The Instigator
socialpinko
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
CiRrK
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

The death penalty is morally reprehensible and irrational in several ways.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
CiRrK
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/27/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,504 times Debate No: 14967
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

socialpinko

Pro

My pro position will be in opposition to the death penalty. Con would naturally be in favor of the death penalty. I will argue that there is no rational reason in a civilized society that there should be state sanctioned revenge. I will list my specific arguments in a later round.

Definitions:

Death penalty: putting a condemned person to death(In this debate I will only refer to government sponsoring of the death penalty.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com... penalty

reprehensible: bringing or deserving severe rebuke or censure
http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

morally: Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character
http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

According to the resolution, pro can win by showing irrationality or morally questionable aspects of the death penalty. Con can win by refuting pro's claims and/or showing moral rightousness in the nature and practicality of the death penalty.
CiRrK

Con

Your move : ) and gl!
Debate Round No. 1
socialpinko

Pro

I thank you for the opportunity to debate on such a hot button topic. I will present four main points at this time.
To murder a person is always terrible. And in an effort to fix this problem the government continues to murder it's own citizens.

(a)no backsies
Once a person is dead he or she is dead. There is nothing left. And when dozens of cases were overturned proving an individuals innocence only after they were murdered by the government that was supposed to protect them. At least with a prison term someone may be released after they are proven innocent. But with the death penalty, once it's done it is done for good. Once a person is found to have been innocent after they were murdered by their government, the govt. cannot simply release the person from jail, no they have to apologize for destroying the name of an innocent man right before they murdered him. I hope this can show that such an extreme option has left many innocent dead.

(b)eye for an eye
What the death penalty tells society is that vengeance is the best policy. Person a killed person b. proponents of the death penalty are not interested in trying to get to the root of the problem, they just want to wipe an individual off the face of the earth because THEY have given up on that individual. for proponents of the death penalty, because society is not able to help an individual, that gives society the right to take that person's life.

(c)heat of the moment
Proponents of the death penalty will say that it decreases murders because people dont want to be killed for a crime. However, if we compare the crime rates of countries with the death penalty versus those without it, the numbers are very interesting. In almost all countries in europe, canada, and australia the death penalty has been abolished. The united states and India have the death penalty. So if the death penalty is effective then the crime rates in the us and india should be lower than the ones in most european countries, australia, and canada. However, this is the opposite of what we see(http://www.nationmaster.com...) the crime rates in the us and india are significantly higher than those of canada, australia, and most western european countries. So I guess the death penalty doesn't do much to prevent crime.

(d)The idea of capital punishment is itself irrational. The pseudo-rational goes like murder is wrong. He killed Him. To show the murderer that he was wrong in doing so, we should kill him. The government becomes no better then the original murderer.
CiRrK

Con

==Topical Analysis==

The resolution states "in severely ways," thus my opponent placed the burden on himself to prove more than one argument by the end of the round, plus a mitigation of any of my points in the NC.

==AC==

A. No Backsies

--> Due to technological advances in criminal forensics, it is possible to have 99% accurate DNA testing. This makes exoneration of the proposed guilty very effective while on Death Row. Death Row is as long as it is because mistakes are trying to be mitigated as much as possible. The ACLU writes "In the U.S., as of June 2002, 108 people including 12 death row inmates, have been exonerated by use of DNA tests. The increasing use of DNA testing to help confirm the innocence or guilt in capital cases is one among many reforms that will help ensure that innocent people are not sentenced to death. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is an essential molecule that is part of every cell in our body. Essential, because it enables an embryonic cell to become and exist as a functioning being." National Geographic writes "In 2004 the U.S. Congress passed legislation that encourages all states to enable post-trial DNA tests. The legislation also provides funding for such tests. Half of the [U.S.] states have processes to allow [DNA] testing" even after the appeals process is exhausted, Dieter explained." Thus, adequate funding for such technology mitigates the harm posed by the AC.

B. Eye for an Eye

--> Proportionality and equivalence are not the same thing. The death penalty is not instituted simply for revenge. The death penalty links to justice because justice seeks to reconcile right violations that have been done against the victim. If not, the government is protecting and favoring the rights of a criminal before the rights of the victim who has been harmed. As opposed to other crimes, murder is unique because it is the only crime or variation of other crimes which violate all rights of the victim. Life is referred to as the "mother" right, since all rights spring from the necessity and prerequisite of life. E.g. I cannot own property if I am dead. Thus, the exercise of such rights rest on life. As such, the only way to balance the rights violations of the victim with the rights-denier (the murderer) is the death penalty because all other punishments will give the murderer rights preferences.

C. Heat of the moment

--> I am not defending the idea of deterrence. His argument lacks offense

D. Irrationality

--> The death penalty does not make the government equal to the murderer because the action is reactionary as opposed to the original murder. The death penalty is necessitated based on an aggression against society and its individuals. Moreover, it can be seen as a point societal self-defense. Plus, murder is unlawfully killing an innocent, but the death penalty is (1) lawful, because it has been legislated as such and (2) is done against a criminal and not an innocent.

==NC==

Contention 1: Kant's Scale of Equality

Immanuel Kant, Right of Science:

But what is the mode and measure of punishment which public justice takes as its principle and standard? It is just the principle of equality, by which the pointer of the scale of justice is made to incline no more to the one side than the other. It may be rendered by saying that the undeserved evil which any one commits on another is to be regarded as perpetrated on himself. Hence it may be said: "If you slander another, you slander yourself; if you steal from another, you steal from yourself; if you strike another, you strike yourself; if you kill another, you kill yourself." This is the right of retaliation (jus talionis); and, properly understood, it is the only principle which in regulating a public court, as distinguished from mere private judgement, can definitely assign both the quality and the quantity of a just penalty. All other standards are wavering and uncertain; and on account of other considerations involved in them, they contain no principle conformable to the sentence of pure and strict justice. It may appear, however, that difference of social status would not admit the application of the principle of retaliation, which is that of "like with like." But although the application may not in all cases be possible according to the letter, yet as regards the effect it may always be attained in practice, by due regard being given to the disposition and sentiment of the parties in the higher social sphere. Thus a pecuniary penalty on account of a verbal injury may have no direct proportion to the injustice of slander; for one who is wealthy may be able to indulge himself in this offence for his own gratification. Yet the attack committed on the honour of the party aggrieved may have its equivalent in the pain inflicted upon the pride of the aggressor, especially if he is condemned by the judgement of the court, not only to retract and apologize, but to submit to some meaner ordeal, as kissing the hand of the injured person. In like manner, if a man of the highest rank has violently assaulted an innocent citizen of the lower orders, he may be condemned not only to apologize but to undergo a solitary and painful imprisonment, whereby, in addition to the discomfort endured, the vanity of the offender would be painfully affected, and the very shame of his position would constitute an adequate retaliation after the principle of "like with like." But how then would we render the statement: "If you steal from another, you steal from yourself?" In this way, that whoever steals anything makes the property of all insecure; he therefore robs himself of all security in property, according to the right of retaliation. The equalization of punishment with crime is therefore only possible by the cognition of the judge extending even to the penalty of death, according to the right of retaliation. This is manifest from the fact that it is only thus that a sentence can be pronounced over all criminals proportionate to their internal wickedness.
Debate Round No. 2
socialpinko

Pro

(a)
"Due to technological advances in criminal forensics, it is possible to have 99% accurate DNA testing." According to you, for every 99 people the govt. kills, one innocent man is murdered, usually for he crime o murder. 99% is not enough when talking about a punishment from which you cannot go back on. Who would want to tell the wrongly convicted inmate's family that a wrongful murder is actually right because they do get it right most of the time,

(b)
"As such, the only way to balance the rights violations of the victim with the rights-denier (the murderer) is the death penalty because all other punishments will give the murderer rights preferences." Is mercy a preference? Why is punishment about balancing rights violations? Would not a better way to spend tax payer money to try to rehabilitate criminals? And what does this murder accomplish? Nothing that life imprisonment could not also accomplish. Actually, life imprisonment is much worse. The death penalty is quick and easy but the life imprisonment keeps a person away until they die. This can be a very long time.

(c)
"His argument lacks offense" You have not refuted my argument so it may be taken to be true. You cannot simply say "you're wrong". You must bring logic and rationality to your argument. You cannot be correct just because you say you are.

(d)
(1)" lawful, because it has been legislated as such and (2) is done against a criminal and not an innocent." (1)Something being lawful is not equal to being morally correct. (2) Does this mean that if a man kills another man's wife, the wife's husband has the right to take the life of the offender? And since killing an innocent is murder according to you will you admit that innocent people who have gotten the death penalty have been murdered by the govt. that is supposedly trying to prevent innocent murder?

Contention 1
If the principle of the law is punishment(vengeance) then if a man is pushed into desperation to steal in order to provide for his family then what is the punishment? Is it just to make him even more poor? This is why it is more pragmatic to use punishment as a way to rehabilitate criminals in an effort to reduce crime. Just saying that killing is bad and to show the offender and society that it is wrong, one kills another, this is irrational. It is vengeance in that it does not seek to prevent crime but only to punish for it

Punishment: suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retribution
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Vengeance: punishment inflicted in return for an injury or an offense; retribution
http://www.dictionary.net...
CiRrK

Con

A. No backsies

His argument is that my method only saves 99 out of 100 people.

