The Instigator
youngpolitic
Pro (for)
Winning
27 Points
The Contender
1337Hal
Con (against)
Losing
24 Points

The Death Penalty is Acceptable

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/1/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 17,944 times Debate No: 7643
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (9)

 

youngpolitic

Pro

The death penalty is an acceptable punishment for certain crimes.

Why?
1) It saves money. If someone gets a life sentence, or some of those crazy sentences that say you are getting 150 years, what's the point of spending all of that money to house and feed these criminals. (let me remind you that those are tax dollars feeding those life imprisoned murderers.) If we just killed them now we save years of food bills and millions of tax dollars.

2) It sets an example for others. If you are thinking about committing a heinous crime they should have an example of other people who have done the same thing. If we let them live or give them short sentences it sends a message "you can kill and get away almost scot free" that is just unacceptable. If you are about to go kill your neighbor you should be thinking "I might be killing myself too".

3) Cleaning up society. Do we really want these people who have murdered and raped and abducted people in your society? I don't. I think if you took these people out of the picture society will begin improving in certain areas.

Crimes susceptible to the death penalty?

A. Murder
B. Rape
C. Kidnapping

These crimes hurt, kill and maim people. That in my opinion deserves a death sentence.
1337Hal

Con

I thank my opponent for starting this debate. I'd like to note that I don't have a cell phone and hence can't vote for myself, so I ask that my opponent please do the same, in the interest of fairness.

My opponent has presented three arguments, and I will rebut them in turn:

PRO:
"1) It saves money. If someone gets...."

REBUTTAL
Common misconception. The death penalty works out to be cheaper than life-imprisonment. [1]

Besides, if tax-dollars are that big of an issue (which let's face it, they are in the current economic climate), maybe instead of spending so much money murdering people, we should send them to work on farms to make millions of dollars for the economy. There are far smarter ways to go about punishing somebody than electrocuting them.

PRO:
2) It sets an example for others. If you..."

REBUTTAL:
This is also a common misconception: [2]

- Texas, Florida, and Louisiana are among the leaders nationwide in executions, yet also lead the U.S. in murders per 100,000 people.
- The murder rate in Canada dropped after the death penalty was abolished there.

PRO:
"3) Cleaning up society. Do we really ..."

REBUTTAL:
Kind of all over the shop here. Do we want murderers and rapists in our society? Of course not. If you took rapists and murderers out of society, would it be better off? Of course. But these two premises don't instantly lead to the death penalty, just a more intelligent incarceration system. It is a false dichotomy to say that because the current incarceration system stinks, we should instill the only other option, the death penalty. Once again, there are far more intelligent ways of punishing criminals which actually benefit society and don't reduce the Government to common thugs.

I will now set a few arguments of my own:

1. People are wrongfully executed all the time. There have been 15 death row inmates exonerated in the last 15 years in the U.S. due to DNA evidence.
2. It brings the State down to the level of the criminal they are condemning.
3. The death penalty really is no punishment at all, and I contend that it is tantamount to giving the criminal a 'get out of jail free' card. A man in a cold prison cell will be tortured the rest of his days with regret, self-loathing, terrible dreams/memories, missing out on their family and friends and freedoms. The dead guy loses consciousness and is let off easy.

I will leave it there for this first round, thanks again to my opponent.

1. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
2. http://tech.mit.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
youngpolitic

Pro

I thank my opponent for taking my debate. I also would like to make it known that I will honor your request and will not vote for myself out of fairness.

1). You say that we should put them to work on farms to help the economy, "maybe instead of spending so much money murdering people, we should send them to work on farms to make millions of dollars for the economy" but I believe that is counter productive and the cons of that situation would outweigh the pros. In order to send a criminal who is eligible for the death sentence (meaning he has done something pretty bad) you would have to create a secure facility in which they could work. You would need to hire security, GPS tracking bracelets ect. ect. By the end of this whole thing it would be more like a prison yard than a working environment. The cost of paying and hiring additional security for farm and factory environments on top of the additional equipment would cost a tremendous amount of money. So once again I will say that serving out the death penalty saves American dollars.

2) The facts you have brought up are great pieces of information and I will admit I did not know those exact numbers. I thank you for bringing that to my attention. I do however believe that those numbers are subject to change in certain environments. The fact about Canada cannot be applied to most of modern day America, Canada has such a lower crime rate than the US that it is hard to compare numbers. Also I will like to point out that the South has always had a murder rate than the rest of the country. The south has been one of the poorest parts of the nation throughout history and I think that influences murder rates significantly. (Poverty is a proven source of violence)

3) You say "there are far more intelligent ways of punishing criminals which actually benefit society and don't reduce the Government to common thugs" but the way our incarceration system works now it wouldn't be able to smoothly transition to a more community service based system. It would require an expensive overhaul of the entire system.

