The Instigator
Zack95
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
kasmic
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

The Death Penalty is the Law

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
kasmic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/7/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,176 times Debate No: 64755
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (13)
Votes (1)

 

Zack95

Pro

There is a large argument about the Death Penalty and how it is inhuman or unconstitutional. Your reasons is invalid and unrealistic, this is the Law people, a law thought out carefully to uphold our justice, Protecting our rights.
kasmic

Con

I have noticed that this is your first debate… welcome to debate.org. Thanks for the Debate topic and good luck!

1:The Resolution

The resolution states “The Death Penalty is the Law.” Burden of proof on pro…

It is empirically evident that in the United States, there are some States that this is true. However, there are States that the Death penalty is against the law.

“Capital punishment is legal in 32 U.S. states.”(1) This implies illegal in 28 States.

Many countries do allow capital punishment. However many do not.(2)

From these facts it is not possible to conclude that On balance “The Death Penalty is the Law.” As there are many countries were that is not the law. The Resolution being stated as an absolute with no indication of where my opponent is referencing, must be meant to include everywhere. As such the resolution is negated. My opponent does reference “unconstitutional” so it seems reasonable that he may be referring to the U.S. The Resolution applied to the U.S. is also negated as there are many states where the death penalty is against the law.

2: Rebuttal

A: Definitions

Inhuman: “lacking qualities of sympathy, pity, warmth, compassion, or the like; cruel; brutal:”(3)

Unconstitutional: “not constitutional; unauthorized by or inconsistent with the constitution, as of a country. “(4)

B: Addressing pro’s argument

Pro says that when people argue that the death penalty is “inhuman or unconstitutional,” their argument is “invalid and unrealistic.” His reasoning being… “this is the Law people, a law thought out carefully to uphold our justice, protecting our rights.”

If I understand pro correctly, (as he verified in the comments) pro is saying that because the Death Penalty is allowed under some State laws, it is invalid and unrealistic to say the Death Penalty is inhuman or unconstitutional.

Many laws in human history have been inhuman. Many laws have been struck down as unconstitutional. A law, simply being a law does not exclude the possibility of being inhuman or unconstitutional.

Specifically the Death Penalty can easily be deemed “inhuman” as havingthe death penalty being executed lacks “qualities of sympathy, pity, warmth, compassion, or the like…” (definition of inhuman)

Likewise, States have their own constitutions; Many of which outlaw the death penalty. Therefore, the death penalty can be labeled unconstitutional.

3: Conclusion

Pro’s assumes that if something is law it cannot be referred to as inhuman or unconstitutional. This is not a reasonable conclusion as a law, simply being a law does not exclude the possibility of being inhuman or unconstitutional. The death penalty can easily be described as inhuman. The resolution is negated as it cannot be proven in its absolute form. There are many U.S. states, and several countries worldwide where the death penalty is against the law.


(1)https://www.google.com...
(2)http://en.wikipedia.org...
(3)http://dictionary.reference.com...
(4)http://dictionary.reference.com...

Debate Round No. 1
Zack95

Pro

Thank you for noticing, and thank you for the welcome.

I"m going to address this debate short and simple, many of our audiences do not wish to read an essay I"m going to get straight to the points.

Yes you, good sir, have got me there. It does seem as though I should have titled this debate carefully, due to the fact that I did say "Is Law" which should have stated "Is Justice". You are correct sir that in states, they have abolished this sentence. Federally though, this penalty is still in effect. Also know it is those that cannot sympathize are those who oppose that right. As it is ones right to an education, Brown vs. Board, states were against that right until it went to the Supreme Court.

On the contrary, besides it being the law of the state that is issuing the death, putting down a lethal killer by lethal injection (the most human death as possible), cannot be considered inhuman. There are no lacking qualities of sympathy, pity, warmth, compassion because if there were the jury probably would have not voted unanimously against someone.

For it being unconstitutional, that is already out of the question, because at this very moment, Federally is support. Thus how can something be stated unconstitutional until the supreme court rules it unconstitutional.

Also pro would like to clarify where Con stands in this debate, rather than arguing Pro"s reasoning.

Pro: For, in support of, indicating favor for some party, system, and idea.
Con: Against, in opposition or disagreement; in other words you are in support of the death penalty being injustice? Where are your reasoning might I ask you?

