The Instigator
thett3
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

The United States should retain Capital Punishment for murder.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
thett3
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/23/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,891 times Debate No: 17626
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

thett3

Pro

Best of luck! First round is acceptance, second is constructive, third and fourth are rebuttals.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon

Con

I accept. Looking forward to a great debate.
Debate Round No. 1
thett3

Pro

=Case=


When asked his position on the Death Penalty, President Barack Obama stated that he supported it in cases where "the community is justifed in expressing the full extent of its ourage"

Seeing as I agree, I affirm. I offer the following contentions in support:

C1. Capital Punishment saves innocent lives.

SPA: Capital Punishment keeps a killer from striking again.

There have been many instances in our justice system where a murderer has reoffended, in fact a study from the U.S. Department of Justice finds that of prisoners released in 1994, 1.2% of those convicted of homicide were arrested for another homicide within three years of their release.[1]. This holds especially true for our most dangerous criminals, in 2009 8.6% of those on death row had a prior homicide conviction. Over 5% of those on death row committed their capital crime while in custody or during an escape.[2]

There are also many specific examples, such as Kenneth Mcduff. In 1966 a Texas jury ruled for him to die in the electric chair for his brutal murder of two boys and a girl. However his sentence was commuted to Life Imprisonment when the Supreme Court struck down the Death Penalty. Mcduff was later released, and ended up killing at least 9 more people. Thankfully, he was executed by lethal injection in 1998[3]. He will never kill again. Had he been executed the first time at least 9 innocent lives would've been saved.

Another example is the recently executed Lee Andrew Taylor. While serving a life sentence for his brutal beating and murder of an elderly couple Taylor fatally stabbed another inmate after a "racial tension" incident occurred[4]. Thankfully, he was executed by Texas in 2011, never to kill again.

Yet another example comes from Clarence Ray Allen. Allen was serving a sentence of life without parole for murder, when he conspired with his fellow inmate Billy Hamilton to kill the witnesses for his crime. When paroled, Hamilton tracked down the witnesses and killed one of them, along with two bystanders[5]. Allen was, thankfully, sentenced to die for this new crime, and executed by the state of California in 2006.

These are only some of many examples of murderers who later murdered again. In many cases, anything less than the Death Penalty simply isn't good enough. The recidivism rate for an executed murderer is 0%.

SPB: Capital Punishment has a deterrent effect.

Many different studies provide many different results, some examples:
  • Studies from Emory University stating that each execution prevents between three and eighteen murders. [6]
  • A 2006 study from the University of Houston, stating that the Illinois moratorium on the Death Penalty led to 150 additional homicides [6]
  • A University of Colorado at Denver study showing that for each execution five muders were prevented.[7].

Raw statistics also support the deterrent effect. Take the state of Texas for example:According to JFA (Justice for All), the Texas murder rate in 1991 was 15.3 per 100,000. By 1999, it had fallen to 6.1—a drop of 60 percent. Within Texas, the most aggressive death penalty prosecutions are in Harris County (the Houston area). Since the resumption of executions in 1982, the annual number of Harris County murders has plummeted from 701 to 241—a 72 percent decrease.[8]

Or nation-wide:

By the beginning of the 1990s, however, states that wished to reimpose the ultimate penalty had fought their way through the endless thicket of appeals and restrictions imposed by the courts. In 1991, 14 murderers were executed while 2,500 waited on death row. By 1993 the figure had risen to 38 executions, then 55 in 1995, and 98 in 1999, a level not seen since the 1950s. At the same time, murder rates began to plummet—to 9.6 per 100,000 in 1993, 7.7 in 1996, and 6.4 in 1999, the lowest level since 1966. To put the matter simply, over the past 40 years, homicides have gone up when executions have gone down and vice versa. [9]

These are just some of many examples showing the deterrent effect. As Researcher Karl Spence from of Texas A&M University states (speaking about the moratorium on Capital Punishment from 1972-1976):

"While some death penalty abolitionists try to face down the results of their disastrous experiment and still argue to the contrary, the...[data] concludes that a substantial deterrent effect has been observed...In six months, more Americans are murdered than have killed by execution in this entire century...Until we begin to fight crime in earnest by using the death penalty, every person who dies at a criminal's hands is a victim of our inaction."

