The Instigator
ellenia
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
phantom
Con (against)
Winning
23 Points

the death penalty should be allowed

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
phantom
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/5/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,666 times Debate No: 62684
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (4)

 

ellenia

Pro

I think the death penalty should stay for the criminals that deserve it because first of all our tax money is paying to keep them in prison even after they did a horrendous crime and besides jail is not torture enough it barely even close enough homeless people come to jail all the time to get food and water and heating and another reason why there should definitely be a death penalty is because someone who is responsible on taking away lives from other people for no reason is just straight up cruel and evil and we should take charge and do something about it because innocent people don't deserve to die its not fair and these people need to learn and understand that what they did was not only wrong but monstrous and inhuman and it will also teach a lesson to others as well.
phantom

Con

C1: The Death Penalty Removes the Possibility of Rehabilitation; The Rehabilitation Model Lines up with Science and Psychology



No matter what the crime, and no matter who the perpetrator, rehabilitation is an integral part of the justice system. The rehabilitation model posits that crimes are significantly determined by the environment, social structure, and psychological influences. Grave crimes require perpetrators willing to commit such crimes. There are reasons why persons are willing to rape, kill, or torture--acts most people would feel repulsed in doing. Largely, these persons are the product of factors external to their will. The criminal may have experienced abuse as a child, grown up in economic hardship, fell into the wrong company. He may be sociopathic or suffer from a variety of mental disorders or illnesses. Not every offender matches these circumstances but there is always a source of behavior and grave crimes require out of the ordinary causes which will always enlighten our understanding on why certain people feel compelled to kill.


Criminal law professor Ivana Bacik, argues that offenders are in need of help to change their behavior. The best possible solution would be to remove the social structuralism that produces criminals, but for those already a product of their conditions, sentencing should be tailored to rehabilitative help. Research that Bacik participated in discovered an apparent variation in sentencing depending on disadvantage. Defendants from deprived areas are 49% more likely to be given custodial sentences, than those from less deprived areas, [4] thus implying a relationship between communal deprivation and crime.


There are numerous facts that provide evidence for a causal determinism in criminal activity. Precursors of criminal behavior can be detected in children as early as elementary school [5]. Genetics, disease, physical trauma, and nutritional factors play large roles in aggressiveness and a proneness to violence [1]. Moreover, "some murderers show significant metabolic abnormalities in as many as six areas of the brain, several of which can suffer damage during gestation or birth"[3].


It is more common for prisoners than the general population to have a history of traumatic brain injury. "In two classic studies of 15 adults and 14 juveniles on death row in the mid-1980s, psychiatrist Dorothy Otnow Lewis found all 29 inmates had a history of traumatic brain injury”. Some occurrences completely change the character of the person involved [2].


Criminologist, Professor, and author, Adrian Raine argues that there’s a biological basis to violent crimes. "Simply put," he says, "if bad brains do cause bad behavior, if brain dysfunction raises the odds that somebody will become a criminal offender — a violent offender — and if the causes of the brain dysfunction come relatively early in life ... should we fully hold that adult individual responsible?" [6]


This all points to the fact that rehabilitation should be extremely important in our justice system while retribution and revenge have very little place. The death penalty ignores the plight of humans suffering the conditions of the environment they were born into and the uncontrollable issues that affected the way they act. While murder is no doubt heinous, the exact physiological makeup and the history of an offender alleviates much of the condemnation for the perpetrator himself.


Pro may bring up examples that he may believe refutes my argument. For example, can a well-off woman killing her husband and heirs for his estate and riches really be given the same leniancy as those born into abusive families or are suffering brain damage? I would first argue that these types of cases are a minority, as shown. But more importantly, as with other crimes, all actions have a causal basis. There's no mental illness we can apply to the lady, but she's just as much as everyone else a result of factors external to her will--upbringing, genes, physiological setup, environment, and social and everyday influences.



C2: The Death Penalty is more Costly



Cases involving the death penalty are more costly than others due to murder trials being much more lengthy with the death penalty, litigation costs, extra security, and housing. The average cost of a federal trial in which the death penalty is being sought is $620,932 which is about 8 times that of a federal murder case not involving the death penalty.[8]



The death penalty requires more tax dollars than life without parole in every state. For example, California could save $1billion over five years if they replaced capital punishment with life without parole.[8]



Though cost in dollars is of much less importance than a person’s right to life, the costliness of the death penalty brings into question just how practical it is. Significant sums of taxpayers money are going to time-wasting trials centered on the killing of persons, and we have to ask how it’s worth the costs.



C3: The Death Penalty is Unjust


In 1972, the Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty violated the 8th amendment by carrying out cruel and unusual punishment [9]. In 1976, state governments pressured it back into use, but the reasoning still holds and the facts remain. The state has no legitimate authority to execute its citizens, no matter what the nature of their act. The death penalty is state-sanctioned murder. In certain situations, it is justifiable to kill, but never in the case of the sentencing someone to death. With the death penalty, there is always a choice--the criminal is safely in the hands of the state--the state has no necessary motive to kill, such as self-defence or preemptive strike. They can easily let the criminal live while also protecting society from him through life without parole, yet they choose to take away his ultimate position, his ultimate right.


Moreover, the death penalty is not merely cruel because it executes people; the anticipatory suffering of the criminal is agonizing and tortuous. Albert Camus and Fyodor Dostoevsky both argued that the anticipatory suffering of the criminal probably outweighs that of the victim so that the death penalty’s claim to retributive justice does not hold [10]. Criminals sentenced to death in the United States have to wait an average of 12 years, sometimes up to 30. Death row inmates typically wait years for their deaths almost entirely in their cells in solitary confinement. Healthy inmates often become mentally ill and those already sick experience severe deterioration in their condition [11]. This is easily cruel and unusual punishment and is, thus, unconstitutional via the 8th amendment.


The state has a duty to act in the least harmful way possible--yet it gratuitously takes the life of those under its jurisdiction. A society that deliberately kills human-beings without need unequivocally does not respect life.



Debate Round No. 1
ellenia

Pro

I believe the death penalty is not the best way to solve all crimes but in some cases like mass murdering or kidnapping or something else. I do think that killing someone is not the first solution but if they get to live they should at least have some harsher punishments besides just jail because its not that bad. But the main reason i think the death penalty should be allowed is because if someone decided to do something as evil as a mass murdering they shouldn't just go to jail for a life time and get it over with it because its just not fair the American jail is not as hard as should be on certain prisoners for what they have done. I think that if you have the guts to go up and have the nerve to kill someone then you definitely don't deserve to still be living and breathing on this earth its just not right you need to learn from your mistakes and it will also teach others to learn from what you have done and be warned that if you decide to take this path in your life there will be serious consequences like the death penalty or harsher and stricter jails. People need to take the blame for what they have clearly done and its not right to kill and innocent person and still live and eat and live your life when them and their families have to suffer for what you have done. It also gives closure to the victims families who have suffered so deeply because of your cruel actions, and also i don't know if you've noticed but your justice system has more sympathy for our criminals than our victims. Another good reason to have the death penalty is because when a prisoner's parole or escape can give the criminals another opportunity to kill another person again. Also have you noticed with all these prisoners here and known of them getting killed its taking up space and that's not realty safe. And finally something we all have to pay attention almost everyday is our taxes did you know that we are paying to keep our criminals stuck in that jail place when it could be going to something a lot more useful that could actually help and benefit us. Overall i do agree with the death penalty but if there we some law that were to be passed that made the jails a bit more stricter and made them suffer more them i would also agree with that as well . Some people may call that mean or getting eye to eye which is also not the best way to solve things and i agree and here your point but its also not fair haven't you ever lost a loved one and if so just imagine the reason they died is because guy was just feeling angry and decided to kill someone that night and its also not only that is just that someone who had the mentality to do something like that clearly needs to get their facts straight and on the right track.
phantom

Con

Pro has not responded to any of my arguments. This is a debate, and debates entail an exchange, not talking past each other and ignoring the other side.

Now, on to the mesh of one sentence arguments...


the American jail is not as hard as should be on certain prisoners for what they have done.

1) This is irrelevant. If jails should be harder, it only follows that the jails should change, not that the death penalty should be allowed.


2) Why are jails not hard enough? Please provide support.

I think that if you have the guts to go up and have the nerve to kill someone then you definitely don't deserve to still be living and breathing on this earth its just not right

1) I developed a lengthy argument last round which addressed the moral responsibility of individuals and the unjust nature of the death penalty. I invite Pro to read it.


2) Pro only appeals to emotion. She doesn't make an argument.

you need to learn from your mistakes

Unfortunately, you'll find that when you try to use capital punishment to educate someone, their capacity to remember what they learned is greatly impared.

it will also teach others to learn from what you have done and be warned that if you decide to take this path in your life there will be serious consequences like the death penalty

Deterence is a contentious issue, so Pro cannot make an argument for it without providing outside research.

