The Instigator
jackgilbert
Pro (for)
The Contender
asta
Con (against)

Should the death penalty be abolished

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/4/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 803 times Debate No: 114934
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (83)
Votes (0)

 

jackgilbert

Pro

I am arguing that we abolish the death penalty. Here is how the debate format will go:
Round 1: Acceptance only
Round 2: Arguments only
Round 3: Rebuttals only
Round 4: Response to rebuttals only
Round 5: Conclusions

No new arguments should be made in rounds 3, 4, and 5.
I look forward to debating.
asta

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
jackgilbert

Pro

Since 1791, our country has had a cruel method of punishing people known as the death penalty. It is a method of killing criminals for horrible crimes by methods of lethal injection, firing squads, the electric chair, the gas chamber and many others. All of these are slow painful processes. Aside from the cruelty however, there are many reasons we should abolish it.

ARGUMENT 1: EXECUTIONERS SUFFER FROM PTSD.
When executioners execute criminals they have to execute them in ways such as the electric chair, firing squad, and lethal injection. In the process of these, the criminal often suffers in excruciating pain. Not only is this harming the criminal, but the executioner as well. The executioner has to sit there and watch the whole time. They have to watch people as they writhe in agony as the criminal is being put to death. Jerry Givens quotes, "You can't tell me I can take the life of people and go home and be normal. If I had known what have to go through as an executioner, I wouldn't have done it. It took a lot out of me to do it." Jerry Givens is just one the many executioners who suffer from PTSD. He is just one of the many people who will have to spend the rest of their lives with this dis-order. If we abolished the death penalty, think about how many people would be saved from this mental dis-order

ARGUMENT 2: INNOCENT PEOPLE ARE KILLED:
Freddie Pitts quotes, "you can always release an innocent person from prison from a sentence of life without parole-but you can never release an innocent man from the grave." He is exactly right. If you put to death an innocent person it is irreversible. Once you are dead you simply cannot be brought back to life. If an innocent person was sentenced to life imprisonment however, that is a reversible mistake. If you find the man to be innocent you can release him. Unfortunately, because of the death penalty, innocent people are put to death all the time. As a matter of fact, 1 in 25 sentenced to death in the US are innocent. Not only does this have an impact on the person itself, but also a string of other negative impacts. The family members of these people would be devastated to find out their loved one was killed when they did not deserve to die by any means. It just shows to prove that the worst punishments in this world are the ones that can't be taken back.

ARGUMENT 3: THE DEATH PENALTY IS EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE:
As I said, the death penalty has so many other negative impacts then what it may seem like at first glance. It may seem like that it might just effect the person themselves, but there is a whole string of other effects. This is one of them. The death penalty comes at a great cost. Studies show that death penalty cases cost an average of 1.26 million dollars per case, while life imprisonment cases cost around 740,000 dollars a case. If that sounds like a big difference, that's just for one case. The thousands and thousands of other death penalty cases will cause the government to spend billions of dollars on something that is extremely controversial. This is money that the government could be spending on something that truly matters. They could be spending this money on things like charity, homeless people, the list goes on and on.

ARGUMENT 4: THE DEATH PENALTY DOES NOT DETER CRIME, IT INCREASES CRIME.
You might think that the death penalty would deter crime because people would think before acting but that is not the case. Why? because criminals don't think before they act. A lot of the time the murders they commit are either when they are mentally ill, on drugs or alcohol, or when they are in a fit of rage and kill someone without weighing in the consequences. As a result, the death penalty does not work as a proper deterrence to crime. Contrarily, it increases crime by a commanding number. Here is a link to a graph of crime rates in death penalty states to non-death penalty states.
https://www.amnestyusa.org...

ARGUMENT 5: THE DEATH PENALTY DOES NOT BRING CLOSURE TO VICTIMS FAMILY MEMBERS.
You would think that the death penalty would bring closure to victims family members, but that is not the case. In fact, studies have found that very rarely victims family members have a sense of closure knowing that the murderer is dead. 2.5% of victims loved ones claimed they had any sense of closure after the execution. 20% claimed that that it did not help them heal at all. In addition, they said they felt sympathy for the murderer's family members. Again, it just shows that the worst punishments, are the ones that can't be taken back.

ARGUMENT 6: THE DEATH PENALTY IS MORALLY HYPORCRITICAL
Have you ever heard your mom say, "Two wrongs don't make a right," Well here the death penalty is trying to do just that. It is an attempt to create a wrong in order to make another wrong right. It is essentially saying that it is right to kill those who kill. But wouldn't it be committing the same crime the killer did if we put them to death/ Don't you see, the ends don't justify the means.

