The Instigator
MasterROBO360
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
angryduck
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Should the death penalty in America be abolished?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
MasterROBO360
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/4/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,125 times Debate No: 48353
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

MasterROBO360

Pro

I think that the death penalty in America needs to be abolished. It is morally abhorrent for a number of reasons, and there are also a number of fallacies that I believe the death penalty is established on.

The point I would like to begin on is that the death penalty is, contrary to popular belief, far more expensive than a life sentence. This may be unbelievable at first. But these costs do not come from the execution itself. They come from the extended length of trials on capital crimes compared to non-capital crimes. After the conviction, there are many appeals and re-trials that increase the cost even more. Also, death row inmates stay as inmates for an average of 10-12 years after conviction.

I welcome anybody to respond to my opening statements.

Sources:
1. "Costs of the Death Penalty." DPIC. Death Penalty Information Center, n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2014. <http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...;.

2. "To Execute or Not: A Question of Cost?" Msnbc.com. The Associated Press, 7 Mar. 2009. Web. 04 Mar. 2014. <http://www.nbcnews.com...;.
angryduck

Con

I support the Idea that the Death penalty should be upheld. I submit that no one that has been executed has reoffended.
Debate Round No. 1
MasterROBO360

Pro

I would like to say hello to Con and welcome him to the debate.

Rebuttal

It is true that the re-offense rate for executed inmates is zero percent. But the re-offense rate for those incarcerated for life is ALSO zero percent, as they stay in prison for the entire rest of their life. I would like to point out that I am not arguing against life imprisonment, I am only arguing against execution. And for those prisoners that attempt to commit a crime while in prison (something that can happen with a prisoner on death row), there are measures that can be taken to prevent that.


I would also like to present a new point.

Getting to the "morally abhorrent" side of my view that I mentioned earlier, there is a chance with every execution that the executed may be innocent. This is part of the problem with criminal convictions in general; there is absolutely NO way to 100% guarantee that the convicted committed the crime.

I would like to show an example of an innocent man being sentenced to death.

Daniel Wade Moore of Alabama was found guilty of a murder and sexual assault in 2002. He was sentenced to death by the judge. Evidence had been withheld during his trial. This was found and he was acquitted in 2009.

Source:

1. "Death Penalty and Innocence." Amnesty International USA. Amnesty International USA, n.d. Web. 4 Mar. 2014. <http://www.amnestyusa.org...;.
angryduck

Con

I agree , the execution of an Innocent is a strong argument against capital punishment., The death sentence has not been proven to deter the horrors of the most horrendous crimes.
The execution of the guilty though , can offer closure to the relatives of victims.
Debate Round No. 2
MasterROBO360

Pro

Rebuttal

Is closure really the objective of an execution? Do the families of the victims need "closure" so badly that a life must be taken for it to happen? Is it alright to execute somebody for satisfaction of somebody else? Is it EVER alright? I don't think so.

And many families of murder victims are against capital punishment for their family member's murderer. Many have said that the system for achieving a death sentence for the murderer is painful and expensive, and that the money could be used in so many better areas. Some have even admitted themselves that the justice system "should not be dictated by vengeance," or that "We as a society should not be involved in the practice of killing people."

This concludes my rebuttal. I await Con's response.

Source:

1. "New Voices - Victims' Families." DPIC. Death Penalty Information Center, n.d. Web. 4 Mar. 2014. <http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...;.
angryduck

Con

I suggest that retribution and vengeance are a natural human response to some awful criminal acts . If your child was raped and murdered nothing else other than capital punishment would suffice. That we get it wrong sometimes and kill an Innocent is awful but not reason enough to stop executions.
Debate Round No. 3
MasterROBO360

Pro

Rebuttal

It is true that retribution and vengeance are natural responses to criminal acts. But I fail to see how this supports your standpoint.

We, as a civilization, are civilized, as the word "civilization" suggests. It is not always right to follow our instincts, or "natural human responses," as you put it. If that were OK, then it would be OK to assault somebody for insulting your family. It would be OK to shoplift from a grocery store if you were hungry and needed food. The "It is a natural human response" statement is true, but as an argument, it holds no water.

Your second statement, that if a child was raped and murdered that nothing other than capital punishment would suffice, also holds no water. This goes back to my statement in Round 3. Is it alright to kill somebody because somebody else (the family of the victim) wants them to be killed? Should we let the family of the victim decide the offender's fate? There is a reason why their fate is determined by an impartial jury. It isn't a fair trial if the fate of the criminal is determined by a biased party.

Onto your third statement. This statement is subjective. It is objective that an innocent is sometimes killed by our penal system, but saying that it is not reason enough to stop executions is a completely subjective response. I do not, honestly, feel that this is a satisfactory rebuttal to my statement.

I await Con's response.
angryduck

Con

The Idea that society should be above killing is a noble Idea but is yet to be achieved. The war against terror is a form of state capital punishment . Summary execution of suspects ,though they may reside in Pakistan and not Nebraska is a fact of life.
The rights of the convicted murderer are of secondary , if any , Importance to that of the victims relatives.
String em up!
Debate Round No. 4
MasterROBO360

Pro

Rebuttal

Your comment on the war against terror: that is entirely different from what I am talking about now. Killing a person only suspected of terrorist affiliations is, in my opinion, wrong, but that is an entirely different debate. Killing an actual terrorist is a form of self-defense, not a criminal execution. A criminal sitting in a cell on death row is NOT a threat, and therefore killing them is NOT self-defense. If you believe that the death penalty is self-defense, I would encourage you to read the legal definition of the term "self-defense" HERE: http://dictionary.law.com...

In the second sentence, I am assuming that you are referring to the recent drone attacks? That, too, is an entirely different debate. Many disagree with the use of drones to kill terrorists for a number of reasons. Saying that it is a "fact of life" is simply a false statement; it is not an unchangeable OR necessary part of life. If you still believe that drones are a fact of life, I would again encourage you to read the definition of the term "fact of life" HERE: http://dictionary.reference.com...

Your entire second paragraph is subjective. There is no simply no proof for your statement because it is subjective.

And also, this happens to be the last round of the debate. I wish Con to have a good day and thank him for the enjoyable debate.
angryduck

Con

The State will continue to kill people on your behalf. Be it the execution of murderers at home or International terrorists abroad the general public will continue to believe , as the government is aware , that human rights come second to self survival.
We all pick our noses. We still think we are civilised.
Its a delusionary liberal conceit to think we might , someday , want to stop killing each other. I concede that the cost to tax payers of Capital Punishment is a tad high though. I give you that , but that's all.
Cheers.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by SteveEvans 3 years ago
SteveEvans
Actually, plenty of people that were under death row has reoffended. Go search.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by EndarkenedRationalist 3 years ago
EndarkenedRationalist
MasterROBO360angryduckTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO was the only one to use sources. I'm not sure what was going on with CON's formatting, but it's not enough to warrant granting PRO S&G, so that remains tied. I think PRO provided stronger arguments and worked to refute CON's while CON provided only minimal baseless assertions. In the future, CON, I recommend you elaborate on your points and provide some evidence to support them.