The Instigator
liberty
Con (against)
Losing
25 Points
The Contender
Jamcke
Pro (for)
Winning
28 Points

SHOULD THERE BE A DEATH PENALTY???

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/23/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,030 times Debate No: 4780
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (19)
Votes (16)

 

liberty

Con

Greetings everyone,
I want to discuss the issue of the death penalty. The death penalty is a favorite debate topic and this debate could go either way depending on the arguments. I have chosen to debate against it because I don't believe in taking away lives no matter what the reason. In a nutshell I believe the following:
The death penalty is a violation of the most basic human right, the right to live which is also one of the basic principles on which the United States of America was founded. Also such a decision (to execute someone) is irreversible and if the man/woman convicted is found innocent afters his/her conviction he may not be brought back to life. Additionally take into consideration that killing a killer is still considered killing and nobody has a right to do so.
These are my arguments for now I'll save the rest for round 2 and 3, right now I would like to hear your response hope its a great one, good luck and enjoy the debate
Jamcke

Pro

My argument for this round is pretty simple. I believe some people deserve to die for crimes they've committed, but that the government should have absolute proof that the person sentenced to death is guilty and that they are not mentally ill. If a person has been proven to have committed murder in the first degree and there's a good chance they could do so again based on their prior actions, then I don't feel there's any reason to allow them to live. Also, persons who have been proven guilty of murder in the first degree in which the crime was particularly atrocious, infanticide for example, will only be a detriment to society from that point on and should not be permitted to live.
Debate Round No. 1
liberty

Con

In my opponent's argument he tried to explain that specific people, have with certain actions lost the the unalienable, most basic and most important right for a peaceful democratic society, the right to live. I clearly am against this theory and here is why:

A.)
Me and my opponent live in democratic countries and all democratic societies are based on 3 UNALIENABLE rights, that me and my opponent have sworn to protect as citizens of these countries, these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with life being the most valuable of the three.
Notice that these rights are considered unalienable and can't be taken away. So taking life away is schizophrenic after agreeing not to and is against our law, beliefs and principles no matter what we believe about the death penalty and such ides are against democracy itself.

B.)
Also, killing a man/woman to convince others not to kill is absurd.

C.)
Instead of depriving this human being of his/her right to live you can put them in prison this more effective than the brutal action of killing for many reasons. First of all, the criminal is still punished severely for his acts and perhaps even in a worse way than death would punish him (many prisoners in Europe have asked to be killed). Also, it keeps him away from society, thus keeps everyone safe from him/her almost as effectively as killing him/her and scares other potential criminals and keeps them from repeating this act, just as well as the death penalty.
Additionally, it is less brutal and violent, thus it suits our modern society better than killing. Also it can be reversed unlike killing in case of a miracle that somehow proves the victim innocent..Additionally, one has to keep in mind that a person who committed an act bad enough to be executed for it is definitely ill. His problems were caused by society and society should be the one to correct them. This human should be given a chance to overcome his problems and not be killed because of them. This person has a need to be accepted again he needs to feel useful and that there is a chance for him to be forgiven.

My opponent also asked why this man or woman should continue living. The answer to this is simple.

Above I have proved that:

A.)
First of all, he has a right to life , a right given to him by his Creator (Declaration of Independence) and no human has a right to rob him of that right because then he/she will be just as bad as the criminal.

B.)
Life has taught us that nothing is definite. So this man needs to stay alive just in case evidence, after his conviction proves him innocent.

C.)
His problems should be corrected and he/she has to be accepted again.

If a better punishment has been(special prison) has been thought of, and if the criminal benefits while it makes no difference to anyone else's interests ,and the death penalty is an old, brutal, unethical method and is accepted by fewer countries as the years go by, then why in the name of god should we go against our own beliefs as citizens of democratic countries and act as badly as plain murderers and kill in order to punish killing and sentence a human being that just maybe despite all odds be found innocent later to death???
Jamcke

Pro

I would first like to address my opponent's claim that enforcing the death penalty is against the 3 unalienable rights granted to US citizens by the Declaration of Independence; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I negate. If a person has been proven to have committed a crime so heinous that a jury of their peers has recommended they be put to death and/or a judge has sentenced them to die, and there's any chance that the said person could commit such a crime again, then to not enforce the death penalty could very well be denying an innocent person their unalienable rights in the future in order to preserve the rights of the guilty person.

Secondly my opponent stated that "killing a man/woman to convince others not to kill is absurd". At no time have I made a contrary statement/argument to this claim. I do not feel that killing a killer to convince others not to kill is justifiable, however if by killing a killer in order to prevent that person from committing future harm others are convinced that killing is a bad idea, then it would be an added benefit to enforcing the death penalty.

My opponent then states that "Instead of depriving this human being of his/her right to live you can put them in prison this more effective than the brutal action of killing for many reasons. First of all, the criminal is still punished severely for his acts and perhaps even in a worse way than death would punish him (many prisoners in Europe have asked to be killed). Also, it keeps him away from society, thus keeps everyone safe from him/her almost as effectively as killing him/her and scares other potential criminals and keeps them from repeating this act, just as well as the death penalty."

