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Beyond the moral dilemma, we have to look at the 1. It is not a crime deterrent.

simple fact that it just doesn't work. It isn't a deterrent:


Critics argue that the death penalty does not really
introducing the death penalty doesn't reduce crime in
any significant way. It isn't cost effective: in a deter criminals from committing offenses. This is
democratic society, the accused has the right to many, because there are criminals who suffer from mental
many appeals because we don't want to kill the wrong illnesses and a death sentence will not be able to
person, as this would be the biggest possible violation prevent them from doing bad things they cannot
to rule of law. This means that death row inmates cost control without proper medication.
far more than people who are imprisoned for life. Now,
2. It can result to punishing the wrong people.
we could throw the constitution away, but I'd rather we
didn't. Furthermore, despite the many appeals The legal systems in most countries, even in the U.S.
available, 4% of death row inmates are still wrongly have flaws. There are many instances where innocent
accused. A single one is a tragedy. Take into account people are sent to jail and convicted of crimes they
that this amounts to a few cases EACH YEAR, and it have not committed just like the case of a man who
becomes outrageous! was imprisoned for 30 years for rape. If all people
So, it doesn't deter anyone, it isn't cost effective, and it who are convicted will be executed, mistakes will be
doesn't respect basic rule of law. It protects the public made and many people will be put to death through
from one individual, but so would a life sentence, so it legal injection even if they do not deserve to be.
has no added value whatsoever. But what about the 3. It costs the government too much money.
subjective value of "he deserved it"?
Critics of death penalty contend the view of
By working on the subjective value of "merit" - supporters that feeding the inmates is more
encouraging vengeance, basically, only with the State as expensive than death penalty. On the contrary, the
a mediator - we don't make society any better. Crime drugs used in lethal injection and other expenses
reform focusing on 1-making the criminal into a better
related to the execution are more costly.
person, 2-keeping society safe and 3-deterring crime is
WAY better for the general well-being of society than 4. It can cause depression and feelings of guilt on
the simple logic of "crime = punishment". The argument people.
of "deserving" the punishment thus becomes moot. One of the disadvantages of this practice is the reality
One can simply look at northern Europe (or nearly any that some of the people who have been involved in
other western nation in the world) to see how balancing
the process suffer from depression out of guilt from
security and the reform of criminals is the best way to
having to end another person’s life. Some of this
deal with delinquent individuals.
people end up committing suicide and others have to
suffer living the remaining years of their lives

