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

Resolved: Criminals convicted of violent crime should be executed

Do you like this debate?NoYes+3
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/23/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,248 times Debate No: 80043
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (1)




So the first guy who accepted this debate left within a matter of hours after accepting. Don't do the same or I'll find you and kill you.

This is pretty simple. I think anyone who commits any kind of violent crime against innocent people, or as part of a gang, should be killed. Andwe're keeping thisto North America- let's only talk about Canada and the US of A.

For this debate, we will not use the million-dollar death penalty procedures we have grown to love, we will use... cheaper... methods. However humane. The criminal convicted of the crime will face lethal injection the day of, or after, their hearing. They will not suffer (physically, anyway) and it will cost next to nothing, so price will not matter.

We will define violent crime as child abuse, elder abuse, sexual assault, rape, murder, theft using a weapon, domestic violence, terrorism, stalking/threatening with intent to harm, any form of physical assault/aggression toward somebody and kidnapping -all except in self defense.

Pro (me) argues that it is a good idea for every criminal convicted of a violent crime to be killed via "humane" ways, such as lethal injection. Con (you) will argue that it is not a good idea to kill criminals convicted of violent crime.

We will not be arguing on how much it would cost to perform the execution.

First round can be acceptance or opening arguments, up to you.


1. No forfeiture. Seriously. If you decide to leave halfway through the debate, you give up a full 7 points. So don't run away.

2. No semantics. I gave the definitions, I'm sure we're clear on what physical assault/aggression is. If you decide to say "well I define assault as a high five," then get the hell outta here.

3. No trolling. This is a serious debate. We're talking about the killing of hundreds of thousands if not millions of people.

4. The comments section can not be used for anything other than discussion. Anything added in (extra arguments, sources, etc) will not be counted for anything.

5. No new arguments in the final round. Solidify your points and dispute mine, but don't bring up entirely new arguments.

I think I've covered everything. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask in the comments or PM me.


I accept this debate.
Since you are making this extraordinary proposal and I get the last word in the last round, I consider it fair to let you begin.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting, and thanks for the consideration!

Because I've made this debate before, and started it only to have my opponent close his account before he could even post an argument, this will be (mostly) copied from my other debate on the exact same topic.

I'll try to keep this short and sweet, as I just want to get my main few points out there so I can see what you have to say on this.

Money saved in death
First of all, the average price of keeping someone in jail is $30,000 a year [1] [2]. This means the execution of anyone convicted would save around $30,000 per year, per inmate. Considering there's approximately 1.325 million prisoners in America, and if you take a look at Table 11 of the source I'm about to provide, 53% of them are in prison for violent crimes [3], that would save a lot of money. So that means approximately 715,500 prisoners are currently in prison for violent crimes, and on top of that, those are all numbers taken from prisoners spending over a year in prison. So doing some simple math, that's about $30,000 a year per inmate, and about 715,500 inmates. So 30,000 multiplied by 715,000, which leaves us with about 21.5 billion. And as ridiculously crazy as that number sounds, America spends on average $40billion a year [4] on prisoners. So to cut that number in half, by $21.5billion, would save... well, a hell of a lot of money every year. Taxpayers' money would go to more important things, possibly education, health care, overseas aid, etc. $21.5billion is a lot of money, and a lot of good can come from saving such a large amount.

No more re-offenders
Secondly, killing people who are detrimental to society will increase the livability of that area. The chance of a criminal re-offending after being let out of prison within a mere 5 years is about 75% [5]. Keep in mind this is simply a return to prison, it doesn't account for criminals not caught by authorities or criminals who commit a crime but do not return to prison. The rate that criminals would re-offend after being executed would be... well, take a guess. Zero. That also means zero victims related to re-offenders. The rate of violent crime would go down drastically over the years, and considering the punishment would be death, the chance of anyone thinking of committing a violent crime would also decrease. The main point here is that anyone (victims) affected by violent crimes would drastically drop. For every one person in prison for violent crime, that's at least one victim either physically hurt or dead. So millions upon millions of people would no longer be physically hurt or killed in the future.

