The Instigator
19146md
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
twsurber
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

The Death penalty should be abolished.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/6/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,711 times Debate No: 13931
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

19146md

Pro

The death penalty should be abolished. Doesnt our constitution state that each citizen has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Basically, the death penalty does not follow the constitution. Also, if its some big time serial killer, then wouldn't we want them to suffer? Killing them kinda gives them a free card. If we let them go to prison, then they will suffer.

I now stand open for my opponents arguments
twsurber

Con

I wish to thank my opponent and wish him well.

OPENING STATEMENT: Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that there is a time and place for everything under the sun. Granted, not everything is pleasant, least of all taking the life of another human being. The term "everything", being all inclusive, implies that there must be a time and place for the death penalty. When a convicted felon is sentenced and put to death, unpleasant as it may seem, society is guaranteed that this criminal will never commit crime again.

VP: Utilitarianism defined as the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

VC: Cost Benefit Analysis. The NEG will demonstrate that not only does the death penalty have a place in our criminal justice system, but that it also makes fiscal sense.

CONTENTION 1: Deterrence
Statistics indicate that for every murderer executed, seven lives were spared. Seven to one is actually a pretty good number. That represents the potential for 7X the earning power, 7X the spending power, and 7X the effectiveness of our GDP. With more people at work, enjoying life, and being productive it clearly serves the overall greater good.

CONTENTION 2: Economics
In 2005, the average cost of housing a prisoner was over $38,000 per year. Multiply that figure times the number of inmates and it clearly astounding. This is paid for by our tax dollars. There is little contribution back to society from housed inmates, financial notwithstanding. It is costing us millions of dollars every year to house criminals that, not only do we have no intention of ever releasing, but also will never put anything back into the GDP.

"Many opponents present, as fact, that the cost of the death penalty is so expensive (at least $2 million per case?), that we must choose life without parole ('LWOP') at a cost of $1 million for 50 years. Predictably, these pronouncements may be entirely false. JFA [Justice for All] estimates that LWOP cases will cost $1.2 million-$3.6 million more than equivalent death penalty cases. There is no question that the up front costs of the death penalty are significantly higher than for equivalent LWOP cases. There also appears to be no question that, over time, equivalent LWOP cases are much more expensive... than death penalty cases. Opponents ludicrously claim that the death penalty costs, over time, 3-10 times more than LWOP." Dudley Sharp; Director of Death Penalty Resources at Justice for All
"Death Penalty and Sentencing Information," Justice for All website
Oct. 1, 1997

I will now move on to my opponent's case.

Point 1: "Doesnt our constitution state that each citizen has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Basically, the death penalty does not follow the constitution."

Yes, our Constitution does indeed state that every citizen has these rights. However, every person is also obligated to follow the law. When the law is broken, there must be a consequence. People who choose to break the law, are simultaneously choosing to surrender their individual freedoms. Further, using my opponent's same argument, don't people who obey the law deserve to keep their freedom? If the answer is yes, then the death penalty is Constitutional.

Point 2: "Also, if its some big time serial killer, then wouldn't we want them to suffer? Killing them kinda gives them a free card. If we let them go to prison, then they will suffer."

2A: Should we condone the suffering of a human being who has committed a crime? This leads me to ask a couple of questions. What is the purpose of prison? Is it meant to punish or to rehab? Will an individual suffer in prison? What is the definition of suffering to each individual?

2B: If someone dreads prison more than death, I suppose executing them may be giving them the lesser of two evils.

2C: Some people do not dread going to prison. There are those who feel more at home in prison than being free. While prison is not a vacation resort, prisoners do have access to television, recreation, climate controlled housing, meals, education, and visitation. What do their victims get? What do their victims families get?

"Common sense, lately bolstered by statistics, tells us that the death penalty will deter murder... People fear nothing more than death. Therefore, nothing will deter a criminal more than the fear of death... life in prison is less feared. Murderers clearly prefer it to execution -- otherwise, they would not try to be sentenced to life in prison instead of death... Therefore, a life sentence must be less deterrent than a death sentence. And we must execute murderers as long as it is merely possible that their execution protects citizens from future murder."
Ernest Van Den Haag, PhD
Late Professor of Jurisprudence at Fordham University
"For the Death Penalty"

CONCLUSION:
Thus far, as the AFF, my opponent has not offered any information that actually affirms the resolution.
I have demonstrated that when convicted felons are executed, it not only saves millions in tax dollars that would be used to house the felon fo rlife, but also it would save the lives of other human beings who could contribute to society. Thus, it is cost effective, and serves the greater good. For these reasons I respectfully request a negative ballot. Thanks
Debate Round No. 1
19146md

Pro

Value attack: What about the others? Utilitarianism isn't the best because not everyone gets the greater good. also, Sometimes we can't achieve the greatet good.
Criterion attack: The death penalty is inhumane.
C1: My opponent has no citing of statistics, therefore it is an invalid argument.
C2: My opponent says that we will never release them. There are rehab centers that we can send them to to get heir life back in order.

I will now defend my case-
Point 1: What about kids forced to do murders? should we just convict them? I dont think so. His argument is invalid.
Point 2: Prison is meant to punish and rehabilitate. Besides, people want to die so they can become a matyr. Yes, while they may like it, there is such a thing as solitary confnement.

Conclusion: Because of these reasons, the death penalty should be abolished. We as a nation are already looked down upon. If we abolish the death penalty, things might look up for us. WE would be leaders. Thank you
twsurber

Con

I will start by responding to my opponent's challenges.

Value: Utility is the greater good for the greatest number of people. The only people who are not getting the benefit of the greater good is a) the perpetrators, and b) the victims. By commiting heinous crimes, the perpetrators have surrendered their freedom in exchange for the prescribed consequence. The victims had their freedom involuntarily taken by the perpetrator.

OBSERVATION: My opponent did not offer a value, therefore he has nothing for me to challenge.

Criterion: States determine the method that they wish to use for executions. The 8th amendment to the Constitution protecst against cruel and unusual punishments. Prisoners on death row or serving multiple life sentences are not likely to be released. However, that information further supports both my criterion and my case of CBA.

OBSERVATION: My opponent did not offer a criterion, therefore he has nothing for me to challenge.

My C-1: My opponent is mistaken, I provided stats so the argument is not invalid. If my opponent would like the source I submit: Robert Weisberg, JD, PhD, Edwin E. Huddleson, Jr. Professor of Law at Stanford University Law School, in his Dec. 2005 Annual Review of Law and Social Science article titled "The Death Penalty Meets Social Science: Deterrence and Jury Behavior Under New Scrutiny"

My C-2: My opponent dropped the substance of my second contention, therefore it stands as presented.

Now I will move on to my opponent's case, or lack thereof.

Point 1: Which kids forced to commit murder are we talking about? If someone commits murder, there will likely be consequences as determined by a judge/jury, which is provided for in the U.S. Constitution.

Point 2: How much rehab takes place in prison? What are the success rates? The statement about martyrs has no relevance. Any glory they may from execution for their cause will become yesterday's news only a day later. The balance of a person's life spent in solitary confinement, whether or not a priosner enjoys it, still supports my case of CBA.

Many nations still use the death penalty because the most heinous crimes should have the strongest punishment. If that is the only reason other nations look down upon us so be it. Do we value the opinion of these unnamed nations?

My opponent has dropped the substance of my entire case while presenting nothing of value to support the resolution, which is the responsibility of the affirmative in debate.

Thanks.
Debate Round No. 2
19146md

Pro

19146md forfeited this round.
twsurber

Con

I had thought about posting an eloquent and elaborate summary/closing; however I think I will just extend my previous round since my opponent forfeited.

I respectfully request a Negative Ballot.

Thank you all! Thomas
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by mcc1789 5 years ago
mcc1789
Although I oppose capital punishment, at least how it occurs presently, Pro's argument "Doesnt our constitution state that each citizen has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?" is fallacious. When our Constitution was enacted, the death penalty was used far more widely, to punish even more crimes, with greater ease and capriciousness. The Fifth Amendment in fact begins with "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime"...This is an explicit reference to crimes which carry a death sentence if convicted.

I disagree with many points by Con, but he deserves to win on the merits (which he is), and Pro forfeited the last round anyway. One quibble, however-the number of martyrs, dating back hundreds of years, who even today are remembered, is enormous. The world's largest religion is founded on it. Con's argument that any person martyred is forgotten necessarily tomorrow fails.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by mcc1789 5 years ago
mcc1789
19146mdtwsurberTied
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Vote Placed by BillBonJovi 5 years ago
BillBonJovi
19146mdtwsurberTied
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Total points awarded:07