I think a useful way to frame this debate is to argue in terms of US states that already allow the death penalty.
The mechanism I propose for this is that after all appeals have been exhausted or waived by the individual then it is possible to offer death. This would be allowed when it is determined that the individual is fully aware of the consequences of their decision and are aware enough to make the decision. Help for things like depression should be offered first. That individual will then be entered into Death row and the usual proceedings would then apply.
I will make make a single argument in this round to open my case.
"Lifers" tend to be serious problems for prison staff because every freedom has been taken from them and their is no way t regain it. This means the staff have limited bargaining power in working with the individual. This lack of communication and respect means that many lifers seek to regain some sort of control in other ways. They do this by organising, participating and running gangs within prisons. This gives them they ability to have some control over their environment and life and still allows them to engage in the crimes that others have done or will do when released. Gangs cause severe problems for the prison service making it much harder to keep control and making rehabilitation seriously difficult. This is due to the fact that staff have to try and earn respect and open communications with an individual who is within the influence of a gang and either fears for their safety or respects the gang more. A lack of rehabilitation and dependency on gangs means that people are more likely to commit crimes after they have been released. I am not trying to claim that we can solve all gang issues within prisons but that we can severely disrupt that process.
Here's how this would work. In many cases where people have exhausted their appeals I believe they would ask for the option of death (and at least some take this already through suicide) because to spend an untold number of years in prison is certainly torture. This means that their is a channel of dialogue opened by the prisoner and they would be forced then to talk with medical staff and rehabilitative staff about their problems and their options. This is something that currently does not happen because the prisoner is already biased against the system that is detaining them and after all appeals are exhausted they feel their is no other hope. With this dialogue there is some hope of gaining respect and getting the prisoner to be able to actually feel remorse for the crime they have committed. This is important to many victims who feel it is only then that the punishment is worth something allowing them to have closure. This communication and chance for rehabilitation to be effective even for lifers means that the prisoner will have some hope of feeling in control and will be less likely persuaded to join a gang in the first place.
Lifers tend to make gang leaders because they are constantly there to assert dominance and control. Making less lifers less likely to become gang leaders means the long term power of gangs can be disrupted. This allows prison staff to more effectively dismantle gangs if there is less long term leaders.
They may take the option of death and be allowed that opportunity which is acceptable as the judge has deemed the crimes so terrible the person is not safe to ever be released back to society anyway.
To make prisons safer and more manageable we should allow prisoners serving a life sentence to choose death instead.
Return To Top | Posted:
2016-03-24 00:17:17| Speak Round
Thank you to Bifurcations for engaging in this debate. Unfortunately, I think he has chosen a position which is completely untenable, given that the proposition is fatally flawed before we even begin. Normally when debating issues surrounding the death penalty, is the issues are fairly well established. Most people have an opinion and debates are often focussed on the smaller, moot points in order to sway the judgement one way or another. I will attempt to show that this proposition would satisfy neither side of a traditional debate; liberal nor conservative, collectivist nor reformist.
I will first offer a rebuttal of my opponents opening remarks, after which I will outline my central concerns relating to this proposition.
Unfortunately my opponent has confused an already hazy subject with incongruent comparisons and unsubstantiated conjecture. In his very first line he draws a parallel with US states that already allow the death penalty, when this is really completely irrelevant. If something is a penalty, it can't also be an individual choice. The death penalty isn't optional or refutable, so where lies any comparison with the debate at hand? My opponent perhaps recognises that this is an erroneous example as he makes no further mention of the death penalty in individual States.
The key gist of his entire opening statement focusses on the idea that 'lifers' are more likely to be disruptive, reoffend and in general make life difficult. He also alleges that lifers are likely to be in prison gangs. However, he offers no proof of any of this, nor any citations, and as far as I can tell is basing this entirely on the idea that a life sentence without the possibility of parole does not incentivise good behaviour.
In the interest of expedience, I won't highlight every false assertion he makes, but suffice to say the issues raised, in particular relating to re-offending and prison gangs, is far more complicated and faceted than he presented. One of the eminent authorities on these issues is the think tank Death Penalty Focus:-
"Multiple studies that have been completed since capital punishment was reinstated show that prisoners sentenced to life without parole do not pose any more threat to other prisoners or corrections personnel than do inmates in the general population, and in most cases “lifers” perpetrate fewer crimes in prison than those eligible for parole." - Death Penalty Focus
My opponent also asserts that life imprisonment without the possibility of parole represents torture. By no definition of the word torture can incarceration be described as torture. It is worth mentioning that life imprisonment is a violation of the Human Rights Act, which is why in Europe even mass murderers cannot be jailed for life indefinitely, but then so too is the death penalty, so that doesn't make things any better.
