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Death Penalty

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/12/2016 Category: People
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 453 times Debate No: 84916
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (0)




For this debate, since I have not debated in a while, I will argue the Pro side of the Death Penalty. My opponent will argue the opposite.

  • No forfeits, unless both sides forfeit the same amount of rounds; then it is fair game.
  • No foul language of any kind, both sides must respect each other.
  • No Trolls please!
  • If you use a source, post its link in a "Source Category".

Any rules broken is an automatic disqualification for the individual who broke the rules


Round 1: Acceptance and any questions for clarification (Please post in the comment section).
Round 2: Opening Argument (Please Keep it Short) for both Pro and Con, except Con can Rebuttal this round if they choose.
Round 3: Both sides Rebuttal
Round 4: Pro Rebuttals and states his or her Conclusion and can Rebuttal if they choose to do so, while Con will just have to state his or her Conclusion only.

Any breakage of the structure is either a penalty or automatic disqualification. Depends on how serious the breaking of the structure was.

Death Penalty: The punishment of execution, administered to someone legally convicted of a serious crime.

Good luck to whoever accepts!



I accept this debate and will be taking the "con" side (obviously).

This is my first debate on this site so I wish you luck.

I probably did something wrong already so forgive me if I have.

If not, let's do it.
Debate Round No. 1


C1. Self-Responsibility
Whose fault is it for doing the crime? The criminal for doing the action of causing a threat towards society. He or she is the one responsible for their own actions, and should suffer the consequences. My opponent could argue about the potential mistakes about the Death Penalty, but stated under "US death row study: 4% of defendants sentenced to die are innocent", it states that only 4.1% of defendants, that are executed, are actually innocent. That is, in fact, a small percentage compared to the prison population in the US. And, I admit, that it is sad that a "mistake" happens with the killing of an innocent individual, but why was that individual in prison in the first place? Following the argument of self-responsibility, it was his or her mistake to be in prison in the first place; otherwise their death would not come.

C2. Deters Crime
This is a common argument used on both sides of whether or not the Death Penalty does or doesn't deter crime, but I will prove that it does deter crime within society. Supported evidence, from the article titled: "The Death Penalty Deters Crime and Saves Lives", it says: "Criminals are no different from law-abiding people. Criminals rationally maximize their own self-interest (utility) subject to constraints (prices, incomes) that they face in the marketplace and elsewhere. Individuals make their decisions based on the net costs and benefits of each alternative. Thus, deterrence theory provides a basis for analyzing how capital punishment should influence murder rates. Over the years, several studies have demonstrated a link between executions and decreases in murder rates. In fact, studies done in recent years, using sophisticated panel data methods, consistently demonstrate a strong link between executions and reduced murder incidents". To even further support the given evidence, state under another article titled: "Do more executions mean fewer murders", it states that each execution would help prevent at least 18 murders of innocent civilians. And also claims that the reason why it seems like the idea does not deter crime is because of how slow the executions take to get into effect. The article claims that if one murderer is executed instantly, it would prevent at least 1 murder of any civilian. So technically, the Death Penalty does deter crime; but the issue is how long it takes for the Death Penalty to take effect. In reality, the Death Penalty should be an instant action, instead of a long drawn out session when the final decision was made.

C3. Economically Beneficial
For this argument, let me please review the costs of the methods used within the Death Penalty. The cost for a Lethal Injection, stated under "Methods of Execution", is about $86.06. That is much cheaper than the most common method of the Electric Chair, which runs about $265,000. And as we know, technology is advancing within our society; and other methods for killing are being introduced. One example is that in a recent article from Ohio, a state that approves the Death Penalty, they are inventing new methods for it. The given example is the "Robotic Arm", where it decapitates the Criminal quickly and pain free. It also plays calming music so the Criminal is not suffering as much as compared with other methods. The pricing for the Robotic Arm would be expensive, but would be a one time buy. Some changes in machinery would be needed, but that is actually more economically beneficial than the other methods presented. As well as if we look at the costs, while a criminal is on Death Row, it shows that it is the result of costing more money, than actually saving money. Stated under "Costs of the Death Penalty", it states that the reason why people claim the Death Penalty is expensive is because of how long the execution takes. The prices, for trials and such, reach up to about 1 billion dollars. That is a lot, just to prove the "innocence" of a murderer!

C4. The Bible Agrees with the Death Penalty
Stated under both the Old Testament and New, God agrees that the Death Penalty should be used as punishment for ones crimes. From Genesis 9:6, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man". This quote is simply referring to how many people put a focus more on human rights, than God himself; or if we do not want to get into a Religious argument, the consequence for a criminals action. Self responsibilty, or an "Eye for an eye". And to even further this argument, from Revelation 13:10, "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints". Which simply means that if we have it, we should use it to bring justice amongst society.

C5. The Death Penalty Brings Justice:
For this argument, I wish to present the definition of "justice". Justice is defined as:"J
ust behavior or treatment". Basicvally, bringing a balance a good feeling towards society. The Death Penalty fulfills this burden by murdering the person, for taking another innocent civilians life. Stated under "A Just Society Requires the Death Penalty for the Taking of Another Life", it says: "When someone takes a life, the balance of justice is disturbed. Unless that balance is restored, society succumbs to a rule of violence. Only the taking of the murderer's life restores the balance and allows society to show convincingly that murder is an intolerable crime which will be punished in kind". Simple enough concept, but many argue about human rights,insteadof arguing about the fact of a criminal taking accountability for his or her own actions.

C6. Promotes a Better Environment in Prisons
Imagine the feeling of being a prison guard, going through the cells and possibly being murdered. It is a scary feeling, and as a society, we need to bring safety to the guards environment. How? By the usage of the Death Penalty, which eliminates all the threats of murders within the prison. Quoted from the New York Times article "The Death Penalty can Create a Better Prison Environment", it says: "Surely the men and women who guard our prisons deserve society's respect, support and protection. The death penalty for certain crimes inside of prisons is one way of protecting them from being murdered on the job. The sooner we give them this, the sooner their ranks will grow to include more compassionate, better educated people truly able to reform the system at all levels". Are we at the point of neglecting the safety of the innocent, to the criminals because of the Death Penalty being horrid? The Death Penalty would prevent the possible murders within the prisons environment. Under the document "Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons, 2000–2012 - Statistical Tables", it states that in 2012 we had an 8% increase in murders within prisons, and is increasing as the years pass by. And most of these murders have occured within inmates who are on Death Row, and Mentally Ill Inmates. The percentage totaling up to 67%, which is a lot for an inmate about to get the Death Penalty. So once more, instead of taking the time to commence the Death Penalty; just do it when it is sentenced.

C7. Prevents Overpopulation within Prisons
Stated under the article, "The United States Has The Largest Prison Population In The World " And It"s Growing", it states that within our country 1.57 million inmates are occupying any sort of cell. The most common crime, taken in 2013, involve physical harm. Stated under "Criminal Victimization", the highest number of crimes involve mostly any physical harm to the victim. Examples being rape, assault, or even murder; and the scary part is that at least 1/3 of the inmates are involved in this sort of crime. This is a high number for prisoners and needs to be reduced, hence the reasoning of why the Death Penalty should be used. The Death Penalty will lower the overpopulation of inmates, and actually have room for inmates that deserve to be in prison for drug abuse, and or other charges. As well as protect the more "innocent" of the inmates from the aggression of these violent criminals actions or influence. And also bring along more protection for the public. with the Death Penalty, we can lower the numbers of prison population!

Given the arguments, we can see that the Death Penalty has its benefits towards our society.



This is a debate concerning the death penalty and as the side arguing against it, I would like to make the following points:

1. The death penalty is costly
When I say costly, I mean that according to NBC it costs about 1.7 million dollars to execute someone. New Jersey got rid of the death penalty because it costed 4 million dollars per inmate and they hadn't executed anyone since 1963. Plus, inmates staring into the face of the death penalty are entitled to two lawyers which could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars alone.

2. What if they're innocent
The fact that the risk of ending the life of an innocent person should not be permitted, Killing an innocent person is morally reprehensible, so why should our justice system allow that possibility to exist? By eliminating the death penalty we eliminate any chance of this happening.

3. Does the death penalty deter crime
"There's no credible evidence of deterrence," concludes John Blume, a law professor with the Cornell Death Penalty Project. (Excerpt from the Denver Post). There's no way to tell if a murderer was aware of a state's death-penalty status when the crime was deliberated, or what impact the knowledge had. (also from the same article).