Death penalty is not an effective deterrence. tormented with the thought. According to a former
According to Amnesty International, the murder executioner, there are many people who have
rate in non-Death Penalty states has remained
consistently lower than the rate in States with participated in executions whose lives were later
the Death Penalty. The threat of execution at destroyed. Some turned to drugs and alcohol to feel
some future date is unlikely to enter the minds of
those acting under the influence of drugs and/or better.
alcohol, those who are in the grip of fear or rage, 5. It is not humane and cannot be undone.
those who are panicking while committing
another crime (such as a robbery), or those who There was an incident where a person who
suffer from mental illness or mental retardation underwent lethal injection did not die right away and it
and do not fully understand the gravity of their
crime. took more than 30 minutes for him to die from a heart
attack. This was traumatic not only for the person
being executed but also for the people who witnessed penalty is much more expensive than life in
prison. The high costs of the death penalty are
the incident since they saw the man gasping for air
for the complicated legal process, with the largest
and trying to stand up. For people who are against costs at the pre-trial and trial stages. The point is
death penalty, this is not a humane thing to do. to avoid executing innocent people. The
Moreover, they say that if a criminal is executed and tremendous expenses in a death penalty case
after the execution, a new piece of evidence comes apply whether or not the defendant is convicted,
let alone sentenced to death.
out that would have proven the person’s innocence,
he or she can never be brought back to life anymore.
Crime reduction (deterrence):
The death penalty doesn't keep us safer.
For the worst crimes, life without parole is better, Homicide rates for states that use the death
for many reasons. We’re against the death penalty are consistently higher than for those that
penalty but not because of sympathy for don’t. The most recent FBI data confirms this.
criminals. It doesn’t prevent or reduce crime, For people who lack a conscience, fear of being
costs a whole lot more than life in prison, and, caught is the best deterrent.
worst of all, risks executions of innocent people.
Who gets it:
The worst thing about it. Errors: Contrary to popular belief, the death penalty isn't
The system can make tragic mistakes. In 2004, reserved for the worst crimes, but for defendants
the state of Texas executed Cameron Todd with the worst lawyers. It doesn't apply to people
Willingham for starting the fire that killed his with money. Practically everyone sentenced to
children. The Texas Forensic Science death had to rely on an overworked public
Commission determined that the arson testimony defender. How many people with money have
that led to his conviction was based on flawed been executed??
science. As of today, 139 wrongly convicted
people on death row have been exonerated. Victims:
DNA is rarely available in homicides, often People assume that families of murder victims
irrelevant (as in Willingham’s case) and can’t want the death penalty imposed. It isn't
guarantee we won’t execute innocent people. necessarily so. Some are against it on moral
Capital juries are dominated by people who favor grounds. But even families who have supported
the death penalty and are more likely to vote to the death penalty in principle have testified to the
convict. damage that the death penalty process does to
families like theirs and that life without parole is
Keeping killers off the streets for good: an appropriate alternative.
Life without parole, on the books in 49 states (all
except Alaska), also prevents reoffending. It It comes down to whether we should keep a
means what it says, and spending the rest of system for the sake of retribution or revenge
your life locked up, knowing you’ll never be free, even though it isn’t effective in reducing violent
is no picnic. Two big advantages: crime, costs much more than alternatives and,
-an innocent person serving life can be released worst of all, can lead to the nightmare of
from prison executing someone for a crime he didn’t commit.
-life without parole costs less than the death
penalty

Costs, a surprise to many people:


Study after study has found that the death
"The Death Penalty is an Effective Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments
Deterrent" cannot tolerate the infliction of a sentence
of death under legal systems that permit
this unique penalty to be so wantonly and
This is probably the most common
so freakishly imposed."
argument in favor of capital punishment,
and there's actually some evidence that the The Supreme Court reinstated the death
death penalty may be a deterrent to penalty in 1976, but only after states
homicide. And it makes sense that it would reformed their legal statutes to better
be—nobody wants to die. protect the rights of the accused.
But it's a very expensive deterrent. As 03
such, the question is not just whether the
of 05
death penalty is a deterrent, it's whether
the death penalty is the most efficient "Murderers Deserve to Die"
deterrent that can be purchased using the
considerable funds and resources involved Yes, they might. But the government is an
in its implementation. The answer to that imperfect human institution, not an
question is almost certainly no. Traditional instrument of divine retribution—and it
law enforcement agencies and community lacks the power, the mandate, and the
violence prevention programs have a much competence to make sure that good is
stronger track record vis-a-vis deterrence, always proportionally rewarded and evil
and they remain underfunded due, in part, always proportionally punished.
to the expense of the death penalty.
04
02 of 05
of 05 "The Bible Says 'An Eye for an Eye'"
"The Death Penalty is Cheaper Than Feeding
Actually, there is little support in the Bible
a Murderer for Life"
for the death penalty. Jesus, who
himself was sentenced to death and legally
According to the Death Penalty Information
executed, had this to say (Matthew 5:38-
Center, independent studies in several
48):
states, including Oklahoma, reveal that
capital punishment is actually far more "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for
expensive to administer than life eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do
imprisonment. This is due in part to the not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps
lengthy appeals process, which still sends you on the right cheek, turn to them the
innocent people to death row on a fairly other cheek also. And if anyone wants to
regular basis. sue you and take your shirt, hand over your
coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one
In 1972, citing the Eighth and Fourteenth mile, go with them two miles. Give to the
Amendments, the Supreme Court abolished one who asks you, and do not turn away
the death penalty due to arbitrary from the one who wants to borrow from
sentencing. Justice Potter Stewart wrote for you.
the majority:
"You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your
"These death sentences are cruel and
neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell
unusual in the same way that being struck
you, love your enemies and pray for those
by lightning is cruel and unusual ... [T]he
who persecute you, that you may be 1. Financial costs to taxpayers of capital
children of your Father in heaven. He punishment is several times that of
causes his sun to rise on the evil and the keeping someone in prison for life. Most
good, and sends rain on the righteous and people don't realize that carrying out one
the unrighteous. If you love those who love death sentence costs 2-5 times more than
you, what reward will you get? Are not even keeping that same criminal in prison for the
rest of his life. How can this be? It has to do
the tax collectors doing that? And if you
with the endless appeals, additional required
greet only your own people, what are you procedures, and legal wrangling that drag
doing more than others? Do not even the process out. It's not unusual for a
pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as prisoner to be on death row for 15-20 years.
your heavenly Father is perfect." Judges, attorneys, court reporters, clerks,
and court facilities all require a substantial
What about the Hebrew Bible? Well, investment by the taxpayers. Do we really
ancient Rabbinic courts almost never have the resources to waste?
enforced the death penalty due to the high
standard of evidence required. The Union
for Reform Judaism (URJ), which 2. It is barbaric and violates the "cruel and
represents the majority of American Jews, unusual" clause in the Bill of
has called for total abolition of the death Rights. Whether it's a firing squad, electric
penalty since 1959. chair, gas chamber, lethal injection, or
hanging, it's barbaric to allow state-
sanctioned murder before a crowd of people.
05
We condemn people like Ahmadinejad,
of 05 Qaddafi, and Kim Jong Il when they murder
"Families Deserve Closure" their own people while we continue to do
the same (although our procedures for
Families find closure in many different allowing it are obviously more thorough).
ways, and many never find closure at all. The 8th Amendment of the U.S.
Regardless, we should not allow "closure" Constitution prevents the use of "cruel and
to become a euphemism for vengeance, the unusual punishment". Many would interpret
desire for which is understandable from an the death penalty as violating this restriction.
emotional point of view but not from a
legal. Vengeance is not justice.
3. The endless appeals and required
additional procedures clog our court
There are ways we can help provide closure
system. The U.S. court system goes to
for friends and family that do not involve
enormous lengths before allowing a death
serving a controversial policy objective. One sentence to be carried out. All the appeals,
solution is to fund free long-term mental motions, hearings, briefs, etc. monopolize
health care and other services to the much of the time of judges, attorneys, and
families of murder victims. other court employees as well as use up
courtrooms & facilities. This is time & space
that could be used for other unresolved
matters. The court system is tremendously
backed up. This would help move things
along.
4. We as a society have to move away from may lie in order to get on the panel. The
the "eye for an eye" revenge mentality if thought of agreeing to kill someone even
civilization is to advance. The "eye for an influences some jury members to acquit
eye" mentality will never solve anything. A rather than risk the death. Some prosecutors
revenge philosophy inevitably leads to an may go for a lesser charge rather than force
endless cycle of violence. Why do you think juries into a death-or-acquit choice.
the Israeli-Palestine conflict has been going Obviously, in all these situations, justice
on for 60+ years? Why do you think gang may not be served.
violence in this country never seems to end?
It is important to send a message to society
that striking back at your enemy purely for 8. The prisoner's family must suffer from
