The Death Penalty
Debate Rounds (3)
The death penalty, in my opinion, is wrong, and my reasoning for this is simple; it is just not logical. For example, it is very expensive. Although keeping people in jail for life sentances is also expensive, killing people costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. The amnesty international site shows that a legislative audit shows that the median cost of killing somebody is much more expensive than giving them a life sentance in many states of the United States of America (http://www.amnestyusa.org...). A search on google will give many results showing the greater cost as well, if the evidence provided is not sufficient.
If it is more cost effective to put them in a prison cell, surely it is more efficient all together. It could be argued that not killing a criminal means they are still a threat to society, and while this is true, there is always the risk of executing the wrong person, or executing someone who either:
1) Was not aware what they were doing or
2) Did not purposefully commit a crime worthy of the death penalty
A controversial case is the case of Kesley Patterson, who was executed in 2004, on the 18th of may, aged 50 years old. This report (http://www.txexecutions.org...) shows that Kesley had a severe mental condition. Kesley had, as the report shows, killed before and both times been sent to a mental hospital after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
Another similar case is that of Dereck Bentley (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Dereck Bentley was only 19 when he was executed by hanging in the UK in 1953. However, Bentley had not directly killed anyone. He and his accomplice Chris Craig attempted burglary, in which Craig was armed with a gun and Bentley with a knife and spiked knuckle dusters, both given to him by Craig. A resident of a nearby house reported suspicious activity to the police, after sighting Bentley and Craig on the roof of the Barlow and Parker Company warehouse, and the police were subsequently called. To shorten the story, Craig killed Constable Sidney Miles, and recieved imprisonment (he was too young for the death penalty) while Bentley, who had supposedly said 'Let him have it' was hanged. Bentley had a very low mental age, as he suffered from concussion and brain damage, and many people did not believe he should be killed. Bentley was hanged, however, but more than 40 years later, his case was quashed by the Court of appeal. He would have been 65 years old, and likely still alive. This proves that, occasionally, somebody is killed when they have done nothing or little to be punished for.
http://oxforddictionaries.com...), and neither involves anything about killing people. The first definition, which is actually where the second definition originates, says, if you have not already read it, "Just behaviour or treatment". In my opinion, doing something to somebody that is what they have done to somebody else is not acceptable behaviour, especially in modern society. If somebody is accused of burglary, they are not burgled themselves. The same goes for (in the majority of HEDCs) sexual assault, trespassing or assault, amongst every other crime recognised by the law. While I understand that murder is much more serious, surely the same rule applies?
Another thing that should be taken into consideration is the message that is given off; most HEDCs around the world do not use the death penalty, such as in Europe -where only Belarus maintains the death penalty- has less murders per 100,000 inhabitants than areas in Africa that maintain it. The comparison can be made using the graph on this page: (http://fullfact.org...). The article reveals a lot as well. While the murder rates would be higher in some countries due to culture or poor application of law, countries that have the death penalty also often have a high murder rate, so it obviously does not act as a deterrent.
Obviously then, the death penalty rarely acts as a deterrent. If it does not act as a deterrent, is more expensive, has the possibility of murdering innocent people and is a more inhumane way of dealing with people, why is it still applied?
Killing someone who murders in the name of justice, surely contradicts the entire point of it? While I understand that the murderer is guilty of a crime that deserves to be punished, is killing them really justice, or is it just revenge? The small amount of benefits of the death penalty compared to the prison sentence, that is better in most factors, would suggest that it is. If someone is wrongly killed, and later found to be innocent, should the court and everybody else who was responsible for the death of this person be killed as well? Even if it is different to killing somebody in first degree murder, surely directly killing an innocent person should not be tolerated.
To summarise, I am against the death penalty because: It does not work as a deterrent (generally speaking), there is a risk of murdering an innocent person, there are other ways of dealing with criminals that offer larger benefits, it is expensive and it is not necessary in the modern world.
I would like to end by thanking Kkyhtthebaconking for providing me with an interesting first debate.
Kkyhtthebaconking forfeited this round.
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