The Instigator
chris.morel
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
rogue
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Death Penalty

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
chris.morel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/13/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 950 times Debate No: 20373
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

chris.morel

Con

The death penalty is unjust, and costly. Only sentences of life without parole should be the maximum punishment for any capital offense.
rogue

Pro

It is even more costly to keep so many prisoners in state and federal funded institutions. Feeding an housing and heating and cooling those institutions that are already quite crowded is going to cost even more money. Also, there are some criminals who are just too dangerous to be kept alive. Serial killers, for instance, will never stop killing. If they get out, as they very rarely but sometimes do, we are all in danger. Your assertion that the death penalty is unjust is rather unsupported. Whether something is unjust or not is an opinion. I think most people would find it quite just to kill someone who has murdered lots of people. Not to mention killing some criminals would be helpful to the victims are their families. Sometimes the only way the victims and their families to feel safe again is in knowing that the person who hurt them so much is dead. Whether the death penalty should be used depends on the case and I do not condone is being used liberally, but for the purpose of keeping people safe and happy, it needs to remain legal.
Debate Round No. 1
chris.morel

Con

Firstly, your response included no factual date to support your claim that "feeding an housing and heating and cooling those institutions that are already quite crowded is going to cost even more money." According to the L.A. Times, "the California death penalty system costs taxpayers $114 million per year beyond the costs of keeping convicts locked up for life. Taxpayers have paid more than $250 million for each of the state's execution." This quotation is factual proof that the death penalty is far more expensive than keeping someone incarcerated for a life term.

Secondly, their is no doubt that they're exists people who are considered extremely dangerous, but who can be kept incarcerated and away from the general population. When imposing the death penalty, we run the risk of executing an innocent person, which is truly an irreversible mistake. A clear example of this statement is the execution of Jessee Tafero. After Mr. Tafero was executed, while his Writ of Habeas Corpus was pending, doubts arose as to his involvement in the murder of two polices officers. Mr. Tafero was convicted by an over zealous Judge who had a strong belief in the death penalty. Ultimately, Mr. Tafero's Co-Defendant was released from prison while Mr. Tafero was wrongly executed by means of the electric chair. According to US Senator Russ Feingold, "Since the reinstatement of the modern death penalty, 87 people have been freed from death row because they were later proven innocent". The fact that these people were on Death Row is troubling, given that they were innocent and could have been wrongfully executed.

Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun states "rather than continue to coddle the court's delusion that the desired level of fairness has been achieved...I feel...obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed." The government is not just in depriving someone of their life, even if people believe the defendant deserves death. The law forbids anyone from depriving the life of another man, but what example does the government set forth in imposing the death penalty.
rogue

Pro

First of all of course I didn't use sources when my opponent did not. There was no need. Secondly you have not provided a link so for all we know you could be making that up. You must cite your data.

In California alone, according to my source, the prisons are crowded with sick and old inmates and the number of inmates over 40 are increasing at an alarming rate.

http://www.kpbs.org...

After the research I have done it is pretty clear that it is more costly to sentence people to death so I concede that point. Although according to my source, when the number of inmates in the prison for life reaches a certain number, it will become more costly to keep so many prisoners alive.

"When imposing the death penalty, we run the risk of executing an innocent person, which is truly an irreversible mistake."- Many people consider life in prison worse than death. Unless a case is reopened, in a case in which someone is sentenced to life in prison, the prisoner is extremely unlikely to ever be released.

http://realcostofprisons.org...

In the case of the one case that my opponent states, it is tragic yes, but is it not the fault of the judge for being overzealous? The fault of the lawyers for not uncovering or investigating evidence that would have proven the person innocent? Is it worth it to risk the safety of others just so we don't risk the rare case of a false sentence?

"The government is not just in depriving someone of their life, even if people believe the defendant deserves death. The law forbids anyone from depriving the life of another man, but what example does the government set forth in imposing the death penalty."- The government is depriving someone of life if they send them to prison. Living in prison is hardly living. Coming from someone who has been stuck in an institution, I would rather die than spend my life in an institution. Also the government says that murder is against the law. It does not say that the government cannot sentence people to death. he court system is a part of the government. There is a huge difference. We obviously cannot allow people to go and kill whenever they choose. Murders kill just because they want to. However when someone is sentenced to death in court, not only have they been spoken for by a professional, but 12 jury members have conceded to their punishment, as well as a judge, and often times more people. These people don't kill anyone because they want to, they believe the person should die because they believe that is the best option.