In, conclusion I believe I have shown the death penalty to be more of a hindrance than a help

There's my argument(s) and I look forward to my opponent's rebuttals.

(vote con)
Debate Round No. 2


1. Death Penalty Isn't Costly
In my opponents opening argument he argues that the Death Penalty is costly to even use. It actually isn't, but the system needs to be adjusted for it to be more economically beneficial. The main issue that makes it seem like its costly is the portion called "Death Row". Death Row is the time a criminal waits until they are executed, and can either be very short or very long (1). The fact is that the length before someone gets executed can be depicted withis the following graph.

That's a long time, especially for an average person on Death Row. And with this comes the cost of keeping that person within the cells. The fact is, it isn't the actual procedure that costs alot; it's keeping the prisoner alive within the cells (2). My solution is shorten the Death Row so the benfits can be recieved. According to David Muhlhansen: The Death Penalty can deter crime as well as economically benefit society if Death Row is shorten, instead of dragging it out for a long time (3).

2. Innocence
My opponent then brings up another common argument for being against the Death Penalty about the possibility of innocence I will argue that the chance of innocence is so low that it will not be a huge factor within the system. In fact, there is only a 1 in 25 chance that someone executed is innocent (4). That number is pretty low, and really not to impactful. I like to compare this same scenario as getting ran over by a car. Does it stink? Yes, but stuff happens. Just because one car killed one innocent bistander does not mean that society should ban cars now. Stuff happens, and we move on; and the same can be said about the Death Penalty.



I believe it's rebuttals, so here goes nothing.

I'd like to take them in the order they were presented.

1. The fact that my opponent presents the possibility of the execution of an innocent person, is morally reprehensible. As of July 1st, 2015 there are 2,984 people on death row in the United States. if 4 percent of them are innocent that means that approximately 119 innocent people are killed. 119 families stripped of their loved one, simply because there is a kink in the system (the death penalty.

2. If my opponent wants to talk statistics, if you click my second link, you can see very clearly that homicide rates in places without the death penalty are significantly lower than places where which the death penalty exists. To quote the same article, " A 2009 survey of criminologists revealed that over 88% believed the death penalty was NOT a deterrent to murder."

3. I covered the fact that it costs significantly more to execute, than to keep someone in prison for life in my initial argument.

4. I don't see how the bible can be taken as an argument for anything outside of theology. If we're going to execute anyone that the bible tells us to that would include, adulterers, thieves, anyone who works on the sabbath, non-believers, the entire town if one person worships another god, people who pull out during intercourse, people who do unnecessary actions, foreigners, skeptics, and so on.

5. How can my opponent say that the death penalty is just when
1) Innocent lives are at stake, and the same effect of wasting someone's life could be had with a life sentence. What is considered just is subjective to the person you're asking.
2) My opponent advocates the teachings of the bible, which is one of the most immoral documents ever to exist.

6. "How? By the usage of the Death Penalty, which eliminates all the threats of murders within the prison."
This is a quote from my opponents opening statement in their "C6." argument. Their argument here is faulty from the beginning, because it makes an unfounded assertion, builds upon that assertion, and suggests reform to the death penalty which I remind the audience, is not what we're arguing (correct me please if i have misinterpreted the premise.) Of course, I would advocate reform in the way of total abolition of the death penalty.

7. Finally, if you'll take the time and look at my fourth link, an astronomically low amount of executions actually take place, largely because the state gets more tax revenue from people on death row being on death row, so it's more a money scam than population control. Also, my opponent presents the alternative instead of the release of non-violent criminals, they propose mass genocide within the prison system. To conclude my rebuttals, if you'll look at my last link, contrary to my opponent's assertions the top three crimes in the U.S. are predominately non-violent. In order of "popularity"
1) Larceny-theft
2) Burglary (This is why I said predominately, but most burglaries don't end in violence.)
3)Motor vehicle theft.
I ask us all, are these worthy of death as my opponent would have you believe?

I will conclude by saying that i feel i have shown my opponent's argument to be faulty to the extreme.

Vote con (it's in there somewhere with verses cited)
Debate Round No. 3


For the final round, I shall do final Rebuttals toward my opponent while my opponent can only state his or her conclusion. Like stated in the "Structure" section, on Round 4 I get to rebuttal and Con cannot but only state his or her conclusion. Anyways to my final Rebuttals and conclusion on the usage of the Death Penalty.

