The Instigator
phantom
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
soulreaperjo
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points

The United States should retain the use of the death penalty

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
phantom
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/10/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,861 times Debate No: 18721
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (17)
Votes (4)

 

phantom

Con

I had an excellent debate on this with thett3 a little while back so I thought I might try doing this again.



Resolved: The United States should retain the use of the death penalty for murder.

I will be negating the resolution.
Thus I think the United States should not continue to use the death penalty.

Burden of Proof:

BoP is shared.



Definitions:

Death Penalty - a punishment in which the person who committed the offence is put to death by the state. [1]



Structure:

1st round: Acceptance.

2nd, and 3rd round: Arguments and rebuttal.

4th round: No more arguments, just rebuttal and closing up.



Terms:

1. Each participant should have respectable behavior and good conduct.

2. No plagiarism, sources should be properly cited.

3. One forfeit should result in the loss of conduct point but that is all. If a participant forfeits twice voters can use their own discretion.

4. If needed to save space because of the character limit, participants may post their sources in a separate link or in the comments section.

5. Please no semantics. Note this is not a rule but more of a request. I think I have made a semantic proof resolution, but semantics should be allowed in debate. Though I hope we stay out of that so we can have a good debate here.


If anyone has any questions, or complaints please feel free to leave a comment or pm me.
Good luck to my opponent whoever he or she may be.



Sources:


[1] http://en.wiktionary.org...



soulreaperjo

Pro

First of all, if you go back to your previous argument, it states how Death Penalty is reserved for MURDER as in killing

another human being. I'm usually not in favor of such drastic measures in resolving crimes, but when taking someone

else's life there can be no other solution. Also, many think the death penalty as something new, but has been around

for almost all of history, from guillotines, electric chairs, and to the well-known lethal injection. This is not something

new, but has been kept away from the media to stop controversy.

If the government were to stop enforcing Death Penalty, it would entice more murderers and rapists to start

commiting more crimes. As the most fearful crime they would have to face is a life sentence in prison. Does this

punishment really seem as bad as dying from a lethal injection?
Debate Round No. 1
phantom

Con

My opponent has used the first round for arguing instead of for acceptance, like it was supposed to be for. To make it fair, so that we each have the same amount of rounds, I ask my opponent not to use round 4 for debating.


I will first make my arguments then I will address my opponents.



Basic overview of what I will be arguing:
-That the death penalty is extremely and unnecessarily risky in that innocent people have been executed numerous times.
-
That the death penalty violates the right to life, is inhumane and barbaric.
-That America need to abolish the death penalty in order to progress as a society.
-That the death penalty unnecessarily causes members of the jury to be hesitant when condemning criminals.
-That the death penalty is an unnecessary burden to the tax payers, as in that it costs more than life in prisonment.
-That the death penalty has no deterrent effect.
-That life imprisonment is a far better, more just, and less risky form of punishment.


Arguments:

C.1 Innocent's being executed:


There is always the chance that the person being convicted is innocent. Even when there is what seems strong evidence, it may only mean that the convicted man had something too do with the crime, not the murder itself. There are of course many other possible explanations why someone, tried guilty, might be innocent. Those sentenced to life imprisonment have the chance to be proven innocent before they die.

Well over eighty people in the past quarter century have been condemned but then released before execution. [1]

This source shows detailed accounts of eleven innocents being executed. [2]

One researches says he has found at least 74 cases in which wrongful executions have most likely taken place. [2]

69 inmates on death row have been released since 1973 (Source is from 1997 so it would be allot higher now). This clearly shows the risks of the DP. Risks which are completely unnecessary and should be gotten rid of immediately. These men were lucky to escape with their lives.[3]


There have also, undoubtedly been cases in which innocent people have been executed but have not been proved innocent afterwards. This is without doubt true, because for one after being executed there is usually not much need to for someone to try too prove the innocence of someone who is already dead. So there are undoubtedly instances in the past where we have executed an innocent man but did not know so, and still do not know.

With life imprisonment there is zero chance of killing an innocent man.



C.2 Violates the right to life.

The right to life, and the irony of the death penalty.

Now of course the one being condemned has violated anther's right to life, but does that mean he loses his right to life as well? When one man takes away someone else right, it does not mean that man taking away the right should also have his rights taken away. It is the same concept as an eye for an eye, tooth for tooth. For one thing it teaches revenge and is wrong. In order to progress as a society we need to get rid of this barbaric punishment. A decent and humane society does not deliberately kill human beings.
How can we teach something is wrong by doing the exact same thing that we are teaching is wrong? This is what makes the death penalty so ironic.



C.3 Makes members of the jury less inclined too condemn the guilty.

If the jury knows there is someone's death on the line they may be loathe to condemn the criminal. The reasons for which could be that either they don't support the death penalty, or the possibility that an innocent man might be put to death makes them more hesitant when making the decision. Thus making it more likely that guilty men may be tried innocent.