Observation: While the argument that an innocent could be executed is a very compelling one, the murders committed by prior offenders and the deterrent effect of Capital Punishment outweighs this small risk.

C2. The Death Penalty is a better punishment than Life without Parole.

SPA: Life without parole does not always mean life.

If the Death Penalty is abolished, the next thing to go will be life without parole. Already some European countries like Norway, Greece, Portugal and Spain have abolished it [10]. There is already a movement to abolish life without parole in the United States for juveniles and even for adult offenders! [11][12]. While no one can truly know if these movements will gain traction the probability of life wothout parole being abolished is significantly higher considering that their are already movements to do away with it. Also, the evidence in Europe speaks for itself, sentences for murder in Europe are much lighter than those in the United States.

The law can also change, take for example the tragic case of Pamela Moss: "In 1962, James Moore raped and strangled 14-year-old Pamela Moss. Her parents decided to spare Moore the death penalty on the condition that he be sentenced to life in prison without parole. Later on, thanks to a change in sentencing laws in 1982, James Moore is eligible for parole every two years"[13]

Laws change, Governors change, sentencing changes, and people forget the past. The only way to truly know if a murderer will not ever be released is to execute them.

SPB: Prisoners view the Death Penalty as a harsher punishment than Life without parole.

One argument against the Death Penalty is that it does not force criminals to truly pay for their crime. While at first this seems to be a compelling argument, the evidence speaks against it. Criminals have the right to waive the appeals on their death sentence, very very few do. Executions in 2011: 25 so far, 1 waived appeals. Executions in 2010: 46, 1 waiver. Executions in 2009: 52 executions, 2 waivers. Executions in 2008: 37 Executions, 3 waivers.[14]. Nearly 96% of those executed in the past four years have fought to escape their sentence.

Conclusion:

The death penalty undoubtebly saves innocent lives through prevention, and evidence strongly suggests deterrence. As a society, we have a moral responsibility to use the ultimate penalty for the most serious of crimes.

Thank you to my Opponent for accepting, and I hope this is a debate we can both learn from!


Sources:
1. http://bitURL.net...
2. http://bitURL.net...
3. http://bitURL.net...
4. http://bitURL.net...
5. http://bitURL.net...
6. http://bitURL.net...
7. http://bitURL.net...
8. Lowe, Wesley. "Consistent and Swift Application of the Death Penalty Reduces Murder Rates."
9. Tucker, William. "Capital Punishment Reduces Murder Rates."
10. http://bitURL.net...
11. http://bitURL.net...
12. http://bitURL.net...
13. http://bitURL.net...
14. http://bitURL.net...
F-16_Fighting_Falcon

Con

Here are my arguments against the death penalty:

1) Human Rights Violations
According to Amnesty International, "The death penalty is the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights." [1]

2) Barbaric and Medieval
Public support for the death penalty is declining. As people become more civilized, their support for this barbaric, cruel and unusual punishment is declining. [2] The eye for an eye philosophy is dangerous. If a criminal literally plucks someone's eye out or cuts off the victim's foot, would the appropriate punishment be to take the criminal's eye/foot as well?

3) Costs more
It has been shown that the death penalty costs more than life without parole. [3]

4) Leads to the death of innocent people
Leads to the death of wrongly convicted as well as mentally retarded people.

5) There are other options
Life without parole in a maximum security prison does the same thing that a death penalty does by keeping the offender away from society.

6) Doesn't help the victim or the victim's family
Executing a murderer will not bring the victim back to life. When the victim can magically be brought back to life through execution of his/her murderer, that is when I will support the death penalty.

7) Cruel and Unusual punishment
The fact that most inmates spend years on death row waiting for the inevitable with nowhere to go wrecks havoc on their minds.

Sources
[1] http://www.amnestyusa.org...
[2] http://www.amnestyusa.org...
[3] http://www.amnestyusa.org...
[4] http://www.philforhumanity.com...
Debate Round No. 2
thett3

Pro

Thanks f16 (cool name by the way) now I'll do a point by point rebuttal of your case.


1) Human rights violation

--> No explanation as to how, how is killng someone for a crime committed different than imprisoning them which violates their right to liberty?

--> No logical analysis, just the opinion of Amnesty International.

--> Even if we accept the Death Penalty to violate human rights, that cannot outweigh the innocent lives saved.

2) Barbaric and Medieval

--> Con claims that public support for the Death Penalty is declining

--> First, no impact argued, who cares?

--> Secondly, this is empirically untrue. Taken from a reliable, impartial source (Gallup polls), support for the Death Penalty has been static (and the vast majority) for the past decade[1].

--> Con argues that an eye for an eye is dangerous. This is pre-emptive of an argument I didn't make. I do not agree that poking the eye out of a person in revenge is the proper penalty, however I am not arguing for revenge.

--> The Death Penalty is the only sure-fire way to ensure a killer does not strike again. My arguments are motivated by public safety concerns, not vengeance.

3) Costs more

--> No impact argued, so what?
--> Justice > Money. A 20 year sentence would be less costly than a life sentence, but not as just.

--> Two of the states mentioned (California and Kansas) do not have a true Death Penalty. In the past 35 years Kansas has executed 0 people, and California has executed 13 (with 690+ on "death row"). Clearly when judging the cost of an execution in these states, it would be extremely high, because in California for instance, each man who's executed has around 60 others in his place who are not. I.E. the cost calculation is not an accurate assessment.

--> The two states mentioned that DO actually execute, Maryland and Tennessee, the only thing mentioned is the case itself. No one is denying that the up-front costs of the Death Penalty are more than Life, it's the over all costs that are in dispute. (For states that actually execute like Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma, ect.)

--> Here's a cost analysis showing that Life Without Parole costs "$1.2 to $3.6 million" more than the Death Penalty if the criminal is actually executed.[2]. (scroll about halfway down, to the cost section)

--> This cost analysis ignores the use of the Death Penalty as a tool for Plea Bargaining. The Criminal Justice Legal foundation reports that defendants plead guilty (and get, on average, harsher sentences) 10% more in Death Penalty states than in non-Death Penalty states, avoiding the cost of a trial entirely.[3]

4) Innocence

--> No examples given, more than likely because no examples exist.

--> Outweighed. The Death Penalty saves far more lives than one possible innocent.

--> Why can we accept the thousands of innocent people who die yearly in car and airplane crashes for our own selfish convenience, yet we cannot accept a possible innocent dying for something much more selfless like public safety?

--> He also falsely asserts that the mentally retarted are executed. The Supreme court ruled in Atkins V.
Virginia that this cannot happen.

5) Other Options

--> He claims life w/o parole to have the same effect. That is false, look at the Allen and Taylor examples in my case. Also the Texas Seven escaped a maximum security prison[4], so life w/o parole is not as effective at keeping innocent life safe than the Death Penalty.
6) Does not help victim
--> Con asserts that killing the murderer will not bring back the victim. True, but he hasn't explained how life w/o parole is capable of such a miracle either. If we must abolish the death penalty because it doesn't help the victim, we also ought to abolish all penalties for murder as well, no?

--> He also states that it doesn't help the family. He gives no evidence or logical analysis for this. I will. Here's a list of over 350 quotes from families of victims in support of the Death Penalty[5].

7) Cruel and Unusual

--> Cons logic could also be used to make life w/o parole "cruel and unusual" as well. With the Death Penalty they are spending years waiting for the inevitable (death). With life imprisonment they are also spending years waiting for the inevitable (death) they just spend longer. The Death Penalty is, using my Opponents logic, the more merciful action of the two.

--> The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the Death Penalty is not cruel or unusual punishment.

--> The vast majority (65%) of Americans disagree with my Opponent and believe that the Death Penalty is a moral action.[6]

Conclusion:

My Opponents arguments are outweighed and refuted. Please vote Pro.

Sources:

1. http://www.gallup.com...
2. http://www.prodeathpenalty.com...
3. http://www.cjlf.org...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
5. http://pro-dp.appspot.com...
6. http://www.gallup.com...




F-16_Fighting_Falcon

Con

I have to say my opponent is very specific and comprehensive in his arguments. So, I will respond in kind. I have two main sections: 1)Rebuttal & 2)Defense of my original arguments from my opponent's rebuttals.

(I) REBUTTAL

C1. Capital Punishment saves innocent lives.


SPA: Capital Punishment keeps a killer from striking again.

As per Pro's own source 98.8% of those convicted of homicide were not rearrested. Only 1.2% were. And this was in 1994. Since Pro chose this year to make his argument, I am sure that even less were reaarested in years other than 1994. Of those rearrested, how many were actually convicted? Pro's source does not give the answer but this [1] source shows that the conviction rate for homicide cases is less than 10%. This means that about 0.12% of people released after committing a homicide were convicted again and 99.88% were not convicted of another homicide. The risk to the innocent public is extremely minimal at 0.12%. That is 1 in a thousand.

The people on death row committed those crimes because they had nothing to lose. Once someone is sentenced to death, they have absolutely no reason to not try their best to escape and if necessary kill the police during the escape. They are already sentenced to death even if they behave. Where is the motivation.

As for racial tensions between inmates and fatal fights in jail, they are common and not restricted to people who committed homicides.

You mention that Clarence Ray Allen was sentenced to life without parole, he was released. How is that possible. What I am saying is that all people sentenced to the death penalty must be sentenced to life without parole. That means no release.

To conclude SPA (what does SPA mean anyway? and C1?), life without parole also keeps a prisoner from killing if it is implemeted correctly. This should not be played around with and inmates sentenced to life without parole should not be released. So DP is not required to stop an offender from reoffending. Even if they are released, the chances of reoffending are miniscule.

SPB: Capital Punishment has a deterrent effect.
No, it does not! [2], [3], [4], [5]. You seem to be mixing coincidence with corelation. If you were right, then I could argue that it does not deter homicide because states with death penalty have a much higher homicide rate [3] and that executions make people want to kill.

So, capital punishment does not save innocent lives because people who reoffend should have been locked up for life anyways and it doesn't deter other criminals from committing homicide.

C2. The DP is a better punishment than Life without Parole.

SPA: Life without parole does not always mean life.

There may have been one case where one criminal sentenced to life without parole was eligible for parole. Whether he was actually paroled, pro's source doesn't say. In any case, taking the life of a person to safeguard against a possible future change in laws is an inhumane preemptive strike against life.

SPB: Prisoners view the Death Penalty as harsh
Firstly, the death penalty is not a punishment, it is a state sanctioned homicide. Secondly, of course the prisoners view dying as harsh. So, are you saying we should kill people so that others become scared? It is a reckless disregard of human life to kill in order to set an example for someone else. Besides this point seems too similar to the point about deterrence which I have already refuted in a more precise fashion.

(II) DEFENSE OF MY ORIGINAL ARGUMENTS

1) Human rights violation: Amnesty International is the supreme authority on what constitutes a human rights violation so pro can't just dismiss it as an "opinion." Also the United States cannot a police state which routinely abuses human rights for to save innocent lives or "for the greater good" as some other states like Zimbabwe and Nazi Germany might. Human rights are supreme and are not to be violated under any circumstances.

2) Barbaric and Medieval:
The impact is that my opponent is saying "The vast majority (65%) of Americans disagree with my Opponent and believe that the Death Penalty is a moral action." and I am saying that support is actually declining. Secondly, medieval people are less civilized than modern people, hence modern people's abolition of the DP shows that it is a cruel medieval "punishment" just like drowning, iron maiden etc which will be abolished when people become civilized enough to do so. Thirdly, it is true that it is declining as my source shows. There is no reason to believe that Pro's source (Gallup polls) is any more credible or impartial than Amnesty International which is a sexy, top notch international organization. Galloping is something that horses do, so it is medieval. (okay, just kidding!)

I agree that Con did not make those arguments. I made those arguments when it was my turn to provide opening arguments.

3) Costs more: My opponent's own source [6] says that the death penalty costs more. I'll take this point as a freebie and not waste time arguing further. Thank You thett3. :-)

4) Leads to the death of innocent people
How dare Pro says that no examples are given since no examples exist?? <mock outrage> Again, Pro's own source says "Since 1973, 122 prisoners have been released in the USA after evidence emerged of their innocence of the crimes for which they were sentenced to death. Its imposition is irreversible which deprives an individual the right to benefit from new evidence that might lead to the reversal of a conviction." [6]

There have been 273 post-concivtion exonerations in the United States. 17 of the 273 people exonerated through DNA served time on death row.[7]

And overall the U.S. has exonerated 138 death row inmates to date

I can't believe that my opponent would just let 138 innocent people die because of a miniscule possiblity that a future law change may cause someone who was sentenced to life without parole to be released and then commit a crime of which there is a 1 in a 1000 chance of hapenning. That is a blatant violation of human rights. Correction, this is genocide.

5) There are other options
If people escaped from prison, it only means that prisons should be more secure. That is the fault of the prison guards, not a reason to impose DP.

6) Doesn't help the victim or the victim's family
Pro does not understand the point I am trying to make. I am saying that taking a life is wrong by any standards and even if we take a life in response to a criminal act, it is not worth it because the victim's life will not be restored and we will have two dead people. The prisoner's life is not taken when he/she is sentenced to life without parole. I think it was a miscommunication since my opponent and I seem to arguing two completely different things. Hope this clears it up.

I saw the victim's families responses but the question remains: What do the victim's family get when the killer becomes the killed?

7) Cruel and Unusual punishment
There is a difference between awaiting impending death in the near future than dying after living a natural life.

Just because the supreme court says it doesn't mean that that's the way it should be. We are not debating what is, but what should be.

Using the same logic, the vast majority 60% of Western Europeans are against the DP[7] so it proves that they don't consider it moral.

Conclusion
I have refuted all of my opponents points and defended my own against my opponent's refutation. Vote Con.

Sources
[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk...;
[2] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[3] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[4] http://www.enotes.com...
[5] http://www.dartmouth.edu...;
[6] http://www.globalpolitician.com...;
[7] http://www.innocenceproject.org...;
[8] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...;
Debate Round No. 3
thett3

Pro

Defense

C1.

SPA

Con attempts to belittle the loss of innocent life by showing the conviction rate for homicide to be low. First off his link is a broken link so completely dis regard it. Secondly it's from the UK not the US and thus is irrelevant in this round. Lastly, his number is false. Here are two examples of homicide conviction ratres well over 90%.[1][2]

Con ignores the analysis about how many of those on death row committed their crimes WHILE imprisoned, however not on death row. Extend it.

Con says that racial tensions can happen between all inmates not just murderers. Sadly, this fails to capture the full extent of the argument. The point is, killers can and do strike again. The evidence proves this to be true.

Con misunderstands that Allen example. Allens paroled friend killed the witnesses to Allens crimes. Unless Con is arguing for solitary confinement of all inmates (which IS cruel and unusual) than his rebuttal falls.

Con says that life without parole also keeps inmates from re-offending. Sadly, this is completely untrue as I have shown.