In 2008, a survey was conducted on members of the prestigious Fellow in the American Society of Criminology. 88.2% of the experts do not believe that the death penalty is a deterrent. 74.7% say that research refutes the claim that death-penalty states have lower homicide rates than neighboring states without the death-penalty. In fact, death-penalty states had 42% higher homicide rates than non-death penalty states in 2007. [1]

Also, in a 1995 national survey, two-thirds of nearly 400 police chiefs and county sheriffs responded that they did not believe the death penalty significantly lowered the number of murders [1].

“Overall, it is clear that however measured, fewer than 10% of the polled experts believe the deterrence effect of the death penalty is stronger than that of long-term imprisonment”[1]

A study was conducted a few years ago by the prestigious National Research Council of the National Academies [2].

The study covered over three decades of research and concluded that there were three fundamental flaws in current studies on deterrence:

1. “The studies do not factor in the effects of noncapital punishments that may also be imposed.

2. The studies use incomplete or implausible models of potential murderers’ perceptions of and response to the use of capital punishment.

3. Estimates of the effect of capital punishment are based on statistical models that make assumptions that are not credible.”

The conclusion of the study was that research is not informative about the effect of capital punishment on homicide rates and, therefore, should not be used to inform policy judgements.

There have been a vast amount of studies regarding capital punishment and deterrence such as the 10 mentioned between 2004 and 2012 here [3]. The only thing we can gather from all these studies is that the effect of capital punishment on homicide rates can’t be established, as the mentioned article concludes. There are, however, reasons why the death penalty might have very little deterrence or no deterrence at all. The first reason is the consensus of experts against deterrence. The second is presented below.

For the death penalty to deter, criminals need to actively weigh the thought of execution to their potential crime. This is problematic; one, because executions happen so little in America and are applied so arbitrary that no one would believe they had much chance of receiving the death penalty. Also, murders are largely committed in the heat of passion, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or because they are mentally ill--little thought is given to the possible consequences. Those murderers in the minority, who plan the crime in advance, are counting on not being caught; they expect to avoid punishment altogether.[4]

or harsher and stricter jails

This debate has nothing to do with the debate.


People need to take the blame for what they have clearly done and its not right to kill and innocent person and still live and eat and live your life when them and their families have to suffer for what you have done

Correction: Live and eat and spend the rest of your life in prison. No one contends that murderers should recieve punishment. Pro has simply given no rational argument for why it warrants the death penalty. I've already given many reasons why the death penalt is unjust. Pro can't address any of my arguments nor even give one of her own.

i don't know if you've noticed but your justice system has more sympathy for our criminals than our victims

No, I haven't.

Another good reason to have the death penalty is because when a prisoner's parole or escape can give the criminals another opportunity to kill another person again.

The only way to stop recidivism is to execute every murderer, which no person wants, or life without parole, which is an alternative to the death penalty.

Also have you noticed with all these prisoners here and known of them getting killed its taking up space and that's not realty safe.

Seriously... The answer to our prison population IS NOT TO JUST START KILLING PEOPLE.


And finally something we all have to pay attention almost everyday is our taxes did you know that we are paying to keep our criminals stuck in that jail place when it could be going to something a lot more useful that could actually help and benefit us.

Pro obviously did not even attempt to read my case.



Sources:

[1] http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu...

[2] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[3] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org...
[4] http://deathpenalty.procon.org...;
Debate Round No. 2
ellenia

Pro

ellenia forfeited this round.
phantom

Con

Extend arguments. I hope that Pro returns to the site, and that my harsh critisisms did not deter her from the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
ellenia

Pro

ellenia forfeited this round.
phantom

Con

Extend arguments.
Debate Round No. 4
ellenia

Pro

ellenia forfeited this round.
phantom

Con

Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by phantom 2 years ago
phantom
I don't see how omitting the executing innocents argument is ironic... but anyways, I left it out because I was lazy and just copied and pasted my case from another debate where I didn't need to use that argument in that round.
Posted by jynxx 2 years ago
jynxx
Pro's grammar annoys me....
Posted by phantom 2 years ago
phantom
*Vote Con, not Pro!
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by jynxx 2 years ago
jynxx
elleniaphantomTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture and bad arguments and grammar on Pro's part.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
elleniaphantomTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
elleniaphantomTied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Jzyehoshua 2 years ago
Jzyehoshua
elleniaphantomTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con ironically omitted the strongest argument against the death penalty in my opinion, the number of innocent people on death row. Frankly I feel this debate failed to address the most pressing arguments as a result. Nonetheless Con did present better sources and at least attempted refutations. Pro did not have horrible arguments but would have needed to address the number of innocent people on death row wrongly found guilty under a flawed system. I thought both sides failed to address this crucial issue. Nonetheless the debate was won handily by Con regardless of the debate's lack of comprehensiveness.