The Instigator
bluetree653
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Hayd
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

The death penalty should be legal in all US states.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Hayd
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/25/2016 Category: Sports
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 408 times Debate No: 90185
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

bluetree653

Pro

For some, the death penalty could be less worse than jail.

The death penalty is only used when absolutely needed, and sometimes it is the only rational/moral option.

Even if a criminal was released from the death penalty/jail, it would be very hard for them to make a living.

The death penalty can be painless.

The death penalty provides disclosure for victims.

If the death penalty is not in use, then America will end up spending more money trying to contain criminals from the outside world.

Many lives could be saved by each execution of a guilty killer.
Hayd

Con

Pro has expressed interest in debating me specifically on this topic, and challenged me to the topic. As long as the noob is aware of my record, and still wants to debate, I see no problem with it. I look forward to discussing the topic. I would like to propose some rules though to make the debate fair and ensure quality content. Firstly, voters only vote convincing arguments point, and conduct point only for forfeitures. This ensures that votes will be quality and determine a fair outcome of the debate. Second, that no new arguments are proposed in the last round, because I won't be able to respond to them.

This debate will be on the current death penalty, meaning that I will be arguing that the death penalty, as it exists now should be abolished. Not as it will exist ten or twenty years from now, only the current system.

My framework is simple. Capital punishment is unjust system, thus should be abolished.

The Right to Life
A government is created by the people in order to protect the people's unalienable rights. If a government fails to secure these for all citizens, then it is an unjust government. This is especially true for the United States as it was founded solely on this principle, outlined in Declaration of Independence. It reads,

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”

This concept is further demonstrated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), a document created by the United Nations General Assembly. In Article 3, it state,

"Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person." [1]

Capital Punishment violates the right to life. This is a truism, and true regardless of what crimes the citizen does. As long as the criminal is a citizen, they are promised the right to life by the government. Violating this is unjust. As this is the United State’s sole, and fundamental purpose of existing, it is paramount that the death penalty is abolished.

Cost
In society, people will commit crimes. Some of the crimes are the most severe and therefore require the most severe punishment. In Con’s world this would be the death penalty, in my world it would be life imprisonment. Since the death penalty costs more than life imprisonment, abolishing the death penalty would warrant a net economic benefit.

Seattle University found that each death penalty case in Washington cost $1 million more than than life imprisonment cases [2]. The average cost of defending a trial in a federal death case is $620,932, about 8 times that of a federal murder case in which the death penalty is not sought [3]. Judge Arthur Alarcon and Professor Paula Mitchell calculated that if California commuted all those remaining on death row to life without parole, it would result in an immediate savings of 170 million per year, with a savings of 5 billion over the next 20 years. Considering that California has a debt of 778 billion dollars [4], abolishing the death penalty would have a significant economic benefit. The study estimates that the average cost to Maryland taxpayers for reaching a single death sentence is $3 million - $1.9 million more than the cost of a non-death penalty case. (This includes investigation, trial, appeals, and incarceration costs.) The study examined 162 capital cases that between 1978 and 1999 and found that those cases will cost $186 million more than what those cases would have cost had the death penalty not existed as a punishment. At every phase of a case, capital murder cases cost more than life imprisonment cases [5].

Abolishing the death penalty would bring significant economic benefit, thus we should abolish the death penalty.

Prejudice
The death penalty unfairly targets and discriminates based on ethnicity and class. In Louisiana, the odds of a death sentence were 97% higher for those whose victim was white than for those whose victim was black [6]. In Oklahoma and Missouri, black Americans are overrepresented on death row by nearly a factor of four [7].


The death penalty is a broken system, it punishes not based on the crime, but on your ethnicity, your wealth, and the quality of your lawyer.

“Nationally, during the 23-year study period, the overall rate of prejudicial error in the American capital punishment system was 68%. In other words, courts found serious, reversible error in nearly 7 of every 10 of the thousands of capital sentences that were fully reviewed during the period.” [8]

“26 Death Row inmates…have received a new trial or sentencing because their attorneys' incompetence rendered the verdict or sentence unfair, court records show…33 defendants sentenced to death were represented at trial by an attorney who had been, or was later, disbarred or suspended--disciplinary sanctions reserved for conduct so incompetent, unethical or even criminal that the state believes an attorney's license should be taken away.” [9]

Criminals are not sentenced by the heinous of their crime, but rather by the quality of their representation.

"Poor people are also far more likely to be death sentenced than those who can afford the high costs of private investigators, psychiatrists, and expert criminal lawyers." [10]

This demonstrates more than everything that the death penalty is an unjust system.

Innocents
Since we can never know with 100% certainty whether someone is actually guilty, mistakes are bound to happen. This is an inevitable fact, and a discomforting one. Yet any other mistaken punishment, it can be reversed. But when the punishment is an irreversible such as death, mistakes simply can’t happen.

“You can release an innocent man from prison, but you can’t release him from the grave.” -Freddie Lee Pitts, a man exonerated from death row for a crime he did not commit.

Between 1973 and 2015, 148 innocent citizens were exonerated and released from death-row [11]. 4.1% of those executed are innocent [12]. The fact that there is a possibility at all that an innocent person could be executed is reason enough to abolish the death penalty as an unjust system.

Rebuttals
All of my opponent's arguments are bare assertions; they give us no reasoning to support the claims. Thus, none of Pro's arguments thus far have any weight, and can be completely thrown out.

[1] http://www.un.org...
[2] http://www.seattletimes.com...
[3] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...\
[4] http://www.statebudgetsolutions.org...
[5] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[6] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[7] http://www.theatlantic.com...
[8] http://www2.law.columbia.edu...
[9] http://www.chicagotribune.com...
[10] https://www.aclu.org...
[11] https://www.aclu.org...
[12] http://www.theguardian.com...
Debate Round No. 1
bluetree653

Pro

I am sorry, but before I begin the next round, could you tell me how to paste a graph or image into the box? I've tried copy and pasting but it is not working. I will not be forfeiting, I just need to know how to put evidence in here.
Hayd

Con

How to add pictures to debates
http://www.debate.org...

Note:
Pro has not posted any arguments, thus I extend all points over. This is unfortunate for Pro because Pro cannot post any new arguments in the final round, per rule I proposed in R1. This rule was never contested by Pro, so it ought to be valid. This doesn't leave Pro much to say in the final round here, so I suggest, if Pro would like to continue discussing this topic, to redo the debate.
Debate Round No. 2
bluetree653

Pro

bluetree653 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by tejretics 6 months ago
tejretics
The other two RFDs cast are fine, but unnecessarily long, IMO. This debate is basically a full forfeit.
Posted by fire_wings 6 months ago
fire_wings
CON'S Arguments

CON'S Arguments are The Right of Life. CON shows that A government is created by the people in order to protect the people's unalienable rights. If they can't then it is a unjust government. CON'S second argument was about Cost. CON shows that a death penalty case costs over $1 million more. CON'S third argument is about Prejudice. CON shows that it is unfair, and in Louisiana, the odds of a death sentence were 97% higher for those whose victim was white than for those whose victim was black. Con shows that this is unjust system, and we should ban death penalty. CON'S last argument is about Innocents. CON shows that there can be many innocents. CON gives a quote that we can release someone in prison, but not their grave. This is true. CON says, because there are Innocents, death penalty is a unjust system.

Conclusion

PRO does useless things next round. He gives a question on how to put images. This is not irrelevant to the debate, and PRO fails to rebut CON'S arguments. Because CON'S side of the BoP is filled, and PRO'S side of the BoP is not, vote for Con.
Posted by fire_wings 6 months ago
fire_wings
My RFD will be placed here

Burdens

The Burden is shared as both sides can and did argue.

Conduct

Pro forfeits one round, giving conduct to Con.

PRO'S Arguments

PRO argues that death penalty is worse than jail, it can be painless, and If the death penalty is not in use, then America will end up spending more money trying to contain criminals from the outside world,
etc. CON rebuts this by saying that they are all bare assertions, so there is no reason to vote for PRO. Thus, Pro's arguments are all useless so PRO'S part of the BoP is not filled.
Posted by GOAT_23_6 7 months ago
GOAT_23_6
Killing someone for killing someone... seems a little hypocritical don't you think?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by tejretics 5 months ago
tejretics
bluetree653HaydTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments, specifically retribution and costs, fail because the former lacks clear impact and the latter is turned by Con's own costs argument. Pro also fails to warrant any arguments. On the other hand, Con has strong reasons to abolish the death penalty, in saving innocent lives, reducing budget deficits and upholding fairness, all dropped by Pro.
Vote Placed by fire_wings 6 months ago
fire_wings
bluetree653HaydTied
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 Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. AWESOME DEBATE.
Vote Placed by missbailey8 7 months ago
missbailey8
bluetree653HaydTied
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 Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: The link to my RFD is here: http://www.debate.org/forums/politics/topic/86400/