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
kasmic

Con

The resolution remains negated.

Pro says “Yes you, good sir, have got me there. It does seem as though I should have titled this debate carefully, due to the fact that I did say "Is Law" which should have stated "Is Justice".

As I do not participate in debates just to win, or to play semantics, I accept the new resolution. So long as I have understood pro, the new resolution is as follows…

“The death penalty is Justice.”

I am assuming that pro means to argue that the death penalty is Just. (please clarify if I am wrong.) I remind pro that he has the burden of proof as he has made the positive claim.

Pro asks “where Con stands in this debate.”

Even though my opinion should have no bearing on this debate, I will indulge the question. I am opposed to capital punishment, I do not believe it is just. More importantly I have taken the position of con. This makes my purpose in this debate to rebutte your arguments in such a way that leave the resolution negated.

Rebuttals:

Pro says “lethal injection (the most human death as possible), cannot be considered inhuman.”

1:Leathel injection

“In the USA, a number of lethal injection executions have been botched. Some executions have lasted between 20 minutes to over an hour and prisoners have been seen gasping for air, grimacing and convulsing during executions. Autopsies have shown severe, foot long chemical burns to the skin and needles have been found in soft tissue.”

“Lethal injection was designed to prevent many of the disturbing images associated with other forms of execution. However, lethal injection increases the risk that medical personnel will be involved in killing for the state, in breach of long-standing principles of medical ethics.”(1)

Due to the pain felt, and the amount of time it can take to die via lethal injection, it is clear that if there do exist ways to humanely kill, lethal injection is not one of them.

2: Justice

I am not a philosopher by any means of the word, and so will not attempt defining Justice myself as it is a very deep concept. Instead I will just use the definition from an online dictionary.

the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness:”(2)


By this definition, It becomes clear that to determine if the Death Penalty is or is not just, we must answer the following questions.

A. Is capital punishment a demonstration of righteousness?
B. Is capital punishment a demonstration of equitableness?
C. Is capital punishment a demonstration of moral rightness?

3: Burden of proof

I will end my rebuttal here because...

A: This is the second round of a five round debate, meaning we still have time.
B: This is my opponents first debate
C: My opponent has the burden of proof.
D: I have nothing left to refute.

Due to these reasons, I fell it is right to let him address these questions and build his case before I present mine.

(1) http://www.amnestyusa.org...
(2) http://dictionary.reference.com...

Debate Round No. 2
Zack95

Pro

Introduction

I want to clarify where this debate headed.
This is my understanding of the new debate from your previous responses

First Pro-Resolution is as follows: Death penalty is Justice

Con-Resolution is as follows: The Death penalty is no Justice
Con Stated "I am opposed to capital punishment, I do not believe it is just."

You also stated your opinion should have no bearing in the debate which is confusing to viewers and to me, since debate by definition is "
: a discussion between people in which they express different opinions about something, in which opposing arguments are put forward."(D1) Rebuttal to negate my resolution in this debate instead than arguing a side should not come into play.

But no matter, since you have already agreed upon playing the role of con and defending your reasoning above.


Defending Rebuttal

Note: I stand uncorrected when stating "The most human death as possible" for the death penalty

The current Death Penalty method of executions allowed in the US are as follows:

1. Hanging
2. Firing Squad
3. Gas Chamber
4. Electrocution
5. Lethal Injection

(1)

Your rebuttal against lethal injection describes the execution of Angel Diaz. Indeed he gasped for air and autopsy shows chemical burns. Also note that Amnesty International is an extremely bias organization against the death penalty, information on thier site is filtered in a way that supports their argument. Information left out was that autopsy reported the needle missed the vein which is why it had taken so long. This is one case out of thousands that had gone wrong. (2)

Lethal Injection Process

"The first of the three injections is an anesthetic, sodium thiopental,
which is a fast-acting barbiturate that depresses the activity of the central nervous system. This initial shot doesn’t serve as an analgesic (pain killer) that numbs pain nerves, but instead rapidly puts a person into a state of unconsciousness that’s theoretically deep enough to make pain undetectable."(5)

"After the initial injection, the intravenous line is quickly flushed with saline, a neutral substance commonly used to push a drug into the bloodstream more quickly."(5)

"Following another saline flush is the final injection, potassium chloride. This last dosage of chemical floods the heart with charged particles that interrupt its electrical signaling, stopping it from beating."(5)

On average, after receiving the final injection, it takes 15 to 30 seconds to die, without pain. (4)

Dissecting opponent's resolution
"Due to the pain felt, and the amount of time it can take to die via lethal injection, it is clear that if there do exist ways to humanely kill, lethal injection is not one of them." Note: A comma is needed before "via".

