The Instigator
jameswalters
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
neurotic1
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points

death penalty

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
neurotic1
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/9/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 723 times Debate No: 37404
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

jameswalters

Con

According to aclu.org
(aclu.org/capital-punishment/case-against-death-penalty)
The A.C.L.U. (also known as the American Civil Liberties Union) believes the
Death penalty inherently violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment.

stop and think about this...

Should we disobey our own laws in the name of justice?

People call for justice.
People say justice is like light because it shows the truth.
Is death justice
If it is then let me say that light makes the shadows.
If death is justice and it is in the light then what cruel dark creations will it spawn?

Look at yourselves
Are you those creations
You may hate the words I speak to you
Does that make it true

People wonder about the killer.
They say what if he feels no guilt.

Let me tell you that there is no action without guilt.

Anybody who says otherwise is either lying threw their own teeth or they are misinformed.

Allow me to quote
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th'oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely;
The pangs of dispriz'd love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office,
And the spurnsThat patient merit of th'unworthy takes.
-William Shakespeare Hamlet

All I have left to say is living with guilt is the worst punishment.
We have all felt this and we know the torturous pain that comes with guilt.
neurotic1

Pro

I think your argument relies on two points -

1. There is liberty and fairness

2. Guilt as a punishment would deter future deviance

In some situation fairness and equal liberty are fairly hard to achieve. Or plain non existent. In gang crime the antagonist isn't saying "hey wait both of us can make money from pushing drugs to kids, I'm fair" they are saying "I'm going to kill, maim or cripple you because I'm going to make more money by selling drugs to kids than you". There is no fairness in that situation. Similarly there is no liberty when looking at unemployment figures; there are only enough jobs to go around and too many people to fill them. The best, most competent, should get jobs. Some people would kill for a job, this is why we have the police and guns. Assad in Syria, there is no liberty being practised at present and in the future it will not be fair for the families of those tortured to death by the secret police if Assad is taken captive and assumed to be punished by guilt. Guilt is not enough. I'm sure there would be more agreement if films such as Silence of the Lambs were supported with truth.

I admire your aim for a more liberal society but history has shown this to be difficult. The French revolution for instance, written about in the Tale of Two Cities by Dickens. Isn't it true that the rebellion happened because the French aristocrats were taking more than they could give back to their people and enforcing law by isolated torture in prisons? The revolution aimed to free the people from their bloody oppression and give people financial equality. The success of the revolution was short lived, the new "socialist leaders" intended on killing the heirs of the previous aristocracies wealth and belongings to finance their regime. This means killing rich kids. Presently economies are being criticised for rising tax claimed to be due to corruption. Replacing our leaders with more "fair" people wouldn't work however as oil prices have increased, raising price of other commodities. The social disharmony faced only slows the process of economic reformation, in my eyes, legalizing events similar to the Tainanmen Square controversy of 1989.

Guilt as a punishment also is debatable as the cause of deviancy can be a variety of things. Yes power and greed are the cause of many problems. But so is mistreatment and coercion - it is well known in social science that repression leads to serious behavioural problems later on life. A person who commits murder to escape cruelty is as guilty as a person who commits murder to pay for a new car. The former who is sentenced to a lifetime of guilt however is more likely to see this punishment as a trigger to future deviance due to institutional abuse.

I am not saying the death penalty should be used generally, not even for paedophile unless they had power tools. I am saying however, that in some circumstances, when the crimes are so dire, or the situation unresolvable, death is the only solution.
Debate Round No. 1
jameswalters

Con

first of all,

simpleman thank you for commenting on my debate.

I'm on a laptop right now and the keyboard is broken a little and the keys skip so tell me if something is gibberish, I'm always open to correction.

Dear neurotic1,

I thank you too for excepting my debate and responding to it (unlike the last time I sent out a debate on the death penalty the person accepted but didn't respond). Any way I still can't wait for this debate. I hope that I will enjoy your company and that we have fair and sportsman like conduct.

Now to the real debate.

Liberty is what I'm fighting for. Liberty is everything our constitution is based on, And the laws shouldn't be broken even by the government, it's the law for our right to live. It's the same argument with Snowden, EG. is the government breaking a law a crime. I'm fighting against the death penalty because life is a lot more torturous (ask many philosophers), I'm against the death penalty for a few reasons but one of the main ones is that death is the easy way out (life in prison is far worse). I'm not saying that there isn't people who deserve to die its just they should wait their time.

And I said that I was against the death penalty, I never said that I was against torture (mostly against but still).

I'm James Thomas Walters and I have to say that there are worse things worse than death.
neurotic1

Pro

It is my pleasure to debate the complexities of the world with you Mr Walter! In fact i take great pleasure in it!

I feel that you place too much emphasis on punishment rather than a resolution to the suffering of the innocent. As i mentioned i don't think it is fair for the families who have fallen victim to the tyrannical regimes of Assad and co to merely see the antagonist isolated and in a supposed position of guilt. The victim is important too. These families feel reasonable amounts of pain themselves over the crime, they have let their family down by not protecting them and want vengeance. I say a reasonable amount of pain when this may be an understatement. Similarly it serves no good to the victim of the crime to see Ian Bradey and other serious Paedophiles left alive in British prisons. These people are perpetrators of serious crime and without resolution would cause vast discontent. Sometimes it is better to forget; a strong mistrust of authority may occur otherwise, let these people have some dignity and get on with life.