SPB

Con states that the DP does not deter. He only provides links to some websites. Since he has made no arguments himself, I feel no need to respond. I have provided studies, statistical analysis, and logic. Con has provided only links no argumentation. Pro wins on this point.

Con also says that since states without the DP have generally lower murder rates, this proves deterrence to be false. Umm no that isn't comparing apples to apples so to speak. States with the DP often have other factors relating to the crime rate (such as higher poverty rates ect.). The fact remains that every scrap of statistical evidence brought into this round shows that when executions increase murder rates decrease. Con drops all of my studies and evidence. Extend them.

C2.

SPA

Con says that I've only given one example so this point falls. However if you look at the evidence provided, it mentions a change in sentencing laws. So it happened to many inmates not just the example I've shown. furthermore the McDuff evidence shows us that parole boards make mistakes.

Also TURN: Amnesty international is staunchly against juvenile Life w/o Parole. If AA gets to decide what is or isn't a human rights violation like my Opponent wishes than he is also arguing against juvenile life w/o parole. The Case of Dalton Prejean[3] (committed his first murder at age 14, was released and killed again at 17) shows us that juveniles are not exempt from re-offending. So cons appeal to AA supports both of my Sub-points A.

SPB

Con says that the death penalty is not a punishment. By the very definition of the words involved, he's wrong. He also concedes that prisoners view the DP as harsh. This can be applied to my deterrence argument because logic proves that a harsher penalty makes criminals less likely to commit the crime. Surely there would be more murder if there were no laws against it, so logically the harsher the penalty implemented the less crime committed.

Con also states that it's a "reckless disregard of human life to kill in order to set an example for someone else." No, actually it's a disregard to human life to NOT set an example. Using this logic it's a reckless disregard of human freedom to imprison someone.

Con case

1. Human Rights

Cons entire argument here is just one massive appeal to authority. He has given absolutely no reasoning to indicate that the DP is a violation of human rights. Also, I do not know why my Opponent believes that AA is the supreme authority on human rights, and he has not justified this belief. Again, his entire argument is an appeal to authority.

Also, he drops my objections about this same logic being used to treat life w/o parole as a violation of liberty, and of this point being outweighed. Extend them.

2. Medieval

Con again claims that public support for the DP is declining. I have shown this to be epirically false, and he still has argued no impact. Con absurdly claims that AA is impartial, and that we should believe their pollings. He has been using AA as a source against the DP for the entire debate. Clearly it's biased. Gallup makes no statements on the DP, positive or negative. Con also tried to claim that the DP means a sign of less civilization. No logical analysis for this. Just because some modern day countries have abolished the DP doesn't mean it's a good idea.

3. Cost

He has ignored everything I've said against this point. Extend it all. Yes, some studies, like the one shown in the source, show the DP to be more expensive. However I have argued (and he has dropped) that states which ACTUALLY execute do not have these high costs. I have also discredited these cost analysis's with my plea bargaining example. This point falls, and even if it does not it is impactless.

4. Innocence

Con gives examples of people released from Death Row. Ok 1. They were released. This shows that our current appeals system works! Secondly, if you examine the cases of innocence, almost all of them occurred years ago, before the rise of prevelence in DNA and forensic evidence, and before recent supreme court cases limiting the usage of the DP. Con tries to argue that I would just let innocent people die, however he has shown 0 examples of executed innocents, because none exist. I have show that the DP saves far more innocent lives than it takes (it takes none) so I am the one better protecting the innocent. Vote Pro.

5. Other Options

Con offensively blames the prison guards for escaped killers. The fact remains that life without parole simply is NOT as effective as the DP as I have shown in my case.

6. Doesn't help family

Con claims that "taking a life is wrong by any standards". He is confusing the physical similarites between murder and execution with their moral similarity. Again, he has not shown why the justice system cannot take life as a punishment. I have shown why it can, for public safety. Vote Pro. He also asks what the victims families gain from execution. They gain the satisfaction off seeing justice served and knowing that the criminal will never harm another human being again. Even if I'm wrong about this, the fact remains that they DO gain something so Con loses on this point.

