The Instigator
thescholar
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
thett3
Con (against)
Winning
34 Points

The death penalty IS wrong

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/19/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,382 times Debate No: 17580
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (6)

 

thescholar

Pro

Thank you, now my inital argument is that the government should and does not have the right to decide that taking a life is the ABSOLUTE right way to punish a person for any act in question. Its the moral equal to the mob killing a snitch. in thett3's debate with larstheloser, he used the philosophy that by killing someone, the person in question, he or she has violated the rules of society and in turn deserves to die. now I am personally a democrat, and a liberal, so pathologically geared towards looser sentences, (being that I think a lifetime sentences are a safe enough measure) I think that death sentences are, in turn, murder. wich, from my opponents philosophy, is a violation of society.
thett3

Con

Thank you for sending me this challenge. I've been debating the practical aspects of Capital Punishmnet, and I am quite excited to debate the moral aspects.

=Negative Case=

The Death Penalty is a very divisive issue in the United States. When asked his position on the death penalty, president Barack Obama stated that he supported it in cases where "the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage." Seeing as I agree, I negate the resolved.

C1. As a society, we have a moral obligation to protect innocent life.

In some cases, imprisonment simply is not good enough. Indeed, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that of those under a death sentence in 2009, 65.7% had previously been convicted of a felony, and an amazing 8.6% were convicted of a prior homicide! Over 5% of those under death sentenced committed their capital crime while imprisoned or on escape. For every murderer put to death, we are saving lives through prevention. If the death penalty saves lives, all and any moral arguments against it are simply outweighed.

There is also strong evidence to suggests a deterrent effect. In fact, a University of Colorado at Denver study found that for each execution, 5 murders were prevented[2]. Raw statistics also support the deterrent effect. Wesley Lowe elaborates:

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. [3]

I could bring in more evidence for this, but since this is a moral debate, the fact remains that if there is a chance the Death Penalty is a deterrent, we have a moral obligation to use it. If even one innocent life could be saved by applying Capital Punishment, and we do not, than the blood is on our hands. To allow innocents to die to show mercy to violent killers is morally repugnant.

C2. Capital Punishment values the right to life by imposing the strictest penalty on those who violate it.

Rather than violate it, the Death Penalty upholds the right to life. While at first glance, Capital Punishment may seem hypocritical, close scrutiny of this claim proves it to be un-true. The physcial similarites between an action and a reaction do not make them morally similar. To provide some examples:

If someone attempts to kill me, and in defense I kill them, those two actions while physically similar, are complete opposites morally.

If a police officer sees a person speeding, and speeds in order to pull them over, the officers violation of the speed limit is not wrong.

If the justice system orders the imprisonment of a kidnapper, the imprisonment is not immoal despite the physical similarites between the crime and the punishment (both involve an individual being taken from their home, and held against their will)

When assessing if an action is immoral, we must first look to the reason behind the action. Putting someone to death is a reactionary penalty handed down by the justice system to punish those who commit the worst of crimes. To equate something like that to murder, is simply absurd.

English philosopher John Stuart Mill sums it up nicely by stating:

"Does fining a criminal show want of respect for property, or imprisoning him, for personal freedom? Just as unreasonable it is to think that to take the life of a man who has taken that of another is to show want of regard for human life. We show, on the contrary...our regard for it, by the adoption of a rule that he who violates that right in another forfeits it for himself and that while no other crime that he can commit deprives him of his right to live, this shall."


=Affirmative Case=

I will now refute my Opponents statements.

"Thank you, now my inital argument is that the government should and does not have the right to decide that taking a life is the ABSOLUTE right way to punish a person for any act in question."- Pro does not show why the right to life is unique. The Justice system can take away our right to liberty as well, but no one is advocating the abolition of prisons.

"Its the moral equal to the mob killing a snitch." Absolutely not. The "snitch" in question is not guilty of murder, and the mob attack is not a punishment handed down by our criminal justice system.

"being that I think a lifetime sentences are a safe enough measure" However the sad truth is that they simply are not. Heres an example, Clarence Ray Allen[4]. While serving a sentence of life without parole, Allen manipulated his paroled friend Billy Hamilton to murder the witnesses of Allens crimes. Before Hamilton was aprehended, three people were murdered. This shows how life imprisonment gives an avenue for killers to strike again.

Source:

1. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov...
2. http://www.heritage.org...
3. Lowe, Wesley. "Consistent and Swift Application of the Death Penalty Reduces Murder Rates."
4. http://www.clarkprosecutor.org...

Debate Round No. 1
thescholar

Pro

thescholar forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
thescholar

Pro

thescholar forfeited this round.
thett3

Con

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by aircraftmechgirl 6 years ago
aircraftmechgirl
That may be the most convoluted argument ever, Pro.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 3 years ago
Zarroette
thescholarthett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Double_R 6 years ago
Double_R
thescholarthett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter to massvotebomber
Vote Placed by MassDebator255 6 years ago
MassDebator255
thescholarthett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote
Vote Placed by kohai 6 years ago
kohai
thescholarthett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 6 years ago
Man-is-good
thescholarthett3Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Thett3 managed to present a formidable case, using sources [including statistics, research from surveys, and quotes in concord with his own moral arguments], whereas Pro merely made baseless claims. Thett3 also earns conduct points due to Pro's forfeit, and dominated the round with his argument, a possible motivating agent in regard to Pro's forfeits.
Vote Placed by ApostateAbe 6 years ago
ApostateAbe
thescholarthett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: It was shooting a fish in a barrel, then pouring the barrel out on the ground and stomping on the fish for good measure.