The Instigator
KeithKroeger91
Pro (for)
Losing
21 Points
The Contender
Lexicaholic
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

Death Penalty

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
Lexicaholic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/26/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,788 times Debate No: 8797
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (16)
Votes (7)

 

KeithKroeger91

Pro

The Death Penalty should remain legal in the U.S.. I will let my opponent start it off.
Lexicaholic

Con

The death penalty is useless. It is morally wrong, inefficient, and observably ineffective in accomplishing several key goals.

Historically, there have been five presumably legitimate purposes for punishment: (1) Retribution, (2) Deterrence, (3)Rehabilitation, (4)Incapacitation, and (5)Public Education. [1] For a punishment to be morally permitted, it must justify itself by fulfilling at least one of the aforementioned criteria. The death penalty is justified only under one criterion, and that criterion is not enough by itself to justify any punishment.

(1) Retribution

The death penalty does provide retribution. It provides retribution at a cost of an additional $90,000 per inmate on death row. [2] Life imprisonment is less costly, and an equally valid form of retribution. Even assuming that retribution is valid, the death penalty is still inefficient compared to life sentencing, an equally valid alternative. Where two processes are proposed to meet the same end, assuming the same result, the more efficient process should be favored. Life imprisonment and the death penalty both remove the freedom of an individual to act. One method is simply more costly and eliminates all of the offender's potential value. Therefore, the death penalty is the worse of two methods of accomplishing the same ends, and must be discredited under a theory of retribution.

(2) Deterrence

The death penalty does not deter. [3]

(3) Rehabilitation

The death penalty does not rehabilitate, obviously.

(4) Incapacitation

The death penalty does incapacitate. Incapacitation, however, is an invalid goal by itself. If incapacitation alone could justify the death penalty, then it would be proper to extend it to every instance of every criminal act ever conducted. After all, the argument goes, they wouldn't reoffend. Similarly, most people who argue for prison reform are concerned for rising costs. Life imprisonment is just as valid a form of incapacitation. It is also less costly. If incapacitation is the goal, then life imprisonment is still the better alternative.

(5) Public Education

If the death penalty does educate the public, it doesn't do it in the way it aims to. [4] [5] By increasing the incidence of homicide, the death penalty clearly could not accomplish its ends under this criterion.

Conclusion

The death penalty is therefore not justified. If the death penalty is not justified, it is the unjustified taking of another's life. The unjustified taking of another's life is murder. Murder is morally wrong. Therefore, the death penalty is morally wrong.

The death penalty is therefore inefficient, ineffective and morally wrong. It should be discarded.

Sources

[1] http://www.wcl.american.edu...

[2] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...

[3] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...

[4] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...

[5] http://www.prisonactivist.org...
Debate Round No. 1
KeithKroeger91

Pro

It provides retribution at a cost of an additional $90,000 per inmate on death row. Life imprisonment is less costly, and an equally valid form of retribution."

Life imprisonment is less costly? According to New York Times, New York City's Correction Department spent about $56,000 per inmate in 2003. Now lets assume that somebody(living in New York) is convicted of murder but instead of being put to death they are jailed for the rest of their life. Now lets take the Average age of a serial killer which is about 28 years of age without the death penalty they will spend the rest of their days in prison lets assume they live till they are 78 years old which is the life expectancy rate of a American born in 2005. Lets multiply it now, $56,000 multiply that by 50 years what's the answer? $2,800,000 That is quite a lot of money wouldn't you say?
Now lets compare that to 20 years in prison on death row. $56,000 multiply that by 20 you get 1,120,000 now lets add to that number, the cost of lethal injection according to my opponent is $90,000 add that into my number above and it becomes $1,210,000. That is less then half the amount of money it costs to put someone to death.
Imagine how much more money this country would save if we put our murderers to death the moment they are convicted of the crime.
http://www.nytimes.com...

"The death penalty does not deter."

Says you? I am pretty sure that is a matter of opinion. The death penalty is more then enough deterrent to keep me from murdering somebody.

"If incapacitation alone could justify the death penalty, then it would be proper to extend it to every instance of every criminal act ever conducted. After all, the argument goes, they wouldn't reoffend."

The death penalty would in fact prevent more people from being murdered. In the end you are saving more lives then you are killing. You cannot compare the unlawful taking of a human life to any other crime.

"If the death penalty does educate the public, it doesn't do it in the way it aims to.By increasing the incidence of homicide, the death penalty clearly could not accomplish its ends under this criterion."

The overall murder rate jump doesn't prove that the death penalty doesn't work the way its supposed too, that is do to a multiple of different factors including the moral decline of the U.S. The state of North Carolina banned the death penalty in 2001. North Carolina had seen a pretty subtle decline in the murder rate for many years leading up to 2001 after it was decided to ban execution in the state, North Carolina has seen a subtle increase in murder rates in more recent years.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...

Thanks for the debate. ;D
Lexicaholic

Con

I offer my thanks to my opponent for his quick reply. However, I do hope he actually reads my sources. I am not simply making statements devoid of supportive data.

"Life imprisonment is less costly?"

Yes. [1] Life imprisonment is less costly for a variety of reasons, far beyond lethal injection costs. It is more costly because of a lengthy appeals process. It is more costly because you can not free a dead man, which means that all appeals must be exhausted before sentencing is carried out. It is more costly because a person who is to be executed needs to be guarded more closely. It is more costly because someone dies, and that costs a life.

"Imagine how much more money this country would save if we put our murderers to death the moment they are convicted of the crime."

This is a separate argument for the death penalty. It is one of modification rather than continuation. I will answer it regardless, but I fail to see how it supports your resolution that the death penalty remain in the United States.

Would we save money if we immediately killed those convicted of murder the first time, assuming no appeal? Yes. We would also have a 12% chance of killing an innocent. [2] That would just be murder sanctioned by the state. Furthermore, it is unconstitutional. You can not deprive a person of life or liberty without applying due process of the law. [3] That includes the appeals process. You are claiming that the death penalty should be modified so that it can be a justified expense in the United States. However, the way you have gone about justifying it is completely un-American.

""The death penalty does not deter."

Says you? I am pretty sure that is a matter of opinion."

It is a matter of fact. In every state that has abolished the death penalty, murder rates have decreased. This is not proof that the death penalty causes murder. It is however proof that there is no correlation between the death penalty and the prevention of murder. Deterrence **is only evident** if there is a correlation between implementation and prevention. Clearly, there is not. [4]

"The death penalty would in fact prevent more people from being murdered."
It does not. If you live where the death penalty is applied, you are more likely to be killed than if you did not. See above.

"In the end you are saving more lives then you are killing."

A murderer does not get to justify his murders by saying they were mostly bad guys. Neither should the state.

"The overall murder rate jump doesn't prove that the death penalty doesn't work the way its supposed too, that is do to a multiple of different factors including the moral decline of the U.S."

Please explain the source of the purported moral decline of the United States. If you think it is a lack of faith, I'm sorry to say it isn't. [5] [6]

"The state of North Carolina banned the death penalty in 2001. North Carolina had seen a pretty subtle decline in the murder rate for many years leading up to 2001 after it was decided to ban execution in the state … North Carolina has seen a subtle increase in murder rates in more recent years."

You are wrong. North Carolina is a death penalty state on the graph you cited. It still has the death penalty. [7]

[1] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org... (California estimates that a life imprisonment system would cost only $11.5 million per year, where as the death penalty system costs $63.3 million per year)
[2] http://www.truthandjusticedenied.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org... (Showing that murder rates have risen in death penalty states by 42% in comparison to states without the death penalty)
[5] http://scienceblogs.com... (The religion, it does NOTHING!)
[6] http://www.timesonline.co.uk... (Or if it does something … nothing good.)
[7] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
Debate Round No. 2
KeithKroeger91

Pro

It is more costly because you can not free a dead man, which means that all appeals must be exhausted before sentencing is carried out. It is more costly because a person who is to be executed needs to be guarded more closely. It is more costly because someone dies, and that costs a life."

Can you prove that this is more costly than my number in R2? The number in my round 2 doesn't even take in the costs of medicine and some other expensive things. I also did not take into account in my number, the costs of additional prisons that would have to made to hold these people who do not deserve to live.

"This is a separate argument for the death penalty. It is one of modification rather than continuation. I will answer it regardless, but I fail to see how it supports your resolution that the death penalty remain in the United States."

