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RFD: Death Penalty

kasmic
Posts: 1,316
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6/3/2016 2:02:52 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
This vote is for the VU for this debate. http://www.debate.org...

1: Summary

1a Pro's Arguments.

Pro begins by making two observations. First an analysis of the burden of proof and second that pro ought to be preferred due to a right to life. Tejretics then provides 3 contentions.

1. Pro argues that the DP causes psychological harms. The first example given is the psychological harm suffered not by the executed but by the executioner. (I must say, this broadened my view of this topic, it is a very interesting argument.) This example is well supported and linked properly to the contention. This leads to the second example of psychological harm that the family of the executed undergoes. Pro links and warrants the harm the children of the executed suffer.

Con's rebuttal to this is largely conceding that psychological harms exist but are outweighed by the deterrent effect and lack of mental health facilities.

2. Pro argues the DP is extremely inhumane. Here pro highlights three negative realities of the DP. First, those on death row suffer from death row syndrome, second, that the methods used for the DP are inhumane and torturous and third botched executions. All are sufficiently warranted. (On a personal note, I don"t think the this contention would sway anyone in favor of the DP as, if someone views it Just to kill a criminal as punishment then the criminals suffering due to the DP seems negligible in comparison.)

Con argues that pro"s second contention is outweighed by deterrent. Especially, as those harmed are guilty.

3. Pro argues that innocents have executed. Tej presents stats that indicate a disturbingly high rate of people are innocent who are sentenced to and even put to death. Along with the punishment of those who are innocent, Tej argues that the Mentally Ill are also disproportionately harmed and punished.

Con's response to this is his 3rd contention, which I will come to at that part of the RFD. At this point is seems sufficient to say that con argues the likelihood of innocents being harmed is so small as to virtually zero due to advances in system and DNA evidence.

1b. Con's Arguments

Con argues that the resolution should be judged based on impacts rather than morality itself. Con then offers four contentions

1. Blamonkey first argues a deterrent effect. This is warranted via two sources that indicate 4- 25, or 14 murders are deterred per execution.

Pro refutes the deterrent contention. This is done by undermining the concept that criminals are making cost benefit analysis before they act. Quoting both phycologist and drug studies pro indicates that those committing crimes that warrant the death penalty are not acting rational way required for the deterrent argument to work. Furthermore, Tej argues that deterrent studies commit the correlation causation fallacy.

Con does attempt to re-establish this argument though, in the end I am convinced of the correlation causation fallacy and believe pro did enough to discredit the sources. Thus this contention is negated.

2. Con argues the lack of an alternative. Two specific alternatives are discredited, imprisonment and treatment. Due to the reality of prison escapes con argues the utility of the DP. It is also contended that "treatment" opposed to "incarceration" is faulty as there is a lack of mental health prioritization in U.S. society. Essentially I get from this argument that to treat as an alternative is doomed as it would over extend treatment options for our society.

Pro addresses the issues of the alternatives. Essentially he argues that those on death row are imprisoned already for a long time and could break out then, even if they did he argues con does not link any real negative impact to that happening. This is well sourced. So far as rehabilitation issues, pro argues this is off base as the debate is over what ought to be rather than what is. He also demonstrates that in individual states that rehabilitation has worked.

3. Con contends that innocent people are not executed. In this contention, con argues that due to the appeals process, DNA evidence and other advances, the likelihood of an innocent execution is essentially gone. This argument directly addresses Pro"s contention on innocence.

Pro addresses the contention on innocents. He argues that con has ignored the evidence presented and that the decline in overturns is not necessarily due to less mistakes but other factors i.e. pro death penalty judges. He also presents issue"s with acceptance of DNA evidence in appellate review.

4. Here con addresses the issue of costs. It seems to me two points are made here, first that the cost is not as high as supposed and that the benefits contended previously outweigh the cost of the DP.

This point is dropped by both sides and is not in contention.

Analysis/Vote

This was one heck of a debate guys. You both did very well. I wish Con had spent more time rebutting pro"s contentions as most of the debate ended up revolving around con"s case. This ending up being detrimental to con as to refute Tej"s first two contentions is contingent on the deterrent outweighing them. I found the deterrent contention to be sufficiently discredited as to keep that from happening. Thus I have pro winning his first two contentions. I do think that con did sufficient in mitigating the contention on innocence, by the end of the debate, I am convinced that even though innocent people have been excuted that the system is significantly improving in ways that will prevent that from happening in the future.

I have con"s first contention mitigated if not entirely negated. The second contention ends up being a split, I felt pro did enough to show that there could be alternatives, and con did enough to show why they may not work. So much so that I null the contention. I have con winning his third contention as I mentioned in the last paragraph and as already mentioned the cost contention was dropped by both sides.

What we have in the end is pro"s first two contentions stacked against con"s third. As Con"s third contention does not provide offense so much as negate Pro"s contention on innocence I have pro with the only offense left in the debate. Ergo, I vote Pro.
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tejretics
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6/3/2016 2:49:19 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/3/2016 2:02:52 PM, kasmic wrote:

Thanks for voting. Overall, a strong RFD, with just one point of disagreement -- I also offered two counter-studies that offered correlations that *didn't* show deterrence, thus lending further uncertainty to the correlation and winning on the causation, which meant not just a "mitigated" impact, but a refuted one, IMO.
"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
kasmic
Posts: 1,316
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6/3/2016 3:31:31 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/3/2016 2:49:19 PM, tejretics wrote:
At 6/3/2016 2:02:52 PM, kasmic wrote:

Thanks for voting. Overall, a strong RFD, with just one point of disagreement -- I also offered two counter-studies that offered correlations that *didn't* show deterrence, thus lending further uncertainty to the correlation and winning on the causation, which meant not just a "mitigated" impact, but a refuted one, IMO.

Sure, so you have it refuted and I said " mitigated if not entirely negated."
"Liberalism Defined" http://www.debate.org...
"The Social Contract" http://www.debate.org...
"Intro to IR An Open Discussion" http://www.debate.org...

Check out my website, the Sensible Soapbox http://www.sensiblesoapbox.com...
My latest article: http://www.sensiblesoapbox.com...