I would like to start by saying that I consider it to be a tragedy that this assignment is necessary. I can not believe that so many people in our class do not know the liberal and conservative views on some of the most basic topics. I by no means think that everyone should believe all of the things that I do, but at the very least they do need to know what both parties have to offer. They have obviously been voting solely on party lines and chose their side based on what their parents, people in their community, etc told them. They have in no way made any kind of informed decisions over the last 20 years of voting. I do however commend you for trying to get people to care more about these very basic but important topics, even if you didn't give the best representation of the liberal side.
Conservatives believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense. They consider the role of government to be providing people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals. Conservative policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems. Liberals believe in governmental action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all, and that it is the duty of the State to alleviate social ills and to protect civil liberties and individual and human rights. They consider the government should be to guarantee that no one is in need. That people are basically good. Liberal policies generally emphasize the need for the government to help solve people's problems.
On the issue of the Death Penalty the conservative view is basically that the death penalty is a punishment that fits the crime. It is not looked at as either cruel' or unusual'. Executing a murderer is the appropriate punishment for taking an innocent life. They believe in eye for an eye. If a person commits murder then they of course deserve to be killed. They do not believe that life imprisonment is justice enough for a "cold-blooded killer". They wrongly believe the death penalty to be more cost effective as well.
The liberal view on the subject is that the death penalty should be abolished. They believe that no one has the right to kill a person including the government. In fact, I personally believe that the government should set an example and stop the murder. Violence is too prevalent in our world and the United States should stop promoting it the way they continue to do. Over the years it has also been found that many of the people on death row were incorrectly charged and tried. They were found free of quilt after many years of their imprisonment but luckily were found out before they were murdered.
The death penalty also does not deter crime. Some studies have been done to evaluate homicide rates in states with and without capital punishment. Researchers found that murder rates in neighboring states with and without the death penalty were not significantly different. Studies were also done to compare the homicide rates for states before or after the reintroduction or abolition of capital punishment They also found that homicide rates in states did not increase after the abolishment of the death penalty or decrease after the reinstatement of the sanction. The existence of capital punishment in law and practice of it has no perceptible effect as a deterrent to murder.
As I said conservatives are wrong in believing the death penalty to be more cost effective. A 2003 legislative audit in Kansas found that the estimated cost of a death penalty case was 70% more than the cost of a comparable non-death penalty case. In Tennessee, death penalty trials cost an average of 48% more than the average cost of trials in which prosecutors seek life imprisonment. It is like this everywhere because Trials in which the prosecutor is seeking a death sentence have two distinct and separate phases: conviction and sentencing. Special...