C.4 Death Penalty costs more:


While it may not seem so at first, the death penalty is much more expensive than life imprisonment.

This is due to the fact that the constitution requires a long and complex judicial process for cases of capital punishment.

-By replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment, California could save $1 billion over five years.
-Californian taxpayers have to pay 90,000 more on those waiting to be executed per year than on normal prisoners.

The source also says that, "The federal court system spends approximately $12 million on defending death row inmates in federal court." [4]

Those serving life sentences are also able to help pay off their costs by working while those executed obviously cannot, being dead.


Rebuttal:

//when taking someone else's life there can be no other solution.//

How is life in imprisonment not a solution?

//many think the death penalty as something new, but has been around for almost all of history//

This makes no argument and it isn't even true that most people think of it as something new. I have never heard anyone say that the DP is a new idea. Those who do think so are probably ignorant. I also fail to see the argument in this.

//If the government were to stop enforcing Death Penalty, it would entice more murderers and rapists to start committing more crimes.//

87 percent of criminologist don't believe the death penalty acts as a deterrent. [5] Who would you rather trust an expert criminologist or my opponent, who gives zero evidence to back his claim?



//As the most fearful crime they would have to face is a life sentence in prison. Does this punishment really seem as bad as dying from a lethal injection?//

No, it does not, which is the whole point of my second contention. My opponent makes a claim which is based on how much we need to punish murderers. However he does not do anything to argue why we must punish them as much as he thinks we should. My opponent also seems to think life in prison is not a bad punishment. Those sentenced to life in prison have to spend the rest of their life with rapists and murderers, or in solitary confinement. This is hardly a small punishment.

Last off my opponent gives zero evidence to back up any of his claims.

Conclusion:
The death penalty is an inhumane and hypocritical punishment that devalues life. It is extremely risky as there is always the chance that we are killing an innocent man. It is a waste of the taxpayers money. It has no deterrent effect, and increases the chance that members of the jury will not condemn a guilty man. Over all life in prison is a far better, more just, and less risky punishment.

Thank you pro, for accepting this debate, and good luck in the future rounds.

Sources:

[1] http://www.the-slammer.org...
[2] http://www.justicedenied.org...
[3] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[4] http://www.deathpenalty.org...
[5] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[6] http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org...


soulreaperjo

Pro

soulreaperjo forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
phantom

Con

Unfortunately Jo was out reaping souls and could not make it for this round. Hopefully he will be back for the next round.


For now, please extend arguments.

soulreaperjo

Pro

soulreaperjo forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
phantom

Con

Waste of time.

soulreaperjo

Pro

soulreaperjo forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by phantom 5 years ago
phantom
I used to be pro dp, then changed my mind after joining this site.

I could honestly almost argue either side.
Posted by mjy325 5 years ago
mjy325
i just joined i am in favor of dp with few changes in law and i am ex con can discuss it from both sides
Posted by phantom 5 years ago
phantom
After note. I did not fully understand what you said at first. Yes I could have put the resolution as "the United states should abolish the DP) but I actually basically took the resolution from my previous dp debate.

It doesn't matter though because I said BOP is shared.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
I saw it now. I apologize. The resolution just struck me as weird because the US already has the DP.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Falcon it says the BoP is shared.
Posted by phantom 5 years ago
phantom
f-16

Actually I think the whole "your pro so you have the bop" is utter crap. And I somewhat hate BOP pushing (although sometimes it's necessary to argue over it). From my experience the resolution should be worded like that (I can't remember the word).

Plus if you had read the 1st round you would have seen that I said BOP is shared.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Thett3, it was different for you because you argued for the DP and were taking the BOP. Con instead of putting a straightforward resolution saying that the US should abolish the DP and taking the BOP since he was arguing against the status quo, instead says "retain" and argues the Con position. It strikes me as a suspicious way to push the BOP on his opponent. I would suggest the instigator just reverse the wording and take the Pro position. If you don't want the full BOP, add another line saying that the BOP is shared, but pushing it onto to your opponent doesn't feel right.
Posted by phantom 5 years ago
phantom
Yeah people are picky when it comes to wording.
Posted by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
wow people are giving you a lot of crap over the resolution. I used the exact same one many times and no one said anything. Maybe you should change it to "it would be preferable if the entire United States abolished the Death Penalty" or something similar.
Posted by phantom 5 years ago
phantom
How exactly can America have so many laws in OTHER countries and how is it relevant?

And I'd prefer to stick to USA, as I'm not sure I'm con in every case.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
phantomsoulreaperjoTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: he gets pity point, also I do not need to explain rfd
Vote Placed by GaryBacon 5 years ago
GaryBacon
phantomsoulreaperjoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeited rounds made it an easy decision.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
phantomsoulreaperjoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro was executed
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
phantomsoulreaperjoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF