The Instigator
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The Contender
Pro (for)
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Capital Punishment Should Be Allowed

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/30/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,026 times Debate No: 61067
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)




First debate, very excited!
OK here I go:

Everyone has the right to live, no ones life should be ended because someone decided that they should. The saying two wrongs don't make a right goes a very long way when it comes to topics like this. Human life is so valuable, that even murderers shouldn't be deprived of their life, even if they have killed someone.
The death penalty is something that you can't take back, it is irreversible! Imagine killing someone and later on finding out that they are innocent. Texas man Cameron Todd Willingham, for example, was found innocent after his 2004 execution. Lastly, using the death penalty doesn't deter criminals, evidence says it does the complete opposite! Twenty seven years after abolishing the death penalty, Canada saw a 44 per cent drop in murders across the country. And it wasn't alone.


I accept this debate, and wish my opponent good luck on their first debate.

1. Deference

"Capital punishment is likely to deter more than other punishments because people fear death more than anything else" [1]. "And surely the death penalty is the only penalty that could deter prisoners already serving a life sentence and tempted to kill a guard, or offenders about to be arrested and facing a life sentence" [1]. "Perhaps they will not be deterred. But they would certainly not be deterred by anything else" [1]. Concluding, capital punishment deters crime.

2. Retribution

"We threaten punishments in order to deter crime. We impose them not only to make the threats credible but also as retribution (justice) for the crimes that were not deterred" [2]. The punishment should fit the crime and destroying one life the only justice would be to take the life of the criminal. Concluding, capital punishment serves proper justice.

Debate Round No. 1


If someone commits a murder, then yes, they do deserve to be punished. But think of it this way, death it the easy way out. Would you rather have a life sentence in prison, or die? What about the family of the victim? Many people assume that families of murder victims want the death penalty to be imposed, but it isn't necessarily so. Some are against it on moral ground.
Then there is the worst thing about the death penalty: Errors
The system can make tragic mistakes. There have been many unfortunate people that have been killed, and later on been proved innocent. We'll never know for sure how many people have been executed for crimes they didn't commit.


1. Worse sentence
"Few convicted murderers sentenced to life in prison declare years later that they wish they had been sentenced instead to death and executed. Few if any death row prisoners refuse clemency if it is offered to them." [1]. They fear death more than life in prision.

2. Mistakes
"there is no credible evidence to show that any innocent persons have been executed at least since the death penalty was reactivated in 1976" [2]. There are some doubt in cases like in Willingham's case, but he was not aquitted.

The death penalty deters criminals meaning it saves lives. When we fail to execute a murderer we are effectively valuing the murder's life higher than that of the person who might spare though the deterrent effect of their execution. If even one innocent person is saved through the deterrent effect of executing a murder, who has given up their right to life when they take a life, the execution of that murderer is justified.

Debate Round No. 2


There is a better way to help the families of murder victims.
Families of murder victims undergo severe trauma and loss which no one should minimize. However, executions do not help these people heal nor do they end their pain; the extended process prior to executions prolongs the agony of the family. Families of murder victims would benefit far more if the funds now being used for the costly process of executions were diverted to counseling and other assistance.
Capital Punishment also goes against almost every religion. Although isolated passages of the Bible have been quoted in support of the death penalty, almost all religious groups in the United States regard executions as immoral.
Mentally ill people have also been executed. Many mentally ill defendants are unable to participate in their trials in any meaningful way and appear unengaged, cold, and unfeeling before the jury. Some have been forcibly medicated in order to make them competent to be executed.


It is important to note they the state does not execute people for the benefit of the family. However, I don't see how the extended process prior to the executions are agonizing since they are serving the rest of their life in prison until execution, and if there was no execution then they would just stay in prison. Christianity is accepting of capital punishment most notably mentioned in Genesis 9:6 [1]. Even if they are mentally ill they still committed a capital crime such as murder or treason and should be punished. Further, people can plead insanity, and also it is unconstitutional to execute the mentally retarded [2].

The death penalty should be allowed because it does save lives, it gives proper retribution, and it serves justice.

Debate Round No. 3
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Welcome to the site, Con! As to the debate: I think this would have gone better for Con if she'd made her case a little more rigorously. That Pro was able to support his contentions with sources made his case that much stronger; Con's position seemed much more opinion-based, while Pro's arguments were actually sourced. Con, if you'd worked on rebutting those points, you might have managed to do so, but the way you ran your case, you didn't actually rebut them. Arguments to Pro, and Sources to Pro, as well, for actually having sourced his case. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.