In summary, the death penalty should be abolished. While at first glimpse it might seem that it only has an effect on the murderer themselves, but actually has a string of other negative effects that is hurting our society.

Sources used.
1. https://www.amnestyusa.org...
2. http://www.latimes.com...
3. https://deathpenaltyinfo.org...
4. http://www.newsweek.com...
5. https://thinkprogress.org...
6. https://www.psychologytoday.com...
asta

Con

Argument 1:

Lets say there was this adult Andrew. He trespasses into someone's house. The Dad is gone because of a buisiness trip. The intruder ties the wife and the daughter to their beds and he rapes them, he f**** them in the vagina. They justifingly scream, but he doesn't want them to make too much noise, so he kills them by sliting their throats with a knife that he brought along and then he rapes their dead bodies because it feels good. Once the Dad finds out, he understandably wants justice. Should Andrew be allowed to keep his life? Or should he die more painfully then the people he murdered because he murdered 2 people? The answer for many people would be the 2nd option.

In this next section, I'll try to not rebuttle too much, but it might happen. I apoligize about it if I rebuttle.

Argument 2:

The vast majority of people executed on death row are not innocent people (only 4%) (https://www.theguardian.com...). Moreover, the few that are innocent people will tend to accept their punishment out of a hope for an eternal afterlife. If this rate was above 10%, then I would be against the death penelty. However, the rate is below this threashold and because of this I do support the death penelty. For every one person that gets executed innocently, there are 24 people that get what they deserve. Whether or not there is an afterlife is a story for another time (litterally) (http://www.debate.org...). However, since people tend to convert to a religion if they know they are going to die in a few hours, they end up having hope on their death bed for eternal life. So it's not too bad for the people who get executed innocently.

Argument 3:

The death penelty serves as an accurate deterent from murder since life inprisionment is more leinent then getting killed, and pain is not as intense as death. If this were not the case, then poor people, who endure pain comparable to prisioners (they have more freedom, but worse living conditions) would want to kill themselves, but it's good that they don't. Japan has the death penelty, South Africa does not. South Africa has the higher homicide rate (https://en.wikipedia.org......)(https://en.wikipedia.org...).

Argument 4:

Lets say that there was someone who stole $100 from you and burned it, so it ceases to exist. What would an eye for an eye say? An eye for an eye would say that if someone burns $100 from a stranger to make that person poor, then the violater must make retribution. An eye for an eye believes that the criminal must pay the amount he has damaged. If that means he damaged $100, then it means he must pay $100 plus the nessesary legal fees associated with this. If someone on the other hand did something good, he should be rewarded proportionally for his good thing. An eye for an eye rewards and punishes proportionally. If a criminal must pay mnoey to replace money, he also must pay his life to replace life. The criminal giving his money to the people he stole it from won't bring that extra money back, but nothing currently will. However, it's not aout that, it's about providing a criminal what he deserves and giving hope to the side victims such as the family and friends, people that should get help, but on an individual basis, they weren't the ones most affected. The person who is the most effeted is the person who got murdered since death is worse then pain to a high extent.

Defying this code not only leads to too leinient sentences, but also can lead to too harsh sentences. If someone robbs someone else, under an eye for an eye, that person would have to pay for the money he stole and the legal fees involved. Since they aren't expensive cases, they tend to be cheap. If one cannot afford the fines, then the fines can be worked off by contributing to government projects that help the community. The alternative code, which often punishes in units of jail in years, would suggest only a 5 year sentence and when the criminal gets out, he often wants to steal again. However, the reason why this shouldn't apply to murderers is because if sent out to work, due to the fact that they are the worst of the worst, they would be bad for the prision. It is safer to kill them to avoid the pain.

Argument 5: The murderer's family often does not sympathize with someone they belive to be a murderer. If I had a son and he was accused of murder, I would hope that he is innocent but if he is guilty, I would denounce him. Adam Lanza's parents didn't forgive him for the Sandy Hook shooting either. His father said, "I wish he had never been born"(https://www.today.com...). Parents don't forging their kids if they murdered some people.

Argument 6:

On a national scale, the cost difference is nominal. If there are 19,000 murderers in the US, then executing them would cost about $9 billion more then life inprisionment, assuming the numbers are correct. This is assuming the execution can't be paid for it's self. If executions were public in a stadium, then people would ay money in order to watch the murderer get executed as painfully as he deserves. The amount of pain he would endure in his execution would be determined by the fourmula PL^3 meaning he dies with the amount of Pain he inflicted on the murder victim(s)x(the number of Lives killed cubed). This way, there are eclectic expieriences for the audiance and it can offset the prision cost. How does the death sentence cost that much money? Court cases are expensive, but they shouldn't cost over $1 million?

