Resolved: The Death Penalty is Just
This debate is on the moral implications of the death penalty, and whether or not the death penalty is truly a just form of punishment.
The debate will be 5 rounds.
Round 1: acceptance and instructions ONLY
Round 2: ALL arguments to support case (without rebuttal)
Round 3: purely rebuttal, no new information or arguments
Round 4: rebuttal part 2, no new information or arguments
Round 5: conclusion/closing statements
My opponent and I will have 48 hours to post arguments in turn, with a limit on 8,000 characters per round for each debater.
Some key definitions (to be updated):
1) just - based on what is morally right and fair.
Good luck to us both!
Hello challenger, I am afraid you have not specifically abided by the rules I have put forth for this debate. To address this, when it is your turn for Round 2, please present your main arguments again, unless that first statement was your acceptance. Anyway, I digress. Here are my main arguments.
Resolved: The Death Penalty is Not Just
I. The Death Penalty is Based on Revenge
"revenge - the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands." (Google)
My argument is as follows:
1) The death penalty is based on revenge (as defined above).
2) Revenge is immoral.
3) Therefore, the death penalty is immoral.
4) The death penalty is unjust.
On Premise 1
The death penalty is based on revenge, as it is inflicting death upon criminals that inflict pain and suffering on others. This revenge is instituted by the federal/state governments (I am referring specifically to the situation in the US in this debate).
On Premise 2
Revenge is widely considered to be immoral. The premise of revenge is to inflict near, identical, or even excessively more pain than the criminal caused the victim, and that is just escalating the amount of immoral action (think Gandhi's eye-for-an-eye principle).
On Premise 3
The death penalty, because it is based on an immoral principle (revenge), is an immoral practice.
On Premise 4
As 'just' includes the condition of moral fairness and righteousness, the death penalty can be concluded to be unjust.
II. The Death Penalty is More Expensive
A common argument for the death penalty is claiming that keeping one in prison for life is expensive; rather, it is more expensive to institute the death penalty and the capital trials associated with this institution than keeping a criminal in prison for life, as shown here in California.
"California could save $1 billion over five years by replacing the death penalty with permanent imprisonment. California taxpayers pay $90,000 more per death row prisoner each year than on prisoners in regular confinement. Executing all of the people currently on death row, or waiting for them to die there of other causes, will cost California an estimated $4 billion more than if they had been sentenced to die in prison of disease, injury, or old age;"
The institution of the death penalty is therefore unjust to taxpayers, as they are forced to pay more of their money to support the continuation of capital punishment when this expense could be avoided without moral or financial dilemma.
Yes Revenge isnt exactly a good moral, Revenge is bad at times, but it isnt the families who decide whether the people die or not it is the government's decision so it couldn't be used in the defense of revenge as the jury have nothing to be revenged. The court, is about deciding what is fair and right. And if one person takes another's life isnt it fair that the murder dies himself? That is only what is right and has nothing to do with revenge.
Secondly It does cost more to feed, cloth and give water to prisoners instead of simply just shooting them in the head it is easier to get a gun in america then food, for the homeless.
This period is purely rebuttal. I will be analyzing specific quotations from my opponent's arguments, and refuting them.
1) "Yes Revenge isnt exactly a good moral, Revenge is bad at times, but it isnt the families who decide whether the people die or not it is the government's decision so it couldn't be used in the defense of revenge as the jury have nothing to be revenged."
I don't think saying that it is an outside party's decision makes it a just practice. The party which decides whether or not a criminal will be charged with the death penalty takes both sides into account and weighs the options, however, this does not change the fact that the death penalty is based on the concept of avengement of one's suffering and pain through killing, a perfect example of revenge.
My argument still stands, and is not refuted.
2) "And if one person takes another's life isnt it fair that the murder dies himself? That is only what is right and has nothing to do with revenge."
So if someone takes someone's eye out, it is completely right to take their eye out? No, of course not; that is just one more eye taken out. More pain, more suffering, more loss. That is clearly not ethically acceptable, as I have proven with my above argument. Simply put, the death penalty is immoral, and therefore unjust.
My argument still stands unrefuted.
3) "Secondly It does cost more to feed, cloth and give water to prisoners instead of simply just shooting them in the head"
I have already presented evidence that it costs more to maintain a capital trial, keep the inmate on death row, and then kill the inmate than have a life sentence instituted. That is fact, and is unrefutable.
Also, your logic is a bit flawed- prisoners on death row and awaiting institution of the death penalty are still given (and rightfully so) food, water and clothing, just like a prisoner serving a life sentence. You are inferring that this is not the case with prisoners to be put to death.
Thirdly, are you advocating shooting them in the head as an acceptable and just procedure to carry out capital punishment? I would like to hear from you in the coming rounds.
Thank you all for your participation and interest. I await my opponent's response.
ScarletandRose forfeited this round.
I await my opponent's rebuttal in this round. I will respond and give a summary in the last round as part of my conclusion, if my opponent responds.
ScarletandRose forfeited this round.
Although seemingly cut short by my opponent's forfeiture, I am inclined to give a summary of the arguments put forth in this debate.
1) The death penalty is based on revenge, as defined as "the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands." The death penalty is justified by proponents as existing to bring justice to murderers or perpetrators of horrific, heinous crimes. On the contrary, since the death penalty is based on the killing of the killers, we can safely conclude that the death penalty is based on revenge, is therefore immoral, and unjust.
2) It costs substantially more to institute capital punishment and the procedures leading up to the execution than to keep a criminal for life in prison without the possibility of parole. Taxpayers end up paying much more for capital punishment to be continued, and therefore, it is unjust to taxpayers to pay more money for an unjust. immoral procedure.
My Opponent's Main Arguments
Although my opponent was seemingly unwilling to respond to my arguments, I believe I received at least some argumentation which I can respond to:
1) It is ethical and fair to take someone's life if they have taken someone else's.
Response: No, it is not ethical in any way. As I have already established, this is a form of revenge, an immoral practice and one that should not be supported. Killing someone in retribution is unjust, as my arguments have already proposed.
2) Because it is the judicial system which institutes capital punishment, and not the victims' families, the death penalty cannot be based on revenge.
Response: Whoever institutes capital punishment does not change the nature of it. The purpose of the death penalty remains the same: the killing of the criminal for closure and retribution of the victim's killing. As I have reiterated several times throughout this debate, this practice is unjust, immoral and disgusting, and it severely limits the prestige of our government.
It is resolved that the death penalty is unjust, both to the criminal and the taxpayer, as shown through my arguments. Vote for Con!
ScarletandRose forfeited this round.
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