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Death Penalty debate (help!!!)



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Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:49 am
tennishead says...



I'm doing a debate in my english class and the topic is,

"In some cases, is the death penalty appropriate as an option?

I have unfortunately been put on the affirmative side of the debate (my luck!) Any ideas on any arguments that I should use? Any arguments that I shouldn't!

I know this sounds pretty weird, except I'm really stuck! :pirate2:

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Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:06 am
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Rubric says...



They've done you a massive favor in the phrasing of the topic.

You're not arguing general principles here. You're arguing "in some cases" and "as an option". That means you're only saying it should be on the table, in the most extreme cases available. Whenever your opponents bring up an example of an execution that was done badly, or on bad evidence, or on someone who was later exonerated, you can say that that's irrelevant: it shouldn't have been applied in that case, but it is good and right and just that it was an option for the jury, and even if it wasn't, it is certainly good and right and just in other, more extreme cases.

There's no other real context or limitations sketched out by the question, so feel free to look at the most extreme examples. Your Nazi leaders, your crazy (but not clinically insane) psycho killers who eat other inmates' faces.

There's also a lot of information and analysis of the prison system in the US and elsewhere that is describing incarceration as a new system of labour control, like slavery. Life in prison is now basically just a way to enrich some greedy corporations who own prisons and produce army equipment without having to pay their workers. This indirectly leads to a huge surplus of army goods that encourages America to engage in warfare, and to supply arms to other governments and rebel groups, leading to regional instability. If your opponents favor life in prison over the death penalty it basically means that they're in big business's pockets: they love war, and hate a fair days pay for a fair day's work. In contrast to this ghoulish and vampiric practice, the death penalty accurately captures the severity of society' most reprehensible crimes and ensures that twisted crony capitalists don't profit off of human tragedy. If someone were to argue for life in prison, they're arguing for slave labor in a system that has completely given up on rehabilitative justice. The only way to ensure justice is the death penalty. It brings finality to a situation, but also purity, as it ensures the punishment isn't co-opted by a third party for their own benefit. Does it really comfort a grieving widow to know that her husband's murderer is making weapons that will kill other husbands, and leave other women in her situation? I think not.

You could even try a tweak on the historical argument. In the past, even the most socially advanced societies practiced capital punishment.As a community today, we can decide through the jury process that we don't agree with the application of the death penalty in the majority of cases. But if we rule it completely out through statutory amendment, we're not just making the decision for ourselves, but also for the society of tomorrow. Maybe in the future it won't be so easy to change the law? Especially if those greedy crony capitalists want to defend their prison-factories from the purifying light of capital punishment. Really, the only just way to ensure that capital punishment meets the democratic standards of a society is to have in as an option for the jury, in at least some cases.

The alternative is that you hate freedom, and democracy. Do your opponents hate freedom and democracy? No. Then they have to agree that capital punishment should be an option for their democratic peers, in the most extreme of cases.
Last edited by Rubric on Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:02 pm
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Karzkin says...



I love when Rubric lawyers up.
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Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:53 pm
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PenguinAttack says...



Do some research, do your assignment/homework task yourself.

Sorry! That was way harsher than intended! :D I do hope you have an awesome debate, Rubric provided a lot of info.
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Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:53 am
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Nate says...



Asking for help on a homework assignment is perfectly appropriate, but I will be moving this to the homework forum. Good luck on your assignment :)
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