The Instigator
eightsquare
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
themohawkninja
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points

Death Penalty

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
themohawkninja
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/29/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,118 times Debate No: 39590
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (4)

 

eightsquare

Pro

First round for acceptance only. I've not quite formulated an opinion on this topic yet, but it will be interesting to debate on it nevertheless.
themohawkninja

Con

Sure, I know how to play Devil's advocate for topics like this.

P.S. I took a look at your previous debates to gauge you, and if you post the link(s) of your non-voted debates in one of the debate.org sub-forum threads, it will get voted on.
Debate Round No. 1
eightsquare

Pro

Thank you.
Here's my argument:

1. Retribution(Source: http://deathpenaltycurriculum.org...)

Although the victim and the victim's family cannot be restored to the status which preceded the
murder, at least an execution brings closure to the murderer's crime (and closure to the ordeal for
the victim's family) and ensures that the murderer will create no more victims.
For the most cruel and heinous crimes, the ones for which the death penalty is applied, offenders
deserve the worst punishment under our system of law, and that is the death penalty. Any lesser
punishment would undermine the value society places on protecting lives.
Robert Macy, District Attorney of Oklahoma City, described his concept of the need for
retribution in one case: "In 1991, a young mother was rendered helpless and made to watch as
her baby was executed. The mother was then mutilated and killed. The killer should not lie in
some prison with three meals a day, clean sheets, cable TV, family visits and endless appeals.
For justice to prevail, some killers just need to die."

2. Deterrence(Source: http://deathpenaltycurriculum.org...)
Society has always used punishment to discourage would-be criminals from unlawful action.
Since society has the highest interest in preventing murder, it should use the strongest
punishment available to deter murder, and that is the death penalty. If murderers are sentenced to
death and executed, potential murderers will think twice before killing for fear of losing their
own life.
For years, criminologists analyzed murder rates to see if they fluctuated with the likelihood of
convicted murderers being executed, but the results were inconclusive. Then 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.
Moreover, even if some studies regarding deterrence are inconclusive, that is only because the
death penalty is rarely used and takes years before an execution is actually carried out.
Punishments which are swift and sure are the best deterrent. The fact that some states or
countries which do not use the death penalty have lower murder rates than jurisdictions which do
is not evidence of the failure of deterrence. States with high murder rates would have even higher
rates if they did not use the death penalty.

I have a couple of points that I will present in the next rounds.
themohawkninja

Con

Before I start, I would like to point out that the use of copying and pasting an argument is plagiarism.

Now then, onto the rebuttal.

"For the most cruel and heinous crimes, the ones for which the death penalty is applied, offenders
deserve the worst punishment under our system of law, and that is the death penalty. Any lesser
punishment would undermine the value society places on protecting lives."


While you assert that the death penalty should be used for the "most cruel and heinous crimes", what determines what is cruel and heinous? Do we limit such an act to that which takes a victims life, or do we broaden in to include things that don't involve any death? Secondly, you assert that any lesser punishment would "undermine the value society places on protecting lives". This statement seems contradictory to the fact that 18 states in the U.S. have abolished the death penalty, with four of those states abolishing the death penalty in the last five years [1]. Furthermore, the number of criminals charged with homicides that are in prison has risen by more than 100% from 2000 - 2010 [2].

"Society has always used punishment to discourage would-be criminals from unlawful action. Since society has the highest interest in preventing murder, it should use the strongest punishment available to deter murder, and that is the death penalty. If murderers are sentenced to
death and executed, potential murderers will think twice before killing for fear of losing their own life."


How do you know that society has the highest interest in preventing murder? You source states no numbers to back this statement up. When one looks at the numbers to compare how many people are incarcerated for murder and how many are incarcerated for drugs, the number of inmates charged with homicide per year has increased by about 160 from 2000-2010 [2]. The number of people incarcerated for drug use has increased by an average of 43,266 inmates per year [3]. Society seems to value getting rid of drugs well above getting rid of murder. Lastly on this point, who is to say that potential murders will think twice before killing someone? When one analyzes the murder rates per 100,000 residents with those states that have the death penalty and those that do not, one finds no correlation between the murder rates, and the implementation of a death penalty [4].

"For years, criminologists analyzed murder rates to see if they fluctuated with the likelihood of convicted murderers being executed, but the results were inconclusive. Then 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."

No study cited, and furthermore it begs the question of: "If inconclusive rates were found for years, why did Ehrlich's studies have statistically significant results?". If many years worth of studies show inconclusive data, then why should we change our views based on a few newer studies?

"Moreover, even if some studies regarding deterrence are inconclusive, that is only because the death penalty is rarely used and takes years before an execution is actually carried out. Punishments which are swift and sure are the best deterrent. The fact that some states or countries which do not use the death penalty have lower murder rates than jurisdictions which do
is not evidence of the failure of deterrence. States with high murder rates would have even
higher rates if they did not use the death penalty."


You have countered your own argument. If you aim to discredit that such studies are inconclusive because the death penalty isn't used very often, then why would non-inconclusive data not fall under the same problem? If you don't have enough data to make conclusive data (as you assert), than surely you can't say that you have enough data, just
because your study has statistically conclusive evidence.

1. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
2. http://www.bjs.gov... (The very last statistic link. Microsoft Excel
document)
3. http://www.drugsense.org...
4. https://www.dropbox.com... (Microsoft Excel
document. Sources inside)
Debate Round No. 2
eightsquare

Pro

eightsquare forfeited this round.
themohawkninja

Con

My opponent has forfeited this round and therefore my rebuttal remains uncontested into the next round.
Debate Round No. 3
eightsquare

Pro

eightsquare forfeited this round.
themohawkninja

Con

My opponent has forfeited this round, and therefore my rebuttal remains uncontested at the end of this debate.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
Pretty easy to score.

Conduct for the forfeits alone.

S&G for the arguable-plagiarism; Pro had almost no writing of his own, just copy-pasting from the PDF he linked to. When *so much* of your case is really the parroting of another's, it's incumbent upon you to make it *very clear* you've done that. I think that, while the link WAS posted, it wasn't sufficiently clear that the arguments were, in fact, taken from the source wholesale. Regardless, I don't give S&G when one side has none of their own.

Sources to Con for providing more and more reliable ones.

Arguments to Con because, even if I'm willing to take Pro's arguments (which, again, were arguably plagiarized), Con rebutted them and, due to the forfeits, none of his rebuttals were addressed.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by SeventhProfessor 3 years ago
SeventhProfessor
eightsquarethemohawkninjaTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct because of the FF, s/g and sources because Pro just copy/pasted, arguments because several arguments went unchallenged.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
eightsquarethemohawkninjaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
eightsquarethemohawkninjaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Enji 3 years ago
Enji
eightsquarethemohawkninjaTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: F.F.