The Instigator
Con (against)
4 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

Death Penalty

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/4/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 872 times Debate No: 53996
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: up to 3 points
Round 3: up to 2 points
Round 4: up to 1 point
Round 5: Rebuttals/ Refutes (no more points this round)

No rebuttals/ refutes in any other round than the 5th one
No stating rebuttals/ refutes on the opponents's rebuttals/refutes

Thank you,
the DDD



I look forward to debating with you.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting this debate.

Argument #1: The cost

Ah, the cost. A simple yet very true argument. I have heard this argument many times and even refuted it a few times. But still. The point stands.

"Over the last 32 years its cost California tax payers about 4 billion dollars to have the death penalty, and over that period only 13 executions have been carried out,"

The thing that bugs me about this quote is that 4 billion dollars are wasted for the purpose of killing criminals and yet they kill only 13 people. Regular people payed for these evil men and women to be put away and where is that money now? Even if California had used that 4 billion dollars on killing more criminals it would still be a waste. that 4 billion could be spent on education, or health care but apparently killing people is much more important then making sure that citizens get healthy or the next generation being taught what will support them in later life.

4 Billion dollars. That is a lot of money. Only 393 people world wide have equal to or more then 4 billion dollars. People often say that killing people is less expensive then keeping them alive. But people estimate that if California's governor were to end the death penalty eight now California would save immediately 170 million and in 20 years California would save 5 billion dollars. More then the current cost of the death penalty. It seems worth it to me.

Argument #2: Justice VS. Revenge

Definition of Justice

"the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness: to uphold the justice of a cause. "

Definition of Revenge

"to exact punishment or expiation for a wrong on behalf of, especially in a resentful or vindictive spirit: example: He revenged his murdered brother."

From Dictionary.Com

The two are not the same. Courts serve us to uphold justice, not to exact revenge. Revenge poisons us human beings. Revenge contaminates the good and the bad and once you are ensnared by this desire you can never let go.

"Retribution is just another word for revenge, and the desire for revenge is one of the lowest human emotions " perhaps sometimes understandable, but not really a rational response to a critical situation. To kill the person who has killed someone close to you is simply to continue the cycle of violence which ultimately destroys the avenger as well as the offender. That this execution somehow give 'closure' to a tragedy is a myth. Expressing one"s violence simply reinforces the desire to express it. Just as expressing anger simply makes us more angry. It does not drain away. It contaminates the otherwise good will which any human being needs to progress in love and understanding."

Argument #3: The country

Our governments are supposed to maintain security and peace amongst it's population, protecting us ordinary folk should be their top priority, but some governments to just the opposite. Some governments KILL their own citizens. I can just imagine you typing "They kill to protect society!" Well, what if the person is innocent? 144 innocent people were released from death row but what if they were not released? More then 1,00 people in the USA since 1976 have been wrongfully executed! What if that was you? Being killed for something you never did? Or your family? Friends?

I am not comfortable with our governments and so-called protectors killing their own citizens especially if there is such a large risk of killing the wrong person.

Thank you


Argument 1: The Deterrent Effect
"If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. This, to me, is not a tough call." - John McAdams

The death penalty's purpose is to dissuade criminals from performing crimes, the knowledge that a death penalty exists often deters criminals from performing a crime. The decision to murder, rape or steal is often based on the reward and the punishment, some people might decide that a life sentence is not so bad and proceed to perform a crime, however man fears nothing more than death, it is in our genes, we do not want to die. Statistics show that the average murderer often pleads guilty in court, they will readily receive the punishment, as long as it is not death. If the death penalty is practiced, criminals will know that they will face execution if they perform a large enough crime, therefore they will be less likely to do it. In short the death penalty should be legalized because it helps save innocent lives.

For example in 2005 capital punishment was abolished in Mexico, since then, Mexico has become an epicenter of murder, kidnapping, and drug wars, people sentenced to prison often escape due to the fact that if they do not break any other laws while escaping they are not charged for anything and no extra time is added to their sentence, which is under the assumption they are even captured. If the death penalty was in place people will think twice before committing a crime, as they cannot come back after they have been put to death.

Crime rates are also increasing dramatically over the last half century millions are being killed and will be killed because our "justice system" is not working. Millions have already been killed and will be killed every year. According to Time Magazine, there are 2,000,000 people beaten in the United States. Some are knifed, shot, or assaulted.

Crime growth has been going up in the past because of too much leniency going hand in hand with the increased rate of people being victimized. There are many loopholes devised for offenders, and because of that crime rate has increased drastically. Between l960 to 1968 crime rate increased 11 times. More and more people are being murdered, raped, assaulted, kidnapped, and robbed, etc. (Isenberg, I., 1997). However there are no loopholes to the death penalty.

Argument 2: Repeated Murders
A lot of the time the words: "A sentence to a prison prevents a criminal from doing any harm" does not keep its word. Some statistics supporting this evidence are that more than 500,000 crimes were committed by people who have already committed a crime in a single year - and around half of those were committed by "career" criminals, each with more than 25 previous offences. 1,800 domestic burglaries, and almost 3,000 thefts, were committed by convicted burglars, while 650 violent offences were carried out by people previously convicted of violent crime. And 1,200 sex crimes were committed by known sex offenders. Of the 134 dangerous or sexual offenders charged with a serious further offence last year, 26 were managed with regular multi-agency public protection meetings, other figures showed. Three of these were assessed as posing the highest risk to the public and eight serious case reviews were ordered after the offenders went on to kill or rape, or tried to murder or rape, despite being monitored. Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements panels, which include police, councils and other Government agencies, were set up to manage the risks to the public from dangerous criminals after they leave prison.

Life sentences do not stop repeated murders from happening as well Andrew Dawson, George Johnson, Ernest Wright, David Cook and Desmond Lee were all allowed out on licence despite getting life sentences. Some even killed again within weeks of being released from prison. Andrew Dawson was given a life sentence in 1982 after admitting the murder of a 91-year-old Henry Walsh in his flat at Ormskirk, Lancashire, stabbing him a dozen times with bread knife. Within weeks of his release in 2010, he stabbed defenseless John Matthews and Paul Hancock to death in separate attacks, before leaving their bodies in their bathtubs in Derby. The 51-year-old told police he felt an 'urge to kill' before knocking on the men's doors in the block of flats, where he also lived, and hacked them to death.

How does the death penalty affect this? Simple, the death penalty will prevent these repeated murders, to not institute death penalty is to allow the 250"000 crimes, each committed by people with 25 previous crimes, to go by. Should we simply allow this to go on, or should we take action against it and institute the death penalty.

Argument 3: Safety is Utmost
Although the death penalty does risk the chance that it will accidentally kill an innocent man, by killing a murderer we have prevented the death of other people, this is supported by argument 2, if a murderer given a life sentence, they will most likely kill if the chance arises, an example would be licensed leaves, as they can not be punished any more. The death penalty would remove the chances that a murder would kill again, and the death penalty could also serve as a warning to people in life sentences, telling them that there is a higher punishment, one that they cannot come back on.

If letting a person die means keeping more people safe, then we should let the person die. People that want to kill have means of doing so, and we they do they often kill many, many scenarios involve people killing ten or more.

The average citizen does not have a mind or intentions to become a killer or being falsely accused of murder. What he is worried about is being a victim. The number of repeated murders in this world is far, far more than the number of repeated murders.

Thank You
Debate Round No. 2


I have to say, good job. But, alas, it is my turn, so here it goes:

Argument 4: Deterrence

It turns out that there has been no credible evidence that death penalty deters crimes that would have a punishment of one:

""[T]here is no credible evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than long terms of imprisonment. States that have death penalty laws do not have lower crime rates or murder rates than states without such laws. And states that have abolished capital punishment show no significant changes in either crime or murder rates. The death penalty has no deterrent effect. Claims that each execution deters a certain number of murders have been thoroughly discredited by social science research."- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

A punishment is partly meant to deter people from doing a bad thing. But obviously death penalties are NOT doing the best job at doing that at all.

Argument 5: Constitutional Problems

The death penalty actually clashes with the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments:

"Death is... an unusually severe punishment, unusual in its pain, in its finality, and in its enormity... The fatal constitutional infirmity in the punishment of death is that it treats 'members of the human race as nonhumans, as objects to be toyed with and discarded. [It is] thus inconsistent with the fundamental premise of the Clause that even the vilest criminal remains a human being possessed of common human dignity.' [quoting himself from Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238, 257 (1972)] As such it is a penalty that 'subjects the individual to a fate forbidden by the principle of civilized treatment guaranteed by the [Clause].' [quoting C.J. Warren from Trop v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86, 101 (1958)] I therefore would hold, on that ground alone, that death is today a cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Clause... I would set aside the death sentences imposed... as violative of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments."

