The Instigator
vmpire321
Con (against)
Winning
22 Points
The Contender
MasterKage
Pro (for)
Losing
8 Points

The Death Penalty Should Be Abolished

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
vmpire321
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/3/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 14,129 times Debate No: 20199
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (81)
Votes (8)

 

vmpire321

Con

The Resolution:
"Resolved: The Death Penalty Should Be Abolished."


Details:
--Specific to the US/Federal Government


Definitions:
Death Penalty -- Capital Punishment, or punishment by death for a crime [1] [2].

Should --must, ought [3]

Abolished -- to do away with; put an end to; annul; make void


My Position: I believe that in some circumstances, the death Penalty is the best form of punishment and should not be abolished.



Rules:

1. No Plagiarism
2. No Ad Hominem
3. No Semantics/Abusive Arguments
4. Round 1 is Acceptance
5. No new arguments in Round 5

=======

Best of Luck

Sources
[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[3] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[4] http://dictionary.reference.com...
MasterKage

Pro

I agree to all Con's above presented rules and regulations, thus I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
vmpire321

Con

Sorry for the late response. I've been busy for the past few days.

C1: Deterrence
The Death Penalty serves as a determent to criminals.

There is a relationship between the death penalty and murder. The deterrent effect of the death penalty helps to save lives, ultimately resulting in the overall prevention of the loss of human life [1]. Multiple studies that have occured over time have demonstrated that the death penalty saves lives [1].

Several professors of Emory University found in a 2003 nationwide study that each execution, on average, results in 18 fewer murders [6].

A 2006 study found that each execution results in five fewer homicides [7]

Shorter waits on death row is connectted with increased deterrence. For every 2.75-year reduction of the time a death row inmate has to wait, at least one murder is deterred.


C2: Bargaining Chip
The Death Penalty provides leverage and allows prosecutors to use it as a "bargaining chip" to obtain guilty pleas and plea bargains [2] [3]. The criminal justice system is sped up by the DP, which helps to prevent backlogging.
Research has shown that 90% of cases in the US are resolved by plea bargains, with the guilty party admitting to all or part of the offenses charged in exchange for reduced/lenient charges [4]. This shows

One example is the case of 12-year-old Zina Linnick's disappearance. Even a remote threat of using the death penalty could give enough of an incentive for a person to confess [3].

Another example would be serial killers Robert Yates and Gary Ridgway. The confessed due to the threat of the death penalty [3].

Without a doubt, the death penalty allows prosecutors to get information quicker. This can even possibly save lives - such as revealing the location of an abducted person about to die.


C3: Accuracy
DNA testing and other modern forms of forensic science have allowed us to eleminate all doubt or suspicsion towards a person's guilt or innoncence. DNA testing helps to effectively prosecuting the guilty and protects the innocent [8].

Furthermore, a jury of twelve have to unanimously decide that they have no doubt that the defendent is guilty in order to sentence a person to death. [9]

C4: Popularity
Gallup polls have shown that the majority of Americans support the Death Penalty. Our goverment is based on a republic, and a republic at its heart, is ruled by the majority.
Gallup polls reveal that:
1) There is a consistant trend of the majority supporting the death penalty being used in cases where the guilty party is convicted of murder. In 2011, 61% supported the DP while only 35% was agaisnt it.
2) Even over time, the majority of Americans believe that the Death Penalty is used not enough.
3) The majority of people believe that the death penalty is currently being applied fairly.
4) Furthermore, there is a tendency that most people believe that the Death Penalty is morally acceptable. 65% of people believe it is right, while only 28% believe it is wrong.
5) OVer time, people have constantly shown that they believe when choosing between the death penalty and imprisonment for life (without parole), the death penalty should be used.
The Gallup Poll(s) can be found at my 10th source.


Sources:
[1] http://www.heritage.org...
[2] http://sentencing.typepad.com...
[3] http://www.thenewstribune.com...
[4] http://www.thecrimereport.org...
[5] Joanna M. Shepherd, "Murders of Passion, Execution Delays, and the Deterrence of Capital Punishment," Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 33 (June 2004), pp. 283-321.
[6] Hashem Dezhbakhsh, Paul H. Rubin, and Joanna M. Shepherd, "Does Capital Punishment Have a Deterrent Effect? New Evidence from Postmoratorium Panel Data," American Law and Economics Review, Vol. 5, No. 2 (2003), pp. 344-376.
[7] http://www.washingtonpost.com...
[8] http://www.forensicmag.com...
[9] http://crime.about.com...
[10] http://www.gallup.com...
MasterKage

Pro



I thank my opponent for his response, and apologize for my late response as well.

==Refutations==

C1: Deterrence

-Capital Punishment won’t be a deter many murderers. [1]

Many violent people resort to violence towards others and, in many cases, kill themselves anyway after killing their victims. Capital punishment wouldn’t be a deterrent to them. If these might be viewed as exceptional circumstances, then a way of covering all circumstances would be to compare the statistics between states with and without the death penalty. However, the majority of the justices at Gregg, after reviewing the evidence, concluded, “Statistical attempts to evaluate the death penalty as a deterrent to crimes by potential offenders have caused a great deal of debate. The results have been inconclusive”.