--> However, he misses the point of the evidence which states DNA testing is 99% effective in and of itself, disregarding other evidence brought to trial. His point would be true if DNA was the only evidence being used in court, but this is not true. Eye witness accounts, testimony, etc are all still used in light of DNA testing.

--> He gives no warrant as to why the effects on the family are relevant.

B. Eye for an Eye

He argues rehab as an alternative to retributive form of justice

--> He doesnt provide justification or a warrant that gives us reason to believe that rehab is actually an effective alternative

--> On the contrary: (1) rehab doesnt give an incentive to get better, rather it most likely exacerbates recidivism because its basally saying: "you do something criminal, we try and help you (no severe punishment). (2) Rehab empirically fails in treating criminals. Christine Chamberline, Boston Law Review: "Criminal rehab has been seen to fail again and again. We estimate its failure rate exceeds 50% and results in more crime and recidivism."

He argues life imprisonment is worse

--> First, cross apply the analysis that courts have an obligation to enact justice by making the most proportionate punishment in comparison to the rights violations to the vicitm.

--> Now, my opponent is in a double bind: either (A) his punishment is worse than the crime done to the victim, meaning the courts are exceeding appropriate punishment or (B) the punishment isnt severe enough, thus undermining the principle of proportionality.

C. Deterrence

He says his point can be taken to be true

--> He misses the point of "no offense." The point he made was a preemption, meaning he was trying to refute a possible claim that I could make. But, I m not arguing that the death penalty deters. Therefore, there is no reason to vote on this argument because doesn't provide the Aff any positive ground.

D. Irrationality

He argues that legality =/= morality

--> This is true, but my claim is that the death penalty and the concept of murder are two separate things. Moreover, he concedes the point that killing an innocent is an important distinction. But he cross applies his argument about killing innocents. Thus, cross-apply my analysis that with today's technology in combination with the regular judicial process, plus the appeals and death row, we need not fear killing innocents and we need not abolish the death penalty.

==NC==

C1: Scale Argument

He argues what if someone steals for his family

--> The courts take into account "motive," as an important deliberating factor in the judicial process

--> This doesnt respond to the warrants of the argument

--> Extend the Kant analysis that X evil action is condoned by the actor as ok. Therefore, the killer is consenting to the death penalty when he himself kills another person. This went un-refuted.

==Topical Analysis==

He concedes the topical analysis I made. At this point you can negate because as my two rounds have shown he isnt winning offense from his points B,C, or D. Since he conceded he needs to have won more than one argument by the end ofthe round, he has not met his topical burden. He might be winning his point A if you buy that any mistake by the justice system means we should abolish the death penalty totally. But remember this is in light of : (1) The DNA analysis and (2) the analysis that flaws can always be circumvented with the right implementation or design. So he probably isn't even wining offense on this point either.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by BlackVoid 6 years ago
BlackVoid
No backsies:

Con wins this because pro's response was limited to DNA evidence, which, as con pointed out, is not the only form of it. Furthermore, pro could only respond with saying that 1/100 is stil too many, which is unconvincing. Ultimately, when combining DNA with other forms of evidence con brought up, he has a very strong case to say the criminal was indeed guilty.

Eye for an eye:

This ultimatly came down to rehab vs punishment. Con gave evidence saying rehab fails and only exacerbates the problem, pro did not.

Heat of the moment:

Con did not argue deterrance and is not obligated do so, so this is indeed only a pre-empt. Dont et me wrong, this is a strong argument and it is true, but it doesnt apply to this particuar round.

Irrationality:

Pro did not refute con's claim that the death penalty is reactionary while murder is an act of aggression.

Kant:

Motives are indeed taken into account in the court system.
Posted by CiRrK 6 years ago
CiRrK
good debate dude : )
Posted by BlackVoid 6 years ago
BlackVoid
Strong rebuttal there.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by TUF 6 years ago
TUF
socialpinkoCiRrKTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Great argument structure, on both sides :)
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 6 years ago
BlackVoid
socialpinkoCiRrKTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con wins this by a longshot. I will go over every point in the comments to explain. Robikan, I would love to hear how you think con failed to respond
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
socialpinkoCiRrKTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Strong on Con in presentation and support of argument, but Pro was not over shadowed completely but does need to provide support for assertions.
Vote Placed by Robikan 6 years ago
Robikan
socialpinkoCiRrKTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Ultimately, I don't think that Con adequately refuted Pro's arguments.