Not all people appreciate your admirable faith in liberty either. Game Theory (http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu...) is a theory founded in ecological science which explains different behavioural interactions. This theory shows that graciousness is open to deception. A person who takes advantage of another's niceness has nothing to lose and everything to gain. In the case of the most serious of crimes, Paedophilia, unprovoked mass murder or bodily mutilation, getting away with ones life is a serious victory. Some people will just keep taking and taking and taking from the system without any guilt or concern for others.

Essentially i think it is important to remove these problem people to avoid continuous problems and emotional pain for those left to live with their grief - the victim. Judge them by their own standards. Once again thanks for debating.
Debate Round No. 2
jameswalters

Con

Dear neurotic1,

Thanks for stating my name with a Mr. in front of it but my last name is Walters, (or is it (see my debate on are we real when we are online?)) as I type this I notice that it might of just been spell check so don't think I was being offensive. This Is good debate despite it being about something as bad as the death penalty (note I'm about to make it more sorrowful so skip for those who cry easily).

Now I'm going to state the saddest thing that has happened to some one I know.

The person involved in this tragic story says I can use it just this one point because that the person believes so strongly in my story that this individual is asking me to use it in my debate (I didn't come to this person and asked the person if I could use this story in my debate, this person came to me after I read the person this story and the person believed that I should tell this sad tale with out giving away gender, race, or the name of this individual and I will keep my promise).

I have been given permission by a very close friend to say that this individual will allow me to say that this person has been abused in many ways and that this individual refuses to give the criminal the merciful way of dying the easy way, the victim whose name I won't give away because I swore an oath of secrecy (except when the person allows it) believes that the felon shouldn't go through something as simple as death he/she wants something worse to happen to this vile human who (as the victim puts it) "deserves to be destroyed physically and mentally and that the criminal should not to have the easy way out".

I feel deep sorrow for this person who has had to suffer this heavy burden and I proudly support this persons opinion for their strength of will and I support this painfully scared human despite them having bipolar, anxiety, and depression.

I'm James Thomas Walters and I have said this with permission from my friend and my friend believes in me not to tell a single soul who this persons name is.

PS. For other reasons the death penalty is bad (or ineffective) see

(https://www.aclu.org...)

(http://www.outsidethebeltway.com...)

(http://www.debate.org...)
neurotic1

Pro

Hello again, this debate is certainly very hot.

I'm sorry to hear about your friends misfortune Mr Walters (no offence at the name intended btw, Walters is a nice name), its a shame the world is as messed up as it is. I understand the death penalty is a serious subject and will continue with caution.

In my debate i say that the death penalty should be used in some cases, perhaps not in the case of the typical homicidal murderer but certainly for the worst crimes which evoke repulsion from even the most hardened. I think Furman (https://www.aclu.org......) took a good approach when a two tier method of trial was adopted, firstly to test innocence and secondly to assign a resolution. The decision made in this context should always be based on hard, factual evidence of substance to avoid harm to the innocent upstanding citizen.

The sources you provided (https://www.aclu.org......) explain much of the criticism towards the death penalties usage. I contend however that not all of these seemingly evident points are valid. For instance, the death penalty is said to be costly, costing money for litigation and other court fee's. The cost minimized by not using the death penalty however is contradicted by the services needed to be commissioned by the state to prevent crime such as gun control and anti drug proliferation action by the police. For each case where the death penalty is not used to save state litigation fees an officer must be paid to protect their country. Also, the police say that alternatives to the death penalty are more effective but this works in their own favour. By opposing the death penalty the police are opposing the removal of crime committing individuals and creating more work for themselves. This is corrupt, similar to how the mental health services label a patient to ensure they are forced to seek treatment.

To continue, you make the point, it is mentioned your sources too, that some families would prefer not to use the death penalty. Sources also state that legal professionals often are swayed in favour of pro death penalty cases. Much of your argument has stated that we should obey the law ourselves and not commit murder, comparing the death penalty to murder. The law however is made in different ways through democracy, centralized planning and some would say there is no strict law, free market economists for example. Through liberal means each individual is given law making capacity, It is seen as moral that each person decides their own law. The opinions of pro death penalty legal professions are then important in a liberal system, as much as the public's. The penalty for murder, in its simplest form, is already decided by the guilty individual too. If a person chooses to kill another person they see this as legally, socially and spiritually correct. That is then that individuals law and liberty must respect it.

Obviously the issue is complicated and in no way wrapped up but thanks for the debate!
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by jameswalters 3 years ago
jameswalters
Thank You simple man for your view.

Note just the first document I made last year not the entire thing.
Posted by simpleman 3 years ago
simpleman
You make a decent proposition. I would say that as you grow in experience, you will see that these things are decided upon from more than one vantage point. The question is upon the appropriation of punishment, not whether death is moral. After all, death is inevitable, but the burden and necessity of justice remains.
Posted by jameswalters 3 years ago
jameswalters
I forgot to say, comment on anything.
I need input on this document that I made last year.
(part of me wants to see if its good enough to use in school again)
Posted by jameswalters 3 years ago
jameswalters
Thank you I'm happy that people are paying attention to what I have to say, despite the fact that I'm only 17, I'm also proud that Ive had 43 views in under an hour.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by kbub 2 years ago
kbub
jameswaltersneurotic1Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: I like personal testimony's but a victim's saying something does not make it automatically true. More to the point Con is that you gave three arguments without actually giving three arguments. You literally just gave the link and let other people do your debate for you. That's problematic. Pro wins.