The Instigator
lord_megatron
Pro (for)
Winning
2 Points
The Contender
missbailey8
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

death penalty for serious crimes

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
lord_megatron
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/27/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 12 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 411 times Debate No: 91942
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

lord_megatron

Pro

After a criminal gets free, even then he is discriminated in the society as people wish to avoid associating themselves with a former criminal. It is better that the criminal dies rather suffer torment even after his sentence.
missbailey8

Con

I. Our Unalienable Rights

In The Declaration of Independence, we see this:

"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, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." [1]

According to The Declaration of Independence, we are born with unalienable rights and we must secure these rights. One of those rights happen to be life. The Government shouldn't be able to take life through capital punishment as unalienable rights may not be taken away. [2]

II. Cost

The costs of a death row inmate are far higher than the costs of any other prisoner. Seattle University found that it costs $1 million more for a death penalty case than a case where a life sentence is the verdict. This is because of the costs for defense, prosecution, multiple trials, etc. [3]

This isn't unique to Washington though. California has spent more than $4 billion in death row since 1978 and they spend an additional $184 million a year. It's estimated that taxpayers in California pay $90,000 more per death row inmate. [4] California can save $1 billion every five years if the death penalty is abolished.

In turn, if these states were to get rid of capital punishment, they'd save a lot of money.

III. Innocents

No matter how good the defense is, we can never know for sure if someone is innocent or guilty. 144 people have been released from death row after being proven innocent. [5] They were the lucky ones. It's estimated that 4.1% of executed inmates were really innocent after further further investigation. [6]

This proves that even though it's a long process to sentence someone to death, it isn't a flawless system. When you make a mistake in a life sentence, you can always acquit the person and they'll be free. If you kill someone then you can't do that; they're dead.

IV. Racial Prejudice

While some may argue that the severity of the crime you commit is a large factor in your sentence, race also takes hand in the verdict.

"While white victims account for approximately one-half of all murder victims, 80% of all Capital cases involve white victims. Furthermore, as of October 2002, 12 people have been executed where the defendant was white and the murder victim black, compared with 178 black defendants executed for murders with white victims."

"In April 2001, researchers from the University of North Carolina released a study of all homicide cases in North Carolina between 1993 and 1997. The study found that the odds of getting a death sentence increased three and a half times if the victim was white rather than black." [7]

This shows the prevalence of racism and how it can affect your sentence. This makes for an unbalanced system that favors one race over the other.

V. It Doesn't Provide Closure

Many of those for the death penalty provide the argument that it gives closure to the victim's family and helps the coping process. In fact, only about 2.7% relevant cases bring closure [8] because the aspect of revenge was later contemplated by the families.

In the case of the Boston Marathon Bombing, the remaining culprit Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death. Only 15% of Boston residents wanted him to be executed. [9] In another story, two parents who lost their 8-year-old son urged against it in an open letter. [10]

"We understand all too well the heinousness and brutality of the crimes committed. We were there. We lived it. The defendant murdered our 8-year-old son, maimed our 7-year-old daughter, and stole part of our soul. We know that the government has its reasons for seeking the death penalty, but the continued pursuit of that punishment could bring years of appeals and prolong reliving the most painful day of our lives. We hope our two remaining children do not have to grow up with the lingering, painful reminder of what the defendant took from them, which years of appeals would undoubtedly bring." [11]

In other words, they knew it would cause trauma to those who lost family in the bombing like themselves. It only extends the grief rather than cure it.

In conclusion, the death penalty should be abolished. Too many factors are involved with the sentencing, those that you wouldn't see in any other case like a life sentence.

Citations
[1]http://www.archives.gov.........
[2]http://www.dictionary.com.........
[3]http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org.........
[4]http://deathpenalty.org.........
[5]http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org.........
[6]http://www.newsweek.com.........
[7]https://www.aclu.org.........
[8]http://deathpenalty.org.........
[9]http://www.bostonglobe.com.........
[10]http://www.bostonglobe.com.........
[11]http://www.google.com.........
Debate Round No. 1
lord_megatron

Pro

I. Our Unalienable Rights
A serious criminal offense may involve the criminal attacking the rights of another person, and therefore the criminal is not entitled to the normal rights of a citizen. Also, I am not limiting this to the US.
II. Cost
"The costs of a death row inmate are far higher than the costs of any other prisoner. Seattle University found that it costs $1 million more for a death penalty case than a case where a life sentence is the verdict. This is because of the costs for defense, prosecution, multiple trials, etc"
The cost for defense and prosecution depends on the status of the criminal and the victim. Also, a prisoner with a life-sentence takes up resources such as food, water, electricity for his life in the prison, which is costly as well. With death penalty, there will be less need of prisons, and therefore less prison guards, so policemen could spend that time pursuing new criminals rather than taking care of the captured ones.
III. Innocents
"No matter how good the defense is, we can never know for sure if someone is innocent or guilty. 144 people have been released from death row after being proven innocent"
It is also possible that after the death verdict being announced, forged evidence is presented to save the criminal and they get saved. Also, the social prejudice of being a former criminal still has to be endured by the person which can be disturbing to the mind. People mayn't even want to give the person any job in their workplace.
IV. Racial Prejudice
"While some may argue that the severity of the crime you commit is a large factor in your sentence, race also takes hand in the verdict."
We must make law education better and change the mindset that race matters. Also, severity of the crime could be measured in number of people affected, such as mass-murderer, bank robbery etc, or whether the victim is alive or dead.
And anyways, racial prejudice can result in life imprisonment of black people, and the biased media would show that there are more black inmates than white.
V. It Doesn't Provide Closure
"Many of those for the death penalty provide the argument that it gives closure to the victim's family and helps the coping process. In fact, only about 2.7% relevant cases bring closure [8] because the aspect of revenge was later contemplated by the families."
What more revenge could you have than death? If you mean by family of the criminal, revenge can also happen due to life imprisonment or even a 30 day jail term.
"In the case of the Boston Marathon Bombing, the remaining culprit Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death. Only 15% of Boston residents wanted him to be executed. [9] In another story, two parents who lost their 8-year-old son urged against it in an open letter."
There could be a public poll for the death penalty, and the judicial system could be made democratic. Death penalty could also be given depending whether the defendant is okay with it or not. If the victim wants to give death penalty to the criminal, then it should be on the judge's discretion whether to give death penalty or not.'

In the punishment of imprisonment, there is a chance that the criminal may escape before his sentence. Also, it increases the chance for discrimination as politicians get a less strict sentence and a poor black man gets a longer sentence. With death penalty, there is no varying degree of punishment. Also, death penalty should not be given when there is inconclusive evidence. Only when the evidence is concrete and the defendant lacks strong points should death penalty be given.
missbailey8

Con

missbailey8 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
lord_megatron

Pro

Why you forfeit? To conclude, vote for me due to the above arguments that support my side of the resolution.
missbailey8

Con

missbailey8 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by fire_wings 11 months ago
fire_wings
lord_megatronmissbailey8Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Wylted 11 months ago
Wylted
lord_megatronmissbailey8Tied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Just voting on conduct though a forfeit of that many rounds could merit an argument loss.