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Challenge Match: Druid42 vs havok: The Death Penalty.

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posted on Aug, 21 2012 @ 12:56 PM
The topic for this debate is "The Death Penalty” A strong topic but one where we will also be trying out the new debate formt of 3 total posts from the debaters.

Good luck to you both.

Druid42 will be arguing the "Pro" position and begin the debate.
havok will be arguing the "Con" position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by1 alternating reply each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

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edit on 8/28/12 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 21 2012 @ 09:44 PM
Many thanks to beezer, our host, and getreadyalready, my opponent, for the opportunity to debate this topic.

The penalty of Death. The ultimate sentence, the one in which you forfeit your life for the crime(s) you have committed against society. What crime could be so heinous that your own life is required for retribution?

Murder. The taking of the life of another human being. Your life for theirs.

Beyond that, various countries have different standards as to what justifies "Capital Punishment." In this debate, I think we'll discover a few truths about the reality of a necessary law, and although grim the reality thereof, I think we'll find that the death penalty is justified in certain cases.

This debate should also delve into deeper aspects of the human psyche, and of course address the aspects of whether or not a human being is capable of being re-rehabilitated and incorporated back into society.

Admittedly, the topic is based upon interactions with the society that you live within, and therefore special attention needs to paid to cultures that are perhaps different from yours. Different societies have developed different rules dictating justice, so the cut and dry view you are familiar with may need adjusted a bit.

There is a bottom line to this debate. Is death of an individual due to the crimes they have committed against their own society justifiable in certain circumstances? Rhetorical question.

I'll approach my position now by stating I believe certain individuals should be on death row. I also believe they shouldn't be there that long.

(side: I am leaving my opponent a bit of wiggle room here, but I believe these current debates are all in fun, and not about winning or losing, but about participation, and to paraphrase "honing your reasoning skills".)

The main argument for the death penalty is to weed out the worst psychopathic killers and be done with them. They can't breed, and will be listed in the history books as the worst of society. There are currently only four countries in the world that still allow executions, and they are China, India, Indonesia, and yes, you guessed it, the good ol' USA. Curiously enough, over 60% of the world's population live in those four countries. If you live down under, and kill someone, you get life, not death. The UK? Life, no death.

I'd also like to touch briefly on the effects of execution on society. They see the worst criminal's lives taken away, and it steers them toward compliance, and nurtures law-abiding behavior. Media satisfies that demand, and perhaps prevents future instances of abnormal behavior, but honestly, once the media portrays their version of reality, the majority of people are convinced of a criminal deserving to die. We witness brief television broadcasts, and the anchor weighing in details, but we are not on the jury, but get to sit on our couches watching, wondering and waiting. We judge, as individuals, and we mete out our own justice in our circle of peers, but we do not have any say whatsoever. We abide by the judicial system, and agree to the decision of the jury.

There are honest positions to defend in this debate, and I will continue forth in my next post.

posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 08:06 PM
First off, many thanks to Druid42 for seeking a new opponent.
Thanks to the Mods for accepting my truant response.

Debates are, in my opinion, the best way to see both sides of a coin.

Mind you, dear reader, as I accepted this debate a relative newcomer to this forum and will debate my side as best as possible. My spelling and grammar may be somewhat, juvenile.

This debate is on the punishment of crimes by Death. I will overview my arguments for the con position on this penalty, but I will try to remain a neutral as possible with my own stance and refrain from revealing my own opinions on the subject, unless my opinions are being weighed for other purposes, of which the idea of the Death penalty itself will be subtracted.

I am going to represent the Cons of the Death Penalty as best as I can, without my personal bias.

The Death Penalty: A negative stance.

Whereas my opponent believes a person forfeits their own life when they are handed down this type of sentencing, I am going to propose that is not a forfeiture but a seizure of their life. A person did not, from oneself, give up their own life when they received this type of punishment. Their life was taken from them without their say. Defense litigations aside, they basically had no choice in the matter. Although they may get the option to speak "any last words" before getting the literal "Axe"...they more than likely will not win any battle if the sentence was already handed down to them. Unless, of course, pardoned by the POTUS, but that's another debate.