I was making a side opinion I wasn't intending for you to answer it, but since you replied I will address it.

"Would we save money if we immediately killed those convicted of murder the first time, assuming no appeal? Yes. We would also have a 12% chance of killing an innocent."

You would need very strong undoubtable evidence to convict somebody of the crime. With strong undoubtable evidence especially with the technological advances such as IDing with finger prints and hair. I seriously doubt its as high as high as 12%. I would like for you to post your source so I can better refute your argument.

"Furthermore, it is unconstitutional. You can not deprive a person of life or liberty without applying due process of the law"

The death penalty most definitely not unconstitutional. You say that you cannot deprive somebody of life or liberty without applying the due process of law. But criminals lose some legal rights when they decide to break the law. For example if you are convicted of a felon you lose your voting right. If you murder somebody similarly you lose your right to life.

"It is a matter of fact. In every state that has abolished the death penalty, murder rates have decreased. This is not proof that the death penalty causes murder. It is however proof that there is no correlation between the death penalty and the prevention of murder."

I am not sure why murder rates have slightly decreased in these states but I am sure its do to other reasons other then abolishing the death penalty. If you want to examine the true effects of the death penalty you should study the effects of it on a nationwide level. Emory University did a recent study on capital punishment determining whether it is indeed a deterrent. The conclusion they came up with was yes it is indeed a deterrent. If you look at the number of executions in between the years 1930-2001 you will notice something interesting. As the number of executions went down Murder rates rose significantly. When executions started rising in the early 90's to the year 2000 murder rates began to decline. Why is this? http://wiki.idebate.org...

Many other similar studies have concluded the same thing.
http://www.redorbit.com...

Here are a couple of quotes by the people who have done the study.

Naci Mocan(economics professor at the University of Colorado at Denver.)
"The results are robust, they don't really go away"
"I oppose the death penalty. But my results show that the death penalty (deters) - what am I going to do, hide them?"

Here are other conclusions by the many studies since the year 2001.
" Each execution deters an average of 18 murders, according to a 2003 nationwide study by professors at Emory University. (Other studies have estimated the deterred murders per execution at three, five and 14)."

"Speeding up executions would strengthen the deterrent effect. For every 2.75 years cut from time spent on death row, one murder would be prevented, according to a 2004 study by an Emory University professor"

There are many other statements and quotes made by professors who have studied the issue. Read all about it.

http://www.redorbit.com...

"A murderer does not get to justify his murders by saying they were mostly bad guys. Neither should the state."

Murder is the key word here. You can legally KILL somebody if its in self defense. The state legally kills people to prevent those people from killing innocent lives.

"Please explain the source of the purported moral decline of the United States. If you think it is a lack of faith, I'm sorry to say it isn't."

I never said the moral decline was due to lack of faith please do not put words in my mouth. The crime rate has been steadily increasing since the 1960's all the way till it is now. Rape is on the rise, burglary is on the rise, almost every crime you can think of is on the rise. I think one can argue that there is a moral decline in the nation. Could it be do to loss of faith? Maybe but that is not what I'm arguing. I am simply throwing the fact out there that there is a notable decline of morals in the nation.
http://www.leaderu.com...

"You are wrong. North Carolina is a death penalty state on the graph you cited. It still has the death penalty."

I misunderstood what my source said I apologise for that. One of my sources said that North Carolina banned "some" executions. But you can still see how the fewer executions in the state lead to more murders.

Thanks, for the interesting debate.
Lexicaholic

Con

"Can you prove that this is more costly than my number in R2? The number in my round 2 doesn't even take in the costs of medicine and some other expensive things. I also did not take into account in my number, the costs of additional prisons that would have to made to hold these people who do not deserve to live."

I will not re-post my sources at this late juncture. If you examine the materials I have provided, you will see that the costs of holding a death row inmate are greater than the costs of switching to a purely life sentencing system.

"You would need very strong undoubtable evidence to convict somebody of the crime. With strong undoubtable evidence especially with the technological advances such as IDing with finger prints and hair. I seriously doubt its as high as high as 12%. I would like for you to post your source so I can better refute your argument."

The source is posted. Reforming the system would cause it to cost twice as much.

