The Instigator
Pluto2493
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
cynicalbanana
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Resolved: The United States should abolish the death penalty.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/5/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,286 times Debate No: 4353
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (7)

 

Pluto2493

Pro

Good day, Ladies and Gentlemen. In this case, I will prove to you why the United States should abolish the death penalty.

I thank my (possible) opponent for accepting this debate, and I ask that the voters vote based on the arguments presented. Any RFD's would be apprieciated.

The resolution is pretty straight-forward, so I will get right down to my case.

CONTENTION I: Capital Punishment does not deter crime.

There have been numerous studies that indicate that the death penalty does not deter crime. Take this (http://www.nodeathpenaltywi.org...) Some key figures in this are:

• The murder rate in Canada has dropped by 27% since the death penalty was abolished in that country in 1976.

• A New York Times survey demonstrated that the homicide rate in states with capital punishment have been 48% to 101% higher than those without the death penalty.

84% of current and former presidents of the country's top academic criminological societies reject the notion that research shows any deterrent effect from the death penalty.

Also, take a moment to look at this from the American Civil Liberties Union (http://www.aclu.org...)

There is a stricking similarity between the number of executions and the number of homicides- most times the number of executions go up, the National Murder Rate goes along with it.

I'd also like to add that most people that are desperate enough to kill someone are not thinking about the consequences. Furthermore, they are going to do anything to kill that person. It will never change, no matter what punishment they have.

Clearly, through numerous studies, we can see that the death penalty does not deter crime.

CONTENTION II: Life in Prison is cheaper than the death penalty.

When a person is convicted and sentenced to their death, it takes 10-20 years to actually put them to death. This can cause great costs. Also, in order for it to be quicker, judges must make consistent decisions, which they do NOT do.

(http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...)

Key facts:

-Death penalty trials cost an average of 48% more than the average cost of trials in which prosecutors seek life imprisonment.

-The trial costs for death cases were about 16 times greater than for non-death cases ($508,000 for death case; $32,000 for non-death case).

-Total cost of Indiana's death penalty is 38% greater than the total cost of life without parole sentences

-Florida would save $51 million each year by punishing all first-degree murderers with life in prison without parole

-North Carolina Spends More per Execution than on a Non-death Penalty Murder Case

There are several other statistics here: (http://www.mindspring.com...)

This one gives more staggering statistics, basically confirming that the death penalty costs more.

CONTENTION III: Death penalty is wrong.

I'm going to split this one up into three arguments.

A. The eighth amendment to the United States constitution states that judges may not make cruel and unusual punishments. The death penalty is exactly that. There is no humane way to kill someone. The quickest and eaiest way to kill someone would be a shot to the head, but that would destroy the body. Most states now prefer lethal injection. What most people don't realize is that you don't instantly die with lethal injection. Your body starts to become paralyzed, from the feet up, after about 20 seconds. After about a minute or two, your body develops reactions. You start bleeding out of any place you can, you start drooling perfiously, and your body shakes rapidly. After about 3 minutes it stops, and your dead. It is an extremly cruel way to die.

B. The idea of capital puishment is contridictary. The reason people want the death penalty is because killing is bad. So, why do we kill them? What kind of message is this sending? If we want to stop killing, we should not kill. It is also barbaric and quite a pre-historic thing to do. Society will accept these people's lives as long as they are not on the streets. That can be solved by life in prison.

C. The death penalty is unfair. It has been known to discrimate against African Americans and the poor (http://www.aclu.org...). This is because the judge decides who gets it and who doesn't. This leaves a judge's bias to decide the fate of a man.

Going along with that, many innocent people are found guilty and sentenced to their deaths. Say a person in 1990 is found guilty and sentenced to death. With today's technology, that man could be found innocent due to new evidence. But wait! We just executed him last weekend. Whoopsies! Anyway, the point I'm getting at is that Capital Punishment is irreversable. If new evidence is brought to court, that person can never be set free. That's completly unfair.

Thank you to my opponent and the potential voters.
cynicalbanana

Con

I will prove to you that the United States or any other nation should not abolish the Death Penalty.

I thank the affirmative side (the one who setup the debate, in simple words) for letting me participate in this debate.

Please put in mind that the motion assumes that the person being punished is mentally competent and very much aware of what he/she is doing.

Anyhow, let me first tell you what the IDEA is that the death penalty wishes to solve. It's main point is to simply punish crimes committed by a person which forfeits his right to live. It is simply like slapping the buttocks of a child because he/she does not follow the rules of his parents.

Now, let me rebut the cases of the affirmative.

He said that the DEATH PENALTY DOES NOT DETER CRIME. To prove the idea, he used mere statistics. Sure, the statistics of which goes very well in your favor. But I ask you this, why was the death penalty created in the first place? Let me answer this question.

The death penalty was created simply because it wanted to PUNISH heinous crimes. It is merely coincidental if it does deter crime or not. Let's face it: no matter how many laws we put, there will always be crime. If, by coincidence, the death penalty lessens the crime rate, that would be a good thing now, would it?

Next, he said that Life IN PRISON IS CHEAPER THAN THE DEATH PENALTY therefore, instead of killing criminals, we will just imprison them for their whole life time.

I ask you this. Is the United States so poor that it needs to save on money and bargain what punishment is more expensive? I think not. It's just like saying "why don't we just buy herb medicines instead of buying expensive pills since it is way cheaper". What is wrong with it? We want to punish these criminals URGENTLY. And if you care about costs...let's say a lot of criminals are in the same prison and that it happens that the prison becomes "full". Think about the costs of transportation and with the inevitability of creating new prisons. Aren't you giving us all a myopic view of society?

Lastly, he said that DEATH PENALTY IS BAD. Period. Bad is all about the absence of morality. And where do our morals come from? It's all based on religion...and saying that something is bad just because religion or ethics says so is myopic when you can think about the BENEFITS of the DEATH PENALTY.

And about cruelty...why does want to be merciful to criminals anyway? Do you think that they deserve to be given mercy upon to? I think not. If the United States cared about mercy, why did it create the death penalty in the first place if it really cared about mercy? Simple...because it is the criminal's "just desert".

And, once you think about it...why should we care about being merciful towards these criminals? What good would they do to us if they continued to live? I say, nothing.

Listen here, the government was created for the good of man kind. It has the right to punish us for our wrong doings. If it has to punish criminals because they committed a heinous crime, what right do you have to deprive them of that right? Nothing.

And let's think about it, if an innocent person is found guilty and sentenced to death, that is not the fault of the death penalty, it is the fault of the stupidity of the law enforcers.

Now, without further redo, let me proceed to my case.

Case: On how doers of heinous crimes forfeited their rights to live.

In the status quo, we can see the many effects of heinous crimes. What are these "heinous crimes"? Murder, rape, etc. etc. If you were the victim of any of these crimes, what effect does it have on you? So simple, it is like you lost everything. Why should we, then, give mercy to these criminals, hm? If they took advantage of a person, not thinking about the effects of it to him/her....why do we continually insist that it is not "right"? Simple question. Simple answer. Because...it is simply "wrong".

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate this topic. :)
Debate Round No. 1
Pluto2493

Pro

I will respond to my opponent's overview, and then I will move on to my original format.

<>

We all know what it's trying to do- punish somebody for doing a certain action. But let's take that one step deeper- what's the point of the punishment? Isn't it so they won't do it again? Isn't it setting an example so other people won't do that same thing? Yes, it is. The death penalty tries to stop people from doing this by saying- if you kill someone, you will be killed. Obviously, people don't want that. My whole case was rebutting the fact that it is not a proper form of punishment for the the aforementioned reasons.

Going back to my contentions:

CONTENTION I: DP =/= DC.

My opponent merely suggests that the death penalty is not supposed to deter crime. I beg to differ. In fact, the THREAT of the death penalty is one of the major reasons for it being there. The idea of saying, 'you will die if you do something' theoretically makes people not want to do such a thing. If I said, 'I will beat you up if you post your next argument,' you obviously are not going to want to post your next argument.

Plus, it would better if we COULD reduce these rates. As I have shown you, murder rates go DOWN when the death penalty is not there. Thus, we should be more focused on getting crime down (without capital punishment) than seeking revenge for crimes, which is what CON suggests.

CONTENTION II: Cost.

My opponent suggests that we shouldn't be worried about costs. This statement is completely ridiculous. With the money from executions, we could be paying for tighter security prisons that lock people up for life, and STILL HAVE MONEY LEFT OVER. I have already shown you that the death penalty doesn't accomplish what it wants to do and how it is morally unjustified. My opponent does nothing to prove why the death penalty is necessary to do certain things, nor why life in prison can't solve for these problems.

She then comes to this conclusion, "We want to punish these criminals URGENTLY." This is laughable. Read my R1. I said that the REASON the death penalty costs so much is that it takes so long for people to be executed. If we could get the convicted people in in a week, maybe this could be a valid argument. However, in the United States, it takes 10-20 years for a person to be executed, contradicting the whole point CON suggests.

As I see it, if we can reap the same rewards at a cheaper price, why not?

CONTENTION III: Right or wrong?

My opponent rants about morals being based on religion. However, had she read my argument, I based all my arguments off simple logic and the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Nowhere in my arguments would there need moral backing from religion.

CON then suggests that the constitution can be broken because they are criminals. Let me make a point that she concedes that it IS cruel and unusual, and she just states that law of cruel and unusual punishment can be broken.

