The Instigator
tajshar2k
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
Jerry947
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Resolved: The United States of America should abolish the Death Penalty

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
tajshar2k
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/7/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,525 times Debate No: 86215
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (24)
Votes (3)

 

tajshar2k

Pro

=Resolution=

This debate will be about whether the United States should abolish the Death Penalty.

"The death penalty, i.e. capital punishment, is "execution of an offender sentenced to death after conviction by a court of law of a criminal offense." [1. http://www.merriam-webster.com.........] Currently 32 states and the Federal government have a death penalty. [2. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org.........].


I will argue that the U.S should abolish the Death Penalty. while Con would argue against it, and support keeping the Death Penalty.


No K's

Jerry947

Con

I accept this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
tajshar2k

Pro

I will refer to the Death Penalty and other terms in this debate using different words

Legend

DP= Death Penalty
LWP= Life without Parole


Cost

The use of Capital Punishment is very expensive in many states. On average every Death Penalty case costs about 3 million dollars. This is very expensive to compared to Life Without Parole, since that costs about 1.1 million dollars. This trend is noticeable in my states.

Washington: On average, a death penalty case cost over 1 million more than it would in a LWP case. ($3.07 million, versus $2.01 million)

Nevada: The average DP case cost 1.3 million, while cases with the DP cost 775,000.

California: is one of the huge spenders for the Death penalty. This graph shows the costs.


It is estimated that if California switched to LWP, the the state would save about 170 million per year, and over 5 billion over the next 20 years.

There are many states which notice this trend, but overall, the Death Penalty is far more expensive than Life Without Parole. It's wasteful government spending, and a cheaper alternative would be Life Without Parole. In the source I provided, there are more states in which the DP is cheaper. States would be saving a lot of money if they abolished the DP. Criminalogists such as Richard Dieter have concluded "The death penalty is turning into a very expensive form of life without parole. At a time of budget shortfalls, the death penalty cannot be exempt from reevaluation alongside other wasteful government programs that no longer make sense." With such a high budget, the DP is killing states, and they would either be forced to cut spending, or abolish the DP. If they go with cuts, then things like law enforcement will also receive cuts, which would increase crime.


Ineffective at reducing crime

The DP is not effective in reducing crime rates. Several older studies show that this was the case, however there is not clear correlation for this, and there aren't any studies that show it is still effective in reducing the crime rates. According to the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, an organzation that collects dettterence theories, the DP had no significant detterence in crime. In a survery done, 88% of criminologists believed that the Death Penalty had no effect on the crime rate.




Several other respected criminologists have come to the same conclusion.
Jeffrey Fagan, a professor of law at Columbia University in the US, told Fact Check he believed that there was no evidence that showed the death penalty deterred. Professor Fagan, who appeared as an expert witness for Mr Chan and Mr Sukumaran in an unsuccessful appeal in 2007, said there was "no credible scientific evidence that the death penalty deters criminal behaviour".

In North Carolina, it has been realized that the DP does not reduce crime. Yet, according to the N.C. Department of Justice, the state murder rate has declined in the years since executions stopped. Given this fact, there is no credible argument that the death penalty deters crime. In a survery done in 2008, the majority of police chiefs said the insufficient use of the DP was the least likely reason for the crime rates, and that increasing the number of law enforcement would be far effective. Fifty-seven percent of the chiefs polled said they agreed with the statement that the death penalty does little to prevent violent crimes because perpetrators rarely consider the consequences when engaged in violence.



Innocent Lives

The huge problem with the Death Penalty is that it runs the risk of executing an innocent person. Since 1973, 173 people were found to be innocent in death row, and were released. This is a lot of people that could have have been executed. There have been 13 cases where there was some suspiscion whether that person was innocent. In the US, there have been around 16 wrongful convictions of people which resulted in executions, then posthumously, they were declared innocent. This certainly violates an American's basic freedom. "The right to live". Even in a LWP case, the innocent still has a chance to live his life, but in this case, his right is violated simply for an ancient punishment.

Conclusion

I believe I have shown why the DP should be abolished. I have shown it's far more costly than non- Death Penalty cases, and there is not credible evidence that shows it reduces crime, infact alternatives such as increasing the # of lawn enforcement is preferred by my police chiefs. On top of that, it risks the chance of executing innocent lives.


Links

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...;
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
http://www.foxnews.com...
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
http://nccadp.org...


Jerry947

Con

"The use of Capital Punishment is very expensive in many states. On average every Death Penalty case costs about 3 million dollars."

This first argument that my opponent uses in not against the death penalty. It is against a flaw in the capital punishment system. It is true that the costs are high but it does not have to be this way. It is only in this age where it costs so much to put someone to death. In most of the world, for most of humanities existence, humans just killed people and their barely was a cost. It literally would cost .25 cents to buy a bullet an then kill someone with it. But in our society, things are way to expensive. So I urge my opponent to think about an actual argument against the death penalty instead of one against one of the flaws with the system. I happen to agree that the death penalty is way to expensive. But a flaw within the system should be fixed. It doesn't mean the whole system has to be done away with.

"The DP is not effective in reducing crime rates. Several older studies show that this was the case, however there is not clear correlation for this, and there aren't any studies that show it is still effective in reducing the crime rates."

The problem with your supporting evidence is that you didn't show any actual statistics that show that the death penalty is ineffective. Your chart only provides peoples opinions on whether it deters crime or not.

"there was no credible scientific evidence that the death penalty deters criminal behaviour"

It is common sense. You kill a person, they can't do any more bad things. You could send them to prison, but then we would be paying money for a person that deserves to be executed for the rest of our lives. According to statistics "provided by the office of California's nonpartisan Legislative Analyst, the current annual cost for maintaining an inmate in a state prison is $47,102" (http://www.mountain-news.com...). That amount that it costs to keep a criminal alive will not change much since they have to pay for their food, water, medical expenses, and etc. But the death penalty would not have to cost much more than a few cents if we were to fix the flaw in the system.

"Fifty-seven percent of the chiefs polled said they agreed with the statement that the death penalty does little to prevent violent crimes because perpetrators rarely consider the consequences when engaged in violence."

While this may be true in some cases, the death penalty is also used to get people what they deserve. People deserve punishments that match the crimes they commit. When someone murders someone, paying thousands of dollars for them to live in prison is not justice. But putting them to death makes it clear that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. I really don't care if people consider the consequences when they commit a crime. They know that they are doing something wrong and they should get a punishment that matches the crime they committed.

"The huge problem with the Death Penalty is that it runs the risk of executing an innocent person. Since 1973, 173 people were found to be innocent in death row, and were released"

Again, my opponent has mentioned a flaw with the death penalty. But the death penalty has also killed over 1200 people that were guilty criminals who did horrible things (http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...). In other words, the death penalty kills way more guilty people than innocent people. While it is still a problem for innocent people to be killed, we should focus on removing the flaw instead of removing the whole system.

The death penalty should also be allowed because it is constitutional. The 5th amendment states that there no one shall "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation" (https://www.law.cornell.edu...). In other words, when someone is convicted of a crime, they can lose their right to life.

So...my opponent hasn't really argued against the death penalty. They have just argued against flaws within the system.
Debate Round No. 2
tajshar2k

Pro

Rebutalls

Thank you for your responds Con.

I believe Con has lost this debate already, and allow me to explain why.



For his first rebutalls, Con is simply arguing for the use of Capital Punishment, and not the type the United States uses. Con simply tries to to say the cost's do not have to be this way, but this isn't an argument. This is how DP is applied in the U.S, and Con cannot change that. There is a large process into punishing criminals, and it isn't simply just executing him. So, this cannot even be considered a rebutall, when Con isn't even defending the DP the United States use. Even with arguing for the generic concept of Capital punishment, he doesn't even give us solutions on how it can be cheaper. No where in the world, does it take 25 cents to execute a criminal. This is almost impossible.


Con says I never gave any statistics that show that the DP is ineffective, but I did. " North Carolina, it has been realized that the DP does not reduce crime. Yet, according to the N.C. Department of Justice, the state murder rate has declined in the years since executions stopped." The opinions that I provided come from highly respected Criminologists, and their opinions shouldn't be taken lightly.


Con concedes that there is no evidence that states criminal behavior deters crime, because his response was off topic. Con says that it would be cheaper in reformed system, but I don't get it. How would you make it cheaper? I also do not know what flaw Con is talking about.

This is a moral argument, and this doesn't adress my rebutall, so this is another concession. I'll admit, I still believe the DP is morally correct, but I don't believe the moral argument bears any impact, since both sides will argue that they are the more moral one.

I can't consider this to be a serious rebutall. How do you plan on fixing this flaw? It's mathamathically impossible to be 100% accurate in executing the right guy. Unless there is some time machine, then there is no solution. The DP is a flaw system, because there is always the risk of executing the wrong guy. The justice system pretty much fails in giving justice when it kills an innocent person. It's cold-blooded murder.


