The Instigator
19146md
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Jellopants
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points

Resolved: Capital Punishment in Texas is Unjust.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/26/2011 Category: Economics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,626 times Debate No: 18476
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

19146md

Con

Hey! :D
So...this is to help me get ready for my first tournament. You know-give critiques and such. Oh, and don't bother copying and pasting-I had it copyrighted. Thanks!

-Matthew Deski
P.S- this is my neg

.........................................................................................................................Let's start with a scenario. You are in the prime of your life. Your kids are starting school. Your spouse is working hard. Your dog is being as rambunctious as usual. One night, you decide that you need a break. You decide to hang out with your friends, maybe get a drink at your favorite bar. Your unaware that a person has broken and destroyed your house and all the things you worked so hard to put them in your house to make it look good, killed your family, and stolen all the valuables. Now, you would want justice for your very loving family. Would you want that person in a prison with a chance, no matter how slim that chance is, to escape? Or for him to be on death row, waiting to pay for the crimes he has committed. Would you want justice for the love of your life, and your beautiful children? Today, I stand in negation of Resolved: Capital Punishment in Texas is Unjust. The highest value I shall uphold in today's debate is safety, which is the state of being free from harm. My criterion, therefore, must be Proportional Retributivism, which claims that a person should be punished in a way that is proportional to the crime they committed. We are going to inflict pain and suffering to an equal degree upon them, while keeping in mind their morality. The rapist is not going to be raped, but he will suffer to an equal degree i.e prison. If we are in commission of Proportional Retributivism, then we are providing safety to a society. I now offer the following definitions for clarity:
Capital Punishment- the legally authorized killing as punishment for a capital crime.
Unjust- not based on or behaving according to what is morally fair or right.

Contention 1: Capital Punishment Provides Safety to a Society.
The role of retribution to improving the safety of society is clear. The respect for human life is a characteristic of a civilized society. The state governed by law maintains this respect through the death penalty. According to Baylor Briefs, The message of the death penalty: If you do violence to, or murder a human being and/or show disrespect for human life, then the state has the right to take away your freedom and rights. David Anderson, a journalist specializing in issues related to the death penalty, says in in his 2005 book : It is the death penalty that in a practical way that most effectively can confirm that the citizens have an inviolable value and that the states governed by law respects the human value. In order to make clear the value of an innocent citizen's life, the murderers must be punished with death.

Contention 2: Capital Punishment Provides Retribution to a Society.
From J. Budziszewski, professor of Government and Philosophy at the University of Texas in Austin in July of 2008: Society is justly ordered when each person receives what is due to him. Crime disturbs this just order, for the criminals take from victims their life, liberty, peace, and safety to satisfy his hunger for murder. Deserved punishment protects society morally by respecting this order, making the wrongdoer pay a price equivalent to the harm he has done. This is retribution, not to be confused with revenge, which is guided by a different motive. In retribution, the spur is the virtue of indignation, which answers injury with injury for public good…retribution is the primary purpose of just punishment.

In conclusion: The death penalty is not unjust. It is morally justified. How can we have a functioning society if we are not safe? How can we be safe if we do not have the death penalty? Let's refer to the previous scenario. Would you want justice for those beautiful children and the man/woman of your dreams? Thank You.
Jellopants

Pro


First, I would like to thank my opponent for his challenge and wish him good luck. As to the order of things, I suppose since my opponent started with a scenario, then contentions, I will reply in kind with an opening statement followed by my rebuttals.


Opening Remarks:


I will openly admit that I am against the death penalty in ALL cases. I believe that violence begets violence and that there is no reason to kill someone after the fact. One senseless death is enough. As with a man on trial for a capital offense, I will attempt to provide just enough evidence to put reasonable doubt in your mind (the audience) as to whether or not to pull the metaphorical trigger (sentencing a man to the death penalty). Remember, a man’s life is at stake.


