The Instigator
kcirrone
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Johnicle
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points

Resolved: The Death Penalty is a just punishment.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/7/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,825 times Debate No: 4367
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (5)

 

kcirrone

Pro

Resolved: The Death Penalty is a just punishment.

Definitions:

Death Penalty: The execution of a criminal for a capital crime.
Just: Giving each their due
Punishment: the infliction of a negative for the breaking of the law or for a right violation.

Contentions:

I. The Death Penalty is the only true proportionate punishment for killers. Killers take away the greatest right, the right to life. When this is violated, no earthly punishment is great enough to "balance the scale of justice" according to Kant. The only way to keep the scale equal is to kill the killer. You can also use Kant's universality argument, in that if the killer universalizes his action of killing, then the state is giving him what he wants and deserves, death. The killer must be held to equal worth the the victim. By letting him live, you are placing the life of the criminal over that of the victim. What type of society is that??

II. The Death Penalty is utilitarian.

A) Deterrence. The death penalty deters, meaning it stops future crimes. You are protecting more innocents. According to a Harvard Study, the death penalty saves 7-8 innocent people per year. The obligation of the state is to p[protect society, and they can do this by the death Penalty. So, society as well as the criminal is getting its due.

B) Incapacitation. The Death Penalty makes sure the same criminal does not commit the same crime, either in-jail or out of jail. Again, more people are protected.

III. Self-Defense Theory. The State is the embodiment of society. An individual has the right to kill an attacker to protect his/her own life. The State has the same right. It's justified in killing a criminal to protect itself from harm. Easy enough -- Self-Defense.
Johnicle

Con

Sorry to post so late

Off your case-

I. You talk about the death penalty being the only true proportionate to a murder... An eye for an eye if you will... But what you have to see is that killing someone for killing someone is imprudently sinking yourself to the level of the murderer. In times like this you must ask yourself, "Why is killing bad?" The answer is obvious, you take away the rest of someones life... it is final. This takes away the chance of reversing the sentence (which I will extend on a little later), it also takes away the chance for the victim's chance of redeeming himself... Even if you don't believe in after life of any certain faith you do have to give into the idea of going out of this life on a good note. Certain people have "saved themselves" while being in prison... Why? because you give them TIME to THINK ABOUT IT... If you kill them you take away their right to that which can never be reversed. Being in prison FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE (w/o death penalty) IS the ULTIMATE PUNISHMENT. Killing someone is a easy way out for these people. The only way they are going to receive humane suffering is by being in prison. The death penalty has essentially taken away the whole suffering factor (lethal injection)... You claim "eye for eye", but when someone rapes, tortures, and kills someone, how can a poke in the arm get any sort of settlement out of that. The only way of receiving your "due" (your definition of just) is by having them "rot" in prison(humanly yet painfully).

IIA. You talk about it being utilitarian... HA... You "protect" people, but when asked "which would you prefer, life in prison or a poke in the arm?" what deterrence is that? They both suck, but you have to give them time to rethink that night they ended someones life for them to suffer at all. Furthermore, you have to see all of the innocent peoples lives it kills. I don't have an exact number (after all, how can you be sure), but it IS common knowledge that people have been put to death when completely innocent. I HAVE seen statistics that plea bargaining has been responsible for half of the people that are on death row actually being innocent (half of EVERYONE)... 7-8 people are "saved" by the death penalty, but how many are killed? The sad fact is that no one will ever be sure, because as I've said, the death penalty is final.

IIB. The death penalty ensures that the same crime will not be committed by the same person... Same as the innocent never being able to see light again. Furthermore, the only thing that would replace the death penalty would be life in prison without parole. This debate is about the death penalty being just or not... this argument is simply a justification (excuse) as to why to use something. If a guy spit on me I could kill him to ensure that he wouldn't do it again but that doesn't make it just.

III. This third argument is mislead. The state is truly the police... "In the moment" can NOT be done in the judicial system of our government, only by police. Police to not give the death PENALTY. When they protect themselves, it is not a penalty and is NOT capital punishment. If a person is under arrest, self defense is not possible by the initiation of law.