I will now answer to the original arguments that you have brought up.

1. I agree people have been unjustifiably executed and in my opinion that holds no excuse but I think the system would work if we applied a uniform code for the death penalty. None of this "special cases" crap. It needs to be uniform and fair for everyone being tried.

2. It does not bring the State down to the criminals level. If a parent spanks their kid for fighting in school is that on the same as the parent fighting? I don't think so, I think it is a punishment and in the State's case it is justice.

3. I would like to politely disagree with your last argument. Everyone is afraid of dying, there are not many people who are not frightened of the idea of death. Those prisoners I think would be more scared of sitting in a cell waiting to die than sitting in a cell thinking about what they did.

Thank you.
1337Hal

Con

PRO:
"You say that we should put them to work on farms to help the..."

REBUTTAL:
My opponent's only gripe against my farm suggestion is that the cost of security and farming equipment etc. would cost far too much to be a worthwhile venture. I completely disagree, and in fact I propose that it would MAKE money for the Government. Assuming no drought or other natural-disaster, there is no way that a farm, over a few years, will not make its capital back and then-some. I would like my opponent to say why he believes a Government-run farm would lose money, rather than make money, which is the purpose of owning and operating a farm.

Also, even if my farm suggestion does turn out to be unrealistic or unproductive, this does not give any extra weight to the death penalty. Once again, just because other options are ineffective, doesn't make the death penalty any more effective.

PRO:
"The facts you have brought up are great pieces of information..."

REBUTTAL:
I can, and will, find more figures if my opponent urges, but rest assured voters that the figures I displayed in Round 1 are very typical. It is common knowledge (yet a common misconception) that the death penalty works out cheaper in the long-term than life imprisonment. It's simply not true.

PRO:
"You say "there are far more intelligent ways..."

REBUTTAL:
My opponent seems to agree with my assertion that just because our current incarceration system stinks is not grounds alone to warrant the death penalty. He suggests that it would be too difficult to make a smooth transition to the new system, and I say 'so what?' There are some things which are worth fighting for and struggling for, and the elimination of the death penalty and a more intelligent incarceration system is certainly one of them.

PRO:
" I agree people have ..."

REBUTTAL:
I ask my opponent to please expand upon his 'uniform code' argument, because I don't quite get it. Will the system you are proposing ensure 100% that innocent people will not be put to death?

PRO:
"It does not bring the..."

REBUTTAL:
No, but if the mother of the child punched her son in the face every time the son punched someone, or kicked him in the stomach when he did the same, or if the son gives another kid a wedgie and the mother followed suit, then the mother would be lowering herself to her child's level. Besides, a little smack on the bum is not quite the same as murdering a human being.

PRO:
"I would like to politely disagree..."

REBUTTAL:
I agree with my opponent that we all have a natural fear of death, myself included. But my opponent is confusing fear of punishment with the effectiveness of the punishment once administered.

If I said I was going to punch you, and it scared you, that would suck for you. But if once I'd punched you you felt nothing at all, there really was nothing to fear. If I punch you and it hurts you for the next 40 years of your life, you will rue the day you crossed me.

