The Instigator
Futurepresident2048
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TBR
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points

Should their be a death penalty?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
TBR
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/4/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 489 times Debate No: 72907
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

Futurepresident2048

Pro

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Opening arguments, no Rebuttles
Round 3: Rebuttles and closing arguments

Resolved: The Death Penalty should be kept as a form of punishment for murder only.
Pro: Argue in support and why it should be a form of punishment
Con: Argue against and why it shouldn't be a form of punishment

Once again no sources needed, just know what your talking about
TBR

Con

Sure... Why not.
Debate Round No. 1
Futurepresident2048

Pro

Well oh well, where to start...

1. Death Penalty can be cost efficient
While many opponents of the death penalty state that it is much more cheaper to keep someone in prison than put them on death row, they don't realize one thing. It is very possible to make death row much cheaper, many times legislation has been brought before states like California to do this however, the highly liberal legislature knocks it down every time. It could be more cost worthy by also reforming it so more hard evidence is needed to put someone on death row so that the number of appeals given can be lowered.

2. Acts as a deterant and buffer
Many would say there's no proof it doesn't deter crime, yet there is no proof it doesn't. However, a sane man who is going to murder for revenge or something would be less likely to do it knowing he will be executed. It also is a buffer, for if we do abolish it then the "progressives" will just get more pushy and next on the list will be to abolish life in prison. Many countries like in Europe have done so, and murderers could be getting out after 20 years. It's best to keep it just as an extreme option at the least and to prevent lessening the possibld punishments.

3. Brings closuer
If you were murdered, would you be okay if your murderer got off with his life? Would your family be okay? Probably not. If a person who murders continues to go on living it only leaves that notion in the minds of the families that the killer is still alive and out there. It's not a very happy feeling to have. Especially when that person chose the path he took and took another persons life. Personally to me once you murder someone you basically aren't even human in theory. It's just the proper punishment for one who takes an innocent mans life.
TBR

Con

"It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer" – Sir William Blackstone (Blackstone’s formula)

Any discussion of capital punishment can’t entirely ignore discussing violent criminal acts. I, con, will not ignore or dismiss the violent and despicable actions of some, however, the debate has less to do with if an individual criminal “deserves” to die, and rather weather the state and federal government deserve to kill those it imprisons.

The discussion of issue can be grouped in five general points.

1) Morality
2) Constitutionality
3) Potential Deterrence
4) Retribution/Revenge
5) Practically


A1) Morality

We can discuss morality from a number of perspectives. Beginning with the bible I will examine capital punishment from an Old Testament perspective, followed by a Christian post New Covenant perspective, and finally from an agnostic perspective.

Genesis 18 - 22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”

“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”

29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”

He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”

30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”

He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”

He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”

32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”

He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”


So, what then are Abraham and God going on about. Well, they are discussing the potential to unfairly apply a death sentence. God would not kill the inhabits of Sodom if it meant killing potentially innocent people. An interesting way to consider how to apply this to our debate is found in these numbers. While Abraham was making the point that the total dwindles and God still would not apply unfair justice, we can work with the outside number stated. God would not kill if 50 of the total inhabitants were innocent. The total inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were about 600 to 1200 people [1]. Using median from the Abraham/God conversation of 30 and the median population of 900, we get that God would not destroy the city if 3.33% of the population were innocent. This small calculation, although not what Abraham and God were saying, is interesting for this fact. According to best current estimates about 4.1% of people on death rows in the United States were wrongfully convicted [2].

God of the Old Testament had no compunction about killing people, but he did clearly have an issue with killing people wrongly. This is what our legal role model Blackstone was going on about. We must, like God, err on the side of caution when applying death as a punishment for we may inadvertently kill innocents.

The New Covenant, while I disagree with this premise, is understood to have eliminated the old laws for Christians. That is, any reference of the old law were fulfilled by Christ, and his New Covenant is what the riotous should follow. So then what did Jesus have to say about the death penalty.

Jesus, was much more interested in forgiveness than vengeance. Matthew 5 - 38 "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.". This statement has more to do with how we react to one-another than how the state should react. What Jesus preached was forgiveness between people. That he was eventually crucified (capital punishment) is a cruel irony for any Christian who wishes to justify capital punishment as a follower of Jesus, a peaceful and forgiving man.


A2) Constitutionality

Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments are the primary battle ground when discussing the constitutionality of the death penalty. In the eighth amendment, we have specifically prohibited “cruel and unusual punishments”, while the fourteenth insures “equal protection of the laws”.

What is cruel and unusual can be argued and parsed endlessly, however, equal application of the law is not in dispute. The death penalty is undeniably unequally applied based on economic factors.

Throughout the system, the majority of capital offensives tried are done with public defenders. In a Chicago Tribune investigation, 12% of those attorneys representing defendants in death pinnately cases were later disbarred for a variety of incompetence [5]. The state wide disbarment rate of trial attorneys is less than 1%. This trend is national. The Dallas Morning News found a full 1 in 4 death row inmates were represented by attorneys who were found guilty of misconduct [6].

The application of the death penalty runs counter to the equal protection before the law clause of the Constitution.

A3) Potential Deterrence

This is a simple and quick section. It is quick because the research has been done, and is clear. The consensus view is, the death penalty does not deter criminality.

88% of leading criminologists, citing enumerable studies and datasets state this fact unequivocally, the death penalty is not a good deterrent to crime [7]. The public has a somewhat skewed understanding of this, but even generally among public supporters of the death penalty – most recognize that this is true. ~70% acquiesce to this fact while almost 65% still support the punishment [8].

It is an accepted fact then, both professionally, and generally publicly, that the death penalty is not a deterrent.

A4) Retribution / Revenge

Revenge is not the job of the state. I can’t make this point more emphatically. It is not in the interests of the state to satisfy an individual’s personally motivated need for revenge or retribution. If a tangential victim of a crime wants to seek revenge that is there to fulfil. If in the act of achieving revenge, they become criminals in their own rights, so be it. They are responsible for any and all acts they may commit.

A5) Practically

Death penalty cases run anywhere between two times, and four times the cost of a life impressment case [9]. This cannot be reduced and insure that proper care is given to the cases. As a matter of fact, as shown above, with a 4+% current error rate, and the demonstrated issues with the current funding, as a mater of financially practical, the death penalty is a complete looser.

Aside from strict cost concerns, there is a much heftier price to pay. Misallocation of resources, namely the entirety of the justice system. Death penalty cases suck badly needed resources from the entirety of the justice system.

The death penalty is not practical, its not the job of the state to exact revenge, is not a deterent to criminaility, has constitutional issues, and is immoral. Back to pro.

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Debate Round No. 2
Futurepresident2048

Pro

For my closing statments I'll make a few Rebuttles and give you a quick recap of my argument.

My opponents whole morality argument was based off the bible and the religious stand point. Two things are wrong with that. One he is wrongly assuming that all are Chrisitian or religious for that matter which isn't so, especially someone like I who isn't so bringing in that argument is an insult to none religious people, claiming they aren't moral. Second is that the bible advocates killing in many circumstances, especially when it's in Gods name. Many religious people support the death penalty.

My opponent then brought up the constitution which says no "cruel and unusual punishment" which means specifically that there is to be no crazy forms of execution. Any argument that the constitution does not support the death penalty is false. The founding fathers for the most part all supported the death penalty, and just simply meant for that to make sure we don't go to any Medevil methods of execution. To them hanging was extremely humane a method. You cannot interpret the constitution based on emotion, you need to look back and history and see what they intended it to mean.

To sum up my argument, death penalty does 3 important things. It acts as a buffer in any case to prevent us from continually abolishing high forms of punishment, if we start removing options then we will get to the point of serial killers being realsed after 20 years. It also can act as a detterant in many cases as brought up in my second point. Second it is cost efficient, many states have the ability to lower costs yet many legislatures choose not to. Finally it brings closuer to the victim and their families.

For the following reasons I urge a vote in affirmation.
(Note: Sources were not to be used so don't count the sources my opponent used, keep it at a tie.)
TBR

Con

1. Death Penalty can be cost efficient
While many opponents of the death penalty state that it is much more cheaper to keep someone in prison than put them on death row, they don't realize one thing. It is very possible to make death row much cheaper, many times legislation has been brought before states like California to do this however, the highly liberal legislature knocks it down every time. It could be more cost worthy by also reforming it so more hard evidence is needed to put someone on death row so that the number of appeals given can be lowered.

While this is entire argument can be dismissed as a baseless assertion, I went the extra mile. I looked for any legislation introduced through the California state congresses relating to controlling costs relating to death penalty cases. I could find none, and sure none that attempted to make death penalty cases “more cheaper”. The entire point is baseless, partisan and argumentative. It should be entirely dismissed.



