Both Sides Of The Fight: Should The Death Penalty Be Abolished?

keycha1n
Lately it seems like people really want to see me do a blog series, and that really caused me to revisit some of my previous ideas and wonder if they had potential. So, in this new series, I'll be tackling controversial ideas in a debate-like format. In which my true opinion isn't revealed. I will fight as well as I can for both sides and let you readers make your own decision after hearing each argument. My goal in this series is to shed light on both sides of the fight (hence the name) and to keep people open-minded towards topics like these, as well as honing my persuasive writing skills and my ability to fight well even for the side I don't personally agree with.

I am an amateur debate student as well as a "towering mountain of ignorance" (As Hank Green might put it). Proceed with caution.

Should The Death Penalty Be Abolished?:
Side #1: Yes, the death penalty should be abolished
Side #2: No, the death penalty shouldn't be abolished.

Side #1:
Capital Punishment should be abolished.

Morality:
Without even considering the fact that if this criminal stays alive, they still have hope for change and reflection, but that sentencing someone to death is just the same as murder. As Gandhi might say: "An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind." The same is with this case. If our response to someone killing another, is to kill them as well, then technically, the executer has just killed someone, and therefore, deserves to die too. If this is our definition of justice, then it means nothing but a long cycle of killing and killers. When we "give someone a taste of their own medicine", we are lowering ourselves to their level, which ultimately, proves and achieves nothing. Additionally, criminals may have made bad choices in their lives, but that doesn't mean that they don't have family, friends, and other loved ones. How would you feel if someone you loved dearly was executed, even after mistakes. knowing entirely well that it the government permitted it? Not only that, but in fact, did it to your loved one themselves?

Human Rights:
In the U.S., we know that the Declaration Of Independence clearly states that "Life" is an unalienable, human right. For the government to take that away is a violation of our rights and it also means that the government isn't doing their jobs of protecting even the most basic of them. Additionally, what about the fact that according the theguardian.com: "At least 4.1% of all defendants sentenced to death in the US in the modern era are innocent"? That kind of kills the whole "justice" argument, doesn't it? It may be a small percentage, but ANY chance that an executed person was actually innocent is already too high of a chance. It's actually in fact, the worst act of INjustice.

It's Ineffective:
Studies show that places who DO abolish the death penalty have crimes rates at or lower than those who still have it. This is a sure sign that the death penalty doesn't even deter crime, making it completely useless and stupid to continue allowing. Also, it's proven that the amount of work and time put into sentencing someone to death is actually more expensive than keeping them in prison, so while my opposition might argue that they don't want their taxes going towards feeding this criminal, I might say that you're paying even more to kill them.

Side #2:
Capital Punishment should not be abolished.

Deterring Crime:
According to a study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately 67% (or two-thirds) of offenders who were released in the year 1994 were arrested again within three years (www.neontommy.com). Prison obviously doesn't stop crimes which is what the ultimate goal is (What you seem to be arguing we should do instead). The death penalty does not only punish people for their crimes but prevent further crimes from them in the future. You might say that serious offenders would never get out of jail to commit further crimes, but they do have the potential to harm other prisoners and police prison guards. A dangerous person like that needs to be executed for the problem to be gone. It's the ultimate punishment and shows that the government will not stand for crimes of this degree.
Since you seem to argue so well for the rights of the innocent, the potential this criminal has for harming even more innocent people is much greater than the amount who might be executed. Speaking of which, your statistic claiming 4.1% of people sentenced to death are innocent, was a study on people sentenced to death, not people who actually died. Criminals who are up for capital punishment are usually on death row for many, many years. Assuming that's all said and done, the chances that an innocent person made it through all of that and was actually executed is miniscule.

Morality and Justice:
You claim that killing a killer is lowering yourself to their level. The only alternative is to keep them in prison forever. You might think that you're being the bigger person by letting them live, but the death penalty is a last resort. This person was going to be in prison, in solitary confinement (which is proven to technically be torture) for the rest of their lives. If we wish to take the nice way out, death is the way to go. There is nothing more of this criminal's life, to keep them alive and breathing is a waste of our resources because even if kept alive, they would never be released. Hypothetically, even if they were released, no one would hire them and they'd likely die or turn to a life of crime again. People sentenced to death have nothing more to live for, and to keep them alive is meaningless.

Life In Prison Or Death:
Death penalty cases account for only 1% of appellate court caseloads in both courts of last resort and intermediate appellate courts, they are clearly not that great of a strain on the courts, nor on taxpayers (www.neontommy.com). What IS a strain on taxpayer's is the amount of money we pay to keep these people in prison forever! These people take food and water, but also, space. Especially since mass incarceration is such a big issue these days, we need the prisons. In which we spend even more money paying to build more prisons because If everyone sentenced to the death penalty was instead sentenced to life in prison, we wouldn't have any more room. It only makes sense.

Side #1 Rebuttal:
if you say death is more merciful, I say that those sentenced are often in prison for decades on death row. Sometimes even dying in prison while waiting for their execution. So not only is the death penalty NOT the swift, easy way out, it's the torture (solitary confinement) and death all rolled into one.
Also, I failed to bring up that the death penalty is biased towards poorer criminals (a wealthy person is hardly ever executed) who can't afford good lawyers. Not to mention that it's also racially biased, with victims of those sentenced being 76% of the time, white people. As if one's crime is worse when it's to a white person.

Side #2:
Over half of those executed are white people themselves (56%). And you could make the same comment towards any part of the criminal justice system.

Side #1:
But it must be considered more seriously in capital punishment. After all, this is actually killing someone.

Side #2:
Agreed, but seeing as the majority of people being executed are white, that doesn't support your argument. Also, since America is still mostly white people, it may be just because more of them have the potential to be victims in crimes like these.

Side #1 Last Words:
In conclusion, the death penalty is cruel, immoral and doesn't even lower the crime rate, making it rather unnecessary and foolish to continue allowing.

Side #2 Last Words:
Criminals sentenced to death are often ones who would've otherwise spent life in prison. Keeping people like this alive is a lost cause. Additionally, the government needs to show that actions have consequences, and a life for a life is the only way.

The debate has ended. Which side swayed you the most? Remember to vote based on the arguments, not necessarily on what you personally believe in. I tried to find reliable facts, but if some are inaccurate, feel free to point them out. Also, I found this rather tangent-y, the format of future posts may change as time goes on.

Sources:
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/methods-execution
http://www.neontommy.com/news/2013/04/death-penalty-should-not-be-abolished
http://www.statisticbrain.com/death-penalty-statistics/
http://www.debate.org/debates/The-Death-Penalty-should-NOT-be-abolished-but-instead-used-more-frequently/1/
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/28/death-penalty-study-4-percent-defendants-innocent

Vote on which side won in the comments! The winner will be declared in the next post. Which may be in some time, this took ages!

Comments

Good choice, keys--it's a rather hot topic.

Side 1 won for me, although I'm biased because that's the side I agree with (but for different reasons from the ones stated). - PetSounds

Do share! - keycha1n

I believe murderers (especially serial killers and psychopaths) should be studied by psychologists. Even if they'll never see the light of day again, we could probably discover a lot about the criminal mind. The more we know, the better equipped we are to protect and prevent. - PetSounds

Well they could do that while on death row.
(mind you, I want it abolished too though) - keycha1n

True, but there would be no point in executing them if they were contributing positively (albeit indirectly) to criminal science. - PetSounds

Pet sounds makes a great point. But we need the death penalty to stay because what if there is a dangerous mass murderer who escapes and kills all over again. It's one thing. If it's a minor offender, but people who kill over 10 victims should be considered for the death penalty. I am very strong on this and I my opinion may spark controversy. - Therandom

It depends. If it's a person who killed one individuall, then do you really need a death penalty? But if it's a mass
Murderer it would
Be the only way to keep safe bwcuSe what if the murderer gets
Lose. God wiped all evil from the world by flooding it, so aren't we wiping a threat to society away? I mean I don't like people to die but I don't want innocents dead either. I feel less safe In the world Now... - Therandom

All depends because I really think we should not kill criminals because God will handle them I think we just put them in jail then let them out if they don't want to repent then put them back in for life - 2storm

I have a very twisted mind, and if it was up to me, the death penalty would exist, but be very different... - gemcloben

I'd put them in prison as a warning, and after that, death penalty would be an option. - Turkeyasylum

I've wanted to go to the electric chair since 2006 so keep it and also bring the chair to all states cause lethal injection is the way to kill an animal, not a man - bobbythebrony

Humans are animals... - keycha1n

I would want to be shot in the head, so it's ended quick. - Therandom

Some states still use firing squad I think - bobbythebrony

We need to keep it. The punishment needs to fit the crime. - CityGuru

I support death penalty - CerealGuy

Amazing post. I've thought about both sides of the argument for many years, but this was very informative and interesting. Thanks for the post! - Alpha101

No, I'd prefer mass murderers be put under solitary confinement for 10 years. Therefore, death penalty is unnecessary. - visitor

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