The Instigator
SocialDemocrat
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
DESTROYERZV
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Is the death penalty effective and should it be used.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
SocialDemocrat
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 2/21/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 12 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 783 times Debate No: 86989
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

SocialDemocrat

Con

So whoever my opponent is will be debating me on the issue of the death penalty, whoever it is will be arguing for the use of the death penalty.
Use the first round to clarify you understand your position and accept it.
The one rule is if you use a statistic make sure to have a link.
DESTROYERZV

Pro

I argue for the use of the death penalty for many reasons, the first of which is its' effectiveness. If we legalize the death penalty and actually put it into use, people who commit crimes will think twice about actually doing them. Right now, in most states, if you commit a really bad crime, you get to go to jail. However, if the punishment was the death penalty, people would probably be less likely to commit crimes because the punishment is severe.

A second argument for the death penalty is the other punishments. If you commit a severe crime (that should be worthy of the death penalty) in some states, you just get a lifetime sentence to prison. So, basically, you spend the rest of your life in captivity with plain food, constant surveillance, etc. and who would want to live a life like that. So, I don't see much of a difference between the death penalty and a lifetime sentence because, in both cases, you are taking the rest of their life away from them.

A third argument for the death penalty is the cost of prisoners. According to the link below, the total cost to feed and supply housing for prisoners per year is approximately $63.4 Billion. All that money falls upon tax payers to pay. And that is a lot of money to pay for people who are spending the rest of their lives in vain.

Link: http://www.cbsnews.com...

Thanks,
DESTROYERZV
Debate Round No. 1
SocialDemocrat

Con

So I will first try to refute your claims.