7. Cruel and Unusual

Con gives no reason to believe that the DP is cruel and unusual. I have shown why it is not. This point falls. He says that since most in Western Europe oppose the DP than that makes it cruel and unusual. Maybe by European standards. However we are debating the United States, not Europe so it is U.S. opinion, no others, that mater in this discussion. Also the Supreme courts opinion on what is cruel and unusual is much more relevant than my Opponents.

F16 it has been a pleasure to debate you, judges I urge you to vote Pro.


1. http://bitURL.net...
2. http://bitURL.net...
3. http://bitURL.net...
F-16_Fighting_Falcon

Con

REBUTTAL

C1

SPA
Firstly, I apologize for the broken link. It was working when I included it as a source but I can see now that it no longer works. Here is a link that shows that conviction rates for felonies are in the low 30s percentage wise. However, what Pro has done in his closing argument is show through two sources that conviction rates in two counties is over 90%. Those are certainly outliers and not representative of the thousands of counties in the United States.

Regarding racial tensions as well as crimes committed during imprisonment, Pro gives no reasons or sources as to why this would only happen specifically with murderers who are not on death row. Crimes happen both on death row as well as in the general population between both murderers as well as other criminals.

In the Allen example, he could have asked someone else to kill for him even while on death row. Death row signifies the place, often a section of a prison, that houses individuals awaiting execution. The term is also used figuratively to describe the state of awaiting execution ("being on death row"), even in places where no special facility or separate unit for condemned inmates exists. So he may not have been separeted from other inmates even while on death row.

So my original arguments stands that DP is not necessarily any better than life without parole and is not necessary and does not prevent recidivism any better the Life Without Parole.

SPB
Pro argues that the usage of the DP in Texas in specific years corelated with lower murder rates. I will use Pro's argument (modified) from the previous round to refute this: Umm no that isn't comparing apples to apples so to speak. Years in which the was used DP often have other factors relating to the crime rate (such as higher poverty rates ect.)

C2

SPA
Pro only gives one example of a law that was changed to release an inmate sentenced to LWP. Pro says that the parole board makes mistakes. Is that a reason to sentence someone to death? That the parole board makes mistakes? If the parole board makes mistakes, they should take a look at why they are making mistakes and either greatly reduce or stop them.

Pro's "turn"
Pro says that Amnesty International is against juvenile life without parole but the turn fails on three accounts. Firstly, Amnesty never says that sentencing a juvenile to LWP is a human rights violation so this would be out of their jurisdiction of human rights violations. Secondly, Pro's alternative to a juvenile killer is to give him the DP which is wrong for all the reasons that I mentioned in this debate. Thirdly, DP for kids is not currently not allowed in the United States. So, this is outside the scope of Pro's resolution which says that DP must be "retained" for capital crimes not introduced for juvenile crimes. No matter which way you look at it, Pro's "turn" has turned 180 degrees back to Pro. The "turn" fails.
SPB
I stand by my definition of the death penalty as a state sanctioned homicide. By the definition of the word "homicide", I am right.[3][4]

It is also a reckless disregard of human life to kill in order to set an example for someone else. Con offers no reasonable argument to the contrary.

RESPONSE TO REBUTTAL

1) Human Rights
Pro dismisses Amnesty International as just another organization. However, Amnesty International is the organization for protection of human rights. It can be seen on their homepage: "Amnesty International is a global movement of people fighting injustice and promoting human rights."[5] and "Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 3 million supporters, members and activists in more than 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights."[6] Pro's argument that this is an appeal to authority is weak.

Pro fails to see the difference between loss of liberty and loss of life. They are two completely different things. The logic that "if DP is a human rights violation, then imprisonment is violation of liberty" is erroneous. Putting a human in prison is not the same as killing them.

