The Instigator
MyDinosaurHands
Con (against)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
LegalizedProstitute
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Death Penalty

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
MyDinosaurHands
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/26/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 409 times Debate No: 44653
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

MyDinosaurHands

Con

I've set this debate up with LegalizedProstitute because it's been a while since I've had a serious debate, and I saw that his opponent in his last death penalty debate was new to the site and probably wasn't giving him a satisfying debate. So, should LegalizedProstitute choose to accept, here are the terms.

I, Con, shall be arguing that death should not be a punishment for any crime.

Pro will argue to the opposite.

First Round is for Acceptance.
LegalizedProstitute

Pro

I accept, and look forward to a great debate!
Debate Round No. 1
MyDinosaurHands

Con

Thanks LegalizedProstitute.


I will be providing four reasons why the Death Penalty should not be a punishment.

Price
Though the actual cost of the act of killing the criminal is relatively cheap, the processes leading up to that moment are extremely expensive, 1.25 million dollars more expensive than it is to have a life without parole case[1]. Perhaps some of you are asking if life without parole will eventually end up costing more than the death penalty due to the fact that inmates have to be housed and cared for the rest of their lives. This is not the case however, evidenced by the amount of money states save overall by imposing or not imposing the death penalty. Take California for example. Currently, conservative estimates place expenditures to be 137 million dollars per year(with death penalty)[1]. Estimates place California's expenditures at 11.5 million dollars in a legal system without the death penalty[1]. If California got rid of the death penalty, they could save a billion dollars in five years[1]. These statistics show that money is not saved over time with the death penalty, as if the death penalty were some sort of investment.

Deterrence
The experts of the criminal, and the criminal mind, criminologists, should have the first word in this question. And nearly 90% of criminologists have seen no credible evidence that the death penalty deters crime[2].
Two Quotes:

Tomislav Kovandzic, PhD:
"Our results provide no empirical support for the argument that the existence or application of the death penalty deters prospective offenders from committing homicide... Although policymakers and the public can continue to base support for use of the death penalty on retribution, religion, or other justifications, defending its use based solely on its deterrent effect is contrary to the evidence presented here. At a minimum, policymakers should refrain from justifying its use by claiming that it is a deterrent to homicide and should consider less costly, more effective ways of addressing crime."[2]

Jeffery A. Fagan, PhD:

"Recent studies claiming that executions reduce crime... fall apart under close scrutiny. These new studies are fraught with numerous technical and conceptual errors: inappropriate methods of statistical analysis, failures to consider all the relevant factors that drive crime rates, missing data on key variables in key states, the tyranny of a few outlier states and years, weak to non-existent tests of concurrent effects of incarceration, statistical confounding of murder rates with death sentences, failure to consider the general performance of the criminal justice system... and the absence of any direct test of deterrence.

These studies fail to reach the demanding standards of social science to make such strong claims... Social scientists have failed to replicate several of these studies, and in some cases have produced contradictory results with the same data, suggesting that the original findings are unstable, unreliable and perhaps inaccurate. This evidence, together with some simple examples and contrasts... suggest that there is little evidence that the death penalty deters crime."[2]

Getting the Wrong Guy
Despite the lengthy legal process involved in a death penalty case, there is still the possibility that an innocent man is being sent to his death. Since 1973, 130 people have been exonerated from death row[3], which for them is good, but what does that say about the system? If we had to 'take it back' for 130 people, how many does the system mess up on, and not realize their mistake? And thanks to the fact that no satisfactory evidence has been brought forward to show lives are saved with the death penalty, we can assuredly decide that the death penalty should be abolished because they could kill the wrong guy.

A Moral Argument
The following is my view, which I shall try to convert you to, if you don't like my opinions on this subject, then at least look at the statistical facts I have presented. I believe that is the height of arrogance to decide that somebody deserves to die. To kill someone solely because you think they deserve it is passing judgment on someone from a completely subjective perspective. The only time you should decide to kill is when it produces a better result that the act of killing. Instead of passing a character assessment, you should only evaluate the benefit for others around you if you killed a person. That is why I am opposed to the death penalty: it has not shown itself to save life, which leaves it as a tool of 'he deserves to die'. That's my moral argument, you don't need to wholly subscribe to it in order to agree with the rest of my arguments.

Thanks for reading.

Sources:
[1] http://www.deathpenalty.org...
[2] http://deathpenalty.procon.org...
[3] http://www.amnestyusa.org...
LegalizedProstitute

Pro

Rebuttals

Deterrence

There's no evidence that the death penalty does, indeed, deter people. However, same goes with the opposite. However, it is more preferrable to assume that it does indeed, deter people because the power of suggestion influences people's decisions[1], and you would think that people are deterred since they don't want to be penalized by death.

A Moral argument

I believe that if someone murders (act of unlawfully killing someone[2]), that act warrants the death penalty, meaning that they deserve to be penalized by death, so both sides (The victim and the criminal) come out evenly and equally. That can be called retribution.

Getting the wrong guy

I don't think this would happen anymore. Why? There is a 25 year imprisonment beforehand. And during that period, you will be DNA tested to realize if that person was rightfully convicted or not.

Price

Although the price is relatively expensive, that's really on those who imposed it, not us. If that person approves of the death penalty, they would have to suffer the consequences going along with that.

I await my opponent's next set of arguments.

Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 2
MyDinosaurHands

Con

Thanks for the quick response Pro.

Since my opponent has not posted any points for his side, and only posted rebuttals against my side, my following arguments will only consist of counter-rebuttals.


Deterrence, Counter
My opponent states here that based on an assumption we can justify the death penalty. He seems to support this with the idea that there is no evidence to show that the death penalty doesn't deter. However I disagree, the fact that there is no evidence the death penalty deters is clear evidence that the death penalty doesn't deter crime. Until it can be statistically shown that the death penalty saves lives, we as a society cannot allow and cannot justify its continuation.

A Moral Argument, Counter
I've already explained my viewpoint, and really our two mentalities are matters of opinion, so all I can say is that it's up to the readers to decide which they agree with more.

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." Mahatma Ghandi.[1]

Getting the Wrong Guy, Counter
My opponent doesn't think innocents are wrongfully executed anymore, but his claims are un-sourced, and thus un-provable to the readers.

Price, Counter
My opponent justifies the death penalty's excessive cost by saying the responsibility of the price is on the people who set the prices, not us who decide to keep killing criminals. Certainly, average people like you and me didn't set the price, but that shouldn't completely eliminate our accountability. The price may not be within our control, but whether or not we put money that could've been spent on schools into funding executions is in our control.

Source:
[1] http://www.quotationspage.com...
LegalizedProstitute

Pro

Rebuttals

Detterence

The lack of conclusive evidence for something implies its opposite? NO! If there is no conclusive evidence for AND against something, then I guess both sides are equally compelling (Can be not compelling at all, very compelling, etc). But, if a side is most likely true, then that assumption is more prefferable from the other.

A Moral Argument

Yes. We have different viewpoints on morality. I believe it is moral to penalize someone by death IF they committed a crime that is equally severe enough as murder (In which, murder (I believe) warrants the death penalty), then killing than person in retribution of their crime is morally justifiable.

Getting the Wrong Guy

Yes, indeed. My claim is un-sourced, thus lacking conclusive evidence. However, like my rebuttal on "Detterence", both sides are un-sourced, thus being equally compelling.

Price

Governments set the price (In which, you are sanctioned AND obliged by law to pay) for penalizing a life by death without parole case. However, if a jury, per say, didn't want to pay the price, I guess they would resign, wouldn't they? A risk. However, they tend to approve of the death penalty. So, although the government is accountable for the price, the juries chose to accept. So...

I await my opponent's next set of arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
MyDinosaurHands

Con

So now I suppose I'm on to counter-counter-rebuttals.

Deterrence, Counter-Counter
"The lack of conclusive evidence for something implies its opposite? NO!"
The idea expressed in this quote is only true sometimes. I will be using an example to illustrate why this quote doesn't apply to deterrence.
Ex: There's a dog in front of you. You check for a pulse. There is none. Having no pulse means you have no evidence of life. And thanks to an absence of evidence of life, we can rest that the dog is dead. This is a scenario where the absence of evidence for one thing, automatically qualifies as evidence for the opposite. Now if you refer up to my opponent's quote, you will see that if applied to this situation, it would look quite silly, as it is claiming the dog isn't dead, even though it is without a pulse.

Likewise, since non-deterrence is simply the absence of deterrence, if we can find no evidence that there is no sign of deterrence (no pulse) then we can call that evidence of non-deterrence (the dog's dead).

Getting the Wrong Guy, Counter-Counter
My side is not un-sourced, I used a statistic representing the number of mistakes the system realized they made since 1973, in regards to men on death row. The bottom line is this: with the death penalty there is zero chance for rehabilitation and less chance for correcting a mistake a court could've made.

Price, Counter-Counter
I think my opponent is dodging my point here. Most of us won't be on juries, and most of us won't be in the government. What we can do as the common people is call for an end to this costly procedure, and use the money on funding our schools and roads. We can put the pressure on our governors and senators, making it a big issue.

If the price is the big turning point for some people, I'd ask that they consider this: The price is so high because it is intended to minimize room for error. It would be virtually impossible to get your government officials to go to a 'swift justice' type of death penalty, because with a less lengthy process comes more mistakes, and more dead innocents, and that is a very unpopular platform to run on, as a politician. So instead of trying to change the price/process, just try to get rid of the entire thing! That would be a much safer route for your elected official to take, seeing as 18 states don't have the death penalty[1].

Again, thanks for reading.

Sources:
[1] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
LegalizedProstitute

Pro

LegalizedProstitute forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Russian 2 years ago
Russian
Im pretty sure if someone kills the president and his family he should have the death penalty..... Just saying.....
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
Jeez that was terrible. Ignore that one, pay attention to this one:

You have 3 debates finished, you should be able to vote.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
You have 3 debates , finished, you should be able to vote.
Posted by bro20 2 years ago
bro20
i agree with con and would vote for him without any debates. i totally disgree with the death penalty and people comitting crimes shouldnt be killed off. i cannot vote on DDO but my vote goes to con
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
MyDinosaurHandsLegalizedProstituteTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con was the only one to use sources. Pro never had an adequate rebuttal for the argument about the cost of executing prisoners.conduct to con because of FF.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
MyDinosaurHandsLegalizedProstituteTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pros final round forfeit cos Pro conduct points. I enjoyed the debate, but Pro was making false statements regarding Cons arguments been not reasonable when they were. As such Con had stronger arguments and deserves argument points. S&G points are shared, and sources points are shared as well.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
MyDinosaurHandsLegalizedProstituteTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: The reasons for this vote are few, mainly because neither side is making incredibly convincing arguments, and Pro's responses are solely mitigating. The deterrence argument is really mitigation on Con's part, but it stands well within the round, and Pro's responses fall short. So the death penalty has no benefit there, and therefore there's no offense for Pro within the round. All Con needs to do is win a portion of his argument. The moral argument wasn't bad to start, but since no one substantiated their arguments with links or reasons why voters should care, this one just goes dismissed. Price is a small issue, but it remains an issue, and therefore a harm to the death penalty. Innocent people may be killed less often is status quo, but they are put to death, so that's a harm, albeit a small one. So I'm left with small harms from Con, and no benefits from Pro. Simple vote on arguments. Con's sources aren't convincing or reliable, and the forfeit is where the conduct comes from.