A little moral calculus for the current LD resolution, which concerns the justice of the death penalty.
1. Assume that, at some point, the state has erred and condemned an innocent to die.
2. Assume that this has occurred in 1% of cases. (Given the work of The Innocence Project, which, using DNA technology, has exonerated 15 death row inmates in 15 years, and given an average of 50 executions per year in the United States since 1976, this assumption has a high degree of plausibility--and may even be too conservative.)
3. Is a 1% error rate acceptable?
4. Regardless, what is the maximum or minimum error rate for the death penalty to be considered just or unjust?
5. Is an extremist anti-death-penalty stance morally defensible? In other words, does the potential execution of even one innocent render the death penalty unjust?