The Instigator
Kmille11014
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
cheekyhobo
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points

The death penalty is completely unconstional.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/12/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,419 times Debate No: 3199
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (25)
Votes (10)

 

Kmille11014

Pro

What will be illuminated in my side of this debate contradicts what the general American Assumes. In the 2006 Gallup Poll, 67% of Americans was in favor of the death penalty, while 27% were against it, and the final 5% voted "no opinion," I found this data on [http://www.govspot.com....]

The Death Penalty is cruel and unusual, which means it can technically be repealed, for it can be deemed "unconstitutional." Also stated in [the Constitution] within amendment 14, I quote, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Which basically means, (For those who don't feel like reading a lengthy quote from the constitution) that all people made into a citizen of the United States, or born a natural citizen have natural rights wherein they reside. No state is allowed to enforce ANY law that will contradict the privileges, and/or immunities of a citizen of the United States; also it clearly states that a state can not deprive any person of LIFE, liberty, or property. So is it technically fair that people can still be deprived of their life?

I feel it is supremely cruel because of the way the act is bestowed upon the offender. The offender is first politically made a spectacle of by Journalists, or political leaders. The victim is forcibly tied down and injected with a poison, where the victim may still live for months, possibly years, with the impending fate of a slow, unethical death. The life of the offender becomes a hopeless blur, for he can not judge his date of death, and simply can not deflect his own death. Another reason that supports my argument is that the government has convicted people of capitol crimes on a regular basis. 1:6 convicts on death row are innocent, which was proven in one noted study with the IIRC.

Now I do realize I am not a strong debater, but am trying to learn as much as I can. I hope I have provided you with enough information that supports my side on this topic. I will finally conclude my topic by saying that the death penalty contradicts the constitution, especially amendment 14, and kills 1 innocent person out of 6 people on death row.
cheekyhobo

Con

It may be supremely cruel and unusual, but the death penalty is protected under the constitution which is the premise of your debate. When somebody commits a crime he or she is no longer provided these rights. If that were the case, then it would be unconstitutional to have anyone locked inside of a jail cell for any given amount of time. Therefore, abridging the freedom of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is not violated as soon as a perpetrator violates someone else's freedoms. It is constitutional and under the jurisdiction of the state to create and enforce laws to protect the rights of other citizens while abrogating the dangerous lives of others.
Debate Round No. 1
Kmille11014

Pro

I personally feel that you have not premeditated the constitution with enough intensity, specifically amendment 14.

"When somebody commits a crime he or she is no longer provided these rights."

Actually, what if the person is innocent? As I have reported, 1 out of six people on death row are innocent. In addition you have not provided a valid case, when you declare that it is unconstitutional for someone to be placed in jail for a period of time, is completely just, as long as the person is innocent, and has had an opportunity to speak in a court of jury. You also have made it clear that, in your opinion, it is a constitutional and just punishment to protect the rights of citizens. However, I have a humane supplementary proposal that does not invade their own rights or the rights of the public. They could rather have a life sentence, as an alternative to death. Furthermore, I believe jail is an exceptional substitute to death and does not invade the freedom of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, because first off, they have their life preserved. Second, it is liberty because it gives them time to reflect upon what they have done. Although they may not be happy, it is clearly impossible to make every human happy. For example, one person could be happy as ruler of the world, while another would like no human to ever make a mistake. The pursuit of happiness is evidently justified to its limits, and if it protects the rights of other citizens, and saves a life, I think it is reasonably just and humane to put a person in jail, rather then put to death. Additionally, I am appalled that you think killing a HUMAN BEING is just, and constitutional. After all, death is death. There is no bringing anyone back from the dead. They are gone forever, and can not be brought back even if they have done something great and the public has been immune to it, even later realizing OOPS! They were the wrong person! Oh well… And if you think I am lying about innocent people being put to death, I have a good little story for you, which I will communicate to you in my next point.

Have you ever heard the story about Joan of Arc? Maybe a little perhaps? Well, if you don't, I will explain it to you, in a relatively brief article from Wikipedia, at this address; [http://en.wikipedia.org...].