Crime-free Future
And finally, the future would look amazing. Judging by the stats we've already went over, violent crime would be at an all-time low within one year. If re-offenders make up 3/4 of the prison population in about five years, that means about one million less violent crimes would be committed by 2020. It also means more and more parents would raise their children to live by the law, so they don't end up dead. Sure, it won't work for everybody, but if the chance of their child being killed if caught is raised to 100%, the chance the parent will raise their kid poorly decreases significantly. This would lead us to a society that doesn't revolve around violence; a society that is more peaceful. Less people would be worried about walking home late at night, and less people would be worried about being robbed and having to take preventative measures to ensure their own safety, so also saving money in the long run. Society as a whole would be happier and more peaceful.

So to summarize what I've got so far: America would save over $20billion a year, cutting the money spent on prisons in half, and being able to spend that saved money on things that would significantly benefit the country, economy, well-being of citizens, etc. Recidivism rates (rate at which a criminal returns to prison) would decrease by more than three quarters, leading to a much more peaceful, less violent country in a matter of a few years. And finally, in the long run, the country would not have to worry about violent crime very much, if at all, and there would be significantly less people affected in negative ways nationwide.

Thanks, on to you.



I want to thank the Pro side for bringing up this topic and allowing me to participate in the debate.

Here are my arguments:

Death penalty is killing innocent people
This is the most important point in my argument: Death penalty is an irreversible and final punishment that caused, currently causes and will continue to cause final irreversible mistakes that cost the lives of innocent people.
Just a small selection of citations to back this up with facts:

"Many Prisoners on Death Row are Wrongfully Convicted - Researchers estimate that more than 340 U.S. inmates that could have been exonerated were sentenced to death since 1973" [1]

"A number of people are claimed to have been innocent victims of the death penalty. Newly available DNA evidence has allowed the exoneration and release of more than 17 death row inmates since 1992 in the United States, but DNA evidence is available in only a fraction of capital cases. Others have been released on the basis of weak cases against them, sometimes involving prosecutorial misconduct; resulting in acquittal at retrial, charges dropped, or innocence-based pardons." [2]

There is also a huge racial bias in the application of death penalty. Blacks and Latinos, despite being a minority, make up the majority of death roll prisoners, and cases with white victims result much more often in death sentences [3].

More guilty people would be allowed to go free
When judging on a case of a violent crime, judges will be more likely to vote "not guilty" if the consequence of a verdict of "guilty" was the death penalty. There is no absolute certainty and in almost all cases, judges will have doubt to a certain degree. If a verdict of guilty means the death of a human being that could be innocent then much more people will vote on not guilty just to be sure not to kill an innocent person.
A long-term prison sentence on the other hand is not a final punishment and the option that the person can go free if future evidence proves him innocent is a relief to most judges who then are much more willing to vote guilty.
This problem is even more evident with appointed judges. A study [4] shows that appointed judges will overturn death sentences more than twice as often as elected judges.

Death penalty does not reduce crime rates
Despite the immediate notion of higher punishment leading to lower crime rates due to deterrence, reality shows that this is not true. The murder rates are even consistently higher in the states with death penalty than in the states without death penalty [5]. Even neighboring states with very similar demographics show this difference in murder rates.
The reason why deterrence does not work for violent crimes is that most of those crimes are not committed after careful evaluation of costs and benefits. Most of those crimes are committed by people in extreme situations.
If most of the major crimes are punished by death penalty, this could even have the effect of increasing the rate of combined crimes. After a rape, the rapist will then more often proceed to kill the victim to cover up the rape. Since both rape and murder are punished by death, the murder is effectively free after the rape. Killing the victim is then the most rational option since there is no additional punishment and it reduces the odds of punishment.

Death penalty is condemned by the international community
In 2007 and again in 2008, the United Nations passed non-binding resolutions against death penalty that were accepted by a huge majority. "A range of amendments proposed by a small minority of pro-death penalty countries were overwhelmingly defeated." [6]
This shows that only a small minority of countries are pro-death penalty. Looking at who those countries are, reveals that proponents of death penalty are siding with Islamic countries enforcing Sharia law and with oppressive regimes and their dictators.
Besides being a foreign relations nightmare when you sentence foreigners to death, it also gives those countries a legal basis for sentencing your citizens to death based on their laws [7]. And Sharia law for example has a very different definition of crimes worthy of death.

Extended death row period is needed
Pro states: "The criminal convicted of the crime will face lethal injection the day of, or after, their hearing".
This time period is much to short for an appeal to a higher court and therefore violates the most basic legal standards we have. Even if the proposition is restated to mean execution immediately after any final appeal, it will still be too early and will cause many more executions of innocent people. The reason for the long and costly death row period currently mandated in most states with death penalty is to minimize the number of innocent people being executed.

Re: Money saved in death
First of all, I consider it unfair conduct to establish a debate rule that prevents me from discussing the costs of executions and then in turn to discuss the savings of executions.
Anyway, all of Pros statistics are based on the current situation in the US. However, the rejection of Pros proposal is not an affirmation of the current situation.
There are other options as well: Prison labor could be applied much more widely and also what prisoners are supplied with could be cut down to a bare minimum. This could lead to prisons being able to run in a self-sustained way or at least with only a fraction of the current costs.
Statistics of public spending often have numbers in the billions but those numbers are misleading because money circulates. Most of the public money that is spent on prisons will in fact create jobs and contracts for local companies which in turn will also create jobs and ultimately return the money in form of taxes.
In the end, saving money should never be a reason to kill people especially not when they could be innocent.

Re: No more re-offenders
Death penalty is not the only way to reduce the number of re-offenders, lifetime imprisonment is another option. Hence this is not an argument for death penalty at all.

Re: Crime-free Future
Yes, that is a nice dream. However due to the reasons, I have given above it will not happen, neither with nor without death penalty. And as studies show, death penalty is even connected with higher crime rates.

Debate Round No. 2


Thanks, DSWD, those are some really good points.

RE: Death penalty is killing innocent people
This may have been the case in the 70's. Considering your source doesn't include data after 2004, it's hard to really tell the accuracy of the judicial system nowadays. We don't have data for over a decade on the accuracy of the judicial system, and in that 10+ year span, the technology we have has changed substantially. What I can provide is factually-based, up-to-date statistics on all forms of crime exonerations [1]. For a more detailed report on the approximately 900 exonerations from 1989-2012, read this [2]. And after subtracting the non-violent crime, we're left with about 800 exonerations. The judicial system isn't perfect, so I'll explain how the pros outweigh the cons. Keep in mind, my argument is not based around a "punishment" standpoint, but more around a "bettering society" standpoint. In the end, we would lose several innocent people, who, mind you, were "proved" guilty during the hearing, but we would also save several million people from re-offenders.

Using my sources, approximately 70 people are exonerated (who were charged with committing a violent crime) a year, giving the impression that that would be the sacrifice we would have to deal with to better our society. And looking at these statistics and reading the stories, a lot of the wrongfully accused were associated somehow with the crime, usually being friends with the actual criminal. Although association isn't a crime, it reflects the character of the person in question. And as heartless/morally wrong as this sounds, 70 "innocent" people executed a year (this number would drastically decrease per year as the number of actual criminals would also decrease) is, in my eyes, a reasonable sacrifice to take, to end the lives and to prevent future victims of millions of actual criminals. Calculating the number of future victims using my recidivism rates [3], losing 70 innocent lives in order to prevent the killing, rape, torture and beatings of millions of other innocent lives is reasonable.

The racial bias is irrelevant in this debate, as anyone convicted of any violent crime would face death. The judge would not choose whether or not the convict would face death or jail time, as that wouldn't be an option. Either death or innocent.

RE: More guilty people would be allowed to go free
This is an unexpectedly good point. However a few things are kind of "off" with it. Overturning death sentences may not have a correlation with prejudice or biases, and can simply relate to the crime committed and history of the offender. Currently, the death penalty decision is chosen by a panel of judges, as well as a jury, where the majority rules. If the sentence is not death, like you said, it is life imprisonment. But that is the choice the judges have: death, or life imprisonment. When the option is death or set free, the panel of judges (who will adapt to this law, or be held in contempt of court) most likely will not set anyone free who they feel is a danger to society. And although again, can be considered inhumane to some, putting down the people who have done harm to innocent people, and who are dangerous to society, is not a bad thing. Again, preventing millions of crimes by "taking out the trash" and saving money (minimal prison populations) is beneficial to the whole of the country, and will have nothing but positive impacts on the years to come.

