The Instigator
Angelo
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
wmpeebles
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points

Death penalty

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
wmpeebles
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/15/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,475 times Debate No: 20411
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (4)

 

Angelo

Con

First round acceptance.
wmpeebles

Pro

I accept this debate. Good luck to you, my opponent. May the one with the best argument win.
Debate Round No. 1
Angelo

Con

C1: cost

California alone:

Using conservative rough projections, the Commission estimates the annual costs of the present (death penalty) system to be $137 million per year. [1]

For Maryland:

Of the 162 capital cases, there werer 106 cases in which a death sentence was sought but not handed down in Maryland. Those cases cost the state an additional $71 million compared to the cost non-death penalty cases. [1]

How much money does it cost per case? Le's find out:

Various state governments estimate that a single death penalty case, from the point of arrest to execution, ranges from $1 million to $3 million per case. [2]

Other studies have estimated the cost to be as high as $7 million. [2]

let's compare to LWOP (life without parole)

Cases resulting in life imprisonment average around $500,000 each, including incarceration cost. [2]

C2: the death penalty does not deter crime

Criminologists:

A recent survey of the most leading criminologists in the country from found that the overwhelming majority did not believe that the death penalty is a proven deterrent to homicide. Eighty-eight percent of the country's top criminologists do not believe the death penalty acts as a deterrent to homicide [3]

so 88% of the professionals think it doesn't work.

Experts suggest that criminal behavior and the nation's murder rate may best be curbed by addressing the environmental and social factors that contribute to violent crime. Groner explains, "The murder rate is most closely associated with the socioeconomic health of the country. The murder rate in the U.S. was highest during the Depression. " [4]

So also the site says capital punishment isn't the reason for the crime drops, it is the economy. The DP =/= deterrence of crime, the economy does.

Also the states without the DP have lower crime rates:

overall the no DP states have: 4.01 CRIME RATE
Dp states have: 5.00 [5]

C3: The DP infringes international law

UN declaration of human rights article 3:

"Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person." [6]

You will then argue the murderer infringed that right, but just because he did it doesn't mean he shouldn't. All lives are = no matter the craziness.

C4: Risk of executing innocents

Since Innocence and the Death Penalty: Assessing The Danger of Mistaken Executions was released in 1993, 21 more cases have been added to the list of mistaken convictions in capital cases. [7]

Any criminal justice system carries the risk of punishing innocent persons, but the punishment of death is unique and requires greater precautions. [8]

The risk of executing innocent human beings is the focus of this paper. I believe that this risk is so significant that it constitutes a decisive reason for the abolition of capital punishment in the United States. [8]

C5: Death sentences are racist and unfair

They found that black defendants were 1.7 times more likely to receive the death penalty than white defendants and that murderers of white victims were 4.3 times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who killed blacks. [9]

Nationwide, blacks and whites are victims of homicide in roughly equal numbers, yet 80 percent of those executed had murdered white people. [9]

I tell people that if you're going to commit murder, you want to be white, and you want to be wealthy — so that you can hire a first-class lawyer — and you want to kill a black person. And if [you are], the odds of your being sentenced to death are basically zero. [10]

why it is unfair:

(1) is fraught with error;

(2) discriminates on the basis of socioeconomic status, race, and geography; [11]

And it has like 6 more reasons but these are the biggies. The DP is unfair and racist.

=conclusion=

The DP is bad and should be abolished, it is unfair, kills innocents, and doesn't even serve it's deterrence purpose, and on top of that is is expensive. VOTE CON

sources:

http://deathpenaltyinfo.org... [1]
http://www.ncadp.org... [2]
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org... [3]
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org... [4]
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org... [5]
http://www.un.org... [6]
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org... [7]
http://www.bu.edu... [8]
http://www.nytimes.com... [9]
http://www.time.com... [10]
http://www.aclu.org... [11]
wmpeebles

Pro

Thank you for replying. I was afraid you had permanently terminated your account.