Joan of Arc, or Jeanne d'Arc in French,[1] (c. 1412 – May 30, 1431)[2] was a 15th century saint and national heroine of France. She was the only person ever recorded to have commanded the entire army of a nation at the age of seventeen. She was captured by the English and tried by an ecclesiastical court led by Bishop Pierre Cauchon, an English partisan; the court convicted her of heresy and she was burned at the stake by the English when she was nineteen years old. Twenty-four years later, the Vatican reviewed the decision of the ecclesiastical court, found her innocent, and declared her a martyr. She was beatified in 1909 and canonized as a saint in 1920.[2]
Joan asserted that she had visions from God that told her to recover her homeland from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent her to the siege at Orl�ans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence when she overcame the dismissive attitude of veteran commanders and lifted the siege in only nine days. Several more swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims and settled the disputed succession to the throne.
The renewed French confidence outlasted her own brief career. She refused to leave the field when she was wounded during an attempt to recapture Paris that autumn. Hampered by court intrigues, she led only minor companies from then onward and fell prisoner at a skirmish near Compi�gne the following spring. A politically motivated trial convicted her of heresy. The English regent John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford had her burnt at the stake in Rouen. She had been the heroine of her country at 17 and died when only 19 years old. Some 24 years later, Pope Callixtus III reopened the case, and a new finding overturned the original conviction. Her piety to the end impressed the retrial court. Pope Benedict XV canonized her on May 16, 1920.

So basically, they had her sentenced to death at stake, for nothing, and was 24 years later found innocent. WHOOPS! So do you think that, that was constitutional in any way? After all you said that it was better for the rights of the public, correct? Also, in your argument, you have completely avoided the cruel punishment part of the topic. At least if there was going to be a death penalty it should be quick! I have disproved everything you have said, and provided factual information, examples, and even a real story! So I feel, my view on this topic clearly is correct and constitutional, with specific details to denote my views.

(also no offense, and voters, do not vote purely on this, but your opening statement was way too short… just some advice….)
cheekyhobo

Con

"Actually, what if the person is innocent? As I have reported, 1 out of six people on death row are innocent."

The judicial courts did not rule in that fashion. If you had the mind frame that everyone is innocent then no one would be in jail and crime would be running rampant. Furthermore, I don't need to make long and drawn out arguments. Simply put, if someone has committed a crime, that person no longer has the same rights as someone who did not commit a crime. That is just simple fact and logic. Therefore, if you talk on rights, the man going down death row has the right to an amazing last meal and the right to die.
Debate Round No. 2
Kmille11014

Pro

Well, I feel sorry that you feel that strongly about the subject. What if you commit a small crime? For example, the cashier gives you $5.20 back when she only was supposed to give you $4.20 back. Are you denied the rights? I am absolutely sure we have all committed a crime, even if we did it un-knowingly. Does that mean we all are denied the rights of the constitution? Furthermore, I would like to say that you wholly evaded the story of Joan of Arc. Everyday, as I said, people are getting punished for crimes they did not commit, including capital crimes. These innocents surely do not deserve denied rights? In addition, I have not said once that somebody should not be placed in jail for invading someone else's rights. In fact I even offered that as an alternative solution to death penalty. You also claim that I have a mind to "frame everyone as innocent," I recall. However, I utterly disagree with that statement. I do not believe everyone is innocent; it is true we can not be sure if they are innocent or guilty, which means we should still be cautious. For instance, someone is convicted for murder, let us say. We can not honestly be sure if they had committed the crime or not. I agree, the Supreme Court, can not say "you're free to go," but instead should send them to jail, where at least it doesn't cost him his life, if he's innocent, or can he think about what he's done and do community service, if he has committed the crime. This is a just, fair punishment that protects everyone's rights, and his own, without violating the constitution.

Additionally, you had better read the whole argument on my side of the debate, because you make a lot of poor remarks that I have already said. For instance;

"If you had the mind frame that everyone is innocent then no one would be in jail and crime would be running rampant."

As I have made purely clear, I already stated that I am against that statement, for I even OFFERED it as an ALTERNATIVE solution to DEATH PENALTY… I hope the big letters get your attention and you actually write a good argument on your side of the debate. For the reasons stated in all my arguments, I truly believe the death penalty is harsh, cruel, unusual, unconstitutional, and furthermore, un-just.
cheekyhobo

Con

We aren't dealing with morals, but constitutionality. You have completely overlooked this side of the debate so just pull across my arguments and have a good day!
Debate Round No. 3
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mjg283 8 years ago
mjg283
That article is pretty laughable. The ultimate argument is that lethal injection should be banned but that's based only on the premise that lethal injection causes unnecessary suffering IF THE DEFENDANT IS NOT PROPERLY SEDATED. The actual logical conclusion from that premise is not that lethal injection should be banned entirely, but only that better sedation methods should be used.