RE: Death penalty does not reduce crime rates
I feel my exoneration statistics [3] fully dispute this. If 75% of people return to prison within 5 years, that's 75% less crime committed in those 5 years, if the offender is killed after their first offense. I see you're mostly referring to first offenders though. Most people don't want to die. I'm not too sure what you're saying regarding the rapist killing the victim afterwards. If you mean the rapist can have fun killing the person, then that's usually just not the case. I can't find a single thing that currently shows rapists also killing their victims to be "normal." Usually rapists are strictly performing the act for power/sexual reasons. Also, the chance that they're caught and proved guilty for murder is greater than that of rape, so if they don't want to die, they probably won't kill the person. And on top of that, rapists/sex offenders are likely to re-offend [4]. So if prison isn't a strong enough deterrent, maybe death would be, and if the death penalty was implemented to anyone who commits a violent crime, that would save hundreds upon hundreds of women from being raped.

RE: Death penalty is condemned by the international community
Unfortunately we're strictly discussing Canada and America here. It's irrelevant that some Islamic countries may have different ideas of what to implement - we're strictly talking about convicted violent criminals being put to death in America and Canada.

RE: Extended death row period is needed
As long as it takes to come to the final verdict (guilty or not guilty) in violent crime cases is long enough. When the judge makes the final ruling, the chance of the person being innocent is so low that, like I said before, it's worth the sacrifice, to make the country a better place. The amount of innocent people executed in comparison to the amount of victims of violent crime would be about 70:500,000+, taking in to my 70 exonerations per year combined with the 75% of criminals to re-offend. So by taking a few possible innocent lives, we would prevent the death and torment of a few million innocent lives in the long run.

RE: RE: Money saved in death
I see what you mean, but like I said for the sake of this argument, we'd be cutting the cost of executions down to a minimum. I agree that cutting spending on certain areas would definitely save a little bit, but we need to pay all the prison staff, keep the prisons' power on, showers running, etc. If we killed at least half of the prisoners, the sizes of the prisons would be cut in half, the amount of staff needed would be cut in half, the amount of resources required would be cut in half - the overall cost would be cut in half.

Simply "saving money" isn't my point. It's the ability to put that saved money in to other areas, such as education, police forces, hospitals, better community housing, even helping the poor and getting everyone in the country up on their feet. It's a fact that areas with higher average household incomes are less violent [5]. What can be done about this? Well, by saving tens of billions of dollars annually, we can put that money toward...

Education - children raised with a good education are more likely to seek legitimate jobs and career paths that they can use their intelligence for. This will also create jobs in the area, more reason not to follow a life of crime.
Housing - communities with little housing have a higher homeless rate, leading to higher rates of crime, to earn money or power or property/areas of land to live in. Implementing more housing will keep people off the streets, lowering the crime rate in the areas.
Hospitals - diseases run rampant in areas with high density to low income rates. Implementing hospitals will again create jobs, generate an income, and keep the general public healthy.
Police force - implementing small police departments or security forces is obviously a good way to keep crime down, and more importantly, keep people safe. With the implementation of a police force, more violent criminals will be "taken out of society," innocent people will not be afraid of going outside, more can be accomplished in the area, and more jobs will be created.

...There's lots more, but these are four main things that can be implemented to keep the city/area/country as a whole incredibly more safe, clean, and overall happy. And this can be accomplished by saving tens of billions of dollars by cutting down on prison costs by taking out the trash and eliminating people who are a serious threat to the well-being of society.

RE: RE: No more re-offenders
Because other options are available doesn't mean my option is all of a sudden not an option. We pick the best option out of all the options. You have not argued against this point at all. Plus, giving life in prison to anyone who commits a violent crime would cost the country tens of billions of dollars more - #30,000 per inmate, and instead of maybe a year or less, you're looking at 50+ years on average. 30,000 multiplied by 50 is $1,500,000 total per inmate, and that multiplied by the amount of people found guilty of committing any kind of violent crime... well, you're looking at overflowing prison populations and much, much higher amounts of money gone to prison expansions, staff additions, etc.