Definitions:


Safety: The condition of being safe from undergoing or causing hurt, injury, or loss.1


Justice: The quality of being just, impartial, or fair.2


Respect: High or special regard. Esteem.3


Indignation: anger aroused by something unjust, unworthy, or mean.4



Rebuttal to Contention #1:


How does one improve safety if the crime has already been committed? In the scenario given, your family isn’t any safer because the murderer was convicted and sentenced to die. The notion that anyone in that situation is safer is a fallacy. Why then does my opponent want them to die? Surely it’s not for the actual safety of society because the safety of further ‘victims’ is no longer in question if the criminal is in jail. There is one point, however, that I completely agree on with my opponent. “The respect for human life is a characteristic of a civilized society.” My opponent is correct, yet holds a contradictory view every time he would elect to execute a prisoner and show that, in fact, we are a very uncivilized nation (with regard to the death penalty). My opponent also says, “We are going to inflict pain and suffering to an equal degree upon them, while keeping in mind their morality.” Again, my opponent disregards all notions of a ‘civilized’ society and instead opts for more ‘pain and suffering’.


Rebuttal to Contention #2:


There are two fundamental problems with the “eye for an eye” mentality. Firstly, the ‘murderers’ of whom my opponent speaks may or may not be actually guilty of committing the crimes they were accused of. This presents its own moral dilemma. Is it possible for society to punish, by death, those that they deem ‘guilty’ to satisfy the conscience of the collective but perhaps condemn an innocent person to die unknowingly? Of course it is and knowing this fact, my opponent cannot possibly expect a ‘morally just’5 outcome all the time. Second, my opponent states that, “Deserved punishment protects society morally by respecting this order, making the wrongdoer pay a price equivalent to the harm he has done. This is retribution, not to be confused with revenge, which is guided by a different motive. In retribution, the spur is the virtue of indignation, which answers injury with injury for public good…retribution, is the primary purpose of just punishment.” The virtue of indignation (see definition) is also a false-notion. How can the killing of one innocent person be rectified by the killing of another? Unlike jail or other punishments, the death penalty is permanent. This IS revenge, plain and simple, and is that expectable? If my family was killed in the manner described by my opponent, I would want to kill the person responsible as well. Just because my family was killed does not make me any less vengeful. Nor does it change my intent to some noble cause. Again, the question arises: Is this person actually responsible for the atrocities that befell my family? Can I be sure? No. No you cannot and it is this doubt that would cause any reasonable person to vote Pro in this debate. Can you really live with an innocent person’s death on your conscience?



Sources:



[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...


[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...


[3] http://www.merriam-webster.com...


[4] http://www.merriam-webster.com...


[5] See my opponents’ definition of ‘unjust’ and my own for ‘justice’


Debate Round No. 1
19146md

Con

19146md forfeited this round.
Jellopants

Pro

Conclusion:


I thank my opponent for bringing about such an interesting topic for debate. I wish we could have had a few more rounds for my opponent to offer further contentions. I appreciate his effort and I would simply like to conclude what I have already stated. In light of these facts, I would urge you (the audience) to vote Pro. Thank you.


-The death penalty is wrong in ALL cases


-Violence begets violence and there is no need for more senseless deaths in this world.


-‘Safety’ does not come about through retroactive punishments, especially if they are capitol punishments.


-My opponent and I agree, “Respect for human life is a characteristic of a civilized society.”


-The risk of killing an innocent person is far too high to justify killing ANY ‘criminal’ and is morally unconscionable.


Debate Round No. 2
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Cobo 5 years ago
Cobo
Hmmm. Safaty as a value?
That's extremely questionable
Posted by quinfreaky 5 years ago
quinfreaky
I agree with capital punishment all around the world.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
19146mdJellopantsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: 6-15-18-6-5-9-20
Vote Placed by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
19146mdJellopantsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: You might notice that I left my vote as tied, even though I'm well known as a supporter of the death penalty. That's because Texas does certain things (law of parties for example) that could probably be proven unjust. This is a really good topic for debate, it's too bad that Con forfeited.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
19146mdJellopantsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by jm_notguilty 5 years ago
jm_notguilty
19146mdJellopantsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: .tiefroF