The Instigator
DarrenL1
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
toamatt26
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Life without parole is more ethical option than capital punishment.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
toamatt26
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/22/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,199 times Debate No: 42793
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

DarrenL1

Pro

The first round will merely be good luck and acceptance to the debate. There will be four rounds and I wish you the best of luck.
toamatt26

Con

I accept the debate and negate the resolution resolved : The capital punishment is more ethical than life without parole.

Although my opponent has not done so, I will offer a few definitions for clarification.

Life without parole - Life imprisonment is any sentence of imprisonment for a serious crime under which the convicted person is to remain in jail for the rest of his or her life [1]
ethical - following accepted rules of behavior : morally right and good
capital punishment - the legally authorized killing of someone as punishment for a crime.

If my opponent would like to change these definitions please state so in comments. You may post your arguments, and I wish the best of luck.

[1] https://www.google.com...
[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[3] https://www.google.com...
Debate Round No. 1
DarrenL1

Pro

Thank you for the clarification on the definition of the terms stated.

Lets begin.
The death penalty is an abomination to America.
I have three main points to discuss.
-How the death penalty is wrong.
-Why the death Penalty is still in place.
-Why life without parole is a better choice for our country.

Let's transition into my first main point.

-How the death penalty is wrong.
The problem with the death penalty is obvious. It is the destruction of human life and is a form of cruel and unusual punishment which our constitution so clearly prohibits in amendment eight. One hundred countries have abolished the death penalty due to it's barbaric nature.[characteristics.http://en.wikipedia.org... ]Some major countries and continents that have abolished the death penalty include but are not limited to: Canada, Australia and Russia. Russia, who we are currently speaking about human rights to. Also, a country that 'respects human life' does not deliberately kill another human being. Closer to home, eighteen states have abolished the death penalty leaving thirty-two states that have not. Also the states that have abolished the death penalty can commute prisoners to a different state that supports death row. [http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...] Also the title of my debate states that the death penalty is unethical. Granted, I did not leave much room for debate, It is extremely unethical to kill another human being. The death penalty is merely killing for revenge and the sanctity of human life is much more than that. Setting all religious beliefs aside I cannot envision a worse act.

-Why the death penalty is still in place.

First off, for so called 'extreme' crimes. Contrary to popular belief the death penalty does not deter crime in an adequately. In fact, wardens, officers and experts all agree that the way to deter crime is more officers (creating more jobs) and closer monitoring of individuals. Many people also prefer the death penalty over life without parole because it lowers the taxing to feed, house and detain criminals. In my opinion the meaning of this is greed. You will not pay to keep a human being alive? That does not sound ethical to me.

-Why life without parole is a better choice for our country.

We will be a more unified and powerful country. It may also decrease tax in some ways. The death row section of a person does generally cost money to maintain and build it also costs money to purchase the lethal liquids it takes to kill a prisoner. Also a prisoner usually spends an average of over a decade on death row. [http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...] Which disproves the theory of less housing cost. America will be better off creating larger and more prisons to accommodate the needs of the corruption of society which will create more jobs for maintenance workers, officers and guards. The overall benefit would outweigh the minuscule risks if there is any including the death penalty.

The death penalty is an abomination to America. To review, I went over How the death penalty is wrong, Why we still practice the death penalty and how the death penalty will be better for America if done away with. Thank you for your time and consideration on this ever so delicate topic.
toamatt26

Con

Before I refute my opponent's arguments, I will state mine. One of my main arguments is for utilitarianism. Utilitarianism, by definition of the Merriam Webster dictionary, is the belief that a morally good action is one that helps the greatest number of people [1]. The way that the death penalty would help the greatest number of people, is because there would be no chance by any means that the criminal would be able to get out of jail. Not just escaping, but they can bribe people, or legally sent out, which I will state later. "George Rivas, 30, inmate number 702267, serving 99 years for the crimes of aggravated kidnapping and burglary that he had committed in El Paso, was tired of life behind prison walls. Although he had attained trustee status and worked in the prison's maintenance department, considered one of the best duty assignments in the prison, he had become disillusioned with the grim prospect of never walking the streets a free man again and spending his nights confined to an austere eight foot by eight foot cell equipped with only a bunk, a wash basin, and a toilet. He was sick of the lousy food that was typically served in the prison's mess hall, and he was tired of hearing the metal doors slide shut when returned to his cell at lockdown." [2] As the quote states, George Rivas was serving a sentence that would most likely last his whole lifetime. "... was tired of life behind prison walls..." Criminals who know they have a long time ahead of them until they can get out will try to get out by any means necessary. "Rivas had been making plans for some time, along with six other inmates, to do something about it, and he had decided that this was the day to carry out his plans." [3] While making the group, later called the Texas 7, they thought of plans to escape the prison bars. "Earlier, Rivas and his gang had convinced Patrick Moczygemba, a maintenance supervisor, to allow them to remain behind to wax and seal the maintenance department's floors." [2] As stated before, criminals can bribe members of the prison staff. By doing this they can escape the prison, which will endanger society as a whole. By leaving murderers, burglars, and pedaphiles out in the open, it would put people of any social class in danger. Also as stated before, being ethical is what is morally right. By defending life without parole over the death sentence my opponent is saying that letting criminals roam free would be morally right. "On July 27, 2013, 1,000 inmates escaped from the Queyfiya prison near Benghazi, Libya. The escape occurred after a wave of political assassinations and attacks on political offices around the country. Local residents of Benghazi forced the inmates out of the prison." [4] A mass escape from prison would leave the whole community and city in danger, because more criminals would be on the loose. The facts shown are about people who were not eligible for the capital punishment. If someone were to be, but not receive it, the community would be in much more danger. By enforcing the capital punishment, I would be valuing utilitarianism because it would be protecting the entire community from dangerous criminals. I will extend my arguments and refute my opponent's next round.


[1]http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2] http://www.trutv.com...
[3] http://tinyurl.com...
[3]http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
DarrenL1

Pro

You have focused your response in round two on how the escape of murderers could lead to more murders. While this is true throughout history is has only happened a mere five times. Also, you must focus on key words in the term 'capital punishment'.
It is not 'capital prevention'. It is capital punishment and punishment is stated word for word by Merriam Webster Dictionary "suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retribution." Retribution is in simplest terms revenge. Capital punishment is referred to as punishment, an eye for an eye and social justice among society. It is clear that capital punishment is in place merely for revenge.

Your example of the escape of in Benghazi, Libya is negligent because the United States has a much more stable government and security force. Also in the extremely unlike event that this did happen and suppose we were talking about a regular prison in which only about 17% of the conviction rates are murderers a task force would be en route in mere minutes. Many of these individuals would not commit a deadly crime if there is a "mass escape". Unless you are talking about a death row facility, primarily designed to house all convicted murderers and an ever so large factor in capital punishment. The event of a mass breakout would result in one to none murders keeping in mind that this unlikely event would happen.

For your statement on bribery, this event has resulted in escapes, it has never resulted in a murder. This event is also very unlikely due to the sheer numbers of other security guards and checkpoints located throughout the prison that a convicted felon would have to travel through.

I will continue the next round extending my arguments from the second round and replying to my opponents conjecture.
toamatt26

Con

I will attack my opponent's arguments in round 3.

"It is the destruction of human life and is a form of cruel and unusual punishment"
Cruel - causing pain or suffering. [1] The death penalty clearly does the opposite of what is, by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, "cruel." The original forms of the death penalty were either being hung or being electrocuted through the electric chair. The new form is by lethal injection, which lasts only a few seconds. Causing pain or suffering would be sending the criminals to jail without any hope of ever getting out. By definition, life without parole would be cruel.

"One hundred countries have abolished the death penalty"
Throughout my opponent's first paragraph, Pro fails to say why the capital punishment is unethical. He states statistics showing that many countries and states have refrained from using it, but has not shown why life without parole is more ethical.

"The death penalty is merely killing for revenge" " It is clear that capital punishment is in place merely for revenge."
My opponent has failed to consider the fact that not only does it take revenge, but it erases all possibilities of that criminal endangering society once more. Not only that, but the motivation that goes along with it is petrifying. If my opponent is right, he stated that life is much more than that. Criminals would understand this and therefore would not want to cause any action that would take their life away. Criminals would not forget about the extreme likelihood of getting caught because by knowing the severe consequences that go along with it, they would not want to pursue the specific action.

"First off, for so called 'extreme' crimes. "
Pro failed to continue the sentence, and by stating "first off," he has to continue with the object of the sentence which is "extreme crimes" but he does not continue the sentence, so therefore he has a grammatical error.

"We will be a more unified and powerful country."
Although my opponent has stated very minor economic benefits against the death penalty, he fails to state how it would create a unified and powerful country.

"It is capital punishment and punishment is stated word for word"
My opponent has once again failed to follow directions, because stated in Round 1 of this debate, if he would like to change any definitions of clarification, he would have to state them in the comments. Therefore "the legally authorized killing of someone as punishment for a crime" still stands as the capital punishment.

"While this [escape of criminals from jail] is true throughout history is has only happened a mere five times."
My opponent continues to not consider that people have escaped much more than "a mere five times." In 2000-2013 alone, 7 escapes occurred mostly of more than one person. Overall, the amount of people just from 2000-2013 is near 1,500 criminals roaming free today.

"Your example of the escape of in Benghazi, Libya is negligent because the United States has a much more stable government and security force."
Although I am getting repetitive here, my opponent once again fails to thoroughly read the resolution, which does not say anything about just the United States. "Life without parole is more ethical option than capital punishment." The resolution is about if the death penalty is more ethical, not specifying in what country.

"this event has resulted in escapes, it has never resulted in a murder."
As stated in my round 2 argument, the escaped criminals endanger society. They have the potential to begin their crimes again. Although most refuse to, knowing the consequences, the community overall is still in danger of them.

I will extend my arguments in round 4, because the character limit is only 4,000, and I do not have enough characters to continue.

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 3
DarrenL1

Pro

My opponent has proved that he can attack my statement, he does so because of his such narrow range of view on the topic. Yes, true I mistakenly neglected to add in the 'United States' in the original question, my opponent has showed a lack of sources for his statement that 1,500 criminals have escaped from prison. When I was speaking of escaped convicts I spoke of five who have escaped and committed murder again. I will past my source at the end of the round.

My opponent has proved to me that he can pick on words and phrases for the smallest negligent mistakes. But has he yet focused on the topic enough? From what I have seen the main argument to the inquiry is prisoners escaping and committing crimes again. If we focus specifically on inmates accused of the death penalty the numbers are quite small. May I remind you only five men have escaped and committed murder again.

I have three main points and sub-topics to back up my claim about the topic being ethical. I have proved to give reliable sources and information to uphold my argument. If an argument were a structure Mine would have foundation and a reliable structure atop of it. My opponent has built his argument upon one reason. Therefore making for a small foundation supporting a quivering structure. As his argument is ready to collapse due to all the focus on one point. My opponent has also showed us that his information lacks on the topic he has given. He quoted a few prisoners that said they wanted to escape from prison in round two. Isn't it evident that all prisoners want to escape prison. Also the position you stated with these quotes was that these prisoners wanted to die. I am not sure what else you were implying the paragraph. I do not image a prisoner preferring death over imprisonment. I would like my opponent to please cite a source, if there is one, on any prisoner that has specifically chose the death penalty over life imprisonment.

Also when my opponent chose to attack my choice to single out a component of the word: punishment. This argument proved to be just another attack because of his lack of information on the specified topic and his lack of sources. The sources he has stated have merely been definition from an online dictionary. Therefore, his lack of information has caused him to personally attack my arguments and grammar.

If my opponent continues to redirect attention at phrases that hold truth. Instead he suggests at something that has happened very little times. Even if we take all the felons that have escaped from prison the ration is almost non-existent. My opponent states that 15,000 inmates convicted of any major crimes have unknowingly escaped due to my opponent's lack of reliable sources. I am pleased to announce that 2.5 million inmates are currently incarcerated and have not escaped.

Also my opponent has made a clear remark about the limit of words being at four thousand this limit has been set in place so both opponents may argue the specific point without adding in unnecessary accusations and stay on task with the current subject. Also the only reason my opponent has exceeded the word limit is behalf on speaking negatively about my words.

To recap, my opponent has not offered reliable sources and has proved to me that he is skilled and shedding negative light on my arguments. He has also proved he is a firm believer that our prison system which has invested $74 billion dollars to detain these criminals, is not working? He also has built his entire argument upon the off-chance that a murderer will escape and kill again.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
http://www.cnbc.com...
toamatt26

Con

I will not reinsure all my arguments this round because I will post my own arguments in Round 4. Though I will attack the key points.

"Yes, true I mistakenly neglected to add in the 'United States' in the original question, my opponent has showed a lack of sources for his statement that 1,500 criminals have escaped from prison. "
I am sorry for not posting my source for last round, because I had to save up space due to my opponents choice of making only 4,000 characters. ([1]) The source also shows that the amount of escapes were much more than just what my opponent states "mere five times"

"My opponent has proved to me that he can pick on words and phrases for the smallest negligent mistakes."
Exposing spelling and grammatical errors is one whole section of voting.