Furthermore, states without the death penalty don’t have the highest murder rate, thus disproving the death penalty. [2]
The most striking recent evidence recent evidence to emerge on this comes from a September 2000 article by Raymond Bonner and Ford Fessenden in the New York Times. This piece of evidence showed that the twelve states that have not adopted the death penalty since it became legal in 1976 have not had higher rates of murder than those with the death penalty. The study also found that “homicide rates had risen and fallen along roughly similar path with the states with and without the death penalty.

C2: Bargaining Chip

Using “Zina logic doesn’t fit all cases”, which is from your own source, and shows the flaws of using “the death penalty as a bargaining chip” tactic, which I will now briefly touch on.
Firstly, a remote threat of execution is powerful enough that it could concoct false confessions from suspects, which would mislead the investigation. Secondly, whether the death penalty is imposed should be based on the facts of a crime, including aggravating and mitigating factors, not on the defendant’s cooperation or plea afterwards. [3]

C3: Accuracy

DNA testing has numerous flaws. A police expert admitted that DNA analysis could be unreliable. Police also have been shown to have no confidence in the reliability of DNA testing. [4]
There is also many factors that can corrupt the reliability of DNA testing.. [5]

C4: Popularity

Popularity is not a valid reason for the death penalty to remain. Originally slavery was quite popular, yet that was not a valid reason for its existence. [6]

Do you feel that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to the commitment of murder, that it lowers the murder rate, or not?
In 2011 32% say it does, while a 64% say it doesn’t.

How often do you think an innocent person, who was innocent, has been killed by the death penalty in the last five years
In 2009 59% of people agree to this, while 31% disagree.

==Arguments==

C1: Life in prison is the best alternative and provides adequate response.

Life in prison is a far better alternative to the death penalty. Life in prison without parole is moral, practical, and much less expensive than the complex process that leads to the death chamber. With life imprisonment, the murderer is removed from society and enables attention to the victim and their specific needs and support. [7]
“Wrongdoers deserve to be punished”. This is a general, and quite well known, principle. But by itself, this principle provides no defense for the death penalty. It can easily be sastified by a lesser punishment, such as life imprisonment. The proposition the “murderers deserve to die” obviously is in favor of the death penalty, but it does so by begging the question. Why do murderers deserve to die when rapists do not deserve to be raped. Why do murderers deserve to die when we do not have the any idea what punishment traitors or kidnappers or embezzlers deserve. We know that the guilty ought to be punished, but we aren’t told what their punishment ought to be. [8]

C2: Capital Punishment risks execution of the innocent

-Legal appeal process isn’t enough to stop the killing of innocent people using capital punishment. [9]

In many law cases, nothing in the legal appeals process helped uncover the evidence of innocence of these wrongly convicted individuals. Instead, it was investigations conducted by journalists or college students, or the confessions of the true perpetrators of these crimes that helped to exonerate the innocent. In fact, the justice system has at times worked to wrongfully criminalize the innocent. Reckless prosecutors and police lab chemist teams have been critized for playing with the rules to convict people in murder trials. This makes an absolute mockery of the system when professional enforcers of the law mangle the spirit of the law to get convictions, forcing outsiders to rescue the hapless victims of the criminal justice system.

==Sources==

[1] Robert; Attorney and retired judge; “Capital Punishment and Violence;” Humanist; January/February 2004; Gale Group
[2] Jeff; Columnist; “When Murderers Die, Innocents Live;” Boston Globe; 28 September 2003; Gale Group
[3] http://www.thenewstribune.com...
[4] http://www.theage.com.au...
[5] http://madamenoire.com...
[6] http://www.gallup.com...
[7] Senil; Sergeant of the LAPD; “Humans Playing God: Capital Punishment and its Follies;” Tikkun; July/August 2002; Gale Group
[8] Hugo; Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, at Tufts University; Debating the death penalty: Should America have Capital Punishment? The experts on both sides make their case; 2004; Kindle Edition
[9] Senil; Sergeant of the LAPD; “Humans Playing God: Capital Punishment and its Follies;” Tikkun; July/August 2002; Gale Group
Debate Round No. 2
vmpire321

Con

I thank my opponent for his response.

==Defending my own Arguments==
I shall first start off supporting my initial contentions.

C1: Deterrence

My opponent has provided the example of people who go on 'killing sprees' in moments of extreme anger.
However we see that this argument is insignificant compared to mine - why? Simply because there are not that many rampage killers compared to murderers. In 2010 alone, 14,748 murders were committed [1]. A list of rampage killers in America only reaches the 100's [2], even when looking over years of history.

Furthermore, my opponent seems to cite flawed studies. Simply comparing the homicide rates of states with the death penalty and states without the death penalty isn't likely to get you a conclusive study. There are outside factors - such as gun laws. Numerous studies published quite recently, which have used "panel data sets and sophisticated social science techniques", which consist of observations of all of the 50 states, and usually across years and months [3]. Panel data sets also let social scientists to isolate the effect of the death penalty from other factors, both socioeconomic and policy, to verify the contributions capital punishment has on murderers.

C2: Bargaining Chip

My opponent completely ignores the fact that the death penalty contributes to plea bargains, which help speed up our criminal justice system. Why is this significant? As I've stated before, around 90% of cases are resolved through plea bargains, preventing backlogging.
All defendants deserve a right to a speedy trial. Without plea bargaining, a backlog of cases and trials will quickly accumulate [4], greatly hindering the speed of the criminal justice system. Isn't it the government's job to provide its citizens with the rights it promises?