C1: Cost
I believe that cost is an important factor in determining whether or not the death penalty should remain a part of the judicial system in the United States. Under the current system, the costs for life imprisonment is far less expensive than it is to institute the death penalty. This is because many defendants do not want the death penalty and will fight state governments for a long as 10 years, costing money in criminal trials, like you said, up to a total of $3 million dollars.

But the fact is, the death penalty doesn't have to be mandatory. If the option between life in prison or the death penalty is given to the defendant, a large amount of money can be avoided from defendants fighting off the death penalty in courts. If the defendant opts for life in prison, the state will save 8 times the amount of money per case by avoiding a death penalty trial, since most of the money spent in a death penalty case is spent on the trial alone, not on the actual execution [1].

You may be wondering why criminals would even want the option to the death penalty, like I have mentioned. Sometimes "[criminals] feel it is an act of kindness to them. The argument here is - Is life imprisonment a crueler fate?" [2] And often times criminals see death as a way to escape their guilt. If you look at statistics for murder suicides in the United States, 1,000 to 1,500 murder-suicides occur every year [3]. If the murderers were caught before they took their own life, I would be certain that they would want to seek the death penalty, rather than life in prison. This is based on the fact that if they didn't want to die, they didn't have to kill themselves. But because they killed themselves, they were seeking death.

C2: The death penalty does not deter crime.
The death penalty does deter crime because offenders will not be able to repeat their offense once they are dead.

In your solution for deterring crime, you suggest that murder rates can be "curbed by addressing the environmental and social factors that contribute to violent crime" and then cited a quote that "The murder rate is most closely associated with the socioeconomic health of the country. The murder rate in the U.S. was highest during the Depression." I ask you this one question: Does the fact that the economy is bad gives criminals the right to commit murders?

Your proposed alternative to the death penalty is to address the environmental and social factors that contribute to violent crime. If the government can't fix the economy, and a bad economy (like you have mentioned) is responsible for higher murder rates, it would be impossible to address the issues that contribute to crime, and crime would flourish if the environmental and social factors can't be addressed. Therefore, your solution to preventing crime is much less effective at doing so than a voluntary death penalty or even the current one under effect in the US.

C3: The DP infringes international law.
You mentioned in the comments section of this debate that this was about a death penalty in the United States. Regarding a death penalty, it is perfectly legal in the United States under the 5th amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Why should international law matter when you said this debate was in regard to the United States?

C4: Risk of executing innocents
Under a voluntary death penalty, this would no longer become an issue.

C5: Death sentences are racist and unfair
Under a voluntary death penalty, death sentences would not be given out by the state government, but would be given by the defendant. It would be up to the defendant to choose life in prison or the death penalty.

------------------------------
My opponent finished his 1st round of the debate by arguing that the death penalty is "unfair, kills innocents, and doesn't even serve it's deterrence purpose, and on top of that is is expensive".

But what my opponent ignores is that the death penalty can still exist without causing all of those things to happen. A voluntary death penalty, one which the defendant can choose over life imprisonment, will negate the issue of what is fair or isn't fair because grand juries will no longer be sentencing defendants to the exact form of punishment, but will hand over the option of death to the defendant. A voluntary death penalty will negate the issue of killing innocents. It will be up to the defendant to decide whether his death is right for him or not. And while my opponent argues that the death penalty does not deter criminals from committing crimes, he does not provide a viable solution that does deter criminals from committing crimes. And when my opponent says that the death penalty is expensive, he ignores how expensive it would be to improve environmental and social factors in the United States, a solution he offers as a way to deter crime in America. A voluntary death penalty would be much more cheaper because the defendant would not be resisting death if he opts for the death penalty over life in prison, thus avoiding a lengthy, expensive chain of criminal trials for 1 single defendant.

Sources:
1. http://deathpenaltyinfo.org...
2. http://www.prodeathpenalty.com...
3. http://www.vpc.org... (page 2)
Debate Round No. 2
Angelo

Con

R1: cost

Before the judge announces the sentence, a defendant is entitled to allocution. Allocution is the right of the defendant to directly address the judge without the help of counsel. During this direct address, the defendant may offer a personal explanation of any unknown facts, may ask for mercy, or may offer an apology for the criminal behavior. This opportunity for defendants to show remorse or to offer the motivations behind their criminal acts may influence whether the judge grants some leniency. [1]

SO your "the defendant chooses" is false. The judge in the end chooses, defendant just gets to plea to try to weaken the sentence. But if you where found guilty of murder in texas the judge probably would sentence death. So your argument is false, the judge chooses. The defendant gets to have a small backstage plea. The cost argument still applies as it is the trial not the injection that costs a lot:

Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine commuted the executions of 10 men to life imprisonment without parole. Legal costs were too great and produced no result, lawmakers said. After spending an estimated $4.2 million for each death sentence, the state had executed no one since 1963. [2]

So it is the trial itself under the DP that is expensive. Because the prosecutor says my person want's the DP then the cost rises. But whether LWOP or the DP is used is chosen at the end. Either way the cost has mostly been dealt with by then. Plus the appeals if the DP chosen. SO even under a voluntary system (which it is) appeals will occur further raising costs.

Also you concede that the DP costs more. And still the defendant DOES get to help choose. And the states with the DP have higher costs, therefore letting them choose the DP would still be used often, raising the debt. SO basically you are advocating what we already have... and it is expensive.

Also you say that LWOP is a harsher punishment, therefore they would ask for it, raising cost if their voice is taken into account, further more it proves the DP is not a deterrent, as LWOP is harsher dismaying more people. Also for someone who has done the worst crime, murder, then a harsh punishment hakes sense.


R2: The DP does not deter crime

You proved above LWOP is harsher.

Also since the rest of that has no facts it is just a knee jerk reaction I will extend my case from here:

Case for deterrence is "it prevents crime" False:

The establishment of punishments for committing crimes is just that: a punishment for behaving in a manner that society has deemed unacceptable. The act of deterring crime is not the primary purpose of creating and enforcing rules for punishing lawbreakers. At most, the idea of people avoiding breaking the law so as to not face punishment (deterrence) is a minor benefit, but is still only effective if people know that the laws will be enforced, and the punishment will be carried out. [3]

Point is you have 8 years on death row and can easily appeal your way out and get LWOP, but the sad thing is it is still costly as you appealed 9 times and still your first trial.

Scientific studies have consistently failed to demonstrate that executions deter people from committing crime any more than long prison sentences. Moreover, states without the death penalty have much lower murder rates. The South accounts for 80% of U.S. executions, and has the highest regional murder rate. [4]

Now is LWOP a good alternative?

According to the California Governor's Office, only seven people sentenced to life without parole have been released since the state provided for this option in 1977, and this occurred because they were able to prove their innocence. [5]

SO the myth of they will let them out is fairly false. Also it is a low percentage.

People are also disturbed by reports of prisoners who actually are released after a relatively short time, some of whom commit additional crimes. In Texas, for example, there is much confusion about sentencing. Prisoners, on the whole, are only serving 20% of their sentences and recidivism is a serious problem. [6]


They rarely commit crimes in jail.

R3: international law

Yes this is about america but intern anal law still applies. If you break a law the US SIGNED then the US has broken a law. Argument applies.

R4: Innocents

Yes it would always be an issue. Even if voluntary.

R5: unfair/racist

Lol you argue what is happening now. Also it was implied the current system is used in this debate.

=conclusion=

My opponent has failed to prove the DP is necessary, vote con!

sources:

http://www.law.cornell.edu... [1]
http://www.msnbc.msn.com... [2]
http://www.thepriceofliberty.org... [3]
http://www.ncadp.org... [4]
https://death.rdsecure.org... [5]
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org... [6]
wmpeebles

Pro

"Lol you argue what is happening now. Also it was implied the current system is used in this debate."

