The Instigator
Shaikhlymsc2014
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
14rizzon
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Should America have the death penalty?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+6
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Shaikhlymsc2014
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/17/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,152 times Debate No: 40710
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

Shaikhlymsc2014

Con

America should not have the death penalty because the death penalty system in the US is applied in an unfair and unjust manner against people,largely dependent on how much money they have, the skill of their attorneys, race of the victim and where the crime took place. People of color are far more likely to be executed than white people, especially if the victim is white.The death penalty is a waste of taxpayer funds and has no public safety benefit. The vast majority of law enforcement professionals surveyed agree that capital punishment does not deter violent crime; a survey of police chiefs nationwide found they rank the death penalty lowest among ways to reduce violent crime. They ranked increasing the number of police officers, reducing drug abuse, and creating a better economy with more jobs higher than the death penalty as the best ways to reduce violence. The FBI has found the states with the death penalty have the highest murder rates.
14rizzon

Pro

I love the death penalty I do not think we should reward murderers by keeping them alive in air conditioned prisons where they are fed everyday. If they are worthless to society they should get out. I think that the death penalty should only be given out to those who are definitely guilty and do agree that it has been given out to people that may not have been proven 100% guilty and that is wrong as mistakes can be made. But if someone is beyond a doubt guilty they should be given the death sentence instead of life in prison. I do not want my taxes going to keeping a murderer alive. I would rather have my tax money go to killing those murderers. And it shouldn't take 20 years either. We need to get rid of lethal injection, unless they killed their victims in a humane way, and bring back shootings or hangings, they are quicker, and cheaper. I understand that we want our criminals to be as comfortable as possible during their punishment but why do we want them to even be comfortable. I have gone a long time without killing anyone and it hasn't been very hard! If they take away someone else's right to life, then they are themselves giving up their right to life.
Debate Round No. 1
Shaikhlymsc2014

Con

Banning the death penalty would bring the United States more in line with the international community. This would make other nations more willing to return criminals that are accused of serious crimes to the United States. The death penalty results in the execution of a disproportionate number of persons of color and low income defendants. If it is not applied fairly, the death penalty should be banned. DNA evidence has revealed that many people on death row are actually innocent. It is estimated that as many as 25 people have been wrongfully executed in this century in the United States alone. Because the US justice system is not perfect, we should not impose irreversible punishment. There has not been a drop in crime in those states that have kept the death penalty compared to those states that have eliminated it. There is no evidence that the death penalty is successful in deterring criminals. Some argue that it is morally unacceptable for the state to take the lives of its citizens, even if they are guilty of a crime. Banning the death penalty across the United States would harmonize the criminal justice system in the various states. This would make punishment for equal crimes more equal in the United States. Due to the lengthy appeals process necessary to sentence someone to death, it costs the state more to execute a criminal than it does to keep them in prison for life. Criminals can be sentenced to consecutive terms of life in prison and not have any possibility of release or parole. Executing criminals does not return their victims and may make the families of the victims feel guiltier and less able to overcome their grief.
14rizzon

Pro

Public opinion in the United States is overwhelmingly in support of the death penalty. The Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty is a constitutional punishment. Criminals may be deterred from committing crimes by the possibility of receiving the death penalty for their crimes. Some crimes deserve a harsher punishment than life in prison-the only way to appropriately respond to these horrible crimes is to use the death penalty. The death penalty and criminal justice system could be reformed to deal with many of the problems of the current system without banning the death penalty. Some criminals cannot be rehabilitated. For people that have committed particularly horrible crimes, there is no possibility that they will be able to pay their debt to society and return to the outside world. With life in prison there is the possibility that criminals can escape or be paroled due to a lack of jail space and commit more crimes.
Debate Round No. 2
Shaikhlymsc2014

Con

One of the witnesses against the death penalty before the Senate committee last year was Earl Charles, a man who spent over three years on a Georgia death row for murders he did not commit. Another witness remarked that, had Mr. Charles faced a system "where the legal apparatus was speedier and the death penalty had been carried out more expeditiously, we would now be talking about the late Mr. Charles and bemoaning our error."

What happens when the mistake is discovered after a man has been executed for a crime he did not commit? What do we say to his widow and children? Do we erect an apologetic tombstone over his grave?

These are not idle questions. A number of persons executed in the United States were later cleared by confessions of those who had actually committed the crimes. In other cases, while no one else confessed, there was great doubt that the condemned were guilty. Watt Espy, an Alabamian who has done intensive research on American executions, says that he has "every reason to believe" that 10 innocent men were executed in Alabama alone. Mr. Espy cites names, dates and other specifics of the cases. He adds that there are similar cases in virtually every state.

We might consider Charles Peguy's words about the turn-of-the-century French case in which Capt. Alfred Dreyfus was wrongly convicted of treason: "We said that a single injustice, a single crime, a single illegality, particularly if it is officially recorded, confirmed...that a single crime shatters and is sufficient to shatter the whole social pact, the whole social contract, that a single legal crime, a single dishonorable act will bring about the loss of one's honor, the dishonor of a whole people."
14rizzon

Pro

Whether or not innocent people are given the death penalty, it ultimately helps more than it hurts. What about the millions of INNOCENT lives that are lost because of these murders?? They too should achieve some justice. What kind of consolation is it to a murder victim's family if they cannot take the life of the one who took their loved one's life. The only situations in which anyone ever has the moral right intentionally to kill anyone are the just war, capital punishment and a justified rebellion. But no one ever has the right intentionally to kill the innocent. The just war and capital punishment are decreed by the state, which derives its authority from God... The right to kill intentionally, therefore, can properly be asserted only by those responsible for the common good...
Debate Round No. 3
Shaikhlymsc2014

Con

Whether or not the murderer is guilty, does this not go against what we are taught as children that "two wrongs does not make a right." There is proof that when a family fights for their loved one's murderer to be put on death row, they do not feel any better getting this sought out 'revenge.' Are they not therefore advocating that for what they went to court about, the taking of someone's life. And even if one does not believe in a God, then all more against the death penalty because the murder will therefore not have to 'rot in hell' for all eternity but rather be killed a painless death and never feel bad and wallow in his/her own guilt for the rest of their living life in prison. If one does believe in a God, then you will agree with me that humans do not have the right to take another human's life. God put us all on earth for a reason and although it is hard to swallow the pill and have to not fight for the death penalty, would it not be the Jesus-like thing to keep this man alive because you should love every one of your brothers and sisters. And like I previously stated, this criminal will have the rest of their life on earth to sit in a jail cell and think about what they did. If your child hit another child on the playground, would you hit them back or would you place them in timeout so that they could think about what they did and eventually say sorry to the other child. Essentially, this is the same argument on a larger scale.
14rizzon

Pro

Although the death penalty does to a sense advocate for this 'eye for an eye' mindset, a justice system should advocate more for the innocent than the criminal. It is not fair to the families to have to be placed on the same scale as the criminal. DNA testing and other methods of modern crime scene science can now effectively eliminate almost all uncertainty as to a person's guilt or innocence. One of the biggest arguments against the death penalty is the possibility of error. Sure, we can never completely eliminate all uncertainty, but nowadays, it's about as close as you can get. DNA testing is over 99 percent effective. And even if DNA testing and other such scientific methods didn't exist, the trial and appeals process is so thorough it's next to impossible to convict an innocent person. Remember, a jury of 12 members must unanimously decide there's not even a reasonable doubt the person is guilty. The number of innocent people that might somehow be convicted is no greater than the number of innocent victims of the murderers who are set free. Who says that a prisoner who sits in prison will ever feel guilty? These people are sick and are most likely planning a way to escape or get out on parole and kill someone else. If not for justice for the family, the death penalty should exist to rid the society of these mentally disturbed people who are harmful to innocent civilians. It creates another form of crime deterrent. Crime would run rampant as never before if there wasn't some way to deter people from committing the acts. Prison time is an effective deterrent, but with some people, more is needed. Prosecutors should have the option of using a variety of punishments in order to minimize crime.
Debate Round No. 4
Shaikhlymsc2014

