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Debate Info

19
42
Yes. No.
Debate Score:61
Arguments:56
Total Votes:66
More Stats

Argument Ratio

side graph
 
 Yes. (15)
 
 No. (25)

Debate Creator

SitaraForJesus(3819) pic



Should the death penalty be legal?

Yes.

Side Score: 19
VS.

No.

Side Score: 42

Why not? The person receiving the penalty has obviously shown no respect for other human life; so why should we respect their life?

Side: Yes.
Coldfire(1013) Clarified
4 points

so why should we respect their life?

If there is a chance they didn’t do it there is a chance that we could be killing an innocent man.

If they did do it, then the nature of culpability shows us that crime is a preventable/treatable occurrence. The culpable factor is not just the individual who did the crime, but every detail in that person’s life and influential factor leading up to that point in time. While I do not necessarily think that should absolve them, I do consider it immoral to turn a blind eye to these deterministic factors. Some level of responsibility ought to be encouraged in order to promote an environment of prevention and rehabilitation.

Side: Yes.
1 point

If there is a chance they didn’t do it there is a chance that we could be killing an innocent man.

We'll we have this thing called DNA, and I understand that in past we have put people on death row with out DNA but in today's world, anyone on death row is there because there is hard facts and hard DNA truth that put them there. This argument is void.

If they did do it, then the nature of culpability shows us that crime is a preventable/treatable occurrence.

How can we prevent a baby killer or a serial killer? These people are sick in the head, they should never be given the chance to live after conviction. The fact that you think people like this are treatable and can be "cured" is a crazy notion. Do you not study criminal minds at all? And I'm not talking about the TV show. I have studied serial killers since I was a teen. And these sick twisted people who hunt down there victims and seek the thrill of everything involved will never lead a normal life, they will always have the desire to kill. They have tried drugs on sexual perps and while this stops the sexual desire of child molesters, 9 times out of 10 they stop treatment because there brain wants to have the desire.

Side: No.
1 point

A monster is a monster... You libreals really don't understand the criminal mind of these sick people. Do you have kids? What if your child was raped and beat? Would you still think we should study the bastard that did it?? Really? Com'on

Side: No.

Oh and for anybody who says "but life is precious", you are a fool. How many people die each and everyday? How many people get brutally killed each day? Life is only "precious" because you see it/want it to be.

Side: Yes.
7thDebater(292) Disputed
2 points

What?!? All your doing is going against your point even further. By stating that people die often it shows us that we could easily lose are life. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed. Life IS prescious.

Side: No.

Yes, yes, and YES😊😊😊😊😊😊😊

YES

YES

YES

Side: Yes.
MuckaMcCaw(1968) Disputed
1 point

I can't remember the last time I saw someone support death with such enthusiasm...and smileys.

Side: No.
IHateObummer(217) Clarified
1 point

We'll I have always said that Saddam Got what he had coming. From the time he was sentenced up to his hanging, it was 30 days. A man like that got what he deserved. Ever since then I wished that instead of allowing murderers to live 20+ years on death row, there should be a date set at the sentencing of no more than 1 year for there execution. With DNA what it is today, there is no reason to stall on this matter. Eye for and eye, a life for a life. So yes I support the death penalty and the reason I have used the smileys was because I had to have 50 characters. A simple yes was not long enough.

Side: Yes.

I support the death penalty under very simple criteria.

I'm working from the premise that our criminal justice system is intended to both 1) rehabilitate criminals and re-integrate them into society, and 2) Protect law-abiding citizens from further criminal activity by the convicted.

This is a rather shaky premise, mind you, and our criminal justice system does not adequately represent these goals, but I believe that this is a problem with current execution (no pun intended) rather than the intent of the system. Another debate entirely.

So, with all that groundwork laid down, I would support the death penalty only in the event that a criminal is deemed unable to ever re-enter society. Basically, I would apply the death penalty to those cases where, in the absence of the death penalty, a criminal would serve a true(1) life sentence.