Here is what the death penalty violates:

Fourteenth Amendment (only the important part for this debate):

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Did you hear that? "nor shall any State deprive any person of life." Ahem, death penalty, you are breaking a rule of the fourteenth amendment.

Eighth Amendment:

"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

The death penalty DEFINITELY falls under a "cruel" punishment.

Argument 6: Physicians

This point is a bit weird, but oh well:

Physicians have a policy to "protect lives." So when a physician shows up at a death penalty and kills someone, in completely violates the rules.

"The American Medical Association's policy is clear and unambiguous... requiring physicians to participate in executions violates their oath to protect lives and erodes public confidence in the medical profession. A physician is a member of a profession dedicated to preserving life... The use of a physician's clinical skill and judgment for purposes other than promoting an individual's health and welfare undermines a basic ethical foundation of medicine " first, do no harm. The guidelines in the AMA Code of Medical Ethics address physician participation in executions involving lethal injection. The ethical opinion explicitly prohibits selecting injection sites for executions by lethal injection, starting intravenous lines, prescribing, administering, or supervising the use of lethal drugs, monitoring vital signs, on site or remotely, and declaring death."- American Medical Association

So, physicians are violating oaths and are killing, just because of the death penalty.

Thank you,



IronCurx forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


I have to apologize. I violated conduct by posting my 6th argument in the 3rd round. However you forfeited the 3rd round. I will not post anything else this round so if you want to post your other 3 arguments these rounds you can go ahead and we will call it even. OK?

Thanks and once again sorry


IronCurx forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


What a shame. I really hoped you would give more points. However I still have to refute your points.

"The Deterrent Effect"

Like I previously wrote the Death Penalty does NOT deter crime.

"One argument for the death penalty is that it is a strong deterrent to murder and other violent crimes. In fact, evidence shows just the opposite. The homicide rate is at least five times greater in the United States than in any Western European country, all without the death penalty.

Southern states carry out more than 80 percent of the executions but have a higher murder rate than any other region. Texas has by far the most executions, but its homicide rate is twice that of Wisconsin, the first state to abolish the death penalty. Look at similar adjacent states: There are more capital crimes in South Dakota, Connecticut and Virginia (with death sentences) than neighboring North Dakota, Massachusetts and West Virginia (without death penalties). Furthermore, there has never been any evidence that the death penalty reduces capital crimes or that crimes increased when executions stopped..."

Just because something is supposed to deter another thing it won't always work, like an untested vaccine. Here in Canada we have no death penalty and and almost no crime.

"Repeated Murders"

I get what you are saying but if someone has committed a crime so bad that they get the death penalty chances are they won't be released. Also there is a huge risk of innocence.

"The wrongful execution of an innocent person is an injustice that can never be rectified. Since the reinstatement of the death penalty, 142 men and women have been released from Death Row nationally....some only minutes away from execution. Moreover, in the past two years evidence has come to light which indicates that four men may have been wrongfully EXECUTED in recent years for crimes they did not commit. This error rate is simply appalling, and completely unacceptable, when we are talking about life and death."

Think of it this way. You are weighing the possibility of a criminal being released and POSSIBLY killing someone to the certainty of the state executing it's own citizen who might be innocent.

"Safety is Utmost"

Ah, you missed one thing. The state executes it's citizens in the name of public safety but this opens up a Pandora's box of governmental abuses, like the NSA. This is all in the name of public safety but are you getting a chain reaction of problems. You are destroying personal liberty and freedom just like Hitler or Stalin. They claimed what they did was for public safety but they took away their peoples rights just for their safety. The death penalty can, has and will mold people into Hitlers and Stalins.

Thank you for debating me, it was a pleasure and a challenge.


IronCurx forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by didymus 2 years ago
Death Penalty is always fun, but no rebuttals till the 5th? I don't think I like that.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by William.Burnham 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited, and con presented the better argument.