The Instigator
000ike
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
DetectableNinja
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points

The Death Penalty

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
DetectableNinja
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/10/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 909 times Debate No: 17454
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

000ike

Con

To start, my initial position is that the death penalty is not justified ever.

Justice is a form of rectification of a misdeed. Justice has its parameters however, such that in punishing a criminal, the people who enact said punishment do not become criminals themselves. Given that it is a universal and unilateral resolution of man that to kill is forbidden, I hold that even in the process of punishment, one must not kill another human being.

If we think about the conditions under which the death penalty is considered, we find crimes such as: cruel and contemptuous unrestrained homicide, mass murder, terrorism, torture, rape, and other inhuman acts of evil. When ever man reaches the highest crimes, death seems to be the justice. However, we must remember that the motive of any punishment is to ensure that the crime committed will not be repeated. Hence, if a man kills many other people, to kill that man in return, would defeat the very purpose of the justice through repeating the crime.

I hold that under any given situation, it shall always be a crime to kill. It is not within any person's right to rob the life of another human being, for that, beside torture, is the highest evil known to man.

I ask that pro define justice as he/she sees it, and explain how the death penalty is an integral part of it.

I'll leave it at that to allow pro to begin his argument. I look forward to an interesting and informative debate.
DetectableNinja

Pro

Before I begin my opening argument/rebuttal, I’d like to clarify my position, which is that the death penalty is in fact justified for extreme crimes. I’d also like put forth a definition for both of us right away as a formality:

Death Penalty (aka DP): A sentence of punishment by execution. [1]

On top of this, I’d also like to argue (with Con’s consent) under the assumption that the actual method of DP used causes no physical pain. If he does not consent, then I’m willing to argue that as well. Now, onto my argument/rebuttal:

What is Justice?

First, I shall give my definition of justice, as justice can be subjective. To keep it brief, justice, in my own mind, is the idea that a person must pay his due for a crime (in a moral fashion), as another person must be rewarded for his lack of criminality. That, to me, is what justice really is as a concept. As a legal system, justice should act in a similar fashion, with the additional goal of protecting society.

How does the Death Penalty fit in?

As far as the idea of justice goes, to me, the DP fits in rather obviously. A murderer (or other committer of some heinous crime) is paying for his crime, quite literally, with his life. Now, what I am not suggesting is the eye-for-an-eye justice system. I believe it is quite clear that raping a rapist, or robbing a thief is taking the scenario a bit too far. However, what I am suggesting is the notion of a threshold of sentencing.

For example, a person convicted of a quadruple homicide would be very likely to be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for his/her crime. Now, when looking at that sentence, I’d say that life imprisonment without parole is equal in purpose to the DP. A person confined to jail for the rest of his/her life without the possibility of leaving is, effectively, punishing the convict by removing him/her from society forever. Now let’s look at the DP. The DP is removing the convict from society permanently as well—albeit in a different fashion. So, it is my contention that:

(P1) Life Imprisonment without parole (LI) removes a person from society permanently in a prison.

(P2) The death penalty (DP) removes a person from society permanently by ending his/her life.

(C1) Therefore, LI and DP have the same purpose/goal.

Is Life Imprisonment really more humane/moral?

Okay, now we have determined that LI and DP have the same purpose. So let’s look at their differences in effect.

It is stated by Con that killing another person, “beside torture, is the highest evil known to man.” I will concede that murder to me as well is morally wrong. However, while we’re on the subject of what is moral, I find it to be prudent that we should examine LI as a form of punishment.

According to Con’s statement, Life Imprisonment is automatically superior in morality to DP because LI does not involve taking the life of the convict. But that statement is not universally upheld. One example is from a person who used to be in prison. He states that “[He] can testify that prison life is a very harsh punishment. Life is monotonous, with a drab, dreary, unchanging routine, and too much time in which there is little to do.” He also later concludes, “Before my stint in prison, I was a staunch anti-death penalty person. After my few years, I find myself leaning more in favor of the death penalty, as it seems to me to be a most humane thing to do,” [2].

And he isn’t the only one with these sentiments. In the first row of a table of arguments for the DP, Life Imprisonment is referred to as an “elongated, intense level of suffering for a prisoner,” [3]. Now, reading those two descriptions, it seems to me that a person being executed (assuming appeals have failed) is clearly a more humane punishment than a life sentence.

To drive this point even further, I’d like to look more closely at Con’s statement: that killing, “beside torture, is the highest evil known to man.” Note that Con says “beside torture.” The dictionary defines torture as “the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty,” [4]. This is where my second contention comes in.

(P1) Life imprisonment can (and does) cause emotional and psychological suffering for a prisoner.

(P2) Torture is equal to causing a person to suffer excessively.

(P3) Con states that torture is just as evil, if not more so, than ending the life of another person.

(C2) Therefore, according to Con’s statements, the DP is more humane and moral than LI.

Summary

(P1) LI and DP have the same purpose/goal.

(P2) According to Con’s statements, the DP is more humane and moral than LI.

(C3) Therefore, the DP is justified as a means of punishment.

Thank you


References

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

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

[3] http://www.slideshare.net...

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

Debate Round No. 1
000ike

Con

I had not considered the ramifications of Life in prison, and the mental agony, hence torture, it may inflict upon the people sentenced to such. I will agree then, that the Death Penalty is more humane than LI, and will therefore concede to the argument, that the Death Penalty can be justified. I apologize for the short debate, but I must reevaluate my position. Thank you.
DetectableNinja

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for giving the opportunity to (very shortly) debate this topic. Even though you have conceded, I would like to say tht you did in fact raised some valid points for me to think about as well. Once again, thanks, and welcome to Debate Dot Org! I'm new as well. I hope to hear from you more in the forums, and maybe at some point debate you in the future too.
Debate Round No. 2
000ike

Con

I concede
DetectableNinja

Pro

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
000ike

Con

concede again.
DetectableNinja

Pro

Thank you again.
Debate Round No. 4
000ike

Con

concede again.
DetectableNinja

Pro

And thank you once more. As I said before, welcome to DDO. I hope you'll enjoy it here.

Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by 000ike 3 years ago
000ike
lol I lost 0 to 13. Good Job ninja.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 3 years ago
ReformedArsenal
"Given that it is a universal and unilateral resolution of man that to kill is forbidden"

No it isn't, there are lots of people groups out there that have no negative view of killing humans.
Posted by DetectableNinja 3 years ago
DetectableNinja
000ike, since you've conceded the debate, could you just repeat that for the rest of your arguments in this debate? Otherwise we have to wait for 2 days before you officially forfeit a round--and seeing as how there are 5 rounds, it's kind of a long time. You don't have to, but just to speed the debate to the end, seeing as how you've already conceded the debate, if you could just say "I concede,"or something to that effect, the debate can just finish quicker. Thanks.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 3 years ago
ReformedArsenal
000ikeDetectableNinjaTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Meatros 3 years ago
Meatros
000ikeDetectableNinjaTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con conceded.
Vote Placed by thett3 3 years ago
thett3
000ikeDetectableNinjaTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession