The Instigator
Fauxzor
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
16kadams
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points

The death penalty should be abolished

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
16kadams
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/9/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,352 times Debate No: 24661
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (5)

 

Fauxzor

Pro

First round acceptance.

I will be arguing for the removal of the death penalty, to be replaced by life imprisonment; my opponent will be arguing that it should remain a penalty for crimes. Maximum time to argue, three days; voting period, two weeks. 8,000 character argument length. Four rounds.

Death penalty: a legal process whereby a person is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime (Wikipedia).

Life imprisonment: any sentence of imprisonment for a serious crime under which the convicted person is to remain in jail for the rest of his or her life or until paroled (Wikipedia).
16kadams

Con

I accept. I assume the crime stated in the definitions are murder.
Debate Round No. 1
Fauxzor

Pro

I would like to thank 16kadams for offering to debate me on this topic. I’m sure it will be an interesting debate.

Contention 1: The death penalty is ineffective in deterring murder.

A 2009 study by Michael Radelet and Traci Lacock, published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, found that over 88 percent of experts from the country’s top academic criminological societies disagreed that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder.[1] When examining actual data for the murder rates of states, the 2010 FBI Uniform Crime Report showed that the South had the highest rate of violent crime.[2] It also, according to the Bureau of Justice’s 2010 report on capital punishment, executed the most people.[3]

The National Research Council of the National Academies, after reviewing more than three decades of research on whether or not the death penalty acts as a deterrent for murder, came to the conclusion that “the research to date on the effect of capital punishment on homicide is not informative about whether capital punishment decreases, increases, or has no effect on homicide rates,” and that “these studies should not be used to inform deliberations requiring judgments about the effect of the death penalty on homicide.”[3]

Contention 2: The death penalty is unequally applied.

A study conducted in Louisiana based on data collected from 1990 to 2008 by Glenn Pierce and Michael Radelet for the Louisiana Law Review, published in 2011, showed that the odds of a death sentence were almost 97 percent higher for those whose victim was white rather than those whose victim was black.[5] A second study by Pierce and Radelet in California, published in 2005, showed that those who killed whites were almost 3 times more likely to be sentenced to death than whose who killed blacks and over 4 times more likely than those who killed latinos.[6] A report by Professor David Baldus of the University of Iowa College of Law in 2011 showed that, of murder cases in Washington State with at least one white victim, the prosecution sought the death penalty over 23 percent more often than without. The death penalty was imposed 15 percent of the time in cases with at least 1 white victim in Washington State, and only 8 percent of the time with no white victims.[7]

Furthermore, in the same report, the rate at which the death penalty was imposed on the accused with at least one person appointed to their defense counsel was fourteen percent higher than the rate at which it was imposed on those with retained counsel- a rate which was zero percent.[8] Indeed: in Washington State from 1981-2003, the rate at which the death penalty was imposed on those with retained counsel was zero percent.

Contention 3: The death penalty is more expensive than life imprisonment.

In Texas, a death penalty case costs an average of 2.3 million dollars- a number that is almost three times as high as the amount required to imprison someone in a single high-security cell for 40 years.[9] A study by the Urban Institute showed that, in Maryland, the average death penalty case costs 3 million dollars. For 1978-1999, the overall cost to taxpayers in the state will be 186 million dollars, for a total of five executions.[10] A study by the Kansas Performance Audit Report showed that, in Kansas, the cost of capital offense cases are almost 70 percent more expensive than comparable non-capital cases.[11] In Florida, enforcing the death penalty costs 51 million dollars a year more than what it would cost to put every first-degree murderer in prison without parole for life. Florida has carried out 44 executions since 1976; it costs nearly 24 million dollars per execution in the state.[12] A study carried out by Duke University in 1993 showed that North Carolina spent almost 2.16 million dollars more per criminal sentenced to execution than they would have spent if that same criminal was sentenced to life in prison.

Conclusion: The death penalty is not effective in deterring people from committing murder, as shown in numerous studies. Indeed, the South - which executes the most people - also has the highest murder rate. Not only does the death penalty not deter people from committing murder, but it is also unequally applied when it is pushed for: those responsible for crimes against a white victim receive the death penalty far more often than those who commit crimes without a white victim, and those with legal counsel on retainer receive the death penalty far less than those who are appointed counsel by the state. The death penalty is also more expensive than life imprisonment without parole, as shown in numerous states.

A review of the data by the prestigious National Research Council found that studies that claim the death penalty to be a deterrent are fundamentally flawed for three reasons:

  • The studies do not factor in the effects of noncapital punishments that may also be imposed
  • Models of potential murderers’ perceptions of and response to the use of capital punishment are incomplete/implausible
  • Estimates of the effect of capital punishment are based on statistical models that make assumptions that are not credible

Life imprisonment would be cheaper, result in a more equal legal playing field for those charged with crimes against whites/those without retained legal counsel, and would at the very least be as effective - if not more effective- as the death penalty for deterring crimes. However, it must be noted that anyone who commits a crime - especially murder - does not intend to get caught. The punishments for committing these crimes, then, are irrelevant to criminals who never intend to face them. I am prepared to address arguments about the moralty of the death penalty at a later date; I'd like to base my arguments on verifiable facts and statistical data first.

Sources:

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

[2] http://www.fbi.gov...

[3] http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov...

[4] http://www.nap.edu...

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

[6] http://law.scu.edu...

[7] http://www.mhb.com...

[8] http://www.mhb.com...

[9] http://www.studentabolition.org...

[10] http://www.urban.org...

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

16kadams

Con

This should be fun :D

DP = Death Penalty

>Rebuttals

C1: Deterrence

A. 88% of criminologists

This is actually a fallacy, also known as appeal to authority. Here is how the fallacy goes: A is an expert in C. A says C is true. Therefore C is true [1]. My opponent says they are the experts, and they say the DP is not a deterrent, therefore it is not a deterrent. This is a direct violation of that fallacy, and therefore fails.

B. States with capital punishment have higher crime

This argument is very weak, due to the fact it fails to look into past crime cycles in these areas. This simple comparison, as economist John Lott notes, proves nothing. The states without the DP have long enjoyed lower crime rates before they banned the DP. As John Lott noted in his Fox News opinion article:

"The 12 states without the death penalty have long enjoyed relatively low murder rates due to factors unrelated to capital punishment. When the death penalty was suspended nationwide from 1968 to 1976, the murder rate in these 12 states still was lower than in most other states. What is much more important is that the states that re-instituted the death penalty had about a 38 percent larger drop in murder rates by 1998. [...] Overall, the rise in executions during the 1990s accounts for about 12 to 14 percent of the overall drop in murders."[2]

He is essentially saying the states with no DP have low crime rates for other reasons not concerning the death penalty, whereas the states with the death penalty have always had high crime rates for other reasons. He then showed using common statistics that the moratorium of the DP in the 70s caused higher murder rates and when the states where allowed to have that option again the states that made the change had larger drops in violent crime then the states without it.

Another good objection is that of Wesley Lowes:

"Others say that states which do have the death penalty have higher crime rates than those that don't, that a more severe punishment only inspires more severe crimes. I must point out that every state in the union is different. These differences include the populations, number of cities, and yes, the crime rates. Strongly urbanized states are more likely to have higher crime rates than states that are more rural, such as those that lack capital punishment. The states that have capital punishment are compelled to have it due to their higher crime rates, not the other way around."[3]

Not only does it fail to take into the fact these states have always had these crime rates, but that it also fails to take into account other factors such as population, economies, education etc. This argument is an abysmal failure when it comes to statistics.

C. Non-Conclusive evidence

If you review 30 years of data, the best objection to deterrence is the one my opponent brought forth: there is conflicting evidence. Though this argument also fails, miserably. Many studies that have looked into the deterrent effect have clear bias. For example, the american society of criminology has a page titled "Anti-Capital Punishment resources".[4] But studies arguing that it decreases crime show a different story. As Naci Moacan argued:

"Science does really draw a conclusion. It did. There is no question about it. The conclusion is there is a deterrent effect. ...I oppose the death penalty. But my results show that the death penalty (deters) _ what am I going to do, hide them?" His results in his studies show each execution saves 5 lives [5]. May I also note 9/12 studies since 2001 have had similar conclusions, the DP saves lives [2]. Other studies have shown the Illinois Moratorium of 2000 lead to 150 more homicides then what would have been if the DP stayed in place, and that for every 2.75 years you took off of time on death row another murder was prevented [6].

C2: The DP is racist

A. Race

When looking t my opponents basic statistics this conclusion may look convincing, but it is false. It is indeed true that most people sentenced to death row are black, but is that racist? Blacks actually commit many more murders then any white person. Blacks represent 47% of all murderers, and whites 37%. African Americans also represent 35% of those executed, whites 56%. Also whites are executed faster, 17 months faster. This means Blacks likely have a LONGER appeals process, which seems fair to me [7]. Also:

"In Baldus' Philadelphia study, we find that if only 2% more white murderers had been sentenced to death and only 2.5% fewer black murderers had been sentenced to death, then each group would have been sentenced to death by juries at the same rate..."[7]

Also what it interesting even if my opponents statistics are true, the DP helps blacks more then any other race. Onstudy concluded:

"[...]Second, executions deter the murder of whites and African-Americans. Each execution prevents the murder of one white person, 1.5 African-Americans, and 0.5 persons of other races..."[8]

As we can see, the DP does not harm minorities.

B. Defense Council

He notes that if they only have one lawyer, likely due to money reasons, they are more likely to be executed. This is the defendants fault, not the states. The defendant could have asked for a lawyer paid for by the state, which in modern times are generally as good as any private lawyer[s]. There they could have gotten many lawyers, for free! This point is a moot.

C3: Cost

This point needn't be rebutted straight up. But this only looks into individual cases, not the overall picture. For example, the DP serves as a plea bargain. Many times these criminals plead guilty to avoid a death sentence, which avoids the cost of the trial completely. 50% of DP cases resulted in plea bargains, whereas in states with no DP the number was 40% [9].

Further, the DP is only expensive because we make it that expensive. (trials etc.) If we wanted too the DP could cost almost nothing! Meaning reforming the DP, not abolishing it would better better option if you're worried about costs. Also note many studies have been conducted, and when you add all of their data together the DP over time costs less then an average LWOP sentence [9].

=> Case

C1: Deterrence

The logic behind deterrence dates too 1968. Gary Becker's Study, using deterrence theory, shows criminals fear death and act like normal people. They respond to the costs and benefits [10]. Early DP research conducted by Isaac Ehrlich found the DP had a very strong deterrent effect, and was effective in slowing the rise in murder rates [11]. Other studies found each execution saved 14 lives, Another study found each execution saved 5 lives [12][13].

C2: Recidivism

Murderers in LWOP often get out of jail, many of them commit more murders. The DP would make it impossible for this to happen and then save lives [14].

* almost out of room*

Conclusion:

I had one more contention but have no more room.

A human life is the most valuable thing on earth, an innocent one is anyway. My opponent must prove his system is more valuable then a human life because the DP does save lives. Voters, ask does my opponents case:

1. does his C2 & 3 outweigh the lives saved through recidivism and deterence?
-> No

Vote CON



[1] http://tinyurl.com...
[2] http://tinyurl.com...
[3] http://tinyurl.com...
[4] http://tinyurl.com...
[5] http://tinyurl.com...
[6] http://tinyurl.com...
[7] http://tinyurl.com...
[8] http://tinyurl.com...
[9] http://tinyurl.com...
[10] Gary S. Becker, "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, (1968)
[11] Isaac Ehrlich, "The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: A Question of Life and Death," American Economic Review, (1975)
[12] H. Naci Mocan and R. Kaj Gittings, "Getting Off Death Row: Commuted Sentences and the Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment," Journal of Law and Economics, (2003)
[13] Paul R. Zimmerman, "State Executions, Deterrence, and the Incidence of Murder," Journal of Applied Economics, (May 2004)
[14] http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Fauxzor

Pro

I’d like to thank my opponent for taking the time to respond to my arguments. I would also like to make a correction: in my first contention, my source from the National Research Council corresponded to the wrong link. It was meant to be cited as source number 4, not source number 3.

Contention 1: The death penalty is ineffective in deterring murder.