My opponent has failed to explain why any kind of death penalty should be abolished. My opponent did not specify before the debate started that the topic of death penalty was only limited to its current use in the United States. My opponent wishes to make known of his intentions AFTER the debate started. I find this to be an irresponsible condition opposed upon me by my opponent because I accepted this debate only on the conditions of which were supplied at the time of acceptance. At the time, I was accepting the position of 'Pro' for A death penalty. Notice how neither the title of the debate nor anything written in the comments section before the debate started includes anything specific that says "Resolved: The current death penalty system instituted in the United States should be abolished". I am within my bounds to be arguing for a death penalty, not THE death penalty. In this case, I would like to supply some definitions:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Death - a permanent cessation of all vital functions : the end of life [1]
Penalty - 1. A legal sentence. 2. A punishment for violating rules of procedure. [2]
Punish - to subject to pain, loss, confinement, death, etc., as a penalty for some offense, transgression, or fault: to punish a criminal. [3]
Voluntary - done, made, brought about, undertaken, etc., of one's own accord or by free choice: a voluntary contribution. [4]
Recidivism - the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after they have either experienced negative consequences of that behavior, or have been treated or trained to extinguish that behavior. [6]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The definition of a death penalty can be construed from the definitions above as a legal sentence subjecting a person to death.

My stance on the subject of a death penalty is that a death penalty should remain in the United States, but it should be entirely different than the current death penalty. A decision to undergo the death penalty should be a voluntary choice made by a convict who would have the option of life in prison or death. I have no doubt that a portion of criminals sentenced to life in prison would rather opt for the death penalty than a life sentence. This is evident by the fact that a large number of murder-suicides occur in the United States in which after a person commits murder, they take their own life. The source and evidence for this argument is listed in the first round of the debate.

R1: Cost

"SO your "the defendant chooses" is false. The judge in the end chooses, defendant just gets to plea to try to weaken the sentence."
It is most definitely not false. In a voluntary death penalty, the defendant WOULD be able to choose. Remember, the argument is not about the current US death penalty, but is about A death penalty.

So it is the trial itself under the DP that is expensive.
That is what I have said all along. A voluntary death penalty would eliminate the bulk of the cost that it takes to execute a criminal because the legal appeals process which costs the most money would be eliminated. The appeals process exists because convicts who are fighting the state do not want to receive the death penalty. The people who would fight the death penalty in the future would not be sentenced to the death penalty in a voluntary death penalty, they would be sentenced to life in prison, therefore eliminating the appeals process in death penalties that costs the most amount of money in the current death penalty in the US.

Also you concede that the DP costs more.
I stated that the current death penalty costs more. A voluntary death penalty would cost so much less than the current death penalty, and would cost less than life in prison simply because the costs for food, health and shelter would amount to $0 after the criminal is executed. The states would actually save $1.5 million in living costs per convict if the convict opts for the voluntary death penalty over life in prison [5].

R2: The death penalty does not deter crime.

The act of deterring crime is not the primary purpose of creating and enforcing rules for punishing lawbreakers.
Fantastic. Then if deterrence isn't a major issue in deterring crime, then why are you debating that the death penalty doesn't deter crime if any other form of punishment isn't made to deter crime either? If the sole purpose of rules of law aren't even made to deter crime, you have just defeated your own argument. You make it seem that deterrence is a negligible issue.

R3: The DP infringes international law.
I agree with your statements on the current death penalty. But not all death penalties would violate this law. A voluntary death penalty would allow a convict to have more personal liberties than the current death penalty and a convict would also have the right to life or death based on his choice.

R4: Risk of executing innocents

I fail to see how an innocent person would want to opt for death under a voluntary death penalty. Even so, it's a person's right to life or death and a government shouldn't be infringing on 'international law' that you cite in this debate because it would infringe on liberty of the person to govern their own body.

R5: Death sentences are racist and unfair

"Lol you argue what is happening now. Also it was implied the current system is used in this debate."
Like I said above, I am arguing for A death penalty, not the current death penalty. You did not specify that as a condition of the debate when I accepted the debate. Therefore you MUST convince the voters that the United States would be better off without a death penalty, and I am convincing the voters that the United States would be better with A death penalty. Notice that the topic is simply 'Death Penalty' and that you did not provide any additional information to what your resolution was for the debate. Therefore I am obligated to argue within my bounds, and my bounds are that I am arguing for a Death Penalty in the United States.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In conclusion, the United States would be better off with a voluntary death penalty than without one at all.
- It would be cheaper than life imprisonment by saving 1.5 million dollars per inmate.
- It would give the convict the right to make a decision on their continuation of life.
- It would eliminate the possibility of the criminal from being released back into society and committing recidivism.

