The Instigator
Lee001
Con (against)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
kasmic
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points

The Death Penalty Should be Abolished

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
kasmic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/9/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,203 times Debate No: 77459
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (26)
Votes (4)

 

Lee001

Con

This debate will be going to Kasmic!

Resolved "The Death Penalty Should be Abolished"

I as Con will argue why we should not abolish the death penalty. Pro will be arguing as to why we should abolish it.

Definitions:

Death Penalty- the punishment of execution, administered to someone legally convicted of a capital crime. (https://www.google.com...)

Abolished- formally put an end to (a system, practice, or institution)
(https://www.google.com...)

This will be a quick short debate.

3 hours between rounds with 3,000 character limit.

The debate structure will be as follows:

R1- Acceptance
R2- Opening arguments from both sides.
R3- Rebuttals
R4- Closing statements.
kasmic

Pro

Good luck my friend.

I accept
Debate Round No. 1
Lee001

Con


Morality


One thing about Capital Punishment, is that it helps maintain the law and lowers crime. Not only does it do these two things, but it also helps grieving families.


In today's society, prisons are being over crowded. So, the government lets outs many prisoners free due to the lack of space. Many of these people whom are set free have committed murder, rape and other terrible crimes. Many of these prisoners when let out, will just continue down to their own path. This leads to my argument over morality. As defined in the dictionary, Morality is [2] The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct:


Is it safe to say, that these convicted felons had acted in a moral way when committing such a crime? Would it be moral to let these felons free, and then have them commit the same crime over. Would also be of good conduct of the government to let these felons free knowing what they have committed, but let them free anyways, due to lack of space?


[3]"Abolitionists may contend that the death penalty is inherently immoral because governments should never take human life, no matter what the provocation. But that is an article of faith, not of fact. The death penalty honors human dignity by treating the defendant as a free moral actor able to control his own destiny for good or for ill; it does not treat him as an animal with no moral sense."


It is more important to protect our society. Letting a prisoner free, whom have committed murder or had raped an innocent person is immoral. "Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth"


Constitutional


Many people want to argue the fact that, Capital Punishment violated the 8th Amendment, which has to do with "Cruel and unusual punishment" Well, as defined in the dictionary Cruel can be defined as [3] Disposed to inflict pain or suffering:


Some states have adopted a new and humane way of carrying out Capital Punishment.


[4]"Simply because an execution method may result in pain, either by accident or as an inescapable consequence of death, does not establish the sort of 'objectively intolerable risk of harm' [quoting the opinion of the Court from Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U. S. 825, 842, 846 (1994)] that qualifies as cruel and unusual... Kentucky has adopted a method of execution believed to be the most humane available, one it shares with 35 other States... Kentucky's decision to adhere to its protocol cannot be viewed as probative of the wanton infliction of pain under the Eighth Amendment"


So, as you can read, States have adopted more humane way to carry out the procedure, thus not violation the 8th amendment when being called "cruel".



Sources:


[1] http://dictionary.reference.com......


[2] http://www.thefreedictionary.com......


[3] http://deathpenalty.procon.org......


[4] http://www.thefreedictionary.com......


[5] http://deathpenalty.procon.org......


kasmic

Pro

C1: The right to life

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men”

As quoted above, The general consensus in the U.S. is that the primary function of government is to secure people’s rights. Some of which are unalienable. In the United Sates, life is considered an unalienable right. This is evident by the quote above taken from the Declaration of Independence.

How is it that the State can function as a securer of the individual right to life while simultaneously taking a person’s life? Simply put, it cannot. The State does have the right to remove those who violate other’s rights from
society. However, the State has no legitimate cause to take away one’s unalienable right to life. This is true even for the worst individuals imaginable. For the State to take one’s life via capital punishment is for the State to function contrary to its primary purpose. Life as a right should remain unalienable.

C2: Innocents

At least 18 people have been wrongly executed. 18 people have had their unalienable right to life taken from them unjustly. (1) What cost is my opponent willing to pay for so called justice that she is willing to endorse the unjust action of the state taking people’s lives.

C3: Cost

Trying a death penalty case and the process of carrying it out cost significantly more than life in prison. (2)

“the enhanced cost of trying a death penalty case is at least $1.25 million more than trying a comparable murder case resulting in a sentence of life in prison without parole.” (3)

C4: A reasonable alternative

“In every state that retains the death penalty, jurors have the option of sentencing convicted capital murderers
to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The sentence is cheaper to tax-payers and keeps violent offenders off the streets for good. Unlike the death penalty, a sentence of Life Without Parole also allows mistakes to be corrected.” (4)

Overview:

The Death Penalty is more expensive than the alternative. Innocent people have been and likely will be executed. The States involvement in the death penalty is contrary to the purpose of government and infringes on unalienable rights. Life in prison without parole is a reasonable, cost effective alternative to the death penalty that gives the desired result without the potential harm the Death Penalty does.

Due to the inherent harm of the death penalty and reasonable alternatives, the Death penalty should be abolished.

Sources

(1) http://www.deathpenalty.org...

(2) http://www.forbes.com...

(3)http://deathpenalty.org...

(4) http://www.deathpenalty.org...

Debate Round No. 2
Lee001

Con

Rebuttals

"The right to life"

People whom have been put on the death penalty have taken away other people's lives. Innocent people. Is it okay to say that these murders have the right to live when they themselves have taken away innocent peoples life's? We should be protecting innocent citizens rights. They are the ones who have the right to life. "Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth"

"Innocents"

18 is a small number. How many people have been rightly executed? How many people have been wrongly accused and spent their life in prison? [1] Opponents claim lots of innocent man are wrongly executed. There has never been any proof of an innocent man being executed!! A study by Bedau-Radlet claimed there were 22 cases where the defendant have been wrongly executed. However, this study is very controversial. Studies like Markman and Cassell find that the methodology was flawed in l2 cases. There was no substantial evidence of guilt, and no evidence of innocence. Moreover, our judicial system takes extra precautions to be sure the innocent and their rights are protected. Most likely an innocent person would not be executed"

[4] Capital punishment is an extreme sanction that is properly reserved for the worst of the worst: serial killers like Ted Bundy and terrorists like Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.Over the past decade, the murder rate has dropped dramatically. Several recent academic studies show a clear deterrent effect from judicious use of the death penalty: For each actual execution, about 17 murders are prevented, the studies show.Opponents claim that there are innocent people on death row. While that may be true, the number of innocent people who have been executed is zero"


"Cost"


Shockingly, you will find that over time life without parole is much more expensive than the death penalty. [2] "Many opponents present, as fact, that the cost of the death penalty is so expensive (at least $2 million per case?), that we must choose life without parole ('LWOP') at a cost of $1 million for 50 years. Predictably, these pronouncements may be entirely false. JFA estimates that LWOP cases will cost $1.2 million - $3.6 million more than equivalent death penalty cases"

"A reasonable alternative"

Why would we sentence more people to prison? A big majority of our prisons are already full, thus letting out criminals to let them repeat the crimes they have already done. The death penalty doesn't have to be so expensive! [3] We could hang them and re-use the rope. No cost! Or we could use firing squads and ask for volunteer firing squad members who would provide their own guns and ammunition. Again, no cost."


Sources:
[1] http://www.prodeathpenalty.com...

[2] http://deathpenalty.procon.org...

[3] http://deathpenalty.procon.org...

[4] https://sites.google.com...

kasmic

Pro

My opponent claims that the Death Penalty “lowers crime.”

R1: Lowers crime

“A July 2009 study titled "DO EXECUTIONS LOWER HOMICIDE RATES?: THE VIEWS OF LEADING CRIMINOLOGISTS" by Michael L. Radelet and Traci L. LaCock, demonstrates an overwhelming consensus among criminologists that the empirical research conducted on the deterrence question strongly supports the conclusion that the death penalty does not add deterrent effects to those already achieved by long imprisonment.” (1)

Personally I find it hard to picture a drug lord deterred by the death penalty as it would seem more likely he die from his chosen life than our Justice system.

R2: The Straw man

My opponent asks “Would it be moral to let these felons free, and then have them commit the same crime over.” This straw man’s my position. No one is suggesting to “let these felons free.” I have proposed life in prison without parole.

My opponent claims “It is more important to protect our society.” Society can be protected without the death penalty. Life in prison without parole provides this without spending near as much and more importantly without the chance of killing innocents. The same cannot be said about the Death Penalty.

C1 Right to life

Con’s response to this argument is weak and very brief. I do think that we should protect citizens. I have not argued otherwise. Con has not shown how the death penalty protects society anymore than life in prison. We should be protecting all peoples rights.

C2 Innocents

Con says “18 is a small number.” Really!? A small number. 18 people who were innocent of crimes that they were convicted of, sentenced and then put to death for something they did not do. This is unjust and easily avoided with life in prison.

C3 Cost

The source my opponent uses for her argument is from 1997. Mine is from 2011. The Death Penalty may have been a cheaper alternative twenty years ago. This is no longer the case as is shown by my source.

