The Instigator
Shamone
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
IcookTacos
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The benefits of Capital Punishment outweighs the harms

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/21/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,024 times Debate No: 21343
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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Shamone

Pro

Contention One: Capital Punishment deters crime. While prison is certainly something for criminals to fear, it is nothing compared to the threat of death. According to "The Deterrence Theory" written by Thomas Schelling, an American economist and professor of foreign affairs, national security, and arms control at the School University of Maryland, criminals are no different from law-abiding people. Criminals "rationally maximize their own self-interest (utility) subject to constraints (prices, incomes) that they face in the marketplace and elsewhere." Individuals make their decisions based on the net costs and benefits of each alternative. Basically, a criminal will make a decision on something by both looking at benefits and consequences. Upon looking at a consequence of death, rather than incarceration, they are more likely to change their mind. According to a study by Emory University professors, each execution deters an average of 18 murders and speeding up executions strengthens the deterrent effect, for every 2.75 years cut from time spent on death row, one murder would be prevented.

Contention Two: Capital Punishment brings retributive justice to criminals. Retribution according to the dictionary states: requital according to merits or deserts. Louis P. Pojman, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at West Point Military Academy says that "Retributivism is the theory that the criminal deserves to be punished in proportion to the gravity of his or her crime, whether or not the victim or anyone else desires it." Not only does retribution equal the physical damage done to the victim, but also mends the harm done to the victim's family. This family is damaged with the loss of the relative, and the psychological issues that go along with that. Through retributive justice, a criminal receives equal justice for their crime, and families can be comforted knowing that the criminal is off the streets forever.

Contention 3: Capital Punishment can save the state money. Executions have been thought to be costly and timely, however, different forms of punishment can take different amounts of money. The most common form of execution, lethal injection, can be substituted by something less costly but still efficient as a firing squad. This can cost the state nothing, if volunteers bring their own bullets and weapons. Deborah W. Denno, criminal expert with a Ph.D. in criminology from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, said the following about firing squads, "a firing squad execution is the "most humane" and "most dignified" method of those that can be used in the U.S." As for the cost of such things as appeals, they can range from $454,000 to 3.2 Million dollars, (data collected by The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California). This is not as bad as it may sound, because this is the price we as citizens must pay to protect ourselves. According to the Death Penalty Information Center: "The cost of a system which imposes a maximum penalty of lifetime incarceration instead of the death penalty would be $11.5 million per year." It would, in fact, be more costly to keep prisoners in cells for life, than go through a few appeals and execution by a firing squad, which is considered both humane and effective. There are also states coming through with laws limiting appeals such as Utah and Nebraska. Popular newspaper The Deseret News, says: "Basically, the proposed law would require death-row killers to raise all issues that could postpone the execution in their first post-conviction petition and not hold some issues to raise later if the initial arguments prove unsuccessful". Nebraska had a similar response when Lawmakers passed a bill (45-0) in which: A bill imposing a time limit for bringing post-conviction appeals in criminal cases was given final approval by Nebraska lawmakers. Finally, According to a survey conducted by the research group Gallup, Capital Punishment is favored by 61% of Americans. Money that has been spent on Capital Punishment has sure not gone to waste if 61% of Americans believe Capital Punishment to be ethical and effective.
IcookTacos

Con

I will start by answering your contention one by one.

Contention 2: I have some problems seeing how this argument has anything to do with the subject in matter. The benefits and harms in the retribution aspects are highly subjective. For example, if a man murders the daughter of a family, weather or not the criminal is executed the daughter of the family will still be dead, and the grief of the family probably won't decrease. It's also varieties if it's a worse punishment to die or to be imprisoned for the rest of your life. But if it's by injection or firing squad I don't see it as humane for anyone to be killing for the state.

Contention 3: Well this is the one that interests me the most. What you say is that capital execution can save the state money if we replace the method of lethal injection with the use of a volunteering firing squad. I see the logic in this argument but what makes me wonder is the claim that this will be more ethical than lethal injection. Here is a description of how a prisoner will be executed by a firing squad: [1]"Gardner will be strapped to a chair for his execution wearing a jumpsuit with a target pinned to his heart. After offering last words, his face will be hooded, and five pre-selected law enforcement officers will aim for that target with .30-caliber rifles from less than 25 feet away.". Instead of a [2]doctor injecting a dose of potassium in ones veins. [3]As far as the 61% go it's from a research that is one year old. The same research show that from 1954 to 1957 the numbers went down with 21%. And from that group of 61% only 32% thought that death penalty would lower the murder rate. And 51% from the same research thought that the death penalty was used unfairly. To be honest I don't like to use these types of statistics in arguments since they possibly can't be speaking for the entire population of America.

You claim that the costs of running a prison with life time felonies would cost $11.5 million US dollars per year. I would just like to ask some questions about this statement. Do the $11.5 million go to each individual prison that have

The harm is not in the economy. but in the principe, you say that America will save money by shooting life time sentenced criminals. I say that America will save money by spending more resources on proper school education and further education to the parents or at least spending money in a way that criminality decreases instead of punishing it further.

You say economy, I say principe, what weighs the most is now up to you to prove. I believe that a principe can't be changed, while money always can be spent on places other than the prisons. If you feel like I didn't answer any of your arguments please say so and I will state my opinion on them in the next round.

Sources:
[1] http://www.slate.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3]http://www.gallup.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Shamone

Pro

Shamone forfeited this round.
IcookTacos

Con

I don't feel like posting a new argument untill my previous one is answered.
Debate Round No. 2
Shamone

Pro

Shamone forfeited this round.
IcookTacos

Con

IcookTacos forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by IcookTacos 5 years ago
IcookTacos
Sorry for taking so long. Just be patient.
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