I will quote it for you:
"Using conservative rough projections, the Commission estimates the annual costs of the present (death penalty) system to be $137 million per year.
The cost of the present system with reforms recommended by the Commission to ensure a fair process would be $232.7 million per year.
The cost of a system in which the number of death-eligible crimes was significantly narrowed would be $130 million per year.
The cost of a system which imposes a maximum penalty of lifetime incarceration instead of the death penalty would be $11.5 million per year.
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
That's for your home state. There are other facts available for different states and federal sentencing.

"The death penalty most definitely not unconstitutional. You say that you cannot deprive somebody of life or liberty without applying the due process of law. But criminals lose some legal rights when they decide to break the law. For example if you are convicted of a felon you lose your voting right. If you murder somebody similarly you lose your right to life."

Due process only applies when you are accused of breaking the law. I am not saying that the death penalty is unconstitutional. I am saying that any penalty applied without due process is unconstitutional.

Also, what good does it do to focus on lost rights? That doesn't fix anything. All it does it provide retribution … costly retribution.

"When executions started rising in the early 90's to the year 2000 murder rates began to decline. Why is this? http://wiki.idebate.org......

Many other similar studies have concluded the same thing.
http://www.redorbit.com...;

Answer to your studies:
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...

The problem with studies is that they are prone to flaws in methodology. Statistics just count numbers … in this case, recorded murders per 1,000 people per state with a death penalty. The benefits of a death penalty should show up in the numbers, with fewer incidents of murder in those states with a death penalty than without, and with an increase in murder for those that eliminate it. This has not happened; therefore, the deterrent prediction is false.

As for your statistics, that is a flat measure of executions to murders. All that means is that we catch them more often and have less murder. Here's another event that correlates with the increase in number of murders: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Note that we have also been steadily killing more people, which would not be what I would call deterrence: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov...

Correlation does not prove causation. Statistics can, however, refute predictions. Such as the prediction that implementation of the death penalty would reduce murder rates, a necessary showing to make an assertion of deterrence.

"Murder is the key word here. You can legally KILL somebody if its in self defense. The state legally kills people to prevent those people from killing innocent lives."

You also can not legally kill someone if they are incapacitated and no longer could be reasonably considered an immediate threat. Punishment is a process that occurs after people are caught, not in the middle of the act.

"Rape is on the rise, burglary is on the rise, almost every crime you can think of is on the rise."
Nope. http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov...
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Some go up, some go down. Punishment has little to do with why some people commit certain kinds of crimes.
Most are going down, by the way.

"I misunderstood what my source said I apologise for that. One of my sources said that North Carolina banned "some" executions. But you can still see how the fewer executions in the state lead to more murders."

Actually, North Carolina began reducing the number of executions for a number of reasons entirely unrelated to the penalty itself:
http://www.newsobserver.com...
Look at the chart in your chart source again and you will see that the murder rate going from 2006-2007 remains relatively stable. It's technically lower than it was prior to 2006.
Debate Round No. 3
KeithKroeger91

Pro

I will not re-post my sources at this late juncture. If you examine the materials I have provided, you will see that the costs of holding a death row inmate are greater than the costs of switching to a purely life sentencing system."

I read your source and the funny thing is your source never explains how it will only cost 11.5 million dollars. It is a completely absurd number. Even if you take the costs of how much it costs to keep a regular inmate it still does not add up.
The average cost per inmate (not on death row) in California costs the state 49,000 multiply that by 680 inmates charged with the crime of murder and you will get 33,320,000 the average cost of medicine per inmate is $6,935 multiply that by 680 you get 4,715,800 add that number with 33,320,000 you get 38,035,800(per year). As you can the price of holding a regular inmate exceeds that number. The fact of the matter is the reason that our current system is as costly as it is, is due to the lack of executions in California not because of them. In 30 years California has only executed 13 out of the hundreds of people on death row. As a result most of the inmates on death row die of natural causes what you fail to understand is that you can hardly call it death penalty system its more like a life imprisonment system with a very very low possibility of execution. Please explain how a purely life imprisonment system is cheaper explain to me how your source got those numbers.

http://savecalifornia.com...

"The source is posted. Reforming the system would cause it to cost twice as much."

Are you saying that putting a couple of bullets into the murderers the moment they are convicted of the crime costs twice as much?
That's my idea of death penalty reform. Not this mostly life imprisonment system we currently have.