C4 A reasonable alternative

Con asks “Why would we sentence more people to prison.” This is amusing as people waiting to be put to death already go to prison for quite some time. Besides it is not those convicted to life in prison that overpopulate our system. Those are drug offenders. Lowering or eliminating prison time for lesser crimes would vastly impact prison overpopulation much more than maintaining the death penalty.

Overview

Con seems to think that abolishing the death penalty is equivelent to allowing felons to run free. This is not the case. I have proposed a reasonable alternative. Life in prison protects society without the possiblility of taking an innocents life. Life in prison allows security without paying as much. Life in prison is a superior option to the death penalty and thus the death penalty should be abolished.

Debate Round No. 3
Lee001

Con

This round is for the final conclusion.

I have successfully proven that the death penalty is reasonable and helpful. My opponent argues that it's a violation of the accused rights if put on the death penalty. But, isn't it the governments job to ensure the safety and guarantee their rights? This would mean by getting rid of those whom have committed horrible crimes and for those whom have taken other peoples life's. By banishing the death penalty, my opponent argues to keep them life in prison. The problem with this is that out prisons are already crowded so the government must let out some criminals to make room for the new ones. When this happens, more than likely, these criminals will continue the same path as they have before.

I have also shown that "For each actual execution, about 17 murders are prevented, the studies show." How could we see this as a bad thing? Life's are being protected with criminals, sex offenders and murderers are being executed.

My opponent seems to think, that instead of executing criminals who are a threat and harm to society, that we should just put them into prison and wait till the prison gets full, then release them. If we did this, the cycle just repeats its self!

The only possible way to guarantee the safety of the citizens is to execute those whom are a threat to society.

My opponent misunderstood the cost as well.

Life without parole is much more expensive than the actual penalty.

As my source stated ""Many opponents present, as fact, that the cost of the death penalty is so expensive (at least $2 million per case?), that we must choose life without parole ('LWOP') at a cost of $1 million for 50 years. Predictably, these pronouncements may be entirely false. JFA estimates that LWOP cases will cost $1.2 million - $3.6 million more than equivalent death penalty cases"

So how can you argue that the death penalty is more expensive?
According to my opponent, it seems as if protecting rights of criminals is much more important than than protecting the rights of society. Criminals are the ones who take away the "life & happiness" of innocent people.
Vote Con!



kasmic

Pro

I agree with Con that the Governments job is to ensure safety and guarantee rights.

Con argues that the problem with abolishing the death penalty “is that our prisons are already crowded so the government must let out some criminals to make room for the new ones. When this happens, more than likely, these criminals will continue the same path as they have before.”

This statement lacks logic. Abolishing the death penalty does not lead to overcrowding prisons. In fact those waiting on death row are already in prison and wait a great deal of time before being put to death. Likewise, I have not argued that the government should let out any convicted criminals to make “room.” This is a strawman and should be dismissed.

Con asserts that “The only possible way to guarantee the safety of the citizens is to execute those whom are a threat to society.”

This is a crazy claim. It seems that my opponent thinks that anyone who is a threat to society should be executed. This is crazy… It is not the only possible way, nor does the existence of the death penalty guarantee the safety of citizens.

My opponent still seems to not understand that the trial for a death penalty case costs millions more than otherwise. Plus you add the years those inmates are held in prison awaiting death. Then add the cost for appeals and so on… it is a verifiable fact and sourced in this debate that the death penalty costs far more than life in prison. Con's source is twenty years outdated, mine is more recent and more accurate.

Con’s final strawman “According to my opponent, it seems as if protecting rights of criminals is much more important than than protecting the rights of society.”

I never said this… Protecting rights is the function of the government. To do this does require a limit the rights of those who violate law. However, it does not necessitate taking their unalienable rights. Thus imprisonment successfully protects society while not taking away unalieable rights.

Overview:

People (criminals or not) have the right to life.

The death penalty has caused the State to kill innocent people with tax
dollars.

The death penalty costs far outweigh life in prison

Life in prison is a reasonable alternative

Due to the inherent harm of the death penalty and reasonable alternatives, the Death penalty should be abolished.