revenge will always make matters worse. seeing their loved one put to death by the
state, as well as going through the
emotionally-draining appeals
5. It sends the wrong message: why kill process. One victim's innocent family is
people who kill people to show killing is obviously forced to suffer from a capital
wrong. Yes, we want to make sure there is murder, but by enforcing a death sentence,
accountability for crime and an effective you force another family to suffer. Why
deterrent in place; however, the death double the suffering when we don't have to?
penalty has a message of "You killed one of
us, so we'll kill you". The state is actually
using a murder to punish someone who 9. The possibility exists that innocent men
committed a murder. Does that make sense? and women may be put to death. There are
several documented cases where DNA
testing showed that innocent people were
6. Life in prison is a worse punishment and put to death by the government. We have an
a more effective deterrent. For those of imperfect justice system where poor
you who don't feel much sympathy for a defendants are given minimal legal attention
murderer, keep in mind that death may be by often lesser qualified individuals. Some
too good for them. With a death sentence, would blame the court system, not that death
the suffering is over in an instant. With life penalty itself for the problems, but we can't
in prison, the pain goes on for decades. risk mistakes.
Prisoners are confined to a cage and live in
an internal environment of rape and violence
where they're treated as animals. And 10. Mentally ill patients may be put to
consider terrorists. Do you think they'd death. Many people are simply born with
rather suffer the humiliation of lifelong defects to their brain that cause them to act a
prison or be "martyred" by a death sentence? certain way. No amount of drugs, schooling,
What would have been a better ending for rehabilitation, or positive reinforcement will
Osama bin Laden, the bullet that killed him change them. Is it fair that someone should
instantly, or a life of humiliation in an be murdered just because they were unlucky
American prison (or if he was put through enough to be born with a brain defect.
rendition to obtain more information). Although it is technically unconstitutional to
put a mentally ill patient to death, the rules
7. Some jury members are reluctant to can be vague, and you still need to be able to
convict if it means putting someone to convince a judge and jury that the defendant
death. Many states require any jury is in fact, mentally ill.
members to be polled during the pre-trial
examination to be sure they have the
stomach to sentence someone to death
before they're allowed to serve. Even if
they're against the death penalty, they still
11. It creates sympathy for the monstrous changes everything. First of all, a death
perpetrators of the crimes. Criminals penalty case almost always garners
usually are looked down upon by society. significant media attention. Lawyers want
People are disgusted by the vile, that exposure, which enhances their name
unconscionable acts they commit and feel recognition & reputation for potential future
tremendous sympathy for the victims of plantiffs and defendants. Second of all,
murder, rape, etc. However, the death thousands of attorneys have made their
penalty has a way of shifting sympathy personal crusade in life the stomping out of
away from the victims and to the criminals the death penalty. Entire organizations have
themselves. An excellent example is the sprung up to fight death penalty cases, often
execution a few years ago of former gang providing all the funding for a legal defense.
leader "Tookie" Williams. He was one of the For an example, look no further than
original members of the notorious Crips the Casey Anthony trial, in which a pool of
gang, which has a long legacy of robbery, top attorneys took on a high profile death
assault, and murder. This is a man who was penalty case and used voir dire and
convicted with overwhelming evidence of peremptory challenges to craft one of the
the murder of four people, some of whom he stupidest juries on record, who ended up
shot in the back and then laughed at the ignoring facts and common sense or release
sounds they made as they died. This is a an obviously guilty woman who killed her
man who never even took responsibility for daughter. After the "not guilty" verdict was
the crimes or apologized to the victims -- rendered, defense attorneys such as Cheney
NOT ONCE! These victims had kids and Mason went into long-winded speeches for
spouses, but instead of sympathy for them, the media about the evils of the death
sympathy shifted to Tookie. Candlelight penalty.
vigils were held for him. Websites like
savetookie.org sprang up. Protests and a
media circus ensued trying to prevent the 13. It is useless in that it doesn't bring the
execution, which eventually did take place -- victim back to life. Perhaps the biggest
26 years after the crime itself! There are reason to ban the death penalty is that it
many cases like this, which make a mockery doesn't change the fact that the victim is
of the evil crimes these degenerates gone and will never come back. Hate,
commit. revenge, and anger will never cure the
emptiness of a lost loved one. Forgiveness is
the only way to start the healing process,
12. It often draws top talent laywers who will and this won't happen in a revenge-focused
work for little or no cost due to the individual.
publicity of the case and their personal
beliefs against the morality of the death
penalty, increasing the chances a
technicality or a manipulated jury will
release a guilt person. Top attorneys are
world-class manipulators. They know how
to cover up facts and misdirect thinking.
They know how to select juries sympathetic
to their side. They know how to find obscure
technicalities and use any other means
necessary to get their client off without any
punishment. Luckily, most criminal
defendants cannot afford to hire these top
guns; they must make do with a low-paid
public defender or some other cheaper
attorney. However, a death penalty case
Practicability As the third speaker of the Negative team, ARGUMENTS
I strongly oppose to this resolution, Resolved, That 1) Crime rates have fallen even without the
Death Penalty Be Restored in the Philippines. Why? death penalty.
Because Death Penalty deprives people the right to life.
In Article II, Sectional of the 1987 Philippine Many people justify the return of the death penalty
Constitution states: “The State values the dignity of because of its purported ability to quell the rising
every human person and guarantees full respect for tide of criminality plaguing the country. The idea is
human rights”. The Commission on Human Rights has that executing felons for committing heinous crimes
opposed the enactment of any law re-imposing the will deter future criminals, thus lowering crime
rates.
death penalty law In the

