The Instigator
Iam4real
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
thett3
Pro (for)
Winning
31 Points

The death penalty should remain legal

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/12/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 912 times Debate No: 18767
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (7)

 

Iam4real

Con

I am new to this site and hope I am doing this right.

I believe in the ten commandments and in Thou shall not kill. No one should have the right to take a life except who it was created by. Capital Punishment is revenge not justice. I personally would prefer a person who violated the law in victimizing someone I care about, would be sentenced to suffering for the rest of their existence and not have the thoughts and feelings terminated. Yes I believe there are instances where I would understand the reason to kill but I believe killing is immoral under any circumstances. Since the advent of DNA, proof has shown many people were wrongly convicted. No one before DNA was convicted and executed although innocent. All of the people recently found innocent would have not been executed without DNA evidence? I believe more strongly in my faith than in the opinions of human beings and unlike them, I do not rationalize laws and actions that interfere with my makers creations. Do not think that my opinion has anything to do with not believing you have the right to yours.
thett3

Pro

First of all, thanks for challenging me, and nice avatar ;) (my old one.)

Since I'm currently in a debate over this topic, I'll just copy/paste my case. In the next round, I will refute my opponents statements.


===Case===

What is justice? Just is defined as “Based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair”. The fundamental question my opponent and I must answer (and indeed everyone in all Capital Punishment debates) is how should we, as a society, respond to true evil? Undoubtedly, some people are so truly evil that the possibility of rehabilitation is completely out of the question. So with this in mind, I affirm.

C1. Capital Punishment is just.

How a society punishes its worst human rights violators is a good indication of how just it is. There are some cases, where any punishment less serious than death undermines the scale of the tragedy. For this point, I’ll bring in one of the most brutal crimes to ever take place in my home state, the murder of Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Pena[1]. I’ll briefly summarize it. These two teenaged girls were walking home from a party, when they ran into a gang. The gang beat the two, and raped them over and over again. The ring-leader of the gang, Peter Cantu, was later quoted as being proud to have “virgin blood” on him. After these innocent girls were raped, they were strangled slowly and painfully. With a shoelace. Afterward, because they’re sick and twisted animals, the gang members stomped on their throats to ensure that they were dead.

Now how should we respond to this? Should we put these evil men in prison so that they can be fed, clothed, and entertained for the rest of their lives? Is that valuing innocent life? Is it valuing innocent life to look the parents of those innocent children in the eye, and tell them that their daughters had to die, but the men who brutally destroyed them get to live? I contend that the much more just option is to go right to the source of the evil, and end the lives of these criminals before any more damage can be done.

Innocent life is worthy of protection. There can be no more serious penalty than death, and no more serious crime than murder. Punishments should fit crimes. Handing down too light of a sentence is both morally repugnant, and destroys the deterrent effect of justice.

Gregory Koukl elaborates [2]:

“you view human beings, by and large, as machines and not as moral agents. What happens when a machine goes bad? Do we punish the machine? Of course not. We fix the machine. If the machine can't be fixed, we discard it. Or, if in the case of an animal, we will remove the animal or kill the animal. Not because it is guilty and it ought to be punished because we don't hold them morally responsible since moral terms don't seem to really apply to animals. But we remove it from any position of being able to do harm to others in society. The underlying point of view or philosophy about the nature of man is…. Is man a machine or is man a moral agent worthy of praise and punishment? I think many people are straddling those two views. They want to treat man like he's worthy of praise then treat him like a machine when it comes to the issue of punishment, saying we shouldn't punish people because it's revenge. Well, yeah, that's right. It is social revenge. No apologies. Justice is a kind of revenge. It is getting back, but it is an appropriate getting back when executed by the appropriate authorities. In this case, the state. The state has an interest in getting revenge.”

It should be noted that although the chance of executing an innocent exists (and grows smaller each year) the benefit of having a just society massively outweighs this tiny risk.

C2. Capital punishment prevents recidivism.

Obviously, a murderer who is executed can never kill again. The Bureau of Justice Statistics[3] tells us that in 2009 8.6% of those on death row had a prior homicide conviction. Over 5% of those on death row committed their capital crime while in custody or during an escape. This shows that killers can, and do reoffend even while imprisoned!

