The Instigator
andrew26
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
fyodor
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

death penalty in michigan

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/7/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 602 times Debate No: 40129
Debate Rounds (5)
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andrew26

Pro

i think we should have it because they cost to much to keep
fyodor

Con

I look forward to this argument as I have always been an ardent death penalty abolitionist.

First, I would like to address the misconception that seems to have driven you to begin this argument which is that the death penalty is less expensive than life imprisonment. This is very untrue; in fact, a death penalty case can cost $1.25 million more than a life imprisonment case. I will go into more detail in later arguments.

Of course, one cannot speak of the death penalty without mentioning the ethical reasons for abolition. I intend to cite clauses from the Constitution to help me prove this point.

Finally, I will use cases as examples of the unreasonable nature of capital punishment; cases where the innocent have been executed or the death was clearly cruel and unusual.

Thank you for beginning this debate and I look forward to arguing with you!
Debate Round No. 1
andrew26

Pro

andrew26 forfeited this round.
fyodor

Con

Most people are under the false pretention that death penalty cases are lighter on the taxpayers pocket than life-without-parole ones are. This is quite simply untrue. But why?

The justice system is structured in a way that tries to prevent innocent men from ending up on death row. Most defendants in capital cases can not afford an attorney, so a Public Defender is hired from taxpayer money. The jury selection process takes an average of 26 days. This jury must attend two trials, one for deciding guilt or innocence, and -if guilt is determined- another for deciding whether or not the sentence should be death. Of course, the jury must be compensated as well. After the accused has been sentenced to death, an appeal and a habeas corpus petition are immediately issued. This entire process takes an average of 1,902 calendar days. By the end of this ordeal, the taxpayer will have spent on this death penalty case $3 million - $1.9 million more than the cost of a non-death penalty case on everything from investigation to incarceration.

Upon arrival on death row, the average inmate will still be more expensive than his LWOP counterpart. He will almost inevitably be placed in solitary confinement which requires much more security and as a result, much more money. Also, let's not forget that at this time, his Public Defender will be requesting all kinds of appeals to prevent his unnecessary death.

I live in North Carolina, a state which spends an extra $2.1 million on death penalty cases compared with LWOP. If my state repealed the death penalty, they would save over $11 million dollars a year. That's $11 million which could be spent on things like improving the education system, and considering that we are now officially 51st in "college readiness," that would definitely be a welcome change.

P. Cook, "Potential Savings from Abolition of the Death Penalty in North Carolina, "American Law and Economics Review", advance access, December 11, 2009

J. Marceau and H. Whitson, "The Cost of Colorado's Death Penalty," 3 Univ. of Denver Criminal Law Review 145 (2013)

J. McMenamin, "Death penalty costs Md. more than life term," Baltimore Sun, March 6, 2008

T. Miethe, "Estimates of Time Spent in Capital and Non-Capital Murder Cases: A Statistical Analysis of Survey Data from Clark County Defense Attorneys," Department of Criminal Justice, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, February 21, 2012

Newsday, Nov. 21, 2005; also Press Release, New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, Nov. 21, 2005
Debate Round No. 2
andrew26

Pro

andrew26 forfeited this round.
fyodor

Con

fyodor forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
andrew26

Pro

andrew26 forfeited this round.
fyodor

Con

fyodor forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
andrew26

Pro

andrew26 forfeited this round.
fyodor

Con

fyodor forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
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