Philippines on the ground that It offends the diligently But Figure 1 shows that from 1978 to 2008 there
of human person and human rights. The abolition of the had been a general decline in the incidence of
death penalty by the 1987 Constitution was a very big “index crimes”. These are crimes that occur with
step towards a practical recognition of the dignity of “sufficient regularity” and have “socioeconomic
significance”, including some “heinous” ones like
every human being created to the image and likeness of
murder and rape.
God, and of the value of human life from its conception
to its natural end. Every human being has the inherent
right to life and this right must be protected by law.
However, this right is not as sacrosanct and Inviolable as
it sounds.

The mall principle In human rights law Is that no-one


shall be arbitrarily deprived of life. Amnesty
International (www. Misinterpretation_org_ retrieved
January 18, 2013) states, “The death penalty violates
the right to life. ” Capital punishment contradicts our
moral beliefs and claims of a fair and just government.
This makes the death penalty our most fundamental
human rights violation. It is the denial of the most basic
human rights. The Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Figure 1. Source: PSA, PNP. Note: Data cover 1978 to 2008.
Penalty www. Cad. Org retrieved January 15, 2013) According to the PNP, 'index crimes' are those considered to
have socioeconomic significance and 'occur with sufficient
states, “We don’t cut off the hands of thieves to protect regularity to be meaningful'. These include the following
property; we do not stone adulterers to stop adultery. crimes against persons (e.g., murder, homicide, physical
We consider that barbaric. Yet we continue to take life injury, rape) and crimes against property (e.g., robbery, theft,
carnapping). Also note that the PNP made methodological
as a means of protecting life. ” No person, government- changes since 2009 making data thereon incomparable to
affiliated or not, has the right to decide if another previous data.
human is worthy or unworthy of life. Our natural rights
as humans, which cannot be taken away by the Crime data are usually laden with many caveats,
government, include the right to life…. most notably underreporting. But despite these
limitations, Figure 1 suggests at least 3 things.

First, the supposed “rising tide” of criminality is


more of a myth than a fact: index crimes have, in
fact, been falling steadily since the early 1990s.
Second, even in the years without the death penalty, decreases, increases or has no effect on homicide
the index crime rate had plummeted. Hence, the rates.”
death penalty is not necessary to see a fall in crime
rates. In Asia, a separate study reached the same
conclusion when it compared the homicide rates in
Third, even after a record number of executions in Singapore (a country of many executions) and Hong
1999 (when Leo Echegaray and 6 others were put to Kong (few executions). More recent research
death by lethal injection), no pronounced drop in also shows that, instead of imposing harsher
index crimes was observed. The incidence of index punishments, a higher certainty of being caught
crimes even rose by 8.8% from 1999 to 2002. may be more effective in deterring crime.