You say: "If we actually legalize the death penalty and put it into use, people who commit crimes will think twice about actually doing them...However, if the punishment was the death penalty, people would probably be less likely to commit crimes because the punishment is severe."
Well first I will say that a life in a cell is pretty severe in the first place, but besides that, this statement is just wrong. Actually the overwhelming majority of criminologists say that the death penalty DOES NOT deter crime, and abolishing it would have no real impact on murder rates. (What the death penalty is pretty much always used for.)
"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, according to a new study published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology and authored by Professor Michael Radelet, Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and Traci Lacock, also at Boulder."
This is a study that shows that almost all of the top criminologists in America say that the death penalty actually does not deter people from committing homicide. The link so you could read this for yourself is here- (you will have do scroll down a little to get to it) http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
It goes on to say this: " In addition, 75% of the respondents agree that "debates about the death penalty distract Congress and state legislatures from focusing on real solutions to crime problems." This goes to further show that the vast majority of criminologists involved in the study believe that the the focus should be on real solutions to crime problems, which most of them believe is not the death penalty.
For further evidence of this I will also use an article by the Washington Post. It says "Despite extensive research on the question, criminologists have been unable to assemble a strong case that capital punishment deters crime." This is another popular source saying that criminologists can not find a case that the death penalty really is deterring crime. It goes on to say: "States have been executing fewer and fewer people over the past 15 years. Several states have recently abolished capital punishment, and Gov. Jay Inslee (D) placed a moratorium on executions in the state of Washington in February. The execution in Oklahoma points to the problems that states that continue the practice are encountering. Meanwhile, however, rates of violent crime are still falling steadily." This shows that the statistics show that in states where the death penalty has been abolished (New York for example) typically the homicide/crime rates still steadily decrease, rather than increase, as your argument would support. https://www.washingtonpost.com...
So overall, your claim that the death penalty deters crime is, according to the vast majority of top criminologists, incorrect.
You say in your second argument that: "n some states, you just get a lifetime sentence to prison. So, basically, you spend the rest of your life in captivity with plain food, constant surveillance, etc. and who would want to live a life like that. So, I don't see much of a difference between the death penalty and a lifetime sentence because, in both cases, you are taking the rest of their life away from them."
Now I will give my first real argument against the death penalty that pro fails to recognize. But first pros claim that implicates that most people would rather die than spend a lifetime sentence is subjective to them, and that is a personal opinion that holds no real weight for or against the death penalty it is just an assumption.
But for a minute, lets assume that claim is correct and lets think, who would prefer a lifetime sentence to death? The answer would be people who are wrongly convicted and put to death when they were really innocent. Due to the article you used I assume you are living in the US so I will talk about the US right now. An article from the Guardian says that "At least 4.1% of all defendants sentenced to death in the US in the modern era are innocent, according to the first major study to attempt to calculate how often states get it wrong in their wielding of the ultimate punishment."
So what this shows is that at least 4% of the people who are sentenced to the death penalty are actually found to be innocent later on, granted some of the people found innocent are exonerated before ultimate execution but definitely not all of them. And as for these people, most of them while probably innocent were still given life without parole, meaning that they would still most certainly die in prison without a chance of an appeal. Keep in mind that this is just the people we are almost sure of, there is surely more people who happened to be innocent but were never found to be.
In the case you are questioning the validity of the study they later go on to say that: "A team of legal experts and statisticians from Michigan and Pennsylvania used the latest statistical techniques to produce a peer-reviewed estimate of the "dark figure" that lies behind the death penalty." So it is a peer reviewed study conducted by legal experts and statisticians, I believe we can agree this is quite a respectable source. In turn the death penalty is ineffective because we simply do not always get the right person in any country, keep in mind this is just the US the number may be larger for other countries, but in any case this takes away the real credibility of the death penalty. As if these people would in prison the evidence that was indeed found eventually could have gotten them out of prison, rightfully, when they are dead, this is not possible. http://www.theguardian.com...
So your second argument holds no weight for anything. Keep in mind throughout this the burden of proof is on you as you are arguing for the effectiveness of the death penalty which through your first two arguments you have failed to do.
Your third argument about the price of prisoners and its price is quite true, however that study is specifically about the US which does hold about 25% of the worlds prisoners-https://www.washingtonpost.com...
What you forget to account for is the cost of the death penalty used in the US. But before that you say that the prisoners are spending their lives in vain, although this is again your completely subjective personal opinion. "Using conservative rough projections, the Commission estimates the annual costs of the present (death penalty) system to be $137 million per year. The cost of the present system with reforms recommended by the Commission to ensure a fair process would be $232.7 million per year." This is the numbers that show the cost of the death penalty as is on http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org.... At first this seems like an obvious point for pro but lets take a closer look, while $232.7 million is a lot less than the cost of total prisoners, he does not account for the fact that were the death penalty practiced there would still not be many people put to death, meaning that the people that would get it, would be a VERY small percentage of the $64.4 billion that accounts for all prisoners. So to really compare this we must do the math and see the people that were put to death in 2015 v.s the cost of employing the death penalty in 2015. 28 people got the death penalty in 2015, so to see if it was more expensive to kill them or to jail them I will multiply the cost of a single prisoner against the cost of the death penalty yearly. First here is a list of the 2015 executions-http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
http://www.nytimes.com... This article shows that the cost of a prisoner yearly is $168,000. So this multiplied by the 28 prisoners gets an approximate cost of $4,704,000. This shows that this is the real price it would cost to put in jail the people who were executed in 2015. But the cost of executing them I already put above. So consider this, in 2015 it cost more to execute people in the US than it would have been to jail them for that year. So, in reality, it is essentially not cheaper to kill them than jail them. So really the third argument you propose actually does not help your claim at all, since it misses the big picture completely. Overall I have refuted your arguments fairly fully while providing some of my own, now it's your turn to move.
Lets see how this plays out.
DESTROYERZV

Pro

DESTROYERZV forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
SocialDemocrat

Con

Bad move.

Extend.
DESTROYERZV

Pro

DESTROYERZV forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by fire_wings 11 months ago
fire_wings
SocialDemocratDESTROYERZV
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: FF.
Vote Placed by lannan13 12 months ago
lannan13
SocialDemocratDESTROYERZV
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by U.n 12 months ago
U.n
SocialDemocratDESTROYERZV
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Due to Pro forfeiting 2 of his 3 turns, Con was able to easily, refute Pros claims while providing arguments of his own (which were not rebutted).