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Taj vs Sara - Death Penalty - RFD

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8/10/2015 5:55:04 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Arguments go to - Con - I'll break it down below.

Pro's case

Innocents - Pro makes a pretty decent case here, citing a study which shows that a large [in this context] percentage of DP sentences may have been wrong. Con successfully refutes this, by showing that death row inmates have a good chance to prove themselves, when compared to Pro's alternative, life WITHOUT PAROLE. Con also shows how the DP has saved lives [referring to their deterrence stats that Pro ignored,] whereas a very small percentage of people have been wrongfully executed. And that the error rate will go lower with new tech. Pro's defense to this is pretty weak, they state that if there is clear evidence that someone on LWP is innocent, the prison will set them free. This is false, as there would still need to be an appeal hearing, which is not provided to LWP prisoners. This point was successfully refuted in the end by Con.

Discrimination - Pro gives some stats and demographics of the death row population. So far this point is useless, Pro's just giving stats about death row inmates, saying they're normally poor, and that blacks and men make up for the large amount of the prison population. Pro then says this is sexist and racist, without explaining why. They don't explain in any way that blacks, the mentally ill, and men are wrongfully targeted specifically for the DP. As Con said, there isn't any correlation or evidence that Pro provided that racial discrimination exists in relation to the DP. Pro's defense is just a restatement of their initial stats, this still doesn't prove that the system specifically targets blacks and men. This point was successfully refuted.

Publicity - Pro states that there's evidence the DP encourages people to commit crime, but a statement like this needs a source to be taken seriously, Pro provides none. Con asks Pro to show that the media focusses specifically on the DP case, and not the crime. Pro ignores this, they state that if there was no death penalty, the media wouldn't have covered anything. This ignores what Con said, that the media mainly covers the crime, not the DP. Since Pro failed to prove that the media mainly focusses on the DP, this point was successfully refuted.

Hippocratic Oath - This is a shaky point at the beginning, as Pro demonstrates their lack of understanding of the Hippocratic oath. Which states that it is within a doctor's power to take a life. But that aside, Pro's reasoning as to checking an inmates heart rate after execution is a violation of the oath is pretty shaky itself. Con successfully refutes this by noting that doctors aren't forced to take part in executions. Pro's defense again was pretty shaky, they state that there aren't many people who volunteer as executioners, and imply that they're forced to do it, without providing any information or stats to prove this. The rest of Pro's defense has nothing to do with the hippocratic oath. This point was successfully refuted.

Hypocrisy - Basic logic used here at the beginning. However you can also use basic logic when applying eye for eye logic. This point is useless in the debate, as both sides will keep applying nothing more than their subjective morals to no end. Pro basically surrendered this point, by simply restating exactly what they said in Round 1, and saying "that is all I will say for this section." Pro's failure to refute anything Con said results in this point being successfully refuted.

State Power - This is a legitimate point at the beginning. However Con still shows that the state is technically being more unfair to LWP inmates, which was Pro's alternative. Pro fails to respond to this again, saying "I will not repeat myself," and choosing not to defend their argument. This is unacceptable in a debate environment, and results in this point being successfully refuted.

Religious Reasons - This point is useless from the start. Separation of church from state makes this point useless from the start. Pro also fails to explain how this affects religious people in a serious way, other than it hurting their feelings, which isn't a good reason. Con also points out the separation of church from state. Pro says that the nation can't seem to separate church from state, however this is just public opinion, because constitutionally, in the US, the church is separate from the state. Pro failed to respond to that, so this point was successfully refuted.

Alternatives - Pro makes a shaky start here. Suggesting LWP but not giving any objective reasoning as to why it's better, simply stating that it'll make the criminal's life harsher, and that the DP causes crime rates to increase [a statement which is useless without a source.] Con shows in many instances how LWP cases give inmates less of a chance to prove their innocence. Pro simply ignores these stats, and asserts without evidence that society doesn't take some DP cases seriously. And then again repeats what they said before, that LWP is a harsher punishment. Pro's failure to respond to rebuttals again results in this being successfully refuted.

Cost - This is a standing point, Pro shows that the DP costs a great deal of money at the taxpayer's expense. Con refutes this with plea bargaining and that in some states the cost of an LWP case was the same as DP cases. Con also responds to the taxpayers comment, saying it's just as bad that we have to pay to keep them alive. Pro's rebuttals here do prove that the DP costs ridiculous amounts of money, and Pro actually gives numbers, unlike Con. Therefore this point stands, being the only one in Pro's entire case that does.

Con's Case

Justice and Public support - Con makes a pretty weak point here, giving some eye for eye logic and stating that most American's support the DP. However they don't explain how that matters, plus the eye for eye logic and morality in general is subjective. Pro actually refutes this pretty well, with studies showing that the DP could be detrimental to families of victims. Con defends their case here. They call out Pro for replying with simply hypothetical possibilities, and that no one has ever been released from LWP. This point stands.

Deterrence - Con makes a good point here, showing how executions prevent murders in theory, and how the murder rate dropped in some states after the DP's introduction. Pro's rebuttals here were lacking. Con had shown clear stats about murder rates in different states, whereas Pro just copy and pasted some professors views on deterrence, without linking any real study. This point stands.

Recidivism - Con makes another good point, showing how criminals do reoffend after their release, and that the DP prevents this. Pro's rebuttal here is somewhat effective, however ignores what I assume Con was referring about, Life with parole. Since Con never really defends themselves here, this point was successfully refuted.

In conclusion, many points in the entire debate were refuted, so I will judge the debate with a tally of the arguments that stood at the end. This tally is 2-1 in the favour of Con. Their arguments of Justice and Public support, and Deterrence stood, and for Pro, only 1 argument, cost, stood.

Arguments to Con due to more of their points standing at the end of the debate.