Criminals should be punished for their crimes, without a doubt...but should their lives be taken in response to their actions? (rhetorical)

As with my opponents opening post, I agree that this is the main question that probably takes place more in jury's or judges minds than the public itself from a moral standpoint. Although I can imagine alot of people have thought about that same question at some point in their lives. But, the majority of people are not the decisive factors when it comes to sentencing a criminal in most countries. It is up to the state to choose a jury of 12, not a "mob rule" where the entire nation makes a choice in the matter.

There are reasons that only certain nations, or states within a nation, have the Death Penalty, and also why you see more or less heinous crimes in those particular places. But in the same regard, there are also reasons why those particular places have anti-guns laws. Those statistics, in my opinion, are somewhat bias and certainly aimed towards particular mindsets of which I will try my best to steer clear of.

I'd like to keep my entire stance free of what I believe is propagandized material.

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear people openly talk about this subject is usually the phrase, "An Eye for an Eye." Murderers should be Murdered. When people respond with that type of answer, they are condoning the same action that the person committed in the first place. They are condoning a crime to equal a crime. Actually, they are using an old Hebrew quote to justify an action. Which borders on defeating the separation of church and state.

But, let us first look at the action of the Death Penalty. A state, or body of individuals representative of, must commit a crime to justify the punishment of a criminal for a crime they determined was abhorrent enough to deserve Death itself.

Whenever I think of the Death Penalty, I honestly see the long wait of "Death Row" and the wasted tax dollars to keep the criminals alive inside a basic, sheltered, living space. The expedition of this process is hindered by miles of red tape and usually a long trial, for which we the taxpayers, have to pay for. It is not, nor in the immediate future going to be, a quick solution to a large problem.

We should also consider the racket today we all know as our friendly "Prison System" and think about using these people for their ability to be a benefit to society not a deficit. Rehabilitation may be the key to successfully using the most abominable people for something constructive.

I believe we don't truly delve into this topic because of the way most governments handle the affair. It only becomes a popular conversation, it seems, when broadcast on national television, or in the midst of a celebrity scandal, of which either could be repetitiously talked about to garner support for whichever side needs it most.

I am going to try and convince my opponent, and the reader, that the Death Penalty isn't always the best solution and there may be other ways to deal with such ignominious criminals.

edit on 8/30/12 by Hefficide because: Formatting issue edit approved by debate moderators and performed by Hefficide

posted on Aug, 29 2012 @ 09:17 PM
There is a society that we participate in, and we expect the other members of said society to behave within certain parameters.

One such rule is not causing harm to another, but inevitably, it happens. A car accident, a mere fender bender, is realized fairly quickly. Other crimes, involving homicide or involuntary manslaughter, take a jury to realize, and we are led to believe that justice is predominate. We have criminals that spend a consummate amount of time on death row, awaiting execution, often for heinous crimes, because the appeal process is so lenient. In the old west, people were hanged, by a rope, for crimes they committed.

Our prurience is not so in other countries. The death penalty is a cruel reality for some crimes, outside of the jurisdiction of the United States. A woman in another country can lose her life for adultery, due to a public stoning.

Many cultures deem the death penalty for a committed crime just. There's a reasonable amount of consummation involved, but that's not the point. Different cultures have different penalties.

The point is "death as a punishment" is a cross-culturally accepted meme, and is a mutually accepted punishment for certain crimes against societies.

It's curious to note at this point that our culture may not coincide with another, but both parties are able to accept mutually agreeable rules regarding their interaction. We deem the death penalty culture specific. We carefully respect other cultures, their beliefs, and respect them.

This could be boiled down into a "crimes against humanity" position, of which the death penalty would be only a resolution point, but THEN, we'd have to define the many heinous acts of various dictators throughout the ages.