Con

Even with all the DNA testing and the harm to society financial costs to taxpayers of capital punishment is several times that of keeping someone in prison for life. Most people don't realize that carrying out one death sentence costs 2-5 times more than keeping that same criminal in prison for the rest of his life. How can this be? It has to do with the endless appeals, additional required procedures, and legal wrangling that drag the process out. It's not unusual for a prisoner to be on death row for 15-20 years. Judges, attorneys, court reporters, clerks, and court facilities all require a substantial investment by the taxpayers. Do we really have the resources to waste? We should not have to waste taxpayers money to take someone out of society permanently . There is very little escapes from prison and if someone's crime is harsh enough, parole is usually not an option to them. Why pay thousands of extra dollars for the one in a million chance the criminal may escape? It is a waste. We as a society have to move away from the "eye for an eye" revenge mentality if civilization is to advance. The "eye for an eye" mentality will never solve anything. A revenge philosophy inevitably leads to an endless cycle of violence. Why do you think the Israeli-Palestine conflict has been going on for 60+ years? Why do you think gang violence in this country never seems to end? It is important to send a message to society that striking back at your enemy purely for revenge will always make matters worse.
14rizzon

Pro

Prisoner parole or escapes can give criminals another chance to kill. Perhaps the biggest reason to keep the death penalty is to prevent the crime from happening again. The parole system nowadays is a joke. Does it make sense to anyone outside the legal system to have multiple "life" sentences + 20 years or other jiverish? Even if a criminal is sentenced to life without possibility of parole, he still has a chance to kill while in prison, or even worse, escape and go on a crime/murder spree.It contributes to the problem of overpopulation in the prison system. Prisons across the country face the problem of too many prisoners and not enough space & resources. Each additional prisoner requires a portion of a cell, food, clothing, extra guard time, and so on. When you eliminate the death penalty as an option, it means that prisoner must be housed for life. Thus, it only adds to the problem of an overcrowded prison system and use of more taxpayer money to with strain them. It gives prosecutors another bargaining chip in the plea bargain process, which is essential in cutting costs in an overcrowded court system. The number of criminal cases that are plea bargained (meaning the accused admits guilt in return for a lesser sentence or some other concession) can be as high as 80 or 90 percent of cases. With the time, cost, and personnel requirements of a criminal case, there really isn't much of a choice. The vast majority of people that are arraigned are in fact guilty of the crime they are accused. Even if you believe a defendant only deserves life in prison, without the threat of a death sentence, there may be no way to get him to plead guilty and accept the sentence. If a case goes to trial, in addition to the enormous cost, you run the chance that you may lose the case, meaning a violent criminal gets off scot free. The existence of the death penalty gives prosecutors much more flexibility and power to ensure just punishments.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by ironsheik7 3 years ago
ironsheik7
Basically what those against the death penalty are saying is if a man should rape and mutilate and then murder a 6 yr old girl , he should be put in a cell, fed three hot meals a day, exercise in a sunny court yard, all the books from the library he can read. And of course the hot meals and expenses come from the tax payers of the state.

It doesn't surprise me that the same liberals that support abortion support no death penalty for those that rape, mutilate and murder children. I say screw them liberal bastards and their pc (political correctness)
Posted by SubjectiveMorality 3 years ago
SubjectiveMorality
Correct. It is in fact estimated that tons of people have been falsely convicted of criminal offense and death penalties are often imposed to innocent people.
Posted by superman1226 3 years ago
superman1226
yeah rizzo I wish I can vote
Posted by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
Apparently, I can!
Posted by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
If I could, I'd vote.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by funwiththoughts 3 years ago
funwiththoughts
Shaikhlymsc201414rizzonTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: Both sides basically ignored each other, so I can't give either side the win.
Vote Placed by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
Shaikhlymsc201414rizzonTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: CON was superior in gramatical and arguments.
Vote Placed by SloppyJoe6412 3 years ago
SloppyJoe6412
Shaikhlymsc201414rizzonTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: I take all life to be precious, and Pro did nothing to change my opinion. Actually some of his arguments made me think whether I should be doing more to fight such medieval thinking.