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# The death penalty must be abolished.

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 Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point Started: 3/21/2015 Category: Miscellaneous Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period Viewed: 933 times Debate No: 72106
Debate Rounds (5)

 Pro There is no justification for allowing the death penalty to continue if innocent lives are being lost. According to a recent study, if all death-sentenced defendants remained under sentence of death indefinitely at least 4.1% would be exonerated(1). As a result, we must pause to consider how many innocent lives have been mercilessly taken by the death penalty and those who instigate it. How can we justify such senseless killing and mask it as some twisted form of justice? With all the technology we have in our possession in this day in age, you would be forgiven for thinking such mistakes would not be possible. And yet as early as 2004, Cameron Todd Willingham(2) was executed only to be found not guilty in 2006. (1) http://www.pnas.org... (2) http://camerontoddwillingham.com...Report this Argument Con Does the DP save or kill more innocents? The majority of evidence suggests the DP prevents 3-18 murders per execution. http://www.heritage.org... There have been 1404 executions since 1976 when the death penalty was legalized after the temporary ban. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org... Let's take the 4% innocent executed number. 4% of 1404 is about 56 people wrongly executed. Take the low estimate for deterrence, 3*1404 = 4212 lives saved. Using the high number of 18, 18*1404 = 25272 lives saved. DP saves more lives than it takes away by a long shot. The 4% number is also an exaggeration. The sample is of those who are exonerated, so they actually were NOT executed. The study concedes, "a substantial proportion of innocent defendants who are sentenced to death are ultimately exonerated, perhaps a majority". Even if it is true, deterrence outweighs the harms. Vote Con.Report this Argument Pro Is the death penalty a truly reliable deterrent? 88.2% of polled criminologists do not believe that the death penalty is a deterrent at all(1), therefore would it be more beneficial if we were to imprison convicts and spend the\$1 million(2) we save on education and health care? If we save \$1,000,000 per execution. and there have been 1,404 executions since 1976, therefore \$1,000,000*1,404= \$1,404,000,000 (please note that this is NOT including those who were residing on death row and never executed). Furthermore, authors of a recent study predict that the cost of the death penalty will reach \$9 billion by 2030.(5) (1) http://deathpenalty.procon.org... (2) http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org... (3) http://health.howstuffworks.com... (4) http://www.kevinmd.com... (5) http://deathpenalty.org...Report this Argument Con The study about criminologists is false. If you read the original study you can see that 100% of criminologists think that the DP deters *some*. Plus, it is economists, not criminologists, who have done the majority of modern research on the DP. And 17 studies find an effect, only 5 dissent. (http://tinyurl.com...) So we can conclude that the DP is a deterrent. Cost argument is flawed. All those studies fail to take into account plea bargians, which reduce DP costs significantly. (http://tinyurl.com...) Those studies often fail to take into account medical care etc. Other research says the DP actually costs less (http://tinyurl.com...). Plus each murder costs society 24 million. If the DP deters only one murder each time, it reduces societal costs by 24 million and thus costs A LOT less. ZERO cost studies take this into account. (http://tinyurl.com...) - DP costs less when deterrence and plea bargians are taken into account - DP saves livesReport this Argument Pro NiBrown forfeited this round. Con ExtendReport this Argument Pro NiBrown forfeited this round. Con ExtendReport this Argument Pro NiBrown forfeited this round. Con I winReport this Argument
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by SmallTacos 2 years ago
Good debate. Bravo to both sides.
Posted by 16kadams 2 years ago
decided to yolo
Posted by 16kadams 2 years ago
wait 1k characters? ew, ima let this auto cancel in 3 days. 1k is not enough to explain the intricacies of deterrence theory :P
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
I suggest looking up the definition of "must."
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.