"Due process only applies when you are accused of breaking the law. I am not saying that the death penalty is unconstitutional. I am saying that any penalty applied without due process is unconstitutional."

That is exactly where your wrong every single person accused of murder gets a fair trial. That is exactly what due process is. Due process of law- the regular administration of the law, according to which no citizen may be denied his or her legal rights and all laws must conform to fundamental, accepted legal principles, as the right of the accused to confront his or her accusers. Everyone accused of murder has the right to confront their accusers.

"Also, what good does it do to focus on lost rights? That doesn't fix anything. All it does it provide retribution … costly retribution."

People who are convicted of murder obviously do not get to enjoy their right to life since they have taken somebody Else's right to life therefore they should be put to death immediately.

"The problem with studies is that they are prone to flaws in methodology."

Yes, every study has a margin of error but how can you look at that graph I cited and not admit that the death penalty is working in some way.

"The benefits of a death penalty should show up in the numbers, with fewer incidents of murder in those states with a death penalty than without, and with an increase in murder for those that eliminate it. This has not happened; therefore, the deterrent prediction is false."

That is the great thing about most studies is they weigh in all the factors. No, to see if something is working or not you must obviously have to look at a national level rather then a state level. On the national scale the graph I cited above shows that with more executions leads to less murders.

" Here's another event that correlates with the increase in number of murders"

I do not see how your source correlates with the increase murders. My source correlates with the increase of murders with the decrease of executions seem a lot more logical to me. Again I tried reading your source but read nothing about the correlation between drugs and murder.

"Note that we have also been steadily killing more people, which would not be what I would call deterrence"

Your source does not say we are killing them it simply states the number of people on death row. There is two reasons for that. 1.population increase in the U.S.
and 2. there has been a decline in executions in many states such as the example I made with California. If you look at murder rates there has been a increase but not by much. In 1950 the murder rate was 4.6 then over time less executions were being performed leading to the murder rate high 10.2 in the 1980s then the execution rate started to climb leading to a rate at 5.5.

"You also can not legally kill someone if they are incapacitated and no longer could be reasonably considered an immediate threat."

But, there is immediate threat how about those prison guards who are killed while watching inmates? The threat will always be there until they are rightfully put to death.

"Punishment is a process that occurs after people are caught, not in the middle of the act."

Capital punishment is the punishment murderers receive.

"Most are going down, by the way."

Whether that is true or not I am sure you will find that the most heinous crimes you can think of are on the rise. I am sure you can equate that to a moral decline.

"Actually, North Carolina began reducing the number of executions for a number of reasons entirely unrelated to the penalty itself"

North Carolina banned executions of the mentally ill. Giving people who aren't mentally ill a defense for claiming a illness they do not have.
Lexicaholic

Con

I thank my opponent for the opportunity he has provided me in this debate to show why the death penalty should not remain legal. As to his points:

"The average cost per inmate (not on death row) in California costs the state 49,000 multiply that by 680 inmates charged with the crime of murder and you will get 33,320,000 the average cost of medicine per inmate is $6,935 multiply that by 680 you get 4,715,800 add that number with 33,320,000 you get 38,035,800(per year). As you can the price of holding a regular inmate exceeds that number."

What about food? Clothes? Costs of keeping them under guard? Septic system costs? Administrative costs? Etc. Keep in mind that people on death row are kept in prison nearly as long as those in for life. On top of the ordinary costs, they also have to have greater supervision, plus costs for execution methods, plus added costs of appeals and heightened innocence investigations.

"The fact of the matter is the reason that our current system is as costly as it is, is due to the lack of executions in California not because of them. In 30 years California has only executed 13 out of the hundreds of people on death row."

Yes. They have done this because of errors in the system and the need to provide due process. In other words, because they have to in order to keep the death penalty just.

"… putting a couple of bullets into the murderers the moment they are convicted of the crime [is] my idea of death penalty reform …"

Then you have (hypothetically) just killed this man: http://forejustice.org...

More to the point, the immediate application of a penalty without judicial review is a denial of due process, essential to justice, and smacks of radical anti-democratic authoritarianism. This is something the United States should never tolerate if it wishes to keep itself true to its ideals.

