Should commiting the crime of rape result in an automatic death sentence?
Debate Rounds (3)
*You may use sites for refrence but you must cite them, not all arguments must be orignal*
Assuming the rapist is convicted, I believe they deserve a second chance at least on humanitarian grounds. Of course, there is no need to treat the rapist with kindness or leniency but doing something as harsh as taking away his life is not only denying the society a reformed civilian but also we are putting the lives of future rape victims on the line.
Centering my argument to only first time offenders, I believe that they need time to reflect and feel apologetic about their actions to their victims. It is not morally justified to execute someone who might have committed the crime out of sheer immaturity, adventurousness or desperateness. I agree that it is difficult to prove their real intentions, and that is precisely why I stand by my view that they should at least be given another chance through therapy, counselling and rehabilitation.
Not to mention, execution is not the only way deterrence can be achieved as there are other equally effective but less inhumane ways to punish rapists like chemical castration and lifetime imprisonment. In fact, locking up a person in a prison for life without parole is much more torturous than to simply kill them which will not take more than a few hours (if you are hanging him, this will be reduced to not more than 4-5 minutes)
Furthermore, by issuing direct death sentences, we run the risk of putting the victims lives in danger as certainty of capital punishment results in a perverse incentive for the rapists. The rapist is better off killing the victim as then, there is no one left to emphatically identify him. If the victim is not left alive to identify and bear witness against the assailant, the rapist may not even be convicted, forget about being hanged for the crime. There are numerous such instances, one of which I would like to use to exemplify my argument. In India, in the village of Aithpura, UP, the rapists have deliberately poured concentrated acid on the victim to make even the identity of the victim unknown. How do you expect to catch the culprit without even knowing who the victim is ? These are not isolated incidents and have occurred quite frequently. Hence, in order to save the victim from life threatening situations, I believe that rapists should not be killed straightaway. 
Before I conclude I would like to re-iterate that I have focused only on first time offenders as generally assumed in this question and arguments about serial rapers and repeat offenders shall hopefully be addressed in subsequent rounds. I look forward to my worthy opponent's reply.
First and foremost I would like to acknowledge your statement at the end of your initial reply, to make this debate more understandable I agree to the terms of first time offenders for this round and serial/repeat offenders in subsequent rounds agreed?
First time offenders are clearly not as high on the watch list as serial/repeat offenders, but should be treated as such. The fact of the matter is they committed from which we can all agree one of the most heinous a man/woman/child could commit. While I do feel a life sentence would be just as effective if not more torturous, it would also be more economically smart to just set up the chair an let it be done. An average cost for a death sentence to be carried out *per person* is $49,380 that includes holding, guard, and the death it's self. Costly yes, but an average cost for a life sentence *per person* $1.5 million which is substantially more. Money spent keeping these monster in jail could be used more towards the community. Like building a public library, public park, community center, or just helping clean up the school system with new books or desks.
Moving on from an economic standpoint of this issue you have to think of the victim themselves. Sure a lifetime in prison would be hell for the rapist itself, bit also lifetime of knowing that the man/woman/child is just sitting in a jail with no more punishment then not being able to shower or eat when they want would be torment on the victim. PTS and depression, are two of the most commonly diagnosed sicknesses after the act is committed, leading many to suicide. And with the social stigma surrounding the issue of rape the suicide is more likely to occur with the oblivious comments that would be made towards the victim. Making it appear as if she wanted it or she intended it to happen, which may be true in some cases but clearly not all.
My last point would be to your remark at a chance of treatment and possible cure for there unsociable acts. Some people are unable to be treated, there brain has something wrong with it (can't quite name it my internet on the fuzz but I will be sure to find it out for the sake of the debate) . But I agree that by the slimmest of chances a person may be able to be treated but the problem will always stay. Me for example, I quit smoking 4 years ago but theirs not one morning I don't wake up wanting a smoke.
That ends my rebuttal sorry it's not exactly expert but I feel iv'e done a fair job for this being my first debate.
http://www.heartsandminds.org... Life sentence monetary estimate
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org... Death penalty monetary estimate
Couldn't get anything to load for an average suicide rate but I hope my internet is less lagging by are next round looking forward to continuing.
Additionally, I would be addressing the rapist as 'he' which can comprise of male, female and children. This is just to simplify the vocabulary.