And by the way, my opponent basically copied and pasted from the source.
But I shall rebut his point of false confessions anyways.
Today, modern forensic science help to eliminate doubt that a person is guilty of a crime.
Furthermore, studies suggests that false confessions occur quite infrequently [5].
The same source also states that the innocent are more at risk from 'lost' confessions - or confessions that the police fail to get from the truly guilty parties, rather than 'false' confessions - or confessions that are made up.

C3: Accuracy
I'd like to point out that in reality, there is a low chance of DNA analysis proving to be unreliable. My opponent's source has only provided extremely few examples or research proving the point that DNA analysis is unreliable - making it questionable at the best.
Furthermore, the Death penalty has a 99.6% guilty accuracy rate [6].

C4: Popularity
What is morally acceptable and wrong is completely subjective, as it changes as the views of society changes.
Your examples are flawed - one can not take popular opinion for issues that can be proved through empirical data.
However these surveys still support my side and are still valid, due to the fact that when the line is being drawn between right and wrong, and punishments, one must look at society's viewpoints. Simply put, it is completely opinion.

==Refutations==
I shall now continue to attempt to refute my opponent's contentions.

C1: Life in Prison

What my opponent is trying to portray cannot be confirmed, as no jury has the legal authority to prevent government officials or judges in the future from offering clemency, parole, or reasons for a new trial [7]. Furthermore, potential killer know this too, effectively destroying almost any deterrent effect it has.

The death penalty also manages to save 18 people per execution. If we were to choose life imprisonment over the death penalty, we are practically ensuring the deaths of a large number of innocent people [8]. How can this be, at all, morally acceptable?

Finally, to allow murderers to continue to live, you give them the chance to harm and murder again, in prison, after release, or perhaps even after escape. Living murderers are infinitely more likely to harm/kill again than are executed murderers [6].

C2: Risking Innocents
As I've stated before - there is a 99.6% guilty accuracy rate. We are sacrificing the lives of countless innocents, when we abolish the death penalty simply for the cause of the very few cases of innocents being executed. Simply because a person is "wrongly convicted" it doesn't mean that they are actually executed.


Sources:
[1] http://www.disastercenter.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://www.heritage.org...
[4] http://repository.law.ttu.edu...
[5] http://www.prodeathpenalty.com...
[6] http://www.prodeathpenalty.com...
[7] David Schaefer, PhD, Professor of Political Science at Holy Cross College, in his Dec. 2001 article for The American Enterprise titled "The Death Penalty and Its Alternatives"
[8] Cass R. Sunstein, JD, Professor of Law at Harvard University Law School and Adrian Vermeule, JD, Professor of Law at Harvard University Law School, in their May-June, 2005 article for the Stanford Law Review titled "Morally Required? Acts, Omissions and Life-Life Tradeoffs"

MasterKage

Pro

Refutations

C1: Deterrence

A New York Times survey conducted discovered that the homicide rate in death penalty states was forty-eight to
one-hundred percent higher than states without the death penalty. [1]
A recent poll also showed how police chiefs disagree that the death penalty deters crime or works as a deterrent. [1]

Furthermore, most criminologists, mind you these are experts in the criminal justice field, disagree with the fact that the death penalty deters crime. 88% of 79 experts showed that they did not believe that the death penalty acts as any sort of deterrent. [2]
A 1996 survey asked criminologists were asked for their responses based on their evidence. The results found that 83% disagreed with the fact that the death penalty deters crime, based on their evidence. [2]

C2: Bargaining Chip

In 15 to 20 percent of the DNA cases, police-induced false confessions were the primary cause of the wrongful conviction. [3]

Obviously false confessions occur quite frequently.
I also pointed out earlier that DNA analysis has numerous faults.

I will describe in detail a case were DNA testing has been unreliable. [4]
"Knox, from Seattle, Washington, and Sollecito, an Italian, walked free after forensic scientists said the DNA evidence on which the prosecution’s case depended could be contaminated."
Obviously this is a factor that can and did alter DNA testing reliability. Of course there are many other factors that can contribute to faults in DNA testing's accuracy and reliability.

C3: Accuracy

I have shown how DNA testing has been proven to have many faults and been rather unreliable and has many factors that can and do decrease its reliability.

C4: Popularity

You yourself have stated how popularity is completely opinion and is not a vaild argument. The general populace's opinion is not a vaild argument for the death penalty.

Rebuttals

C1: Life in Prison

See table below for detailed figures of deaths in prison

This chart shows the amount of homicides that occur in prisons. As you can see, this amount is extremly small. It is not significant enough that deaths in prison becomes a major issue. As you can see the homocide amount is below twenty, this is not enough to be a accurate argument. [5]

C2: Risking Innocents

I have already shown, numerous times, how there are a great many flaws in the DNA testing procedure. Many experts agree that DNA testing is unreliable. There all also many factors that can decrease the accuracy of DNA testing. such as contamination.


Sources

[1] http://www.acadp.org...
[2] http://www.newsmax.com...
[3] http://www.jaapl.org...
[4] http://blogs.nature.com...
[5] http://www.inquest.org.uk...





Debate Round No. 3
vmpire321

Con



==Defense==

I shall first start defending my own arguments.


C1: Deterrence


Once again, my opponent states flawed reasoning. PRO has given us a survey that doesn't take into count other factors that may affect the death penalty and homicide rates. My sources have used much more sophisticated methods, and have taken in other factors, such as socioeconomic and policies, in order to isolate the death penalty's deterrence effects.

Finally, let it be noted that my opponent cited a source from 1996. That was 16 years ago. My sources are far more qualified and recent - and furthermore, my source has used more sophisticated and accurate means of getting their conclusion.


C2: Bargaining Chip


Let it be known that my opponent's source for the fact that there are many false confessions (15-20) that are caused by the police examines all issues, regardless of whether or not it relates to the death penalty [1]. My opponents arguments are not relevent to the topic - they have almost nothing to do with the death penalty.

Not to mention the fact that my opponents own source said that "hundreds of convicted prisoners have been exonerated by DNA and non-DNA evidence" [1], which simply proves my point that modern (and improving) science is increasing the efficiency. The long-run is on my side.

My opponent also tries to argue that DNA testing can be unreliable. However, there is a major flaw in my oponent's arguments - he does not examine other improved forms of non-DNA evidence.

But I shall start explaining how advanced DNA-testing has improved the criminal justice system and is still improving it.

Advanced DNA testing has improved and is improving the state in which the death penalty is used fairly. Advanced DNA testing supports the credibility of capital punishment verdicts [2]. My source has specifically stated that "we are in a better position than ever before to ensure that only the guilty are executed" [2].

Further sources proved and found a similar point [3] [4] [5].

C3: Accuracy

More and more people are being proven innocent specfically due to irrefutable DNA evidence of someone's innocence.

Furthermore, the Death Penalty has nearly 99.6% rate of accuracy.

A person's average wait on the death row is 20 years [6]. And have you heard of the Innocence Project? It's an organization that works towards finding the innocence of certain inmates and to improve the criminal justice program [7]. I think 20 years is more than enough to prevent the death of somone innocent.


C4: Popularity

My opponent, once again, misunderstands my argument. I'm trying to say that as time passes on, society's views on what is morally acceptable and what is not changes and evolves. The criminal justice system must also follow it.

For example, the majority of people tend to dislike and advoid internet crime/fraud. However, say 500 years ago, no one was concerned with it. Why? Due to the fact that the internet was not yet invented.
Popularity in the sense of what is right and what is wrong is a valid argument, due to the fact that these issues are completely subjective and society's opinion.

Your attempt to use Gallup Polls cannot be a valid argument, since empirical data disproves general belief.


==Refutations==
I shall now attack my opponent's arguments.


C1: Life in Prison

*sighs* My opponent uses a survey that took place in the UK to justify his position. Let me remind you that this law is specifically confined to the UNITED STATES.
Not to mention the fact that if the DP was abolished, there will be far more dangerous criminals in prisons, which can increase the risk of homicide within prisons.

And furthermore, my opponent concedes the fact that you cannot confirm that the inmate will stay in jail for life. Goverment officials or judges can offer clemency, parole, or find a reason for a new trial. [8]
By accepting this other form of punishment, you may actually cause the deaths of people once the inmates get out of jail.
And you also must keep in mind that countless lives will be loss due to the fact that the death penalty is no longer a detterent [9].


C2: Risking Innocents

I shall remind you one more time, the death penalty has a 99.6% rate of executing guilty people. The average wait on the death row is 20 years, which gives outside parties, such as the Innocence Project, plenty of time to investigate and confirm guilt.

And also, all forms of punishment has a risk of affecting innocent people who were convicted. Should we get rid of the criminal justice all together?




Sources:

[1] http://www.jaapl.org...
[2] Orrin G. Hatch, JD, US Senator (R-UT), in his June 13, 2000 speech "Statement of Senator Orrin Hatch Senate Committee on the Judiciary Hearing on 'Post-Conviction DNA Testing: When Is Justice Served?',"
[3] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) http://www.aclu.org...
[4] The National Institute of Justice https://www.ncjrs.gov...
[5] https://www.ncjrs.gov...
[6] http://www.usatoday.com...
[7] http://www.innocenceproject.org...
[8] David Schaefer, PhD, Professor of Political Science at Holy Cross College, in his Dec. 2001 article for The American Enterprise titled "The Death Penalty and Its Alternatives"
[9] http://deathpenaltycurriculum.org...

MasterKage

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response.

Refutations

I will attack my opponents attempts to support her contentions

C1: Deterrence

This graph [1] shows murder rates in death penalty states and murder rates in non-death penalty states. As you can see the death penalty states have a higher murder rate than states that don't have the death penalty.


This graph [2] also shows the murder rate in death penalty and non-death penalty states, but this graph goes into more detail and shows the murder rate in each individual state. You can see that the murder rates in non-death penalty states exceed the murder rate in death penalty states quite drastically.


Lastly, this graph [3] shows the comparison between death penalty states that neighbor non-death penalty states. These states include Iowa and Missouri, Massachusetts and Connecticut, Wisconsin and Illinois, and west Virginia and Virginia. Once again, the murder rate in death penalty states exceed states without the death penalty.


Furthermore, once again, many criminologists accept that the death penalty does not act as a deterrent to the death penalty.


This pie chart [4] shows how many criminologists accept that the death penalty does not act as a deterrent to crime, both in 1996 and 2008. The orange shows how many criminologists agree that the death penalty deters crime, the purple shows how many criminologists accept that the death penalty does not deter crime, while the gray is the amount who have no opinions. The majority of criminologists accept that the death penalty does not act as a deterrent.

C2: Bargaining Chip

Using the death penalty as a threat for use as a bargaining chip can have several negative consequences. [5]

Using death penalty as a threat of death to a defendant to acquire a plea bargain forces many defendants
into giving up their right to a trial. Any defendant who does not have a competent legal representation many times is forced to give up their constitutional rights of a due process in hopes of ending up with a less harsh punishment.

The thought of execution can frighten people to take the blame for crimes or murders they did not commit

C3: Accuracy

The inventor of DNA fingerprint testing warns that DNA fingerprint testing is inaccurate. [6]

The scientist that created DNA fingerprinting tells that it could contain mistakes and can lead to miscarriages of justice.

There is over 2.5 million criminals in the national database. The system uses ten markers and there is a large percentage of getting a false match.

C4: Popularity

In this bar graph [7] 33% of people who participated in this survey say that death penalty is a suitable punishment for murder. While 67% said that other punishments for murder would be suitable, having a 39% in favor of life without parole and restitution, 13% in favor of life without parole, 9% favor life with parole, while 6% favor DK/Ref.

Obviously the majority of people support other methods of punishment for murder than the death penalty.



Rebuttals

I will support my contentions.

C1: Life in Prison

The homicide rate in prisons is actually decreasing. In 1980 the homicide rate was above 50% while it started to decrease and in 2000 the homicide rate was below 10%. [8]

“Murder in state prisons fell by more than 90% from 1980 to 2002...” [9]

C2: Risk of Innocent lives

The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) estimates every one in seven people are wrongfully executed by the death penalty. This is estimated to be 14%. This would mean that 840,000,000 innocent people are executed.



Sources

[1] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[2] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[3] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[4] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[5] http://www.deathpenalty.org...
[6] http://www.independent.co.uk...
[7] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[8] http://www.bjs.gov...
[9] http://news.bbc.co.uk...

Debate Round No. 4
vmpire321

Con

Interesting. I thank PRO for his quick response!
I shall go in this order.
1) Rebuttals
2) Refutations
3) Conclusions

==Rebuttals==
I shall first start off defending my arguments.

C1: Deterrence

Apparently, my opponent has still failed to realize the obvious flaw in his sources. Simply comparing the homicide rates of different states is not an accurate way of measuring the effects of the death penalty. My sources have used sophisticated means of isolating the effects of the death penalty from outside factors, for example socioeconomic and policy.

Using a panel data set of over 3,000 counties, Emory University found that each execution, on average, results in 18 fewer murders [1].
"Panel data sets allow social scientists to separate the effect of capital punishment from other socioeconomic and policy factors" [2]. I emphasize this due to the fact that my opponent repeatedly cites flawed studies throughout the debate and has failed to present a validated reason for why the death penalty does not deter.

The Emory group used nationwide data from 1960 to 2000,and discovered that 91% of the states had higher homicide rates after they suspended the death penalty [3]. On the other hand, 70% of the states had homicides decrease after the Death Penalty was put back in place [3].

And finally repeat murderers are stopped and possible murders are deterred [4].

Another study also found that even in murders of 'passion', people consider their actions and weigh the costs and benefits [5].

Furthermore, a stud, from the Wall Street Journal (I couldn't find the original so I found a source that talked about it) found that the death penalty saves 74 lives by stopping possible murderers in the next year [6].

In conclusion, the death penalty helps to save lives - by stopping murderers who repeat and deter possible killers.


C2: Bargaining Chip

My opponent must realize that in almost all cases of plea bargains, there is no 'trial'. That is (one of the main) purposes of a plea bargain - to speed up the criminal justice system. My opponent just admitted that the death penalty helps to speed up courts. One must consider the scary thought if we no longer have a useful tool such as the death penalty.

And furthermore, my opponent claims that often times, a defendant does not have 'legal representation' so when the threat of the death penalty is brought up, they are 'forced' into plea bargains. However, this argument is flawed. In order for the death penalty to actually be a viable threat, it must be believable, meaning that the death penalty threat can only be used in cases of severe criminal prosecutions. And let it be known that the Sixth Amendment in the constitution guarantees the right to representation by counsel in serious criminal prosecutions [6].

We must also consider the fact that abolishing the death penalty will not bring an end of plea bargaining. Plea bargaining in general will continue without the DP.

And furthermore, my opponent has not yet said anything about the fact that the threat of the death penalty can allow prosecutors to get vital information, such as the location of a dying person. Alternatives such as "Life in Prison" won't work - criminals understand that they are going to prison no matter what, but of course their risk-taking nature allows them to believe that "Perhaps I'll get an early parole (see 'C1: Life in Prison')". However death is another thing - you cannot escape it. Basically, my opponent gives up the argument that the death penalty can be used to save lives - in the circumstances that someone's life is on the line and the police need information from a criminal.



C3: Accuracy

There has never been any solid proof of an innocent man actually being executed! Many studies that claim that innocents have been executed use flawed reasoning/methodology [4].

*sighs* My opponent uses a source that talks about the UK's criminal justice system. The debate is confined to only the united states.
CODIS, or the DNA database for the United States, uses 13 markers [7].
Furthermore, my opponent fails to observe non-DNA methods of determining guilt. He basically concedes this point to me.


C4: Popularity

Trend: Are You in Favor of the Death Penalty for a Person Convicted of Murder?[9].
Now this directly disproves my opponents arguments as it shows that 61% of people support the Death Penalty, so I shall no precede to compare sources to see which one of our polls still stand.
a) Your bar graph comes from an obscure source.
b) My source (Gallup) is arguably one of the best sources for polls.
c) Your bar graph has an unknown date.
d) My source was recently updated (Oct 2011)

Quite frankly, I believe that the voters should consider my poll over his.


==Refutations==
Now I shall refute my opponents arguments.

C1: Life in Prison
My opponents arguments about how homicide rates in prisons is decreasing is either
a) Not Relevant
or
b) Supports my case
Why? Due to the fact that murderers are being executed, one can expect that there are not as much murderers in prison as there will be in the future if we abolish the death penalty. Hypothetically speaking, abolishing the death penalty means that more murderers will be spending their lives in jail.
Say in 2012, there are X number of murderers scheduled to be executed. However, they are sent to prison.
This means there will be X more murderers in prisons.
Then in 2013, there are Y number of murderers who should be executed, but they are sent to prison.
X + Y in prison.
And so on. Furthermore, the numbers will continue to grow until the first generation (X) start to die. We see that there is going to be an accumulation of murderers - which make prisons far more dangerous then they are now.

C2: Risk of Innocent Lives

I believe that my opponent has confused "execute" with "exonerate". My opponent claims that 84 hundred million people are executed!** Let me remind you that there are only 300 million people living in America right now... Furthermore, there are only around 1000 people who have been executed since 1976 [10]. My opponent has obviously confused something up, and has not provided a direct link to where he got his statistics from, so I cannot say much.**I lol'd so hard

And let me remind you that even people do not support the death penalty admit that they are only "possibly innocent" [10]. Once again, there is no evidence that an actual innocent person has been executed.

==Conclusions==

My arguments:
C1: Deterrence
--I've give several studies that have sophisticated methods of isololating the DP's deterrent effect.
---18 to 74 lives can be saved.
--My opponent has given sources that used flawed methods that do not isolate the DP, so outside factors are involved.
-In the end, my opponent has failed to give a valid reason to why the DP does not deter.

C2: Bargaining Chip
- My opponent concedes the fact that when the police need vital information, the death penalty can be used to save a person's life, without having to actually kill the defendent.
--Defendent will have legal representation
-Without the DP, the backlogging of cases might occur.
--This means that justice, in some cases, will not occur because the police are overburdened with too many cases.
- False confessions are the police's fault, not the DP's.
-
In the end, the DP is a beneficial bargaining chip for prosecutors.

C3: Accuracy/My opponent's C1: Risk of Innocents
- The Death Penalty has nearly a 99.6% rate of accuracy.
--There is no actual evidence that supports the claim that anyone innocent has been executed.
- The average wait is 20 years. This gives more than enough time for organizations such as The Innocence Project to find if anyone is actually innocent.
- My opponents only arguments were that "DNA may be flawed"
--He does not examine other methods.
- In round 4, he has claimed false numbers of people who were wrongfully executed.
- There is no actual evidence supporting the thought that innocents have actually be executed.

C4: Popularity
- See first round. He conceded points 2-5.
- I have superior sources.

"Life in Prison"

Out of space, just re-read.

My sources are in the comments section.
MasterKage

Pro

I thank my opponent for this satisfying and truly worth while debate.

I will refute my opponents attempt to support his contentions.

C1: Deterrence

My opponent claims that comparing the homicide rate in death penalty states and non-death penalty states, yet this is the most accurate way to determine whether the death penalty has the capacity to deter crime or is a deterrence. My opponent seems to think that calculating in certain other factors will increase the accuracy of studies, yet it does the opposite. Calculating in other factors will lessen the accuracy of studies attempting to determine if the death penalty. The most accurate attempt to calculate whether the death penalty deters crime is to compare homicide rates in death penalty and non-death penalty states, which I have done.

I have shown in three graphs that the homicide rates in death penalty states is greater that states with out the death penalty. [1] [2] [3]

My opponent has also has conceded that many criminologists acknowledge that the death penalty does not deter crime. [4]


C2: Bargaining Chip

My opponent is correcting in stating that plea bargains prevent the trial system, and right to a speedy trial is guaranteed by the sixth amendment of the Constitution. [5]

My opponent believes that I stated that plea bargains give up the defendant’s right to any legal representation, while I said plea bargains give up the defendant’s competent legal representation.

Quite often the defendant, when threatened with the thought of execution from the death penalty, makes up a false confession and would mislead the investigation.



C3: Accuracy

The entire article I sourced was concerning that the scientist who invented DNA stated that there are flaws in the DNA testing process, and as such can be related to the United States.