Arguments against the proposal
There are so many to list here I will spare the reader the reams of arguments that I could post at this point. To try and be concise, my main arguments are essentially as follows:
1. Life imprisonment is supposed to be just that! For those who have committed the most heinous of crimes, it is surely right that we should punish them accordingly? The central argument for many debates relating to the very merits of the death penalty focus on the prevention of further crimes as a result of the deterrence of a strict sentence. Surely, to the families of victims of murder, allowing the prisoner to 'opt out' of his or her sentence with a lethal injection? Society needs to be careful not to completely remove any semblance of punishment, nor to remove the deterrence it provides.
2. Self-determined executions create a myriad of legal complications.
3. It would set Constitutional precedent. Effectively, the proposition calls for state-approved suicide.
4. It would be expensive. Executing somebody can costs hundreds of thousands...
Return To Top | Posted:
2016-03-24 15:18:22| Speak Round
Bifurcations: Why would a state like Texas be concerned with additional costs when they already allow the death penalty?
IncorrigiblePerspective: Who would foot the bill if the prisoner changed his mind the day before the execution? Would the state of Texas be charged for the provision of an attorney in order to adhere to the legal requirement that every prisoner be provided with one when changing the status of his/her imprisonment?
Bifurcations: You did not provide and answer to my question. To answer yours; as I laid out in my mechanism the normal rules of a death row prisoner would apply once they have accepted that punishment.
IncorrigiblePerspective: I did answer your question... You asked about Texas and I answered with a legitimate counter-question about financing.
Bifurcations: I don't follow the relevance but fine. Do you have another question or a response to the answer I provided?
Bifurcations: After reading this again I am still confused. For my own benefit I will ask will my original question in a different away and maybe you can help me out with a new answer.
Bifurcations: Basically the "additional costs" and legal l issues etc that you mention don't exist for states that already allow the death penalty (where this debate was framed) because that system already exists. Everything that you mentioned is covered by the status quo legal system, as i understand it. So can you explain what "additional legal issues and costs" would be placed on a state like Texas under this mechanism?
Bifurcations: Can you provide a link for the "legal requirement that every prisoner be provided with one when changing the status of his/her imprisonment"?
IncorrigiblePerspective: "Everything that you mentioned is covered by the status quo legal system, as i understand it.".... I'm afraid thats the point; it seems you don't understand it. We have a very complex legal system in order to clearly define what is permitted under law. Simply saying 'well the apparatus is already in place to execute somebody' is a hopelessly naive position to take.
IncorrigiblePerspective: Can you tell me why you think this differs from state-assisted suicide?
Bifurcations: First of all that was quite rude and it was a personal attack rather than a response to the two questions I asked. I would still like a clear, direct and calm response to those questions. Yes, the law is complex, however there are states which allow the death penalty and have procedures to enact that punishment. The only thing that changes with this debate is that the individual makes a choice between life without parole or the death penalty. This means I find your practical concerns somewhat irrelevant to this discussion.
Bifurcations: As for your question I believe it would be considered a legitimate choice and an acceptable punishment under the law.
IncorrigiblePerspective: My apologies for any offence taken, it was not deliberate on my part. What I meant to refer to what that anyone who has jurisprudence experience will tell you it's a massively complicated issue. Currently in Texas the article 'Health & Safety 166.45-51' explicitly rejects mercy killing, or abetting any form of suicide. This law would at the least need to be amended, if not repealed.
IncorrigiblePerspective: Let me ask you this: Death row inmates currently have the right of appeal right up until the hours before execution. Would a prisoner who had opted for execution over imprisonment be afforded the same right to do so? And if so, what would they be appealing against?
Bifurcations: Thank you for providing an apology and a direct answer. Yes the point of the debate is to repeal acts such as the one you quoted. I am not claiming to be a legal expert that's why I have stayed away from the specific articles however the act of promoting this policy means that I am supporting necessary changes to the law within reason. I'll answer your question next.
Bifurcations: Once the punishment of death is accepted they become ordinary death row prisoners and are subject to the same rights and laws. They can presumably still appeal on the same grounds with the argument that it was not a free choice or one made by a rational mind to make the choice to accept this punishment.
IncorrigiblePerspective: The reason of such debates is indeed to repeal such acts, but actually my line of argument related to an earlier question you asked about why it would cost a state like Texas to introduce this as a practice. Changing laws, especially relating to things at critical as euthanasia, runs to tens of millions of dollars more often than you would believe.
