The Instigator
LegalizedProstitute
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
black_squirrel
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Should there be a death penalty?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
black_squirrel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/25/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 600 times Debate No: 44593
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

LegalizedProstitute

Pro

Rules

1. First round for acceptance only.

2. No plagiarism; Don't copy somebody else's work and claim it as your own.

3. You may only troll when things get out of hand.

4. I will argue in favor of the resolution that there should, indeed, be a death penalty, as my opponent opposes.

Failure to follow these rules will result in a 7-point forfeiture.
black_squirrel

Con

I accept. I will argue that there should not be a death penalty.
Debate Round No. 1
LegalizedProstitute

Pro

I thank Con for accepting this debate.

Presentation

A punishment is imposed for retribution of an offense, correct? So, for both the criminal and the victim to be even, say, the criminal commits a crime severe enough to a victim (Say, murder (Killing unlawfully)), I believe that for both sides to be even, the offender should be penalized by death.

...

Now, people would usually argue against this because the person who was thought to be a criminal was found innocent, and imprisonment is reversible, while death isn't. That 's correct. However, that doesn't happen often at all.
black_squirrel

Con

There are several reasons why we punish people for an offense:
1. for public safety (getting dangerous criminals of the streets)
2. as a deterrent for other criminals
3. retribution
4. rehabilitation

#1 is for me the most important reason. But lifelong imprisonment is just as effective as death.
#2 plays less of a role. Both lifelong imprisonment and death penalty have some deterrent effect. However, for the type of criminals that receive a death penalty, this deterrence is minimal. For example, a gang member is much more likely to get kill by other gangs than by a death penalty. Since the fear of being killed does not deter the gang member to commit crimes, this gang member will also not be deterred by the death penalty.
#3 I do not think that the death penalty is much more severe than a lifelong sentence. As I have explained in #2, the type of criminals we are talking about usually have no fear of death. Families of victims may ask for a death penalty. But often the execution does not give closure to them as they had hoped. [1]
#4 plays no role here I think, because the type of criminals we are talking about are beyond rehabilitation.

There are several reasons against the death penalty. But my main reason against it is indeed the possibility of killing an innocent person. Our justice system is flawed. There are always going to be people who are wrongfully convicted.

PRO:"Now, people would usually argue against this because the person who was thought to be a criminal was found innocent, and imprisonment is reversible, while death isn't. That 's correct. However, that doesn't happen often at all."
It actually does happen more than you think. In [2] there is a list of 143 people on death row whose sentence has been reversed because there was evidence that they were not guilty of the crime that they were convicted of.


[2] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[1] http://ejusa.org...
Debate Round No. 2
LegalizedProstitute

Pro

Rebuttals

"There are several reasons why we punish people for an offense:
1. for public safety (getting dangerous criminals of the streets)"

That's why we have death penalty. If we penalize them for death, the public will be safe.

"#1 is for me the most important reason. But lifelong imprisonment is just as effective as death."

Here's the thing, though. There is almost always that one chance that the criminal can break out (Escape) and again, commit their crimes (Which lack conformity in our laws (Which we legislate based upon our accepted interpretation of morality (In which we are supposed to follow. Otherwise, do not be in America))).

"2. as a deterrent for other criminals"

This one, I agree with too. Because we have the death penalty, it put a dramatic decrease (At least relative to what it would have been without the death penalty) to crime rates due to fear.

"#2 plays less of a role. Both lifelong imprisonment and death penalty have some deterrent effect. However, for the type of criminals that receive a death penalty, this deterrence is minimal. For example, a gang member is much more likely to get kill by other gangs than by a death penalty. Since the fear of being killed does not deter the gang member to commit crimes, this gang member will also not be deterred by the death penalty."

That is so because the gang member is going to be killed for a different reason. A gang won't kill the gang member for commiting crimes. He/She will be deterred to do what THAT PARTICULAR GANG doesn't want him/her to do.

"3. retribution"

I have already explained this.

"#3 I do not think that the death penalty is much more severe than a lifelong sentence. As I have explained in #2, the type of criminals we are talking about usually have no fear of death. Families of victims may ask for a death penalty. But often the execution does not give closure to them as they had hoped."

I have already replied to this.

"4. rehabilitation"

Yes. If you impose the death penalty onto someone (Because what they have commited is not sanctioned by law and is severe enough), you don't give them a chance to rehabilitate or change, but you rather remove them completely from existence. However, that's not what that type of punishment is for, but is rather for retribution of their offense (So both the victim and the offender are even).

"PRO:"Now, people would usually argue against this because the person who was thought to be a criminal was found innocent, and imprisonment is reversible, while death isn't. That 's correct. However, that doesn't happen often at all."
It actually does happen more than you think. In [2] there is a list of 143 people on death row whose sentence has been reversed because there was evidence that they were not guilty of the crime that they were convicted of."

That's not what I meant. I mean as in, relative to the amount of people in which the death penalty was imposed on, and rightfully so (Meaning that they were guilty), due to commiting a crime.

I await my opponent's next set of arguments.
black_squirrel

Con

Public safety

Both life imprisonment and death penalty keep the public safe from the criminal. My opponent mentions the possibility of escape. There are escapes from low security prisons. But the most severe criminals should stay at high security prisons. With enough security it is nearly impossible to escape. For example, nobody ever escaped from a federal "supermax" prison [2].



Death penalty is not a deterrent

For seasoned criminals, the death penalty is not a deterrent. I gave the example of a member of a crime gang. Anyone entering a gang knows that there are risks to it, including death. So gang members are not really afraid to die. So the death penalty does not deter them. In fact, many inmates on death row prefer death to life [1].

PRO: "That is so because the gang member is going to be killed for a different reason. A gang won't kill the gang member for committing crimes. He/She will be deterred to do what THAT PARTICULAR GANG doesn't want him/her to do."

No, once you enter a crime gang, the probability of getting killed is increased. You might be killed by a (literally) back-stabbing member of your own gang, or by a member of a rival gang. Once you are a gang member, there is no conduct that would shield you from these risks.


retribution

My opponent has not countered my argument that an execution rarely gives family members of the victims closure. In fact, it often prolongs the family victims' suffering because there are many appeals to the death sentence and every time there is such appeal it will reopen the wounds.

PRO: "That's not what I meant. I mean as in, relative to the amount of people in which the death penalty was imposed on, and rightfully so (Meaning that they were guilty), due to commuting a crime."

There were 143 people on death row whose sentence has been reversed [3]. There were 1359 executions [4] since the ban on the death penalty was lifted. So approximately, for every 10 executions, there is one sentence of a death row inmate that is reversed. So in my opinion, even relatively the number of reversed death sentences because of evidence of innocence is rather large.






[1] http://abcnews.go.com...
[2] http://www.politifact.com...-/
[3] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[4] http://www.clarkprosecutor.org...


















Debate Round No. 3
LegalizedProstitute

Pro

LegalizedProstitute forfeited this round.
black_squirrel

Con

Vote CON!
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Maria_Magalhaes 2 years ago
Maria_Magalhaes
So, you're against the wait period before execution, because there may be an escape? Though, as you admitted, it drastically decreases the possibility of false accusations? And you're pro an instant death penalty conviction? You're doomed... There's no way, such an ideology can be defended in US.

Good luck though! I hope you present valid points! Try not to suggest that the police should killed every criminal they laid hands on, because it would decrease dramatically the crime rates.
Posted by LegalizedProstitute 2 years ago
LegalizedProstitute
"Why don't you refer the 15 year period before the execution, for example? That tries to cover the possibility of reversing the sentence and also improves the "retribution"."

There can be a point in time where they'll realize that whom the death penalty was imposed on or was imprisoned is actually innocent. However, it's not always going to be within 15 years (Although that may put a dramatic decrease in false convictions that resulted in being penalized by death).

Also, there's always that one risk (Like said) that the criminal can break out (Escape) and again, commit crimes. While an immediate death penalty can put a dramatic/decrease on crime rates.
Posted by Maria_Magalhaes 2 years ago
Maria_Magalhaes
What are you doing Prostitute?? This is the worst defense in pro of death penalty I've ever read --' And you were the one to purpose the debate. You're not even understanding your opponents arguments.

Why don't you refer the 15 year period before the execution, for example? That tries to cover the possibility of reversing the sentence and also improves the "retribution".
And what about the savings? What about throwing some numbers of the cost of a prisoner per year?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by OtakuJordan 2 years ago
OtakuJordan
LegalizedProstituteblack_squirrelTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro dropped too many arguments with his forfeit to win.
Vote Placed by kbub 2 years ago
kbub
LegalizedProstituteblack_squirrelTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF