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2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing TABLE OF CONTENTS Definitions & Resolutional Analysis ............................................ 2 Annotated Bibliography ................................................................ 6 DEATH PENALTY AFFIRMATIVE ....................................... 11 UTILITARIANISM IS THE BEST GUIDE FOR MORALITY .............................................................. 14 UTILITARIANISM IS THE BEST GUIDE FOR MORALITY .............................................................. 15 UTILITARIANISM IS THE BEST GUIDE FOR MORALITY .............................................................. 16 ABSOLUTIST MORALITY SHOULD NOT GUIDE HUMAN ACTIONS ........................................... 17 ABSOLUTIST MORALITY SHOULD NOT GUIDE HUMAN ACTIONS ........................................... 18 SACRIFICING ONE INNOCENT LIFE IS JUSTIFIED ......................................................................... 19 INNOCENT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN EXECUTED UNDER THE DEATH PENALTY ......................... 20 INNOCENT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN EXECUTED UNDER THE DEATH PENALTY ......................... 21 DNA TESTING DOES NOT PREVENT EXECUTING INNOCENTS .................................................. 22 THE PUBLIC SUPPORTS THE DEATH PENALTY ............................................................................. 23 THE DEATH PENALTY IS MORALLY JUSTIFIED ............................................................................ 24 THE DEATH PENALTY IS MORALLY JUSTIFIED ............................................................................ 25 THE DEATH PENALTY DETERS CRIME ............................................................................................ 26 THE DEATH PENALTY DETERS CRIME ............................................................................................ 27 THE DEATH PENALTY IS NOT RACIST ............................................................................................. 27 CAPITAL PUNISHMENT DOES NOT COST TOO MUCH .................................................................. 28 THE DEATH PENALTY IS IMPORTANT TO THE WAR ON TERRORISM ..................................... 30 TELEVISING EXECUTIONS IS JUSTIFIED ......................................................................................... 31 DEATH PENALTY NEGATIVE .............................................. 32 UTILITARIANISM IS A POOR GUIDE FOR MORALITY .................................................................. 33 UTILITARIANISM IS A POOR GUIDE FOR MORALITY .................................................................. 35 UTILITARIANISM IS A POOR GUIDE FOR MORALITY .................................................................. 36 ACTIONS SHOULD BE MORALLY JUSTIFIED.................................................................................. 37 ACTIONS SHOULD BE MORALLY JUSTIFIED .................................................................................. 37 SACRIFICING INNOCENT LIFE IS NOT JUSTIFIED ......................................................................... 39 CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IS IMMORAL ............................................................................................... 40 INNOCENT PEOPLE ARE NOT EXECUTED UNDER THE DEATH PENALTY .............................. 41 DNA TECHNOLOGY PREVENTS INNOCENTS FROM EXECUTION.............................................. 42 THE PUBLIC OPPOSES THE DEATH PENALTY ................................................................................ 43 THE DEATH PENALTY DOES NOT DETER CRIME .......................................................................... 44 THE DEATH PENALTY DOES NOT DETER CRIME .......................................................................... 45 THE DEATH PENALTY IS RACIST ...................................................................................................... 46 THE DEATH PENALTY IS RACIST ...................................................................................................... 47 THE DEATH PENALTY IS TOO COSTLY ........................................................................................... 48 THE DEATH PENALTY UNDERMINES THE WAR ON TERROR .................................................... 49 TELEVISING EXECUTIONS IS NOT JUSTIFIED ................................................................................ 50 -1– www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing Definitions & Resolutional Analysis A. Resolutional Analysis - This resolution is conceptually very simple and more than likely will see very straightforward debates. The resolution calls on the affirmative to justify a perspective that places the lives of the many ahead of the lives of the few. While the resolution has a specific scenario it uses (killing one to save more), it is likely that this will be used as a broader metaphor for moral debate. In the contest that affirmatives will likely defend the resolution (via some version of utilitarianism or consequentialism) the notion that multiple people will die to save a bunch of people will be defended. So despite the fact that the resolution specifically says “one” affirmatives will more than likely defend a broader interpretation of the resolution. As the negative you could be aggressive in attempting affirmatives to just defend the killing of one, but it probably wouldn’t be all that strategic. The more individuals the affirmative is comfortable with sacrificing for the greater good, the more ground the negative has. This topic is at the heart of the greatest moral debate that exists. As such, expect to see debates center on abstract moral quagmires rather than more practical, policy-based discussions. The resolution lends itself to rehashing the standard philosophical clashes between Kant and Bentham and this is where we expect most debates to go. One thing you can do to draw the resolution into policy relevance and/or placed in a more modern context is to start thinking of the resolution metaphorically and in the context of current issues. For example, place the resolution in the context of policy justifications for the Iraq war or the death penalty debates in the US and you can see the relevance of the resolution in the dominant issues of the day. All told, we recommend foregoing resolutional analysis in your affirmative and negative cases and instead focusing more on the heart of the philosophical debate at hand. Resolved: It is morally permissible to kill one innocent person to save the lives of more innocent people. B. Definitions – Resolved Resolved: single-minded: determined; "she was firmly resolved to be a doctor"; "single-minded in his determination to stop smoking" solved: explained or answered; "mysteries solved and unsolved; problems resolved and unresolved" WordNet, Princeton’s Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn Resolved: (adjective), firm in purpose or intent; determined Dictionary.com, Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/resolved Morally Morally: with respect to moral principles; “morally unjustified”; in a moral manner: “he acted morally under the circumstances WordNet, Princeton’s Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn Moral, morality: the perception of right and wrong (or more generally, of values) from an engaged (naive) first- person point of view, in contrast to ethical or ethics, which is the subjectified counterpart. The key difference is that ethics claims self-conscious responsibility for its moral propositions (or values), whereas morality does not question itself and thereby may unconsciously adopt socially or genetically determined precepts. Dan Bruiger, Philosopher, Glossary of Philosophical Terms, Accessed 8/21/08, http://www.leftfieldpress.com/glossary.html -2– www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing Moral: (adjective), of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behaviour, especially for teaching right behavior; moral judgments, a moral poem. conforming to a standard of right behaviour; sanctioned by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgment; a moral obligation. capable of right and wrong action; a moral agent. Wikitionary, Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/moral Morality: A system of determining right and wrong that is established by some authority, such as a church, an organization, a society, or a government. ProEthics, 2007, Internet Glossary, Accessed 8/21/08, http://www.ethicsscoreboard.com/rb_definitions.html Morality: (noun), 1. conformity to the rules of right conduct; moral or virtuous conduct. 2. moral quality or character. 3. virtue in sexual matters; chastity. 4. a doctrine or system of morals. 5. moral instruction; a moral lesson, precept, discourse, or utterance. Dictionary.com, Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/morality Permissible Permissible: (adjective), that can be permitted; allowable: a permissible amount of sentimentality under the circumstances; Such behavior is not permissible! Dictionary.com, Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/permissible Permissible: that may be permitted especially as according to rule; "permissible behavior in school"; "a permissible tax deduction"; that may be accepted or conceded; "a kind of speculation that was permissible in cosmology but inadmissible in medicine." WordNet, Princeton’s Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn Innocent Innocent: (adjective), (comparative, more innocent, superlative, most innocent); pure, incorrupt, unspoiled, or naïve. Bearing no responsibility for a crime. Harmless. Innocent: (noun), those who are innocent; young children. Wiktionary, Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/innocent Innocent: free from evil or guilt; "an innocent child"; "the principle that one is innocent until proved guilty"; lacking intent or capacity to injure; "an innocent prank"; impeccant: free from sin; lacking in sophistication or worldliness; "a child's innocent stare"; "his ingenuous explanation that he would not have burned the church if he had not thought the bishop was in it"; innocent(p): not knowledgeable about something specified; "American tourists wholly innocent of French"; "a person unacquainted with our customs"; barren: completely wanting or lacking; "writing barren of insight"; "young recruits destitute of experience"; "innocent of literary merit"; "the sentence was devoid of meaning"; (used of things) lacking sense or awareness; "fine innocent weather"; a person who lacks knowledge of evil WordNet, Princeton’s Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn Innocent: (adjective), 1. free from moral wrong; without sin; pure: innocent children. 2. free from legal or specific wrong; guiltless: innocent of the crime. 3. not involving evil intent or motive: an innocent misrepresentation.4. not causing physical or moral injury; harmless: innocent fun. Dictionary.com, Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/innocent -3– www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing Person Person: (noun), Human being; individual. Specific human being. Where is the person? The physical body of a specified individual. Meanwhile, the dazed Sullivan, dressed like a bum with no identification on his person, is arrested and put to work on a brutal Southern chain gang. — New York Times, 2004. (law) Any individual or formal organization with standing before the courts. By common law a corporation or a trust is legally a person. Wiktionary, Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/person Person (noun), 1.a human being, whether man, woman, or child: The table seats four persons. 2. a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing. 3. Sociology. an individual human being, esp. with reference to his or her social relationships and behavioral patterns as conditioned by the culture. 4. Philosophy. a self-conscious or rational being. 5. the actual self or individual personality of a human being: You ought not to generalize, but to consider the person you are dealing with. 6. the body of a living human being, sometimes including the clothes being worn: He had no money on his person. Dictioanry.com, Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/person Save Save: salvage: save from ruin, destruction, or harm; to keep up and reserve for personal or special use; "She saved the old family photographs in a drawer; bring into safety; "We pulled through most of the victims of the bomb attack" WordNet, Princeton’s Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn Save: (verb), 1. to rescue from danger or possible harm, injury, or loss: to save someone from drowning. 2. to keep safe, intact, or unhurt; safeguard; preserve: God save the king. 3. to keep from being lost: to save the game. Dictionary.com, Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/save Lives Lives: (noun), irregular plural of life Wiktionary, Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/lives Life: a characteristic state or mode of living; "social life"; "city life"; "real life"; the experience of being alive; the course of human events and activities; "he could no longer cope with the complexities of life"; the course of existence of an individual; the actions and events that occur in living; "he hoped for a new life in Australia"; "he wanted to live his own life without interference from others"; animation: the condition of living or the state of being alive; "while there's life there's hope"; "life depends on many chemical and physical processes"; the period during which something is functional (as between birth and death); "the battery had a short life"; "he lived a long and happy life"; the period between birth and the present time; "I have known him all his life"; the period from the present until death; "he appointed himself emperor for life"; a living person; "his heroism saved a life" WordNet, Princeton’s Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn Life: (noun), 1. the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally. 2. the sum of the distinguishing phenomena of organisms, esp. metabolism, growth, reproduction, and adaptation to environment. 3. the animate existence or period of animate existence of an individual: to risk one's life; a short life and a merry one. 4. a corresponding state, existence, or principle of existence conceived of as belonging to the soul: eternal life. Dictionary.com, Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/life -4– www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing More More: used to form the comparative of some adjectives and adverbs; "more interesting"; "more beautiful"; "more quickly"; more(a): (comparative of `much' used with mass nouns) a quantifier meaning greater in size or amount or extent or degree; "more land"; "more support"; "more rain fell"; "more than a gallon." WordNet, Princeton’s Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn More: (adjective), 1. in greater quantity, amount, measure, degree, or number: I need more money. 2. additional or further: Do you need more time? More discussion seems pointless.–noun. 3. an additional quantity, amount, or number: I would give you more if I had it. He likes her all the more. When I could take no more of such nonsense, I left. 4. a greater quantity, amount, or degree: More is expected of him. The price is more than I thought.5. something of greater importance: His report is more than a survey. 6. (used with a plural verb) a greater number of a class specified, or the greater number of persons: More will attend this year than ever before. Dictionary.com, Internet Dictionary, Accessed 8/21/08, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/more -5– www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing Annotated Bibliography Zygmunt Bauman, Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds, 1995, Life in Fragments: Essays in Postmodern Morality. Bauman is another prominent critic on the issue of morality that doesn’t quite fit neatly in one camp or the other when it comes to morality. His biggest argument is that absolutist structures of morality are dangerous and often lead to violence. In particular, he indicts moral obligations for leading to blind rule following as opposed to critical thinking. When individuals act because they are told they have a moral obligation to do so, the result is often a reflex action that foregoes any real thought or any genuine desire for doing the right thing. This makes moral claims ring hollow. Jeremy Bentham, Utilitarian Philosopher, 1781, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, Accessed 8/21/08, http://www.utilitarianism.com/jeremy-bentham/index.html We recommend that this is the first book you track down when constructing your affirmative case. Luckily it is available in full online so we’ve already done the work for you. Bentham’s seminal work is important for you to read on this resolution because it is the foundational text for the concept of utilitarianism. Before you construct your affirmative case on this topic you should first read this entry. You should find Bentham’s work helpful both as a conceptual backdrop to the theories you will be advocating, but also as evidence for your arguments. In particular, his description of what exactly is the principle of utility will be very useful as definitions in your affirmative case. Richard Chappell, Princeton Student, April 8, 2006, Philosophy, et cetera, Accessed 8/21/08, http://www.philosophyetc.net/2006/04/conservatism-of-deontology.html Chappell may only be a college student, but his analysis of deontology is very strong. In his article, Chappell calls into question why those opposed to consequentialism assume that the status quo is morally superior to the world that a consequentialist action would create. Because deontology holds that it is immoral to act for change if it hurts the few, progress is constrained. Instead of taking action that might hurt some, but help more deontology has a constraining effect on action and often results in paralysis and inaction in the face of violence. In this light deontological morals can be seen as conservative and protecting a status quo that only benefits the few. Austin Cline, Regional Director for the Council for Secular Humanism, 2008, Deontology Webpage, Accessed 8/21/08, http://atheism.about.com/od/ethicalsystems/a/Deontological.htm While Cline’s qualifications might immediately draw suspicion to this article, we assure that this is a well- reasoned and balanced piece. Unlike other web explanations of deontology that simply regurgitate Kant and provide you with nothing original, Cline does a good job of providing background information of deontological ideals along with critical analysis of the theory itself. This entry is also useful because it establishes that the umbrella term “deontology” doesn’t really describe exactly what moral theory one is defending. Included are definitions of the many varieties of deontological perspectives. Axel Davies, Political and Theoretical Writer, 1995, Libertarian Heritage, No. 15, Accessed 8/21/08, http://www.utilitarianism.com/jeremy-bentham/bentham.html Davies’ work attempts to reconcile Bentham’s utilitarian views with how the government ought to act in relation to the market. An interesting facet of this particular resolution is how utilitarian ethics are implicated through economic activity. This is a very thorough work that traces the evolution of utilitarian thought in terms of justifying (or not justifying) government intervention into the economy. Davies ultimately argues that utilitarianism is a framework of analysis that calls for more government intervention in the economy and in moral decisions in general, not less. Annotated Bibliography Continued -6– www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing Jacques Derrida, French Philosopher, 1996, The Gift of Death. In terms of the last century, Jacques Derrida is easily one of the most influential philosophers we’ve seen. While he is best known for his work on semiotics and his controversial notion of deconstruction, he also delved into a discussion of ethics. While Derrida’s ethical grounding is certainly postmodern in nature, much of his argument falls in line with the traditional, deontological arguments. Like Levinas, Derrida believes that we have an obligation to other people and to end suffering whenever we can. To Derrida this not only means that we cannot sacrifice one for the whole, but also that we need to be proactive in looking for suffering to eradicate. Gerald F. Gaus, Professor of Philosophy at Tulane University, 2001, Journal of Value Inquiry, Vol. 35, p. 27-42, Accessed 8/21/08, http://www.ppe-journal.org/Gaus/deontology1.pdf Gaus’ two-part defense of deontological ethics is an excellent evidentiary source for the negative. In this first installment, Gaus articulates the theoretical grounding for his deontological position. Like most articles on the subject of deontology he spends a lot of time establishing the definition of his theories. However, this particular explanation of deontology also goes to great lengths to explicate elements of the utilitarian school of thought that he will later critique. In this sense, this article makes for great definitional evidence for both sides of the topic. Gerald F. Gaus, Professor of Philosophy at Tulane University, 2001, Journal of Value Inquiry, Vol. 35, p. 27-42, Accessed 8/21/08, http://www.ppe-journal.org/Gaus/deontology2.pdf In his second installment of argument on the subject of deontology Gaus defends deontology as a mode of moral action by establishing how deontology is a multifaceted discipline. Because the most common criticism is that it is too rigid and universal, Gaus’ article does great service to deontology by establishing the different perspectives within the overall study of deontology. As a result, he finds that the universalizing disdain that consequentialists heap on deontology is the same type of rigid, universalism that they criticize. William Haines, Professor at the University of Hong Kong, 2008, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Accessed 8/21/08, http://www.iep.utm.edu/c/conseque.htm Typically we’d forgo including encyclopedia entries in our bibliography, but this particular one happens to be fantastic. This particular article focuses on the consequentialist brand of utilitarian ethics and is incredible detailed in providing a definition, arguments in favor of it and arguments against it. You’ll find this article full of well-reasoned arguments that will be useful for you in debates that will work on both sides of the resolution. R.M. Hare, Professor of Philosophy at Oxford, 1997, Could Kant Have Been A Utilitarian? Accessed 8/21/08, http://deontology.com/ While it would be nice and neat if we could clearly draw lines between Kant (deontology) and Bentham (utilitarianism), Hare makes the argument that the binary shouldn’t exist. As one of the leading pseudo- utilitarian scholars of the last half century, Hare certainly is a powerful voice on this subject. His argument is mostly that while Kant might think there are certain unbending ethical imperatives, it doesn’t behoove anyone to be ignorant of the consequences of our actions. While ultimately Hare cannot prove that Kant doesn’t rigorously defend the categorical imperative, he can and effectively does show that a much more moderate approach to ethics is what Kant really defends. Annotated Bibliography Continued Lawrence Hinman Professor of Philosophy at UC San Diego, September 12, 2006, Ethics Updates, Accessed 8/21/08, http://ethics.sandiego.edu/theories/Utilitarianism/index.asp#PageCite -7– www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing This is a really well organized webpage with lots of survey information on utilitarianism. It is similar to some other pages in this bibliography in the sense that it provides links to a lot of classic utilitarian texts. However, this page isn’t redundant with others because it has some unique features. It provides an experienced philosopher’s best attempt to spread the gospel of utilitarian ethics through a variety of mediums. For example, if you are a visual learner you can view Hinman’s PowerPoint presentation on utilitarianism. Or