IncorrigiblePerspective: Correction: *as, not at, euthanasia.
IncorrigiblePerspective: A prisoner who has appealed against his own choice of punishment does not have any legal standpoint. Let me tell you there is no legal precedent for this, and it would create enormous problems for the justice department in trying to draft safeguards to protect this procedure from being abused or even made farcical, at tax payers expense.
Bifurcations: Every debate or discussion can be reduced to cost arguments. I am happy to argue that since the policy is being discussed the cost would be deemed worth while if the policy is principally sound. I'll direct yourself and anyone reading to my page for this. Now I will respond to your second post.
IncorrigiblePerspective: I'd like to change tack, if I may, to avoid this becoming solely about the legal issues. What would you say to a grieving family who view a murderer choosing to be put to sleep using lethal injection as a 'cop out'. What if they wish to see the murderer contemplate his crimes in jail?
Bifurcations: Yes there is no legal precedent at the moment that's because it isn't currently a legal option. If I can present a sound argument on why this policy should be passed principally and for other practical issues I believe this trumps any issues the justice department has in making the legality of the policy water tight. I'll respond to your new post now.
Bifurcations: I think this is entirely dependent on the family. Some families may see the death penalty as a cop out however it is likely that that individual will still spend a considerable amount of time in jail and on death row. It is not unheard of for penance to be paid on death row. Also as this is taking place in states where this penalty already exists it is likely to be seen as a harsher punishment than life without parole. There is also the likelihood of the family being relieved that the perpetrator is "out of their life for good".
IncorrigiblePerspective: You say that every debate can be reduced to cost arguments, but that is a completely erroneous statement as you directly asked me a question about why this policy would incur extra cost to a state such as Texas.
Bifurcations: i was asking a direct question about what you considered to be additional concerns as a direct result of policy being implemented. I was unsure if you were referring to general costs of a policy or, what it seemed to me, discussing costs and legal issues that were already part of the status quo for states with the death penalty. I asked the question to clarify that. Sorry if it was asked in a messy way.
IncorrigiblePerspective: I don't understand why anyone would wish to give the worst of the worst criminals a choice regarding their own punishment. For people who have removed all semblance of choice from their victims, it seems almost perverse to offer them an easy way out. What would you see as being the 'pros' for implementing this as a policy?
Bifurcations: I don't consider death an easy way out. I also think that no matter what the crime it is unfair to hand out a punishment because we believe a that individual should suffer. The duty of the law here is primarily to provide protection for the general public in these cases. I outlined one pro in the first round and i agree that I have missed analysis so I have provided this in my draft of the next round which you will then have the opportunity to respond to.
IncorrigiblePerspective: Your consideration that death isn't an easy way out isn't the point. In offering a choice, you are knowingly asking the convict to choose which option he considers least severe. In doing so, you undermine the very notion of sentencing and punishment.
Bifurcations: Yes that's true but you have to provide some analysis about why it is an easy option given that I have provided the reason that under the law in these states the death penalty is considered a harsher punishment than life without parole. People can already choose punishments for example enlist in the military or carry out a prison sentence.
IncorrigiblePerspective: I didn't say that it was an easy option, I said that the fact that they have a choice gives them an easy way out. Often it is the removal of choice that is the hardest thing to accept when incarcerated. And in fact, you're mistaken when you say that 'under the law' some states consider the death penalty to be the harshest penalty; there are numerous factors, not least that of deterrence, that are listed as being reasons for capital execution.
IncorrigiblePerspective: I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say they have a choice between enlisting in the military or prison? Please elaborate. I hope you don't mean non judicial punishment, which is something completely separate?
Bifurcations: No I am not talking about non judicial punishment which as I understand it is: Non-judicial punishment or "NJP" permits commanders to administratively discipline troops without a court-martial. An easier example of what I am talking about is the example of pay a fine or do community service. With this link: http://www.executiveprisonconsultants.com/id59.html, I would direct you and readers to point 5 which shows that there are many ways you can already influence a sentencing. I'll deal with your earlier post now.
Bifurcations: The fact that you consider it an "easy way out" is what i was referring to when I said easy option. Death is the removal of all choice not just most choices so I don't see the relevance of that. Yes, there are many reasons that are argued for the death penalty and one of those is that it is a harsh punishment. The fact that they consider it to have such a high deference factor is indicative of the fact they believe it to be a harsh punishment.
IncorrigiblePerspective: Influencing sentencing in the sense of requesting a certain prison really isn't relevant to the issue at hand here. I'm sure they also get to choose meat or vegetarian in the dinner queue in prison, but thats not really a choice, either. You said there was a choice between enlisting in the military and prison.. can you substantiate those comments please.
IncorrigiblePerspective: Obviously some prisoners would consider the death penalty as an easy way out, or else why would they choose it? Your argument is a contradiction in terms. And in relation to your comments about the harshness (again), let me tell you you wish find no state or federal documents supporting the idea that capital punishment being 'harsher' than a life in prison is a factor in its implementation.
Bifurcations: I cannot find a link that I am happy with for the example of military enlistment so I am happy to consider that a dropped argument. What I am happy to argue though is that the negotiations within court proceedings mean that the defendant is choosing between two likely outcomes and sentences such as going to jail or having community service. It is wrong to try and belittle the idea that sentencing can be influenced because this in and of itself undermines the idea that sentencing is solely in the hands of a judge. I will deal with your second post now.
Bifurcations: In my draft of the next round I have listed in detail reasons for choosing the death penalty and why they are litigate. The idea that anyone considers death to be an easy option is either suggestive of a life that is totally unbearable or a persons that is incapable of making a rational design because they do not understand the consequences of their decision. I have provided an answer to both of thee situations in the mechanism I wrote for round 1. My point about harshness is two fold so I will deal with this in a few posts.
Bifurcations: First of all in terms of a state they determine how much of a deterrence the punish meant will be based on how harsh the punishment seems to be to the populous. You are correct in saying that they would not use the word harsh in a legal document but the consideration of deference which you concede is indicative of that motivation.
Bifurcations: Secondly this is a direct response to your argumentation on the way a family of a victim (or said victim) would feel about the sentencing. A life is still considered a sacred thing (to most people) and this is why most victims etc would consider the penalty of death a greater one (or harsher) to that of life without parole.
IncorrigiblePerspective: The fact that you drop your argument in relation to a previous (false) statement would indicate you're grasping at straws. A defendant may indeed request a certain prison and plead previous good behaviour, but under no definition that i'm aware of could this be considered a 'choice'. Moreover, that is only applicable in lower severity crimes; no capital crime is dealt with in this way. If found guilty of murder, you have absolutely no say in which institution you are sent to. Your argument on this point is tenuous at best.
IncorrigiblePerspective: It seems to me that your arguments are creating something of a paradox... painting yourself into a corner, so to speak. Is capital punishment harsher than life imprisonment, or isn't it? Are are placating victims' families here, or offering convicted murders rights of self-determination? I don't follow your reasoning, but I look forward to hearing you outline details in the next round.
Bifurcations: My analysis was to prove that sentencing is not held solely in the hands of a judge. Even if you do not believe there is an element of choice currently (which I will further detail in a minute) this does not mean that there should never be an element of choice in sentencing and this I will prove in my second round. I am unsure why you consider my arguments paradoxical. I have been arguing throughout that capital punishment is considered a harsher punishment that life imprisonment.
Bifurcations: The only person arguing to placate victims families is yourself and it is s stretch to consider this policy "self determination". You stated that it is impossible under this policy for families to feel like justice has been achieved and I have argued that they can feel justice even if the prisoner chooses a death penalty instead of life sentence. Can you explain which part of this is paradoxical?
Bifurcations: I also deny the accusation that because I am willing to discontinue one example this means I am suddenly "grasping at straws".
IncorrigiblePerspective: We're going round in circles here. I think I will only have my answer when I read your reasoning in the next round as to who benefits from your proposal.
Bifurcations: ok to help me understand how I need to analyse this to give you the best explanation can you give me a reason why you say what I am arguing is paradoxical?
IncorrigiblePerspective: It seems through your reasoning you are both suggesting it relieves a prisoner from the hell of life without parole in jail, but at the same time that the death penalty is the harsher of the two. Who do you think benefits from this proposal?
Bifurcations: I understand your confusion as you are conflating two parts the argument. It can be considered a harsh punishment by the state and by the families and it can be simultaneously seen as a fairer punishment by the convict. It is a matter of perspective and both perspectives exist simultaneously. Now I will answer your question.
Bifurcations: I don't consider this debate to be one of whether there is a need to weigh an active harm or benefit to groups of actors but rather that this is justified on a principled level and is necessary.
IncorrigiblePerspective: We you read the debate as me conflating your argument, and I read it as you contradicting yourself. I'm yet to hear a single reason as to why this proposal would benefit anyone?
