The Instigator
SuperBubbaj22
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Brian314
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

The death penalty is good

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/26/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 13,586 times Debate No: 15606
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

SuperBubbaj22

Pro

The death penalty for 1st degree murder is a good punishment
Brian314

Con

I accept the challenge, and look forward to a good debate.

The death penalty is not an efficient use of our money, because death penalty cases, and the enforcement of the death penalty, are highly expensive. According to the Palm Beach Post, the enforcement of the death penalty in Florida costs $51 million more each year than it would to punish first-degree murderers with life in prison without parole, amounting to an average cost of $24 million per execution. In Texas, the cost of a death penalty case is about $2.3 million, approximately three times the cost of imprisoning someone in a high-security single cell prison for forty years, according to the Dallas Morning News. In addition, according to the L.A. Times, California taxpayers pay $114 million each year in addition to the costs of keeping criminals imprisoned for life in order to support the death penalty system. Therefore, the death penalty is a highly inefficient use of our money.

The death penalty creates the possibility of innocent people being executed, because evidence isn't always perfect at the time a crime is committed, and people could be executed based on false evidence. There have been situations in the past where this has happened. In 1991, Cameron Todd Willingham was sentenced to death after being convicted of murdering his three children in a fire. He was executed in 2004, and afterwards, the New York Times says that "arson experts found a flaw in the evidence against him". In another case, Claude Jones was accused of murdering a liquor store owner in 1989, and was executed on December 7, 2000. According to the Texas Observer, his conviction was based on a strand of hair that the prosecutors believed belonged to Jones. DNA tests done in November of 2010, requested by the Observer and the Innocence Project, show that the hair did not belong to Jones at all.

The death penalty increases the suffering of people that were not involved in the crime, because the families of both the victim and the offender must suffer the loss of their loved ones. The death penalty gives forces more people to suffer by executing more people, people that have a chance of being rehabilitated. In the words of Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace laureate, "I know the pain of those who survive... death is not the answer."
Debate Round No. 1
SuperBubbaj22

Pro

Yes, the money to keep that is high. Yet when you keep someone for life in prison, you have to actually feed that person in jail. Also, his/her natural bodily functions would cost more to keep for life. What if the person convicted for life is 19, and they life to be 60-70? That costs a lot of money to keep.

Also, why is the tax so high for death sentences? How much does it cost just to give them a pill that kills in minutes and is painless? Maybe the electric chair is the wrong way to execute.

Another reason is that When you are sentenced for life, it does two things. One, it fills up room in the prison, and will lead to a new prison needed. Also, when all you have to do in life is to sit in a prison, that gives the convict a lot of time to think up an escape plan. Yet the chances of escape are low, some do manage to get out. I think that most people do not want a murderer who escaped jail out on the loose. It is easier just to execute when they are convicted.

The last reason is that you stated was evidence isn't always accurate. Yet the cases that the evidence was wrong was way back before all of the advanced technology we have today. If those cases happened in today's modern society, the hair would be tested and easily used as accurate evidence. Today's modern technology makes it very difficult for there to be mistakes in the evidence to be wrongly convicted.
Brian314

Con

I thank my opponent for his response.

My opponent says that it costs a lot of money to keep a person in prison for life. However, as I I have previously pointed out in my Round 1 case, a death penalty case costs three times as much money as imprisoning someone in a high-security single person cell for forty years.[1]

He then asks "How much does it cost just to give them a pill that kills in minutes and is painless?". I would like to point out that it is not the lethal injection that costs a lot of money, but the death penalty case itself. Death penalty case law states that defendants facing a possible death sentence are entitled to two attorneys, and representation by relevant experts. These are all paid for by the state. They must also go through an appeal process, in order to try and avoid the execution of innocent, which cost even more.

My opponent states that when people are sentenced for life, it fills the prison, and leads to the needing of a new prison. However, the number of executions in the United States has decreased dramatically since 1999, and in 2010, only 38 executions took place in the United States[1]. There are more than 2 million prisoners in U.S. prisons[2], and if we were to add 38 to that number, it would not make a substantial difference.

Finally, my opponent states that "today's modern technology makes it very difficult for there to be mistakes in the evidence to be wrongly convicted". I would like to point out that even with "modern technology", there is still room for error, and there is still much we do not know about technology such as DNA testing. The FBI can only provide estimates on how rare DNA profiles are, and a person's genetic profile has been shown to not always be unique. Siblings can often share genetic markers, and sometimes unrelated people share them coincidentally[3]. This means that there is still a chance of a wrongful conviction, and for that reason, the death penalty is unjustified.

[1] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[2] http://usgovinfo.about.com...
[3] http://www.denverpost.com...
Debate Round No. 2
SuperBubbaj22

Pro

SuperBubbaj22 forfeited this round.
Brian314

Con

As my opponent forfeited the round, I ask that you please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
SuperBubbaj22

Pro

SuperBubbaj22 forfeited this round.
Brian314

Con

My opponent has forfeited again. Please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
SuperBubbaj22Brian314Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Poor debate. Pro accepted that justice was not an issue and it was mainly a matter of cost. Pro could have disputed costs using sources, but didn't. Forfeits are bad conduct and leave arguments unanswered.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 6 years ago
Ore_Ele
SuperBubbaj22Brian314Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro dropped the last two rounds.