There are a number of refutations I have to this statement.

A) How is imprisonment more effective in preventing further harm that putting a dangerous criminal to death? If the criminal is dead, there's zero chance that he/she will ever harm anyone ever again. If they are imprisoned, the chances are far greater.

B) If the punishment is worse than death, how is this preserving the criminal's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

C) Just because the criminal has been removed from society doesn't mean that everyone's almost as safe as they would be if the criminal were killed. What about prison guards or other prisoners who haven't committed such heinous crimes that may come into contact with said criminal and their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? If my opponent believes that prison is a safe house and murders/assault and battery/etc don't occur, then he would be terribly mistaken.

D) I challenge my opponent to provide any credible evidence that proves that imprisonment "keeps him away from society, thus keeps everyone safe from him/her almost as effectively as killing him/her and scares other potential criminals and keeps them from repeating this act, just as well as the death penalty."

Additionally, my opponent claims that I asked "why this man or woman should continue living". At no point in my argument from round one did I ask any questions of my opponent.

He goes on to say that he's proved that:

A.)
First of all, he has a right to life , a right given to him by his Creator (Declaration of Independence) and no human has a right to rob him of that right because then he/she will be just as bad as the criminal.

B.)
Life has taught us that nothing is definite. So this man needs to stay alive just in case evidence, after his conviction proves him innocent.

C.)
His problems should be corrected and he/she has to be accepted again.

At no point has my opponent provided any proof of A,B,or C. Furthermore, if the criminal in question has truly been PROVEN guilty, then how could he/she be proven innocent? If an innocent person has been wrongfully sentenced to death, then it's the fault of the prosecution, NOT the law.

Last of all, my opponent states in closing of his round one argument that:

"If a better punishment has been(special prison) has been thought of, and if the criminal benefits while it makes no difference to anyone else's interests ,and the death penalty is an old, brutal, unethical method and is accepted by fewer countries as the years go by, then why in the name of god should we go against our own beliefs as citizens of democratic countries and act as badly as plain murderers and kill in order to punish killing and sentence a human being that just maybe despite all odds be found innocent later to death???"

There are several points within this statement I would like to address as well.

A) Who's to say that special prison is better?

B) If a criminal who has committed a crime so heinous that he/she would've otherwise been sentenced to death is in some way benefiting from the treatment the government is giving them, it's quite possible that it most certainly makes a difference to the friends and/or family of the victim(s) of said criminal.

C) I do not refute that the death penalty has at times been an old, brutal, unethical method, however I do refute that such is the case in the aforementioned manner I stated in round one.

D) To claim that we should reject the death penalty because it's accepted by fewer countries as the years go by is to commit the fallacy of argumentum ad numerum.

E) The remainder of my opponent's round 2 argument has already been addressed.
Debate Round No. 2
liberty

Con

liberty forfeited this round.
Jamcke

Pro

I was hoping my opponent would have a strong round three argument. Too bad. My position regarding the death penalty remains unchanged.
Debate Round No. 3
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheKing 8 years ago
TheKing
Great debate, I am simply an observer on this site, to get ideas for real debates and I am very happy to see this type of arguments.

Do I have permission to use some of your arguments without changing them in real a debate?

I votted con despite the fact that his argument was overdue and hard to desipher, but this one is very close. You can also tell by the votes.

Holt Mise
Posted by Atticus 8 years ago
Atticus
Nice debate you 2 I liked both of you and I am eagerly waiting to see what Jamke comes up with.

For now I voted for liberty because I love his arguments.
Posted by Jamcke 8 years ago
Jamcke
Glad to see you posted your argument liberty. I'll be posting mine sometime this weekend.
Posted by CiRrO 8 years ago
CiRrO
Very good debate you 2. I actually have not voted yet. Still can't decide. Well, cya around.
Posted by liberty 8 years ago
liberty
Sorry for the inconvenience but scroll all the way down and read me argument from bottom to top.

Thanks
Posted by liberty 8 years ago
liberty
6.) Also we should keep in mind that studies show that the death penalty does not deter crime anywhere it has been used as a punishment.

7.) In my Round 2 argument I mentioned that
"Instead of depriving this human being of his/her right to live you can put them in prison this more effective than the brutal action of killing for many reasons. First of all, the criminal is still punished severely for his acts and perhaps even in a worse way than death would punish him (many prisoners in Europe have asked to be killed). Also, it keeps him away from society, thus keeps everyone safe from him/her almost as effectively as killing him/her and scares other potential criminals and keeps them from repeating this act, just as well as the death penalty.
Additionally, it is less brutal and violent, thus it suits our modern society better than killing. Also it can be reversed unlike killing in case of a miracle that somehow proves the victim innocent. Additionally, one has to keep in mind that a person who committed an act bad enough to be executed for it is definitely ill. His problems were caused by society and society should be the one to correct them. This human should be given a chance to overcome his problems and not be killed because of them. This person has a need to be accepted again he needs to feel useful and that there is a chance for him to be forgiven."

In this argument I compare prison with death and, I proved prison to be better in almost every way.

So why violate the laws and principles of the country and go against ethics, with the possibility (although slim) that you may be mistaken, when there is a better punishment that suits our society best and is to everyone's benefit and is better anyway ?

Therefore, I negate,

Thank you very much,

Back to you, Jamke

Alex ("liberty")
Posted by liberty 8 years ago
liberty
Why the death penalty must not exist:

1.) The death penalty is irreversible. If a person is killed than he/she can not be brought back in case new evidence miraculously proves the criminal innocent.

2.) The death penalty comes in complete contrast to the principles of democracy and the Declaration of Independence because it violates the right to life, every human has.

Also, I would like to some comments made in the comment box,
Both the commenter and my opponent agree that

"People have rights and responsibilities, if you [aren't] responsible you [shouldn't] get the rights. The basic interest of the government is to make sure that people don't incringe upon others rights. Life is a right if you incringe upon another by taking there's you've forfeited your right to life."

-Okay. Let us pretend that everyone agrees to this. This would be law, meaning that it applies for everyone, even the government. Let's assume that the government kills someone that is later proven innocent, so you kill the government for killing an innocent and this vicious circle goes on and on, when this chaotic condition could have been avoided if you had placed the so called criminal in jail.

3.) Killing in order to prevent killing is indeed wrong as it is ridiculous. The government should give the good example by not killing, no matter what the circumstances are, in order to teach people that killing is bad, despite what the potential victim did to you, instead they do the opposite.
4.) The death penalty is now considered brutal, unethical and old as a method. Therefore it does not suit a modern, peaceful and fair society, that we are trying to built.

5.) The death penalty violates yet another principle of the United States of America, written in the 8th Amendment, which clearly states that there shall be "No cruel and unusual punishment".
Posted by liberty 8 years ago
liberty
"Furthermore, if the criminal in question has truly been PROVEN guilty, then how could he/she be proven innocent?"

-Human error in consideration of the facts, he/she could have been framed, threaded to admit doing something he didn't do etc, you never know what happens under the table.

"If an innocent person has been wrongfully sentenced to death, then it's the fault of the prosecution, NOT the law."

True, but the man/woman can not be brought back from the dead; he/she died for no reason. If the law was different though, such incidents would be avoided.

"It's quite possible that it most certainly makes a difference to the friends and/or family of the victim(s) of said criminal."

This is true, but these people are driven by revenge which should never be taken into consideration when making the law or the consequences would be chaotic.
Posted by liberty 8 years ago
liberty
"Just because the criminal has been removed from society doesn't mean that everyone's almost as safe as they would be if the criminal were killed. What about prison guards or other prisoners who haven't committed such heinous crimes that may come into contact with said criminal and their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? If my opponent believes that prison is a safe house and murders/assault and battery/etc don't occur, then he would be terribly mistaken."

-In fact my opponent is the one who is mistaken. In the prisons, in question (high security), prisoners are under constant surveillance and violent incidents have not been reported recently. When it comes to common jail I agree 100% with my opponent.

"I challenge my opponent to provide any credible evidence that proves that imprisonment "keeps him away from society, thus keeps everyone safe from him/her almost as effectively as killing him/her and scares other potential criminals and keeps them from repeating this act, just as well as the death penalty."

-I accept my opponent's challenge.

1.) It keeps others safe from him/her because he is placed in a high security jail under constant surveillance, away from potential victims with no chance of getting to them

2.) If a life in jail with lousy food and conditions, until death doesn't scare the potential criminals it is highly unlikely death will either.

"At no point has my opponent provided any proof of A,B,or C."

In my entire argument, above these 3 points I have discussed these 3 issues (especially A and C) in great detail, just scroll back up and see for yourselves. This argument of my opponent has disappointed me greatly because it is like saying that he did not go over my text.
Posted by liberty 8 years ago
liberty
"Who's to say that special prison is better [than death]?"

In my Round 2 argument I mentioned that
"Instead of depriving this human being of his/her right to live you can put them in prison this more effective than the brutal action of killing for many reasons. First of all, the criminal is still punished severely for his acts and perhaps even in a worse way than death would punish him (many prisoners in Europe have asked to be killed). Also, it keeps him away from society, thus keeps everyone safe from him/her almost as effectively as killing him/her and scares other potential criminals and keeps them from repeating this act, just as well as the death penalty.
Additionally, it is less brutal and violent, thus it suits our modern society better than killing. Also it can be reversed unlike killing in case of a miracle that somehow proves the victim innocent. Additionally, one has to keep in mind that a person who committed an act bad enough to be executed for it is definitely ill. His problems were caused by society and society should be the one to correct them. This human should be given a chance to overcome his problems and not be killed because of them. This person has a need to be accepted again he needs to feel useful and that there is a chance for him to be forgiven."

-In this argument I compare prison with death and, I proved prison to be better in almost every way. Does this answer your question, Jamke?
16 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 2 years ago
Krazzy_Player
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