Bifurcations: I'm sure anyone judging it will decide for themselves whether it is a conflation or contradiction but I still believe its a conflation of the argument for the reasons I just provided. Like I said I don't believe that is that point of this debate however, as you done previously, I would like to propose the counter question: Why will this proposal harm anyone?
IncorrigiblePerspective: It will cost millions to implement... tax payers millions no less, create further complications in an already complex system, and ultimately benefit nobody.
Bifurcations: The figure of millions is just pulled out the air but fine. The argument is then tax payers and people who right up this law and practice it v the prison staff (both security and rehab) and the justice system as a whole (this is outlined in my case for round two. I will now look at this comparison in detail.
Bifurcations: Firstly it is the job of lawmakers and enforcers to implement these policies no matter how complex. Unless you can explain why this would literally be impossible then this is just their job. Voters have elected their representatives in order to spend their tax money efficiently this means that they have to a certain extent conceded control over that money and have entrusted it with the politicians who would be making this choice. If the policy is completely unpalatable then it would not be enacted but you have given no reason to suggest why that would be.
Bifurcations: Rather it seems likely that this would be viewed as an extension of their current capital punishment policy. This all means that the harms you propose are actually non existent. Now for those it benefits.
Bifurcations: In terms of Prison security staff I started this argument in round 1 and will complete it in round two. In terms of those who are working in rehab this gives lifers more of a reason to talk to them and engage with those services in the first place as I outlined in my mechanism this means they have a greater ability to actually fulfil their job. This actually benefits the justice system as a whole which I will outline in my round 2 case because it requires a large amount of analysis.
Bifurcations: As I outlined this debate is about the necessity and principled justification of this policy rather than a list of who it may or may not benefit in individual and unique cases.
IncorrigiblePerspective: "The argument is then tax payers and people who right up this law and practice it ...."... i'm assuming you mean 'write' rather than right?
IncorrigiblePerspective: Of course it is not 'literally impossible' to achieve a change in the law, but that is a ridiculous yardstick by which to measure the suitability of a proposal. As outlined in my opening statement, I clearly stated some of the glaring obstacles to the proposition. Conversely, you offer not a single positive outcome in support of the motion.
IncorrigiblePerspective: "In terms of Prison security staff I started....." All of this is just conjecture. You have no evidence to support your claims of benefits to the justice system. I discredited your opening statement on the matter in my rebuttal, citing my sources. You have not countered with anything of that can be substantiated.
IncorrigiblePerspective: I think this cross examination has gone on long enough, if my opponent agrees. If we continue much further it will become very tiresome to judge. I will lastly say to my opponent that the burden of proof in this case lies with him. He is supporting a new reform in the system, so it is for him to convince the judges that it is in the best interests of everybody to adopt this proposal, not for me to argue against a 'why shouldn't we' position.It is simply my job to defend the status quo. I hope my opponent considers this as we move into the final round. Thank you.
Bifurcations: Fine by me. I will just conclude by saying that the burden of proof I have to meet as I stated before that this is a necessary and principally sound policy which I will finish proving in my second round.
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Framing is not an example but rather the context in which this debate happens: states that already allow the death penalty and by extension the Federal system. This means that my opponent's practical concerns have already been accepted as worthwhile by these states. My opponent chose to correct my spelling instead of responding to my analysis on why the harms they claimed happen, do not exist. (CX)
The final missing link in my case is to prove that some lifers are very likely to participate in gang violence. This is seen readily in the Federal system where current gang members are incarcerated under the three strike rule. The only way to remain in control of their life is to continue gang services and recruit new members. The staff engage these individuals because there is no other methods for the prisoner to control their life. This then supports the analysis that I provided in the first round.
When a judge sentences someone to life without parole the punishment is only intended to be limited freedoms and life controlled by the state, however this is not the realistic extent of the punishment. The reality, especially for lifers convicted as juveniles, is one of violence, rape and terror. This is not condoned by the state but neither can it be effectively tackled by the state. The theory of life without parole does not tie up with the reality. This can be balanced in individual cases by allowing the option of accepting death. We can only sentence someone to a knowable punishment. There is no other option with these cases. By giving lifers the option of accepting death they can make a choice about whether they want to live with the threat of violence or being the victim of violence or whether they would rather just die. This is why this policy is necessary to uphold a moral standard of justice.
