The Instigator
SlaterJ23
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
Risen
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should face the death penalty

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
SlaterJ23
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/10/2013 Category: News
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,675 times Debate No: 34692
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

SlaterJ23

Con

Rules are as follows

You must take the pro stance for why he should face the death penalty

4 rounds total

4,000 character limit

Keep it clean, organized, and list at least one source that isnt wikipedia.

Have fun. First round is for acceptance
Risen

Pro

I accept the challenge assuming that he would plead not guilty and that this case would go to trial.
Debate Round No. 1
SlaterJ23

Con

Excellent! Now let's begin.

1) What we know now

If Tsarnaev is found guilty he will then be eligible for the death penalty. Massachusetts, the state where the crime was committed, does not have the death penalty. The Obama Administration said they will not try him as an enemy of the state but rather be tried in a civilian court. Therefore Tsarnaev cannot be proven a terrorist to the nation's security by definition.

2) Cost of Death Penalty Case

In Maryland, an average death penalty case resulting in a death sentence costs approximately $3 million. The eventual costs to Maryland taxpayers for cases pursued 1978-1999 will be $186 million. Five executions have resulted. (Urban Institute, 2008). Maryland has since repealed the death penalty.


In California the cost of the death penalty in the state has been over $4 billion since 1978. Study considered pre-trial and trial costs, costs of automatic appeals and state habeas corpus petitions, costs of federal habeas corpus appeals, and costs of incarceration on death row. (Alarcon & Mitchell, 2011).

Enforcing the death penalty costs Florida $51 million a year above what it would cost to punish all first-degree murderers with life in prison without parole. Based on the 44 executions Florida had carried out since 1976, that amounts to a cost of $24 million for each execution. (Palm Beach Post, January 4, 2000).

Why go through all the trouble, time, and cost to sentence a young man to death when you could just send him away for life? Wouldn't it be a greater punishment knowing everyday of your life you are going to stay there until you die. You already spend years on death row what is the difference?

3) The death penalty does not prevent future crimes

According to a survey of the former and present presidents of the country’s top academic criminological societies, 88% of these experts rejected the notion that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder. (Radelet & Lacock, 2009)

Per 100,000 people in The South 5.5 of those people are murdered. The South accounts for 80% of death penalty states/executions. The murder rate in The Northeast is 3.9 and only accounts for 1% of death penalty states/executions.

Shouldn't the goal of the Judicial System be that of preventing and reducing crime rather than punishing those who already commit them? There is a reason Prison used to be called Penitentiary

4) Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Why has everybody forgotten about the older brother? The partner in crime! Tamerlan has had a history of radical beliefs and suspicious activity. The Cambridge triple homicide anyone? Dzhokhar was a normal guy shown both on his social networking sites as well as being described by peers. His brother being 7 years older has a strong influence on his younger brother. Imagine the pressure and possible freight of your older brother saying he is going to make bombs and needs your help. Had Dzhokhar said no there might not be any living suspects. With his brother dead all the charges will fall on Dzhokhar even though he is only responsible for at most half the casualties.

5) Innocence

A small chance indeed but a chance none the less. All the Prosecution has of hard evidence is a man putting a backpack down in a crowd of people. Whether that backpack contains a bomb is at the discretion of the court.

6) Positive Impact

Many people, 80% to be exact, believe he should face death. I say nay nay. Imagine, "Boston Bomber escapes death." The movement for the abolishment of the death penalty will be that much closer to prevailing. The pressure on the court system will also be immense on whether to choose life or death. That pressure alone could suffice as a mitigating factor to the jury.

7) Conclusion

"In the end, this case is more likely to be about whether Tsarnaev lives or dies than about whether he is guilty of this monstrous crime. If he planted the bomb, Tsarnaev chose death. We should respond by choosing life." (Dershowitz 2013)

* all sources in comments
Risen

Pro

My rebuttal will go as follows

I) Charges against Mr. Tsarnaev
The federal government is filing charges against Mr. Tsarnaev that are going to be tried in a civilian court but are related to terrorism. These charges are "Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction" and "Malicious Destruction of Property Resulting in Death." (1) According to the United States Criminal Code: A person who, without lawful authority, uses, threatens, or attempts or conspires to use, a weapon of mass destruction shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, and if death results, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life."(2)

II) Mr. Tsarnaev is not the common criminal
It is my own belief that the U.S uses the death penalty too frivolously. Many of the people who are sentenced to death are often charged with the murder of one or more people. To condemn them to death is silly to me but lets how many people Mr. Tsarnaev killed or injured. He killed three and severely injured 260 people;a noticeable number of those people lost their legs.(3)

III) Rebuttal Against Cons Fourth Argument
When I got in trouble at school and my teachers punished me I always tried to say, "but my friend did it too!" My teacher would always reply with this saying "if your friend jumped off a cliff would you jump too?" Dzhokhar may have been influenced but it is him alone who is responsible for his own actions. Dzhokhar is responsible for all of the casualties in my view because he helped manufacture the bombs. It was just his brother who planted one bomb and he planted the other. Tamerlan did get punished. He was shot by police officers and got run over by his brother, resulting in death!

(IV) Rebuttal Against Cons Fifth Argument
If Mr. Tsarnaev is not convicted he can't face the death penalty, therefore your argument is invalid.

V) Public reaction
If there was a headline saying that "BOSTON MARATHON BOMBER ESCAPES DEATH" I am certain that their would be a huge amount of public outrage. The victims of the bomber would be the ones who would be outraged the most. The number of casualties is certainly appalling. You say, " The movement for the abolishment of the death penalty will be that much closer to prevailing." I couldn't disagree more. The movement would suffer if that happened because the public would not be happy with the outcome. It is the public who elects the congressmen and the president, and it is those two branches who have the power to abolish the death penalty.

VI) Conclusion
I think that pro's argument would more suit an argument against the death penalty in general instead of this special case. I would trust a jury determining weather Mr Tsarnaev would face the death penalty or not, but I believe the federal government should push for it. Mr Tsarnaev did many heinous crimes, and because of the number of crimes and their severity. It is my personal belief he should face the death penalty.

(1) http://www.boston.com...
(2) http://www.law.cornell.edu...
(3) http://news.yahoo.com...
Debate Round No. 2
SlaterJ23

Con

I shall not introduce any new information for my stance and will rebute the following points.

1) "...and if death results, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life."

My point exactly. There is a choice of life or death and in this case specifically judging all the facts of the case and its mitigating factors the death oenalty should not be seeked in trial nor carried out in prison if found guilty

2) "He killed three and severely injured 260 people;a noticeable number of those people lost their legs."

As like your rebuttel to my fifth point, While it is an unlikely final verdict, Tsarnaev is still innocent until proven guilty. At the moment saying he killed/injured those people is untrue in the court of law therefore that argument is invalid.

3) "When I got in trouble at school and my teachers punished me I always tried to say, "but my friend did it too!"

Would this be the same story if your friend threatened your life forcing you to go along with his plan? I am not saying Dzhokhar was only sheep led by his brother. I am rather arguing his brother had a history of violence and Dzhokhar i doubt wanted to oppose his brother who has such radical beliefs.

4) "Tamerlan did get punished. He was shot by police officers and got run over by his brother, resulting in death!"

And left behind is a fatherless child, single widow mother, brother whose life could be at the mercy of the court, and parents who could lose another child just as the parents of 8 year old Martin Richard lost theirs. I do not feel bad for Dzhokhar however I believe that wasting millions of dollars on a death penalty case will not bring any more justice to the victims than life in prison would. The only difference is adding one more person to the death toll.

5) "The movement would suffer if that happened because the public would not be happy with the outcome."

Ah my point is this though, Many of the people believe he should face death and if arguably one of the most deserving of the death penalty does not recieve it then who does? Who deserves it then? Nobody that's who and why have a process that doesn't favor public opinion? There is no reason for it which is my point exactly.


6) "I think that pro's argument would more suit an argument against the death penalty in general instead of this special case."

I am Con but to answer the statement I mentioned previously that this case specifically as well due to his young age, influence, previous clean record, issues with his rights, and the State not having the death penalty. I believe I touched upon those previously.

7) "I would trust a jury determining weather Mr Tsarnaev would face the death penalty or not"

If the case is tried in Massachusetts I absolutely would not trust a jury of peers with his life. I'm no psychologist but I'd bet money that the jury from that state would be unbiased and forgiving.

8) "Mr Tsarnaev did many heinous crimes, and because of the number of crimes and their severity..."

I'm sorry but whaaa? I don't want to keep pulling the innocent card because it's true I don't believe he is fully innocent either however MANY heinous crimes? Last time I looked he has only been charged with 2 crimes and has not been proven guilty by either so to say he has committed many heinous crimes is a false statement.

To conclude my rubute I say ask yourself the question, "How can proceeding with the death penalty in this case benefit anybody efficiently?"
Risen

Pro

1) If there is a decision of life or death I would trust a jury that is unbiased and fair at your last argument you said, "If the case is tried in Massachusetts I absolutely would not trust a jury of peers with his life. I'm no psychologist but I'd bet money that the jury from that state would be unbiased and forgiving." That statement contradicts itself. If they were unbiased and forgiving why wouldn't you trust them?

2) For your rebuttal to my second argument does it really matter? We are arguing if he should be tried in a death penalty case not if he is innocent or not. My point was if he was convicted his conviction should be severe and it should include, if the jury shall choose, the death penalty.

3) You said that, "I am rather arguing his brother had a history of violence and Dzhokhar i doubt wanted to oppose his brother who has such radical beliefs." That is Dzhokhar's own fault. When it comes to a persons actions, it is that person who makes up their own minds and tells themselves what to do. If Dzhokhar was not on board with this he could have told law enforcement, he would have saved many lives, but he did not. Therefore, he must have been on board with it and he should receive the consequences of his own actions.

4) You say that, "I believe that wasting millions of dollars on a death penalty case will not bring any more justice to the victims than life in prison would. The only difference is adding one more person to the death toll." Maybe it wouldn't bring justice, but it would bring emotional closure to the country as a whole. Did you see the celebrations when Osama Bin Ladin died (yes I will compare them they were both terrorists)? The country was so happy to have gotten rid of him. Even in prison Mr. Tsarnaev may still pose a threat to the U.S.

5) Once again you say that " Many of the people believe he should face death and if arguably one of the most deserving of the death penalty does not recieve it then who does? Who deserves it then? Nobody that's who and why have a process that doesn't favor public opinion? That statement seems like it wants to go somewhere else. You argue that there is no reason for having a death penalty case. That contradicts your first argument where you argue that death penalty cases cost too much.

6) You say that, "on't want to keep pulling the innocent card because it's true I don't believe he is fully innocent either however MANY heinous crimes? Last time I looked he has only been charged with 2 crimes and has not been proven guilty by either so to say he has committed many heinous crimes is a false statement." The two crimes he is charged with are federal charges. If the state was prosecuting this case instead of the federal government he could be charged with four counts of murder and 260 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon." Just because he is not being charged with the crimes doesn't mean he did not commit the crimes.

7) Con's rebuttal is fragile and not very clear. He does not make any more arguments why Mr Tsarnaev should live but instead he wants to answer my points instead of picturing the big idea. The big idea is, Mr Tsarnaev is being charged with using WMDs and the law states that he must be put in prison for x amount of years or put to death. (1) Why change the law or do anything because of one case. Like I said, con seems to be an advocate for the anti death penalty movement, but he has picked the wrong criminal to argue in favor for.

(1) http://www.law.cornell.edu...
Debate Round No. 3
SlaterJ23

Con



I will close out my debate with the following points.


1) If they were unbiased and forgiving why wouldn't you trust them?


Sorry it was a small typo I meant to say they wouldn't be unbiased and forgiving. Therefore I would not trust them.


2) "We are arguing if he should be tried in a death penalty case not if he is innocent or not."


Okay ok we both seemed to have flustered our points here. You negated my point in your first debate and I negated one in yours since both had to do with pre trial convictions so we'll just throw out both of those arguments.


3) "Therefore, he must have been on board with it and he should receive the consequences of his own actions."


Yes he is responsible for his own actions that is true. I am asking that you see the circumstances he was under and under that stress people make rash decisions and sometimes those decisions could be made with better judgement. Now that he made his decision if convicted I ask they give life in prison over the death penalty. There is no reason to give him death over life in prison. Life in prison would be receiving consequences for his actions by law.


4) "Maybe it wouldn't bring justice, but it would bring emotional closure to the country as a whole."


I strongly disagree with that statement. Even if convicted to death he is not executed for 10+ years. By that time people will forget about him. Him being sentenced to life would be closure enough to the victims. I don't know if you've seen the film Dead Man Walking but it's about a man on death row who murdered a young couple. True story. The parents of the victims want vengeance and want his blood spilled so to speak. At the execution day both families attend and see the man executed in front of them. They are scared and horrified at what occurs. They later attend the funeral to give condolence to his family. Sure it's an adaptation but a true story none the less showing victims seeking closure and it not being what they expect.


5) "Even in prison Mr. Tsarnaev may still pose a threat to the U.S."


How? He had no affiliation to any other terrorist group. The rest of his family is not terrorist related so they would not pose a threat. Charles Manson had a whole cult following him and once he was incarcerated no other victims were affected.


6) "That contradicts your first argument where you argue that death penalty cases cost too much"


When did I say anything that contradicts it costing too much? To be clear I only approve of the death penalty in extreme cases where the nation's security is at stake. Tsarnaev is no longer a threat to the US. My point is public opinion on this case is to kill him. Doing the opposite will help eliminate unnecessary death penalties such as this case.


7) "Just because he is not being charged with the crimes doesn't mean he did not commit the crimes."


Well just because he was charged with 2 crimes doesn't mean he committed them. By definition A crime, is an act harmful not only to some individual, but also to the community or the state (a public wrong). Such acts are forbidden and punishable by law. Therefore he is charged with only the two crimes meaning at most he committed two crimes at most.


8) "He does not make any more arguments why Mr Tsarnaev should live but instead he wants to answer my points instead of picturing the big idea."


Well the point of the debate is to defend my arguments and rebute against you say against what I say confusing I know. As far as me "not defending my point" how many times have I mentioned his young age, clean record, mitigating factors, etc. I defended him specifically multiple times.


9) "Why change the law or do anything because of one case."


There have been countless cases that have changed US law completely! That's aside the point though. I am not saying oh instead of x years in prison or death set him free! I am saying choose more reasonable choice.


To conclude Vote Con and spare an unneeded death saving money, a life, and still providing justice.



Risen

Pro

Con's last argument was certainly his weakest in this debate and I will show his shortcomings.

1) Con says he had a typo? I do not know what to believe, I don't know if he is trying to save himself from a typo that was incorrect or a statement that got jumbled. May I remind con juries MUST be approved by both the prosecutor and the defense so it would e the most unbiased trial as it can.

2) Con says that "Yes he (Tsarnaev) is responsible for his own actions that is true. I am asking that you see the circumstances he was under and under that stress people make rash decisions and sometimes those decisions could be made with better judgement." Nevertheless, he alone is responsible for his own actions. It's not like he was a slave who was forced to be making his decisions by his master, but even then his decisions are his decisions.

3) When I say that the death penalty would bring emotional closure Con states he disagrees and then he references a movie. Movies are dramatized even ones that are based on a true story.

4) Con says that, "Even if convicted to death he is not executed for 10+ years. By that time people will forget about him." Did people forget Bin Ladin? Do you think people would look at their missing legs and forget him. That seems childish to me.

5) You say that he had no affiliation to a terrorist group, however he and his brother went to Chechnya in Russia. Only after that they showed changes in their behavior. Think of the possibilities that would have happened.

6) You say that, " I only approve of the death penalty in extreme cases where the nation's security is at stake." Who knows if he isn't dangerous to the nations security. Look at his crimes! To say this isn't an extreme case is almost ludicrous!

7) Again, you say that, "By definition A crime, is an act harmful not only to some individual, but also to the community or the state (a public wrong). Such acts are forbidden and punishable by law. Therefore he is charged with only the two crimes meaning at most he committed two crimes at most." I fail to see the logic in that. Like I said, if he was being charged by the state he would have had more charges placed on him.

8) You say that, "There have been countless cases that have changed US law completely!" Really? If you would have named one of them I would have believed you.

9) Con has made a case against the death penalty by making statements at first then rebutting all of my points. If one were to read one would find that cons arguments are jumbled and nonsensical. Actually, con broke one of his own rules. He did not list once source that wasn't Wikipedia. I believe I have presented my case accurately and well.
VOTE PRO
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by SlaterJ23 4 years ago
SlaterJ23
I do apologize for that i did not realize my character count got away from me. In future rounds, if i find more sources, i will list them in the debate
Posted by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
In future if you wish comment sources to count, please set that as a rule in round 1. (even then voters do not have to follow such)
Posted by SlaterJ23 4 years ago
SlaterJ23
Let me clarify further actually. I did not realize how in depth this was. Okay so Pro must argue that He should be tried in a death penalty case in which basically the jury decides his life. In a closing statement you should put your own opinion on why you believe he should be executed. I hope that makes sense haha
Posted by SlaterJ23 4 years ago
SlaterJ23
I am asking whether or not he should be sentenced to death/be tried as a death penalty case. assuming he is found guilty of commiting the crimes. I cannot argue he is innocent effectively enough to be a good debate. You can argue either he should be sentenced to death or he should at least face a trial where the outcome is death. There is a slight difference but overall assuming he has already been found guilty in a citizen court
Posted by ararmer1919 4 years ago
ararmer1919
I ask the same question as Ragnar. Is this based on we already know he's guilty or at least very likely and your arguing wether he should face the death penalty for his crimes or not. Or are you arguing that he is innocent and being framed?
Posted by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
Is this debate assuming innocence or guilt?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by gt4o2007 4 years ago
gt4o2007
SlaterJ23RisenTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had better sources in the comments and made an argument that it would be biased in this particular case
Vote Placed by Juris_Naturalis 4 years ago
Juris_Naturalis
SlaterJ23RisenTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con seemed to back track and go off topic on his points and his sources were not posted in his debate, giving him more character count. Pro tactically went through all Con's points and disemboweled them.