I personally don't have an opinion on the death penalty, but what the hell, I'll take this on.
Because it wasn't specified, I will be arguing in the first round, especially since my opponent's first round looks like an argument. If my opponent is unhappy with this, I will concede the last round.
"First, people that are crazy enough to commit murder shouldn't be in jail or on the streets."
From this I see my opponent has a very black and white view on the world. What he essentially is saying here is this: "Person A murders person B. Person A is crazy because he murdered someone. Therefore, person A should receive the death penalty." Unfortunately, the world is not this simple. Murder happens for a variety of reasons, and I must also ask my opponent what his definition of murder is. For now, I will use the legal definition of first degree murder, which is:
"the killing of a human being by a sane person, with intent, malice aforethought (prior intention to kill the particular victim or anyone who gets in the way) and with no legal excuse or authority."
Now first degree murder in of itself can warrant a death penalty, a life sentence if not. However, there a number of situations that may not warrant the axe. Take this for example: a government agent is sent undercover to monitor and collect evidence on a powerful crime family. He is authorized to commit crimes or otherwise kill people if said people were to compromise his mission on the condition that he testifies against this family. The Don of the crime family’s right hand man finds out that this agent is from the government, and is about to tell the Don, but the agent realizes this and kills him. When the government decides that they have collected enough evidence, they pull the agent out and storm the crime family’s headquarters. However, the Don sends someone to threaten the agent, telling him that his family will be slaughtered if he should testify. As such, the agent refuses to testify. Agent has now broken his agreement and is guilty of murder in the first degree for the killing of the right hand man. Does he really deserve to die?
Now lets list some reasons as to why there shouldn't’t a death penalty
1. Death arguably constitutes as cruel and unusual punishment, as Prohibited by the 8th Amendment
2. Death penalty is racist, sexist, and classist, as it is used disproportionately on the poor and on ethnic minorities who cannot afford good/expensive lawyers and is used significantly more on males than females
3. The death penalty is applied inconsistently
4. The application of the death penalty is a point of no return, meaning if an innocent is put to death, there is no turning back
5. It is actually more expensive to execute someone than it is to house and feed that someone. For example, if California were to put all death row inmates on life in prison, it would immediately save $170 million dollars annually.
6. The death penalty is an enactment of revenge, something that should stay far away from the justice system
The death penalty is an outdated and barbaric system of punishment, and it has no place in our justice system. It is based on the ideal of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, or Hammurabi’s code of laws, which is anachronistic in a time where we have an immense amount of knowledge on criminal psychology, inmate psychology, and rehabilitation. There is no need to kill someone as punishment for a killing; it is a hypocritical and outdated mentality, and it needs to end.
BuergerMan16 forfeited this round.
Unfortunately my opponent has forfeited. Oh well. Was actually hoping for some good arguments. Vote Con!