I stand ready for your responses!

Thank You!
Debate Round No. 1
kcirrone

Pro

Ok, seeing as though you have no formal case, I'll go straight to crystallizing my own.

And thx for accepting.

Contention 1: his attacks, my responses:

"You talk about the death penalty being the only true proportionate to a murder... An eye for an eye if you will... But what you have to see is that killing someone for killing someone is imprudently sinking yourself to the level of the murderer."

My Response: First off, proportionality is not "an eye for an eye", I'm not advocating raping a rapist, but murder is a different situation. The only punishment great enough to equal that of which has been taken from the victim. Since life encompasses all rights, once you take that away, then all rights are gone. The only punishment equal to the right violations committed by a killer is receiving the death penalty. Also, the State is not sinking to the level of a murderer. The State is not an individual. If we looked at your logic, then all punishments should be stopped because jailing them is sinking to the level of a kidnapper.

"In times like this you must ask yourself, "Why is killing bad?" The answer is obvious, you take away the rest of someones life... it is final. This takes away the chance of reversing the sentence (which I will extend on a little later), it also takes away the chance for the victim's chance of redeeming himself..."

My Response: Exactly, killing is bad because its final, the victim is no totally gone, and the only way to uphold equal worth is to take the life of the killer. Your thing about "redemption" is short-sited on the fact 1) We could never tell if they are truly sorry, and 2) If a killing is done again, then the state has lost now 2 innocents for the sake of the redemption of one.

"Killing someone is a easy way out for these people. The only way they are going to receive humane suffering is by being in prison. The death penalty has essentially taken away the whole suffering factor (lethal injection)"

My Response: LOL, prison doesn't cause suffering, especially in the US. Locking someone up in a facility that feeds them, cleans them, gives them recreation time is not suffering. Let's just give them house arrest, thats humane isn't it? On th contrary to what you say, the death penalty keeps them totally culpable for their actions. Also, if we wanted criminals to indeed suffer, lets just use corporal punishment or torture, right? Also, a punishment cannot be humane and torturous at the same time. Punishments are meant to balance the scales of justice.

--Extension: My opponent has failed to address the point of Kant's scale of justice argument, so you can extend that for the entire round.

Contention 2

"You talk about it being utilitarian... HA... You "protect" people, but when asked "which would you prefer, life in prison or a poke in the arm?" what deterrence is that? They both suck, but you have to give them time to rethink that night they ended someones life for them to suffer at all."

My Response: The Death Penalty has a dtterent effect, I.E. you are protecting people. Stats: Florida and Texas (who hold the most executions) have the greatest decrease of violent crimes since the DP's reinstatement. Also, Singapore who holds the most frequent executions have the lowest crime rates in the world.

"Furthermore, you have to see all of the innocent peoples lives it kills. I don't have an exact number (after all, how can you be sure), but it IS common knowledge that people have been put to death when completely innocent."

My Reponse: Ok..innocent people have died. If the government really wanted no innocents to die then they would ban automobiles. (Its the greatest killer of young people.) But why don't they? Because the contributions outweigh the negatives. According to the Bureau of Justice, there is only one case of a person being killed innocently. And guess what, it's only a case of "reasonable doubt", the man wasn't even considered innocent. Also, according to the B of J, anyone considered in the reasonable doubt sector get off Death Row. This only affirms my position, on that the checks in the system are so great.

"Furthermore, the only thing that would replace the death penalty would be life in prison without parole."

My Response: Ok, thats all well and good, until crimes are committed in jail, where the majority of rapes and killings occur. Ok, so lets put him in jail where he could possibly kill another person.

Contention 3

"This third argument is mislead. The state is truly the police... "In the moment" can NOT be done in the judicial system of our government, only by police. Police to not give the death PENALTY."

My Response: First, I never said the police specifically. You are not getting my point. I'm saying that since the state is the embodiment of society, they have the right to defend its members.

Overview:

Remember, the debate is about "justice", and not once did my opponent sufficiently say how its not just.

My opponent has failed to give an adequate negative back-up plan. He said life in jail without parole but then he misses the point about in-jail killings.

Voting Issues:

1) The Pro/Aff better upholds the idea of justice - giving each their due. I give the criminal what he is due, and I give society what it's due, i.e. protection.
2) My opponet has failed to create an adequate negative back-up plan.
Johnicle

Con

Oh the flaws… An overview of my opponent's last round would show that he has not stuck true to the resolution in any manor. His entire refutation of my arguments basically showed how the "jail" system is flawed and killing them is the better alternative. Well, having two unjust forms of punishments and A) (death penalty) is better than B) (life in jail) does not take away from the fact that they both may be unjust. He is using the ends to justify the means in that he says that the criminal MIGHT kill another while in jail. Who is he to warrant this possibility? Who is he to say that since this might happen than killing this other person is the better alternative? Certainly this may happen, but something else that may happen is my opponent kill me, does that mean that we should end his life? NO… that would be unjust. In reality, my opponent's entire last speech gave excuses toward the use of the death penalty and showed no real reason as to why the death penalty is just.

The only important line of arguing is if the punishment itself is just or not. I advocate that the death penalty is unjust and I will prove it through the following line of argumentation…

1) The death penalty is an eye for an eye.
--> If an eye is unjust (killing), than why are we doing it? What is the overwhelming reason that we can advocate doing to the criminal what they did to us? It IS like raping a rapist. Someone kills someone so we kill them. That is a good excuse, but excuses DON'T make things just. Death does not give people their due EVER.

2) The due of the killer.
--> The killer is due life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The guarantee of each person that is in America. When they go against America's beliefs, then they are due to have those basic rights restricted, NOT taken completely away. They are due the proper punishment (which is not the unjust action of the death penalty). They are due the thoughts of what they did while they rot in prison for the given length of life they have left. My opponent claims that prison is like a vacation, but that is not what we are debating. My thoughts toward what is the true just due for the criminal is a consistent amount of solitary confinement mixed with a necessary amount of regular jail time (It's not my job to determine how much, instead I would put that burden on the judicial system). This would allow for the criminal to re-think and give him the chance of rehabilitation. The point I am trying to make with this is that there are better ways of punishing these criminals. Solitary confinement is an extremely underrated form of punishment. The death penalty is an overrated form of punishment as the only suffering we put them through is like a pinch in the arm.

3) Costs of the two forms of punishment.
--> Besides the cost of people's lives being lost, there is a greater cost and that is money. When someone is put on death row, a number of appeals begin being in process (it is a significant part of the process). After these appeals, the amount of money spent on the death penalty in question is around 2 MILLION dollars. (1)"Total cost of death penalty is 38% greater than total cost of life without parole sentences." However, the amount of money needed in order to put someone in jail for life is around 500 thousand dollars (which can be made up through service of the inmate under surveillance). I really don't think that there is any argument against the fact that being in jail for the rest of your life is a greater suffering when compared to the death penalty (pinch in the arm compared to sitting and rotting in jail for the rest of your life). In other words, it is CHEAPER to have the punishment that is of greater suffering. "If you do the crime, you do the time"… You know, there is a reason it says that and not, "If you do the crime, you go through extremely expensive appeals and then get out of it through a 2 minute injection into your arm that has been made to give you the littlest amount of pain possible." It is truly ridiculous when you think about it.

My opponent claims that the death penalty is deterrence, but I am curious as to where he warrants this. (1) "Janet Reno stated at a Justice Department news briefing in January 2000 that: "I have inquired for most of my adult life about studies that might show that the death penalty is a deterrent, and I have not seen any research that would substantiate that point."

