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This House supports the death penalty

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This House supports the death penalty

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This is a discussion on the Debatabase item titled: This House supports the death penalty.Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

5 years 5 weeks ago
Arba Cecia's picture
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I personally am against the death penalty. According to some people, death penalty should be applied because it helps to the problem of overpopulation in the prison system. These people are saying that killing the prisoners is better than spending money on creating new prisons, or even rehabilitation centers. They don’t consider helping these people, but they find the easiest way, which is killing them.  I understand that the offenders have committed crimes and they need to suffer for that, but killing the person is unacceptable.  Advocates for eliminating the death penalty say “Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?”  People that actually kill the offenders should be also killed because they killed people, logic.

Also, we are people and we can mistaken someone and kill him because we think that he is the one who is guilty.

To live it’s a right that only God can take it. I understand that criminals should be punished, but the punishment should not be the death penalty. Today we live in a democratic society. Countries should punish criminals in a moral way, and I do not think that the death penalty is a moral way of punishing them. 

5 years 5 weeks ago
Arjun Prihar's picture
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I understand your position, and it is one that many people take, but I question whether you take this opinion because you have truly considered the death penalty, or whether it (naturally) sounds horrid and dispicable. 

I would first like to clarify what type of case we are discussing. I will adress you with the understanding that we are discussing the punative options for a murder trial fit for capital punishment, in which the offender can be found guilty of premeditated first degree murder, or an action such as rape, that was followed by or resulted in first degree murder. 

Your first point is that we should invest time into the rehabilitation of these criminals.

According to the Parole Board of Canada, (I am from Alberta),  50% of criminals released from prison 12 years ago were readmitted into a correctional facility for committing new offences. This includes smaller offenders, those who could have been in jail for DUI or a similar offence. If 50% of these reasonably regular criminals are constantly being readmitted because they haven't rehabilitated or changed their ways, it is highly unlikely that a murder that is capable of taking someone else's life knowingly and in the full awareness and sanity of doing so would rehabilitate themselves to the level society and yourself expect and assume. 

The second point you mention is that is hypocritical that we take lives of those who have taken a life, and that it is immoral and against the democratic system. 

Firstly, I think that we can agree that although more developing countries such as Saudi Arabia or Iraq, etc. may not be democratic, but the United States of America certainly is a developed country with a democratic system in place, and also practices the death penalty in several of its sates. For that reason, I think we can move away from the democracy argument.

The argument that the death penalty is hypocritical is also natual, but not completely sound. The punative system is constantly abrogating an offender's rights. For example, if someone is jailed, their rights of: movement, association, and property are abrogated. If a criminal takes someone's right to live away, they abrogate their rights, making them equally susceptible by the law. 

Whether it is moral or immoral is something that should be discussed. This person, who has brutally killed someone, is going to recieve a tormented life in jail, and is going to be released, albeit quite disturbed, into society after their sentence. They are not only statisticly a danger to us, but to themselves. The act of the death penalty is not a punishment, is the carrying-out of the law. It is not intended to torture, merely administer equal consequence to the crime committed, and rather painlessly. What is the death penalty immoral when death occurrs across the world every second, and jail, a place of punishment and pain, is not? 

Other points you covered were that the death penalty reduces the population of the prison system. In fact, roughly 3000 people were admitted to jail in the United States because of alleged murder, but I find this argument, like you, rediculous because such a concept has no support. 

Finally, you mention God. I would like to mention that God and religion have little place in government, simply because your God may be different than mine. What you are truly being influenced by, the thought of taking a life is wrong, is just a cultural belief that recently emmerged in that last few decades. It nothing more than that, a belief, and with little support or reason behind it, in this specific situation, that is. 

5 years 3 weeks ago
booji's picture
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Arjun Prihar wrote:

What you are truly being influenced by, the thought of taking a life is wrong, is just a cultural belief that recently emmerged in that last few decades. It nothing more than that, a belief, and with little support or reason behind it, in this specific situation, that is. 

This bit is clearly nonsense, indeed it is self-contradicting nonsense! First it is pretty clear that the idea of taking a life has been considered wrong for quite some time take for example ‘thou shall not kill’ in the ten commandments which places the idea that taking a life is wrong a bit earlier than the last few decades. Indeed I don’t think it would be going too far to state that the idea that taking a life is wrong is what society is built on. If it was not wrong there could never be the trust that your neighbour is not going to kill you so a society could not be build.

It is self-contradictory because if it is not wrong to take a life then clearly we should not be punishing murder because the murderer did nothing wrong.

You are therefore not arguing that “the thought of taking a life is wrong, is just a cultural belief that recently emerged in the last few decades” but that taking a life is wrong for anybody but the state or society. The question then is why is it right for some nebulous entity to take a life but not an individual? We argue that it is for the protection or the good of society to prevent that person murdering again. This was a very good argument until the modern age when we built effective prisons where we could lock people up indefinitely. This is why the ground shifted. It is not because it suddenly became unacceptable for the state to kill rather because there is now a better alternative that brings the state into line with the morality we mostly accept as individuals.

5 years 3 weeks ago
Arjun Prihar's picture
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booji]</p> <p>[quote=Arjun Prihar wrote:

 This was a very good argument until the modern age when we built effective prisons where we could lock people up indefinitely. This is why the ground shifted. It is not because it suddenly became unacceptable for the state to kill rather because there is now a better alternative that brings the state into line with the morality we mostly accept as individuals.

 

I would like to point out that, at least in Canada, 'life in prison' is only 25 years. It is not indeffinite, and most likely isn't in all countries. Therfore, murderers would eventually be released into society. The odds of rehabilitation are rare, and statistically unlikely, especially for someone who has already committed the worst possible crime. 

If the country does have 'life in prison', where it in fact means a prison sentence until the criminal dies, then what is the purpose of this sentence? The society may be able to lock up these people indefinitely, but they will be subjected to psychological and physical torture in that prison. And if they stay in prison, they serve no purpose for society. They merely cost us roughly $25,000 each a year (according to the parole board of Canada) to provide them with meals, supervision, and activities. How does society benefit from that? 

Capital punishment has a defined purpose, and that is to rid society of criminals who are known to be dangerous, and will not rehabilitate. Imprisoning murderers merely punishes for the sake of punishing. 

5 years 3 weeks ago
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at Arba Cecia. one reason why people like yourself are against it is because of the cost. but if you think about it. how much is the cost of the death penalty to a lifetime of paying to keep them in prison, and the chance that if they eventually do get released that they dont sct again and end up costing us taxpayers all that much more money to go through the same thing again

5 years 4 weeks ago
booji's picture
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Hunter Boyce you make a rather odd reply to Arba Cecia. While you concentrate on cost Cecia seems not to care about cost indeed s/he says

Arba Cecia wrote:
These people are saying that killing the prisoners is better than spending money on creating new prisons, or even rehabilitation centers.
which seems to be accepting that life in prison can cost more.

Of course you are correct that simply applying the death penalty immediately after sentencing would cost almost nothing (you could even do as the saudis do and save on the cost of bullets/injections by using a good old fashioned axe or swordsman!) However in practice any self respecting society recognices the possibility of a misscarrage of justice. As a result the United States and other countries that have the death penalty have room for numerous appeals. When it is the life and death of the suspect that is at stake we want to try and be sure. As a result there is always going to be a lot more legal action than when someone is simply stuffed in prision, and we all know how costly lawyers and court cases are! As a result the death penalty tends to be costly.

5 years 4 weeks ago
Arjun Prihar's picture
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When administering the law, why should the consequence be any reason for the crime to be taken seriously or not. Should we not consider life in prison sentences to be as serious as death penalty sentences because they are both seen as fair punishments for murder by certain governments, just not by yourself. In fact, the United States has had only 130 exonerations, the last in 1983. Furthermore, a prisoner costs 25000 on average per year for their services in jail- there are surely better uses for that tax money. Finally, the cost of a trial cannot be accurately measured and widely varies depending on the case itself and does not serve as a strong argument for either side. 

5 years 3 weeks ago
booji's picture
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First I should note that I don’t consider cost to be a particularly good point in this debate; for proponents of the death penalty what would be a little more cost if it saves lives? For opponents what is a little more cost if it stops the state killing people?

You argue that the cost of the death penalty cannot be accurately measured while giving an average of 25k (dollars? – seems kind of low) per year for inmates in prison. Why then cannot opponents of the death penalty point out, as this debate does that “In California, death row costs taxpayers $114 million a year beyond the cost of imprisoning convicts for life.”? My point that you are attempting to counter is that this extra cost is with good reason; to prevent cases like that of Carlos DeLuna where an innocent man was executed. And for this you need extensive appeals and investigations to ensure that you have the right man as such it is not a cost that can be simply be thrown out the window. This means that while as you say the length of trials will vary from case to case there will always be more in the case of death row inmates.

If your primary aim is to reduce the cost of the justice system then there are other things that could probably be done first such as getting rid of mandatory sentencing, or possibly placing limits on lawyers wages!

5 years 3 weeks ago
H4F34H SqUaRePaNtZ's picture
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Thanks for the discussion! I have a debate in my english class on this topic and have no points for  the opposistion. This helped a lot!

4 years 41 weeks ago
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