"My opponent states that 15,000 inmates convicted of any major crimes have unknowingly escaped due to my opponent's lack of reliable sources. I am pleased to announce that 2.5 million inmates are currently incarcerated and have not escaped."
Pro has failed once again to see the whole argument, as it states that only from 2000-2013 were those escapes. Once again, [1] shows the "reliable source." I did not state that 15,000 inmates have escaped, though i have stated 1,500. Once more, my opponent fails to read the entire argument.

"Also the only reason my opponent has exceeded the word limit is behalf on speaking negatively about my words."
My original draft of my round 2 argument was 6,000 characters, but I had to take out key information. And true, one key point of debates are exposing the failures of the opponent's arguments.

"I am pleased to announce that 2.5 million inmates are currently incarcerated and have not escaped."
But are these criminals not potential dangers to society?

"To recap, my opponent has not offered reliable sources and has proved to me that he is skilled and shedding negative light on my arguments."
I believe my opponent did not actually review his argument before submiting, because he repetedly states that I had not provided any information, though I have stated 4 times now. Thank you. And for the last time, it is: [1]

I will no longer refute my opponents arguments this round, because I will state my own.

"The study examined the relationship between the number of executions and the number of murders in the U.S. for the 26-year period from 1979 to 2004, using data from publicly available FBI sources. The chart nearby shows the number of executions and murders by year. There seems to be an obvious negative correlation in that when executions increase, murders decrease, and when executions decrease, murders increase." [2] Like the quote states, there is a solid relationship between the amount of victims of the death penalty, and the amount of murders committed the next year. "Recent research on the relationship between capital punishment and homicide has created a consensus among most economists who have studied the issue that capital punishment deters murder" [3] "Figure 1 displays the murder rate and the number of executions in the United States for the period 1960-2000.23 The two series appear to move in opposite directions." [4]

"my claim about the topic being ethical."
My next argument is also a refutation. My opponent states that Life without parole is indeed, more ethical
"We suggest, in other words, that on certain empirical assumptions, capital punishment may be morally required, not for retributive reasons, but rather to prevent the taking of innocent lives [5]"

I have few characters left so therefore I will extend my arguments next round.

[1] http://tinyurl.com...
[2] http://online.wsj.com...
[3] http://www.judiciary.senate.gov...
[4] http://www.hawaii.edu...
[5]http://www.bus.lsu.edu...
Debate Round No. 4
DarrenL1

Pro

DarrenL1 forfeited this round.
toamatt26

Con

Unfortunately, my opponent did not post any arguments in the final round of this debate. With that said, I will summarize my debate.

Believing that the death penalty is morally right over life in prison, I value utilitarianism. As provided before, [1], utilitarianism is defined as the belief that a morally good action is one that helps the greatest number of people. The way that the most people would benefit from the death sentence is that they would be better protected. In past years, over 40 escapes, some containing thousands of people, of prison have put criminals and murderers in society, which would endanger the people as a whole [2]. Also, many studies concluded that the death penalty has shown to lower murder rates. Once again, the public would be safer, because the murder rate would drop if the death sentence were to still be in place. ""...our recent research shows that each execution carried out is correlated with about 74 fewer murders the following year..." [3] "New Yorkers live in safer communities today because we are finally creating a climate that protects our citizens and causes criminals to fear arrest, prosecution and punishment. ...This has occurred in part because of the strong signal that the death penalty sent to violent criminals and murderers: we won't excuse criminals, we will punish them..." [4]. With enough quotes, it can clearly be shown that the death penalty deters crime and should be put in place. One of my opponents main argument was the cost of the death penalty. But I ask my opponent, and the audience, this: Would the money saved through refraining from using the death penalty make up for the crimes, murders, and lives lost? Money can't by happiness and surely can not buy life. And the questions asked on most of the cites: Does the death penalty deter crime? Most certainly yes [5] [6]. I am glad that my opponent submitted most of his arguments, though I was looking forward to seeing his conclusions. All in all, after a good debate, vote con.

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://online.wsj.com...
[4] http://deathpenalty.procon.org...
[5] http://www.hawaii.edu...
[6] http://www.judiciary.senate.gov...
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by STALIN 3 years ago
STALIN
DarrenL1toamatt26Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 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: Pro FF and Con had much better arguments.