The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
2 Points

Is the Death Penalty an unjust punishment?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/7/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,101 times Debate No: 41866
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (1)




I will be arguing in favor of the resolution that the Death Penalty is in fact an unjust punishment.


The Death Penalty is the punishment of execution, administered to someone legally convicted of a capital crime.


Bad, for many reasons:

- Mistakes happen. Since 1973 in the U.S., 140 people have been released from death row with evidence of their innocence. These are ALL people who had been found guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt." A life sentence is reversible. An execution is not.

- Cost - because of the legal apparatus designed to minimize wrongful executions (and the enormous expense of maintaining death row facilities), it costs taxpayers MUCH more to execute someone than to imprison them for life.

- It is not a deterrent - violent crime rates are consistently HIGHER in death penalty jurisdictions.

- It is inconsistently and arbitrarily applied.

- Because the U.S. is one of the last remaining nations with capital punishment, many other countries refuse to extradite known criminals who should be standing trial here.

- It fosters a culture of violence by asserting that killing is an acceptable solution to a problem.

- Jesus was against it (see Matthew 5:7 & 5:38-39, James 4:12, Romans 12:17-21, John 8:7, and James 1:20).

- Life without parole (LWOP) is on the books in most states now (all except Alaska), and it means what it says. People who get this sentence are taken off the streets. For good.

- As Voltaire once wrote, "let the punishments of criminals be useful. A hanged man is good for nothing; a man condemned to public works still serves the country, and is a living lesson."

- Whether you"re a hardened criminal or a government representing the people, killing an unarmed human being is wrong. Period. "He did it first" is not a valid excuse.



9:6 "Whoever sheds human blood, 16
by other humans 17
must his blood be shed;
for in God"s image 18
God 19 has made humankind."

In this simple verse of Genesis lies the heart beat of my argument. It's not just that the passage says to take the persons life for taking life. It's something deeper and more compelling that I see in the passage. It's why God wants us to take murder so seriously. "For in God's image God has made humankind." Wow, what a majestic statement as to the beauty and preciousness of one human life. When we murder we lash out at our creator in a unique and especially despicable way. To punish someone with anything less than death is to say loud and clear that the victim was less valuable than the killer. It also mocks God. Our society and culture has slowly been devolving into a pit of heartless, compassion-less, valueless, meaningless filth. We talk about compassion but don't give a damn about victims. What we call victims advocacy is usually more about punishing the offender. I know it sounds like that's what I'm doing here but it's not. I'm saying we need to change the focus. Stop thinking about what's best or right for the offender and start thinking about what's best or just for the victim and God. The victim is dead. Their life was precious. Their life was of incalculable value. Now they're in a grave. The killer lives on. No more chances, or hugs, or smiles, or Christmas presents for our victim. The killer still gets all those things. This is what I'm talking about. This is what I mean by cheapening the life of the victim! How can the killer have all those things and the victim get none of those things! When are we as a people going to say NO MORE!.
I would recommend that we insist upon a new standard of evidence after conviction during the sentencing phase. In order to sentence someone to death they must be connected to the crime by DNA or multiple witnesses. They must be shown beyond all doubt reasonable or not, to be guilty. If so, then death should be mandatory, barring any mitigating circumstances. If they can't be shown to be then the sentence should be life with out the possibility of parole, mandatory. This is for Murder 1 only. From now on human life should come at the steepest price to the killer.
It doesn't matter whether it's a deterrent or not. That doesn't change the preciousness of the victims life or God's goodness. The debt is just as heavy. The victims blood still cries out to God from the ground.
I would encourage everyone to LOOK UP EVERY SINGLE PASSAGE MY COUNTERPART QUOTES. You'll notice that if you read them in context of their passages that they have nothing to do with capital punishment. Jesus would have NEVER spoken against it. It was a central punishment in the law the Holy Spirit revealed. Jesus would have never contradicted His heavenly Father.
Many kinds of cultures have come and gone and most of them have had the death penalty in one form or another. They weren't over run by violence, nor did they have a culture of violence.
Debate Round No. 1


I try to refrain from sounding disrespectful, but, please re-format your arguments subsequently based upon what topic is being addressed to be organized. I need lots more effort just to reply.