I find this argument to be completely ridiculous also. The VERY REASON our founding fathers put that amendment in is so that people could not make those arguments. It is un-American, no matter what they did. They deserve the same rights that other Americans have. If we torture them, we sink down to their level (which was my point 'B,' which CON did not respond to). Furthermore, who gives you the right to say what is right and what is wrong? Following CON's logic, I could say that I hate people with skulls in there logos and that they should be put to death. Even simpler, think about this: the Nazis thought all Jews were immoral. They then put them to death. Now we know that's wrong, but that's what CON suggests: to pick people who they see as immoral and put them to death. You simply cannot pick and choose what is right and wrong nor who should be put to death.

Again I'd like to mention CON drops point B. I stated that the logic behind the death penalty is flawed. If we see killing as being immoral, why are we killing? We are stooping to their level. The idea of capital punishment is contradictory and illogical.

Finally, to rebut my last point, CON suggests that it is the officer's fault if someone is found guilty and sentenced to death. I say, so what? The person is still innocent. My opponent is basically saying, 'whoops, I guess he's innocent- too bad we had to kill him.' There should be at least some breathing room for technology or testimonial to prove someone's innocence. Otherwise, again, we have contradicted ourselves by killing an innocent person for killing an innocent person.

As for my opponent's case, I have already responded to it a million times. It is a contradiction to use one's morals to do the exact same thing they do. Think back to preschool:

Teacher: "Share your candy, Jimmy."
Jimmy: "Okay. Can I have some of your candy?"
Teacher: "NO! IT'S MINE! MUAHAHAHAHA!"

That's not what a teacher would say. It's a classic case of lead-by-example. If you are going to talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk. Okay, enough clich�s, what it comes down to is this: if you are going to say a person does not have the right to live for killing someone and you put them to death, you should be killed too because you have disobeyed your own morals. THAT'S the case.

I eagerly await my opponent's R2.
cynicalbanana

Con

Forgive me, but I have something I have to attend to and I couldn't give a reply within the day. I apologize. I will be able to reply in the next round, though.
Debate Round No. 2
Pluto2493

Pro

My opponent forfeits the last round.

I find this to be unfair for a number of reasons.

1) My opponent gets the last speech without me being able to give a closing speech.

2) She gets more rounds to rebuttal my points.

3) I can't make an intelligent rebuttal simply because my opponent forfeited a round.

I ask that the voters not listen to any new arguments made in the last round, and that you give me slight lenience in this debate based on forfeiture.

I win this debate because I have reasonably shown why the death penalty should not exist. It does no better job deterring crime than life in prison, which my opponent admits, it costs much more than life in prison, which my opponent admits again, it is cruel and unusual, my opponent admits, and it is unfair to the innocent. Based on the facts about crime deterrence, cost, and moral justification, I conclude that capital punishment should not exist in society.

Thank you for voting, and I thank my opponent for an interesting debate.
cynicalbanana

Con

cynicalbanana forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by VenomousNinja 9 years ago
VenomousNinja
Okay, I may sound stupid, but what is the difference between

"Resolved : VN is cool"
and
"VN is cool" If these both were debates?
Basically, what does the resolved mean, and why would people put it in their debate titles?
Posted by HandsOff 9 years ago
HandsOff
I wish we could bring torture back and reduce the lengh of sentences. A miserable short experience in jail can be just as effective as a lengthy tolerable experience in prison. But the death penalty should not be considered in cases where there is not 100% certainty that the defendant is guilty. This would disqualify all convictions based on eye witness accounts and require some strong DNA or video evidence in most cases.
Posted by kcirrone 9 years ago
kcirrone
Hmm, interesting debate so far, however flaws in both your cases. Like, the philosopher (Beccaria) who was the basis of the 8th Amendment, was pro-death penalty. He coined the phrase: "The Punishment must fit the crime." And also, the death penalty has stats that prove it deters crime, E.G. since its reinstatement in the US violent crimes have decreased. Also, in the Houston Area, must noted for its violent crimes, has seen a plummet of these violent crimes since the dp was reinstated. Also, Singapore, who holds the most frequent executions have the lowest crime rate in he world. You could have debated this Con, but I liked your other approach of its the fact of proportionality rather then deterrence. If we deter crime its good, but the fact is to punish.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Fariyroc 9 years ago
Fariyroc
Pluto2493cynicalbananaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Ayame 9 years ago
Ayame
Pluto2493cynicalbananaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Dorian 9 years ago
Dorian
Pluto2493cynicalbananaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Derek.Gunn 9 years ago
Derek.Gunn
Pluto2493cynicalbananaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by BeatTheDevil89 9 years ago
BeatTheDevil89
Pluto2493cynicalbananaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by s0m31john 9 years ago
s0m31john
Pluto2493cynicalbananaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by LakevilleNorthJT 9 years ago
LakevilleNorthJT
Pluto2493cynicalbananaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30