The Instigator
AspiringMultiCashMaker
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points
The Contender
gumball2202
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The death penalty should be abolished

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
AspiringMultiCashMaker
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/13/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 529 times Debate No: 79685
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)

 

AspiringMultiCashMaker

Pro

Rules

1. The first round is only for acceptance. This [rule] serves to clarify that my contender has read and agrees to follow the guidelines [of the debate].

2. Minor trolling is allowed, as long as it is not consistent.

3. You may request a change in rules/a rule, definitions/a definition, and/or the debate structure in the comment section. However, you may not [request a change] as soon as you have accepted the debate.

4. Burden of Proof (Will be abbreviated as BoP in case of future word usage) is shared. In other words, [both] Pro and Con are required to introduce a minimum of one argument (If you feel it has enough substance in favor of your position) defending their positions.

Failure to follow these rules will result in a seven-point forfeiture.

Definitions

Death Penalty - "The punishment of execution, administered to someone legally convicted of a capital crime."[1]

abolish - "Formally put an end to (a system, practice, or institution):"[2]

Debate Structure

R1 - Terms and Agreement
R2 - Presentations
R3 - Rebuttals
R4 - Rebuttals
R5 - Conclusions

I look forward to a friendly and clean debate!

Sources

[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
[2] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
gumball2202

Con

I have read through, and accepted the guidelines of the debate, and I agree to follow all rules provided.
Debate Round No. 1
AspiringMultiCashMaker

Pro

My contender has stated that he has read through, and accepted, the guidelines of the debate. Therefore, failure to follow the rules, even if misread, or not read, is punishable with a full seven-point reward to me. The comment section serves to let members clarify any misunderstandings encountered upon reading.

I look forward to a clean and friendly debate!

Presentations

1) Executions are carried out at great, excessive costs.

"Cases without the death penalty cost $740,000, while cases where the death penalty is sought cost $1.26 million. Maintaining each death row prisoner costs taxpayers $90,000 more per year than a prisoner in general population. There are 714 inmates on California's death row."[1]

Subtituting the death penalty with life sentences will save the government $90,000 per year to spend on a greater cause. For instance, the government could contribute more money to medical research on cancer, leukemia, etc.

2) There is no credible evidence that the presence of the death penalty deter acts of crime.

"A 2009 survey of criminologists revealed that over 88% believed the death penalty was NOT a deterrent to murder."[2]

"A recent study by Professor Michael Radelet and Traci Lacock of the University of Colorado found that 88% of the nation’s leading criminologists do not believe the death penalty is an effective deterrent to crime."[3]

88% of the nation's leading criminologists, known for their extensive research on criminal activity, believe that the death penalty is not an effective deterrent to crime.

3) Innocent people have been convicted and executed

In any justice system, there always exists the possibility of convicting an innocent [person] of an act of crime. However, the difference between executions and life sentences is that life sentences are reversible, unlike executions.

"At least 4.1% of all defendants sentenced to death in the US in the modern era are innocent, according to the first major study to attempt to calculate how often states get it wrong in their wielding of the ultimate punishment."[4]

"At least 4 percent of all people who receive the death penalty are innocent, if a new study is right."[5]

You may assert that four percent is a very small portion. However, if they had only been punished, though unrightfully, with a life sentence, they could have been discharged, saving the devastation of their families.

I am eager, though slightly anxious, to read my contender's response.

Sources

[1] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[2] http://www.amnestyusa.org...
[3] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[4] http://www.theguardian.com...
[5] http://www.forbes.com...
gumball2202

Con

I have read through your presentations, and though you make some interesting points to say the least, I still have many a reason to believe that the death penalty is an appropriate consequence, shall a crime be severe enough, say murder or rape.

Presentations

1) Executions are carried out at great, excessive costs.

Cases with a life sentence may in some instances cost less than one where the death penalty is sought, but the extra cost should not be a benefactor in this argument. In many cases, the individual/s that are put on death row are for the most part cold-blooded killers or rapists. The innocent people victimised by these criminals have sometimes lost their lives by the hands of these wrongdoers and these actions are simply unforgivable. If one takes the right to live away from another, then they have lost that right themselves, and in that manner, no amount of money is too 'great' or 'excessive' to achieve justice for an innocent human life.

"Deserved punishment protects society morally by restoring this just order, making the wrongdoer pay a price equivalent to the harm he has done."[1]


2) There is no credible evidence that the presence of the death penalty deter acts of crime.

While some criminologists may believe that the death penalty is not an effective deterrent to murder, that is only an opinion based statistic, and in the same manner 12% of the nation's leading criminologists do believe in the effectiveness of the death penalty. Likewise, the same article my contender has linked also states:

"Similarly, 87% of the expert criminologists believe that abolition of the death penalty would not have any significant effect on murder rates."[2]

Secondly, the purpose of the death penalty isn't to 'deter' crime as such, it is to punish inexcusable crimes, and to thrive as moral, civilised society while reducing the small percentage of the population who continue to commit offences.


3) Innocent people have been convicted and executed

This reasoning does make a good point, as my contender states;

"In any justice system, there always exists the possibility of convicting an innocent [person] of an act of crime"

Sadly, there is still flaw in our justice system, but the fact still remains that 96% of all inmates serving the death row are guilty, and though a life sentence is in some sense 'reversible' innocent people are forced to live their lives for years, decades even behind bars, against the harsh prison conditions.

On another note, 96% of all who face the death penalty have either murdered, raped or heavily impacted another innocent persons life in an irreversible way. For all the families and the friends who lost loved ones to these sick individuals, it provides closure, knowing that the person who ended their lives is gone from this world. In some cases, the loved ones remain traumatised for the rest of their lives, having to sleep every night, knowing a rapist or a murderer is still out there.

"Although the victim and the victim's family cannot be restored to the status which preceded the murder, at least an execution brings closure to the murderer's crime (and closure to the ordeal for the victim's family) and ensures that the murderer will create no more victims."[3]


Sources

[1] J. Budziszewski, PhD
Professor of Government and Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin
"Capital Punishment: The Case for Justice,"OrthodoxyToday.org
Aug./Sep. 2004

[2] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...

[3] http://deathpenaltycurriculum.org...
Debate Round No. 2
AspiringMultiCashMaker

Pro

I would like to make my opponent aware that he has failed to follow the debate structure. He is significantly new. Therefore, his mistake has been pardoned. However, he may neither attempt to counter my arguments nor defend his [arguments] on round four.

Rebuttals

1) Executions are carried out at great, excessive costs.

"Encouraging our basest motives of revenge, which ends in another killing, extends the chain of violence. Allowing executions sanctions killing as a form of 'pay-back.'"[1]

This is a form of hipocrisy. If the government wishes not to encourage the act of killing, they must not reenact such actions.

If the government strives to better their system of justice, executions won't do. Usually, an innocent person whose life has been taken was looking forward to make a living and create a purpose to live. A criminal and an innocent person's unwillingness to die may not be the same.

2) There is no credible evidence that the presence of the death penalty deters acts of crime.

"While some criminologists may believe that the death penalty is not an effective deterrent to murder, that is only an opinion based statistic..."

It may only be an opinion based statistic. However, our knowledge on criminal activity is uncomparable to theirs. We must rather listen to them on the topic of crime than ourselves.

"'Similarly, 87% of the expert criminologists believe that abolition of the death penalty would not have any significant effect on murder rates.'"

That may be true. However, that does not imply that it won't have an effect on murder rates; it simply suggests that they won't be noteworthy.

"Secondly, the purpose of the death penalty isn't to 'deter' crime as such, it is to punish inexcusable crimes, and to thrive as moral, civilised society while reducing the small percentage of the population who continue to commit offences."

You may believe that the existence of the death penalty does not particularly serve as a deterrent. However, deterrence would make a very effective and substantial factor. Deterrence can stop a crime before it even happens, saving the devastation of many families.

3) Innocent people have been convicted and executed

You assert that 96% of all inmates serving the death row are guilty, yet you argue that if life sentences took the executions' place, innocent people are forced to live their lives for years behind bars, against the harsh prison conditions. Now, since you are using percentages as a means to favor your side of the debate, I am going to use them to my advantage.

Imagine what life would be like for the 96% that are guilty. They are forced to serve everyday of their lives fighting against the harsh prison conditions and behind bars possibly overwhelmed with boredom in an attempt to bring justice to the victims and the families of the victims.

Further sources will be provided the next time I am available. However, I am very busy, particularly with school.

I am eager to read my opponent's response.

Sources

[1] http://deathpenaltycurriculum.org...


gumball2202

Con

I apologise to my opponent, for my mistake in following the debate structure, and am grateful for being allowed to continue in this debate. I will now present my arguments,

Rebuttals

1) The death penalty is used to serve justice.

"In 1991, a young mother was rendered helpless and made to watch as her baby was executed. The mother was then mutilated and killed. The killer should not lie in some prison with three meals a day, clean sheets, cable TV, family visits and endless appeals. For justice to prevail, some killers just need to die."[1]

The death penalty is a way to serve justice, to the criminals who have wronged and without it the criminals are being rewarded with the privelege to live. Those who face the death penalty have no right to live on our moral civilised planet, and though my contender may argue that it "is a form of hypocrisy", it is by no means this. Those killed by the death penalty are; humanely executed (Choice between needle, firing squad, hanging etc.), whereas those killed by these criminals are brutally slaughtered, raped, abused, and tortured mercilessly, and the one final difference between those killed by the death penalty and murderers are that they are guilty and innocent respectively.


2) The death penalty provides closure to the families or loved ones of the victim.

"The study itself does not advocate for the death penalty or for LWOP, but it does reference a key reason often given in support of the death penalty by Americans"that, as a form of retribution, it succeeds in bringing satisfaction and closure to murder victims" families. In other words, it helps them heal"[2]

The following is quote, taken from an article detailing a study led by University of Minnesota alum and former adjunct professor Marilyn Peterson Armour and Mark Umbreit, professor and director of the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking in the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota.

The study was conducted to explore the effects the death penalty had on the families of the victim, and proved that it did indeed help the families going through the struggle of losing a loved one. Rather than be concerned about the 'price' or 'execution methods', we should as a community be more concerned about the families and friends of the victims, as they are the ones that are the most heavily affected by the situation, and in order to get them back on track, it is only logical to rid of the scum that brought the suffering upon them. The death penalty may not be the most convenient consequence to protract, but is the most humane thing that we as a society can do to help those who suffer due to a criminal's actions.


3) Those who break the laws know the consequences

"On the evening of June 17 of this year, white supremacist Dylann Roof, after sitting in a black church for about an hour, pulled out a Glock .41 handgun with hollow-point bullets and murdered nine black people who had been in a prayer and Bible study group. No sane person doubts either that he did it, that he knew what he was doing, that he thought about his actions, or that the motive was anything other than racial hate."[3]

The death penalty is not a punishment sprung upon innocent people who had no idea about the laws. Those who murder or rape must know that what they are doing is indeed illegal and their acts will be shamed upon. Pro, you cannot argue that a murderer was unaware that the act of physically ending a persons life is in at least in some instance wrong, or that a rapist was oblivious that the act of engaging in sexual intercourse with someone against their will was at least in some manner inappropriate. Those who commit these sorts of extreme crimes know what they are getting into, and if by some chance they do not know that these actions are punishable by death, then that is their own problem.

I once again apologise for my error in following the debate structure. I hope that I have not made any errors in this round.


Sources

[1]http://deathpenaltycurriculum.org...
[2]http://discover.umn.edu...
[3]http://www.crimeandconsequences.com...
Debate Round No. 3
AspiringMultiCashMaker

Pro

Rebuttals

1) The death penalty is used to serve justice.

"In 1991, a young mother was rendered helpless and made to watch as her baby was executed. The mother was then mutilated and killed. The killer should not lie in some prison with three meals a day, clean sheets, cable TV, family visits and endless appeals. For justice to prevail, some killers just need to die."

Previously, my opponent asserted that if the death penalty had been replaced with life sentences, people falsely convicted of an act of crime are forced to live their lives behind bars, fighting against the harsh prison conditions.

These two do not come together in agreement.

The death penalty remains a form of hypocrisy. My opponent asserts that those serving the death row are humanely executed, via needle, fire squad, hanging, etc., whereas those killed by these criminals are brutally slaughtered, raped, abused, and tortured mercilessly.

Will the government forgive those that chose to kill via shooting their victims to death, hanging their victims, etc.? No. Why not? Because either way, they are a form or murder; they take lives or a life without consent.

2) The death penalty provides closure to the families or loved ones of the victim.

My opponent's assertion that the death penalty provides closure to the families and/or loved ones of the victims relies on a quote he had found on the internet. However, upon investigation, the article also states:

"...closure can never occur."[1]

3) Those who break the laws know the consequences

"The death penalty is not a punishment sprung upon innocent people who had no idea about the laws. Those who murder or rape must know that what they are doing is indeed illegal and their acts will be shamed upon."

Of course. This has been established centuries ago. This explains why laws are passed fairly and people that commit an act of crime and are unaware that it is [an act of crime] are not excused from legal punishment.

However, this also applies to life sentences. Therefore, this can not be used as a benefactor.

I am eager to read my opponent's response.

Sources

[1] http://discover.umn.edu...
gumball2202

Con

I retract all previous statements made by myself, In my honest opinion I do believe that the death penalty should be abolished, but hence I do believe that any good debater should be able to argue both sides.

I do believe that with enough time and effort put into this debate, it is possible for myself to win, though to be put simply, I just can't be bothered anymore. I am simply too busy with school, and have another historical project to allocate my time towards. (I entered a fake age when I created this account, as I was under the assumption that there was an age requirement, In reality I am 14 years of age)

I congratulate Pro on their victory, and forfeit all 7 points.

Bye bye ;)
Debate Round No. 4
AspiringMultiCashMaker

Pro

I understand my opponent's current position in life. I had to admit defeat to my opponent in one of my other debates due to the lack of adequate time. I hope this has been an interesting debate to my opponent and its subscribers.
gumball2202

Con

gumball2202 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by gumball2202 1 year ago
gumball2202
This was interesting...
Posted by AspiringMultiCashMaker 1 year ago
AspiringMultiCashMaker
I retract my statement. Because you chose only to present arguments and not to attempt to counter mine, you may choose not to skip round four.
Posted by gumball2202 1 year ago
gumball2202
Just to clarify, once Pro has posted his argument for round 4, I must skip that round?
Posted by gumball2202 1 year ago
gumball2202
I apologise in further advance if I may make any mistakes or errors in participating in this debate. This debate is the first that I have participated in through this website.
Posted by gumball2202 1 year ago
gumball2202
I have accepted your debate
Posted by AspiringMultiCashMaker 1 year ago
AspiringMultiCashMaker
V5RED, inconsistent minor trolling is an option I give to my contenders, and I only participate in trolling if it has been introduced to the debate.

Indeed, one argument is acceptable if you feel it has enough substance in favor of your position. And yes, I intend my arguments to sum up the conclusion that the death penalty should be abolished completely.
Posted by V5RED 1 year ago
V5RED
Also, I reject any trolling, not just excessive trolling. The debate should be conducted in a mature fashion.
Posted by V5RED 1 year ago
V5RED
I will accept, but only with a change to your burden of proof section. There is no reason 3 arguments are needed if one sound argument exists for or against the motion. Additionally, I only accept if your arguments are meant to lead to the conclusion that the death penalty should be abolished completely. I do not agree with the current implementation of the penalty, but it is a penalty that should exist.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
AspiringMultiCashMakergumball2202Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Con ff a round, so conduct to Pro.