"… every single person accused of murder gets a fair trial. That is exactly what due process is."

This would be laughable if it wasn't so tragic. The appeals and review process is a part of due process. It isn't just the right to confront your accusers before they take you out back and shoot you. Also, no, not every person gets a fair trial. See the above example for the unfair results that occur following prosecutorial misconduct. Remember that people run these trials, not God. Justice relies upon the hope that enough people in the mix will prevent anyone from playing God. What you are arguing is neither right, nor just, nor moral.

"People who are convicted of murder obviously do not get to enjoy their right to life since they have taken somebody Else's right to life therefore they should be put to death immediately."

What of people who are falsely convicted of murder? If you take that person's life, wouldn't that make you a murderer who needs to be immediately shot?

Also, rights exist for the benefit of the right bearers … the dead are no longer around to demand justice, so at best we can argue that the social prescription of death for murder is intended to provide effect for the rights of those mourning the aggrieved. Their rights would just as well be served knowing that, for as long as the offender can be kept alive, the offender will suffer a loss as they have.

"Yes, every study has a margin of error but how can you look at that graph I cited and not admit that the death penalty is working in some way[?]"

Because I can provide any number of other events that occurred in one of the peaks, like 1990; I turned nine, for example. Oops, my bad. This isn't an issue of a margin of error. This is an issue of knowing how to read statistics.

"On the national scale the graph I cited above shows that with more executions leads to less murders."

No, it showed that a higher number of executions correlate with a lower number of murders. That doesn't mean having more executions results in fewer murders. Perhaps having fewer murders resulted in more executions, because more resources ordinarily devoted to handling new cases can be devoted to finishing the job on the old ones.

"I tried reading your source but read nothing about the correlation between drugs and murder."

The point was that the spike in murders occurred following the national crackdown on marijuana (check the dates). Using your logic that means the illegality of marijuana resulted in more people acting aggressively and committing murder.

"Your source does not say we are killing them it simply states the number of people on death row."

I will concede that. We just have more people *lined up* to be killed. That still means that the death penalty isn't deterring.

"There is two reasons for that. 1.population increase in the U.S.
and 2. there has been a decline in executions in many states such as the example I made with California."

1.If population increase was to blame, but the death penalty worked as a deterrent, we would not see population increases correlating with death row population statistics.
2.If declines in executions deter, then why is it that those states with no executions (less than less – none) have fewer murders than even California?

Also – this: http://www.prisonactivist.org...

"But, there is immediate threat how about those prison guards who are killed while watching inmates? The threat will always be there until they are rightfully put to death."

Only until the next batch rolls in as murder has not been deterred. You're arguing incapacitation now, which is invalid for any number of reasons by itself, not the least of which is that there is no way to know who will reoffend.

"Capital punishment is the punishment murderers receive."

No, I meant … *groan* … you are comparing apples and oranges when you speak about people not having the ability to defend themselves and not being able to punish. One action is taken to prevent unjustified harm, the other to discourage further unjustified harm. You can not use the rationale for one in place of the other. They meet two entirely different objectives.

"Whether that is true or not I am sure you will find that the most heinous crimes you can think of are on the rise. I am sure you can equate that to a moral decline."

They are not. There is no ‘moral decline.' If anything, we are on a moral upswing and would be doing very well if not for some stupid economic decisions we've made over the past two decades.

"North Carolina banned executions of the mentally ill. Giving people who aren't mentally ill a defense for claiming a illness they do not have."

Also, it gives the mentally ill who are really mentally ill the clemency that they deserve. Which is more important: the few unworthy lives spared or the few innocent lives saved? If you're for victims' rights, you have to argue the latter. Yet to support the death penalty, you have to argue the former. That's outright hypocrisy.

In conclusion, my opponent failed to show why the current death penalty system should remain. He then argued that there should be a new death penalty system, one that remains as unjustified but is more cost effective because it is unjust. I have argued for the system that is cost effective, just, and justified: life imprisonment. I now strongly urge a vote for Con, so that we citizens of the United States can move beyond this very silly and somewhat tragic moment in our history and move towards a new era of heightened civility and efficiency.
Debate Round No. 4
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Lexicaholic 7 years ago
Lexicaholic
No, it's not. The death penalty punishes people for the crimes they have committed. You can not punish someone for the crimes that person may or may not commit, only for those that they do. Otherwise I could look at your profile, read anarchist, and have you arrested for sedition, treason, etc. A presumed likelihood for causing future crimes does not justify punishing someone for those crimes. If it did, we would all be in prison for something.
Posted by Justinisthecrazy 7 years ago
Justinisthecrazy
the death penalty is a crime deterrent. Well, at least in the sense that the murderer will never commit another crime again once executed. So, as a crime deterrent it is 100% effective, 100% of the time.
Posted by KeithKroeger91 7 years ago
KeithKroeger91
I am sure there are ways you can speed up the process down to a year. I think if you limit the appeal down to one appeal only and the court finds you guilty yet another time they should take you out back immediately and shoot you.
Posted by Hypnodoc 7 years ago
Hypnodoc
I must vote for Con on the merrit of debate however I would like to point out that the problem of cost falls to methodology and also to the unlimited appeals process.

You can take a human life for around twenty five cents with a high quality rifle round to the head instant death occurs and it is far less expensive than the 90,000 dollars reported here.

The real problem is the abuse of the appeals process, if you were convicted because we have you on tape raping and then stabbing to death a woman you still have the right to appeal over and over again the cost is not in the death penalty itself but in the lack of regulation on appeals.

I would personally argue that the appeals process needs to be overhauled to provide for instances where certain guilt ie : Video, DNA evidence and other iron clad indesputable convictions were considered beyond the appellate court after 3 years. in short 3 years to prove your innocent it would be far less costly and at the same time give some sense of justice and closure to those that should be cared for ..... the Victems.

I would also like to see Rape Child molestation be capitol offenses
Posted by Lexicaholic 7 years ago
Lexicaholic
A regular trial takes about a year by itself, let alone a capital murder trial. http://www.allencowling.com... Life imprisonment is cheaper not because of the appeals process by itself but because of the severity of the punishment and the likelihood that a convicted offender will try to (1) escape, (2) exhaust all appeals, and (3) use stalling tactics to delay punishment. Additionally, there are costs related to the death penalty facilities themselves, including costs for the equipment (and its maintenance) necessary to execute the convicted.
Posted by KeithKroeger91 7 years ago
KeithKroeger91
My opponent was saying that the death penalty is costly through the appeals process.

But, why wouldn't appeals be just as costly for the murderer sentenced to life imprisonment.

I also, didn't say I want to eliminate the appeals process I should have stated this in my debate, but I believe it should be shortened down to a year.
Posted by sherlockmethod 7 years ago
sherlockmethod
Keith,
The problem with immediate death, as pointed out in this debate, is due process. All citizens are entitled to due process, even murderers. You wish to eliminate the appeals process. As for mentally ill people, I suggest you read the law on this matter more closely.
Posted by KeithKroeger91 7 years ago
KeithKroeger91
"Which is more important: the few unworthy lives spared or the few innocent lives saved? "

Most mentally ill people were fully aware of what they were doing.
Posted by KeithKroeger91 7 years ago
KeithKroeger91
I respect your opinion but I am sure there are many people who don't agree with you. There is nothing wrong with killing the murderers with a bullet. It is a instant death if you shoot them in the head. These people do not deserve our tax dollars.
Posted by sherlockmethod 7 years ago
sherlockmethod
Con did an excellent job here. Pro's best contention dealt with cost, and anyone who has studied this issue knows life in prison is cheaper than the DP. In addition, no detterent effect has been found, and many have looked. I kept track of this one and found little in Pro's position to support the continuation of the DP. Con handled all contentions.
Conduct - Con. One of the biggest problems I have found in this debate topic is the insistance of DP supporters to advocate murder. "Are you saying that putting a couple of bullets into the murderers the moment they are convicted of the crime costs twice as much?
That's my idea of death penalty reform. Not this mostly life imprisonment system we currently have."
Really? Iran would fit your style nicely. This is an appeal to emotion, and comments like this bring down the quality of a debate."
S/G - nothing really stood out to me, tie
convincing arguments - Con. Pro was never able to handle Con's rebuttals on the cost issue and Pro used some very poor legal arguments concerning due process. Con handled each.
Sources - Con.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Cyan_Caze 7 years ago
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