Vote pro.
Debate Round No. 4
26 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
I cant access Google, or other search engines at work.
Posted by Lee001 1 year ago
Lee001
Thanks Varrack.
Posted by Varrack 1 year ago
Varrack
I turned link sharing on, so it should work.
Posted by Lee001 1 year ago
Lee001
@Kasmic

Just copy and paste the link and enter it into google search engine or whatever you use.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
Thanks for voting varrack. Would you mind copy/paste the rfd in a message to me, I cannot view the google doc for some reason.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
****************************************************************
>Reported vote: IndependentTruth// Mod action: Removed<

3 points to Pro (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments made more sense both morally and economically. It seems pretty bloodthirsty to try and justify that the government should be in the business of killing people

[*Reason for removal*] (1) It's unclear which arguments the voter found so persuasive in this debate. Merely stating generalized points like being more "morally and economically" sensible doesn't inform anyone of the reasoning behind this voter's decision. (2) Voter seems to inject personal bias into the decision, as I'm unclear where Pro argued that the government was acting in a bloodthirsty way, and especially that Con was, herself, being bloodshirsty in her defense of the government's actions.
******************************************************************************
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
So, I'm not sure if this is why we get this many votes but I always run shorter debates so that reading them to vote does not take so much time.

Post in the voting thread.

Every now and then I ask specific people to vote.

I always ask Whiteflame haha.
Posted by Varrack 1 year ago
Varrack
I may look at this. Also, how so you guys always get up to 5 Votes on debates? I can't get quite as lucky.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
Thanks for reading and voting
Posted by TheHitchslap 1 year ago
TheHitchslap
Final thoughts:

I think pro needed to show the impacts of what happens to the victims of the families watching the executions to have met his BOP, he would have needed to argue it on cruel and unusual grounds instead. People who watch executions often times go through PTSD, depression, anxiety attacks, so in essence people who are victims of a crime watching this for a sense of justice or retribution, in essence become bigger victims by the justice system as an institution. Not good. Something like that would have been a compelling case meeting BOP. Especially if this runs contrary to how the justice system is suppose to function.

Another would have been the impacts of the actual acts of death themselves to the person being killed, in conjunction with the innocent being killed. For instance, in some cases of the electric chair, faces will melt with the deceased having defecated themselves, or in terms of hanging not everyone actually dies instantly, they hang, choke for a minute or two and eventually suffocate themselves. All of these examples would have been compelling, it is cruel and unusual punishment: it doesn't even meet the standard of killing our own pets, why not another human being? That would have been compelling too.

Instead, I'm left with a debate that has an argument, a rebuttal (that is a fair rebuttal), some missed points, a counter, and another rebuttal.

If Pro has BOP, and the arguments are essentially tied, that means Con wins.

Arguments on that basis to con. Pro's arguments were evenly matched to Cons, and because BOP is not shared, pro lost the arguments in my opinion.

Clarification? please feel free to send me a PM.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Varrack 1 year ago
Varrack
Lee001kasmicTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Gl8BA4lXn_VyudyQychgUQnECCe3OZKzQqv7Y91gL04/edit?usp=docslist_api
Vote Placed by TheHitchslap 1 year ago
TheHitchslap
Lee001kasmicTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Fair disclosure: my bias is against Con. I will try my best to remove bias. Conduct: Con, pro brings in new rationale for his argument in the last round with the reason why DP costs more (appeals). Unfair to Con, she can't reply and her rationale was given throughout the debate. His accusations against her "not understanding" also are a bit of an ad hom. Conduct = Con. Sources: Same, both use PRO/CON (not very good), google, forbes, etc... Args: Okay this is tough. Pro argues on the right to life. But in theory his case is dead on arrival. Due process of law can nullify a right. His better bet would have been on the basis of cruel and unusual punishment. Con never actually counters with this, she just takes it on face value and continues to fight. She also never argues that rights are temporary, a damning drop against Pro. Similarly, Pro never argues against con's contention that the justice system is recidivist. A huge drop as well. It is in fact rehabilitative. (Comments)
Vote Placed by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
Lee001kasmicTied
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Reasons for voting decision: https://docs.google.com/document/d/17QvHm_rm1Ki9CX5264bCszuYUStAsMwYb3QkTNL4x2g/edit?usp=sharing
Vote Placed by FaustianJustice 1 year ago
FaustianJustice
Lee001kasmicTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This was definitely not the debate I had in my head when I started reading, but after taking into consideration the time and character restraints, it makes sense. Con's assumed burden on this is tough. Con cast a few impressions not related to the debate (letting folks go whom Pro countered with Life without), and '18' is never a number that is 'small' when it compares to taking some one's life unjustly. Regarding the DP as a deterrent, I feel this point is a draw as both sides have appropriate documentation to the assertion. Pro's demonstration that the government's role is to ensure the rights to life is on point, and was just not countered enough to carry. This prong needed to be dealt with, and to me, wasn't sufficiently done so. A well made point for Con was on cost, which I feel was valid, but it became a really hollow argument in weight of Pro's use of the role of the state to its citizens. That I think is the 'trump' card that was widely unanswered, and won as argued.