There are also many specific examples, such as Kenneth Mcduff. In 1966 a Texas jury ruled for him to die in the electric chair for his brutal murder of two boys and a girl. However his sentence was commuted to Life Imprisonment when the Supreme Court struck down the Death Penalty. Mcduff was later released, and ended up murdering at least 9 more people. Thankfully, he was executed by lethal injection in 1998[4]. He will never kill again. Had he been executed the first time at least 9 innocent lives would've been saved.

It might be objected that life without parole can prevent these crimes, but the case of Clarence Ray Allen[5], responsible for the deaths of 3 innocents while serving a life without parole sentence shows this to be untrue. The BJS evidence shows this to be empirically false as well.

If my Opponent disputes these, I will bring up more.

C3. The Death Penalty deters crime.

It’s indisputable that Capital Punishment, when used properly, deters crime. Just look at Saudi Arabia and Singapore, both of which have swift and certain death penalties, and extremely low rates of violent crime. While we can’t compare these countries to the United States (or other countries either) for obvious reasons, it’s still something that should be noted.

The Federal Government recognizes that surer and harsher penalties lead to less crime [6]. Raw statistics show a negative correlation between execution rates, and murder rates. Here is an example from my home state of Texas[7]:

“According to JFA (Justice for All), the Texas murder rate in 1991 was 15.3 per 100,000. By 1999, it had fallen to 6.1—a drop of 60 percent. Within Texas, the most aggressive death penalty prosecutions are in Harris County (the Houston area). Since the resumption of executions in 1982, the annual number of Harris County murders has plummeted from 701 to 241—a 72 percent decrease.”

I agree that correlation does not always mean causation, but logic tells us that a link between these two variables would exist, as does the evidence brought in. Furthermore, if there is a chance that we can save innocent lives by using Capital Punishment, than we have an obligation to do so. As researcher Carl Spence from Texas A&M University so elegantly puts it:

“While some death penalty abolitionists try to face down the results of their disastrous experiment and still argue to the contrary, the...[data] concludes that a substantial deterrent effect has been observed...In six months, more Americans are murdered than have killed by execution in this entire century...Until we begin to fight crime in earnest by using the death penalty, every person who dies at a criminal's hands is a victim of our inaction."

I strongly urge a pro ballot, and thank my Opponent.

Sources

1. http://www.debate.org...

Debate Round No. 1
Iam4real

Con

Iam4real forfeited this round.
thett3

Pro

due to a technical difficulty, this debate had to stop. Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 2
Iam4real

Con

Iam4real forfeited this round.
thett3

Pro

Heres a video for your enjoyment...trust me, it's incredible.

Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
WHY IS NO ONE MENTIONING THE VIDEO IN THEIR RFDS?!?!!?!? grr
Posted by b4real 5 years ago
b4real
I concede to Theft3. Do to an error I have 2 screen names and am going to remove this one.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Looks like we've got a multi-accounter.
Posted by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
b4real from your PMs I've gotten the impression that you think we're in a debate. Due to the similarities of the names is it possible that you're the same person as Iam4real? ...otherwise I truly have no idea what you're talking about.
Posted by b4real 5 years ago
b4real
Theft3 now states he is not debating me.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Lol, at first I thought it was thett debating himself.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 1 year ago
U.n
Iam4realthett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
Iam4realthett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
Iam4realthett3Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Epic fight, thett3? There doesn't really seem to be one here...Con made a couple of vague assertions and Pro, unlike the sitting duck in his photo, rose and blew him out of his waters completely...Facts were at least provided, arguments (with authoritative voices--though I think Pro would have elaborated his case more), and so on. What did Con do? Forfeit--the rest of the debate.
Vote Placed by jm_notguilty 5 years ago
jm_notguilty
Iam4realthett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: 4 feet
Vote Placed by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
Iam4realthett3Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Full forfeit by Con. The video, by the way, had nothing to do with this.
Vote Placed by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
Iam4realthett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Iam4realthett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con isn't in it to win it.