The Instigator
HomelySherlock
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
ColeTrain
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The Death Penalty Should be Implemented in all States

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/12/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 647 times Debate No: 75193
Debate Rounds (5)
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HomelySherlock

Pro

First round is acceptance. Con must prove that the death penalty would cause more harm than good. You may implement morals into this debate.
ColeTrain

Con

I accept, and await your arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
HomelySherlock

Pro

HomelySherlock forfeited this round.
ColeTrain

Con

I will defer this round and allow my opponent one more round before posting my arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
HomelySherlock

Pro

HomelySherlock forfeited this round.
ColeTrain

Con

Death Penalty: “Execution of an offender sentenced to death after conviction by a court of law of a criminal offense. Capital punishment should be distinguished from extrajudicial executions carried out without due process of law. The term death penalty is sometimes used interchangeably with capital punishment, though imposition of the penalty is not always followed by execution (even when it is upheld on appeal), because of the possibility of commutation to life imprisonment.” [1]

Essentially, the death penalty and capital punishment are the synonymous, and I will use them interchangeably throughout this debate.


Legalize: to make legal; especially: to give legal validity or sanction to [2]

The resolution promotes giving legal validity to capital punishment.


What Crimes Result in the Death Penalty?:

“The capital offenses include espionage, treason, and death resulting from aircraft hijacking. However, they mostly consist of various forms of murder such as murder committed during a drug-related drive-by shooting, murder during a kidnapping, murder for hire, and genocide.” [3]


Allow me to move to the crux of the round.


Morality Argument:

The first and foremost problem with is the morality of such an issue. Though lawmakers and politicians push for such a system, claiming it gives justice to the criminals, it simply isn’t moral. The ideology behind the death penalty, and the mindset that is required to sentence and carry out the death penalty creates deadly cyclical killing. The simple reality is that the advocates for the death penalty assume that killers must be killed. But that formula is flawed. Allow me to demonstrate.

A. All who kill must be killed

B.a killed b

C.x must now kill a to preserve the ideology.

From there, y has the obligation to kill x, z must kill y, et cetera. This deadly cycle (literally) goes against any moral groundings of killings, and the laws of our land. If murders must be punished for killing, executioners must be punished for killing. If continuing with this problematic strategy, a never-ending cycle of murder will ensue, causing harm not only to the original family affected by murder, but continuing along the chain. If murder is a crime (which it is) the death penalty goes against predetermined laws; thus, legalization of the death penalty causes hypocrisy and contradiction of the law.


Inhumanity Argument:

Along with being simply immorality, the death penalty is inhumane. Besides the fact of looming death, capital punishment is often painful for victims, as there are multiple forms of the death penalty. Even though many would argue that lethal injection is the best and least painful form of capital punishment, a study shows criminals can and have been conscious throughout their death. This study comes from the British Journal, The Lancet, where they explain, “43 percent had concentrations of anesthetic in their blood — as measured by medical examiners during autopsies — that would indicate consciousness rather than sedation during an execution.” [4] This is an inhumane form of punishment and torture to any individual. Dr. Leonidas Koniaris, chairman of surgical oncology at the University of Miami asks us the decisive question, “As a society we need to step back and ask whether we want to torture these people or not.” The answer, however, is that we SHOULDN’T torture these people. It is internationally recognized that torture is unacceptable. After World War II, and the persecution and torture of Jews, the international community has generally kept conduct in line in regards to such torture. But now, that protection of torture is being threatened with capital punishment.


“Worthy” Crime Argument:

“The death penalty is only given to those who commit certain criminal offenses.” This is something driven into citizens’ minds, but isn’t always true. Studies have shown that capital punishment has deviated from the previous standards of only SPECIFIC crimes resulting in capital punishment. As of only last year, governments are using the death penalty to punish to combat crime and terrorism as well. The study done by Amnesty International documents, “An alarming number of countries used the death penalty to tackle real or perceived threats to state security linked to terrorism, crime or internal instability in 2014.” [5] What we see is that these penalties are being given for reasons that deviate from the primary and regulated reasons. Even perceived threats can result in an unjustifiable death penalty.


These crimes can also give capital punishment to minors, such as George Junius Stinney Jr., who was 14 when he was executed. Journalist David Edwards describes, “Stinney, the youngest person to receive the death penalty in the last 100 years, was executed on June 16, 1944. At five feet one inch and only 95 pounds, the straps of the electric chair did not fit the boy. His feet could not touch the floor. As he was hit with the first 2,400-volt surge of electricity, the mask covering his face slipped off, ‘revealing his wide-open, tearful eyes and saliva coming from his mouth.’” [6] The article further explains that Stinney could be cleared, revealing that he was never actually guilty of the crime with which he was charged. This evidence cross-applies to the argument of inhumanity (killing someone so young) and forms a new argument, one of innocence.


Innocence Argument:

We continually see cases where individuals are not guilty of the crime they supposedly committed, and in serious cases, we see executions when the “criminal” is guilty. In fact, a study from the University of Michigan Law school shows, “a conservative estimate of the proportion of erroneous convictions of defendants sentenced to death in the United States from 1973 through 2004, [is] 4.1%.” [7] Because capital punishment is death, errors are vital, and very important. Justice systems cannot accurately be described as just when they convict and murder innocent individuals. Thus, without conclusive evidence, governments execute innocent individuals and are not just. Without a just society, abuse is prevalent.


Deterrence Argument:

Though it is a common argument, little credible evidence even suggests that capital punishment deters crime. In fact, the evidence points the other way. In a study published by John J. Donohue and Justin Wolfers, they back up the claim that the death penalty doesn’t deter crime. “Sociologist Thorsten Sellin’s careful comparisons of the evolution of homicide rates in contiguous states from 1920 to 1963 led to doubts about the existence of a deterrent effect caused by the imposition of the death penalty… the National Academy of Sciences to issue a 1978 report which argued that the existing evidence in support of a deterrent effect of capital punishment was unpersuasive… We find that the existing evidence for deterrence is surprisingly fragile.” [8] In reality, deterrence is not a result of capital punishment, and the evidence that supports it is not credible, as evidenced by the report ([8]).


These reasons explicitly explain why the death penalty should NOT be legalized, thus negating the resolution.


Sources:


[1] http://www.britannica.com...

[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...

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

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

[5] https://www.amnesty.org...

[6] http://www.rawstory.com...

[7] http://www.pnas.org...

[8] http://users.nber.org...(SLR).pdf

Debate Round No. 3
HomelySherlock

Pro

HomelySherlock forfeited this round.
ColeTrain

Con

My opponent has forfeited. Extend arguments.

Due to external factors, I will not be able to finish the final round of this debate, so I must forfeit.
Debate Round No. 4
HomelySherlock

Pro

HomelySherlock forfeited this round.
ColeTrain

Con

ColeTrain forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
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