Although my opponent will probably spend the next round saying all of the things that I dropped and didn't specifically attack… it really doesn't matter. Not because I don't care about his arguments but they just didn't seem to apply to the resolution at all (first paragraph)… I would like to flow through one thing that my opponent said, murder is the ultimate crime. Therefore I would like to agree that we should give the ultimate penalty, and that simply is life in jail. The death penalty is pinch and sleep and DONE and that is it… that is simply unjust. Not to mention that MANY innocent people are put to death, (1) "Over 123 people have been found innocent of the crime they were sentenced to death for." Because of this, I urge my opponent to prove that the deterrence is great enough to outweigh the 123 innocent people. If not, the death penalty IS unjust. Well, I may have not been very specific, but I did cover his "voters" and what I saw as important.

(1)- http://www.nyadp.org...

P.S.- Sorry if I seem like a jerk. I just feel like being extreme and over-obvious. You're a great debater and I thank you for this round. Good luck round 3!

Thanks
Debate Round No. 2
kcirrone

Pro

kcirrone forfeited this round.
Johnicle

Con

Hmmm... his account has been closed thus the forfeit. But as a debater, I can't just sit here and not argue SOMETHING. I'll sum up the round as to why the CON position has been proven more true than the PRO position.

SUMMARY

The round basically comes down to what is just and if the death penalty gives proper due. You must see the obvious argument that was PROVEN and then DROPPED that the death penalty costs more money. This argument can easily be linked to the society having to pay for the extreme appeal process. Thus, the society does not receive their due as far as the punishment of the death penalty is concerned. Furthermore, you must account for the innocent killed... He claims that about 5-7 innocent people are saved because of the death penalty. BUT what about all of the innocent people that are killed because of the death penalty? My evidence shows the EXTREMELY high percentage of innocent people put on death row (for various reasons)... However, this doesn't even account for all of the people not discovered. The number is unknown, and that in and of itself is wrong. All that I know is that it is MUCH more that 5-7 innocent people killed improperly from the death penalty. Finally, the punishment isn't proper. The only difference between the death penalty and life in prison (w/o parole) is that the people that receive capital punishment get an early ticket out of there with a pinch in the arm. BOTH of the punishments ensure that their life is essentially over, but the life in prison gives the criminal a chance to change their life so they can leave this earth "on a good note." Not to mention that rotting in prison actually gives him/her time to regret what they've done (some actually do turn around their life). The greatest suffering for the greatest crime that offers the greatest due is NOT the death penalty, but rather life in prison (w/o parole), so please vote CON!

Thanks even though your account is closed!
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Pluto2493 9 years ago
Pluto2493
ZOMG! It saves EIGHT lives a year? NO WAY!

http://www.nodeathpenaltywi.org...

You've got it all wrong.
Posted by Johnicle 9 years ago
Johnicle
phew, I was pushing it there... just barely got to post, 2 hours left! Good Luck!
Posted by MoonDragon613 9 years ago
MoonDragon613
Silly conservatives. So ... inefficient...
I can't believe you'd want to kill convicted felons. They just seem so... marketable. I'm all up for "punishing" the guilty, it's not like anyone goes around saying let all felons free ... but spending money to kill them is just unsound economic policy if you as me.

Oh and a fetus is an evil parasite. I'll get to my closing in our debate soon.
Posted by kcirrone 9 years ago
kcirrone
LOL, Moondragon, its rather simple really. Conservatives believe in protecting the innocent and punishing the guilty. Abortion is killing an innocent. Death Penalty punishes the guilty. Oh, and modern DNA testing has a 98% chance of success, and now a days in capital case they only go by DNA testing and reference.
Posted by Rezzealaux 9 years ago
Rezzealaux
Speaking of which, I recall that conservatives are against welfare and healthcare too...
Posted by MoonDragon613 9 years ago
MoonDragon613
Rofl. I always find it amusing to watch Conservatives argue against abortion because all life is sacred, then turn around arguing for the Death Penalty.
Posted by Rezzealaux 9 years ago
Rezzealaux
Presumption being that you never convict the wrong people.
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Vote Placed by Johnicle 8 years ago
Johnicle
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