My opponent did nto respond to some of my previous arguments but I hope that he does in the next round.
Debate Round No. 2
chris.morel

Con

I believe your argument was that families of victims feel safer when the cause of their pain is sentenced to death. While this may be true, some families prefer that defendants be sentenced to life in prison where they would be able to reflect upon their wrong doings and at the same time be away from society. Death is not the only method of achieving justice, in fact, it is an inefficient way of achieving justice.

In my opponents previous argument, she states "In California alone, according to my source, the prisons are crowded with sick and old inmates and the number of inmates over 40 are increasing at an alarming rate." This data is towards the general prison population and not just inmates sentenced to death. It seems as if you're saying that the death penalty should be applied to a greater number of people in order to reduce the prison population. This is a quote from the source you provided, "They're looking at moving toward privatization as the governor announced in his State address. In other states, where they have privatized medical care for aging and dying inmates such as Tennessee and New York, there have been reports of problems with accountability to the public and some questions raised over the methods used to save money." Clearly they are looking for alternatives to the extent of the cost of incarceration, they are not looking to execute these inmates.

Also, the cost if incarcerating someone on death row increases because the inmate is assigned to a single cell in a maximum security area. The Judicial process involved when the death penalty is imposed, is lengthy and costly. From the initial investigation to having a Defendants appeal reach the highest court is costly. There is no guarantee that there will be no ineffective assistance of counsel from defense attorneys. There is also no guarantee that their will be no prosecutorial misconduct. The risk of executing even one innocent person should be enough to outlaw the death penalty.

The Government is not depriving someone of their life when they send them to prison. They are depriving someone of their liberty, which is just after a fair trial. It is your preference to die then be in an institution, but you can not say that life and liberty are the same. Many of those inmates on death row prefer to live and fight their cases. Imagine if the 87 people, on Death Row, who were freed after being found innocent would have been executed. It would have been a tragic and irreversible mistake, and it would have caused guilt upon the victims family and pain among the defendants family.

Some juries choose not to impose the death penalty. "In 1981, the Florida Supreme Court agreed that the discovery issues did not warrant a new trial, affirming Jacobs' conviction. However, the court commuted her sentence to life in prison, holding that Futch had lacked sufficient basis to override the jury's recommendation of a life sentence. Jacobs v. State, 396 So. 2d 713 (1981)." In this case, it is clear that the Judge chose to sentence the defendant to death, even though the Jury voted to sentence her to life in prison. Some people don't commit murders "because they want to", their are psychological factors that go into play. The Court system is part of the government; therefore, as previously stated, the government(which included the Judicial branch) should not have the authority to execute anyone.

Furthermore, although the Death Penalty has been declared Constitutional, it is unjust. A distinguishing aspect of Mr. Tafero's death was that "officials interrupted the execution three times because flames and smoke shot out of his head" (The source is provided below, at the request of my opponent). It was overly unjust for Mr. Tafero to be executed upon these circumstances with his appeals process still pending in Federal Court. It is even more troubling because Mr. Tafero was later found to be in fact innocent of the charges against him, but he was already buried six feet below ground after his execution.

For clarification, my opponent has conceded to one of my main arguments in this debate, "After the research I have done it is pretty clear that it is more costly to sentence people to death so I concede that point. "

Thank you.
Sources
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
http://www.law.northwestern.edu...
https://digital.lib.washington.edu...
rogue

Pro

rogue forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by rogue 4 years ago
rogue
Ooops! Last minute trip to visit my friend in Montreal this weekend! Completely forgot about this debate XD I lose.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by LiberalHoyaLawya 4 years ago
LiberalHoyaLawya
chris.morelrogueTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Invoking prison overcrowding as a reason to support the death penalty was a pretty shocking argument by Pro. Are we supposed to treat prison inmates like stray dogs in an animal shelter? Con needs to work on his citation skills, but otherwise he gave a solid performance.