2) Medieval
I already argued impact in round 3. Pro gives no reason why we should not believe the pollings of Amnesty International which is a respected international human rights organization. He points to an obscure source called "Gallup polls" and says that their numbers are to be believed. Extend my argument that abolition of medieval tortures like death penalty, drowning, hanging and iron maiden are a sign of civilization moving away from barbaric medieval processes.

3) Cost
Firstly, Pro's own source betrayed him and stated that the DP costs more. Secondly, Pro's argument cherry picks the states that conducts cheap executions like Texas and excludes states like California because he believes that they are not "true" death penalty states. Such cherry picking would obviously yield a result in Pro's favor. However, considering all the states and not just the ones that Pro would like to consider, it can be shown that the DP costs more. States do not have an unlimited budget. They must find a cost-effective way to dispense justice and the DP is against that.

4) Innocence
This site shows nine unique examples of people who are now dead having been DP'd but could possibly be innocent [7]. Also when Pro says that innocent lives are saved, he has no definitive evidence. It is all hypothetical assuming that a prisoner who was DP'd could have killed more people had he been released.

5) Other options
Pro claims that me blaming the prison authorities for escapes is offensive. Who else then is responsible for preventing prisoners from escaping? The purpose of our prison system is to keep prisoners from escaping. We don't need to kill them in order to do that. I have conclusively proven through my arguments here and in the previous rounds that there are other options than DP such as LWP.

6) Doesn't help family
Pro claims that the victims families "gain the satisfaction off seeing justice served and knowing that the criminal will never harm another human being again." They would gain the same thing from a prisoner being sentenced to LWP. However, with DP, they feel the weight of a death on their hands. They gain nothing. The justice system can punish humans but there needs to be a limit to what they can and can't do. It is a blatant human rights violation if they are allowed to kill humans.

7) Cruel and Unusual
Pro does not refute any of my arguments from this section. I will simply repeat what I said before. LWP is not the same as sitting on death row and is not cruel and unusual punishment becuase there is a difference between awaiting impending death in the near future than dying after living a natural life. So Pro's analogy was refuted to which he did not respond.

Pro again appeals to the supreme courts authority, but like I said before: Just because the supreme court says it doesn't mean that that's the way it should be. We are not debating what is, but what should be. If we simply went by what the Supreme Court says then what is the point of having a debate? But we did have a debate and I proved that the death penalty must be abolished for all the reasons stated above while refuting my opponent's arguments.

Thett3, it was great debating with you. It was long and intense and enjoyable. Judges: Vote Con

Sources
[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk...
[2] http://criminaljustice.state.ny.us...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...
[5] http://www.amnestyusa.org...
[6] http://www.amnesty.org...
[7] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...

Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by bexology 5 years ago
bexology
I'd vote, but I just signed up, so I haven't completed any debates, let alone 3 so that I can vote. But I still wanted to add my comments.

I admit I was already biased before I read this, but I did come into this with an open mind. There was a lot more I would have rambled on about to Pro, but the case was pretty much stated - on both sides. Great debate, but I'm still on Con's side. Pro - you just didn't convince me.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Thanks for clearing that up. Looking forward to your "turn".
Posted by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
oh, and I'm going to (most likely) be using a Turn in my next response. If you dont know, a Turn is when your Opponent uses a source/makes an argument and you turn it to your side.
Posted by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
C1= Contention one
SPA= Sub-point A
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by wierdman 5 years ago
wierdman
thett3F-16_Fighting_FalconTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: pro argument was more convincing. his sources were more reliable and frankly i though he made the best argument.
Vote Placed by larztheloser 5 years ago
larztheloser
thett3F-16_Fighting_FalconTied
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: On the one side, pro said the death penalty was the only way to stop a killer, and that as a result people stop killing. On the other hand we heard all people deserve rights, innocents and killed and victims aren't happier. Con did a fair job on rebuttal, but his substantive was seriously weak and largely relied on sources. In the end neither team convinced me, therefore pro failed to build a case, therefore con wins. Pro gets sources and conduct for using sources correctly, not for assertion.