Please vote Pro for the following reasons.

- Establishes the DP is too expensive
- Establishes most Criminalogists don't believe the DP to deter crime
-Establishes the DP hasn't reduced crime statistically in recent years
-Establishes the DP has executed innocents (and still risks doing the same)
-Establishes LWP is cheaper than the DP


Thank you Con for this debate
Jerry947

Con

My opponent seems to misunderstand what the debate is about. In round one, he said that I would have to argue for the use of the death penalty in the United States. He never mentioned that I had to argue for the current system the United States uses. After all, the Unite States has a history of the death penalty being very cheap unlike it is today. So if this was some sort of attempt to get a quick win in this debate...I hope that the voters can see past that.

While there is currently a large process of executing a person in the Unite States, it has not always been this way in this country. Recently, the cost have gone up mainly because of the reasons this website lists: https://www.themarshallproject.org...

The costs are astounding right now. Things were much simply a few hundred years ago when people quickly had a trail an killed the criminal. You will never fin an example of a death penalty case cost over a million dollars in the 18th Century.

My opponent claims "even with arguing for the generic concept of Capital punishment, he doesn't even give us solutions on how it can be cheaper." My response is that it is common sense. We merely need to do things like the people of the past did. Only have two lawyers, have a judge, get an unbiased jury, an have a goo quick trail. If we on't know who did it, we set the person convicted free. It should never be millions of dollars. And for crying out loud, we nee to stop paying people for doing things for their country. It use to be seen as a responsibility to get involve in the government. People don't deserve to get paid all that money for these cases.

My opponent also states "no where in the world, does it take 25 cents to execute a criminal. This is almost impossible." My response is that is not even close to being true. There are many places in the world (mainly in the past) where people were just sentenced to death an the costs were nothing. King Henry had many of his wives executed for no cost at all. The point is that it does not have to be expensive. It really is not that hard to get a .25 cent bullet and execute a person.

It was then claimed that "North Carolina, it has been realized that the DP does not reduce crime. Yet, according to the N.C. Department of Justice, the state murder rate has declined in the years since executions stopped." Except for the fact that killing a person prevents the person from killing anyone else. Life in imprisonment may seem to do the same thing...but we would have to pay thousands upon thousands of dollars to pay for them to stay there for the rest of their lives.

As for the so called highly respected criminologists my opponent has spoke of, (http://nccadp.org...) the link he have about North Carolina does not even mention an author or the writers credentials.

It was said that "Con concedes that there is no evidence that states criminal behavior deters crime, because his response was off topic." This is only true to an extent. It is still a fact that killing a prevent prevents them from doing any more harm.

My opponent concedes that the death penalty is morally correct. This means one of my points has been made. Morality is the one thing that should go beyond cost.

"How do you plan on fixing this flaw? It's mathamathically impossible to be 100% accurate in executing the right guy."

If people are uncertain about who id it, then don't execute the person. Only kill those that we are sure of committing the violent crimes. While the death penalty system has become a flawed system, I challenge my opponent to name a system that hasn't become flawed in the United States.

Please vote Con for...

a. establishing that the death penalty doesn't have to be expensive
b. not putting links at the bottom of the page that make it confusing for the readers
c. establishing that my opponent has made no argument against the death penalty...only against flaws in the system
d. Establishing that the system is morally correct
Debate Round No. 3
tajshar2k

Pro

Throughout this debate, my opponent has given very weak rebutalls, that aren't very realistic. When he argues about defending the Death Penalty in America, he can't bring up what other countries do, or what happened before. If that's the case, then the BOP is shared, since he is also making claims that are part of the status quo.

For his first rebutall, Con is simply stating it doesn't have to be expensive. This rebutall is very vague, as it doesn't explain how it could be cheaper. He uses examples of what happened in the 18th century, and this is quite ridiculous. We never had extensive judical processes back then. In fact, the number of innocents who were killed were much higher than they were back then. Con doesn't take in factor that 25 cents, is not even adjusted for inflation. We don't even know that, since Con provided 0 sources in this debate. I think Con should know that you need a gun to use the bullet, and a gun does not cost 25 cents.


Con seems to believe that a judicial process is very cheap, but I don't understand why he thinks that. In the debate, he provided no source that shows that the death penalty was cheaper in the past, and simply is asumming many things. Con seems to want to sacrafice the judicial procress, just to minimize costs. I'd like to remind Con that excecuting an innocent person is a direction violation of the Constitution. "Life Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness".


Con says I forfeited morality, but i did not. I argued that the argument has no impact since both sides are justified. Regardless, there is no place in this debate, that Con showed that morality is more important than cost.


Throughout this whole debate, Con is simply making assumptions, and has no evidence of his claims. He is arguing based on semantics and fails to provide realistic and civiilized soulutions to adresss the situation.


Please vote for Pro. I have given emperical evidence of the DP being expensive, and showing LWP is cheaper. I have shown the DP is not even effective in deterring crime. Con simply relies on blantant assumptions, and has failed to show that the United States should keep the DP.

Thank you Con for the debate.
Jerry947

Con

My opponent starts off his last round asserting that I never explained how the death penalty could be cheaper. This is just not true. Last round I provided a link that showed why the death penalty is so expensive (https://www.themarshallproject.org...) and then I explained that it would be way cheaper to merely "have two lawyers, have a judge, get an unbiased jury, and have a good quick trial. If we won't know who did it, we set the person convicted free. It should never be millions of dollars. And for crying out loud, we need to stop paying people for doing things for their country. It use to be seen as a responsibility to get involve in the government. People don't deserve to get paid all that money for these cases."

Instead of responding to what I said, my opponent ignored it and pretended like I never said anything about how to lower the costs of the death penalty. Later, my opponent asserts (without evidence) "that the number of innocents who were killed were much higher than they were back then." I don't even know how to respond to that statement considering it makes little sense.

My opponent then goes on to explain that a gun costs more than .25 cents and that these prices have not been adjusted for inflation. What a bizarre response. This new cost I have come up with is way less expensive than life in prison and is way less expensive than the current system of the death penalty costs. My solution still stands.

It was then stated that "Con seems to believe that a judicial process is very cheap, but I don't understand why he thinks that. In the debate, he provided no source that shows that the death penalty was cheaper in the past, and simply is assuming many things." The fact is that I have not assumed nothing. It is common sense that killing someone can be done with a .25 cent bullet. I don't need a source to prove that. And I never once claimed that the judicial process is cheap in its current state. I was merely stating that it does not cost much to kill people. The key to keeping things cheap is to get less people involved, and to have a quick trial.

Then he says that "Con seems to want to sacrafice the judicial procress, just to minimize costs. I'd like to remind Con that excecuting an innocent person is a direction violation of the Constitution. Life Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." I never once said to get rid of the judicial process...but I am for a quick trail life the constitution says to have (https://en.wikipedia.org...). Things are much cheaper when the trail is not drawn out for several years. And allow me to remind Pro that the death penalty is constitution. That reason only should be reason enough to keep it. But my opponent never actually responded to this point I made at the end of round two. And of course I would agree that killing innocent people would be unconstitutional. But the quick trial would only execute the person if they were sure they did the crime.

Pro claims that "Con says I forfeited morality, but i did not. I argued that the argument has no impact since both sides are justified. Regardless, there is no place in this debate, that Con showed that morality is more important than cost." The fact is that he did forfeit morality when he said that "I still believe the DP is morally correct." But if Pro want to forfeit morality...then I guess all his arguments about innocent lives can be dropped if morality has no place in this debate.

Lastly, my opponent says "he is arguing based on semantics and fails to provide realistic and civilized solutions to address the situation." The truth is that my opponent was hoping for a quick win in this debate. Proof of this is that he tried to change what the debate was about earlier in the debate. Again, I hope the voters can see this. I gave plenty of evidence and other examples to make my points.

Vote for Con because Con...

a. Gave constitutional/moral arguments for the death penalty while Pro only gave arguments against the flaws within the system and didn't argue against the system itself.

b. Had two great arguments for the death penalty which were ignored by Pro.

I thank Pro for an informative debate.
Debate Round No. 4
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 16kadams 10 months ago
16kadams
DPIC everywhere, my god XD
Posted by tejretics 11 months ago
tejretics
To add to my RFD:

I weigh innocents over justice because it isn't clearly elucidated why the govt should legislate on what is "just" nor is it explained if the DP is "just" at all- at least on a util framework it's clear from Pro's offense and Con's concessions that the DP is unjust. Pro concedes implicitly to a util mechanism, so that's how I weigh it and the retributive justice talked about doesn't factor into that mechanism at all
Posted by tejretics 11 months ago
tejretics
This debate's arguments were so vague it was very tough to actually write this RFD.

The costs point is pretty straightforward at first, but Con posits a counterplan after listing the reasons the DP is costly. It's clear that- despite Pro's objections- the counter-plan solves these costs. The factors affecting the cost of the capital cases are listed, and Con's CP solves this. It's basically dropped.

I vote on innocents alone. Pro argues that innocent lives are lost via the death penalty, and Con at first just concedes this, and tries to argue that his offense outweighs. Following that, Con offers a pretty vague counter-plan on fixing the system by only executing those that one is "sure" are guilty- he doesn't show how to be "sure," so I find it to be pretty vague

As for Con's offense, Con doesn't have any- he has a vague, implicit point about justice, saying many people accused of terrible crimes have been executed. But Con doesn't really explain how the DP is just or beneficial, and how much impact it has in this debate.

Con doesn't offer me a weighing mechanism to weigh justice against innocents, so I default to Pro
Posted by Hayd 11 months ago
Hayd
RFD Part 1

Pro shows that the DP is very costly; more than life imprisonment. Thus abolishing it would save a lot of money. Con concedes this but says that "we can just fix it". If Con is proposing a CP, he has to outline what his counterplan is, and how it will fix the problem Pro proposed. Con doesn't do that, thus it still stands.

Pro's second argument is more a defensive argument against an argument for the deterrence of the DP. Thus since it isn't offensive it doesn't have impact.

Pro also shows that innocents are executed by the DP, which isn't good. Con responds in the same way as the first argument, and the same logic follows. Thus Pro's argument still stands. Con also shows that more guilty people are excecuted than innocent people are. But this doesn't change the fact that innocent people are excecuted, thus the argument stands.

Con's argument is that the death penalty gives people what they deserve. Why is this what they deserve though, this is not explained. Pro argues that moral arguments have no impact because both sides think they are right. This doesn't really negate the argument, it drops it.

Thus in the end I have cost and innocents taken on Pro's side and "people get what they deserve" on Con's side. Since "people get what they deserve" was never explained why they get what they deserve, Pro's innocents executed outweighs this on its own since that is immoral, plus cost makes Pro win.
Posted by tajshar2k 11 months ago
tajshar2k
@Jerry If you ask me, I do find the DP moral. I see no reason to allow sick people like War criminals, or molesters live in jail, because I doubt they are regretting it. I do support killing them in the most brutal method possible. It might be more conservative than your view.

However, that's my personal view, not my political view. I don't support the DP anymore because other impacts like cost, innocents getting executed, and it's relevance in a civilized society. I don't really think it's worth to kill somebody for 3 million taxpayer dollars, when we can just let them rot in jail for cheaper.
Posted by Hayd 12 months ago
Hayd
This is 7th on my voting list...so maybe
Posted by famousdebater 12 months ago
famousdebater
The problem with what you did was that you committed a fallacy by continuously shifting the goalposts. This is unfair because all you had to was constantly change the goalposts meaning that you never had to actually respond to Taj's content. Every time that Taj brought up a detrimental argument you could simply say that there are alternatives, thus ruining the entire point of the debate. If I was in a debate with you on the subject of guns bans and you said that it would be unrealistic because of the American culture, if I just said: we'll do it over a long period of time it immediately negates this contention. The purpose of the debate isn't for you to make suggestions as to how to improve different issues. It is for one side to defend the status quo and for the other to attempt to negate it.
Posted by Jerry947 12 months ago
Jerry947
As I recall, that link was only there to support that the federal government and the states used the death penalty.

Besides, I didn't know that opponents could use links to state what other people were supposed to argue (although, his link did not do this). The definition given said nothing about me defending the current system as it is.
Posted by famousdebater 12 months ago
famousdebater
The definition provided in R1 specifically included the link to the death penalty information center. Since the definition of death penalty specifically used the link that described the current death penalty it was fairly obvious that you were defending the status quo. Also, the fact that Taj was advocating a ban of the death penalty obviously meant that he wanted to ban the current death penalty. If I said I'm against the death penalty it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm against every single type and version of death penalty imaginable. It just means that I'm against the current method of the death penalty. Unless specified specifically in R1 or you are negating the status quo, counterplan's like this aren't really encouraged unless you can give it a lot of explanation in order to show that the two system's are comparable, etc.
Posted by Jerry947 12 months ago
Jerry947
I expected this to be a moral debate since it was on the use of the death penalty. I think your view on morality is a little disturbing since this is such a big issue. But...I do thank you again for the debate even if it wasn't quite what I was expecting. Sorry to hear you are leaving. I should probably take a break from this website as well.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by tejretics 11 months ago
tejretics
tajshar2kJerry947Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Hayd 11 months ago
Hayd
tajshar2kJerry947Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by famousdebater 12 months ago
famousdebater
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.