As a rhetorical question I would ask, Had Hitler survived the war, would he have received the "death penalty" in a post-war trial? Such acts require resolve. History records the resolve.

There is absolutely the requirement to prematurely end the life of certain individuals who don't conform to a society's standards, and while I agree that a "public stoning" for adultery is quite severe in modern culture, a person as mentally disturbed as Jeffery Dahmer deserves death. His own prison inmates deemed him not worthy to live, and relieved him from a lengthy prison sentence. Justice with irony. There are criteria met within crimes against fellow man that deserve your life in return.

Where does justice fall, and what is it's reliance? Is it meted out in the courtroom, or does the solution run it's course over time? (Rhetoric.)

Socratic #1: What crimes, if any, are worthy of a "death penalty", in your opinion?
Socratic #2: Would distribution of "executions" throughout the media deter crime?

I rest at the moment.

posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 03:29 PM
Answer to Socratic Question #1 - To ask what crimes deserve the Death Penalty is akin to my acknowledging a need for it and a defeat in this debate before the judging. I am debating the cons of the Death Penalty and that question cannot be answered from my standpoint.

Answer to Socratic Question #2 - I do enjoy discussing the media only because of my absolute hatred of it. But if the media took executions and displayed them publicly or on television, it would be setting the public back to the days where public executions were held in town squares. As I stated in the paragraphs above, I believe we are to set examples for other nations, not live in the shadows of them. It's ashame about the blood and gore already dispersed daily into society by the media and I don't believe we need any more.

First and most importantly, nations around the world consider themselves to be modernized in the sense that they are progressing away from ancient methods and practices. Now, in the USA, the 8th amendment deals with "cruel and unusual" punishment meaning this nation tried to evolve away from dated methods of punishment. Stretching, necklacing, sawing and quartering are prime examples. Stoning can be said to be a similar sentence, used by many countries as with hanging. There are many other ways to deliver the Death Penalty, by lethal injection, gassing, or electrocution, but all deal the same blow....sometimes in a most cruel way. When progressing in society, we strive to adapt and change in a positive way, not negative, by putting aside old practices in place of newer, more responsible ones. The Death Penalty may be just that. An old practice.

Seeing the ability of manking to adapt and overcome throughout many centuries of hardships, one would presume that everyone has the capability to become a benefit to society in some aspect, be it large or small. Either by striking license plates in prison, sewing sheets, painting buildings, or cleaning streets, in my mind something accomplished is better than nothing produced. In that same thought, we need a massive amount of work done to the very communities that raised the same people who commit crimes, so any type of productivity to help these communities would be beneficial. If rehabilitation is part of being in prison, and even if the criminal couldn't be let back into society after the rehab, we could still try and produce results from every inmate in a work/production type situation.

As for the penalty itself, let me remain inside of the USA for this example, this may be where morals play a small role. If we are to believe there is a separation of church and state, then the phrase, "An Eye for An Eye" should be overlooked. It is an old Hebrew phrase created many years ago when people were a bit less civilized and more barbaric. To say that "murder should be dealt with by murder" is a conflict of interest, in that aspect, if we have said notion. At the same time, if we present punishment by committing the same act to a criminal, we lose that separation somewhat and I am presenting that as an option, excluding the "murder for murder" in this particular debate, but the dissolution of the separation of church and state is by and large, an entire debate within itself.

A crime that deserves a crime:
When sentencing a person to death, because of an abominable crime, the fact remains that the person(s) acting in or distributing thereof, have actually committed the act of murder itself. Be it first degree murder, by judging for a length of time pre-meditating the act in the jury pool, following by committing the act by literally throwing the switch. Possibly even voluntary manslaughter, in which the person wouldn't realize it's murder to give someone the Death Penalty.
Herein lies a few questions:
Socratic Q1: Aren't these actions examples of the same acts in which the Death penalty is sentence?

Socratic Q2: Who are we to decide what is the correct way to deal judgment?

Now if the criminal was sentenced to death for committing a murder, then the punishment is equal to the crime. (I will refrain from discussing other crimes that obtain the Death Penalty to keep things short and on track) So if in a civilized society, we are committing crimes to justify punishment of certain crimes, we are in effect doing the same thing the criminal has done in the first place. In any way possible, we try to see first world nations as an example set to less developed nations. It seems that the less developed nations have more strict, albeit more barbaric laws and punishments. Those countries are the same ones strife with wars, famine, raging radical battles and other atrocities that set them apart from more developed societies. We are trying to become a more peaceful and calm nation, by keeping away from the same atrocities, so one would think we should shy away from those nations same practices.
Progress indeed.

I have a ton of more words, but the limit stopped me.

posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 10:04 AM
Q1 Answer: Those meting out imposed sentences are simple vehicles of the "justice" system which permeates throughout "civilized" cultures. They cannot be held guilty of the same crimes, even as they are committing the same. The same would apply to a soldier being sent to war, and given a gun, by which they protect themselves and their unit. If they kill another person, they are doing their "assigned duty", and acting on behalf of the governing body that has empowered them.

Q2 Answer: The we you are referring to is perhaps the best way to describe the whole fallacy of the justice system and the best way to justify war. It's what happens when a country accumulates too much power, and they assign themselves above an international governing party, and by using various technologies, are able to stealth bomb or drone strike innocent civilians in other countries. To me, there is little difference in a locally meted execution, and a remotely performed act: A human life is (or lives are) forfeited in return.

In closing, I'll state that the Death Penalty is a result of human civilization and culture, and completely justified by those in power. Even the most heinous of crimes can be tolerated because we all adhere to same system of rules, and we rely upon that system for eventual closure to a crime. A jury of peers or the decision of a commander-in-chief results in the same action, and has been accepted as the morally correct thing to do.

Does the death penalty allow us to be whimsical and careless with our decisions to terminate other human's lives? Hardly, and in most cases death only results after a long (too long, my opinion) appeals process. In the case of international affairs, military strikes against enemy targets is the result of much planning and intelligence gathering. With the ability to take life comes the responsibility of such actions.

Concerning localized executions the penalty is not cruel nor unusual, but quick and painless. Media relays the closure to the public, and the family of the victim can lend itself to the healing process involved with losing a loved one. To me, death as a penalty is critical to the remaining family members.

Concerning executions abroad, committed by governments using military technology, the death penalty is somewhat less well defined, but considered important to establish the superiority of said nation. That's the nature of warfare, and it has been occurring since the beginning of recorded history, and we find mankind locked in an eternal struggle to dominate others, all based upon geographic resources. Death is an integral part of our existence, and warfare has been accepted as the primary means by which a nation secures it's sovereignty. Injustice in that arena is often left to the political platform, and propaganda blankets what would otherwise be despicable atrocities.

With both instances, the penalty of death is the final arbiter, an entity created by humankind to serve humankind. Without seeing the bigger picture of which the survival of the human race is at stake, penalizing an individual with the forfeiture of their own life is the means by which we collectively keep our own unique societies safe. Without the preservation of individual societies, chaos and crime would run rampant, so we uphold certain extreme punishments to be viable and necessary in certain situations.

Civilization proves once more to be both nurturing and destructive, but remains to be the last bastion of hope for our continued survival. Without laws, and rules, and enforcement of such, there is little hope for a structured society. The lack of structure and justice would allow for a slow and eventual descent into chaotic anarchy. The result is the collapse of society as we know it. Our only hope is to reinforce what we already know, and adhere to the system of justice that has become familiar to us.

I'd like to thank my opponent, havok, for participating in this controversial debate, and the staff of ATS for permitting such excursions into human morality. It has been an experience to present this side of the issue, and while not directly linked to my own beliefs, the position I took should present the justifications behind an age old penalty for crimes against humanity.

Thanks to everyone for their time.

posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 03:40 PM
I am going to try and discuss a few other ways to possibly deal with the most abhorrent crimes, instead of using the Death Penalty, by the state and public.

If a person commits a terrible crime equal to what would deserve the Death penalty by todays standards, I concur the punishment should be as severe as possible. Solitary confinement, or complete isolation, 12 hour days of busting rocks into gravel, or maybe we could resort back to old Hebrew laws to produce results, but modify them and spare lives. Castration doesn't kill a man but will deter men from wanting to commit a crime if that was the punishment. Then would could give the person options to accept new arrangements or work with productive actions to help rehabilitate the person to be some type of benefit to society. The example must be set to deter crime, but lives may not need to be taken. If you see a man walking around with one less arm, and he explains how he lost it because he committed murder, that may prevent more crime from taking place and he would be a living example of the law to others. This maybe an act of progress when it comes to old law. At least we would be stepping forward, not back.

That is just an idea that has been in use for many years already, not necessarily the solution. In today's more modern society, rehabilitation may be the best tool to incorporate individuals back into society, if done properly and thoroughly

The Act of War: As long as time has been recorded, man has pitted himself against man in epic battles that have taken numerous lives. Murder, if we use the description of in meant by gruesomely taking another persons life with intent, in all of time happens to be one of the worst crime to commit. But here is where the sentence of Death may get complicated if it is used to punish a murderer. On one hand you have multiple cases of leaders throughout history known to have had many people killed yet they remain unpunished. On the other hand, you have numerous soldiers who have taken many lives in the process of fighting the leaders battle.
If these two acts are of the same caliber according to the above definition used, who would decide which of the two crimes is the conundrum. We can sit back and say one is worse than the other but in reality, a murder is a murder. In the grand scheme of things, there is not one worse than the other in that particular aspect. I will not delve deeper to conserve time and text.

For a final analysis and summation I am going to reach out on a metaphysical "limb" here and look at this type of punishment in another light for a second.

If you use the phrase of "what comes around goes around" or Karma, you should believe that an execrable criminal will get what they deserve whether or not the state decides to kill that person. That person may suffer mentally the rest of their life and be tormented by their actions enough to equal the crime they committed beyond any punishment received from the state. The person may have everything taken away from them of their own personal worth and live their lives merely to eke out a living. Possibly homeless and estranged from the world. This belief is only useful if we actually believe the meaning of Karma. But then we all must believe that everything has its way of working out and alot of people just don't have that same belief.

In retrospect, there are leaders of nations that have murdered millions of people willingly and go unscathed. They may continue the crimes for generations and never be touched. We could blame the current laws, we could blame the people for not serving their own justice. One could point the blame to military generals and soldiers not complying to protect their own founding documents. Another could just resort to saying war is justified killing. Unnecessary but justified casualties of war. I tend to think one cannot say war is different when in context of "eye for an eye" because if you hand out the Death Penalty for murder then you shouldn't have murderous wars. We can't give everyone the Death Penalty.


Many thanks to Druid42 and the Mods for allowing me to try my hand at this topic. It is not easy to debate something that has been debated since the dawn of civilization and I believe it will always be open to discussion. I don't see a definite answer to this problem as there are many ways to view the topic itself. I would say that it is good to have different laws from different states and here in the USA if you don't like the laws, you can move to another state. The same would go for this particular law. If your state uses the Death Penalty and you don't approve of it, you can move to another that doesn't. My state uses the penalty. I haven't moved because of it.

I have tried my hardest to keep my personal views off the page and let me tell you...It wasn't easy.

posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 05:40 AM
Judgements are in, Druid is the winner of this Debate.

Keeping my personal values and feelings from the interpretation of both worthy debaters, I feel that Druid won the match because of the central focus of the core issue. A crime is not punished by another crime but by justice. Havok did a fine job in their defense but, I felt, it was too broad and not as defined, as focused as Druids' argument. Both should be applauded for their participation in such a difficult topic.

The Match goes to Druid -- he was much more organized in his responses. The con-side was hard to follow at times.

I congratulate both debaters on what I see as a well fought debate.

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