Your initial accuracy contention was nearly entirely focused on DNA accuracy, and I have refuted that by using several sources showing how DNA testing has numerous flaws. [6] [7]


C4: Popularity

Forgive me for not mentioning the date on the poll. The poll was researched on 2010. [8]The public opinion section of the fact sheet is near the bottom of the page.

Once again, though, popular opinion is not a reason for the death penalty to exist.

I will now support my contentions




C1: Life in Prison

My opponent gives no sources or research that supports his claim that an increasing amount of people in prison would cause an increase in the homicide rate in prisons.

I have given a source that shows that homicide rates in prisons in the United States is actually decreasing. [9]


C2: Risk of Innocent Lives

My opponent ignores the fact that the Death Penalty information Center estimates every 1/7 innocent people are wrongfully executed, and as such has conceded that there is a risk of innocent lives.


Conclusion

I have proven that the death penalty does not act as a deterrent, using the death penalty for plea bargains have several flaws, there are many flaws in DNA testing, and that many people in the United States do not support the death penalty. I have also life in prison is just as effective than the death penalty and that there is a risk of innocent lives from the death penalty. For the above reasons, vote con!

Sources

[1] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[2] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[3] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[4] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[5] http://criminal.findlaw.com...
[6] http://www.theage.com.au...
[7] http://madamenoire.com...
[8] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[9] http://www.bjs.gov...