2. Acts as a deterant and buffer

Many would say there's no proof it doesn't deter crime, yet there is no proof it doesn't. However, a sane man who is going to murder for revenge or something would be less likely to do it knowing he will be executed. It also is a buffer, for if we do abolish it then the "progressives" will just get more pushy and next on the list will be to abolish life in prison. Many countries like in Europe have done so, and murderers could be getting out after 20 years. It's best to keep it just as an extreme option at the least and to prevent lessening the possibld punishments.

Again, baseless assertions. I have provided proof from law enforcement professionals saying the death penalty is NOT a deterrent or buffer. The remainder of the point is speculation without any basics, with a little partisan bickering for fun.


3. Brings closuer
If you were murdered, would you be okay if your murderer got off with his life? Would your family be okay? Probably not. If a person who murders continues to go on living it only leaves that notion in the minds of the families that the killer is still alive and out there. It's not a very happy feeling to have. Especially when that person chose the path he took and took another persons life. Personally to me once you murder someone you basically aren't even human in theory. It's just the proper punishment for one who takes an innocent mans life.

An appeal to emotion at best, misplaced vengeance at worse. The secondary victim of a crime does not get to reap benefit from the state for their vengeance.




Closing Statement

Capital punishment has been abolished by the majority of advanced societies. With the maturing of social norms, allowing the state to kill in retribution is abandoned as unnecessary and counterintuitive.

Understanding that brutality in criminal activity exists and is NOT mitigated with application of this medieval punishment seems enough to jettison its use. Understanding any other component makes it a no-brainer. The only reason to hold fast is dogma.

Points to consider in voting

1) Pro entire debate was baseless personal assertions. While I don’t care if he provides reference for non-controversial or theoretical information, asserting things like “California law” with NO backing is not fair. I spend too much time doing the research for points that pro imagines exists that simply dont.

2) Pro has been argumentative and unnecessarily partisans. I would NOT have made this voting list if not for the final round where Pro attempts to rebut that it is “insulting” that I used biblical references.

3) Pro dropped, and mischaracterized several of my points. As an example, my main constitutional point was NOT related to cruel and unusual punishment.

4) S&G. I don't call this out ever. I don't pick on people for spelling or grammer. However, pro made mistakes that made it difficult to understand in several sentences.

Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by LDPOFODebATeR0328 1 year ago
LDPOFODebATeR0328
Nice spelling, Pro. "Should THEIR be a death penalty?" *facepalm* You'll never become the future president at this pace...
Posted by retrogamer176 1 year ago
retrogamer176
Actually, yes, since the death penalty is rapidly decreasing between countries it's starting to get to a level where it's unusual, therefore unconstitutional.
Posted by Futurepresident2048 1 year ago
Futurepresident2048
Not so retro, you just have a bias.
Posted by retrogamer176 1 year ago
retrogamer176
It's actually unconstitutional. You can't debate it. Even if you argue that it's not cruel, not many 1st world countries use it, so it constitutes unusual. That means that the death penalty is a direct violation of the 8th amendment.
Posted by TBR 1 year ago
TBR
Your character limit had me cutting content everywhere.
Posted by TBR 1 year ago
TBR
Lot of baseless statements in that round.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by republicofdhar 1 year ago
republicofdhar
Futurepresident2048TBRTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate goes to Con. Pro said that no sources were required, but used that as a shield to make unsubstantiated assertions. Several of Con's well thought out arguments (e.g. "cruel and unusual punishment") was carelessly thrown aside by Pro without factual backing. S&G necessarily goes to Con because Pro misspelled key words such as "rebuttle" (rebuttal), "Medevil" (medieval), "deterant" (deterrent). Sources clearly goes to Con. As previously mentioned, although Pro insisted that no sources were required, that was a disingenuous cover for him to make unsubstantiated assertions, and so I do not recognize it as a requirement in this debate.
Vote Placed by kingkd 1 year ago
kingkd
Futurepresident2048TBRTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro spelled Rebuttals as Rebuttles, giving spelling/grmamar to Con. Con had more sources and went in depth to marilty and why death penalty is not
Vote Placed by Mathgeekjoe 1 year ago
Mathgeekjoe
Futurepresident2048TBRTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con rebuttal every point Pro made, Pro rebuttals often weren't effective since they didn't actually rebuttal Con's argument, thus had a more convincing argument. Con was the only one to use sources.