Voters: Because the debate resolution later admitted by my opponent was not provided at the beginning of the debate, I strongly urge you to base your decision on who convinced you more on the argument that a death penalty of some kind is better or worse than any kind of death penalty at all. I hope that after reviewing all of the debate, you make the right decision and vote Pro! :)

Sources:
1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2. http://en.wiktionary.org...
3. http://dictionary.reference.com...
4. http://dictionary.reference.com...
5. http://www.heartsandminds.org...
6. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Angelo

Con

Angelo forfeited this round.
wmpeebles

Pro

As you can see, my opponent has forfeited his last round. He also has not explained why any kind of death penalty, including the voluntary death penalty proposal I have provided, should be abolished or not exist. In fact, he completely ignored my main case for the debate of a voluntary death penalty. The topic of the debate is not the current death penalty in the United States. The topic is simply 'Death penalty' as you can see at the top of this page. Because my opponent did not specify the kind of death penalty, my opponent, under assumption, is against any kind of death penalty proposal. Yet, my opponent only argued against the current death penalty in the United States. My opponent did not make any case against my proposal of a voluntary death penalty.

In fact, my opponent and I are both against the current death penalty in the United States. But my opponent did not specify that the debate revolved around the current death penalty, but any kind of death penalty. And because of this, my arguments are superior to his.

Reasons for voting Pro:
1. Cost: A voluntary death penalty would be much cheaper than life in prison or even the current death penalty. My opponent has not denied this.
2. Deterrence of Crime: My opponent basically said that deterrence of crime is not why punishments are made. His argument against a death penalty is weak because basically any other form of punishment would not deter crime either.
3. International Law: My opponent argues that the current death penalty violates international law. However, the debate is not about the current death penalty, it is about any kind of penalty the invokes death. A voluntary death penalty would not only be in compliance with international law, but would give more personal liberty back to convict. My opponent did not deny this fact.
4. Risk of executing innocents: My opponent only gives a weak 10-word rebuttal to my proposal that a voluntary death penalty would make the issue of executing innocents moot.
5. Death sentences are racist and unfair: My opponent does not give any argument against my proposal that a voluntary death penalty would make the issue of racism in death penalties to also become moot. My opponent tries to refrain from the issue at hand and tries to say that the debate is about the current death penalty, which he never specified when I signed up for the debate.
6. My opponent forfeited his last round.

I urge you to vote Pro!
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Angelo 4 years ago
Angelo
I ff'd because I was out of town. All of those conduct points should be VB's
Posted by wmpeebles 4 years ago
wmpeebles
I believe you should be deducted for a forfeit. I did not want to debate somebody who would forfeit. What, have you lost interest in the debate?
Posted by Angelo 4 years ago
Angelo
I will not be able to respond, when I FF say extend arguments and I ask you to tell voters to only count previous rounds and not deduct for the FF. Thanks.
Posted by Angelo 4 years ago
Angelo
@hawkings

who was that for

@thett

later
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
lol...your argument is exactly the same as the ones I've done in the past (as in, points wise and order of presentation minus the rhetoric), small world.
Posted by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
Angelo, I will debate you on this topic.
Posted by Angelo 4 years ago
Angelo
responding now.
Posted by DanT 4 years ago
DanT
I might accept this
Posted by Angelo 4 years ago
Angelo
yes
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
I assume you mean in america.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
AngelowmpeeblesTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: con forfeited last round conceding pros arguments, and losing him a conduct point.
Vote Placed by YoungBrain 4 years ago
YoungBrain
AngelowmpeeblesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro had better conduct and made better points
Vote Placed by Maikuru 4 years ago
Maikuru
AngelowmpeeblesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: If I can, I will read this debate. In the mean time, Conduct goes to Pro.
Vote Placed by Lordknukle 4 years ago
Lordknukle
AngelowmpeeblesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Don't have time to read it but conduct to PRO for forfeit.