Thanks!
Debate Round No. 2
youngpolitic

Pro

1) I still do not think that it is wise, safe or practical to put criminals in a working environment. It just wouldn't work. Criminals would not work the same way average working Americans would. There would be no drive to put food on the table and nothing to push them to do better except for a security guard yelling at them. That is not work and it's not even a punishment. That is a waste of human resources on common criminals. I'm sure you could set up a way to let criminals work but I don't believe it is worth it. They had their chance in life, they blew it. Why should we spend our money on them? It is cheaper and better to serve them justice once and for all. Why should we be made to pay for a criminals mistakes with money and manpower? Why should they be able to break laws and ignore human rights and then still put a drain on society after they have been caught and convicted? They should not be able to. They are leeches to society and what do people do with leeches? They burn them off, pop them and kill them.
2) I am interested to know why it is NOT cheaper to kill criminals when they are convicted. You keep on bringing this point up but fail to support it with any information.
3) I would like to ask my opponent what the point of a smarter incarceration system would be? A criminal convicted of heinous crimes obviously had something wrong with them. Skeletons in the closet, a chip on their shoulder, mental issues ect ect. These people obviously are not normal people and I myself would not support re-doing our system so that these people can live more comfortably in jail, possibly work and stay alive. What is the point? Yes it is a human life but is it truly a full life? They have committed crimes and then were caught and sent to prison. These people to me are not worth the trouble and the money. I say the death penalty should be used in cases of heinous crimes against people. We should not fight for these criminals to work in a "smarter system". They do not deserve it.
4) My uniform code would put specific guidelines up for the death penalty. It would lay out exactly what crimes and situations would provoke the use of the death penalty. These guidelines would be followed by every single person and courtroom in the country to ensure equality in all cases. I cannot guarantee that innocents won't be convicted. That's not up to me, that's up to the judge and jury, but everyone would be treated the same in every case. No special cases would be exempted or accepted. It would be true it would be fair.
5) The state is not killing an innocent man. The state would be killing a convicted criminal. The criminal could have potentially killed innocents and that is wrong but the state is enacting justice. The assailant is not an innocent person, he is a convict and has been deemed so by the state. Killing an innocent and killing a murderer are two completely different things. The state is not on the level of the killer.
This is all I have room for.
1337Hal

Con

1. My opponent has conceded that he is "sure you could set up a way to let criminals work", but that he doesn't believe it is worth it. He claims that they've had their chance in life, and blew it. I agree completely, but how this leads instantly to the idea of murdering them, I'll never know. My opponent asks why we should spend our money on them, but he is again missing the point of my idea; to MAKE money for society. Farms do not lose money.

2. I provided a link in Round 1 which clearly explains the information my opponent is requesting. I personally don't understand WHY it is more expensive to sentence someone to death than life in prison, but rest assured that it is. [1]

3. "These people to me are not worth the trouble and the money."

My opponent has once again missed the point. Not worth the money? It costs more to kill them than keep them alive, which completely quashes this argument. Not worth the trouble? I think if there is anything our Government should be troubling themselves over it is:
- Ensuring due punishment to those deserving of it.
- Ensuring society is repaid for what the criminal took.
- Doing both of these things as efficiently, humanely and inexpensively as possible.

It's obvious that my farm idea far outweighs the death penalty in these areas, and for that matter so does life in prison. It removes the threat to society, ensures punishment and is more cost effective.

4. & 5. "I cannot guarantee that innocents won't be convicted."
"The state is not killing an innocent man."

As you've admitted yourself, there is no way to ensure that innocent men will not be murdered. This is reason enough to eliminate the barbaric, reactionary 'punishment' that is the death penalty.

Voters, I have shown, with sources, that the death penalty is more expensive than imprisoning a criminal, it is less effective at reducing crime, and I have argued that being put to sleep really is no punishment at all. There are far more effective ways to ensure punishment and appease society than to murder criminals. "An eye for an eye just leaves everyone blind."

Thanks very much to my opponent!

[1] - http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by McBain 8 years ago
McBain
It is indeed cheaper to jail somebody for life than to commit them to the death penalty. Which is a-ss backward.

I believe the death penalty is applicable in certain circumstances, however the cost of litigation and appeals should be greatly limited.

Also, should a farm not work, why not have a maximum security manufacturing facility? These people could indeed wind up being productive to society and reducing costs of their imprisonment.

I think con argued stronger. Too bad I can't vote.
Posted by Maikuru 8 years ago
Maikuru
Solid debate on a tough topic.

conduct - tie; debaters were civil to each other but I did find some of Pro's statements about death row inmates crass and disturbing
s & g - tie
arguments - Con; I am strongly opposed to the money > life argument, but Con's sources rendered this point moot anyway
sources - Con; only Con used sources
Posted by mrbullfrog11 8 years ago
mrbullfrog11
Lethal Injection costs an average of 3.2 million dollars.
Posted by mrbullfrog11 8 years ago
mrbullfrog11
Lethal Injection costs an average of 3.2 million dollars.
Posted by grayron 8 years ago
grayron
I am against the death penalty but I don't like the cost argument. People can just limit the appeals that are possible in death penalty cases in order to lower the death penalties cost.
Posted by JP 8 years ago
JP
You said,"(the death penalty)It brings the State down to the level of the criminal they are condemning." That is a common misconception. The government is issueing justice. They aren't killing an innocent person, they are killing a convicted criminal.
Posted by Colucci 8 years ago
Colucci
The death penalty is not an unjust punishment, and I think it should be given to child rapers, rapers, and cold blooded murders.
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