9:6 "Whoever sheds human blood, 16
by other humans 17
must his blood be shed;
for in God"s image 18
God 19 has made humankind.""

Hmm... Self-contradictory.

Death penalties have been imposed on innocent people. Mistakes happen. People have been convicted of a crime and found guilty. And eventually, having alleged facts material to the case, that person is actually innocent. While a life sentence is reversible, a death sentence is not.

"When we murder we lash out at our creator in a unique and especially despicable way."

Here. So, the reason why death penalty is a just punishment is because that action "lashes out at our creator in a unique and especially despicable way?"

In that case, shouldn't that happen for commiting any crime? Including bullying? The Government legislates laws based on moral ethics. Bullying is immoral.

"To punish someone with anything less than death is to say loud and clear that the victim was less valuable than the killer."

This assertion will remain uncontested except for the fact that it is not substantiated.

"Stop thinking about what's best or right for the offender and start thinking about what's best or just for the victim and God."

In that case, why would we even mess with the offender?

"The killer still gets all those things."


1) He is sentenced for life. He won't "get hugs, or kisses". Only food.

2) It does not matter whether that criminal "gets food", or not. The fact remains that he will. While the victim is covered with Jesus's holy glow and seaman (Not), the criminal will only "get food" and won't be interested and have fun in prison.

While I protest against the idea of death sentence, I eagerly await my opponents arguments.


Warning: From now on refrain from blaspheme.

I believe in the death penalty because God himself asked us to use it in the case of murder from the beginning of mans existence. I

I already explained how to deal with accidental wrong convictions. The death penalty may not be applied with out DNA or multiple witnesses to the act. And they would still have the 20 years worth the appeals that they have now. I also would greatly increase the money and other resources available for public defense and for appeals.

You don't seem to know much about our prison system. You get education, visits from loved ones, people get married, people improve their situation through good behavior, people take up life enriching things like art and music etc. People in their graves don't. If it's like you say and they went to Heaven then you should have no problem with me sending the killer there too.
The reason punishing the killer with less than death is obvious. The victim is dead any other condition for the killer leaves the killer allot better off than his victim. Why does the victim suffer the ultimate misfortune but the killer not share that misfortune. What makes that killer so special.
Debate Round No. 2


MathandScienceprodigy forfeited this round.


I think I'm probably repeating my self here but here goes. Putting a human being to death it a horrible thing. It is not something one would wish for. The thing is; the taking of a human life with malice is so evil that no other punishment could possibly be enough. If we simply make the standard of evidence higher during the sentencing phase in order to sentence a person to death, then we can avoid making mistakes.
Debate Round No. 3


MathandScienceprodigy forfeited this round.


You know, in the beginning of this debate, my counterpart accused God's Word of being self contradictory. To me this smacks of modern liberal arrogance. Liberals really do think that they know better than everyone else. Look at what a wreck things have become in some ways because of that sort of thinking. Asking that a person that took the life of another person with malice should be executed for it is on more contradictory than to say that a punishment should fit the crime. Liberals seem to have boundless compassion for killers and violent offenders but not much for the victims of these people.
Debate Round No. 4


MathandScienceprodigy forfeited this round.


Well.. I think I've run short of things to say about this. My arguments are very traditional. They are the standard arguments used in our society for the past 1700 years. I would like to ask a question. Has anyone noticed that white collar criminals are getting heavier criminal sentences than murderers? In my opinion that is insane. We have to ask ourselves; "What have we become?" when property and cash mean more than human life.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dtaylor971 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: Con, right off the bat, used religion, an unproved aspect of life, to try to support his point. However, pro had much better and stable arguments. Conduct to con due to the three forfeited rounds. S&G to con also because he did have a more stable way of writing.