Capital punishment

Capital punishment
It is unreasonable to think that to take the life of a man who has taken that of another is to show lack of regard for human life. We show, on the contrary, an emphatic regard for it, by the adoption of a rule that he who violates that right in another forfeits it for himself.
My agreement with these, the words of philosopher John Stuart Mill, compels me to affirm today?s resolution, that capital punishment is justified. My value premise for the round will be justice, giving each individual his or her due. My value criterion is societal benefit without infringing on individual rights.
-I feel it is necessary to observe, before I begin, that while I feel the death penalty is just, it is only just as punishment for certain crimes. However, If I can prove the justice of the death penalty as a punishment for one specific crime, It would affirm the resolution. In this round, I will attempt to prove that the death penalty is a just punishment for first degree, premeditated murder. (Serial murderers)
Contention #1: by murdering another, criminal?s forfeits their right to life.
The system of punishment is based on taking away the liberties of convicted criminals. In committing a crime, an individual gives up certain rights, and it is because of this forfeiture of rights that we can impose punishment upon them. The amount of rights forfeited is in some manner proportional to the severity of the crime for which the individual was convicted. If someone commits a minor crime, such as littering, they lose a small amount of right. Therefore it is justified to take from them a small amount of their liberty, possibly economic liberty through a fine. As the severity of the crime increases, the amount of right forfeited increases likewise. In other words, if I kill a woman, I am being unjust because I am doing to her what I would not have her do to me. I am expressing that we are not equals, and that I am her superior. By demonstrating that I have lost my right to life, the government reaffirms that the two of us are in fact equal.
By demonstrating that we are equal, the state upholds justice. Immanuel Kant explains the position, arguing: ?If he has committed murder, he must die. Here there is no substitute that will satisfy justice. There is no similarity between life, however wretched it may be, and death, hence no likeness between the crime and the retribution unless death is judicially carried out upon the wrongdoer?? (Metaphysics of Moral)
. At one point it becomes impossible for a criminal to give up rights that are proportional to their crimes. When a criminal commits the highest form of crime, killing, they lose their greatest right, the right to life.
-Contention #2: The Social Contract system ensures that the death penalty is just.
Rouseau argues that when you commit a crime, you place yourself at war with the state by attacking the law. AS he staets: ?Moreover, since every wrongdoer attacks the law, he ceases to be a member of it; indeed, he makes war against it. And in this case, the preservation of the state is incompatible with his preservation; alone or the other must perish;and when the guilty man is put to death, it is less as a citizen than as an enemy?.the right of war makes it legitimate to kill him.? (Social Contract pg.79) If you are proven to have broken the contract between yourself and the state, and it is proven that you are a continued danger to the state, the state has the right to declare war against you. The government?administers punishment in regards to violations of law. It is justified to kill, because under social contract theories we form a government voluntarily; we elect given gov?ts to rule; and that gov?t expresses authority to guard against violations of rights. The gov?t violates one?s right in order to prevent further rights violations. Thus, when an individual is a threat to the rest of society, the gov?t-in ensuring each individuals rights must withdraw the threatening individual from society.
Contention #3: ? it can be beneficial to kill criminals who have no claim to life.
-. in some cases it is highly beneficial to utilize the death penalty rather than other means of punishment. In order to see how the death penalty can be beneficial, it is important to look at the goals of punishment: to reprimand, deter, and protect society.
-Society must show, through strongly reprimanding criminals, that it will not accept certain types of behavior. While it may be just to a murder to fine him, society would not be sending a strong enough message regarding the evils of murder.
-Capital punishment also acts an effective deterrent. The rationale seems simple: If I wish to commit a crime, and the punishment for that crime is a $1,000 fine, I would have less incentive to commit that crime than if the punishment was only a $100 fine. The stiffer the penalty, the less apt someone is to commit the crime. Capital Punishment, being the ultimate punishment, would seem to cause the greatest fear, and therefore have the ultimate deterring effect
-It is also the due of society to be protected from criminals. By killing a criminal, we insure that they will be able to do no further harm to society.
- The resources that it takes to keep a criminal alive for the rest of their lives could sometimes be much better invested by society in other people. Society has no obligation to invest food and shelter in criminals who no longer have any right to life. With homeless living on the streets, why is society obligated to feed murderers? If society has other uses for its resources, it should not invest them in convicted criminals.

Capital punishment 8.2 of 10 on the basis of 1531 Review.