1. Innocence
In this last round, my opponent argues that there still may be a possibility of innocence within the execution. Once more, I brought up an analogy last round that expressed this "I like to compare this same scenario as getting ran over by a car. Does it stink? Yes, but stuff happens. Just because one car killed one innocent bistander does not mean that society should ban cars now. Stuff happens, and we move on; and the same can be said about the Death Penalty". Once more just because a system may have the chance of doing wrong does not mean it is the worst system. Systems aren't perfect in society, and shouldn't be banned because of one mistake.

2. Deter's Crime

My opponent then states the following: "If you click my second link, you can see very clearly that homicide rates in places without the death penalty are significantly lower than places where which the death penalty exists". First off, I like to please present that my opponent has only used one source to represent this claim. While I presented two, and now three where according to Robert Tanner (1) the Death Penalty does deter crime. It is clear that my opponent only states one source within his argument about how it doesn't deter crime, while I present more.

3. Costly
My opponent argues that the Death Penalty is costly by referring back to his main argument, but this point was disproven in the third round. With even a graph to represent the costs of having it and not having it.

4. Bible Argument
Admitedly the Bible argument is a little touchy, and will drop this point for my opponent to win this section. Personally, I don't remember what I was thinking at the time.

5. Death Penalty is Just
Following the defintion of "just" being: "Treating people in a way that is considered morally right". The sub-definition of "morally" or "moral" is: "Conforming to a standard of right behavior". Is it wrong to help deter crime, or is it wrong to be economically beneficial with the Death Penalty? It isn't, and proves to be moral in this way leading it to be just (2 & 3). Also my opponent also argues that the Bible is immoral. How is it immoral, when it teaches a majority of Christians to "Love thy neighbor like thyself"? It isn't, and making a claim about the Bible being immoral does not in any way follow the topic on the Death Penalty. For this reason voters, I like to consider this a possible loss of conduct points.

6. Environmental Friendly and reduces Overpopulation
I'm combining both of these arguments to make it easier to follow. Firstly, my opponent makes the claim that murders do not happen in prison, yet does not provide a source. I will gladly provide a source to prove this statement, where according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (4), it states the following statistics od deaths caused by other prsioners. Pretty high numbers, and it is even proven that murderers who are set in prison behind bars are still capable of murder. Putting more risk of lives to those who did petty crimes, than a simple execution of these murderers and such. "The homicide rate in local jails nationwide hovered around 3 inmates per 100,000" (5). Also I will answer my opponents question. We are more so arguing about the Death Penalty is general, if the topic was a specific setting of the Death Penalty; then you could have a point.

Before concluding this argument, I like to please present a statistic about the types of crimes done in prison. Stated under the following (6), it shows that the majority of crimes done throughout the years are related to violence. Why keep the violent criminals behind these bars, and risk the lives of the petty crime prisoners?

To conclude this argument, I urger voters to vote Pro for this debate because of having a more solid argument. My opponent provided some points, but his overall argument were many claims without any further evidence. Just because he used one source of evidence does not mean he won the argument, but instead he needed to further that evidence with more evidence. While I did further my arguments, and even provided a solution to gaining the benefits of the Death Penalty. For this this reason, I urge voters to vote Pro! Also, I thank my opponent for this debate!

Sources (All):
Round 2:

Round 3:

Round 4 (This Round):


TheEpicTricycle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by TheEpicTricycle 9 months ago
sorry i say sorry a lot lol
Posted by TheEpicTricycle 9 months ago
sorry, work kept me from my computer these last few days.

I enjoyed myself, thanks for the debate
Posted by SnaxAttack 9 months ago
It's alright
Posted by TheEpicTricycle 9 months ago
I forgot to post my sources sorry

here they are

sorry I'm still getting used to this
Posted by SnaxAttack 9 months ago
I apologize. I forgot to number my sources.
Posted by Forever23 9 months ago
Snax, if you make a really strong case, you could really win this debate :). Just dont let your opponent get you in the life in prison is worse than death trap!. Best of luck.
Posted by snkcake666 9 months ago
Ah, another debate I see. Best of luck, SnaxAttack.
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