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The Contender
Pro (for)
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Is the death penalty cruel?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 11/5/2015 Category: People
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 654 times Debate No: 82149
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
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Capital punishment. It is the ultimate price for a crime. It is a sentence to be used on the most henious of crimes. Many however will argue that the death penalty is a cruel and unusual punishment in violation to our 8th amendment. I am here to make the fact plain that the death penalty is a necessary function of the legal system.

No forfeits
No trolling
Source citations required
First round is acceptance
2nd round is opening statement
3rd and 4th rounds are rebuttal and counter rebuttal rounds
5th round is closing statement. NO ADDITIONAL ARGUMENTS THIS ROUND.
By accepting this debate you are arguing that capital punishment is a cruel practice.
Lastly, enjoy the debate!
Debate Round No. 1



Before I announce my opening statement, allow me to be sure that everyone has knowledge of the eigth amendment of the American Constitution:

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

So in reality, what would make capital punishment cruel and unusual? The founding fathers were more appealed to eradicating punishments of prolonged suffering, such as torture. Death simply cannot be seen as cruel as it is over more or less quickly and painlessly. Is it not more cruel to hold a prisoner in a jail cell for the rest of his dreary life, rather than just end him at the instant? It is then rather hypocritical to say that life imprisonment is not cruel if death is, since with death you do not so much feel the pain of not being free.

Also, you the voters must consider the fact that criminals made the choice to break such a law that entitles one to capital punishment. It is he/she the criminal that decided to disobey the law against murder, and thus shall not be remorseful to one's poor choices. How can one be so easily bonded with criminal in this way if he murdered an entire classroom of schoolkids after raping and torturing them? The criminal chose to do what s/he did. One truly does not deserve pity for such harm to others.

And finally, since when did families ever feel that someone who murdered their family members deserve to live? Never! All throughout history up to the current date capital punishment has shown criminals what they recieve for the installation of pain and fear into their victims. It is devaluating the INNOCENT victim's life if government just decides to lock him up in prison for life. It pains the families to know that he is still there, especially if he is broken out of prison. That is the unique aspect of capital punishment; if the criminal is caught, then he has no second chances. With this stated, I advise you vote for con.

Let us see pro's arguments.


I thank Con for hosting this debate and I hope this will be a thoughtful exchange.

First of all, I would like to define a term:

Morality: of, relating to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical (taken from

Before I begin my opening statement, I would like to clarify one fact; everyone has a sense of morality. The distinction between right and wrong; the knowledge of what is good and evil. For instance, murder is immoral. Even Con accepts murder as cruelty, for capital punishment is directed to those who take the life of another person. But the key point I am trying to deliver here is that a murder for a murder isn't going to clarify anything.

Most of us believe that is is not morally wrong to use violence to prevent aggression to us or some other innocent third party, like the civilians. The law allows us the right to defend ourselves against unjust aggressions towards us, but it is the extent of that right which is where our opinions differ. Con is stating that the right for us to defend against aggression should have the power for capital punishment to the source of the aggression, and I am stating that capital punishment is overstepping this right to defend ourselves from the aggression. No more violence than is necessary to prevent the aggressive assault is needed. Violence that oversteps this is unnecessary, so, therefore, death penalties are unjustified.
The use of "deadly force" is justified only to prevent immediate loss of life in which anything less of a "deadly force" cannot immediately save the life that is threatened.

There is no real difference in between putting criminals behind bars and condemning them with the capital penalty besides the fact that the government has to pay for their expenses if kept alive. Killing someone for their crimes is a way to prevent further crime from happening, but this can be achieved in some less incapacitating way, like imprisonment. It has been proven through the study of imprisonment, parole, and release records, that even less than 1 in 500 convicted murderers commit another murder and also convicted murderers have at least a good a record of no further criminal activity as any other class of convicted felons. So where is the purpose of a death penalty if it doesn't really prevent any further crimes and is only a way to vent our anger over the victimization of an innocent person/ people?

I look forward to Con's rebuttals. Sources will be listed in the comments.
Debate Round No. 2


I shall now begin with my first rebuttal. Excuse me if it is not top quality as My computer crashed and my argument was lost, and I do not much time. .

About the fact of capital punishment being immoral: How is capital punishment cruel when he who said and did respective crime knew the punishment, and decided to convict the felony nevertheless? The fact that pro does not address is that criminals had the power to choose not to harm the civillians in such a way. What would it matter that the felon is in prison? A. It costs mkre, and B. criminals can escape prison, where as the death penalty cannot be avoided. It is also made sure by the judicial branch that he who is convicted has had the due process guranteed by the 7th and 6th amendment rights in the constitution. Not having capital punishment is hypocritical in 2 diferent aspects:
A. Life imprisonment drags out the suffering of the criminal being punished, so wouldn't it be hypocritical to call ending it quickly cruel?
B. It costs more money to keep inmates alive and keep their well being. It would be much easier financially to end him and cut the pressures he puts on society's budget.
So, when prsented with facts such as this, is it not logical to have a capital punishment? If you are christian the bible quotes the following:
“Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death."
This means that even the bible, the holy book of HALF of the world's population justifies the death penalty. Islam and Judaism have virtually the same concept on the death penalty. This means that 3 QUARTERS of the world's populace believes death penalty is necessary according to their holy texts. It is mentioned multiple times as mentioned here:

Considering facts stated to date, vote con.


It does not matter the support behind a cause. One third of the populace might support something. So what? If you think something is wrong, you follow what you believe in. I just wanted to clarify that the amount of support a cause gets does not decide what is right or wrong.

Most capital punishment receivers do not receive their punishment on the level of their crime; it is more of the incompetence of the lawyer defending the criminal who decides the outcome of the case. According to an investigation by the Chicago Tribune, 12% of those sentenced to death from 1976-1999 were represented by, "an attorney who had been, or was later, disbarred or suspended-disciplinary sanctions reserved for conduct so incompetent, unethical or even criminal that the state believes an attorney's license should be taken away." Another examination of 461 capital cases found that nearly one in four condemned inmates has been represented at trial or on appeal by court-appointed attorneys who have been disciplined for professional misconduct at some point in their careers. ("Quality Of Justice" Dallas Morning News, September 10, 2000) ( As you can see, even murderers who supposedly deserve to die more than these condemned criminals can escape capital punishment with only a good, competent lawyer. This shows death penalty can vary between the competence of the lawyers and cannot be trusted to condemn only the "most henious of crimes."

The case of justice also conflicts with usage of the death penalty. If it is unfair for one person to inflict violence on another, then it is hard to see how morality could require the victim to acquiesce in the attempt by another to hurt him or her. If it is wrong to murder, why do we murder? We are condemning a person to death because he has caused the death of another. How is this morally right? Killing a person because that will cost less money? Isn't that just selfish? Even though the person killed someone, he will be staying in prison for the rest of his life. Is that not sufficient enough to pay for the death or do we have to kill him too?
Debate Round No. 3


MeargleSchmeargle forfeited this round.


HankMG22 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


MeargleSchmeargle forfeited this round.


That is all. Thank you for reading. I will take my leave here.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by AveragePerson 1 year ago
"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

If there is no death penalty, those criminals that committed heinous crimes would only be incarcerated in prisons and in order to hold them in prisons, we would be spending money, resources and man power to provide food, water, lodging, security and etc for them for FREE. I for one am not happy to see this kind of situation and I would rather the aforementioned resources be spent on those who really need it, like the people of developing countries in Africa.
Posted by HankMG22 1 year ago
Sources: Moral Controversies, by Steven Jay Gold
Posted by Opinionated_minor 1 year ago
Having the death penalty will generate fear, and hopefully make people second guess committing crimes. It isn't cruel; what's cruel is letting murderer's and rapists and criminals get away with (at the absolute most) a life sentence to prison, why not a life for a life? Isn't it only fair if they pay the same price? If you have the audacity to take another person's life, you deserve to have yours taken away, in my opinion. Ruining someones life as well, same thing. A young girl, lets say, is raped by a man whom only received 25 years prison and good behavior, bail non-negotiable. Now this girl is so damaged she will never be able to have children and will be traumatized for the rest of her life. Is that honestly fair? Will that honestly stop this person from doing the same to another?
Posted by retrovision 1 year ago
Wow. If the death penalty is so necessary, we only used in 23 times in 2015. The trouble we go through to kill 23 guys isn't worth it. Just lock em' up and throw away the key. It's cheaper for one thing.
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