2) Studies abroad could also not find strong 3) Previous death sentences fell
evidence the death penalty deters crime. disproportionately on the poor.

Many other countries also fail to see compelling The death penalty, as applied in the Philippines
evidence the death penalty deters crime. before, was not only unnecessary in reducing crime
but also largely anti-poor: poor inmates were more
In the US, for example, the death penalty alone likely to be sentenced to death than rich inmates.
could not explain the great decline in homicide rates
observed in the 1990s. Figure 2 shows that the Back in 2004 the Free Legal Assistance Group
homicide rates in Texas, California, and New York (FLAG) did a survey of 890 death row inmates.
had fallen at roughly the same pace throughout the Among other things, FLAG found that 79% of
1990s. This is despite the fact that these 3 states death row inmates did not reach college and 63%
used the death penalty very differently: Whereas were previously employed in blue-collar work in
Texas executed 447 people over that period, sectors like agriculture, transport, and construction.
California executed just 13 people, and New York
executed no one. Most tellingly, two-thirds of death row inmates had
a monthly wage on or below the minimum wage
(see Figure 3). Meanwhile, less than 1% of death
row inmates earned a monthly wage of more than
P50,000.One main reason behind this disparity is
that rich inmates have much more resources to
aggressively defend themselves in court (e.g., hiring
a battery of lawyers) compared to poor inmates.
Unless this imbalance is addressed,the death penalty
will only continue to be a vehicle for “selective
justice”.

Figure 2. Source: Nagin & Pepper [2012] Deterrence and the


death penalty. Washington, DC: The National Academies
Press. Note: Data cover 1974 to 2009.

Indeed, the US National Research Council


concluded in 2012 that, “research to date…is not
informative about whether capital punishment
Figure 3. Source: FLAG (2004) 'Socio-economic profile of Conclusion: The death penalty is a naïve way
capital offenders in the Philippines'. Note: Income brackets are
in nominal terms. of dealing with criminality

4) Previous death sentences were also error- The death penalty can be assailed on many grounds,
whether moral, philosophical, or legal. But just by
prone.
focusing on the available data, it is apparent that the
death penalty, as used in the past, was largely
Too many Filipinos were also wrongly sentenced to unnecessary and ineffective in reducing crime.
death before.
Even assuming for a moment that it was a deterrent,
In the case of People of the Philippines vs. the death penalty tended to discriminate against the
Mateo (2004), the Supreme Court admitted that a poor and was subject to alarmingly high error rates.
vast majority of trial courts had wrongfully imposed
the death penalty during the time it was available as
It is no wonder that so many countries around the
a sentencing option from 1993 to 2004.
world today have abolished the death penalty rather
than retained it. As of 2015, 140 countries have
Figure 4 shows that of the 907 death convictions abolished the death penalty in law or in practice.
that went to the Supreme Court for review, as many
as 72% were erroneously decided upon. These cases
Crime is a more complex and nuanced issue than
were returned to lower courts for further
many of our politicians will care to admit.
proceedings, reduced to life imprisonment, or even
Reinstating the death penalty – and equating death
reversed to acquittal. By detecting these errors, a
with justice – is a patently naïve and simplistic way
total of 651 out of 907 lives were saved from lethal
injection. of going about it. – Rappler.com

Unless this alarmingly high rate of “judicial errors”


is fixed, bringing back the death penalty will only
put more innocent people on death

Figure 4. Source: People v. Mateo, G.R. No. 147678-87, July


7, 2004. Note: Data were collected by the Judicial Records
Office of the Supreme Court as of June 8, 2004.