Rebuttal A: The argument from authority is not in itself a logical fallacy; however, it can be used in a fallacious manner.[1] The argument is fallacious if the authority in question is not an expert on the subject. If the experts have sufficient expertise in the subject matter in question, are speaking about something within their area(s) of expertise, agree with other experts adequately, are not significantly biased, are experts within a legitimate discipline, and are identified properly, then the argument is not fallacious.[2] As the experts in question are Fellows in the American Society of Criminology (ASC), had won the ASC’s Sutherland Award (the highest aware by that organization to criminological theory), or were presidents of the ASC from 1997 to 2009[3], they have significant expertise, are speaking about something within their expertise, are experts within a legitimate discipline, are not significantly biased, and are identified properly. As over 88 percent of these experts agree with each other about the topic in question – the deterrence of the death penalty – they also agree with other experts adequately.

As my argument meets all criteria for a proper argument from authority – that is, an argument from authority that is not fallacious, and is instead a strong inductive argument – it is not fallacious, and my contention still stands.

Rebuttal B: While Con has charged me with committing the argument from authority fallacy in my first contention – a claim that I prove to be categorically false – I would assert here that he actually commits that fallacy. My opponent’s reasoning is as follows: A is an expert in subject S. A makes claim C about subject S. Therefore C is true. However, John Lott is an economist and political commentator, not a criminologist[6]. His field is economics, not criminology. As such, I would argue that John Lott does not have sufficient expertise in the field he is speaking to; does not agree with other experts adequately (as shown by the agreement of 88 percent of experts from the ASC that the death penalty does not deter crime); is not speaking in the correct field; and is significantly biased. Lott’s bias is shown in a defamation suit filed against him – which was found to have merit in its claim that Lott’s research was not peer-reviewed – a survey taken by Lott that could not be reproduced, and a general consensus by his colleagues that his use of econometrics as proof of causation was fundamentally flawed.[7]

My opponent’s second “expert,” Wesley Lowe, is an assembly operator and fantasy author.[8] His field has nothing to do with the topic at hand. By contrast, I cite noted criminologists, statisticians, and peer-reviewed studies.

Rebuttal C: I would note that the entire point of the National Research Council’s study was to show that studies that claim to show that the death penalty deters crime are fundamentally flawed. My opponent also attacks the American Society of Criminology’s reputation as biased without merit (its journal, Criminology, is regarded as the leading journal in the field[9]), and cites yet another economist – Naci Mocan – in a clear appeal to authority.

Contention 2: The death penalty is unequally applied.

I would like to note that my opponent deliberately changed the wording of my contentions. In my original argument, I did not claim that the death penalty was racist- merely that it was unequally applied.

Rebuttal A: As such, Con has misrepresented my argument. My source stated that, in crimes where there was a white victim, the death penalty was applied much higher in crimes where there was not a white victim. I did not claim that blacks were executed more often than whites. Despite this, however, Con accepted that “it is indeed true that most people sentenced to death row are black.” My opponent’s statistics here are, as such, irrelevant: he has failed to address my argument. My contention still stands, and I would argue that my opponent has conceded the point here by accepting that the death penalty is unequally applied.

Rebuttal B: Here, my opponent has perhaps made an honest mistake: he did not understand the meaning of my source. I will clarify: my source claimed that those charged with murder who had at least one appointed to their legal counsel – that is, a public defender – receive the death penalty at a higher rate than those with legal counsel on retainer- that is, those who can afford to buy their own lawyer, and not have one appointed to them by the state. Con has also failed to source his claim that “in modern times,” public defenders are generally as good as private lawyers. Again, my opponent has failed to address my argument: that the death penalty is unequally applied to those who cannot afford to have their own layer, and are forced to accept a public defender. My contention still stands.

Contention 3: The death penalty is more expensive than life imprisonment.

My opponent does not address my argument that the death penalty is more expensive than life imprisonment without parole. He claims that my sources only look into individual cases, and not the “overall picture,” but fails to provide the overall picture or refute my sources. Con’s statistic, then, is irrelevant: the cost of the death penalty is lower in cases that resulted in plea bargains, because the death penalty did not occur. When the death penalty was not appealed – that is, when the case was actually about the death penalty and not an avoidance of said penalty – in many cases its cost was higher than life imprisonment without parole (as per my sources).

I will address my opponent’s argument that “the DP could cost almost nothing!” later on (space issues).

C1: Deterrence

I would argue that my opponent’s first two sources are out of date. Of the four he cited, two studies were conducted in a period when the death penalty was not even in effect: 1968 and 1974, respectively. Of the other two, I would argue that my source from the National Research Council renders them moot: both were published nearly nine years before the recent NRC study (published this year) which stated that studies claiming the death penalty to be a deterrent are fundamentally flawed.

C2: Recidivism

Murderers sentenced to life without parole, by definition, do not get out of jail- which is the entire point of life without parole. My opponent’s source stated that prisoners who were not sentenced to life without parole – as life without parole had not been established in Texas at the time – left prison and committed more murders. This is irrelevant, as they were not sentenced to life without parole.

Running out of space.

Conclusion:

I have shown that my original contentions still stand, that my opponent has fallaciously appealed to authority, and that my opponent has misrepresented my arguments. My opponent's citations are unreliable and superceded by recent research. Con has even ceded one of my points. If a human life is the most valuable thing on Earth, as he says, and we can't change the past, then the death penalty promotes further bloodshed. I urge a vote for Pro.

Sources:

[1] http://www.nizkor.org...

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

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

[4] http://www.merriam-webster.com...

[5] http://www.merriam-webster.com...[1]

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[7] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[8] http://deathpenalty.procon.org...

[9] http://www.asc41.com...

16kadams

Con

C1: Deterrence

My opponents first objection is my sources are out of date (2/4) and where at a time when the DP was not in use. First of all, the Becker study was researching retribution and deterrence theory. This indirectly is linked towards the DP, and is the theory and logic behind its deterrence, but does not need to be in a time during the DP. Only a time where punishment exists. This theory is also psychology, deterrence theory which is a valid theory even today [1][2]. My opponents second objection is to the first DP study in 1974. Its timing on whether the DP exists is irrelevant, as it studied the moratorium, used mathematical hypothesizes, deterrence theory from Becker, and past statistics on the DP [3]. All of this was present at the time of the study. Further, the study was not my main case, rather a historical representation. You dropped the two other studies I directly cited there. Hence I am forced to extend the majority of this point.

C2: Recidivism

My opponent agrees recidivism likely exists amongst murderers, but LWOP means they cannot get out of jail to commit these crimes. My opponent argues these prisoners where not sentenced to LWOP. This is blatantly false, all of the examples cited where sentenced to LWOP [4]. (he used later stated: "Clarence Ray Allen, serving a sentence of life imprisonment without parole [...] still managed to cause the deaths of still more people) There are also dozens of cases of people who murdered children adults, everything, who got LWOP but still got parole on a later date [5].

=> Rebuttals

C1: DP ineffective

A. Appeal to authority

There are actually many loopholes to my opponents response, as if one uses an appeal to authority for a response/argument unnecessarily it is a fallacy. If there are direct observations or calculations which are superior to authority, in other words there would have to be no evidence on the subject, then it is still a fallacy [6]. And even if my opponents argument seems to woo you over, it is important to note even if the argument is valid it is still fallacious in nature (an informal fallacy) [7]. No matter how you look at this the way my opponent used an expert is actually fallacious in nature. And my opponent essentially repeats his findings on the "consensus", which is still a fallacy in the way he is applying it.

My opponents conclusion to this is flawed as if there are direct observations available, which there are, then it is a weak argument in comparison and therefore is a fallacy unless there is no other evidence [6].

B. Fallacy again?

My opponent now is falsely arguing I had an appeal to authority fallacy, which is blatantly false. I was quoting John Lott, who was quoting statistical data. I was NOT saying "Lott says it so its true". I was saying "according to Lott, the statistics show..." Instead of falsely accusing someone of a fallacy, you need to argue the statistics themselves. So the point of the argument stands and is extended. And now my opponent challenges credibility of the source. He argues economists are not qualified to deal with crime. This is blatantly false and the statement itself reaks of, well, a lie. Economists job is to look at the economy, obviously, but also they deal with peoples psychology to understand how the economy works. This is logically showing that economists are very qualified to be in the criminology business. Further, economists play a huge role in the study of crime and their research is considered valid [8]. Lott also has research fields in law and public choice theory [9]. He is a really well rounded guy who, if you look at the facts, is a reliable source if your looking for statistics.

My opponent then criticizes another source, Wesley Lowe. I am NOT saying Lowe said it so its true, like you essentially said with the 88% figure (note that's not even a good consensus). Citing logic in the words of others with a footnote is NOT an appeal to authority. It is really only an appeal to authority in the sense I am citing his words, but if this is a fallacy the purpose of sources in debate does not exist. This is an illogical accusation.

As my opponent drops the logical and statistical part of the argument, I too extend this point.

C. Conflicting evidence

My opponent claims because this academy says studies are flawed it should be disregarded. They never said it was flawed, rather that evidence is contradictory and inconclusive [10]. Just because says something is contradictory does not mean evidence cannot lean in any one's favor. And the evidence is not in your favor, statistically or logically. Last round my statistics, which you dropped, still stand.

My opponent then says my attack on the journal is unfounded. My opponent obviously did not read my response in any great length. They had a page titled "Anti-Capital Punishment resources" (see round 2). So is that objection really unfounded?

My opponent then accuses me, again. Citing an economist opinion on his statistical data is not a fallacy. Explaining someones results is not a fallacy, again if it was the point of sources in debate would be fallacious in nature.

C2: Unequal

Changing the wording to racist is not inherently bad, its shorter. And its what you are saying.

A. Race

Before I address this, may I ask how would the racism effect not role over on LWOP? Couldn't they just unequally sentence blacks/whites in non-capital cases? My opponent cannot answer this therefore the point is a moot before it can even launch.

My opponent then claims I misrepresented him. Did I? I showed whites are executed faster and more often, whites are logically more likely to kill whites in their own neighborhoods. This means it is not racist as whites are more common peoples. Just like if blacks where the majority and killed their own kind more often it would not be biased towards less murdered whites.

B. Council

I know what you meant, just because private lawyers are worse at defending clients then public ones is not the fault of the justice system, rather the lawyer himself.

C3: Cost

Actually, I did address the cost argument. (see round 2, last paragraph) I agreed the up-front costs, the things your sources looked into, for LWOP are lower then the DP. But the life time cost (30-50 years of imprisonment) cost the state 1.2-3.6 million dollars MORE then equivalent DP cases. Here is a picture:


Source: http://www.prodeathpenalty.com...

My opponent then claims the plea bargain argunment fails. This is again a failure to read my argunment. The DP is more costly on a case per case basis, but over time is cheaper. And with plea bargains makes the oberall trial costs of ALL DP cases and ALL LWOP cases about the same. How do we know this? States that end the DP have no significant drop in trial costs [11]. As we can see this makes any one trial 0$, which really helps the overall averages to make the DP cost the same, when you average every single trial anyway. As stated the DP resulted in plea bargians 50% of the time (round 2). Based on this we can see the DP's overall cost can be cut in more then half on this issue.

Conclusion:

All of my opponents fallacy accusations where false and he dropped the logical and statistical points of deterence. Based on this I was forced to extend the majori of my case and rebuttals. Also my opponents other two contentions where thorugly refuted. Vote CON.




Sources:
[1] http://tiny.cc...
[2] http://tiny.cc...
[3] Isaac Ehrlich, "The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: A Question of Life and Death," American Economic Review, (1975)
[4] http://tiny.cc...
[5] http://tiny.cc...
[6] http://tiny.cc...
[7] http://tiny.cc...
[8] http://www.nber.org...
[9] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[10] http://www.nationaljournal.com...
[11] http://www.wesleylowe.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Fauxzor

Pro

Fauxzor forfeited this round.
16kadams

Con

==>Summary of each argunment<==

C1: Deterrence

A. Experts

My opponents arguing here is a clear appeal to authority fallacy, instead of conceding the minor point he attempts to argue it. But, as stated, all argunments in the form my opponent presented are fallacy type in nature {1}. And even if the experts are indeed experts it is still a fallacy in nature if there is other evidence to come by. In other words this is a last resort scenario.

B. States

My opponent, likely attempting to get an eye for an eye (ironic, he is against the DP) argued that I committed a fallacy with John Lott and Wesley Lowe. But I was not saying X said Y therefore Y is true. I quoted Lott who, himself, was citing statistics. If this is a fallacy then the point of citing sources is obsolete. In other words this is illogical. And Wesley Lowe also cited evidence. He showed, with facts proven by other authors {2}, that comparing states does not lead to any particular conclusion as it excludes too many factors (population, socio economic etc.) Also note, as I stated in round 3 and 2, the southern states HAVE ALWAYS had higher crime rates, even during the moratorium of the DP in the 70s. In other words the DP has no effect. As also stated, most states had a drop in crime in the 80-90s. States that chose the DP had faster declines in homicides. As we can see from this summary my opponents position is bogus.

C. Conflicting studies

This is the only legitament argunment my opponent gave, but I showed based on the sheer number of studies there is no question: the DP saves lives. As John Lott said in round two, 9/12 studies show a deterrent effect.

C2: Unjust

A. Race

I argued racism here would likely role over to LWOP, which only seems logical. The rest of the objections/stats are therefore irrelevant. Though for those who forgot I destroyed his argunments, most of which criticized lawyers not the DP system. And again, wouldn't these problems exist in a LWOP system? It's not like it would vanish. This point is a moot, abolishing the DP would not fix thd problem , assuming it exists.

B. Lawyers

Rolls over too LWOP cases too.

C3: cost

I showed it
A) through plea bargains (cost = 0) it would make the DP, averaging a cases together, trial cost as much as LWOP
B) other costs (housing, food, medical care) would make LWOP cost more. Therefore the plea bargain makes the LWOP 1 million dollars more expensive then the DP overall. Plea bargins make trial costs overall even {3}, and the other factors make it cost even more (3 million dollars more).

--> my case

C1: Deterence

My opponent focused on sources not content. One I already said was old, and used it as backroubd info not my case (I explained that). Therefore the detterence effect remains. The second source he criticized was an odd move, as the theory it argues is still considered valid today {4}.

C2: retribution

Claims LWOP means no escape.
The con shows dozens of documented cases of escape leading to murder, or murderers still getting parole and continuing their passion -- killing.

==>the forfeit<==

This does not warrant loss of debate, rather loss of conduct. Con (me) should receive conduct.

Conclusion:

My opponents argunments are false/illogical or a fallacy. Von deserves conduct, for forfeit, and argunments for reasons above.

Sources:
{1} http://www.fallacyfiles.org...
{2} http://old.nationalreview.com...
{3} [study] http://www.cjlf.org...
{4}
A) legal Deterence: http://en.wikipedia.org...(legal)
B) psychology: http://en.m.wikipedia.org...(psychology)
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
I had fairly good spelling until the last round.
Posted by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
16k, use the debate.org spell check button before you submit your argument each time, it really helps a lot, trust me.
Posted by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
Argument from authority is not a proof, but it is valid evidence. If the coroner says the victim died of a gunshot wound, is that proof? How about if three independent expert medical examiners agree? That's still not absolute proof, but it's extremely good evidence. The counter is either the claimed experts are really not experts, their are other experts who disagree, or "here is what the experts missed." It's not adequate to just claim "argument from authority."

In the death penalty, Lott is an expert who disagrees -- and there are other, ending the death penalty in the U.K. brought a dramatic rise in homicides. As Lott (and Con) point out, high homicide rates can cause the use of the death penalty, rather than the death penalty causing high homicide rates. I'm not saying arguments from authority are valid, I'm saying they cannot just be dismissed.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
strawmanning galore
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
grammar fail on me
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
Fauxzor16kadamsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: f
Vote Placed by 1Historygenius 4 years ago
1Historygenius
Fauxzor16kadamsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
Fauxzor16kadamsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: fORFEIT
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
Fauxzor16kadamsTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con argued well enough to win, especially since Pro forfeited, leaving arguments unanswered. More in comments.
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
Fauxzor16kadamsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Arguments and conduct go to Con for Pro's forfeiture.