As explained earlier Lethal Injected patients do not feel pain as anesthetic is administered. The amount of time is 32 minutes for only one of the rare cases, average time to death from the first needle penetration is 8.2 minutes. Incorrect, killing compared to humane is how an individual perceives it. Consider a park ranger shooting an injured moose, it is humane. Lethal can be considered inhuman, BUT it is the most humane out of the five allowed in the U.S.

"Lethal injection will be administered unless the inmate requests electrocution, or lethal gas."(7)
Note: Inmates have a choice of execution. If ruling out lethal injection as a choice, whos to say that is the next two choices is more humane?

Justice Agreement

We are in agreement those questions must be answered to be able to view how one perceives justice. To my understanding though your definition states which states justice can be chosen to be one of the three.

Nevertheless, I presume you disagree to all three questions, correct?

Refutation

The Death Penalty is justice since it is acknowledged as a justified punishment in our court system of justice. Referring to the 3 questions contender provided, we can also agree the courts can answer to agree or disagree with them by using the sixth amendment of a "Right to a fair trail".

I also believe answering these questions strictly to killing in general, and answering them to Punishment of the crime by execution is two totally different ideals.

Contender, I would also like to ask of you why you believe the death penalty is unjustified to the people whose family members, close friends, and community members that are slaughtered by one criminal who clearly understood the punishment from the beginning of planning out such a crime. If punishment by execution is playing the role of God, who's to say imprisonment and taking one time in life away is also a role of God?

A last unrelated response:
I am still willing to debate as a civilian (normal person as you will) than debating research over research. We can all agree writing a research paper can grow weary on an individual.

I accept that I carry a burden of proof ;)

Sources:

Supporting Information Evidence
(1)http://www.foxnews.com...
(2)http://www.bbc.com...
(3)http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org...
(4)http://en.wikipedia.org...
(5)http://scienceline.org...
(6)http://www.debate.org...
(7)http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...

Definitions
(D1)http://www.merriam-webster.com...
kasmic

Con

Clarification:

The resolution is as follows: The Death penalty is justice

Pro is to affirm the resolution. As con I am to negate the resolution.
(I only clarify this as my opponent seems to think we each have a resolution. This is not so… also as my opponent is pro to a positive resolution, he has entire burden of proof.)

Pro says “You also stated your opinion should have no bearing in the debate which is confusing to viewers and to me, since debate by definition is ": a discussion between people in which they express different opinions about something, in which opposing arguments are put forward."

I have selected con to the resolution, meaning that regardless of my personal opinion my function is to negate the resolution. If my opponent wants more clarification, here is the tutorial from this website. http://www.debate.org...

Rebuttal:

Humane: “kind or gentle to people or animals.” (1)

I maintain that “if there do exist ways to humanely kill, lethal injection is not one of them.” Aside from what I have already stated I will likely not respond to any other arguments on the process of execution unless pro can correlate it to the resolution. As such, the method of killing has nothing to do with justice.

1: Justice

Pro says “I also believe answering these questions strictly to killing in general, and answering them to Punishment of the crime by execution is two totally different ideals.”

Agreed, they are different and this debate is specifically dealing with death as a punishment.

Pro says “We are in agreement those questions must be answered to be able to view how one perceives justice. To my understanding though your definition states which states justice can be chosen to be one of the three.”

Yes. That is correct.

Is capital punishment a demonstration of righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness?

Righteousness: “morally good : following religious or moral laws”(2)

equitableness : “just or fair : dealing fairly and equally with everyone”(3)

Moral: “concerning or relating to what is right and wrong in human behavior”(4)

It seems to me that righteousness and moral are synonymous. As such when I address them I will address them at the same time.

Pro says “The Death Penalty is justice since it is acknowledged as a justified punishment in our court system of justice.”

As I stated in round one, “Many laws in human history have been inhuman. Many laws have been struck down as unconstitutional. A law, simply being a law does not exclude the possibility of being inhuman or unconstitutional. “ The same is true with justice. Just being a law is not evidence of a law being just.

2: Law

We live in a society that is based on Liberalism. (for a brief explanation of liberalism here is a link.(5)) We, as a society, attempt to maximize personal and collective liberty. As such liberty or freedom is largely the values on which our society bases ethics and law.

John Locke said “the end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom.”(6)

Likewise, application of law is to protect liberty not so much punish wrong doing.

Pro asks “If punishment by execution is playing the role of God, who's to say imprisonment and taking one time in life away is also a role of God?”

I never said punishment by execution is playing the role of God. Imprisonment serves as a way to protect the collective liberty of those in society. Law provides a way to remove those who would violate the “Harm Principle.”(7) Thus, imprisonment and fines serve to protect the liberty, this can be achieved through imprisonment, execution is hardly necessary, let alone moral.

3: Morals

Our society basis our ethics largely on teleological theories. (consequential theories) That is to say that actions are deemed moral based on the consequences they bring. Thus, again, imprisoning someone for life has the same positive consequence as the death penalty without the violation of the “unalienable right to life.” Due to this unalienable right to life, taking someone’s life when there are other options would be immoral.

4: Conclusion

Capital punishment is not necessary, and certainly not moral. Execution of law is to protect liberty not punish. Pro has yet to fill his burden of proof as such the resolution is negated.

(1) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(2) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(3) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(4) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(5) http://www.infobarrel.com...
(6) http://www.brainyquote.com...
(7)http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 3
Zack95

Pro

Zack95 forfeited this round.
kasmic

Con

Extended.
Debate Round No. 4
Zack95

Pro

Zack95 forfeited this round.
kasmic

Con

Original resolution negated. Second resolution burden of proof left unfilled.
Debate Round No. 5
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bluemiles 2 years ago
bluemiles
What do you mean by research vs research? I don't understand how the use of research takes anything away from a pro/con debate.
Posted by Zack95 2 years ago
Zack95
I am in the process of revising my argument, for the debate has transformed into more of a Research vs. Research debate, rather than the reasoning of a pro and a con as intended. i will have a response posted soon.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
People rarely if ever award points for formatting. Mostly just argument points are awarded. Occassionally sources, but only if one side does not use any. Conduct is only typically awarded in the event of poor conduct. I would not worry to much about formating. I only format as to be as clear as possible.

I will try to post my argument today if I have time.
Posted by Zack95 2 years ago
Zack95
I just realized this is based on a 7 point system, Introducing myself as a new member i have yet to learn how to bold, italicize and underline my debate. for my audience, i hope you choose reasoning over formatting.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
I changed my mind.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
I want to accept this debate. However, I agree with the resolution that in some states "The Death Penalty is the Law." That is empirically evident. So, while I think that your logic that because something is a law disqualifies it from being inhuman, or unconstitutional is ludicrous, I cannot accept this debate as titled.
Posted by mariahcoleman 2 years ago
mariahcoleman
I believe that the death penalty is just to light. if someone commits a heinous crime they should be given a life sentence; and made to live with their decisions for the rest of their lives. therefore I believe that the death penalty should be done away with.
Posted by Zack95 2 years ago
Zack95
That is exactly what i mean.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
If I understand you correctly, (tell me if I am wrong) you are saying that because the Death Penalty is allowed under some State laws, it is invalid and unrealistic to say the Death Penalty is inhuman or unconstitutional?
Posted by Zack95 2 years ago
Zack95
That is a good point. You should accept my challenge.

But like you said With technology today, We are able to pursue cases more accurately today WITH forensic science. It is true innocent have been sentenced to death, but also remember they concluded the trails with the best evidence at their time. True that if they had the technology we had today they could have found the real killer.

Saying so, Today WE DO have that technology and we are able to find the killer. Just because these incidents happened, Not saying they didn't, we should not do away with the death sentence because of the lack of technology we did not have back then.

Most cases this century we use do forensic science to confirm the murder and the brutality of the murder, In most cases the defendant pleads guilty.

The death penalty is a punishment only for extreme immoral crimes, and your second chance IS the trial. if they did not think the crime was bad enough would the jury of today have not already considered life in prison?

My main point:
Yes today's science proves some cases defendant was innocent, BUT still connected to case. We have the tech today now and should not abolish death penal because of lack of it in the past.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
Zack95kasmicTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture