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Death Penalty Debate - RFD

tejretics
Posts: 6,080
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9/14/2015 5:57:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
This is an RFD for this debate [http://www.debate.org...], titled, "Resolved: The death penalty should be abolished." So, there's quite a bit to cover, so let me get to the first, minor bits of the RFD, before getting on to the arguments.

== Conduct ==

The conduct point clearly goes to Pro. This is primarily because Con forfeits their final round. Forfeiting is rarely considered acceptable conduct in any debate setting. This is because the forfeiture of a portion of debate is depriving the opponent's desire for a debate. This deprivation is clearly a conduct violation, especially since it is unannounced. DDO policy allows for this - a forfeit is definitely a conduct violation. Since Pro does not forfeit any round, but Con forfeits their final round, I can award conduct to Con. There is also, clearly, another issue with conduct. Con does not ascribe to the debate structure. This means Con gains an additional round of argumentation, which is unwarranted and unfair. This rule violation also constitutes a conduct violation. As such, conduct to Pro.

== Arguments ==

Neither side gives me any strong offense. That is problematic for both sides. Further, I'm not given a weighing mechanism, by means of which I can carry out an impact calculus to analyze the arguments collectively, and weigh them against each other. Debaters, I would advise that both of you add a crystallization with an impact calculus, so that I can have a clear summary of the arguments, and gain a means to weigh the impacts against one another. Take, for example, Pro's "costs" contention. I'm not getting the crucial link of *magnitude,* and there's no real discussion of magnitude under the contention either. I don't see how costs even matter, or how fiscal cost actually plays a role in the debate. By default, I prefer lives. Pro also has too many mitigations and defenses in their case. I'm not getting much clear, offensive impacts. Every one of those can be dismissed as off-case. I'm just going to be addressing deterrence (Con's only offense), and costs (Pro's only offense). Note that, by default, if both are won by their respective argument-creators, I, by default, prefer Con since lives outweigh money.

1. Deterrence

While the argument should be strong, Con neither sufficiently explains or warrants it, nor do they actually present it in a way that directly comes off as strong. Deterrence is clearly won by Pro. While Con presents some strong data regarding deterrence, I'm not really getting much impacts under this contention. Con *drops* Pro's citation of Donahue and Wolfers, which completely refutes Con's Ehrlich study. Con basically drops deterrence over the next round, instead completely diverting the argument into a "justice" offense, that is presented too late in the debate for me to vote on (as it would violate the structure). So, overall, deterrence to Pro.

2. Costs

Con's response to costs is unwarranted, and is a bare assertion. Con just gives a few (unsourced) reasons that say "the DP's costs should be higher," but it fails to account for all the studies Pro cites. Con ignores the capital trials and cases, and instead focuses on maintenance, which is not all. Since Con drops it, I can choose Pro on costs.

== Conclusion ==

Pro wins both deterrence and costs. I have nothing to go on from Con. While neither debater analyzes magnitude, I don't need a magnitude analysis now, since Pro wins anyway. Pro gives me sufficient reason to think the death penalty should be abolished, and Con drops much of Pro's evidence and forfeits. Therefore, I vote Pro.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
ColeTrain
Posts: 4,291
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9/14/2015 6:14:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/14/2015 5:57:37 PM, tejretics wrote:
This is an RFD for this debate [http://www.debate.org...], titled, "Resolved: The death penalty should be abolished." So, there's quite a bit to cover, so let me get to the first, minor bits of the RFD, before getting on to the arguments.

== Conduct ==

The conduct point clearly goes to Pro. This is primarily because Con forfeits their final round. Forfeiting is rarely considered acceptable conduct in any debate setting. This is because the forfeiture of a portion of debate is depriving the opponent's desire for a debate. This deprivation is clearly a conduct violation, especially since it is unannounced. DDO policy allows for this - a forfeit is definitely a conduct violation. Since Pro does not forfeit any round, but Con forfeits their final round, I can award conduct to Con. There is also, clearly, another issue with conduct. Con does not ascribe to the debate structure. This means Con gains an additional round of argumentation, which is unwarranted and unfair. This rule violation also constitutes a conduct violation. As such, conduct to Pro.

== Arguments ==

Neither side gives me any strong offense. That is problematic for both sides. Further, I'm not given a weighing mechanism, by means of which I can carry out an impact calculus to analyze the arguments collectively, and weigh them against each other. Debaters, I would advise that both of you add a crystallization with an impact calculus, so that I can have a clear summary of the arguments, and gain a means to weigh the impacts against one another. Take, for example, Pro's "costs" contention. I'm not getting the crucial link of *magnitude,* and there's no real discussion of magnitude under the contention either. I don't see how costs even matter, or how fiscal cost actually plays a role in the debate. By default, I prefer lives. Pro also has too many mitigations and defenses in their case. I'm not getting much clear, offensive impacts. Every one of those can be dismissed as off-case. I'm just going to be addressing deterrence (Con's only offense), and costs (Pro's only offense). Note that, by default, if both are won by their respective argument-creators, I, by default, prefer Con since lives outweigh money.

1. Deterrence

While the argument should be strong, Con neither sufficiently explains or warrants it, nor do they actually present it in a way that directly comes off as strong. Deterrence is clearly won by Pro. While Con presents some strong data regarding deterrence, I'm not really getting much impacts under this contention. Con *drops* Pro's citation of Donahue and Wolfers, which completely refutes Con's Ehrlich study. Con basically drops deterrence over the next round, instead completely diverting the argument into a "justice" offense, that is presented too late in the debate for me to vote on (as it would violate the structure). So, overall, deterrence to Pro.

2. Costs

Con's response to costs is unwarranted, and is a bare assertion. Con just gives a few (unsourced) reasons that say "the DP's costs should be higher," but it fails to account for all the studies Pro cites. Con ignores the capital trials and cases, and instead focuses on maintenance, which is not all. Since Con drops it, I can choose Pro on costs.

== Conclusion ==

Pro wins both deterrence and costs. I have nothing to go on from Con. While neither debater analyzes magnitude, I don't need a magnitude analysis now, since Pro wins anyway. Pro gives me sufficient reason to think the death penalty should be abolished, and Con drops much of Pro's evidence and forfeits. Therefore, I vote Pro.

Thanks for the vote and explanation. What would you suggest I do to improve? I highly respect your opinion and sincerely desire your input regarding this.
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tejretics
Posts: 6,080
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9/15/2015 3:11:02 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
All the defensive arguments you used should be discarded [e.g. morality, deterrence]. They'd all be straw-men if your opponent doesn't bring them up. Instead, make *offensive* arguments and expand on them [e.g. costs, innocent deaths, barrier to extradition]. Preempting an argument is very weak debating.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass