole sentence is equally effective, or more effective than, a death penalty when it comes to deterring crime. I will start by refuting my opponent's opening arguments, adding my own arguments interspersed in the rebuttals.

"The death penalty gives closure to the victim's families who have suffered so much."
I do not see how the same amount of closure could not be provided by knowing that the killer of their loved one will be behind bars for the rest of their life. This also brings me to my first argument: Suppose that, due to a freak accident, a hasty conclusion, or, God forbid, corruption in the justice system, a mistake was made. The wrong person was tried and found guilty, and someone found out that they were actually innocent. Naturally, upon hearing this, the family of the victim would be agitated, since they know that the real killer is on the loose. However, what if the falsely accused party was executed? How would the family feel, knowing that more innocent blood was spilled? They would know what it feels like to have someone taken from them. Why would they want to know that another innocent person died?

"It creates another form of crime deterrent."
True, but how would life without parole not be a sufficient crime deterrent? This brings me to my second argument: With a death penalty, you're put on death row, you get executed, and that's it. With life without parole, you get put in prison, and you stay there, thinking about your crime and what pain it has caused to others, and you stay there for the rest of your natural life. There isn't an easy way out, you aren't granted a quick death, but are instead forced to live.

"Justice is better served."
This is somewhat true if you believe in "an eye for an eye and a limb from a limb". However, I must point to the possibility of corruption in the justice system. Consider this (my third argument): If an innocent person is given a plea bargain where they can choose to be charged with manslaughter (pleading guilty) or be tried for murder, a lot of people in that situation would choose to plead guilty of the lesser charge. Has justice been served in that scenario? The murderer is off the hook, and an innocent person is in jail.

"Our justice system shows more sympathy for criminals than it does victims."
Refer to my second argument. No matter what is done, the victim can't be brought back. I also feel that a death penalty shows more mercy than a life without parole sentence.

"It provides a deterrent for prisoners already serving a life sentence."
I'm not familiar with how prisons work, but I'm fairly certain that they have isolation rooms for prisoners that cause too much trouble. In addition, I don't think a guard would hesitate to kill a prisoner who was threatening the life of another person.

"DNA testing and other methods of modern crime scene science can now effectively eliminate almost all uncertainty as to a person's guilt or innocence."
While it is true that such technology and improved, it isn't infallible. The humans running the tests aren't infallible, either. And evidence can be planted to frame someone. In addition, there are cases where a prosecutor might want to just have a case to win so he/she can be re-elected, which might lead to a hasty conclusion. Look at the Duke lacrosse case to see what I mean: http://en.wikipedia.org...

"Prisoner parole or escapes can give criminals another chance to kill."
True, but people on LWOP sentences are put in maximum-security prisons. And if that isn't enough, there's a level above that: http://en.wikipedia.org... If you're in one of these, you aren't escaping. It just won't happen.

"It contributes to the problem of overpopulation in the prison system."
This is true, but does the end justify the means? Lots of scientists think that Earth is overpopulated with humans, but that doesn't mean that we should go around killing everyone because of it. The same logic should extend to the prison system.

"It gives prosecutors another bargaining chip in the plea bargain process, which is essential in cutting costs in an overcrowded court system."
Refer to my third argument. A study conducted in 2012 found that well over half of innocent people will accept a plea bargain, while 90% of guilty people will accept a plea bargain [1]. This shows that plea bargaining causes the guilty to get off easier, and causes the innocent to plead guilty to a crime they did not commit, potentially leaving the real culprit off the hook.

Sources:
1. The Innocent Defendant"s Dilemma: An Innovative Empirical Study of Plea Bargaining"s Innocence Problem http://papers.ssrn.com...
Debate Round No. 1
fedicdougas

Pro

fedicdougas forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
fedicdougas

Pro

fedicdougas forfeited this round.
drhead

Con

I assume my opponent has conceded.
Debate Round No. 3
fedicdougas

Pro

fedicdougas forfeited this round.
drhead

Con

I guess I win...
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by drhead 3 years ago
drhead
Sorry, I meant the time to post arguments.
Posted by drhead 3 years ago
drhead
Could you make the challenge period 3 days? I'd like to debate this topic with you, but I can't do every round in 15 minutes (I prefer to do my research and take my time).
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