if you are an auditory learner there is a lecture that you can download and listen to. This site gives you lots of options. Robert Johnson, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Missouri, 1996, Utilitarianism Primer, Accessed 8/21/08, http://web.missouri.edu/~johnsonrn/utilnote.html This is another high-quality website by a college philosophy professor. This page is a college-level lecture on the specifics of utilitarian ethics. Like several of the other entries we’ve included, Johnson details many of the specific tenants of utilitarianism. However, this entry is especially useful because it delves into the potentially hedonistic aspects of a philosophy that values preserving as much pleasure as possible. While most of Johnson’s lecture is balanced and informative, his indictment of hedonistic principles should be very solid negative evidence on this resolution. Immanuel Kant, Deontological Philosopher, 1785, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals. Of Kant’s many relevant works, this is the most important to generating your negative strategy that defends the notion that we can never sacrifice one, even if benefits the many. Contained in this book are some of Kant’s most important and enduring ideas, including the explication of the categorical imperative, the discussion of morality as an a priori issue. This volume of work also contains the clearest Kantian negation of the principles of utilitarianism and consequentialism. In particular, Kant criticizes utilitarianism as an un-thorough form of thought that runs the risk of abandoning people that could be saved through indifference and laziness. All told, this book is a seminal text in the field of ethics and is a great starting point for constructing negative arguments on this topic. Immanuel Kant, Deontological Philosopher, 1788, Critique of Practical Reason. While Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals is the most useful volume of Kant’s philosophy in dealing with utilitarianism, Critique of Practical Reason is the volume that is most influential on the field of ethics. This classic text is typically the starting point for any discussion of deontological ethics that takes place in philosophical discourse. In it he expands upon arguments he made in previous works about the categorical imperative and he also refutes criticisms that were leveled at previous work. In particular, Kant blasts away at hedonistic mindsets that value excessive individual happiness over the livelihood of others. His thoroughness makes the reading a bit dense, but extremely helpful in countering arguments you might here indicting deontology. Charles D. Kay, Professor of Philosophy at Wofford College, 1997, Notes on Deontology, Accessed 8/21/08, http://webs.wofford.edu/kaycd/ethics/deon.htm Kay’s summary of Kantian ethics is one of the clearest and most succinct explanations of deontology that you will find on the web. Read this article less in search of evidence to construct your negative and more as an explanatory piece to help give you background to Kantian theories. In particular, Kay does a good job of contextualizing Kantian ethics in terms of the larger philosophical debate. If you are having difficulty digesting the primary materials from Kant that we are including in this bibliography then you should go back to this explanation to help you through it. -8– www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing Annotated Bibliography Continued Emmanuel Levinas, French Philosopher, 1961, Totality and Infinity. In terms of ethics and the last century, there is Levinas and then there is everyone else. Falling in line with deontologists like Kant, Levinas is single-handedly responsible for reviving deontology as a legitimate moral theory. This text is where Levinas first starts to clearly lay out his moral philosophy and his understanding of the Other. He argues that it is easy for other ethical theories to say we should do the most good for the most number of people because they don’t have any sense of who those others are. Levinas instead argues that our first priority should be to think of others and act for them instead of selfishly acting for ourselves. Emmanuel Levinas, French Philosopher, 1972, Humanism and the Other. In this work you will find some of Levinas’ most political work. While he’s as rigorous in his defense of deontological ethics as ever, he focuses more on the importance of humanism and how we ought to revere the individual. This takes on a political tint when he puts this discussion in the context of authoritarian and violent governments that no longer consider the importance of their individuals, but instead claim to be acting for the good of the whole. Like all of Levinas’ work, this book is very dense, but it is an excellent source of evidence if you can dig through it. John Stuart Mill, Utilitarian Philosopher, 1859, On Liberty, Accessed 8/21/08, http://www.utilitarianism.com/ol/one.html While this work is not as directly prominent in terms of defending a utilitarian worldview, it is a classic philosophical text and is essential to understanding Mill’s overall philosophical views. This work is famous for being the foundation of the notion of the tyranny of the majority and the importance of each individual living for themselves first and foremost. What most people forget about this work is that Mill outlines the harm principle: individuals can do what they like as long as it doesn’t harm or impinge on the rights of others. This work is a seminal text in both the philosophical cannon and an important element of the American articulation of political and social values. John Stuart Mill, Utilitarian Philosopher, 1863, Utilitarianism, Accessed 8/21/08, http://www.utilitarianism.com/mill1.htm Along with Bentham, J.S. Mill is one of the most prominent advocates of utilitarianism. This work is his particular vision of utilitarianism explicated. While Bentham and Mill are both utilitarians, as discussed above, they each defend a different brand of utilitarianism. In this work Mill defines what is meant by utility and lays out ground rules for how we ought to act when adhering to utilitarian principles. Before deciding which type of utilitarianism you want to defend we recommend that you read both this work and Bentham’s in order to see which you prefer. Michael Moore, Professor of Law at University of San Diego, 1997, Place Blame. It is rare in this particular moral conflict to find someone who consistently argues a middle ground between deontology and utilitarian perspectives. Moore is one of the rare advocates who doesn’t see morality as an absolute, rather as generally rigid, but occasionally providing exceptions. Moore’s position is generally that we should adopt a deontological perspective in all circumstances except in those that involve the possibility of nuclear war. Because the impact to protecting one person against the whole pales in magnitude when compared to nuclear war, Moore feels that nuclear conflict must always be a moral trump card compared to all other issues. -9– www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing Annotated Bibliography Continued Kai Nielson, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Calgary, 1993, Absolutism and It’s Consequentialist Critics, Edited by Joran Graf Haber. Nielson is one of the largest proponents of consequentialism in modern philosophy. His article in this consequentialist reader is a rigorous indict of the absolutism inherent in deontological perspectives. Nielson argues that using deontology is a means of foregoing difficult, but necessary decisions. From his perspective, it might be unsettling to willingly let some die to save more, but as moral agents we should default to what is best for the species as a whole. If you want to talk about the resolution in terms of what the government should or shouldn’t do, then Nielson is a good starting point for the affirmative. Friedrich Nietzsche, German Philosopher, 1887, On the Genealogy of Morals. If you are looking to take the resolution in an altogether different direction than this masterpiece by Nietzsche might be a good place to start. While Nietzsche is typically very dense, this is far and away his most accessible, and therefore most useful, book. In it he argues that morality is a shackle that keeps us chained to the lives we currently live. He writes of morality as a tool of the priestly class that keeps society orderly and prevents individuals from asserting their only will to life. In totality this book is one of the most potent and timeless works of criticism that modernity has witnessed. If nothing else we think you should take a look at this book in order to help you start thinking critically about morality. William Sweet, Professor at St. Francis Xavier University, 2006, Jeremy Bentham Page, Accessed 8/21/08, http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/b/bentham.htm Of the many biographical pages on Jeremy Bentham, this page is far and away the best. This entry in the high quality, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is from a professor of philosophy and therefore is well- suited to be used as evidence in a debate if you are so inclined. We recommend taking some time reading this page if you are having some difficulting dissecting the first-hand Bentham sources we are including. Not only does this page give the standard, useful background information on Bentham, it also very clearly and simply explains his utilitarian theories. Utilitarianism.net, March 28, 2008, Utilitarianism Webpage, Accessed 8/21/08, http://www.utilitarian.net/ This page is probably the best resource for the affirmative on this topic. The hard workers at utilitarianism.net have compiled a lengthy bibliography of all the major works done by relevant authors such as: Hume, Bentham, Godwin, Mill, Sidgwick, Hare and Singer. But the great thing is that most of the bibliographic entries contain links to a place on the web where you can read the full text of each author’s works. There are literally hundreds of full-text options for you to pour over on the subject of utilitarianism and morality generally. Bob Zunjic, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Rhode Island, 2008, Jeremy Benttham Course Outline, Accessed 8/21/08, http://www.uri.edu/personal/szunjic/philos/util.htm This webpage provides a pretty cool and unique way to learn about utilitarianism. Professor Zunjic was kind enough to put all his course materials for a college class on Jeremy Bentham on the internet for public consumption. So in addition to a wealth of information on utilitarianism, this page includes different charts and handouts that you would get in a regular classroom. It is also set up very much like notes for a lecture so the page is very easy to follow and filled to the brim with useful information on Bentham and utilitarian viewpoints. - 10 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing DEATH PENALTY AFFIRMATIVE Under what circumstances is it morally permissible to kill an innocent person? Opponents of the death penalty have decried it as barbaric and ineffective for decades. Some even call for abolition. Unfortunately, capital punishment is a necessary evil in protecting society from violent crime and murder. This Affirmative takes issue with the idea that innocent people are sometimes executed under state-sanctioned capital punishment. If an innocent person is executed, that is justified by the value of capital punishment as a social institution. VALUE: Justice The death penalty is morally permissible because it provides justice and protection in society. This is the highest virtue of social institutions THE STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY, March 8, 2002. “Justice as a Virtue,” ACC. 8/30/2008, <http://www.seop.leeds.ac.uk/entries/justice-virtue/>. When we speak of justice as a virtue, we are usually referring to a trait of individuals, even if we conceive the justice of individuals as having some (grounding) reference to social justice. But Rawls and others regard justice as "the first virtue of social institutions" (1971, p. 3), so "justice as a virtue" is actually ambiguous as between individual and social applications. This essay will reflect and explore that ambiguity, though the principal focus will understandably be on the justice of individuals. CRITERION: Utilitarianism In evaluating actions as morally justified, we should employ a utilitarian calculus of the greatest good for the greatest number of people. The death penalty inherently involves a public sacrifice for the protection of society. Only utilitarianism encompasses this inevitability of sacrifice necessary for justice Joseph Nye, Professor of International Relations at Harvard University, 1986. NUCLEAR ETHICS, p. 24. Whether one accepts the broad consequentialist approach or chooses some other, more eclectic way to include and reconcile the three dimensions of complex moral issues, there will often be a sense of uneasiness about the answers, not just because of the complexity of the problems “but simply that there is no satisfactory solution to these issues – at least none that appears to avoid in practice what most men would still regard as an intolerable sacrifice of value.” When value is sacrificed, there is often the problem of “dirty hands.” Not all ethical decisions are pure ones. The absolutist may avoid the problem of dirty hands, but often at the cost of having no hands at all. Moral theory cannot be “rounded off and made complete and tidy.” That is part of the modern human condition. But that does not exempt us from making difficult moral choices. Therefore, I stand Resolved: It is morally permissible to kill one innocent person to save the lives of more innocent people. OBSERVATION ONE: MORAL PERMISSABILITY SHOULD BE JUDGED BY THE CONSEQUENCES OF ACTIONS A. THE DEONTOLOGICAL VIEW CANNOT ACCOUNT FOR THE GOOD OF SOCIETY. A CONSEQUENTIALIST VIEW CAN BE TEMPERED BY THE EXTREMITY OF THE OFFENSE Thomas Hurka, Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto, December 7, 2006. “Normative Ethics: Back To The Future,” <http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~thurka/docs/futurefinal.pdf>, ACC. 8/24/08, p. 392. Perhaps that analysis requires a more subtle application of the principle of organic unities than has yet been considered; perhaps it is simply not possible. Even so, the identification of the two distinctions has greatly improved our understanding of this family of views. There have also been subtle suggestions about how a deontological view can weigh its prohibitions against the overall good an action will cause without aggregating that good in a simple additive way. Thus, the view can make it permissible to kill one innocent person to save some large number of other people from being killed or otherwise seriously harmed, but not to save any number of people from mild headaches. - 11 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing B. ABSOLUTIST NORMS OF MORALITY. ACTIONS THAT MAXIMIZE THE GREATER GOOD ARE MORALLY JUSTIFIED Charles Fried, Professor of Law at Harvard, 1994. ABSOLUTISM AND ITS CRITICS, p. 170. This line of analysis is enough to show that some quite plausible interpretations of absolute norms lead to impossibly stringent conclusions, lead in fact to total paralysis. But the case is in fact even worse. For it the absoluteness of the norm is interpreted to mean that the consequences – such as the death of an innocent person – is overwhelmingly bad, then not only are we forbidden to do anything, for anything carries with it a risk of death, we are indeed required to do nothing but to seek out ways to minimize the deaths of innocent persons. For if such a death is so bad that no good can outweigh it, we are surely not justified in pursuing some good, even if that good does not present this risk when we might instead be preventing this most undesirable of all consequences. So this interpretation is to actually a prescription for paralysis, it is more like an obsession. This norm, by virtue of this view of its absoluteness, takes over the whole of our moral life. C. EVEN WEIGHING RIGHTS DEMANDS A CONSEQUENTIALIST UNDERSTANDING Jeremy Waldron, professor of law and philosophy at the New York University School of Law, 1993. LIBERAL RIGHTS: COLLECTED PAPERS, p. 223. Many conflicts whether between rights and utility or among rights themselves - are best handled in the sort of balancing way that the quantitative image of weight suggests: we establish the relative importance of the interests at stake, and the contribution each of the conflicting duties may make to the importance of the interest it protects, and we try to maximize our promotion of what we take to be important. What we were looking for was something to capture our sense that this is not always the whole story - our sense that sometimes, or in some conflicts, the issue is one of qualitative precedence rather than quantitative weight. I think the idea of internal connections helps to capture some of that. And it does so in a way that means we do not have to give up the view that rights entail requirements of different sorts that are ordered in various ways in relation to other moral considerations. We can establish qualitative priorities in some places, without thinking we have to establish qualitative priorities everywhere. OBSERVATION TWO: KILLING ONE INNOCENT PERSON UNDER THE DEATH PENALTY IS MORALLY JUSTIFIED A. KILLING ONE INNOCENT PERSON IS PREFERABLE TO LETTING HUNDREDS OF MURDERS KILL David Anderson, writer, February 2008. THE DEATH PENALTY: A DEFENCE, Chapter 3: Answers to the argument against the Death Penalty, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://yesdeathpenalty.googlepages.com/home2>. Since justice in some crimes is unable to give any alternative to the death penalty we must accept that this punishment has its chosen and determined place in the book of laws. It becomes unacceptable if hundreds of violent criminals and murderers are to avoid the death penalty in order for no innocent person to accidentally be executed. It would mean that we for ever are forced to abandon justice for such criminals. - 12 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing B. EVEN IF WE DID EXECUTE AN INNOCENT PERSON, IT DOES NOT DISCREDIT THE DEATH PEANALTY David Anderson, writer, February 2008. THE DEATH PENALTY: A DEFENCE, Chapter 3: Answers to the argument against the Death Penalty, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://yesdeathpenalty.googlepages.com/home2>. The seemingly strong argument of the headline is furthermore an illusion, and it can not really be viewed as a counter-argument at all. Because if an innocent person was really executed it is not the death penalty in itself that is the root cause but what needs then to be placed under critique are the flaws within the legal system. If an "innocent person" happens to die during a surgical operation no one claims that the surgeons are barbaric and must be abolished. We accept, with a heavy sigh, that the advantages of surgical operations, despite all, are worth the risks. If hundreds of "innocent people" die when a liner sinks, no one will claim that liners must be stopped. Instead there are investigations started and commissions appointed to find out what went wrong, what can be improved, and who are responsible. C. SEVERAL MAJORS STUDIES CONFIRM THE DETERRENT VALUE OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Dudley Sharp, Vice President of Justice for All, 2002. "Do We Need the Death Penalty? Yes, It's Still Necessary," THE WORLD & I, September, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.worldandi.com/public/2002/september/cipropub.html>. Two other factors weigh into the innocence consideration. First, the death penalty remains the most secure form of incapacitation, meaning that executed murderers do not harm and murder again. Living murderers do, quite often. This is unchallenged. Second, although the deterrent effect of capital punishment has been unjustifiably maligned, the evidence is overwhelming that the potential for negative consequences deters or alters behavior. History and the social sciences fully support that finding. Three major studies were released in 2001, all finding for the deterrent effect of the death penalty. One, out of Emory University, finds that "each execution results, on average, in 18 fewer murders--with a margin of error of plus or minus 10." D. JUSTICE DEMANDS WE KILL ONE INNOCENT PERSON TO PREVENT HUNDREDS OF MURDERERS David Anderson, writer, February 2008. THE DEATH PENALTY: A DEFENCE, Chapter 3: Answers to the argument against the Death Penalty, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://yesdeathpenalty.googlepages.com/home2>. If we therefore place one innocent person on one side of the scale and hundreds of violent criminals and murderers on the other side, of necessity justice would still mean that the hundreds of guilty criminals receive their punishment together with the one innocent. The injustice becomes too great and painful if these hundreds of guilty criminals were allowed to live together with the innocent one. It would be too offensive and unjust to the hundreds of deceased victims and their thousands of relatives. It would create unreasonable and unacceptable proportions if all the murderers and violent criminals always were to avoid the death penalty in order to avoid that an innocent person is executed at one time. E. THE VALUE OF JUSTICE ALONE JUSTIFIES THE DEATH PENALTY David Anderson, writer, February 2008. THE DEATH PENALTY: A DEFENCE, Chapter 2: Arguments For the Death Penalty, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://yesdeathpenalty.googlepages.com/home2>. The capital punishment can be defended from many aspects but it would be enough to say that the death penalty is simply the most just punishment for some of the most heinous crimes and then everything has to be silent. More should not have to be said on the subject. No one should need to know more. The argument of justice is so strong and decisive that this one argument should be enough to introduce the death penalty. - 13 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing UTILITARIANISM IS THE BEST GUIDE FOR MORALITY 1. THE WORLD IS UNCERTAIN. ONLY UTILITARIANISM PROVIDES THE NECESSARY GUIDE Robert Goodin, Philosopher at the Research School of the Social Sciences, 1998. UTILITARIANISM AND PUBLIC PHILOSOPHY, p. 38. The great advantage of utilitarianism as a guide to public conduct is that it avoids gratuitous sacrifices, it ensures as best we are able to ensure in the uncertain world of public policy-making that policies are sensitive to people's interests or desires or preferences. The great failing of more deontological theories applies to those realms, is that they fixate upon duties done for the sake of duty rather than for the sake of any good that is done by doing one's duty. Perhaps it is permissible (perhaps it is even proper) for private individuals in the course of their personal affairs to fetishize duties done their own sake. It would be a mistake for public officials to do likewise, not least because it is impossible. 2. CONSEQUENTIALIST THEORIES ARE JUST BECAUSE THEY SAVE THE MOST LIVES David Wasserman and Alan Strudler the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute, 2003. “Can a Nonconsequentialist Count Lives?,” PHILOSOPHY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS, 31.1, p. 72. In making choices about saving people from death, what moral significance should attach to the fact that one choice involves saving more people than another? Consequentialists typically have an easy time with such questions because they believe that the morally best choice produces the best consequences and that, other things being equal, more lives saved is a better consequence than fewer lives saved. The consequentialist position involves what might be called the compensation assumption: the proposition that other things equal, the gain that comes from saving a larger group of people somehow more than compensates for the loss that occurs by not saving some other, smaller group of people. 