My reasoning for this is that we've already established that the individual cannot be rehabilitated and/or will represent a significant danger to others should he or she be released. Furthermore, given the current prison climate- often referred to as college for criminals- those imprisoned for life hold the de facto role of tenured professors. There is nothing to be gained by exposing criminals who could potentially be rehabilitated to criminals who could not, and much to lose if rehabilitation is the goal. Inmates who have 'nothing left to lose' have been demonstrated to be more dangerous to other criminals, and said dangers are a factor in inmates 'adapting' to prison conditions to the point that they cannot successfully re-integrate into society.

This would serve to both improve the ability of our system to rehabilitate 'salvageable' criminals, but would also lower the costs involved in imprisnment. Many disagree with the cost-saving notiong; it has been said that it costs more money to execute a criminal than it does to imprison him or her for life, primarily due to the numerous appeals, etc that are made when a death sentence is issued. This stance, however, acts under the assumption that criminals sentenced for life would not go through the appeals process themselves- reality does not bear out this assumption. Any way you slice it, X (years imprisoned before/during appeals) + Y (appeals) and a final execution is still less than X (years imprisoned before/during appeals) + Y (appeals) + Z (remainder of life after all appeals fail).

1- By 'true' life sentence I mean that the convict is to be imprisoned for the remainder of his or her life, with no possibility of parole. A 'life sentence' in some jurisdictions is actually defined as a specific period of minimum time, eg 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, etc- before becoming potentially eligible for parole. I would not substitute the death penalty in these cases; only the case, as noted, where the convict is to be imprisoned permanently without possibility of parole.

Side: Yes.
Coldfire(1013) Clarified
0 points

There is nothing to be gained by exposing criminals who could potentially be rehabilitated to criminals who could not, and much to lose if rehabilitation is the goal. Inmates who have 'nothing left to lose' have been demonstrated to be more dangerous to other criminals, and said dangers are a factor in inmates 'adapting' to prison conditions to the point that they cannot successfully re-integrate into society.

You make some very interesting points which led me to reexamine my position.

Many disagree with the cost-saving notion; it has been said that it costs more money to execute a criminal than it does to imprison him or her for life, primarily due to the numerous appeals, etc that are made when a death sentence is issued.

It’s also asserted to be because the exorbitant cost of the lethal injections. I don’t know if they are actually as high as claimed but it’s a common contention I hear in opposition to the death penalty. Besides, this is an unrelated factor anyway; lethal injection isn’t the only method of execution. Also, the price of lethal injection could be reduced in a society less concerned with profit but could also likely become more expensive depending on the amount of executions and the cost of supplies.

At any rate, I agree that it would be more expensive to house and feed a prisoner then it would be to execute them in most cases.

So, that all being said, I still have a few disagreements with the death penalty or maybe just ‘life sentences’ as they apply to your solution.

Many life sentences are granted irrespective of a person’s ability to live a moral life or improve from rehabilitation. Prison sentences serve three purposes as far as I can see, penalty to a crime, removal of a potential threat to society and an attempt at rehabilitation. The penalty is a type of punishment relative to the crime, the removal is a necessary measure often times, but the criminal’s ability to adjust remains to be seen most of the time. This could lead to some instances where a decent individual is sentenced to life imprisonment without any chance to show that they can live decent lives or be rehabilitated.

Second degree murder for instance, when a person kills in a fit of emotion and immediately recognizes the wrong in it. Many times the penalty is a life for a life irrespective of the person’s potential to lead a decent life.

I think you have a good point about refitting life sentences with a death penalty, but I think the possibility for parole ought to be reconsidered for many life sentences in that case. I don’t think it’s necessary, but it’s a good point.

The other reason I’m still in opposition to the death penalty is because other than the points you made, I don’t see any other substantial reason to do it other than to reduce the cost. It seems uncivilized to me to reduce the value of a life in an attempt to save money. And even when acknowledging your points, I still don’t see killing them as a necessary practice. The inmates given life sentences could just as easily be transported to separate facilities specifically for them so they don’t affect other inmates’ ability to be rehabilitated.

Side: Yes.
thousandin1(1933) Clarified
0 points

It’s also asserted to be because the exorbitant cost of the lethal injections. I don’t know if they are actually as high as claimed but it’s a common contention I hear in opposition to the death penalty. Besides, this is an unrelated factor anyway; lethal injection isn’t the only method of execution. Also, the price of lethal injection could be reduced in a society less concerned with profit but could also likely become more expensive depending on the amount of executions and the cost of supplies.

At any rate, I agree that it would be more expensive to house and feed a prisoner then it would be to execute them in most cases.

This IS one of the points offered, but not in and of itself. Lethal injection is far more expensive to administer than it should be, largely due to regulations surrounding the cocktails used- but it's still less than a couple years in prison, no matter which source you find. The sources that demonstrate it to be expensive show this in tandem with the court costs considering the whole process of appeals et al. Those additional costs are a factor in life imprisonment as well, but anti-death penalty individuals never seem to account for that; you could call it a lie of omission I suppose?

Many life sentences are granted irrespective of a person’s ability to live a moral life or improve from rehabilitation. Prison sentences serve three purposes as far as I can see, penalty to a crime, removal of a potential threat to society and an attempt at rehabilitation. The penalty is a type of punishment relative to the crime, the removal is a necessary measure often times, but the criminal’s ability to adjust remains to be seen most of the time. This could lead to some instances where a decent individual is sentenced to life imprisonment without any chance to show that they can live decent lives or be rehabilitated.

Second degree murder for instance, when a person kills in a fit of emotion and immediately recognizes the wrong in it. Many times the penalty is a life for a life irrespective of the person’s potential to lead a decent life.

I agree with you on most of this; I believe these represent valid criticisms of our current justice system. I think we simply disagree on the punsihment point- punishment, in my opinion, should not be a form of retribution/vengeance, but rather a necessary part of rehabilitation; the 'hard learned lesson' as it were. Hence in my description I only had the two points, without separating punishment from rehabilitation.

I don't suggest the death penalty (with the criteria I've stated) as a simple drag and drop solution into our existing system- I strongly believe that the system needs serious reform, for most of the reasons you've noted.

I should note, however, that your note regarding second degree murder is very much the exception to the rule. In most US jurisdictions, Life without parole is not the sentence given for second degree murder. Yes, I know, wikipedia- sorry for that :/ Even within those jurisdictions where life without parole is known to be given for second degree murder, they still generally represent exceptions to the rule.

I think you have a good point about refitting life sentences with a death penalty, but I think the possibility for parole ought to be reconsidered for many life sentences in that case. I don’t think it’s necessary, but it’s a good point.

I agree that parole possibilities, among other things, would need to be seriously re-examined if we were to go in this direction. I would certainly not advocate the death penalty OR life imprisonment for a case of second degree murder, generally speaking. Repeated instances of second degree murder might warrant it, though.

The other reason I’m still in opposition to the death penalty is because other than the points you made, I don’t see any other substantial reason to do it other than to reduce the cost. It seems uncivilized to me to reduce the value of a life in an attempt to save money.

This may simply be a difference in our individual values. Personally, I'm of the mind that life imprisonment without the possibility of parole itself constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, especially considering the conditions in many prisons. To my mind, at least, execution seems a kindness by comparison. At any rate, I don't see it as reducing the value of life to save money; I see it as the most humane way to deal with the situation, taking into account the wellbeing of the convicted, the affect the convicted would have on transient inmates, and the danger the convicted represents to society. I've already conceded that it would not work without serious reforms to our system, though- my apologies if you inferred otherwise from my wording, it was not my intent- I'm getting better at this, but I still evidently need a lot of work on my communication skills.

And even when acknowledging your points, I still don’t see killing them as a necessary practice. The inmates given life sentences could just as easily be transported to separate facilities specifically for them so they don’t affect other inmates’ ability to be rehabilitated.

This is actually a good idea, though without reforms to the system it would require numerous additional prison facilities; at minimum we'd need 68 additional facilities- one for each of 50 states, one for each of 16 insular territories, one for Washington DC, and one federal one. Additional facilities may be needed for some of these jurisdictions as well. Alternatively, we could reform the laws regarding jurisdiction and consolidate life inmates from multiple jurisdictions into shared prisons, which should cut down on the number of new facilities needed significantly. Either this plan or mine would also have the benefit of alleviating overcrowded prisons somewhat. I'm still of the mind, though, that it's kinder to simply kill a convict than to lock him in prison with the knowledge that he'll only be leaving in a box. Ultimately, I believe that point to be the source of our disagreement on the issue. Even if I thought it likely that I could, I'm not inclined to try and sway you to my subjective viewpoint there :)

Side: Yes.

Thats the only way you can stop crime. No other method will work.

Side: Yes.
1 point

It all depends on your view of morality. Personally I believe in the concept of Justice, which is a standard that is set by God based on his morality. I don't believe that anyone should be punished for something they didn't do; however my belief is that the death penalty does justice to those who have committed murder. Just as a thief should pay back what they stole, someone who steals another person's life should pay for it with their own.

Side: Yes.
1 point

Also too, you have to realize that the death penalty actually saves more lives than it takes away, because the death penalty discourages future murderers. For example, if we lived in a world without the death penalty, people would have no fear of killing someone. When people see that there is a punishment that takes place if they murder someone, than they will be 90% less likely to go out and murder. The death penalty actually saves lives.

Side: Yes.
1 point

Well , Death Penalty can passively help our community to fear that killing is extremely forbidden , and we dont want a serial killer to just get away with it

Side: Yes.
1 point

Simple. If a man was proven with hard evidence and facts that he killed a person, then he gets the death penalty. An eye for an eye.

Side: Yes.
5 points

I actually just recently moved to this side of the issue. I realized that most of my other beliefs are founded in the notion that life is of incredible value. I don't support the death penalty, but I certainly understand why many believe it is necessary.

Side: No.

I def respect that, but what about torture, rape, and murder if the person can be proven guilty?

Side: No.
DevinSeay(1121) Clarified
1 point

If the person can be proven beyond a doubt guilty of that, then I think he should be executed.

Side: Yes.
1 point

life is of incredible value

Says who?

Do you realize how much death there is and how common it is? Assuming you believe there is a "god", why would death be such an everyday-thing if your "god" put such a high value on life?

It can also be the other way; thousands perhaps millions of people are born each day. Think of it as this; if diamonds were everywhere, would they still hold the same amount of value?

Side: Yes.
Troy8(2430) Disputed
4 points

Says who?

I do, along with many others I presume.

Do you realize how much death there is and how common it is? 

Yes...wouldn't that create a stronger case for life being precious? If everyone lived for hundreds of years and rarely died of non-natural causes, the value of life would certainly be diluted.

Assuming you believe there is a "god", why would death be such an everyday-thing if your "god" put such a high value on life?

Wouldn't you agree that the prevailing presence of death is what causes life to have a great value?

It can also be the other way; thousands perhaps millions of people are born each day. Think of it as this; if diamonds were everywhere, would they still hold the same amount of value?

I don't think you have a very good grasp on life. A much more relevant and meaningful comparison would be this: Everyone in the world has one diamond. This diamond can be destroyed by others and if this happens, the owner ceases to exist. Even though there are billions of these in existence, you can easily see how much value is tied to them. To go along with your example, one could have all the diamonds in the world, but if they're dead, what value are the diamonds? To say that life isn't valuable because it exists everywhere is obviously illogical. Are light and air not valuable since they are present almost everywhere?

Side: No.
4 points

It is possible for an innocent person to be found guilty. As long as this is the case, no punishment that cannot be compensated for should be used.

There is no proof that it reduces crime.

There is no proof that every person who has committed murder will do so again, so it may not be necessary in the interests of preventing more murders.

It doesn't bring the victims back.

You want justice? Find a way to make the criminal benefit the community.

Side: No.
2 points

I am personally opposed to the death penalty. I believe that life is jail or solitary confinement should be used, but I can see argument from the other side mentioning the cost of these methods over just killing the person being held with charges.

Side: No.

What about rape, murder and torture? .

Side: No.
3 points

Rape is just forced sex. I would bring death upon a man for forced sex. That is just jail time.

Murder? Still no. If i kill the murderer then I am just killing again. This time it's just legalized. I would still place him in jail.

Torture? If this was the case then I would say that our military should be put to death if torture is punishable by death (not the entire military, but those who use torture as a method for retrieving information). Even then I would say no. An eye for an eye will make the world blind.

I don't think killing a man will stop crime. Crime seems to be a natural by product of human nature.

Side: No.
1 point

The funny thing is "money/cost" can be used as a point against the death penalty. It is one of the reasons im against it. The death penalty costs more money then life without parole. Capital Punishment cost the state of Florida 15 billion dollars in one year (I believe it was '09 or '10).

Side: No.
2 points

No.

There are far better ways at handling crime then resorting to barbarism. The justice system is not a tool for people to enact vengeance; it is an authority for justice.

As the nature of culpability is studied more and more, the necessity for the justice system to recognize crime as a preventable/treatable illness in a sick society becomes apparent.

Side: No.
1 point

The system inhrently lends itself to barbarism and injustice. It cannot enact itself. Same goes for the constitution. It cannot enact itself, thus interpretation are left upon men, who naturally have a tendency to deviant from justice.

Side: No.
Coldfire(1013) Clarified
1 point

The system inhrently lends itself to barbarism and injustice.

I acknowledge that the justice system isn’t perfect, but in what way does it inherently lead to barbarism and injustice?

It cannot enact itself, thus interpretation are left upon men, who naturally have a tendency to deviant from justice.

I didn’t suggest that it could enact itself and what do you mean by “interpretations are left upon men?”

Also, at first glance I strongly disagree that humans are naturally inclined to deviate from justice. Perhaps I misunderstand you, could you elaborate on that please?

Side: Yes.
1 point

Ever since I did a project about capital punishment a long time ago, I have been against the death penalty. It is wrong for many reasons. The person should go to jail. Who are we to take away their life. Yes they did something terrible, but does that mean we should kill them. Also, many families of murder victims would rather the person go to jail then be killed.

Side: No.
Atrag(5189) Banned
1 point

As a society we should make it very clear that every citizen has a right to life that cannot be taken away from them by any person or public body unless necessary. There is no necessity to kill someone for a crime.

The justification for the death sentence is the feeling of revenge. Its argument solely based on hatred and I find it disgusting.

There are a number of studies that suggest that innocent people have been wrongfully executed the USA. How can anyone suggest this is acceptable?

Side: No.
Coldfire(1013) Clarified
1 point

There are a number of studies that suggest that innocent people have been wrongfully executed the USA. How can anyone suggest this is acceptable?

People aren’t suggesting that innocent people being wrongfully executed is acceptable. Crafty wording though, you could make a good lawyer using that sort of rhetoric.

Side: Yes.
Atrag(5189) Clarified Banned
1 point

But it is inevitable, as it is for any other crime. The problem with the death penalty is that the sentence is irreconcilable. In support the death penalty you have to concede that the risk of wrongful execution is an acceptable risk.

Side: Yes.
7thDebater(292) Disputed
1 point

Even if you disagree with his wording, he is right. Many people have been wrongly convicted and killed. An innocent man losing his life like that is an atrocity.

Side: Yes.
1 point

Even though these people did something that had oppressed the laws of the state, it still doesn't mean and it still doesn't give an impression that there is a need to kill these people. It is contrary to the goal of the state which is to cater to its people if we just let these people to get killed, right? The state should also cater to these people and not only to the offended family members of the victim for example. Instead of death penalties, why don't the state put them to jail for an extra year or what not, right? At least at some point, we won't be bias enough to only cater to the victims but to also cater to the ones who did the crime. Crimes should not be paid by death because its already considered a crime because you're killing somebody who's not favorable of your doing, so at the end of the day, it's contrary to the goal of the government and to the laws itself.

Side: No.
1 point

if the person need a death penalty, we should not kill,give them chance or teach them

Side: No.

You don't say that murder is wrong and then kill people. What is the lesson? Plus 4% of all people on dearth row are innocent.

Side: No.