The Instigator
RosyTrees
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
GreenTeas
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Should the Death Penalty be legal in Britain?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/18/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,134 times Debate No: 26326
Debate Rounds (3)
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RosyTrees

Pro

America has wide use of the Death Penalty and Capital Punishment, and has done for many many years. The justice system in General seems to be much more effective and satisfying for those involved in heinous crimes, and families of victims which fall prey to offenders, than it does in Britain today. My argument is that there are many murders in the UK today, yet our legal system seems to believe that the criminals who take the lives of other people don't deserve to keep their life when they've taken another, and I believe that our nations faith would be restored in the British justice system if the top punishment for taking the life of another human being was to be put into practice, to give closure to families if for nothing else.

The predominant method of execution in the USA is currently Lethal Injection, used in 36/37 of the states which endorse the death penalty. This is the most humane method of execution as it involves no pain before death as the electric chair or hanging once did. Despite arguing for the use of the death penalty in Britain, I do not believe that the method should inflict unnecessary pain upon the offender as taking their life is sufficient enough in punishing them for their crime/s.
GreenTeas

Con

The Death Penalty Does Not Provide Closure

My opponent’s argument appears to be based on the premise that the death penalty is necessary to provide closure to the families of the victims. However, the psychological needs required for “closure” to victims and their families varies dramatically from person to person and may change over the lifetime of the individual. [1] However, evidence does show that what victims need more than anything is an answer or explanation for the crimes which have been inflicted upon them. [2]

Due to this heterogeneity of victims and their psychological needs, “closure” is not a reasonable argument in support of the death penalty, as an execution could just as equally prevent victims or their families from acquiring the closure they require. For example, in 1983, a man named Ronald Carlson wanted vengeance against his sister’s killer in Texas. [3] However, after witnessing the execution of his sister’s murderer, he stated that “[w]atching the execution left me with horror and emptiness, confirming what I had already come to realize: Capital Punishment only continues the violence that has a powerful, corrosive effect on society.” Such an example reflects the differences in which people may respond to the execution and how it may affect or even inhibit their ability to acquire “closure.”

Risk of Executing Innocent Prisoners is Too High

Moreover, even if the death penalty did provide “closure” to the families of victims, such a consequence is not adequate to justify to taking of a human life, particularly when empirical evidence has shown that a significant portion of death row inmates may be innocent. Studies have suggested that an error rate of 2.5% to 4% in capital cases. [4] With approximately 140,000 prisoners in the United States on death row, for example, this suggests as many as 5,600 of those prisoners may executed despite their innocence. A failure rate of that magnitude is too high and cannot justify executions on the basis of alleviating the psychological needs of some small percentage of victim’s families.

There is No Economic Justification of the Death Penalty

There is additionally no economic reason to allow executions, as the cost of maintaining death row inmates is greater than that of inmates with lifetime sentences. [5] In California, U.S., for example, taxpayers pay $90,000 more per death row prisoner each year than prisoners in regular confinement, due to the increased prison administrative and judicial costs; in total, each execution was found to cost approximately $250 million.

Several other issues weigh against the death penalty and will be presented and analyzed should my opponent argue them.

Sources

[1] http://www.ncadp.org...
[2] Id.
[3] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[4] http://www.law.umich.edu...
[5] http://www.deathpenalty.org...

Debate Round No. 1
RosyTrees

Pro

RosyTrees forfeited this round.
GreenTeas

Con

I will pass this round and leave my opponent an opportunity to respond to my previous post.
Debate Round No. 2
RosyTrees

Pro

RosyTrees forfeited this round.
GreenTeas

Con

Since my opponent has not provided any arguments, I will let the debate be judged by the first round.
Debate Round No. 3
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