Argument 7:

Most people executed within the United States get executed by lethal injection. They do not get electricuted and they rarely get a firing squad, even though murderers deserve it. If the executioner hated this, then they could negochiate with the prision system about their removal from the job so they could get a different job without being fired. Most executioners relize what the criminal has done to deserve death and they accept their duties in killing the prisioner.


My sources:
https://www.theguardian.com...
http://www.debate.org...
https://www.today.com...
https://en.wikipedia.org...
https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
jackgilbert

Pro

I will go over each of your arguments one by one.

ARGUMENT 1:

You said that most people would want someone who murdered someone else to be put to death. Wouldn't it be hypocritical to do punish someone by doing the exact same thing to them that they did to their victim? Wouldn't it make us murderers as well? It would be like saying this. if your friend punched you would it be right to punch him back? If you think that it is wrong for someone to punch you, what makes you think that punching him is okay?

ARGUMENT 2:

Even though only 4% of people on death row die innocently, that is still a number. How would you feel if you were one of those people? How do you think your family would feel if they found out you got the death sentence for doing nothing?
You also said that people convert to religion before death and therefore have a hope of an afterlife. If this is the case, then shouldn't we just kill every religious person as they will have a hope of an afterlife?

ARGUMENT 3:

You said that the death penalty serves as a deterrent for murder because criminals have a fear of being put to death rather than being sentenced to life imprisonment. If this is true, than why are the murder rates lower in states without the death penalty? I gave reasons in my last argument for why this happens. I will give them again here. A lot of the time the murders people commit are either when they are mentally ill, on drugs or alcohol, or when they are in a fit of rage and kill someone without weighing in the consequences. As a result, the death penalty does not work as a proper deterrence to crime.

ARGUMENT 4:

You said that an eye for an eye is how everything should work. But as I have already mentioned, it is hypocritical to do the same thing someone else did to you.

ARGUMENT 5:

In terms of the closure argument it can honestly go either way. There are a lot of cases in which the family feels closure, and a lot of cases in which they feel more trama.

ARGUMENT 6:

You said that if executions were in a public stadium where people had to pay to watch the executions, death sentences would be a lot cheaper. Let me point out that this is by far the cruelest, most immoral thing you could ever do to somebody and would HANDS DOWN make innocent deaths that much worse than they already are.
You also said that decreasing the amount of court cases there are would make the death penalty cheaper. This would make it cheaper, but would also make the number of innocent people who die skyrocket.

ARGUMENT 7:

You are right when you say that executioners could quit their job at any time, but this argument doesn't just check out. Someone has to do the job of executing evil-doers and if everyone refused to be an executioner, the government would be forced to abolish the death penalty as there would be no one to actually complete the sentence.
asta

Con

I will go over each of your arguments one by one.


ARGUMENT 1:

“You said that most people would want someone who murdered someone else to be put to death. Wouldn't it be hypocritical to do punish someone by doing the exact same thing to them that they did to their victim?” I said many would, not necessarily most people. It would not make us hypocritical because execution is killing for a serious crime. Murder is a murderer being angry enough at people to kill them. Execution kills those who are perceived to be guilty, murder deliberately kills humans who are known to be innocent.

If John’s friend punched him, John should have the right to punch him back. John punching the initiator is okay because it is retaliation on the basis of a previous action. Execution is just a retaliation.

ARGUMENT 2:

4% is a small number “How would you feel if you were one of those people?” I probably would pray out of desperation. I wouldn’t believe in heaven (right now) but I would play on the safe side if I knew I was going to die and convert out of desperation.

“How do you think your family would feel if they found out you got the death sentence for doing nothing?” They wouldn’t feel anything if they are not told of the wrongful execution.

“If this is the case, then shouldn't we just kill every religious person as they will have a hope of an afterlife?” No. This is what Adolf Hitler did to the Jews and what Saint Patrick did to the Pagans, although for different reasons. The bible says most Christians will go to hell anyway, so it would be counterproductive. “Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it. 14 But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is hard, and there are few people who find it.”(https://www.biblestudytools.com...).

ARGUMENT 3:

My opponent claims that states with the death penalty tend to have higher homicide rates. This is true because of another factor. This factor might be economic differences. The states without the death penalty tend to have a higher GDP per capita than the states with the death penalty. This makes the people in the anti-death penalty less likely to commit crime. Also, what about Japan and South Africa? My example may be more legitimate because the difference in homicide between Japan and South Africa is higher than the homicide difference between the pro death penalty states and the anti-death penalty states.

ARGUMENT 4:

"it is hypocritical to do the same thing someone else did to you." No, it's not. Execution is killing a guilty person as a punishment for a crime, murder is killing an innocent person.


ARGUMENT 5:

If it's expected that the family could be sad if their murderous family member got executed, then they are simply not told of the execution.


ARGUMENT 6:

"Let me point out that this is by far the cruelest, most immoral thing you could ever do to somebody and would HANDS DOWN make innocent deaths that much worse than they already are." Actually with all that money gotten from public execution ticket prices, the state would be able to subsidize more accurate trial cases that would make it even more rare for an innocent person to get executed.


ARGUMENT 7:

"Someone has to do the job of executing evil-doers" That person would be someone who supports the death penalty and therefore would have no problem with executing people that they felt deserved it.

Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
83 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mosc 1 month ago
mosc
Judaism writes as if one hand can clap. It takes 2 to tango. Idiot.
Posted by asta 1 month ago
asta
Since the official debate is over, I am not saying who won yet. However, I think mosc is winning because in the official debate at least he posted something. Judaism has yet to accept the debate. If he doesn't accept it before it expires, then I would declare Mosc the winner by default.
Posted by judaism 1 month ago
judaism
You write too much, I don't have the time to read everything and respond. Please summarize it all in a few sentences. Then I'll respond. Thank you.
Posted by mosc 1 month ago
mosc
@asta do you really want to rely upon this Judaism person whose ignorance upon the Talmud almost matches your own? You have an excuse - your not Jewish. But Judaism claims to be Jewish and it complete ignorance on this subject only proves that his soul exists in g'lut.
Posted by mosc 1 month ago
mosc
You require a summarization of the criticism of the Rambam in 5 paragraphs? Dude learn how to read! The baali tosafot placed the Rambam into charem. Your Jewish apostle Paul the rabbis of France abhorred.
Posted by mosc 1 month ago
mosc
Dude you challenged me, to a debate. Go back to church. Having seen your gross distortions of the Rambam its clear that you do not merit more of a response than i have given to you hear. A response which you have not responded to. Including that private letter wherein the positive side of the Rambam's logic received an address. You really need to go back to church and worship your god Jesus son of Zeus.
Posted by mosc 1 month ago
mosc
"one would have to research like he had an index in a library" Total bunk. The Mishna has 6 orders. Shabbot, its the first subject in the Order of Moed in the Mishna. The Rif and the Rosh made posok halakic rulings attached straight to the page of the Gemara of Shabbot. Judaism go back to church.
Posted by mosc 1 month ago
mosc
" he's like our Paul equivalent to Christians." Paul was a false prophet. I like the comparison, Judaism go back to church.

" like, for instance, on laws of Shabbat." The Torah commands the prohibition to work. The Mishna defines work limited to the labor required to build the Mishkan in the Wilderness. Ooooops The Rambam, b/c he did not know how to learn Gemara, he did not understand the Torah commandment and the explanation of the Mishna! Which has greater importance, a tent or the God of Israel living within the hearts and souls of the brits people? Duh stupid question. Yet the Rambam focused upon the written and failed to grasp the logical inference. The Ramban called this understanding as black fire on white fire.

Shalom, that's the name of Shabbot when Jews greet each other on that holy day. Shalom between people and neighbors requires allot of work, just not the work required to build the Mishkan! [Tabernacle of the Congregation] The Talmud understood the Torah commandment not to work and defined this prohibited work as that required to build the Mishkan. But other work, like the work required to maintain shalom between husband and wife, this work the Talmud totally excluded. Judaism go back to church.
Posted by judaism 1 month ago
judaism
Rambam (Moses ben Maimon, 1135-1204) was a great sage, he's like our Paul equivalent to Christians. Pretty much, he took the Talmud, which is massive, and made all Jewish law (halacha) into summary, so one didn't have to search through the whole Talmud each time, like, for instance, on laws of Shabbat. He made things like a smartphone, before his greatest book, Mishneh Torah, one would have to research like he had an index in a library, it took forever, and if you found a book/law written in another language, you had to learn that language. By comparison, what Rambam did was make it all like a smartphone. You could find any law within a heartbeat by looking through his work, instead of the Talmud.

Mosc, we never agreed to debate on this platform. I won't do it here. Start a debate, summarize your main arguments, and we'll go from there. If you fail to do that, I'm afraid we can't debate. I don't want pages of arguments, please summarize to like 5 paragraphs! That should be enough. I'm busy and can only handle so much.

Thank you,

Shalom to all
Posted by asta 1 month ago
asta
Who is Rambam?
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