The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

Death sentences

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/11/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 620 times Debate No: 89524
Debate Rounds (1)
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Death sentence should be allowed (in all counties) due to the following factors:
A) The Criminal would be sentenced to death/killed. He/She cannot do any more crimes/offenses.
B) The number of criminals go down.
C)Almost everyone is scared of death which makes less criminals due to their fear of death.
D) If he/she is not killed he/she will have around 2% (as of 1999) chance of escaping which will have a chance to do the same crime.


The instigator has only provided one round for cases and counter analysis, so I will be brief.

This is a policy topic evaluating the advantages/disadvantages of capital punishment. As such it should be evaluated within a framework of net benefits. This means the side offering the most compelling advantages verses the disadvantages of that case should win.

The negative offers the counter plan of life imprisonment without parole in a federal maximum security prison for crimes that would be punishable by death in my opponents, "world." This approach solves the same problems at least as well as the plan of execution, but has a critical unique advantage that execution doesn't, no one can be wrongfully executed.

Having identified how the negative would deliver criminal justice in those cases without the death penalty, I will answer my opponents observations in sequence.

Aff observation A) "The Criminal would be sentenced to death/killed. He/She cannot do any more crimes/offenses."

Recidivism: My opponent argues that an executed criminal cannot commit any further crimes. However, the negative case for life imprisonment provides the same benefit, or advantage. And while my opponent contends that 2% of prisoners escape, this is not correct.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2013 escapees were less than one percent of the entire US prison population, and given that the US leads the world in numbers of people incarcerated less prisoners escape in other nations, as a derivative or function of that nations populace.

Moreover, inmates in maximum security prisons will escape far, far less frequently than the number that escape from the entire prison population.

Given this information, the Aff case has negligible advantage in crime prevention, or recidivism, by executing the convict versus life imprisonment as put forward by the negative case.

Aff observation B) "The number of criminals go down"

This is not relevant. We have already seen that the impact of execution versus life imprisonment as put forward by the negative is negligible. To further extend that, the reduction of prison populations by executing them is categorically irrelevant. In the negative, "world" these convicts go to max security prison for life rather than be executed.

Simply put, the same criminals are kept off the street in the negative world, and no one need be executed.

Aff observation C) "Almost everyone is scared of death which makes less criminals due to their fear of death."

First counter observation: Not everyone is afraid to die, so capital punishment will not prevent murder by those that do not fear death, categorically. This also extends to any situation where the offending party does not expect the victim of the crime to die. If the offending party does not expect the victim to die, capital is not a deterrent, because the criminal has no expectation that the crime could put them at risk of execution, again, categorically.

Moreover, the evidence that capital punishment is not an effective deterrent is quite robust. A recent University of Colorado Study showed that 88% of criminologist do not believe capital punishment is an effective deterrent.

My opponent looses this argument on impact analysis, given that we can see cases where, categorically, the death penalty has no impact as a deterrent, and that expert criminologists overwhelmingly believe such punishment to be poor deterrent. Since there is no meaningful deterrent advantage to execution versus imprisonment, and execution carries the disadvantage of executing innocent people in some cases, which cannot be reversed, (life imprisonment can be reversed if the convict is exonerated) my opponent lost this argument.

Aff observation D) If he/she is not killed he/she will have around 2% (as of 1999) chance of escaping which will have a chance to do the same crime.

For one, this is the same argument as the first Aff observation, just in a new wine-skin.

This was addressed earlier, but to reiterate; the number of escapes out of the the entire US prison populace is less than 1% (0.1334%) as of 2013 according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Moreover, inmates in a maximum security environment are much less likely to escape even than this percentage, to the point of approaching infinitely less likely. There is next to no chance that such an inmate could ever escape, and they cannot be be paroled. The only way they could ever leave prison in the negative "world," would be exoneration. The aff lost on impact analysis here too!

This brings me to the negative unique advantages and the affirmative unique disadvantages:

Affirmative unique disadvantage 1) Permanence of any errors.

Justice systems err in conviction some of the time. As of 2014, since 1973 at least 144 death row inmates have been exonerated. A study highlighted in a Newsweek article that year (2014) suggest that at least 4.1% of all American inmates are innocent.

In the Aff world, those executed will be, well, executed. You can release someone from prison if they are proven innocent, but you cannot give them life back if you have killed them. This is a massive miscarriage of justice on the part of the Aff, and it is unique to the Aff case. In the Negative world, this never happens, ever!

Affirmative disadvantage 2) Global reputation

Over half of all countries and the overwhelming number of developed countries do not practice capital punishment for the reasons I have provided. This damages our reputation globally, and particularly with European allies. Even the Russian Federation does not practice capital punishment in any form.

Unique negative advantages: the opposite of the affirmative disadvantages.

Negative advantage 1) Not permanent is cases of error.

This is simple as it gets. When someone in prison, even for life, is exonerated, the are free, and can legally action the party that harmed them by putting them in jail to the full extent of local/that nation's law.

Global reputation: Any nation disposing of the death penalty improves that nations standing in the world.

for those of you that followed the Wikipedia link I provided on the Aff disad 2, take your given red nation in that handy info graphic and turn it green, and rejoice at joining the rest of the developed world at being humane and sensible.

Since the Aff lost every claim it made on impact analysis, has unique disadvantages that the negative doesn't, and does not provide those inverse advantage that the negative world does, voters are highly urged to pass a negative ballot.

Go Warriors!
Debate Round No. 1
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by VelCrow 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Having a 1 round debate is literally a death sentence for the instigator simply because the challenger can provide his own points as well as rebut yours but you are stuck without anything to defend yourself.