Debate Round No. 5
81 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by katrilenyah 3 years ago
katrilenyah
I think the death penalty should be abolished, Yes I understand that keeping people in prison costs tax payers money, but one of the main reasons the death penalty is issued is because of murder. Isn't that what the government is doing when they inject someone or shoot someone with a firing squad? It's all irony, we are doing exactly the same to them, we are not Muslims, we do not live in a West Eastern country, so why do you so closely adore the saying 'an eye for an eye' ( philosophically) ? The fact is we are all human, and all of those people who are charged with the death penalty represent humanity. Humanity is all of us, the murders, the rapists, the thieves, assailants, the drunks, the famous, the stubborn, the hero's, the cops, the people below poverty, the upper class, the middle class, the prostitutes that work the night, all of the children at a soccer game, druggies, parents, the sick, the healthy, the twisted and mental, we all represent humanity, our emotions. The fact is we are all the same, born with sin. Why would we destroy what represents us as a whole? If we subject them to the death sentence then we are just as guilty of murder as them.
Posted by DragonX 4 years ago
DragonX
RinWindSun you haven't what I'm saying ! is the 1's who intend to start a fight are the 1's who need to go on capital punishment. We're not stooping to their level if we send them on capital punishment. What I'm saying is that they've been able to sneak weapons in the prisons I would know. I got arrested before when I was 14! So I know what it's like in there. Plus what I'm saying does make sense. If you release a prisoner they most likely not to change their behavior. There's always gonna be an innocent person not getting justice. You can not reason with a criminal! Most of them will simply not listen ! I know people who were in a gang personally & they'll tell you the same thing. If capital punishment goes off we are not going to keep crime down. We have built more prison's they don't work. Time & time again it has been proven to be true! The prisoners & guards themselves will tell you the same thing. You can look up for yourself if you want to !
Posted by RinWindSan 4 years ago
RinWindSan
So you are saying that it is right to kill.... And that you would rather see an innocent man or even a guilty man be put to death so that you don't have to "deal with them." I see. Okay... Killing someone for their actions especially on the topic of "disturbing the peace" by starting fights and such in jail is okie freaking dokie because you don't want to hear about it. You need to start researching your facts. Apparently you haven't been to jail because you don't know squat about it. These people in most cases aren't looking for fights. It is the idiots that are. So, in the long run, you are saying that by a few idiots starting fights in prison, we should judge all of them by the minority. Get your facts strait, dude. What would be wise to not let happen again. See? Your arguments have no sense in them. I am surprised that I can understand the points you are trying to portray.
Lets use logic, shall we?
Posted by DragonX 4 years ago
DragonX
I would like to say how putting a criminal to death row is biased. The fact that prisoners do intend to start fights are what's disturbing the peace which means they're not fit to be alive. The fact that I mentioned it was because that the prisons aren't working in straightening people out there have been more prisons out there & they have not worked. Putting people in death row is showing a great example
how criminals deserve to be treated why should the criminals be given another opportunity on life/ the lawyers always try to appeal the life without parole & majority of the time they have been successful in doing so. Of course I'm taking this seriously this is a serious topic. It wouldn't be wise to allow this to happen again. So lets all use wisdom shall we.
Posted by RinWindSan 4 years ago
RinWindSan
uh. it's their job to be biased, otherwise there would be more break outs in the prison system. yes the prisoners intend to start fights but what does that have to do with anything? you stated that more murders happen in jail then out. yeah, i brought up the point that we do pay to keep them alive for free. it is security guard's job to make sure that they check every prisoner. it doesn't matter how many guards vs. prisoners there are, there are schedules for certain prisoners at a time. and to "there has been security cameras that have caught all of this," security tapes are easily edited. that's what my cousin does for a living. he works in a high security prison in Colorado. ^_^ oh and by the way, i think you are taking this debate a little too seriously lmao. and when you write your reply, take care not to repeat yourself. in order to win a debate, you have to have a structure.
Posted by DragonX 4 years ago
DragonX
1st you can't state that every security guard is biased because every human has a different personality.
Plus I wasn't talking about them having weapons I was talking about when the prison got near each other they intend to start fist fights. Although I agree that police should take better care of there stuff. Plus it's our taxpayers money that keeping the killers in the prison for that long. There has been security cameras that have caught all of this . They do check you I was arrested when I was 14 but I'd rather not mention why that happened. But they do check you it's that some are able to get a hold of things because it's hard for the guards to pay attention to everyone of the prisoners. Keep in mind when I said that there are prisoners in there than guards so it would make sense that they could get a hold of it. Also remember when I say that it's our taxpayers money that keeps them in there.
Posted by RinWindSan 4 years ago
RinWindSan
Security guards are also biased. Your argument is getting more and more difficult to understand what your point is. It is actually the opposite when talking about the younger offenders with simpler crimes. They spend less time in jail, and lose sight of what they originally in jail for. And not to mention, they don't go to prison, they go to juvenile detention when they are minors. If they get an extension on their sentence, they are eventually transferred to prison. But with murderers, they get from ten years to a life sentence. They don't get a second chance in most cases. Doesn't make it very likely for them to do it again. If any one is to blame for murders going on in prison, it would actually be the security guards. They let the equipment get in. They don't supervise. Ergo, the fault rests with them.
Posted by DragonX 4 years ago
DragonX
I agree on the money part. Most of the prisoners have straightened out like you said were kids that were younger & were minors. Those crimes were basically on lesser crimes on like shop lifting not on higher crimes rates like murder. Most the prisoners are there because of the fact that they are not willing to return as for your statement on prisoners returning alone which proves that there are likely to do it again for the most part because of as I said that the fact that prison actually makes them worse because they were in there. If you ask the security guards they'll say the same thing!
Posted by RinWindSan 4 years ago
RinWindSan
that is not entirely true. just because you were in prison once, does not mean you become a smarter person, in fact most prisoners who are released find themselves back where they started. a jail cell.
not to mention the waiting list so by the time they get to that "one prisoner" he could already have a stroke and die WAY before execution.
Plus all the money we put into it, its ridiculous, when we could be using that money to pay off our debt as a country.
and the "worse" part isn't true either. there are actual people out there who were once prisoners and have straightened themselves out and actually regret all the wrong doing they have done. you make it sound like no one can change their ways, which is obviously not true.
Posted by DragonX 4 years ago
DragonX
I have to disagree because of the fact as I said that the people in prison as I've said before that prisoners have actually gotten worse not better so simply sending them to prison alone won't work. As I've also stated that there have been actual killings in the prison themselves. Plus it would be difficult to give each of these prisoners solitary confinement because of as i said before the majority o the prisons.
Also prisoners in there have also become smarter criminals after they left. So that alone has to a person something. Plus remember when I said not 100% accurate I meant the investigators as well. Some evidence can be planted very well by a person that it would be hard for the investigators to believe the person who has the proof to go against what they're saying.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 4 years ago
Maikuru
vmpire321MasterKageTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Con for Pro's tendency to copy statements from sources verbatim without the use of quotations. Spelling to Con for Pro's tendency to break apart words haphazardly at the end of sentences. Arguments to Con for the deterrence arguments and for successfully explaining how Pro's counters were either insufficient or missed the mark. All other arguments were irrelevant.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
vmpire321MasterKageTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: The statistics for deterrence are on the Con side; Pro did not give good reasons why state comparisons were valid. Con's studies used better methodologies. The polls favoring the death penalty are significant because the moral judgment on the issue ought to reflect public opinion. Objections to DNA evidence are contrived; it' established as highly accurate. Solid win for Con on a tough topic.
Vote Placed by kyro90 4 years ago
kyro90
vmpire321MasterKageTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Wow guys, nice work. I think both of you did excellent, except that vmpire won me in round 4. But other than that it was definitly a tie.
Vote Placed by larztheloser 4 years ago
larztheloser
vmpire321MasterKageTied
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had BOP. Deterrence was con's point but then he shot himself in the foot with his "can't compare" rhetoric, plus pro showed prison is scary too. Bargaining chip was a poor point but not dealt with enough by pro. Accuracy was the big one. Pro showed innocents die under the system. Foolishly, however, pro neglected to show why this is worse than, say, life in prison. Sadly as a voter I'm not allowed to have morality. Overall pro narrowly failed their BOP. 3:2 con win.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
vmpire321MasterKageTied
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Reasons for voting decision: to much of a tie... both had good sources and their arguments where = strong in most areas. But deterrence con won but innocents I think pro won, so TIE
Vote Placed by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
vmpire321MasterKageTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
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Reasons for voting decision: C1 = inconclusive data as shown by pro, no opinion C2 = bargaining chip, Con was very convincing here C3 = Con won this one too C4 = Conflicting evidence left this one undecided as well... CC1 = con, violence in prisons isnt limited to homicide.... CC2 = 99.6% gives this to Con too. So Con wins the arguments, both used a lot of sources, grammar was decent on both sides, same with conduct. Good debate :)
Vote Placed by renji_abarai 4 years ago
renji_abarai
vmpire321MasterKageTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I understand why you wanted to do a death penalty debate especially since your con in ours as well -_-. I'll be watching this debate and your arguments. Im watching you 0_-. Also I voted a tie for fun ^_^