To address your first argument on the economic impact when it comes to executing a prisoner , I believe that you have indeed looked at the actual costs for both the options however, I am skeptical as to whether you have looked at the implicit costs leading up to execution. Execution does not simply take place over a short period of time and takes months and in many cases, years of trial and hearings. This is where is issue arises. If a rapist is not able to afford a lawyer to fight their case, then according to the constitution, it becomes the responsibility of the court to assign him one. The costs of the lawyer is subsequently borne by the government. When you consider the case that the court has issued the death sentence, then defense can choose to appeal the verdict for further investigation and re-hearings. This appeal process can take place multiple times when it come to death sentences (of course no one wants to die right ?). This only means more work for the government and more money that has to be paid for the lawyer for his time. Although this may be true for the case of life imprisonment, its scale is much lesser. So when you account for all these costs, the difference is not going to be very significant.
Which leads to my second argument that money is not the only aspect we must consider while making decisions. What matters here is if we are able to transform the convict into a social asset. Killing someone quite frankly is a very blunt tool which does not really help as you will only end up with a dead body. The world has enough rapists and killing some of them is unlikely to reduce the overall amount of such acts. Instead, if the person is able to successfully undergo rehab, he can come out as a reformed person and be a good citizen and contribute to the society at the very least. This is why I say again that everyone needs a second chance. Alternatively, If we are able to put the rapist into therapy and counselling, we can come to know what motivates rapists to commit such acts (basically, we can understand what happens in their brain). This will give us ways to target the root cause and bring down the level of crime. I do agree with you that not everyone can be treated as they might have an inherent problem in their brain. Such cases in fact gives a stronger argument against execution as the rape may not be completly intended. Due to the problem in his brain functions, it may be likely that he committed the crime out of ignorance and hence he does not deserve a death penalty.
Addressing the issue on trauma for the victim, I believe that social stigma is quite independent of the fact whether the rapist is executed or not. Additionally, killing the rapist can sometimes aggravate the stress experienced by the victim. This is because the victim now also feels indirectly responsible for taking someone life however justified it may be. Hence, a more morally sound option adopted by many countries is to allow the victim to decide the fate of the rapist. This is definitely a better option than automatically assigning the death penalty as the victims family can at least have a sense of closure as they get to choose what happens to the rapist. Even on the political side, this is a better option than outright killing as the state now does not have to take responsibility over its actions given that executions are highly controversial in today's era.
I also think we can now broaden our argument and cover children as well as serial rapists when assigning the death penalty. When it comes to children, it is clearly never a good idea to kill children on both economic as well as religious grounds. Economically, children are the youth of tomorrow and we should not be killing them but correcting them for their mistakes. Many religions consider children to be the purest form of mankind and killing them would cause social uproar. Of course the question as to WHEN a child becomes an adult and is liable for such punishment is another topic for discussion. When it comes to serial rapists, I would suggest we take the following approach. If he is convicted for the first time as a serial raper, then we can award him either a life imprisonment or something similar. However, if he is convicted multiple times again and again, I believe that mistakes should only be forgiven once and he should indeed be liable for a death penalty.
Lastly, there is also the issue of wrongly identifying the criminal and ending up killing an innocent person. If you think such cases are isolated, look at this website. Hence for all these reasons, I believe rapists do not deserve an automatic death.
I thank you for your rebuttal in advance
But sadly I must resign from for the reasons of, I'm in all true honesty mind blanked. And while my views may differ from yours, I be a fool to say that you didn't make some very good points. I had never token in consideration of the victims safety as you have stated in your first article. I also had never taken into consideration the impact it might have on the victim for may feeling responsible for the death of another man/woman/child.
You my good sir are one of the finer debtors iv'e ever had the pleasure of disguising a topic with. And while it pains me to lose :D I again must resign and give this to you. I hope that one day we may debate again, and good day to you. Cheers Mate
All the best and I too certainly hope we debate again in the future. Cheers for the first timers :D
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by republicofdhar 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Uh, well done first-timers. Pro conceded the debate to Con, so he wins here. Both used good sources. I took issue with some of Pro's spellings: he wrote "debtors" when he meant "debaters" and "disguising" when he meant "discussing" (I think). So S&G to Con. Wish you both all the best in future debates.
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