Then the article takes the rather two-faced position of criticizing the experience and medical training of those who oversee executions while AT THE SAME TIME declaring that those with the most training and experience (doctors) have no business participating in the practice. This is kind of a variation on the old joke about the kid who kills his parents and then begs the court for mercy because he's an orphan.

In any event, any argument that the Constitution requires an execution method that involves no suffering is pretty outlandish. Most punishments for crimes involve some degree of suffering. That's why they're punishments. Very few people argue that prison is cruel and unusual punishment, btu anybody who is in prison for any appreciable length of time probably goes through far more suffering than what is involved with getting a lethal injections. The consequences of committing a serious violent crime are supposed to be rather unpleasant. That's at least part of what deters people from committing serious violent crimes.
Posted by left_wing_mormon 8 years ago
left_wing_mormon
I am aware that the majority of people who support the death penalty go to the "Lethal injection" as proof for painless and humane capital punishment.

Well, my doctor recomended me to a website created by medical professionals. It has a pretty interesting article about lethal injection: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com...

Lethal injection, as stated by medical profesionals, is inhumane. This form of death causes suffering. This is a very unusual and pretty cruel meathod of extermination.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
So what's the ponint you are trying to make, I am confused
Posted by mjg283 8 years ago
mjg283
"mjq283 The Death penalty is currently legal right here right now and your intellectual argument will not prevent anyone from being executed. And that is that. But yes you can make the intellectual argument against the death penalty just as someone can make the argument for it. But the law of the land says it is legal so you loose the argument for now, but it may change in the future and then I will be wrong, but for now I am right."

I'm confused. I never made any argument against the death penalty (in fact I FAVOR it) or that the death penalty was unconstitutional. Indeed, I argued in several posts that the death penalty is patently referenced in the Constitution as being proper as long as the defendant receives due process. I also pointed out that it's rather preposterous to believe that the Founders thought that the death penalty was cruel and unusual punishment given that it was the punishment for EVERY felony at common law.

My statement to you was simply that your argument that the death penalty is constitutional simply because it's legal is wrong, which is undeniably true. The fact that a current law happens not yet to have been challenged tells me absolutely nothing about whether or not it violates the Constitution.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
mjq283 The Death penalty is currently legal right here right now and your intellectual argument will not prevent anyone from being executed. And that is that. But yes you can make the intellectual argument against the death penalty just as someone can make the argument for it. But the law of the land says it is legal so you loose the argument for now, but it may change in the future and then I will be wrong, but for now I am right.
Posted by mjg283 8 years ago
mjg283
"Alot of things are leagal but are unconstutional. I personally believe the Death Penalty is one but thats just me, and how I define cruel and unusal. But the Patriot Act directly violates the 4th and 9th admendments of the Bill of Rights. So yes, that is a very good question. Why are there laws that infringe on the bill of rights?"

Of course people have different opinions about whether the death penalty is cruel and unusual, and reasonable people can disagree on this point. Your personal moral beliefs about what is cruel and unusual are no more or less valid than anybody else's. That's why in defining "cruel and unusual" when interpreting the Constitution, the only valid method of doing so is examining what the original understanding of cruel and unusual encompassed at the time the Constitution was written. Otherwise, what you're really doing is amending the Constitution without going the processes set forth in Article V.

In 1791, the death penalty could not possibly been considered cruel and unusual because it was explicitly recognized in the 5th (and later 14th) Amendment and was the universally accepted punishment not just for murder, but for ANY felony.
Posted by mjg283 8 years ago
mjg283
"If it is unconstitutional, why is it legal? The fact that it is legal must dictate that you are wrong. And that is that. Make all the intellectual arguments you want, the death penalty is legal."

This is just wrong. The fact that a law is on the books doesn't tell us anything about whether or not it violates the constitution. For any law to be declared unconstitutional by the courts, it has to be the subject of a legal challenge, which can often be a long and complicated process.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
Other countries don't have the ACLU to contend with.
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
When I was talking about little to no pain I was refering to the lethal injections that why I had it in parenthesis() lethal injection is the modern device we use not the electric chair. And we're not comparing the us to international standard..the debate was clearly centered around the US constitution..
Posted by mjg283 8 years ago
mjg283
The 5th and 8th amendments were ratified at the same time. Why on Earth would the founders allow a practice to occur "with due process of law" if they thought that practice was cruel and unusual and therefore unconstitutional? It makes no sense.
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