States recognise it is a terrible act to commit someone to death and they feel it is useful due to the high level of deference it can provide (as conceded by my opponent) which shows they believe it to be a harsh punishment and use it sparingly. My opponent asserts that victims' families want to see the perpetrator being punished for the rest of their life however this is false:
"Despite the fact that sincere apologies can be difficult for offenders, espe- cially those who committed severe crimes, many offenders do apologize. Some do it spontaneously, and others do it after participating in restorative justice programs, which often report high rates of apology from the offenders who participate in them."
Apologies massively benefit families as this report shows and even those who are on death row are more likely to apologise after engaging with rehab staff. My policy makes this mandatory before the sentence of death is even accepted therefore more families are likely to get the apology that will help them heal. They receive that apology quicker and they can then move on after the death of the perpetrator rather than constantly have that individual as a reminder of the crime that happened. My opponent asserted that my policy would benefit no one but I say it benefits those who we should care about the most: the victims families.
These are unique view points from different groups that exist simultaneously which is not paradoxical.
What my opponent seems to be advocating is punishment for punishment's sake ("Life imprisonment is supposed to be just that!"). What I am advocating for is an efficient way to achieve a just resolution to a terrible crime.
I feel it was unfortunate that my opponent did not substantiate their case in the first round as this is only a two round debate, I will not have an opportunity to rebut any substantial new material provided by my opponent next.
I have shown a principled justification of this policy and proven its practical use under the current framework of accepted death penalty.
Thank you for reading; vote proposition.
Return To Top | Posted:
2016-03-31 15:20:08| Speak Round
I can agree with my opponent insofar that the short rounds prevent us from really digging into this as a debate. I will offer a short rebuttal to my opponents final statement, although having spent most of the opening round debunking his first set of inaccuracies I don't intend to dwell on them for too long.
My opponent has, in my opinion, largely missed the point of this debate. He could have justifiably drawn attention to aspects of the financial cost saving, or to the prevention of prison suicides, to name but two, but rather he has sought to place the emphasis of his argument on increasingly shaky grounds.
"Framing is not an example but rather the context in which this debate happens: states that already allow the death penalty and by extension the Federal system".
- This is just a waffly way of saying he's setting the scene to better suit his argument. It's the debating equivalent of photoshopping your pictures to make your thighs seem less flabby.
For anyone who couldn't be bothered/didn't read all of my opponents argument, allow me to summarise...
' Prisoners are more likely to be in gangs in prison, so we should let them choose death. If they are not in a gang, they are probably a being raped or beaten up by the other prisoners. The victim's families may/may not prefer to see the criminal dead/ incarcerated, but i'll focus mainly on the tiny majority that apologise for their crimes and who achieve closure.'
My opponent has totally failed in providing even the vaguest semblance of an argument in support of the motion. Almost everything he presented is moot; so families may be happier to see the criminal executed, others less so. Some criminals may be more likely to engage in gang violence once sentenced to a life without parole, others less so.
I will now elaborate on why this remains an ill-conceived notion.
My opponent would have you believe that this proposition is as simple as offering the prisoners a choice similar to choosing dessert from a menu. The reality is far more complex. Criminals choosing to be executed would need to undergo a psycho-analytical exam to deem whether they are fit to make such a choice; an attorney would need to be present at all hearings relating to the determination of sentencing; provisions would need to be put in place to ensure no abuse of humans rights are taking place; adequate time allowance would need to be determined in order to allow a prisoner to change his or her mind before execution. All of these things would cost money, and lots of it.
Capital punishment cases already cost on average three times more than the equivalent life imprisonment case, and thats with a well established legal recourse. This proposition would be a paper-trail nightmare!
Let's not beat around the bush here, the proposition effectively calls for the legalising of euthanasia. The US has long protected the notion of the sanctity of life, and this measure would no doubt open the floodgate for other cases warranting assisted suicide. Why should we afford rights to the worst criminals that we don't to our war heroes or pensioners? A patient suffering with terminal illness cannot be permitted to end his/her own life, so it seems odd that we would permit assisted suicide in the case of criminals.
My opponent raises some of the issues relating to the realities of prison life, when in fact they aren't really relevant. The prison system isn't perfect, but rather than spend the money on something like this proposition in order to fix it, instead actually invest in improving the institution itself. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
This proposition won't solve anything. It's not a magic bullet for the issues regarding 'lifers'. It will cost the taxpayers money, at no benefit, it will open the floodgates for euthanasia in the US, and it will create a legal minefield to navigate in every case to which it is applied.
I urge you to let common sense prevail and reject the motion.
Return To Top | Posted:
2016-04-02 00:11:43| Speak Round