The Instigator
CiRrO
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
cruizer1
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Resolved: In the US the Death Penalty is just in-and-of the principles of punishment.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/24/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,410 times Debate No: 4487
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

CiRrO

Pro

Resolved: The Death Penalty is just.

Definitions:

Death Penalty: Punishment administered to cause death of a criminal. AKA: Capital Punishment.
Just: Giving each their due.
Principles: Code, guidelines. (Philosophical Principles)
Punishment: A negative action inflicted on a criminal for a crime.

Observation: To achieve a just sentence/punishment, the idea of proportionality is looked at foremost.
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Value: Justice
Value Criterion: Proportionality

Justice: Giving each their due
Proportionality: Equality between victim and criminal. Also the principle of the "Punishment must fit the crime."

The Thesis of this case is that justice, in the court system, is achieved by the idea of proportionality. "The Punishment must fit the crime." This idea given by Cesare Beccaria is the root principal in the US court system. Justice can only be achieved if this principle is upheld. In some cases, according to the US Supreme Court, the only due dessert in the death penalty for certain criminals and crimes. I.e. killers.

Contentions:

I. Kant's Scale of Justice Argument. (AKA: Kant's Equality Argument)

t is just the principle of equality, by which the pointer of the scale of justice is made to incline no more to the one side than the other. It may be rendered by saying that the undeserved evil which any one commits on another is to be regarded as perpetrated on himself. Hence it may be said: "If you slander another, you slander yourself; if you steal from another, you steal from yourself; if you strike another, you strike yourself; if you kill another, you kill yourself." This is the right of retaliation (jus talionis); and, properly understood, it is the only principle which in regulating a public court, as distinguished from mere private judgement, can definitely assign both the quality and the quantity of a just penalty. All other standards are wavering and uncertain; and on account of other considerations involved in them, they contain no principle conformable to the sentence of pure and strict justice. It may appear, however, that difference of social status would not admit the application of the principle of retaliation, which is that of "like with like." But although the application may not in all cases be possible according to the letter, yet as regards the effect it may always be attained in practice, by due regard being given to the disposition and sentiment of the parties in the higher social sphere. Thus a pecuniary penalty on account of a verbal injury may have no direct proportion to the injustice of slander; for one who is wealthy may be able to indulge himself in this offence for his own gratification. Yet the attack committed on the honour of the party aggrieved may have its equivalent in the pain inflicted upon the pride of the aggressor, especially if he is condemned by the judgement of the court, not only to retract and apologize, but to submit to some meaner ordeal, as kissing the hand of the injured person. In like manner, if a man of the highest rank has violently assaulted an innocent citizen of the lower orders, he may be condemned not only to apologize but to undergo a solitary and painful imprisonment, whereby, in addition to the discomfort endured, the vanity of the offender would be painfully affected, and the very shame of his position would constitute an adequate retaliation after the principle of "like with like." But how then would we render the statement: "If you steal from another, you steal from yourself?" In this way, that whoever steals anything makes the property of all insecure; he therefore robs himself of all security in property, according to the right of retaliation. Such a one has nothing, and can acquire nothing, but he has the will to live; and this is only possible by others supporting him. But as the state should not do this gratuitously, he must for this purpose yield his powers to the state to be used in penal labour; and thus he falls for a time, or it may be for life, into a condition of slavery.

But whoever has committed murder, must die. There is, in this case, no juridical substitute or surrogate, that can be given or taken for the satisfaction of justice. There is no likeness or proportion between life, however painful, and death; and therefore there is no equality between the crime of murder and the retaliation of it but what is judicially accomplished by the execution of the criminal.

His death, however, must be kept free from all maltreatment that would make the humanity suffering in his person loathsome or abominable. Even if a civil society resolved to dissolve itself with the consent of all its members- as might be supposed in the case of a people inhabiting an island resolving to separate and scatter themselves throughout the whole world- the last murderer lying in the prison ought to be executed before the resolution was carried out. This ought to be done in order that every one may realize the desert of his deeds, and that blood-guiltiness may not remain upon the people; for otherwise they might all be regarded as participators in the murder as a public violation of justice.

The equalization of punishment with crime is therefore only possible by the cognition of the judge extending even to the penalty of death, according to the right of retaliation. This is manifest from the fact that it is only thus that a sentence can be pronounced over all criminals proportionate to their internal wickedness; as may be seen by considering the case when the punishment of death has to be inflicted, not on account of a murder, but on account of a political crime that can only be punished capitally.

II. Negative Right Violations.

Killing another human being strips that person of every single right. All rights spring from the right to life. When this right taken away, then all rights that come from it are taken away as well. Killing is the greatest of all right violations for this reason. The only way for the government to maintain equality between the victim and the criminal is to administer the death penalty. The greatest crime, must be punished with the greatest punishment. Crimes are crimes because thy violate some sort of right. Nothing that the government can administer, such as jail, can compensate for the rights violated by the criminal. Therefore, to achieve proportionate equality, the death penalty is necessary.
cruizer1

Con

I would agree with all of Cirro's positions if his resolution did not begin with the words "In the US...". This phrase moves the argument from the theoretical to the real world. Having done so, Cirro's fine points are wasted in this debate since he has chosen the wrong premise.

Does my opponent also take the position that capital punishment has been fairly and justly administered in the US?
Debate Round No. 1
CiRrO

Pro

"I would agree with all of Cirro's positions if his resolution did not begin with the words "In the US...". This phrase moves the argument from the theoretical to the real world. Having done so, Cirro's fine points are wasted in this debate since he has chosen the wrong premise."

My Response: Its not a wrong premise because some ideas of punishment conflict according to region. I picked the US specifically on the fact that, here is where the debate is most widely held. Looking at the US's theories of punishment, the death penalty can go back and forth. I was going to use this later on, however looking at the US specifically our 8th Amendment was created by Beccaria, who I quoted before. Also, the end phrase (in-and-of the principles of punishment.) justifies in the US because the resolution implies the theoretical ideas of punishment in the US. Now, since this has been cleared, I await my opponents full rebuttal and/or constructive.

"Does my opponent also take the position that capital punishment has been fairly and justly administered in the US?"

My Response: I take the position that the US MAY have administered it unfairly. However, for this debate, I would like to debate principles rather then implications. And now, I stand ready for my opponents responses.
cruizer1

Con

cruizer1 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
CiRrO

Pro

Uhh, ok, my opponent forfeited so just extend my arguments/contentions.

However I will add one point I forgot to mention.

-Don't look at my opponents argument on the fact that if I didn't put US, then my opponent would have made the debate a global one. Therefore, I took away that issue by making it US specific.
cruizer1

Con

cruizer1 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by CiRrO 9 years ago
CiRrO
Hmm, because I have a habit of doing so. How does everyone know, its creepy.
Posted by Pluto2493 9 years ago
Pluto2493
why do you keep deleting your account?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by ZeXiOn 9 years ago
ZeXiOn
CiRrOcruizer1Tied
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Vote Placed by righteous-reply 9 years ago
righteous-reply
CiRrOcruizer1Tied
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Vote Placed by apathy77 9 years ago
apathy77
CiRrOcruizer1Tied
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Total points awarded:30