3. UTILITARIANISM PROTECTS RIGHTS FOR THE SOCIAL GOOD Mirko Bagaric, Professor of Law and Head of Deakin Law School and Julie Clarke Lecturer, Deakin Law School, Spring, 2005. “Not Enough Official Torture in the World? The Circumstances in Which Torture Is Morally Justifiable,” UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO LAW REVIEW, 39 U.S.F. L. Rev. 581, p. np. The criticism that utilitarianism has no place for rights must be responded to for the sake of completeness (and in an attempt to further redeem utilitarianism). Rights do in fact have a place in a utilitarian ethic, and, what is more, it is only against this background that rights can be explained and their source justified. Utilitarianism provides a sounder foundation for rights than any other competing theory. Indeed, for the utilitarian, the answer to why rights exist is simple: recognition of them best promotes general utility. Their origin accordingly lies in the pursuit of happiness. Their content is discovered through empirical observations regarding the patterns of behavior that best advance the utilitarian cause. 4. PROTECTING LIFE IS THE FUNDAMENTAL ACTION TO ATTAIN ALL OTHER VALUES Douglas Den Uyl and Douglas Rasmussen, both Professors of Philosophy at Bellarmine College and St. John’s University, 1981. READING NOZICK, p. 245. In so far as one chooses, regardless of the choice, one choose (value) man's life. It makes no sense to value some X without also valuing that which makes the valuing of X possible ~:notice that this is different from saying "that which makes X possible"). If one lets X be equivalent to "death" or "the greatest happiness for the greatest number," one is able to have such a valuation only because of the precondition of being a living being. Given that life is a necessary condition for valuation, there is no other way we can value something without also (implicitly at least) valuing that which makes valuation possible. - 14 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing UTILITARIANISM IS THE BEST GUIDE FOR MORALITY 1. THE INEVITABILITY OF CONFLICTING MORAL CLAIMS NECESSITATES UTILITARIANISM Conflicting moral claims are inevitable – this necessitates utilitarianism. Leslie Mulholland, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Newfoundland, 1986. “Rights, Utilitarianism, and the Conflation of Persons,” JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY, June, Vol. 83, No. 6, p. 328. For many, the persuasiveness of utilitarianism as a moral theory lies in its power to provide a way out of difficulties arising from the conflict of moral principles. The contention that utilitarianism permits people to override rights in case of conflict of principles or in those cases where some recognized utility requires that a right be disregarded, is then not an internal objection to utilitarianism. Nor does it even indicate a plausible alternative to the convinced utilitarian. For him, utilitarianism has its force partly in the coherence and simplicity of the principle in explaining the morality of such cases. 2. DEONTOLOGY IS UTOPIAN. ONLY UTILITARIANISM CAN ACCOUNT OF INEVITABLE CHOICES Thomas Spragens, Professor of Political Science at Duke University, 2000. POLITICAL THEORY AND PARTISAN POLITICS, p. 81-82. Simply put, the problem is that the contingencies of the world ineluctably allocate assets and sufferings quite unfairly. We can cope with and try to compensate for these "natural injustices," but only at the price of introducing other elements of unfairness or compromising other moral values. The other major problem in this context is that real world human beings are not deontologists: their moral intuitions about distributive justice are permeated and influenced by their moral intuitions about the good. The empirical consequence of these two difficulties is the falsification of Rawls's hermeneutic claims about an overlapping consensus. Rational people of good will with a liberal democratic persuasion will be able to agree that some possible distributive criteria are morally unacceptable. But, as both experience and the literature attest, hopes for a convergence of opinion on definitive principles of distributive justice are chimerical. 3. UTILITARIANISM PROTECTS RIGHTS FOR THE SOCIAL GOOD Mirko Bagaric, Professor of Law and Head of Deakin Law School and Julie Clarke Lecturer, Deakin Law School, Spring, 2005. “Not Enough Official Torture in the World? The Circumstances in Which Torture Is Morally Justifiable,” UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO LAW REVIEW, 39 U.S.F. L. Rev. 581, p. np. The criticism that utilitarianism has no place for rights must be responded to for the sake of completeness (and in an attempt to further redeem utilitarianism). Rights do in fact have a place in a utilitarian ethic, and, what is more, it is only against this background that rights can be explained and their source justified. Utilitarianism provides a sounder foundation for rights than any other competing theory. Indeed, for the utilitarian, the answer to why rights exist is simple: recognition of them best promotes general utility. Their origin accordingly lies in the pursuit of happiness. Their content is discovered through empirical observations regarding the patterns of behavior that best advance the utilitarian cause. 4. A UTILITARIAN CALCULUS JUSTIFIES CAPITALISM AND ECONOMIC FREEDOM Andy Bluden, PhD. from University College of London, March 2003. “Amartya Sen; Utilitarianism,” ACC. 5-2-2008, <http://home.mira.net/~andy/works/sen.htm>. Utilitarianism is a justification for free-market capitalism. The phenomena described in the dot points above are all too familiar phenomena of the action of the free market. They are not just “anomalies” for utilitarianism, they are its unambiguous expression. The point of utilitatarianism is simply to prove that all these abominations are “the best of all possible worlds” ridiculed three hundred years ago by Voltaire. - 15 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing UTILITARIANISM IS THE BEST GUIDE FOR MORALITY 1. UTILITARIANISM IS ESSENTIAL TO PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF CITIZENS Mirko Bagaric, Professor of Law and Head of Deakin Law School and Julie Clarke Lecturer, Deakin Law School, Spring, 2005. “Not Enough Official Torture in the World? The Circumstances in Which Torture Is Morally Justifiable,” UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO LAW REVIEW, 39 U.S.F. L. Rev. 581, p. np. Difficulties in performing the utilitarian calculus regarding each decision make it desirable that we ascribe certain rights and interests to people that evidence shows tend to maximize happiness - even more happiness than if we made all of our decisions without such guidelines. Rights save time and energy by serving as shortcuts to assist us in attaining desirable consequences. By labeling certain interests as rights, we are spared the tedious task of establishing the importance of a particular interest as a first premise in practical arguments. 2. CONSEQUENTIALIST THEORIES ARE JUST BECAUSE THEY SAVE THE MOST LIVES David Wasserman and Alan Strudler the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute, 2003. “Can a Nonconsequentialist Count Lives?,” PHILOSOPHY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS, 31.1, p. 72. In making choices about saving people from death, what moral significance should attach to the fact that one choice involves saving more people than another? Consequentialists typically have an easy time with such questions because they believe that the morally best choice produces the best consequences and that, other things being equal, more lives saved is a better consequence than fewer lives saved. The consequentialist position involves what might be called the compensation assumption: the proposition that other things equal, the gain that comes from saving a larger group of people somehow more than compensates for the loss that occurs by not saving some other, smaller group of people. 3. WE CAN MAKE RATIONAL DECISIONS IN MORALITY. CALCULATION IS CRUCIAL TO SURVIVAL Andrew Sayer, Department of Sociology Lancaster University, May 2004. “Restoring the Moral Dimension: Acknowledging Lay Normativity”, ACC. 8/28/2008, <http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fss/sociology/papers/sayer-restoring-moral-dimension.pdf>. We need to reject the treatment of emotions as opposed to reason. On the contrary emotions can be rational. To be sure the evaluative judgements provided by emotions are fallible, but then so too is reason. Their fallibility derives from the fact that they are about something independent of them, such that they can be mistaken about it. Thus, we may mistakenly imagine that something is a threat to our well-being when it isn’t, though some degree of success in evaluating such threats is a condition of survival. 4. IT IS ETHICAL TO VIOLATE NOTIONS OF MORALITY TO PREVENT EXTINCTION Nick Bostrom, Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Yale University, March 2002. “Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards,” JOURNAL OF EVOLUTION AND TECHNOLOGY, vol. 9, p. 23. A preemptive strike on a sovereign nation is not a move to be taken lightly, but in the extreme case we have outlined - where a failure to act would with high probability lead to existential catastrophe - it is a responsibility that must not be abrogated. Whatever moral prohibition there normally is against violating national sovereignty is overridden in this case by the necessity to prevent the destruction of humankind. - 16 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing ABSOLUTIST MORALITY SHOULD NOT GUIDE HUMAN ACTIONS 1. FRAMING MORALITY AS TOTALISTIC ALIENATED SET OF NORMS DENIES EMOTION Andrew Sayer, Department of Sociology Lancaster University, May 2004 “Restoring the Moral Dimension: Acknowledging Lay Normativity,” ACC. 8/28/2008, <http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fss/sociology/papers/sayer-restoring-moral-dimension.pdf>. There are of course different views and assumptions about how we should act on any particular occasion, even within the same culture, but we cannot avoid deciding, and we often soon find out if others are disturbed by our behaviour towards them. In sociology, morality is often seen as a set of external regulative norms or conventions, and often-reactionary ones at that, which govern or attempt to govern behaviour. I call this an alienated view of morality. It is alienated from what I began by asking readers to think about – matters of what we care about, what is important for our psychological, social and physical well-being, particularly in relation to how people treat one another. They include commitments, and have a strong emotional aspect (Archer, 2000). 2. THESE ALIENATED VIEWS OF MORALITY WILL BE BROKEN IN SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES Andrew Sayer, Department of Sociology Lancaster University, May 2004 “Restoring the Moral Dimension: Acknowledging Lay Normativity,” ACC. 8/28/2008, <http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fss/sociology/papers/sayer-restoring-moral-dimension.pdf>. On the alienated view, moral judgement is often seen pejoratively as ‘moralising’ and implicitly authoritarian, and constraining rather than progressive. Treating morality simply as a set of conventions (‘what we do round here’), norms and rules, backed up by sanctions, which tend to produce social order, renders opaque what matters to us or why morality should have any internal force. We do not just treat others in a certain way simply because there are norms dictating that we should and because we fear sanctions if we don’t. Nor do we object to things simply because they upset us. We often behave in a certain way regardless of whether there are any penalties for not doing so, because we feel that it is right, because it is conducive to well being, and because to do otherwise would cause some sort of harm to people. To be sure, it is partly because we have internalised those norms, but some norms are easier to internalise than others: some seem moral, others immoral. 3. EXCESSIVE MORALISM INTERFERES WITH EQUITABLE RACE RELATIONS Melvyn Fein, Prof. of Sociology at Kennesaw University, 2001. RACE AND MORALITY: HOW GOOD INTENTIONS UNDERMINE SOCIAL JUSTICE AND PERPETUATE INEQUALITY, p. 17. Yet this remarkable feat has not produced uniform benefits. Easily the most swindled have been black Americans. The real question thus becomes how to bring them into the fold. Paradoxically, an excess of moralism can interfere with this effort. White consigning a segment of our population to predestined failure is, in a real sense, pernicious, too narrow a fixation on this iniquity can be counterproductive. Intense moralizing may be a natural response to such abuses, especially when me is their victim, but it can prevent people from seeing what needs to be seen, saying what needs to be said, or accomplishing what must be accomplished. 4. MORALITY IS A POOR GUIDE AND SOWS THE SEEDS OF HATRED AND RESENTMENT Melvyn Fein, Prof. of Sociology at Kennesaw University, 1997. HARDBALL WITHOUT AN UMPIRE: THE SOCIOLOGY OF MORALITY, p. 6. Evidently, morality creates problems. It is so constituted as to incite acts detrimental to human well-being. Because it contains the seeds of hurtful behavior, no matter how noble the intentions of its practitioners, it breeds unfairness, stupidity and injury. Sadly, this immorality is not an aberration and therefore cannot be eliminated simply be instructing people to do good. - 17 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing ABSOLUTIST MORALITY SHOULD NOT GUIDE HUMAN ACTIONS 1. MORALITY CAN BE JUST AS DESTRUCTIVE AS BENEFICIAL Melvyn Fein, Prof. of Sociology at Kennesaw University, 1997. HARDBALL WITHOUT AN UMPIRE: THE SOCIOLOGY OF MORALITY, p. 6. It is startling just how widespread are morality’s destructive elements. There is no time in history, or place on earth, where some human beings have not claim special advantages because of presumed virtues. Nor have any elites prove immune to injurious sermonizing. Thus many conservatives believe they have a special patent on virtue, but so do liberals. 2. WE SHOULD GET RID OF MORAL OBLIGATIONS ALTOGETHER Andrew McCallum, staff writer, Spring 2000. “An Ethics Free of Moralic Acid,” THE EXAMINED LIFE, ONLINE PHILOSOPHY JOURNAL, p. np, ACC. 8/27/2008, <http://examinedlifejournal.com/articles/archives/v1ed1.shtml>. In a genuinely non-religious ethics, we will have to learn to do without the whole idea of moral obligation, since this notion depends for its significance on a religious context of divine or crypto-subjective command. Moreover, it is (despite the professions to the contrary of its Enlightenment proponents) anti-humanistic in the sense that, while it may appear all innocence and common sense, it nevertheless promotes an arrogant self-righteousness on the part of some over others, prohibits mutual understanding between those who are different, dissident, or deviant, and belies the sheer diversity that’s the true and natural human condition. 3. ABSOLUTIST MORALISM ALLOWS NEOCONSERVATIVES TO HIJACK ETHICS FOR WAR Hulsman, Senior fellow at the Davis Institute for Foreign Policy Studies, and Lieven, Senior Fellow for Foreign Policy and Defense Studies at the Russia and Eurasia Center, 2005 “The ethics of realism,” NATIONAL INTEREST, Summer, p. 37. This is why we need to bring morality in American statecraft down from the absolutist heights to which it has been carried and return it to the everyday world where Americans and others do their best to lead ethical lives while facing all the hard choices and ambiguous problems that are the common stuff of existence in this "lower world." The neoconservative excuse, so often heard today with reference to the Iraq War, that disastrous consequences can be excused if intentions were good, is not valid if actions are accompanied by gross recklessness, carelessness and indifference to the range of possible consequences. Such actions fail the test not only of general ethics, but of the sworn moral commitment of state servants and elected officials to defend the interests of their peoples and not simply to pursue at all costs their own ideas of morality. 4. IT IS ETHICAL TO VIOLATE NOTIONS OF MORALITY TO PREVENT EXTINCTION Nick Bostrom, Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Yale University, March 2002. “Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards,” JOURNAL OF EVOLUTION AND TECHNOLOGY, vol. 9, p. 23. A preemptive strike on a sovereign nation is not a move to be taken lightly, but in the extreme case we have outlined - where a failure to act would with high probability lead to existential catastrophe - it is a responsibility that must not be abrogated. Whatever moral prohibition there normally is against violating national sovereignty is overridden in this case by the necessity to prevent the destruction of humankind. - 18 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing SACRIFICING ONE INNOCENT LIFE IS JUSTIFIED 1. THE MORALITY OF KILLING ONE INNOCENT FOR OTHERS DEPENDS ON CONSEQUENCES Douglas Portmore, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Arizona State University, August 25, 2005. “What’s So Compelling about Act-Consequentialism and So Puzzling about Non-Act-Consequentialism?,” Accessed 8-24-08, <http://peasoup.typepad.com/peasoup/2005/08/whats_so_compel.html>. Let's use the kill-one-to-save-five example. Is it moral to kill one innocent person to save five other innocents (what if the one you would kill is among those who would have been murdered anyway?). Is it right to kill one innocent to save a billion? It seems to me that somewhere along the continuum of increasingly awful consequences, it becomes wrong NOT to kill—which would at that point better be called a sacrificial killing than a murder, an act that unfortunately requires the deliberate taking of an innocent life, but which is, nonetheless, altruistically necessary because of all the other lives at stake. 2. WE CAN VALUE LIFE INTRINSICALLY, YET NONABSOLUTELY Keith Burgess-Jackson, J.D., Ph.D. January 27, 2006. “Intrinsic Value,” Accessed 8-24-08, <http://www.analphilosopher.com/posts/1138417835.shtml>. One more thing. It would be a mistake to think that there are just two possibilities: Either value innocent human life absolutely or value it (merely) extrinsically. That’s a false dichotomy. One can value human life intrinsically and nonabsolutely. That is, one can value it for its own sake (because of the kind of thing it is), but be willing to trade it for some greater good. Since valuation is a matter of degree, one can value human life very much without valuing it absolutely. For example, I might be unwilling to kill an innocent human being in order to save 10 innocent human beings but willing to kill an innocent human being in order to save 1,000 or 1,000,000 innocent human beings. Being willing to sacrifice an innocent human being does not make my valuation of innocent human beings extrinsic; it makes it nonabsolute. 3. THE DEATH PENALTY AFFIRMS HUMAN DIGNITY The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), April 9, 2007. “Is the death penalty immoral?,” http://deathpenalty.procon.org/viewanswers.asp?questionID=1038, ACC. 8/29/2008 [ellipses in original]. The death penalty honors human dignity by treating the defendant as a free moral actor able to control his own destiny for good or for ill; it does not treat him as an animal with no moral sense, and thus subject even to butchery to satiate human gluttony. Moreover, capital punishment celebrates the dignity of the humans whose lives were ended by the defendant's predation." 4. KILLING INNOCENT LIFE IS INSEPARABLE FROM CONSIDERING CONSEQUENCES Conrad D. Johnson, Ph.D., Professor of Law, University of Maryland, August 1985. “The Authority of the Moral Agent,” THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY, Vol. 82, No. 8, p. 392. If we follow the usual deontological conception, there are also well-known difficulties. If it is simply wrong to kill the innocent, the wrongness must in some way be connected to the consequences. That an innocent person is killed must be a consequence that has some important bearing on the wrongness of the action; else why be so concerned about the killing of an innocent? Further, if it is wrong in certain cases for the agent to weigh the consequences in deciding whether to kill or to break a promise, it is hard to deny that this has some connection to the consequences. - 19 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing INNOCENT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN EXECUTED UNDER THE DEATH PENALTY 1. THERE IS AN INCREASING RISK OF INNOCENT EXECUTIONS Richard C. Dieter, Esq., Executive Director, Death Penalty Information Center, July 1997. “Innocence and the Death Penalty: The Increasing Danger of Executing the Innocent,” ACC. 8-29-2008, <http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=292&scid>. There is considerable evidence that the crisis of wrongful death penalty convictions has worsened: the annual average of people released from death row because of their innocence has increased since the first report was prepared, while the opportunity to appeal and to raise newly discovered evidence of one's innocence has recently shrunk dramatically. The federal funding for the death penalty resource centers, which helped discover and vindicate several of the innocent people cited in this report, has been completely withdrawn. Some courts have now taken the position that it is permissible for executions to go forward even in the face of considerable doubt about the defendant's guilt. Yet, recent research indicates that there may be a greater chance of mistaken convictions in death cases than in non-death cases. 2. THE NUMBER OF INNOCENT PEOPLE FACING EXECUTION HAS INCREASED SINCE 1993 Richard C. Dieter, Esq., Executive Director, Death Penalty Information Center, July 1997. “Innocence and the Death Penalty: The Increasing Danger of Executing the Innocent,” ACC. 8-29-2008, <http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=292&scid>. The problem of innocent people facing execution because of errors in the criminal justice process has in no way diminished since 1993. For example, in the summer of 1996, the state of Illinois dropped all charges against four men who had been convicted of a 1978 murder. Two of the men had been sentenced to death. The investigation which led to the discovery that the wrong men had been convicted was conducted by three journalism students who had been assigned the case in class. These releases came on the heels of the release from death row of two other men in Illinois, Rolando Cruz and Alejandro Hernandez. Three former prosecutors have been indicted for obstruction of justice in that case. Although the public may have learned something about these dramatic reversals, they probably have heard little about the continuous string of mistakes in capital cases which throws doubt on the reliability of the entire death penalty process. 3. COLEMAN WAYNE GRAY WAS INNOCENT AND EXECUTED IN 1997 Richard C. Dieter, Esq., Executive Director, Death Penalty Information Center, July 1997. “Innocence and the Death Penalty: The Increasing Danger of Executing the Innocent,” ACC. 8-29-2008, <http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=292&scid>. The recent execution of Coleman Wayne Gray in Virginia is another example of improper state tactics used to tip the balance toward a death sentence. At the time of Gray's sentencing hearing, the state circumvented the rules of disclosure and at the last minute raised the prospect of other notorious offenses by Gray (even though he had not been charged in these alleged offenses). With no chance to adequately refute these allegations, Gray was sentenced to death. Federal District Court Judge James Spencer found the state's action unfair, but found himself constrained by the new Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 from granting Gray any relief. He wrote: "One cannot morally support the death penalty without some assurance, by evidence or faith, that the ultimate penalty is imposed fairly." Gray was executed on February 26, 1997. - 20 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing INNOCENT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN EXECUTED UNDER THE DEATH PENALTY 1. THERE ARE INNOCENT PEOPLE ON DEATH ROW AND HAVE BEEN EXECUTED National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, 2008. “Innocence,” ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.ncadp.org/index.cfm?content=20>. At least 123 people have been exonerated from death row since 1972, including 22 from Florida alone. In the past two years, three major U.S. newspapers – the Chicago Tribune, the Houston Chronicle and the St. Louis Post- Dispatch – reported that four executed inmates in all probability were innocent. They are Ruben Cantu of Texas, Carlos De Luna of Texas, Larry Griffin of Missouri and Cameron Todd Willingham of Texas. A study identified 23 instances in the last century in which a person with an extraordinarily strong case of innocence had been executed by the government. (H. Bedeau & M. Radelet, “Miscarriages of Justice in Potentially Capital Cases” Stanford Law Review, 1987) 2. ROGER K. COLEMAN PROVIDES AN EXAMPLE OF DEATH PENALTY KILLING INNOCENTS Richard C. Dieter, Esq., Executive Director, Death Penalty Information Center, July 1997. “Innocence and the Death Penalty: The Increasing Danger of Executing the Innocent,” ACC. 8-29-2008, <http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=292&scid>. In 1992, for example, Roger Keith Coleman made headlines with his dual plea that he was innocent and that no court would review his evidence. Coleman's representation at trial was shoddy. On appeal, his new attorneys misread the state statute governing the time for submitting an appeal and filed their brief a day too late. The Virginia state courts held that this late filing was the same as no filing and refused to review his issues. The federal courts then said that he could not raise a federal claim because he had waived his state review. Finally, the Supreme Court said that he could not complain that it was his attorney who erred, since he was not entitled to an attorney in the first place. Coleman was executed without a full review of his innocence claims. 3. THE RISK OF INNOCENT PEOPLE DYING FROM CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IS INCREASING Richard C. Dieter, Esq., Executive Director, Death Penalty Information Center, July 1997. “Innocence and the Death Penalty: The Increasing Danger of Executing the Innocent,” ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=292&scid>. The risk that innocent people will be caught in the web of the death penalty is rising. The increased rate of discovery of innocent people on death row is a clear sign that, even with the best of intentions, the criminal justice system makes critical errors--errors which cannot be remedied once an execution occurs. Courts are allowing executions to go foward even in the presence of serious doubts about the defendant's guilt. The current emphasis on faster executions, less resources for the defense, and an expansion in the number of death cases means that the execution of innocent people is inevitable. 4. THE INCREASING NUMBER OF PEOPLE ON DEATH ROW GUARANTEES INNOCENT DEATHS Richard C. Dieter, Esq., Executive Director, Death Penalty Information Center, July 1997. “Innocence and the Death Penalty: The Increasing Danger of Executing the Innocent,” ACC. 8-29-2008, <http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=292&scid>. The most obvious reason for the increase in the number of innocent cases being discovered among those on death row is the overall expansion of the death penalty. The number of people on death row has been increasing, and this expansion is likely to continue as states and the federal government broaden the death penalty to new crimes, and new states such as New York and Kansas begin sentencing people to death. With the greater use of the death penalty, there is a greater likelihood of mistakes. - 21 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing DNA TESTING DOES NOT PREVENT EXECUTING INNOCENTS 1. DNA ONLY HIGHLIGHTS THE RISK OF EXECUTING INNOCENTS, NOT PREVENT IT Richard Dieter, Death Penalty Information Center, September 2004. "DNA Evidence Does Not Make the Death Penalty More Fair,” ACC. 8/29/2008, <www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=1150&scid=>. But what of the new cases coming into the system? Shouldn't DNA testing ensure that only the guilty are being convicted and sentenced to death? This is not the case because most murders do not involve the exchange of bodily materials containing DNA evidence. A single shooting where no blood of the victim appears on the perpetrator and the defendant drives away in his own car is not likely to be a DNA case. And yet, the same kind of errors that have arisen in DNA cases—faulty eyewitnesses, unreliable jailhouse snitch testimony, coerced confessions, withheld evidence of other suspects—can just as easily arise in non-DNA cases. Wrongful convictions will continue to occur as long as our criminal justice system utilizes human actors. Exonerations due to DNA testing only serve to underscore the risk of mistake in every case. 2. PRE-TRIAL DNA TESTING IS UNRELIABLE Richard Dieter, Death Penalty Information Center, September 2004. "DNA Evidence Does Not Make the Death Penalty More Fair,” ACC. 8/29/2008, <www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=1150&scid=>. When newly tested DNA evidence is presented after an inmate has been convicted and sentenced to death, it is usu- ally checked and rechecked before that inmate is ever set free. However, it appears that the same reliability cannot be attributed to the pre-trial DNA testing that can often result in a conviction and a death sentence. Recent scandals from crime labs in many parts of the country have exposed the risk of wrongful convictions that shoddy forensic work can bring. 3. LIMIT BENEFITS OF DNA TESTING ARE LIMITED BY TIME AND RESOURCES Paul Logli, State’s Attorney, Winnebago County, Illinois, 2002. Testimony Before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcom. On Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, Federal Document Clearing House Congressional Testimony, p. np. The resources for DNA testing are finite. Conducting frivolous or non-conclusive tests could mean that another test freeing an innocent person or apprehending a guilty person would not be done in a timely manner or at all. The National District Attorneys Association believes that post-conviction relief remedies must protect against potential abuse and that such remedies must respect the importance of finality in the criminal justice system. Thus, such remedies should be subject to limits on the period in which relief may be sought. 4. DNA IS NOT RELIABLE FORENSIC EVIDENCE Richard Dieter, Death Penalty Information Center, September 2004. "DNA Evidence Does Not Make the Death Penalty More Fair,” ACC. 8/29/2008, <www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=1150&scid=>. The performance of pre-trial DNA testing is not always a reliable source of forensic information. If evidence is contaminated at the scene of the crime, if the police are not skilled in the collection of such evidence, if the police lab that performs the testing is unqualified to render reliable results, or if the state's expert is incompetent or dishonest, then evidence presented under the veil. of scientific certainty becomes the very source of misinformation leading to mistake. - 22 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing THE PUBLIC SUPPORTS THE DEATH PENALTY 1. 69% OF THE PUBLIC SUPPORTS CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Stuart Taylor Jr., Staff Writer, July 12, 2008. “Barbarians on the Bench?,” THE NATIONAL JOURNAL, ACC. 8/31/2008 via Lexis Nexis. On the death penalty, an October 2007 Gallup Poll showed public support, 69 percent to 27 percent, of "the death penalty for a person convicted of murder," and a May 2004 Gallup Poll showed a majority agreeing, 75 percent to 21 percent, that "states should be allowed to execute prisoners sentenced to the death penalty by means of lethal injection." 2. OVER 65% OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC SUPPORTS THE DEATH PENALTY Capital Punishment in Context, 2008. “Public Opinion and the Death Penalty,” <http://www.capitalpunishmentincontext.org/issues/publicopinion>, ACC. 8/31/2008. Public support for the death penalty has declined over the past decade, but polls reveal that the majority of Americans (approximately 65%) still support capital punishment for those convicted of murder. For those who have shifted away from the death penalty, one of the most commonly cited concerns is the growing number of deomonstrated instances of erroneous capital convictions, as evidenced by persons later found innocent and released from death row. Many also note the widespread availability of the alternative sentence of life without parole. In 1994, polls asking the appropriate punishment for murder found that 32% of those polled favored life without parole sentences, while 50% favored death. In 2004, support for life without parole had grown to 46%. 3. THE ANTI-DEATH PENALTY MOVEMENT SPREADS LIES ABOUT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Dudley Sharp, Death Penalty Resources Director of Justice For All, 1997. “Death Penalty and Sentencing information In the United States,” October 1, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/DP.html>. The death penalty debate in the U.S. is dominated by the fraudulent voice of the anti-death penalty movement. The culture of lies and deceit so dominates that movement that many of the falsehoods are now wrongly accepted as fact, by both advocates and opponents of capital punishment. The following report presents the true facts of the death penalty in America. If you are even casually aware of this public debate, you will note that every category contradicts the well-worn frauds presented by the anti-death penalty movement. The anti-death penalty movement specializes in the abolition of truth. 4. DESPITE THE OVERALL DECLINE, MOST PEOPLE SUPPORT THE DEATH PENALTY Richard Dieter, Executive Director, Death Penalty Information Center, June 28, 2008. “Public Attitude Shifts on Death Penalty,” National Public Radio (NPR), SHOW: Weekend All Things Considered, p. np. It is being used much less than it had been. There's been a 60 percent decline in death sentences over the past seven years. About a 50 percent decline in executions, smaller death row. Actually, fewer states now have the death penalty and public support still is about two-thirds in favor but less than it had been in the 1990s. So what's going on? Why the decline? Well, there has been a series of revelations about the death penalty, about mistakes, about innocent people who were almost executed and now have been freed. Of course, the DNA revolution cemented that - 23 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing THE DEATH PENALTY IS MORALLY JUSTIFIED 1. THE REALITY OF OUR SOCIAL WORLD AND JUSTICE DEMANDS CAPITAL PUNISHMENT David Anderson, writer, February 2008. THE DEATH PENALTY: A DEFENCE, Chapter 2: Arguments For the Death Penalty, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://yesdeathpenalty.googlepages.com/home2>. In itself the death penalty is not something desired. But this awful punishment is forced by a sometimes ice-cold brutal reality. And the reality is that the door back to paradise is closed. Therefore each country is continuously forced to fight an uneven fight against all forms of the destructive. The capital punishment should be viewed as one instrument among many in the fight for a more righteous and better world. There are two words that often return when we defend the death penalty: justice and human dignity. And these words also constitute a foundation for that which is called democracy and civilization. These two realities can also be regarded as two bearing pillars in the defence of the capital punishment. 2. THE DEATH PENALTY IS JUSTIFIED IN RESPONSE TO DISPARATE CRIMES AND MURDER David Anderson, writer, February 2008. THE DEATH PENALTY: A DEFENCE, Chapter 2: Arguments For the Death Penalty, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://yesdeathpenalty.googlepages.com/home2>. Violent crimes and murder are part of the cruelest, most inhuman and disparaging crimes that exist and they violate the victim’s rights, and with murder the victim´s right to life. These are a few important primary causes to why each civilized state governed by law should impose the severest judgment - death penalty - on such heinous crimes. 3. THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE FOR JUSTICE OUTSIDE OF THE DEATH PENALTY FOR SOME CRIMES David Anderson, writer, February 2008. THE DEATH PENALTY: A DEFENCE, Chapter 2: Arguments For the Death Penalty, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://yesdeathpenalty.googlepages.com/home2>. The deceased victim does not get to participate in the good of life, not even a fraction of what the lifetime convicted criminal takes part of. The victim’s lot in comparison to the convict’s cannot even be compared; the difference is so complete. One got death, the other life, even if it is a life with limited freedom. No one can call this justice. On the contrary, it is scornful injustice and means that the victim’s value in comparison to the convict becomes exceedingly small. As long as a punishment bear no proportion to a crime the justice is weak and deadly sick. There is therefore no alternative to the death penalty for the violent criminal and the murderer. Every measure against him from the State’s side, which replaces the death penalty, means that complete justice is not performed. A lost human life can best be fully compensated through the death penalty. 4. THE DEATH PENALTY REAFFIRMIS LIFE AND HUMAN DIGNITY David Anderson, writer, February 2008. THE DEATH PENALTY: A DEFENCE, Chapter 3: Answers to the argument against the Death Penalty, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://yesdeathpenalty.googlepages.com/home2>. Openly and straight on we should ask ourselves what it should cost to violate another human being or to kill someone. What price label should society place on such a deed of violence? The answers we give must be based on the value we place on a human being and especially the one who is afflicted by the hand of violence. If a man, especially a victim, has a small value, then the price does not have to be especially high and the punishment light. The higher the value we place on a man, and especially an afflicted fellow man, the higher the price, that is the more severe the punishment. Then the death penalty incomparably becomes the highest value we can give man – the victim of crime. A country that uses the capital punishment therefore says to the world: "here we value man as highly as possible. To heinously injure or kill someone costs, and the price may be life itself." - 24 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing THE DEATH PENALTY IS MORALLY JUSTIFIED 1. THE DEATH PENALTY SENDS A MORAL SIGNAL TO SOCIETY THAT MURDER IS WORNG Casey Carmical, editor, 2008 “The Death Penalty: Morally Defensible?,” Hoshuhu.com, <http://www.hoshuha.com/articles/deathpenalty.html>, ACC. 8/31/2008. First of all, the slogan misses an important point. The death penalty does not punish people for killing, but for murder. Killing is justified when it is done in self-defense. Killing means to cause death. Murder, on the other hand, is defined as, "the unlawful and malicious or premeditated killing of one human being by another" (for the less observant, this definition cannot be applied to the death penalty, because the death penalty is lawful, non-malicious, and is not carried out by an individual but by the government). "Kill," "murder," and "execute" are not interchangeable terms. Death penalty opponents would like us to believe otherwise. Just because two actions result in the same end does not make them morally equivalent. If it were so, legal incarceration would be equated with kidnapping, lovemaking with rape, self-defense with battery, etc. Therefore, the slogan is better stated, "We execute people to show people that murder is wrong." Not quite as catchy, is it? 2. CAPITAL PUNISH IS NECESSARY TO PRESERVE THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE Michaeld D. Bradbury, Ventura County District Attorney, 2008. “The Death Penalty Is an Affirmation of the Sanctity of Life,” L.A. TIMES, ACC. 8/31/2008, <http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/affirmation.htm> More than 130 years ago, the eminent philosopher John Stuart Mill spoke eloquently on this issue before the English Parliament: "Does fining a criminal show want of respect for property or imprisoning him, for personal freedom? Just as unreasonable is it to think that to take the life of a man who has taken that of another is to show want of regard for human life. We show, on the contrary, most emphatically our regard for it, by the adoption of a rule that he who violates that right in another forfeits it for himself." In our understandable desire to be fair and to protect the rights of offenders in our criminal justice system, let us never ignore or minimize the rights of their victims. The death penalty is a necessary tool that reaffirms the sanctity of human life while assuring that convicted killers will never again prey upon others. 3. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IS THE MORALLY SOUND ALTERNATIVE TO INCARCERATION Casey Carmical, editor, 2008 “The Death Penalty: Morally Defensible?,” Hoshuhu.com, <http://www.hoshuha.com/articles/deathpenalty.html>, ACC. 8/31/2008. Morally, it is wrong to incarcerate someone for murder. A sentence of life in an air-conditioned, cable-equipped prison where a person gets free meals three times a day, personal recreation time, and regular visits with friends and family is a slap in the face of morality. People will say here that not all prisons are like the one cited. This betrays an ignorance, however, of current trends. Eventually, criminal rights activists will see to it that all prisons are nice places to go. But regardless of the conditions of a particular prison, someone who murders another human being can only be made to pay for his actions by forfeiting his own life. This is so, simply because a loss of freedom does not and cannot compare to a loss of life. If the punishment for theft is imprisonment, then the punishment for murder must be exponentially more severe, because human life is infinitely more valuable than any material item. 4. THE DEATH PENALTY IS MORALLY JUST BECAUSE IT PROFERS VICTIM’S RIGHTS Casey Carmical, editor, 2008 “The Death Penalty: Morally Defensible?,” Hoshuhu.com, <http://www.hoshuha.com/articles/deathpenalty.html>, ACC. 8/31/2008. I have tried to argue here that the death penalty is moral and just. We must never forget that no one has to be executed; if no one murders, no one is executed. Murderers are not innocent people fighting for their lives; that statement describes their victims. Let us work in America to get back the mentality that victim rights are more important than criminal rights. - 25 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing THE DEATH PENALTY DETERS CRIME 1. SOCIETY WOULD FALL INTO ANARCHY IF WE ABOLISHED THE DEATH PENALTY The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), April 9, 2007. “Is the death penalty immoral?,” http://deathpenalty.procon.org/viewanswers.asp?questionID=1038, ACC. 8/29/2008 [ellipses in original]. Bruce Fein, JD, constitutional lawyer and general counsel to the Center for Law and Accountability, in an American Bar Association's website section titled "Individual rights and Responsability - The Death Penalty, but Sparingly," (accessed June 17, 2008), wrote: "The crimes of rape, torture, treason, kidnapping, murder, larceny, and perjury pivot on a moral code that escapes apodictic [indisputably true] proof by expert testimony or otherwise. But communities would plunge into anarchy if they could not act on moral assumptions less certain than that the sun will rise in the east and set in the west. Abolitionists may contend that the death penalty is inherently immoral because governments should never take human life, no matter what the provocation. But that is an article of faith, not of fact, just like the opposite position held by abolitionist detractors, including myself...” 2. HOMOCIDE RATES INCREASE POST-EXECUTIONS John Holdridge, Director of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project, and Cassandra Stubbs, staff attorney with the ACLU Capital Punishment Project, January 8, 2008. “Debunking the Death Penalty Deterrence Myth,” THE HUFFINGTON POST, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/01/08/6250/>. Economist and law professor John Donohue of Yale University, together with economist Justin Wolfers of the University of Pennsylvania, conducted an exhaustive analysis of the datasets used by several deterrence proponents. They reported that, while the evidence pointed more strongly to an increase in homicides following executions, "there exists profound uncertainty" about capital punishment's deterrent or anti-deterrent effect because of the enormous disparity between the number of homicides and the number of executions. 3. A FOCUS ON DETERRENCE ALLOWS PEOPLE TO JUSTIFY INNOCENTS AT WILL Thomas R. Eddlem, staff writer, June 3, 2002. “Ten Anti-Death Penalty Fallacies,” THE NEW AMERICAN, Vol. 18, No. 11, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2002/06-03-2002/vo18no11_fallacies.htm>. As Christian writer C.S. Lewis observes, "[deterrence] in itself, would be a very wicked thing to do. On the classical theory of punishment it was of course justified on the ground that the man deserved it. Why, in Heaven’s name, am I to be sacrificed to the good of society in this way? -- unless, of course, I deserve it." Inflicting a penalty merely to deter -- rather than to punish for deeds done -- is the very definition of cruelty. A purely deterrent penalty is one where a man is punished -- not for something that he did -- but for something someone else might do. Lewis explained the logical end of this argument: "If deterrence is all that matters, the execution of an innocent man, provided the public think him guilty, would be fully justified." 4. THE DEATH PENALTY IS JUSTIFIED EVEN IF IT DOES NOT DETER Dudley Sharp, Vice President of Justice for All, 2002. "Do We Need the Death Penalty? Yes, It's Still Necessary," THE WORLD & I, September, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.worldandi.com/public/2002/september/cipropub.html>. Death penalty opponents want us to believe that the most severe criminal sanction--execution--deters no one. However, if reason is your guide and you remain unsure of deterrence, you are left with the following consideration. If the death penalty does deter, halting executions will cause more innocents to be slaughtered by giving murderers an additional opportunity to harm and murder again. If the death penalty does not deter, executions will punish murderers as the jury deems appropriate, preventing them from harming any more victims. Clearly, ending or reducing executions will put many more innocents at risk. - 26 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing THE DEATH PENALTY DETERS CRIME 1. MULTIPLE STUDIES PROVE THE DEATH PENALTY DETERS CRIME Casey Carmical, editor, 2008 “The Death Penalty: Morally Defensible?,” Hoshuhu.com, <http://www.hoshuha.com/articles/deathpenalty.html>, ACC. 8/31/2008. The death penalty as a deterrent to crime is not the issue. Capital punishment is, pardon the redundancy, a punishment for crime. As a punishment, the death penalty is 100% effective--every time it is used, the prisoner dies. Additionally, the death penalty is actually 100% effective as a deterrent to crime: the murderer will never commit another crime once he has been executed. While there is no proof that any innocents have been executed in this century, there is an abundance of evidence that prisoners who either escaped or were released early murdered innocent victims again. Professor Paul Cassell points out that: Out of a sample of 164 paroled Georgia murderers, eight committed subsequent murders within seven years of release. A study of twenty Oregon murderers released on parole in 1979 found that one (i.e., five percent) had committed a subsequent homicide within five years of release. Another study found that of 11,404 persons originally convicted of "willful homicide" and released during 1965 and 1974, 34 were returned to prison for commission of a subsequent criminal homicide during the first year alone. 2. THE SWIFTER THE PUNISHMENT, THE MORE EFFECTIVE THE DEATH PENALTY DETERS Dave Gibson, staff writer, August 30, 2008. “The Real Value Of The Death Penalty Is As A Deterrent,” AMERICAN CHRONICLE, ACC. 8/31/2008, <http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/72546>. If the death penalty was carried out in a swift fashion, it would serve as much more of a deterrent. The almost clandestine manner in which the offender's life is ended, defeats the purpose of the ultimate punishment. In my opinion, once a defendant is given a sentence of death, he should have no more than one year to appeal the case. The seemingly endless string of appeals is an abuse of the system at the expense of the American taxpayer. We often see publicity-seeking criminal defense attorneys take on those cases, even though many are undoubtedly already convinced of their potential client's guilt as well as of the futility of exhausting the appeals process. 3. ABANDONING THE DEATH PENALTY OVER AN INNOCENT IS LIKE BANNING GUNS FOR MURDER David Anderson, writer, February 2008. THE DEATH PENALTY: A DEFENCE, Chapter 3: Answers to the argument against the Death Penalty, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://yesdeathpenalty.googlepages.com/home2>. If an "innocent person" dies from a accidental shot during a military shooting practice, it is not the weapon or the shooting practice that must be abolished but the security routines that need to be improved. And why not comparison with motoring? There are hundreds of thousands of innocent people who are injured or killed in the world every year due to drivers. In Sweden alone several hundred are killed. Compare this number to the one or the few who may eventually be innocently executed during a decade. Should not the anger of the abolitionists be a thousand times stronger against the barbaric rush of vehicles that kills so many innocent people? 4. THE PUBLIC STRONGLY SUPPORTS THE DEATH PENALTY AS A DETERRENT TO CRIME Robert Ruby, Senior Editor, and Allison Pond, Research Associate, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, December 19, 2007. “An Enduring Majority: Americans Continue to Support the Death Penalty,” Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, ACC. 8/31/2008,<http://pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=272>. After peaking in the mid-1990s, the percentage of Americans in favor of capital punishment dropped, leveling off after 2000. Indeed, Pew Research Center surveys show that support for the death penalty for persons convicted of murder has fluctuated within a relatively narrow range of 62% to 68% since 2001, while opposition has ranged from 24% to 32% during this time. A Pew survey from August 2007 finds that 62% of Americans favor the death penalty, while 32% oppose it and 6% are unsure. Regarding lethal injection as a means of execution, a 2004 Gallup/CNN/USA Today poll finds that 75% of the public says that states should be allowed to use lethal injection, while 21% say it represents cruel and unusual punishment and should not be permitted. THE DEATH PENALTY IS NOT RACIST 1. CLAIMS OF RACISM ARE A DELIBERATE FRAUD Thomas R. Eddlem, staff writer, June 3, 2002. - 27 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing “Ten Anti-Death Penalty Fallacies,” THE NEW AMERICAN, Vol. 18, No. 11, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2002/06-03-2002/vo18no11_fallacies.htm>. The claim that the death penalty unfairly impacts blacks and minorities is a deliberate fraud. The majority of those executed since 1976 have been white, even though black criminals commit a slim majority of murders. If the death penalty is racist, it is biased against white murderers and not blacks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, blacks committed 51.5% of murders between 1976 and 1999, while whites committed 46.5%. Yet even though blacks committed a majority of murders, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports: "Since the death penalty was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976, white inmates have made up the majority of those under sentence of death." (Emphasis added.) Whites continued to comprise the majority on death row in the year 2000 (1,990 whites to 1,535 blacks and 68 others). In the year 2000, 49 of the 85 people actually put to death were whites. 2. ABOLITIONIST CLAIMS OF RACISM ARE BASED ON FLAWED STATISTICAL ASSUMPTIONS Thomas R. Eddlem, staff writer, June 3, 2002. “Ten Anti-Death Penalty Fallacies,” THE NEW AMERICAN, Vol. 18, No. 11, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2002/06-03-2002/vo18no11_fallacies.htm>. So how can abolitionists claim that the death penalty unfairly punishes black people and other minorities? The statistics they cite are often technically accurate (though not always), but they don’t mean what most people assume they mean. Abolitionists often start by analyzing the race of the victims rather than the murderers. Because most murders are intra-racial (white murderers mostly kill other whites and most black murderers kill other blacks), imposing the death penalty more frequently on white murderers means that killers of white people will more likely be executed. In essence, abolitionists playing the race card argue that black murder victims are not receiving justice because only the murderers of white people are punished with the death penalty. Death penalty proponents may consider this denying justice to black people. 3. THE DEATH PENALTY DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGANST THE POOR Yesha Sutaria, University of Chicago, Center on International Peace and Security, Winter 2006. “Execution is Not the Solution,” THE MIDWAY REVIEW, Volume 1, Issue 1, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://midwayreview.uchicago.edu/winter06/sutaria.htm>. Another regrettable feature of the death penalty is that it disproportionately punishes the poor. In Furman v. Georgia, Supreme Court Justice William Douglas wrote, “One searches our chronicles in vain for the execution of any member of the affluent strata in this society.” The vast majority—the average cited by most studies is 95 percent—of defendants charged with capital crimes cannot afford adequate representation. These indigent citizens are consequently forced to depend on court-appointed lawyers to save their lives. Oftentimes, these public defenders are so underpaid that they have no incentive to put sufficient time and effort into fighting for their clients. 4. EVEN IF THEIR RACISM CLAIMS ARE TRUE, THIS DOES NOT DEJUSTIFY THE DEATH PENALTY David Anderson, writer, February 2008. THE DEATH PENALTY: A DEFENCE, Chapter 1: Introduction, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://yesdeathpenalty.googlepages.com/home2>. Criticism has been made against that blacks and poor are sometimes being treated special in the courts in a negative way. Criticism has also been aimed against capricious law practice. It is reasonable that criticism aimed against capriciousness (that is a certain measure of chance) in capital crimes can to a certain extent be justified, since so few are executed despite the great amount of violent crimes and murders that take place. Justified criticism has to be brought to the light and revealed. The US needed to take further precautions to get an improved, developed and consequent law practice when it comes to capital crimes. This criticism, on the other hand, gives no reason to question the capital punishment itself, since the criticism only points to some possible flaws within the legal system. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT DOES NOT COST TOO MUCH 1. ANTI-DEATH PENALTY COSTS ESTIMATES ARE BASED ON FLAWED ASSUMPTIONS Jon Sorensen, Prairie View A&M University, May/June 2004. “The Administration of Capital Punishment,” ACJS TODAY, Volume XXIX, Issue 2, ACC. 8/31/2008, <http://www.acjs.org/pubs/uploads/MayJune2004.pdf>. Prior to the modern era, the cost of capital punishment was not really an issue for the sanction was carried out relatively quickly and efficiently. However, the “super due process” afforded capital defendants in the modern era has meant extensive appeals, numerous reversals, and associated delays in the execution of death sentences. A series - 28 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing of studies conducted mainly by journalists since the late 1980s have found the procedures associated with the death penalty to be quite costly, exceeding by far the cost of life imprisonment. Again the most prolific disseminator of these findings has been the DPIC, stating that the overall cost of the death penalty is about $2 to $3 million per execution. Because these estimates are based on questionable assumptions, however, they should not be uncritically accepted. 2. TEXAS STUDIES SHOW THE DEATH PENALTY IS ACTUALLY CHEAPER THAN INCARCERATION Jon Sorensen, Prairie View A&M University, May/June 2004. “The Administration of Capital Punishment,” ACJS TODAY, Volume XXIX, Issue 2, ACC. 8/31/2008, <http://www.acjs.org/pubs/uploads/MayJune2004.pdf>. One of the studies quoted extensively in the popular press, on websites, and in the academic literature was published by the Dallas Morning News, which estimated the cost of a death penalty case in Texas to be $2.3 million. Many of the specific cost estimates used in the study appear to be well-grounded and are consistent with other available sources. For instance, the reporter estimated the cost of a death penalty trial to be $266k, the cost of state and federal appeals to amount to nearly $200k, and the cost of incarceration on death row prior to execution to be $137k. However, the reporter included a mysterious $1.7 million “estimate of appellate court costs and outlays associated with the death penalty.” Excluding this unfathomable and completely unverifiable “per capita” estimate, a death penalty case in Texas, at about $600k, would appear to fare favorably with a “40-year” life sentence, which was estimated to cost $750k in the same report. 3. LIFE SENTENCES ARE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN CAPITAL PUNISHMENT NEWSVINE, Mar 8, 2008. “Myths About the Death Penalty - Myth # 1 – Cost,” http://boiseriver.newsvine.com/_news/2008/03/08/1187630-myths-about-the-death-penalty-myth-1-cost One of the most frequent misstatements about the death penalty is its costs. Many individuals incorrectly assume that an execution is less expensive than a life sentence. Every study on this topic, including the one submitted by the New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission, sites far greater cost when the State seeks and imposes a death sentence than when a life sentence is the outcome. Studies estimate the cost of a capital sentence is 2-5 times that of non-capital proceedings. 4. EXTENDED LIFE EXPECTANCY MEANS THE DEATH PENALTY IS CHEAPER Jon Sorensen, Prairie View A&M University, May/June 2004. “The Administration of Capital Punishment,” ACJS TODAY, Volume XXIX, Issue 2, ACC. 8/31/2008, <http://www.acjs.org/pubs/uploads/MayJune2004.pdf>. Given the average age at entrance to prison and the average life expectancy, it has been estimated that such inmates will serve about 47 years behind bars. Including the additional 27 years of confinement, the total cost of a life sentence would be $593k. Under the current definition of life, the cost associated with a capital murder case in North Carolina appears to be a bargain, saving the state $264k in incarceration costs. Also in recent years, the percentage of death penalty cases resulting in executions has increased dramatically from the early modern era, lowering the costs associated with unsuccessful capital murder prosecutions. Given the lack of parole eligibility, the cost savings of life imprisonment essentially washes out when the rate of success in executing death sentences reaches 50%. The available evidence thus suggests that capital punishment, if carried out with any degree of regularity, can be cost effective. - 29 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing THE DEATH PENALTY IS IMPORTANT TO THE WAR ON TERRORISM 1. THE DEATH PENALTY SENDS A STRONG SIGNAL OF AMERICAN RESOLVE AGAINST TERRORISM Johnny Sutton, U.S. Attorney, April 21, 2004. Testimony Before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, “Terrorist Penalties Enhancement Act,” Federal Document Clearing House Congressional Testimony, p.np. H.R.2934 is important, because it will ensure that all terrorists who cause death in the course of their terroristic acts will be eligible for the death penalty if the facts warrant such a punishment. Under current law, some terrorist offenses that result in the death of American citizens do not provide for the death penalty or even for a sentence of life in prison as an available punishment. For example, a terrorist who is convicted of attacking a national defense installation, sabotaging a nuclear facility, or destroying a power plant cannot receive the death penalty, even if his crime results in mass casualties. As the President stated just two days ago, on April 19, 2004, this "makes no sense to me. We ought to be sending a strong signal: if you sabotage a defense installation or nuclear facility in a way that takes an innocent life, you ought to get the death penalty, the federal death penalty." 2. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IS AN EFFECTIVE DETERRENT AGAINST TERRORIST ATTACKS John R. Carter, Chair, April 21, 2004. Testimony Before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, “Terrorist Penalties Enhancement Act,” Federal Document Clearing House Congressional Testimony, p.np. We must protect our neighborhoods from the threat of violent crimes which, unfortunately in today's world, includes the threat of terrorist attacks. Congress must act to protect U.S. citizens from such attacks and to bring justice to those who threaten our freedom. It is unimaginable to think that a convicted terrorist responsible for American deaths could serve his sentence and be released back onto the American streets, free to act as he chooses. My straight-forward legislation will make any terrorist who kills eligible for the federal death penalty. This legislation will also deny these same terrorists any federal benefits they otherwise may have been eligible to receive. In my experience as a Judge, I have witnessed the death penalty used as an important tool in deterring crime and saving lives. I believe it is also a tool that can deter acts of terrorism. It protects witnesses in capital punishment cases, and it serves as a tool for prosecutors when negotiating sentences. 3. THE WAR ON TERRORISM NEEDS EVERY POSSIBLE WEAPON TO SUCCEED Johnny Sutton, U.S. Attorney, April 21, 2004. Testimony Before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, “Terrorist Penalties Enhancement Act,” Federal Document Clearing House Congressional Testimony, p.np. In the war on terrorism, prosecutors must be equipped with every possible weapon that can help to prevent and deter terrorist conduct before it occurs, severely punish such conduct when it does occur, and help find justice for those whose lives have been affected by crimes of terror. Following the tragedy of 9/11, Congress wisely acted to improve and enhance federal law enforcement's terrorism fighting capabilities by overwhelmingly passing the USA PATRIOT Act 4. TERRORISM IS A CLEAR EXCEPTION TO OBJECTIONS AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY Johnny Sutton, U.S. Attorney, April 21, 2004. Testimony Before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, “Terrorist Penalties Enhancement Act,” Federal Document Clearing House Congressional Testimony, p.np. Seeking and applying the death penalty is serious and sobering business. There is great responsibility in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in this area. The Department of Justice has taken this responsibility seriously. Through its formal review process, the Department carefully reviews the applicability of the death penalty in every possible case, all the way up to the Attorney General. H.R. 2934 would not change this. I do not favor liberally expanding the number and types of crimes that may be punished by death. But in the fight against terrorism, we should have every tool at our disposal for dealing with those who commit or would commit such horrendous crimes of violence against our nation and our citizens. H.R. 2934 is an important contribution to that end. - 30 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing TELEVISING EXECUTIONS IS JUSTIFIED 1. TELEVISED EXECUTIONS ARE OUTLAWED TO INSULATE THE STATE FROM PUBLIC CRITIQUE Austin Sarat, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst College, 2002. When the State Kills: Capital Punishment and the American Condition, p. 207. Pictures at an Execution provides a bracing reminder of the place of murder and capital punishment in the popular imagination. However, the legal prohibition of televised executions goes well beyond the issues of decorum that preoccupy Lesser. It is rooted in a set of beliefs about the political threat of particular types of representation, beliefs that sustain the very possibility of capital punishment. Barring the camera and eliminating the public audience are like the quest to find a painless method of killing, ways in which law tries to purify state killing, creating an uninteresting, nonsadistic, administrative death. Thus if television is to be kept out of the death chamber we must he clear that it is not a worry about bad taste that merits or explains the exclusion. 2. ONLY TELEVISING EXECUTIONS CAN TURN THE PUBLIC AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY Austin Sarat, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst College, 2002. When the State Kills: Capital Punishment and the American Condition, p. 207. The drama of state killing, the battle between sovereign and criminal, that animated public executions is intentionally displaced in the modern, bureaucratic form with its intense policing of who can and cannot view. While public execution made it possible for the public to challenge state killing, bureaucratization smooths the way from the authorizing words to the violent act itself. The very uncontrollability of the gaze and the indeterminacy of its political effects are what make televising executions so threatening to the survival of capital punishment. While tele- vising executions could not again make the possibility of contest part of the risk the state runs when it conducts an execution, it would provide one way of contesting the bureaucratic cover-up. As in capital trials, the elision of the visual helps state killing to appear different from violence outside of law. In going along with the banning of visual representations of the death penalty, law has silenced one particularly powerful avenue for generating alternative interpretations of execution and provided a safe space for our own legitimating narratives. The camera, however, threatens to render the prison wall transparent, revealing the object that the law has tried to obscure. 3. REFUSING TO TELEVISE EXECUTIONS REINFORCES THE INSTITUTION OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Austin Sarat, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst College, April 05, 2001. “To See or Not To See?: Why Timothy Mcveigh's Execution Should Be Televised,” Find Law, Accessed 8-25-08, <http://writ.news.findlaw.com/commentary/20010405_sarat.html>. While no one can know how seeing that deed on television will influence the death penalty debate, or whether those who watch will be enlightened or demeaned by what they see, one thing seems certain: As an historical matter, limiting the visibility of lawfully-imposed death helped transform execution from an arousing spectacle of vengeance into an easily ignored matter of mere administration. Refusing to televise executions helps keep the machinery of capital punishment running. - 31 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing DEATH PENALTY NEGATIVE The death penalty is a barbaric and ineffective practice. The hidden costs lie in the number of innocent people who are falsely convicted and executed each year. Taking the life of once innocent person, even to save other innocent people, cannot be held as morally permissible. Therefore, I must negate the resolution that: “It is morally permissible to kill one innocent person to save the lives of more innocent people.” VALUE/CRITERION: LIFE Life is the pre-requisite to attaining all other values. Justice, happiness, dignity—none of these will exist without life. For this reason, protecting human life should be our utmost moral pursuit. Therefore, an action may be judged to be morally permissible only if it does not undermine the sacredness of life. Human life is absolute, regardless of who is being killed. Charles I. Lugosi, Visiting Professor of Law, Yale Law School, October 1, 2001. “Playing God: Mary Must Die So Jodie May Live Longer,” Issues in Law & Medicine, ACC. 8-24-08, <www.allbusiness.com/legal/3495532-1.html>. Human life is of absolute and infinite value. It is irrelevant whether that human life lasts for a moment, or for a hundred years. It matters not whether that human life is a Rhodes Scholar or a conjoined twin. It makes no difference whether that human life is the Lord Chief Justice or in the form of Mary Attard. OBSERVATION ONE: A UTILITARIAN APPROACH TO LIFE IS DISASTROUS A. EVEN IF THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS TO ABSOLUTE LIFE, IT DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE JUSTIED Keith Burgess-Jackson, J.D., Ph.D. January 27, 2006. “Intrinsic Value,” Accessed 8-24-08, <http://www.analphilosopher.com/posts/1138417835.shtml>. Many people, especially in the Roman Catholic tradition, assign absolute value to innocent human life, which is why they say that it is wrong directly (i.e., intentionally) to kill an innocent human being. They value innocent human life for its own sake (i.e., they value it intrinsically) and they won’t allow it to be traded or sacrificed for any other goods. If you assign absolute value to innocent human life, then you will oppose even voluntary active euthanasia. You will also oppose abortion, infanticide, and suicide (including physician-assisted suicide). But you need not oppose capital punishment, killing in self-defense, or killing in a just war, since in these cases the human being who is killed is not innocent. The prohibition against taking innocent human life doesn’t apply in these cases. This isn’t to say that it’s morally permissible to do these things, for there may be other reasons to forbear. It just means that the prohibition in question doesn’t apply. B. A STRICT UTILITARIAN CALCULUS JUSTIFIES DOING EVIL FOR THE GREATER GOOD Richard Norman, Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Kentucky, 1995. ETHICS, KILLING, AND WAR, p. 207. Since the waging of war almost invariably involves the deliberate taking of life on a massive scale, it will be immensely difficult to justify. I have argued that utilitarian justifications are not good enough. We cannot justify the taking of life simply by saying that the refusal to take life is likely to lead to worse consequences. An adequate notion of moral responsibility implies that other people's responsibility for evil does not necessarily justify us is doing evil ourselves in order to prevent them. We cannot sacrifice some of our people for the others and claim that we are justified by a utilitarian calculus of lives. - 32 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing C. KILLING INNOCENTS JUSTIFIES A KILL-TO-SAVE MENTALITY THROUGH CONSEQUENTIALISM Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Director of the Center for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra, 2003. “Collective Suicide?,” BAD SUBJECTS, Issue #63, April, ACC. 8-28, 2008, <http://bad.eserver.org/issues/2003/63/santos.html>. With the war against Iraq, it is fitting to ask whether what is in progress is a new genocidal and sacrificial illusion, and what its scope might be. It is above all appropriate to ask if the new illusion will not herald the radicalization and the ultimate perversion of the Western illusion: destroying all of humanity in the illusion of saving it. Sacrificial genocide arises from a totalitarian illusion manifested in the belief that there are no alternatives to the present-day reality, and that the problems and difficulties confronting it arise from failing to take its logic of development to ultimate consequences. If there is unemployment, hunger and death in the Third World, this is not the result of market failures; instead, it is the outcome of market laws not having been fully applied. OBSERVATION TWO: WE SHOULD ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY A. IT IS MORALLY WRONG TO COMMIT A SURE EVIL FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF PREVENTING MORE Alan Gewirth, Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, January 1981. “Are There Any Absolute Rights?”, THE PHILOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY, p. 10. It may also be argued that it is irrational to perpetrate a sure evil in order to forestall what is so far only a possible or threatened evil. Philippa Foot has sagely commented on cases of this sort that if it is the son's duty to kill his mother in order to save the lives of the many other innocent residents of the city, then "anyone who wants us to do something we think wrong has only to threaten that otherwise he himself will do some thing we think worse". Much depends, however, on the nature of the "wrong" and the "worse". If someone threatens to commit suicide or to kill innocent hostages if we do not break our promise to do some relatively unimportant action, breaking the promise would be the obviously right course, by the criterion of degrees of necessity for action. The special difficulty of the present case stems from the fact that the conflicting rights are of the same supreme degree of importance. B. THE IDEA OF SACRIFICING ONE INNOCENT PERSON FOR THE MANY REFLECTS COLONIALIST AND GENOCIDAL THINKING OF SACRIFICIAL DESTRUCTION Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Director of the Center for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra, 2003. “Collective Suicide?,” BAD SUBJECTS, Issue #63, April, ACC. 8-28, 2008, <http://bad.eserver.org/issues/2003/63/santos.html>. According to Franz Hinkelammert, the West has repeatedly been under the illusion that it should try to save humanity by destroying part of it. This is a salvific and sacrificial destruction, committed in the name of the need to radically materialize all the possibilities opened up by a given social and political reality over which it is supposed to have total power. This is how it was in colonialism, with the genocide of indigenous peoples, and the African slaves. This is how it was in the period of imperialist struggles, which caused millions of deaths in two world wars and many other colonial wars. This is how it was under Stalinism, with the Gulag, and under Nazism, with the Holocaust. And now today, this is how it is in neoliberalism, with the collective sacrifice of the periphery and even the semiperiphery of the world system. C. THE AFFIRMATIVE FOSTERS A DEATH DRIVE THAT JUSTIFIES INFINITE DESTRUCTION Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Director of the Center for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra, 2003. “Collective Suicide?,” BAD SUBJECTS, Issue #63, April, ACC. 8-28, 2008, <http://bad.eserver.org/issues/2003/63/santos.html>. Is it possible to fight this death drive? We must bear in mind that, historically, sacrificial destruction has always been linked to the economic pillage of natural resources and the labor force, to the imperial design of radically changing the terms of economic, social, political and cultural exchanges in the face of falling efficiency rates postulated by the maximalist logic of the totalitarian illusion in operation. It is as though hegemonic powers, both when they are on the rise and when they are in decline, repeatedly go through times of primitive accumulation, legitimizing the most shameful violence in the name of futures where, by definition, there is no room for what must be destroyed. In today's version, the period of primitive accumulation consists of combining neoliberal economic globalization with the globalization of war. The machine of democracy and liberty turns into a machine of horror and destruction. UTILITARIANISM IS A POOR GUIDE FOR MORALITY 1. THE LOGIC OF UTILITARIANISM JUSTIFIES WAR AND TOTALITARIANISM - 33 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing George Kateb, Professor. of politics at Princeton University, 1992. THE INNER OCEAN: INDIVIDUALISM AND DEMOCRATIC CULTURE, p. 11. I do not mean to take seriously the idea that utilitarianism is a satisfactory replacement for the theory of rights. The well-being (or mere preferences) of the majority cannot override the rightful claims of individuals. In a time when the theory of rights is global it is noteworthy that some moral philosophers disparage the theory of rights. The political experience of this century should be enough to make them hesitate: it is not clear that, say, some version of utilitarianism could not justify totalitarian evil. It also could be fairly easy for some utilitarians to justify any war and any dictatorship, and very easy to justify any kind of ruthlessness even in societies that pay some attention to rights. There is no end to the immoral permissions that one or another type of utilitarianism grants. Everything is permitted, if the calculation is right. 2. UTILITARIANS SILENCE RIGHTS CLAIMS AND UNDERMINE MORALITY Erin Byrnes, JD, University of Arizona College of Law, 1999. “Therapeutic Jurisprudence: Unmasking White Privilege to Expose the Fallacy of White Innocense: Using a Theory of Moral Correlativity to Make the Case for Affirmative Action Programs in Education”, ARIZONA LAW REVIEW, 41 Ariz. L. Rev. 535, p. np. Utilitarianism conceives of rights as being cognizable only when they are legally recognized. To the utilitarian, there is no such thing as a moral right because it is not socially recognized. The utilitarian rejection of moral rights can be fatal to affirmative action. Rights in utilitarian rhetoric are synonymous with the idea of a valid claim to act. Put differently, one can be said to hold a valid claim when, and only when, that claim is grounded in a legally or socially recognized right. This normative theory of rights further posits that the exercise of rights is not dependent upon a duty incumbent upon others to acknowledge or respect that right. This is clearly problematic when applied to calls for affirmative action. Instead of conceiving of rights as corresponding with a duty, the utilitarian thinks of rights in terms of "immunity rights," which have a corresponding concept of a "disability." 3. ULTILITARIANISM DEMANDS THE SLAUGHTER OF ENEMIES IN THE UEST TO AVOID DEATH Louis Rene Beres, Professor of International Law at Purdue University, September 1999. “Death, The Herd and Human Survival,” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL ON WORLD PEACE, No. 3, Vol. 16, 3- 26. Nevertheless, the fact of having been born is a bad augury for immortality, and the human inclination to rebel against an apparently unbearable truth inevitably produces the very terrors from which individuals seek to escape. Desperate to live perpetually, humankind embraces a whole cornucopia of faiths that offer life everlasting in exchange for undying loyalty In the end, such loyalty is transferred from the faith to the state, which battles with other states in what political scientists would describe as a struggle for power, but which is often, in reality, a war between the presumed Sons of Light ("Us") and the presumed Sons of Darkness ("Them"). The advantage to being on the side of the Sons of Light in such a significant contest is nothing less than the prospect of eternal life. 4. ULTILITARIANISM JUSTIFIES ENDLESS ATROCITIES IN THE NAME OF THE “GREATER GOOD” Richard Norman, Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Kentucky, 1995. Ethics, Killing, and War, p. 207. Since the waging of war almost invariably involves the deliberate taking of life on a massive scale, it will be immensely difficult to justify. I have argued that utilitarian justifications are not good enough. We cannot justify the taking of life simply by saying that the refusal to take life is likely to lead to worse consequences. An adequate notion of moral responsibility implies that other people's responsibility for evil does not necessarily justify us is doing evil ourselves in order to prevent them. We cannot sacrifice some of our people for the others and claim that we are justified by a utilitarian calculus of lives. - 34 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing UTILITARIANISM IS A POOR GUIDE FOR MORALITY 1. THE UTILITARIAN QUEST FOR SURVIVAL SACRIFICES EVERYTHING ABOUT MORALITY Daniel Callahan, Institute of Society and Ethics, 1973. THE TYRANNY OF SURVIVAL, p. 93. We come here to the fundamental moral dilemma. If, both biologically and psychologically, the need for survival is basic to man, and if survival is the precondition for any and all human achievements, and if no other rights make much sense without the premise of a right to life—then how will it be possible to honor and act upon the need for survival without, in the process, destroying everything in human beings which makes them worthy of survival. To put it more strongly, if the price of survival is human degradation, then there is no moral reason why an effort should be made to ensure that survival. It would be the Pyrrhic victory to end all Pyrrhic victories. 2. UTILITARIANISM UNDERMINES ONTOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION Jonny Anomaly, Graduate Fellow at the Murphy Institute, 2005. “Nietzsche’s Critique of Utilitarianism”, THE JOURNAL OF NIETZSCHE STUDIES, p. 8. Although this statement is merely a descriptive assessment of allegedly incompatible normative theories, Nietzsche quickly proceeds to criticize utilitarianism and socialism by taking for granted the truth of Schopenhauer’s teleological view of culture. Nietzsche announces his allegiance to Schopenhauer in answering a question posed to his readers: “[H]ow can your life, the individual life, receive the highest value, the deepest significance? How can it be least squandered? Certainly only by your living for the good of the rarest and most valuable exemplars, and not for the good of the majority” (SE 6). This apparently corroborates Cameron’s interpretation that Nietzsche opposed utilitarianism primarily because it impedes the development of those rare specimens that Schopenhauer considered the goal of culture, and for whom Nietzsche shared Schopenhauer’s reverence: the artist, the philosopher, and the saint. 3. FOCUSING ON SURVIVAL SUPPRESSES ALL OTHER RIGHTS AND VALUES Daniel Callahan, Institute of Society and Ethics, 1973. THE TYRANNY OF SURVIVAL, p. 93. But my point goes deeper than that. It is directed even at a legitimate concern for survival, when that concern is allowed to reach an intensity which would ignore, suppress or destroy other fundamental human rights and values. The potential tyranny survival as value is that it is capable, if not treated sanely, of wiping out all other values. Survival can become an obsession and a disease, provoking a destructive singlemindedness that will stop at nothing. 4. RIGHTS ARE AN ESSENTIAL MORAL CHECK ON THE EXCESSES OF UTILITARIANISM Erin Byrnes, JD, University of Arizona College of Law, 1999. “Therapeutic Jurisprudence: Unmasking White Privilege to Expose the Fallacy of White Innocense: Using a Theory of Moral Correlativity to Make the Case for Affirmative Action Programs in Education”, ARIZONA LAW REVIEW, 41 Ariz. L. Rev. 535, p. np. Though the pursuit of welfare would be deemed morally relevant and would justify a course of action on welfare's behalf, in a scenario where that course of action constituted a mere "minimal increment of utility," it would be incapable of overcoming the argumentative threshold of rights . 255 Thus, the argument is that the recognition of moral rights is diametrically opposed to utilitarianism because in a moral rights regime, rights act as a limitation upon the utilitarian goal of fulfilling as many individual desires as possible. - 35 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing UTILITARIANISM IS A POOR GUIDE FOR MORALITY 1. UTILITARIANISM IS A SELF-DEFEATING TRAP THAT DENIES HAPPINESS Jonny Anomaly, Graduate Fellow at Murphy Institute, 2005. “Nietzsche’s Critique of Utilitarianism”, THE JOURNAL OF NIETZSCHE STUDIES, p. 4. Nietzsche’s critique of utilitarianism is so far only as strong as his caricature of certain of its advocates. Even if some utilitarians (Bentham perhaps) believed happiness is maximized by eschewing pain and directly pursuing pleasure, others (such as Mill) have stressed the indirect felicific effects of intellectual struggle. Moreover, sophisticated utilitarians since Mill have been remarkably willing to accommodate empirical data by adjusting their practical prescriptions. They concede that if aggregate utility fails to be maximized when each person devotes him or herself to minimizing the pain of others, then utilitarians must reject the blind benevolence Nietzsche criticizes. Sidgwick even embraces the possibility that “a Utilitarian may reasonably desire, on Utilitarian principles, that some of his conclusions should be rejected by mankind generally [if their rejection will ultimately lead to greater aggregate happiness].” In short, the fact that utilitarianism may require its own suppression as a basis for practical decision-making does not undermine utilitarianism as a standard of value, even if it undermines utilitarianism as a decision procedure 2. UTILITARIANISM MASKS WHITE PRIVILEGE Erin Byrnes, JD, University of Arizona College of Law, 1999. “Therapeutic Jurisprudence: Unmasking White Privilege to Expose the Fallacy of White Innocense: Using a Theory of Moral Correlativity to Make the Case for Affirmative Action Programs in Education”, ARIZONA LAW REVIEW, 41 Ariz. L. Rev. 535, p. np. Again, utilitarianism's specific rejection of the tie between rights and duties renders recognition of white privilege nearly impossible. Without this recognition, there can be no meaningful solution. If accepted, moral rights would provide the grounds for the appraisal of law and other social institutions, a system of appraisal antithetical to utilitarianism's rubric of assessment. Moral rights carry with them the expectation that institutions will be erected with an eye towards respect and furtherance of such rights. Such a proposition would certainly require more than just striving towards color-blindness were it applied to affirmative action. Utilitarianism, however, requires that institutions and rights be evaluated solely with respect to the promotion of human welfare, welfare being the satisfaction of overall citizen desires. 3. UTILITARIANISM JUSTIFIES GENOCIDE IN THE NAME OF THE “COMMON GOOD” Jonny Anomaly, Graduate Fellow at the Murphy Institute, 2005. “Nietzsche’s Critique of Utilitarianism”, THE JOURNAL OF NIETZSCHE STUDIES, p. 5. Thus Nietzsche thinks utilitarians are committed to ensuring the survival and happiness of human beings, yet they fail to grasp the unsavory consequences which that commitment may entail. In particular, utilitarians tend to ignore the fact that effective long-run utility promotion might require the forcible destruction of people who either enfeeble the gene pool or who have trouble converting resources into utility—incurable depressives, the severely handicapped, and exceptionally fastidious people all seem potential targets. Nietzsche also, however, criticizes utilitarianism by questioning the psychological possibility of the sort of disinterested altruism he thinks utilitarians endorse. 4. UILITARIANISM SACRIFICES THE VALUE TO LIFE Alan Gewirth, Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, January 1981. “Are There Any Absolute Rights?”, THE PHILOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY, p. 9. A mother's right not to be tortured to death by her own son is beyond ally compromise. It is absolute. This absoluteness may be analysed in several different interrelated dimensions, all stemming from the supreme principle of morality. The principle requires respect for the rights of all persons to the necessary conditions of human action, and this includes respect for the persons themselves as having the rational capacity to reflect on t heir purposes and to control their behaviour in the light of such reflection. The principle hence prohibits using any person merely as a means to the well-being of other persons. For a son to torture his mother to death even to protect the lives of others would be an extreme violation of this principle and hence of these rights, as would any attempt by others to force such an action. - 36 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing ACTIONS SHOULD BE MORALLY JUSTIFIED 1. MORALITY IS THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE FOR ACTION AllAboutPhilosophy, 2007. “Morality By Design,” AllAboutPhilosophy.org, <http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/morality.htm>, p. np, Accessed 12-17-2007. Morality describes the principles that govern our behavior. Without these principles in place, societies cannot survive for long. In today's world, morality is frequently thought of as belonging to a particular religious point of view, but by definition, we see that this is not the case. Everyone adheres to a moral doctrine of some kind. 2. VIOLATING RIGHTS IN THE NAME OF SURVIVAL DESTROY THE VALUE TO LIFE Daniel Callahan, Institute of Society and Ethics, 1973. THE TYRANNY OF SURVIVAL, p. 91. The value of survival could not be so readily abused were it not for its evocative power. But abused it has been. In the name of survival, all manner of social and political evils have been committed against the rights of individuals, including the right to life. The purported threat of Communist domination has for over two decades fueled the drive of militarists for ever-larger defense budgets, no matter what the cost to other social needs. During World War II, native Japanese-Americans were herded, without due process of law, to detention camps. This policy was later upheld by the Supreme Court in Korematsu v. United States (1944) in the general context that a threat to national security can justify acts otherwise blatantly unjustifiable. The survival of the Aryan race was one of the official legitimations of Nazism. Under the banner of survival, the government of South Africa imposes a ruthless apartheid, heedless of the most elementary human rights. The Vietnamese war has seen one of the greatest of the many absurdities tolerated in the name of survival: the destruction of villages in order to save them. 3. EVEN CONSEQUENTIALISM REQUIRES A COMPASS FOR MORAL RESONSIBILITIES Nicholas Rescher, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, 1983. RISK: A PHILOSOPHICAL INTRODUCTION TO THE THEORY OF RISK EVALUATION AND MANAGEMENT, p. 157. The assessment and management of risks is shot through with ethical involvements. One prominent way in which ethics enters into deliberations about risk is as a potential determiner of value: ethical conduct can (and should) itself be viewed as a positivity, and unethical conduct as a negativity. Accordingly, one may well find it necessary to "pay a price" for doing the ethical thing in risk-management situations. 4. MORALITY AFFECTS EVERYTHING WE DO IN OUR DAILY LIVES AllAboutPhilosophy, 2007. “Morality By Design,” AllAboutPhilosophy.org, <http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/morality.htm>, p. np, Accessed 12-17-2007. Morality impacts our everyday decisions, and those choices are directed by our conscience. Again, we must decide for ourselves where the conscience originates. Many people hold to the idea that the conscience is a matter of our hearts, that concepts of right, wrong, and fairness are "programmed" in each of us. 5. ETHICS OUTWEIGHS MERE SURVIVAL. THERE IS NO VALUE TO LIFE IN THEIR FRAMEWORK J. Charles King, Professor of Philosophy, Pomona College, 1984. THE PHILOSOPHIC THOUGHT OF AYN RAND, Douglas Den Uyl and Douglas Rasmussen, eds., p.110. Once one sees it is the possibility of desiring that is crucial for a being to be able to value, then one sees that, while life may be one among other values a being holds, it need have no privileged place. Of course, to most of us life is very high on our ordering of preferences and is, indeed, among the various things we want for their own sakes. But history records many individuals who, even if they could have continued to live what might be called a rational existence in Rand's terms, would nevertheless have preferred to sacrifice their own life to bring about some greater value. The point of this is simply that value finds its beginning in desire, not merely in the process of life that in our experience gives rise to desire. Desire enables one to value even things that transcend, in one way or another, one's own span of life. ACTIONS SHOULD BE MORALLY JUSTIFIED 1. PUBLIC POLICIES THAT VIOLATE MORALITY DO MORE HARM TO SOCIETY THAN GOOD Tibor R. Machan, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Auburn University, 2003. - 37 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing THE PASSION FOR LIBERTY, p. 96. All in all, then, I support the principled or rights-based approach. In normal contexts, honesty is the best policy, even if at times it does not achieve the desired good results; so is respect for every individual's rights to life, liberty, and property. All in all, this is what will ensure the best consequences—in the long run and as a rule. Therefore, one need not be very concerned about the most recent estimate of the consequences of banning or not banning guns, breaking up or not breaking up Microsoft, or any other public policy, for that matter. It is enough to know that violating the rights of individuals to bear arms is a bad idea, and that history and analysis support our understanding of principle. To violate rights has always produced greater damage than good, so let's not do it, even when we are terribly tempted to do so, Let's not do it precisely because to do so would violate the fundamental requirements of human nature. 2. DEONTOLOGICAL IMPERATIVES ARE STILL JUSTIFIED EVEN IF THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS Deontology is still justified even if violations of its rules are inevitable – not a reason it is bad. Tushnet, prof. of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University, 2003 (Mark, Wisconsin Law Review, Wis. L. Rev. 273, p. 282) Categorical approaches are designed to offset this tendency by screening out of consideration the features of the circumstances that are likely to induce misjudgment. And, under some conditions, they may succeed in doing so, when the categorical rules address decision-makers who might not appreciate the importance of considerations thought to be peripheral to their more central tasks. Consider, for example, a categorical rule against torture by police officers. Judges might think that in the abstract they can imagine situations in which torture might be a valuable investigative technique. Judges might think that they must communicate rules effectively to police officers. They might also think that any verbal formulation of the (limited) circumstances in which torture might be acceptable is too likely to be misinterpreted in ways that would lead the officers to engage in torture more often than they should. The judges could then conclude that they should announce a categorical rule against torture despite their awareness that such a rule does not correspond to their own sense of what is acceptable. 3. POLICYMAKING THAT DENIES MORALITY MAKES EXTINCTION MORE LIKELY Henry Shue, Professor of Ethics and Public Life at Princeton University, 1989 NUCLEAR DETERRENCE AND MORAL RESTRAINT, p. 45. How one judges the issue of ends can be affected by how one poses the questions. If one asks "what is worth a billion lives (or the survival of the species)," it is natural to resist contemplating a positive answer. But suppose one asks, "is it possible to imagine any threat to our civilization and values that would justify raising the threat to a billion lives from one in ten thousand to one in a thousand for a specific period?" Then there are several plausible answers, including a democratic way of life and cherished freedoms that give meaning to life beyond mere survival. 4. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO EVALUATE MORAL ACTIONS BASED ON CONSEQUENCES J.J.C. Smart, Prof. of Philosophy at the University of Adelaide, 1973. UTILITARIANISM: FOR AND AGAINST, p. 82. No one can hold that everything, of whatever category, that has value, has it in virtue of its consequences. If that were so, one would just go one for ever, and there would be an obviously hopeless regress. That regress would be hopeless, even if one takes the view, which is not an absurd view, that although mean set themselves ends and work towards them, it is very often not really the supposed end, but the effort towards which they set the value – that they travel, not really in order to arrive (for as soon as they have arrived they set out for somewhere else), but rather they choose somewhere to arrive, in order to travel. Even on that view, not everything would have consequential value; what would have non-consequential value would in fact be traveling, even though people had to think of traveling as having the consequential value, and something else – the destination – the non-consequential value. - 38 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing SACRIFICING INNOCENT LIFE IS NOT JUSTIFIED 1. CONDONING THE KILLING OF INNOCENTS WOULD LEAD TO SOCIAL VIOLENCE Douglas Portmore, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Arizona State University, August 25, 2005. “What’s So Compelling about Act-Consequentialism and So Puzzling about Non-Act-Consequentialism?,” Accessed 8-24-08, <http://peasoup.typepad.com/peasoup/2005/08/whats_so_compel.html>. Furthermore, if society were to openly condone such behavior, how many yahoos would then feel compelled to weed out evildoers to promote what they think is best in the long run? Maybe people in general would lose their moral footing from not knowing how to handle the idea that a virtuous person could morally kill an innocent person, even to save five (in contrast with the idea of a sociopath killing five—we know that kind of thing happens on occasion). Risks like these are real, need to be considered, and might explain—solely in terms of consequences— why AC could say killing one to save five would be wrong, but killing one to save some larger number would be right. 2. SACRIFICING SOME DOESN’T PROMOTE THE OVERALL BALANCE OF UTLITY Geoffrey Scarre, Professor Philosophy at the University of Durham, 1988. UTILITARIANISM, p. 184. Utilitarians, then, can respond to the charge that they fail to draw sufficiently strong protective barriers around individuals by showing that on a suitably refined view of what makes lives go as well, there will rarely be a case for sacrificing the crucial interests of some individuals for the sake of others’ benefit. A utilitarian may favour making a millionare disgorge his surplus wealth in order to help the needy, but that is no more than what most civilized countries do anyway, through their tax systems. (The practice can be justified on the ground that while enough is as good as a feat, less than enough means starvation). Harming people in regard to their essential interests is another matter. Not only does this hardly ever produce a positive balance of utility: it can also subtly damage the seeming beneficiaries, by undermining the basis of their self-respect. How this happens will be explained below. 3. NEUROSCIENCE PROVES THAT HUMANS INHERENTLY REJECT STRICT UTILITARIANISM Lewis Smith, Science Reporter, March 22, 2007. “Science finds why our heart rules our head,” The Times (London), ACC. 8/28/2008, <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article1550784.ece>. Antonia Damasio, of the University of Southern California, said: “This component of the system is one among several that contribute to our wisdom and humanity. “The findings indicate that purely rational accounts of moral judgments do not describe all the possible conditions humans face. Emotions appear to contribute to some of those judgments. “It does appear from our study that humans reject extreme forms of utilitarian calculation. That rejection is tied to the deployment of social emotions. I think this mixed form of moral judgment, combining reason and emotion, manifests wisdom slowly accumulated over evolutionary time.” The classic extreme moral dilemma is when people have to decide whether to kill one innocent person to save others. Rationally there is only the simple choice between the good of the one and the good of the many but most people waver or refuse to act for the apparent greater good. 4. KILLING AN INNOCENT PERSON IS ALWAYS MORALLY WRONG Charles I. Lugosi, Visiting Professor of Law, Yale Law School, October 1, 2001. “Playing God: Mary Must Die So Jodie May Live Longer,” Issues in Law & Medicine, ACC. 8-24-08, <www.allbusiness.com/legal/3495532-1.html>. In general, natural law is about doing good and rejecting evil. It is foundational to Roman Catholic ethics. In its simplest terms, the direct killing of an innocent person is always wrong, even if it is the only means to save another's life. To directly take the life of Mary, an innocent human person, violates the principles of non-maleficence (do no harm) and justice. To kill one innocent person to save the life of another is always, without exception, morally wrong. This is because every living human being is equal to every other human being in respect of the right to life. No human being may be discriminated against, or compared to another, to assess which individual is more deserving of a longer life. - 39 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IS IMMORAL 1. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IS BARBARIC AND IMMORAL The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), April 9, 2007. “Is the death penalty immoral?,” http://deathpenalty.procon.org/viewanswers.asp?questionID=1038, ACC. 8/29/2008 [ellipses in original]. "It [capital punishment] is immoral in principle, and unfair and discriminatory in practice [...] No one deserves to die. When the government metes out vengeance disguised as justice, it becomes complicit with killers in devaluing human life and human dignity. In civilized society, we reject the principle of literally doing to criminals what they do to their victims: The penalty for rape cannot be rape, or for arson, the burning down of the arsonist's house. We should not, therefore, punish the murderer with death... Capital punishment is a barbaric remnant of uncivilized society." 2. THE DEATH PENALTY IS BARBARIC AN UNJUST. IT SHOULD BE ABOLISHED Yesha Sutaria, University of Chicago, Center on International Peace and Security, Winter 2006. “Execution is Not the Solution,” THE MIDWAY REVIEW, Volume 1, Issue 1, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://midwayreview.uchicago.edu/winter06/sutaria.htm>. The death penalty purportedly enforces justice and makes things right. Of course, killing someone won’t bring back a loved one, so all it really does is satisfy a base need for revenge that is a vestigial remnant of the days of Hammurabi. And even that supposed consolation is only possible if the person executed was actually guilty. Given the absurdly high incidence of serious error in capital cases, this guarantee cannot be ensured. In light of the overwhelming evidence that illustrates in no uncertain terms that the capital punishment system is an abomination that mercilessly tramples the fundamental rights of American citizens, it must be determined that execution is not the solution. 3. THERE IS ALWAYS A RISK OF KILLING AN INNOCENT PERSON WITH THE DEATH PENALTY Yesha Sutaria, University of Chicago, Center on International Peace and Security, Winter 2006. “Execution is Not the Solution,” THE MIDWAY REVIEW, Volume 1, Issue 1, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://midwayreview.uchicago.edu/winter06/sutaria.htm>. So long as the death penalty is maintained, the risk of executing the innocent can never be eliminated. Former Governor of Illinois George Ryan stated, “The system has proved itself to be wildly inaccurate, unjust, unable to separate the innocent men from the guilty and, at times, a very racist system.” If there’s one thing he can be proud to have accomplished during his term in office, it is the January 2000 declaration of a moratorium on executions in Illinois. His decision came as a response to the exoneration of the 13th death row prisoner found to have been wrongfully convicted in the state since 1977. 4. THE MORALITY OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IS MEANINGLESS IN TODAY’S SOCIETY Martha Hill, columnist, July 1, 2008. “Instant Editorial: Death Penalty is immoral,” FORT MYERS NEWS-PRESS, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080701/OPINION/80701044>. I understand that those who commit violent crimes must be separated from society lest they create new victims. And I do not suggest that they should not be punished. But as a person of faith living in a violent culture, I would urge victims' families and friends to seek justice without vengeance, and to seek an end to the cycle of violence by punishing murderers without executing them. Retributive justice in modern society is meaningless, as the death penalty does not serve as a deterrent to criminal activity; therefore, the death penalty has become simply an instrument of vengeance. This is immoral. - 40 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing INNOCENT PEOPLE ARE NOT EXECUTED UNDER THE DEATH PENALTY 1. MULTIPLE REFORMS VIRTUALLY GUARANTEE NO INNOCENT PEOPLE ARE KILLED Dudley Sharp, Death Penalty Resources Director of Justice For All, 1997. “Death Penalty and Sentencing information In the United States,” October 1, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/DP.html>. Great effort has been made in pretrial, trial, appeals, writ and clemency procedures to minimize the chance of an innocent being convicted, sentenced to death or executed. Since 1973, legal protections have been so extraordinary that 37% of all death row cases have been overturned for due process reasons or commuted. Indeed, inmates are six times more likely to get off death row by appeals than by execution. (“Capital Punishment 1995", BJS, 1996). And, in fact, many of those cases were overturned based on post conviction new laws, established by legislative or judicial decisions in other cases. 2. THERE ARE MULTIPLE SAFEGUARDS AGAINST EXECUTING INNOCENTS Chloe Xanthis, R.N, January 30, 2007. “The Death Penalty: The Debate, and Justice System Reform,” ASSOCIATED CONTENT, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/129769/the_death_penalty_the_debate_and_justice.html>. An argument that is widely used is that innocent people can be executed. Although this does happen, statistics on the actual numbers vary. Criminals currently have the right to exercise multiple appeals, causing them to sit many years on death row. There is also the option of a "stay" of execution that can be given by a governor if there is any doubt of the criminals guilt. As a last resort, there is a foundation called the "Innocence Project" that offers to help those who a truly innocent obtain their freedom. 3. DEATH PENALTY OPPONENTS DISTORT STATISTICS ABOUT INNOCENTS Dudley Sharp, Death Penalty Resources Director of Justice For All, 1997. “Death Penalty and Sentencing information In the United States,” October 1, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/DP.html>. Opponents claim that 69 "innocent" death row inmates have been released since 1973. ("Innocence and the Death Penalty", Death Penalty Information Center, July, 1997). Just a casual review, using the DPIC’s own case descriptions, reveals that of 39 cases reviewed (Sec. A, B, & C, pg. 12-21), that the DPIC offers no evidence of innocence in 29, or 78%, of those cases. 4. THE LEGAL SYSTEM HAS BUILT-IN SAFEGUARDS TO PROTECT INNOCENTS AND JUSTICE David Anderson, writer, February 2008. THE DEATH PENALTY: A DEFENCE, Chapter 3: Answers to the argument against the Death Penalty, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://yesdeathpenalty.googlepages.com/home2>. In a legal system that includes the death penalty there is of course always a risk that some innocent will be executed. There is no legal system that is flawless. No judge or any member of a jury has a perfect judgement. They are not divine beings but human beings of flesh and blood that sometimes make flawed analyses, draw weak conclusions and communicate wrong decisions. There is no perfect justice no matter how evolved the legal system is. There is therefore no judicial system where there are no innocent people who are convicted in a court of law. But a modern and democratic judicial system can make it easier to prevent that innocent people are executed.: The burden of proof naturally has to be very high. 5. THE RISK OF INNOCENTS IS NEGLIBLE IN MODERN DEATH PENALTY STATES David Anderson, writer, February 2008. THE DEATH PENALTY: A DEFENCE, Chapter 3: Answers to the argument against the Death Penalty, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://yesdeathpenalty.googlepages.com/home2>. The abolitionists sometimes claim that "many" innocent people will come to be executed and they allude to investigations.(1) Instead we have all reason to believe that the number of innocent people who are executed in modern democratic states is exceedingly few. And the more developed the legal system of a country is the smaller the risk. And today it is possible to approach almost 100% surety of who is guilty by using, for instance, DNA- analysis and other highly developed criminal technology. Every day that passes, the weight of the headline’s argument is reduced also due to this reason. - 41 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing DNA TECHNOLOGY PREVENTS INNOCENTS FROM EXECUTION 1. DNA FINGERPRINTING PREVENTS INNOCENTS FROM RECEIVING CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Andrew Stephen, Editor of the New Statesman, November 26, 2007. “A Stay of Execution? Is America Getting over Its Love Affair with the Death Penalty?,” NEW STATESMAN, Vol. 136, No. 4872, p. 35. DNA fingerprinting is also increasingly helping to exonerate people wrongly convicted of murder. This year a 50- year-old man who spent nearly half his life in prison after being convicted in Texas of raping a boy in 1982, was freed when genetic evidence irrefutably showed him to be innocent. Illinois, too, has freed more provably innocent people awaiting execution than it has actually put to death; as a result, it is one of three states shocked into, in effect, imposing an unofficial moratorium on capital punishment. 2. DNA METHODS VIRTUALLY ELIMINATE THE DEATH OF INNOCENTS IN CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Thomas R. Eddlem, staff writer, June 3, 2002. “Ten Anti-Death Penalty Fallacies,” THE NEW AMERICAN, Vol. 18, No. 11, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2002/06-03-2002/vo18no11_fallacies.htm>. While most of those released from death row have been released for political purposes or for technical reasons unrelated to guilt, it is true that a small number have been released because DNA evidence has proven innocence. But even though ABC may not agree, its news story reinforces why the release of those on death row argues for, not against, the death penalty: "Widespread use of DNA testing and established standards for defense lawyers will virtually eliminate the argument that the death penalty cannot be fairly applied." If DNA evidence can really prove innocence, it can prove guilt as well, and society can be all the more certain that criminals sentenced to death will be guilty. The system as a whole is already working well. 3. DNA TESTING ARE EXPOSING THE FLAWED JUSTICE SYSTEM Alberto Cremonesi, staff writer, September 21, 2006. “DNA Tests Prove Justice Has Failed,” INTER PRESS SERVICE, ACC. 8/31/2008, <http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0921-08.htm>. There are other stories of executions conducted too fast, trials completed too quickly and mistakes too easily made. And yet, the state-sanctioned killings continue. Now, DNA testing is helping to prove that innocent people continue to be killed or placed on death row. It proves that the U.S. judicial system is flawed; it sends innocent people to jail and, worse, puts them to death. 4. USE OF THE DEATH PENALTY IS DECREASING DUE TO DNA ADVANCES Neil A. Lewis, Staff Writer fir the New York Times, December 14, 2006. “Death Penalty Decline Attributed to DNA and Mitigation Specialists,” Culture Kitchen, ACC. 8/31/2008, <http://culturekitchen.com/shreya_mandal/forum/death_penalty_decline_attributed_to_dna_>. Defense lawyers, prosecutors, and groups that study the application of the death penalty all say there are several reasons for the trend. Among them are increased publicity about cases other than murder in which DNA testing resulted in freeing people who had wrongly been convicted of crimes, producing skepticism about the reliability of verdicts; recent Supreme Court decisions requiring that juries be told when life in prison without possibility of parole is an option, and improved legal representation for capital defendants, including a sharp increase in using specialists to develop arguments for mitigation. 5. DNA IS AN EFFECTIVE TOOL TO EXONERATE THE INNOCENT Alberto Cremonesi, staff writer, September 21, 2006. “DNA Tests Prove Justice Has Failed,” INTER PRESS SERVICE, ACC. 8/31/2008, <http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0921-08.htm>. Moreover, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has documented 123 death-row inmates who, since 1973, have been exonerated and freed before their executions. Officially, courts do not consider claims of innocence after a person has been executed. In the past, people attempting to prove innocence had to do so by re-examining the evidence and re-interviewing witnesses and investigators, with no finality granted them. In the last 20 years, however, they have had a new tool: DNA testing. - 42 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing THE PUBLIC OPPOSES THE DEATH PENALTY 1. THERE IS INCREASING PUBLIC OPPOSITION TO CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Andrew Stephen, Editor of the New Statesman, November 26, 2007. “A Stay of Execution? Is America Getting over Its Love Affair with the Death Penalty?,” NEW STATESMAN, Vol. 136, No. 4872, p. 35. Gallup says that around 65 per cent of Americans still favour the death penalty, and only one of the 2008 presidential frontrunners has the courage to oppose it. But now a slim majority of the population say they would prefer life sentences without parole if that was an alternative to death. The nation is also slowly waking up to the costs of maintaining the legal machinery of death, especially when people realise that only 0.3 per cent of murders results in an execution; a study found that New Jersey alone, which has not executed anybody since 1963, has spent $256m in such costs since 1983. Indeed, that very statistic has concentrated New Jersey minds so much that it will soon become the 14th state to abolish capital punishment. 2. THE PUBLIC IS GRADUALLY BECOMING ANTI-DEATH PENALTY Steven W. Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, 2002. "Do We Need the Death Penalty? No, It is Immoral and Ineffective," THE WORLD & I, September, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.worldandi.com/public/2002/september/cipropub.html>. Arguments against the death penalty are easy to make, but is anyone listening? The bad news is that most Americans continue to support capital punishment in theory. The good news is when you start to probe, there is a growing sense of unease and ambivalence. For example, 80 percent of voters want to abolish or significantly reform the death penalty system. Sixty-nine percent of voters are more worried about executing an innocent person than executing the guilty. And 64 percent of voters--including 50 percent of Republican voters--want to suspend executions until issues of fairness can be resolved. The fact is that people are beginning to respond to concerns about the system. Across the United States, a healthy and vibrant moratorium movement is gathering steam. Elected bodies in 73 municipalities have passed resolutions in favor of a moratorium. 3. AMERICANS ARE EVENLY SPLIT ON THE DEATH PENALTY, BUT EDGING TOWARD ABOLITION Alberto Cremonesi, staff writer, September 21, 2006. “DNA Tests Prove Justice Has Failed,” INTER PRESS SERVICE, ACC. 8/31/2008, <http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0921-08.htm>. A Gallup poll earlier this year showed that for the first time, Americans were almost evenly split when asked to choose which is a better penalty for murder, a death sentence or a life sentence without possibility of parole. Until recently, the public had overwhelmingly responded in favor of the death penalty. Mr. Dieter said the effect of the exposure of cases in which DNA established a person’s innocence after conviction was hard to measure but probably significant. 4. NEW ADVANCES ARE TURNING PUBLIC OPINION AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY FIRST SCIENCE NEWS, May 15, 2008. “'Innocence' argument dramatically changed death penalty public support, policy,” ACC. 8/31/2008, <http://www.firstscience.com/home/news/science-policy/innocence-argument-dramatically-changed-death-penalty- public-support-policy_48053.html>. "Since 1996, death sentences in American have declined more than 60 percent, reversing a generation-long trend toward greater acceptance of capital punishment," said co-author Frank Baumgartner, the Miller-LaVigne Professor of Political Science. "In theory, most Americans continue to support the death penalty for the truly guilty, but the discovery of innocence has been documented through innocence projects conducted by law schools and journalism programs and the resulting media coverage. Also, the use of DNA evidence in clearing some of the convicted and heard in popular TV shows and movies has helped the public understand the new vocabulary." - 43 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing THE DEATH PENALTY DOES NOT DETER CRIME 1. PROOF OF DETERRENCE ALONE DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE DEATH PENALTY Thomas R. Eddlem, staff writer, June 3, 2002. “Ten Anti-Death Penalty Fallacies,” THE NEW AMERICAN, Vol. 18, No. 11, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2002/06-03-2002/vo18no11_fallacies.htm>. Death penalty opponents love to assume that the principal purpose for capital punishment is deterrence, possibly realizing it is a perfect straw argument. Tangible proof of deterrence alone is not a valid reason for capital punishment (or any other form of punishment, for that matter), nor is it the main rationale employed by astute death penalty advocates. 2. DATA IS INCONCLUSIVE ON THE EFFECT OF THE DEATH PENALTY AND CRIME DETERRENCE John Holdridge, Director of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project, and Cassandra Stubbs, staff attorney with the ACLU Capital Punishment Project, January 8, 2008. “Debunking the Death Penalty Deterrence Myth,” THE HUFFINGTON POST, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/01/08/6250/>. Numerous other studies by distinguished social scientists have reached essentially the same conclusion -- that, like an election poll that samples too few voters, the limited available data render any conclusions meaningless. For example, Jeffrey Fagan of Columbia University, along with other experts, examined the data and found that each execution may save 10 lives -- plus or minus 14 lives. In other words, executions may result in deterrence, no deterrence or more homicides -- not exactly a confidence-inspiring result. 3. THERE IS NO RELIABLE DATA TO SUGGEST ANY EFFECT OF THE DEATH PENALTY ON CRIME John Holdridge, Director of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project, and Cassandra Stubbs, staff attorney with the ACLU Capital Punishment Project, January 8, 2008. “Debunking the Death Penalty Deterrence Myth,” THE HUFFINGTON POST, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/01/08/6250/>. In one of many examples in their analysis, Donohue and Wolfers looked at a deterrence study that had attempted to account for a number of factors that might have influenced execution and homicide rates, including the effect of "partisan influence." This study had concluded that each execution decreases homicides by 18. When Donohue and Wolfers used a slightly different method to account for partisan influence, they found that each execution increases homicides by 18; when they dropped the factor altogether, they found that each execution adds over 50 homicides. Like the old deterrence studies, the new deterrence studies have been thoroughly debunked -- there is no legitimate or reliable statistical evidence of deterrence. Capital punishment -- the deliberate killing of defenseless human beings -- cannot be statistically, morally or legally defended on the basis that it deters homicides. 4. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT DOES NOT PROVIDE A CREDIBLE DETERRENT Yesha Sutaria, University of Chicago, Center on International Peace and Security, Winter 2006. “Execution is Not the Solution,” THE MIDWAY REVIEW, Volume 1, Issue 1, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://midwayreview.uchicago.edu/winter06/sutaria.htm>. The fact of the matter is that most people who commit murders do not expect to be caught. As such, they fail to consider the death penalty as one of the possible consequences of their actions. Murders are often committed in moments of passion or by substance abusers. As the former Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox remarked, “It is my own experience that those executed in Texas were not deterred by the existence of the death penalty law. I think in most cases you’ll find that the murder was committed under severe drug and alcohol abuse.” This opinion, coming from an official from a state with the most executions, clearly illustrates that capital punishment does not result in viable deterrence. - 44 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing THE DEATH PENALTY DOES NOT DETER CRIME 1. THE DEATH PENALTY IS INEFFECTIVE IN DETERRING HOMOCIDE DALLAS MORNING NEWS, December 2, 2007. “The Myth of Deterrence: Death penalty does not reduce homicide rate; Death No More,” ACC. 8/31/2008, <http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/editorials/stories/DN-deterrence_ 1202edi.ART.State.Edition1.36bbe2f.html>. In theory, the death penalty saves lives by staying the hand of would-be killers. The idea is simple cost-benefit analysis: If a man tempted by homicide knew that he would face death if caught, he would reconsider. But that's not the real world. The South executes far more convicted murderers than any other region yet has a homicide rate far above the national average. Texas' murder rate is slightly above average, despite the state's peerless deployment of the death penalty. If capital punishment were an effective deterrent to homicide, shouldn't we expect the opposite result? What's going on here? 2. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT DOES NOTHING TO DETER CRIME Yesha Sutaria, University of Chicago, Center on International Peace and Security, Winter 2006. “Execution is Not the Solution,” THE MIDWAY REVIEW, Volume 1, Issue 1, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://midwayreview.uchicago.edu/winter06/sutaria.htm>. Perhaps the biggest misconception about the death penalty is that it serves as a deterrent. The notion that the possibility of being executed will stop someone from committing a crime is categorically false and is rejected by empirical evidence. A survey conducted by the New York Times in 2000 found that during the last 20 years, the homicide rate in states with the death penalty has been 48 to 101 percent higher than in states without the death penalty. FBI Uniform Crime Rates Data from 2003 shows that 10 of the 12 states without capital punishment have homicide rates below the national average. 3. STUDIES SUPPORTING DEATH PENALTY DETERRENCE ARE FLAWED DALLAS MORNING NEWS, December 2, 2007. “The Myth of Deterrence: Death penalty does not reduce homicide rate; Death No More,” ACC. 8/31/2008, <http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/editorials/stories/DN-deterrence_ 1202edi.ART.State.Edition1.36bbe2f.html>. Some recent studies purport to show that executions actually deter murders. These studies have been analyzed by others and found to be fatally flawed – "fraught with numerous technical and conceptual errors," as Columbia Law professor and statistics expert Jeffrey Fagan testified to Congress. One Pepperdine study touted last month on the Wall Street Journal op-ed pages found that a national decline in the murder rate correlated with executions. But that study links two broad sets of numbers and leaps to a simple conclusion. 4. MURDER RATES DECLINE FASTER WHEN WE REDUCE THE DEATH PENALTY DALLAS MORNING NEWS, December 2, 2007. “The Myth of Deterrence: Death penalty does not reduce homicide rate; Death No More,” ACC. 8/31/2008, <http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/editorials/stories/DN-deterrence_ 1202edi.ART.State.Edition1.36bbe2f.html>. The devil really is in the lack of details. The national murder rate has been declining for a decade and a half – in states with and without the death penalty. But the drop has been faster in states that reject capital punishment. At best, evidence for a deterrent effect is inconclusive, and shouldn't officials be able to prove that the taking of one life will undoubtedly save others? They simply have not met that burden of proof, and it's difficult to see how they could. The only murders the death penalty unarguably deters are those that might have been committed by the executed. But we shouldn't punish inmates for what they might do. Besides, society has an effective and bloodless means of protecting itself from those who have proved themselves willing to murder. It's called life without benefit of parole. In a previous editorial, we called this "death by prison." - 45 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing THE DEATH PENALTY IS RACIST 1. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IS INEXTRICABLY LINKED TO THE LEGACY OF RACISM AND SLAVERY Bryan Stevenson, JD, Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and Founder-Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, 2004. “Is the death penalty immoral?,” http://deathpenalty.procon.org/viewanswers.asp?questionID=1038, ACC. 8/29/2008. The legacy of racial apartheid, racial bias, and ethnic discrimination is unavoidably evident in the administration of capital punishment in America. Death sentences are imposed in a criminal justice system that treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent. Embracing a certain quotient of racial bias and discrimination against the poor is an inexorable aspect of supporting capital punishment. This is an immoral condition that makes rejecting the death penalty on moral grounds not only defensible but necessary for those who refuse to accept unequal or unjust administration of punishment. 2. STATISTICS DO NOT LIE! THE DEATH PENALTY IS RACIST Steven W. Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, 2002. "Do We Need the Death Penalty? No, It is Immoral and Ineffective," THE WORLD & I, September, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.worldandi.com/public/2002/september/cipropub.html>. Doubt that the death penalty is racist? Consider this: 55 percent of the inmates who make up America's death row population are people of color (43 percent of death row inmates are black). Two of every three juvenile offenders on death row are people of color, as are a majority of retarded inmates. Furthermore, the race of the victim plays a role in who ends up on death row. Nationwide, just half of murder victims are white, yet four out of every five people executed in the United States have died for killing white people. 3. THE DEATH PENALTY IS RACIST AND DISCRIMINATES AGAINST THE POOR Steven W. Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, 2002. "Do We Need the Death Penalty? No, It is Immoral and Ineffective," THE WORLD & I, September, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://www.worldandi.com/public/2002/september/cipropub.html>. Americans who support the death penalty think it should be reserved for the worst of the worst. The reality of capital punishment, however, shows that it is reserved for racial minorities, people who are retarded or mentally ill, and those who cannot afford to hire a good attorney. It is also all too often reserved for people who are factually innocent of the crime for which they were convicted and sentenced to be executed. 4. THE RATIO OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CITIZEN AND DEATH ROW INMATES PROVES RACISM Yesha Sutaria, University of Chicago, Center on International Peace and Security, Winter 2006. “Execution is Not the Solution,” THE MIDWAY REVIEW, Volume 1, Issue 1, ACC. 8/29/2008, <http://midwayreview.uchicago.edu/winter06/sutaria.htm>. One of the most unfortunate characteristics of the capital punishment system in America is that it is blatantly racist in nature. As Supreme Court Justice Blackmun wrote in his 1994 dissent in Callins v. Collins, “Even under the most sophisticated death penalty statutes, race continues to play a major role in determining who shall live and who shall die.” A 2003 report released by Amnesty International corroborates his assertion. It finds that African Americans disproportionately populate death row, “While [African-Americans] make up 12 percent of the national population, they account for more than 40 percent of the country’s current death row inmates, and one in three of those executed since 1977.” - 46 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing THE DEATH PENALTY IS RACIST 1. THE DEATH PENALTY QUATES BLACKNESS WITH GUILT Christina Swarns, assistant counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund Inc., July 1, 2004 “The uneven scales of capital justice: how race and class affect who ends up on death row,” THE AMERICAN PROSPECT, Vol. 15 No. 7, p. A14. Both race and poverty corrupt the administration of the death penalty. Race severely disadvantages the black jurors, black defendants, and black victims within the capital-punishment system. Black defendants are more likely to be executed than white defendants. Those who commit crimes against black victims are punished less severely than those who commit crimes against white victims. And black potential jurors are often denied the opportunity to serve on death-penalty juries. As far as the death penalty is concerned, therefore, blackness is a proxy for worthlessness 2. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DIVORCE THE DEATH PENALTY FROM A HISTORY OF RACISM Chris Tisch, Staff Writer, July 7, 2008. “For Death Penalty Foe, 5 Good Reasons,” ST. PETERSBERG TIMES, p. 3B. It diverts millions of dollars from helping victims' families and law enforcement. It costs Florida $50-million a year to have the death penalty on the books. It is racist. In the entire history of our state, there has never been a white person executed for the killing of an African-American. That actually goes back to 1786. No government on earth should decide who lives and who dies. According to Amnesty International, China, Iran, Pakistan, the Sudan, Iraq and the United States account for almost all the world's executions. 3. THE DEATH PENALTY IS NOT NEUTRAL, BUT JUST AS RACIST AS IT WAS IN THE 1970s Christina Swarns, assistant counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund Inc., July 1, 2004 “The uneven scales of capital justice: how race and class affect who ends up on death row,” THE AMERICAN PROSPECT, Vol. 15 No. 7, p. A14. Because race and class continue to play a powerful role in the administration of the death penalty, it is clear that the current system is as broken today as it was in 1972. As the Supreme Court explained at the time, "A law that stated that anyone making more than $ 50,000 would be exempt from the death penalty would plainly fall, as would a law that in terms said that blacks, those who never went beyond the fifth grade in school, those who made less than $ 3,000 a year, or those who were unpopular or unstable should be the only people executed. A law which in the overall view reaches that result in practice has no more sanctity than a law which in terms provides the same." Because the current death-penalty law, while neutral on its face, is applied in such a manner that people of color and the poor are disproportionately condemned to die, the law is legally and morally invalid. 4. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT EMBODIES THE RACIST FOUNDATION OF THE JUSTICE SYSTEM Reginald T. Dogan, Staff Writer, October 30, 2007. “Capital punishment is morally wrong and can never be justified,” PENSACOLA NEWS JOURNAL, p. C1. Capital punishment is too flawed, ineffective and cruel to be continued in America. Most of the time, whether someone ends up on death row is correlated directly with how much money he had to afford a competent attorney. Too often, it's because of the color of a person's skin. The death penalty is inextricably bound up with our racist and class-biased justice system and for that reason alone can never be just. - 47 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing THE DEATH PENALTY IS TOO COSTLY 1. IT WOULD BE CHEAOER TO NOT HAVE THE DEATH PENALTY James A. Kimball, Staff Writer, August 31, 2008. “Death penalty opponents push for repeal,” THE EAGLE TRIBUNE, ACC. 8/31/2008, <www.eagletribune.com/punewsnh/local_story_244023934.html>. Welch said he is in favor of the state keeping the option for capital punishment, especially for those who kill police officers. "On one hand, if you're dealing with cost, it's cheaper not to have it, only because of the automatic appeals that would be underway," said Welch, a member of the House's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. "If the sentence is life in prison without parole, it is a set cost. But that's a poor way to make a decision. It's a limited death penalty, and for people we pay to take a bullet for us, I think they deserve having it." 2. FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS JUSTIFY ABANDONING THE DEATH PENALTY Joseph D. Tydings, Staff Writer, August 22, 2008. “No Fatal Mistakes,” THE BALTIMORE SUN, pg. 21A. I am very skeptical that these flaws can be fairly repaired in today's fiscal climate, where Maryland's state budget is as crunched as any state. A study this year released by the Abell Foundation revealed that the present death penalty system in Maryland has cost the state nearly $200 million over the last 30 years because of "extra" costs of incarceration and prosecution. 3. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IS EXPENSIVE FOR TAXPAYERS David Usborne, Staff Writer, August 7, 2008. “Why is the United States still imposing the death penalty?; The big question,” THE INDEPENDENT (London), p. 36. Yes, fuelled in part by a growing acknowledgement that the risk of sending an innocent person to the death chamber cannot be ignored. This, in turn, has been spurred by rapid improvements in forensic technologies and the use of DNA to prove guilt and innocence. While death row inmates were exonerated at a rate of 3.1 a year until 1999, the rate has since leaped to about five a year today. Opponents of the death penalty have also underscored the heavy cost to the taxpayer of every capital case. But it's going too far to suggest that there has been a real change of heart. 4. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN CALIFORNIA ALONE COSTS $90 MILLION A YEAR George Sjostrom, Staff Writer, January 22, 2005. “It’s Time to Reconsider the Death Penalty,” VENTURA COUNTY STAR, p. 11. Death trials traditionally require a more complicated jury selection process, longer trials, more expert testimony, more motions filed for change of venue and mistrial, and the automatic provision for mandatory appeal. According to the Sacramento Bee, “The death penalty costs California $90 million annually beyond the ordinary costs of the justice system, $78 million of that incurred at the trial level.” 5. HIGH LEGAL FEES MAKE THE DEATH PENALTY TOO EXPENSIVE George Sjostrom, Staff Writer, January 22, 2005. “It’s Time to Reconsider the Death Penalty,” VENTURA COUNTY STAR, p. 11. And then there are the taxpayers, those who have discovered that death penalty trials are incredibly expansive, and incredibly ineffective. A study of Los Angeles County trials has shown that the average trial in which prosecutors demand the death penalty costs $1,898,323, while a murder trial where the death penalty is not sought comes in at $627,322. Most of the difference is accounted for legal fees. - 48 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing THE DEATH PENALTY UNDERMINES THE WAR ON TERROR 1. OPPOSITION TO THE DEATH PENALTY UNDERMINES WAR ON TERRORISM COOPERATION American Civil Liberties Union, December 2004. “How the Death Penalty Weakens U.S. International Interests,” ACC. 8/31/2008, <http://www.aclu.org/FilesPDFs/idp_report.pdf>. International opposition to the death penalty also may be hindering U.S. efforts against international terrorism. As former CIA official Michael Bearden argued in the Wall Street Journal, seeking the death penalty for terrorists could ultimately work against the process of international teamwork that has led to several successful convictions in this area. Countries such as Pakistan, Kenya, and South Africa have delivered accused terrorists to U.S. courts without formal extradition processes. Bearden believes that seeking the death penalty in such cases could complicate or limit such cooperation in the future. 2. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IMPEDES COOPERATION WITH THE U.S. ON TERRORISM American Civil Liberties Union, December 2004. “How the Death Penalty Weakens U.S. International Interests,” ACC. 8/31/2008, <http://www.aclu.org/FilesPDFs/idp_report.pdf>. The United States actually executes very few prisoners. In 2003, the total number was 64 and as of November 2004, there have been 57. Given that alternative punishments are available, including life imprisonment, and that many of those executed are juvenile offenders, mentally deficient, have received inadequate legal representation or may be innocent, many would argue that there can be no benefit from such a random practice. Whatever benefit might be claimed certainly does not outweigh the damage done to the United States’ international interests. The United States constantly is criticized in international forums as a human rights violator. The world press depicts America as obsessed with a violent and outdated practice that is racially biased, tantamount to torture, and fraught with error. The United States’ moral leadership, and therefore its ability to influence other nations on human rights and other issues, is eroded. 3. EXPANDING THE DEATH PENALTY TO TERRORISM DID NOT MAKE AMERICA SAFER Timothy Edgar, Legislative Council, April 21, 2004. Testimony Before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, “Terrorist Penalties Enhancement Act,” Federal Document Clearing House Congressional Testimony, p. np. Such a drastic expansion of the death penalty will not make America safer from terrorism. Rather, it will undermine international cooperation against terrorism by further complicating efforts to obtain the cooperation of governments that have abolished the death penalty. Adding even more death penalties will not deter suicidal, religiously motivated terrorists who have not been deterred by the twenty federal death penalties for crimes of terrorism already on the books (not to mention other federal and state death penalties that may be available) and may instead simply attract new followers to the cause. The death penalty is in need of reform, not expansion. 4. FOREIGN DISAPPROVAL OF THE DEATH PENALTY REDUCES EUROPEAN COOPERATION American Civil Liberties Union, December 2004. “How the Death Penalty Weakens U.S. International Interests,” ACC. 8/31/2008, <http://www.aclu.org/FilesPDFs/idp_report.pdf>. While the death penalty is receiving increased attention in the United States, media coverage in Europe of U.S. executions typically is both more extensive and more critical than domestic coverage. Executions that go relatively unnoticed in the United States often make headlines in Europe, drawing criticism from conservative and liberal publications alike. U.S. executions evoke much passion in Europe, and often spark protests in front of our embassies, as well as petitions calling for an end to executions. - 49 – www.wcdebate.com 2008 September-October NFL LD West Coast Publishing TELEVISING EXECUTIONS IS NOT JUSTIFIED 1. TELEVISING EXECUTIONS WOULD TRIVIALIZE THEM AND NUMB THE PUBLIC TO DEATH Earnest van Den Haag, John M. Oliver Professor of Jurisprudence and Public Policy at Fordham University, 2005. “The Ultimate Punishment: A Defense of Capital Punishment,” CONTEMPORARY MORAL PROBLEMS, 8 th Edition, p. 236. Some abolitionists challenge: If the death penalty is just and severs as a deterrent, why not televise executions? The answer is simple. The death, even of a murderer, however well-deserved, should not serve as public entertainment. It so served in earlier centuries. But in this respect our sensibility has changed for the better, I believe. Further, television unavoidably would trivialize executions, wedged in, as they would be, between game shows, situation comedies, and the like. Finally, because televised executions would focus on the physical aspects of the punishment, rather than the nature of the crime and the suffering of the victim, a televised execution would present the executed as the victim of the state. Far from communicating the moral significance of the execution, television would shift that focus to the pitiable fear of the murderer. We no longer place in cases those sentenced to imprisonment to expose them to public view. Why should we so expose those sentenced to execution? 2. BOTH SIDES OF THE DEATH PENALTY DEBATE REJECT TELEVISING EXECUTIONS Austin Sarat, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst College, April 05, 2001. “To See or Not To See?: Why Timothy Mcveigh's Execution Should Be Televised,” Find Law, Accessed 8-25-08, <http://writ.news.findlaw.com/commentary/20010405_sarat.html>. While the prospect of televising executions is discomfiting for both supporters and opponents of capital punishment, the time has come to reconsider whether they should be broadcast. Strikingly, arguments against televising the death penalty have been put forward by those on both sides of the question of whether we should have such a penalty at all. Supporters of the death penalty oppose televising executions because they fear that doing so will arouse sympathy for the condemned person, while allowing viewers to ignore the suffering he or she caused. 3. TELEVISING EXECUTIONS TURNS DEATH INTO AN ENTERTAINMENT VENUE Robert R. Bryan, 1998. “Why KQED Should Lose,” THE DEATH PENALTY IN AMERICA: CURRENT CONTROVERSIES, Ed by Hugo Adam Bedau, p. 385. For many, my illusion is their reality. Now, rather than just a select few watching the ritual of death, there is a move to broadcast that final agonizing moment into virtually every home in the country through the medium of television. If the proponents of televising executions are successful, we will be able to watch in the comfort of our living rooms while government officials ceremoniously engage in the barbaric practice of killing fellow human beings. 4. TELEVISING EXECUTIONS FEEDS AMERICA’S THIRST FOR VIOLENCE AND CHEAP THRILLS Robert R. Bryan, 1998. “Why KQED Should Lose,” THE DEATH PENALTY IN AMERICA: CURRENT CONTROVERSIES, Ed by Hugo Adam Bedau, p. 385. In defending those facing the death penalty, I have frequent contact with death row prisoners across the country. As the debate on televising executions became a hot topic, clients began to express their feelings about becoming a source of public entertainment. Many were strongly against such a notion, while others felt it might help the struggle to end capital punishment. One appeared to be preoccupied with the thought of gaining a few minutes of notoriety. Their comments caused me to reevaluate the issue in a much more personal context I still appreciate the more global arguments for televising executions, but now feel they are wrong: I do not want those whom I represent to be the subject of America's seemingly unquenchable appetite for violent and tasteless amusement. - 50 – www.wcdebate.com
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