RE: RE: Crime-free future
The death penalty, as we have now, could be connected with higher murder rates, as that is the only thing that currently warrants the death penalty. However with the implementations of a death penalty awarded to anyone who commits a violent crime, instead of strictly murder, people wanting to rob stores or play the knock-out game would be less inclined to do so, as people like that tend to not want to die for the crimes they commit, and a lot are "okay" with going to jail, such as this guy [6].

So all in all, killing anyone who is detrimental to the well-being of other citizens is beneficial in the long run.



Death penalty is killing innocent people
After reading Pro's source #2 as proposed, I extend my point that innocent people are killed by death penalty today and many more would be killed by accepting the proposal. This very source details that on most of the exonerations, DNA did not play any role at all, so there is no reason to believe that the numbers of false convictions has changed in the last 10 years. [1] shows that the number is even vastly understated by cases that are never corrected. It concludes that the real number of false convictions is 4.1%.

More guilty people would be allowed to go free
Given those high numbers of false convictions, it is even more understandable that judges are much less likely to hand out death sentences as compared to lifetime sentences.
[2] concludes that "One set of studies proposes that the decisions people make may
be affected by the severity of the potential consequences, in general, (Beck, 1984) and
specifically in criminal cases (Kerr, 1993). It follows that the extraordinarily high stakes of the
death penalty would reduce the frequency of guilty verdicts in capital cases. Survey research has
found, in fact, that even among proponents of the death penalty, a large majority responded that
they would need more evidence to vote guilty if the penalty were going to be death than if it
were going to be life imprisonment (Ellsworth & Ross, 1983)."
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says "People who are well represented at trial do not get the death penalty. I have yet to see a death case among the dozens coming to the Supreme Court on eve-of-execution stay applications in which the defendant was well represented at trial.” [3]

It is obvious that the proposed system is different from the current system. However that does not automatically invalidate all statistics and conclusions we can draw from the current system. The observation that the likelihood of convictions decreases as the punishment increases is universally valid. Even in current law systems (e.g. in Florida) judges are practically forced to decide on death penalty vs. freedom as only the verdict phase requires an unanimous vote while the punishment phase is majority based. Therefore the only way to effectively avoid death penalty for a judge is to vote "not guilty" which, as the sources show, some of them are doing.

Death penalty does not reduce crime rates
I extend my point that a huge part of violent crimes are passionate crimes for which deterrents do not work. Therefore, the potential effect of death penalty as a deterrent is very limited.
Pro's statement "I'm not too sure what you're saying regarding the rapist killing the victim afterwards. If you mean the rapist can have fun killing the person, then that's usually just not the case. I can't find a single thing that currently shows rapists also killing their victims to be "normal." Usually rapists are strictly performing the act for power/sexual reasons." shows that he completely missed my point. I will explain that some more:
Imagine a man raping a woman in a passionate affection. When he finally comes to senses again and realizes what he has dome and what the potential consequences are he decides between two options: running away or killing her. If he runs away, she would report the crime and a phantom picture of him would be all over the media the next days. Also she would be able to identify him and the police will secure any DNA evidence he might have left. The chances of being caught are pretty high and the penalty is clearly death penalty. If he kills her, burns the body, and buries the remains somewhere the situation is different: She will not report the crime, she will not be able to identify him and any DNA material will most likely be destroyed. It is unlikely that the crime will ever be detected and even more unlikely that it will be connected to him. Thereby, he clearly reduces the odds of being caught and the cost of that is nothing. Right, if the gets caught he will still get the same penalty as before and not face any additional penalty for that murder.
This example can be extended to a lot of cases: Been seen while robbing a gas station? Kill the witness! Beat your wife and she want to go to the police? Better kill her and blame it on an anonymous murderer!

Death penalty is condemned by the international community
My main point here is that the realization of the proposal would significantly affect foreign relations which in turn will also negatively affect the economy. This effect cannot be ignored as neither Canada nor the US are isolated countries; both heavily rely on foreign relations.

Extended death row period is needed
I must thank Pro for clearly stating the idea as follows so I can grasp its full impact: "When the judge makes the final ruling, the chance of the person being innocent is so low that, like I said before, it's worth the sacrifice, to make the country a better place."
What Pro actually proposes is a threat-based legal system (in contrast to one based on justice). Suspects should be killed based on the probability that they pose a threat to society. The proposal even abolishes any possibility of appealing to higher courts thus the proposed system will have a high false-positive rate.
Pro openly admits that this will cost the lives of innocent people but argues that the expected decrease in crime rate is worth it.
Consequently, by the same utilitarian logic, this threat-based approach could be extended to people that are highly likely to commit a crime in the future like drug addicts, homeless, and people with mental issues. Pro's savings argument also supports those target groups as they normally are not paying much tax but are a burden to social security and welfare.

Re: Money saved in death
Macro-economics show that public spending is much unlike private spending. While I consider Pro's figures to be overstated, I will not contest them for the sake of the debate. Those numbers however do not include the public savings by people in prison. Yes right, people in prison also save money as they are not using several public services while in prison.
Also, I strongly reject to view the costs of prisons as losses. Pro himself gave the following example for prison spending: employee wages. This is a perfect example on how the money will return to the state. Part of the spending will directly return in income tax. As employees spend their salary, most of the money will come back as sales tax, corporate tax and again income tax of the employees of those companies. This means that most of the money actually returns to the state. And as a nice byproduct lots of jobs are created for people that otherwise would have to be supported by public welfare.
So just saving money by killing people is not feasible, the math just doesn't work.

Statistics show that prison populations are mostly made up of men and most of them are between 20 and 50. This means that they would make up a perfect work force were they not in prison. While Pro's proposal is to remove them from society and therefore erase their potential work force from the GDP, my proposal is to use their work force to contribute to GDP (as much as possible being in prison).

Re: No more re-offenders
The reason for me to dismiss this point so quickly was that one could achieve the same result with lifetime sentences. My line of reasoning to dismiss this argument was that when two options can achieve the same goal then always the option that costs less lives must be chosen. This can be seen as some kind of Occam's Razor of morals.
I hope that Pro agrees with this concept that I consider to be fundamental to our society. Any further objections that consider other differences of the two options (like the costs) already have separate points so this point should be dropped.

Re: Crime-free future
I have to dismiss the example given by Pro as it is only anecdotal and thus cannot tell us anything about a whole society. Also, bringing up this example clearly violates the debate rules as it concerns the situation in the UK.

Murder by false accusation
Another interesting point is that such a legal system that applies death penalty for a broad variety of crimes and does not allow any way to challenge a verdict can be abused: Murder by false accusation. People could accuse other people of crimes they did not commit and let the state carry out the actual killing for them. Con's proposal offers "sexual assault", "domestic violence", "stalking/threatening with intent to harm", and "any form of physical assault" as options to chose from. It is not very hard to see that it is very easy to make up false accusations including false evidence in those categories that are hard to disprove.
As consequence, the rate of false convictions would rise dramatically. This in turn will raise even more doubt among judges and result in even more guilty people go free. This could finally lead to the collapse of the legal system as a whole.

Debate Round No. 3


Thanks, smile emoticon

Death Penalty Is Killing Innocent People
I don't dispute the fact that a very small amount of innocent people are/would be killed by the death penalty. I also didn't even mention DNA in my response. The only thing I have to argue against that you've brought up is this figure you're mentioning. The 4.1% is an estimation - it's subjective. Quoting your source, "This makes it possible to use data on death row exonerations to estimate the overall rate of false conviction among death sentences." [1] The key words being estimate and overall rate.

For example; if 41 people of 1,000 were exonerated, 4.1% would be the percentage of innocent people in that group. That number would not represent the amount of convicted felons who were later found innocent as a whole. For the 4.1% figure to make sense nationwide, representing all convicts, 4.1% of all convicts would have to be proved not guilty eventually. And because that isn't the case, and as my source [2] shows, approximately 1,500 total exonerations since 1989, and about 100 a year. And if you scroll down to Table 1 of my BJS source [3], you'll see in 2013 there were 2,220,000 prisoners (local and federal prison/jail) in the US. So 100 a year out of 2.2 million is a hell of lot less than 4.1%. The 4.1% is an estimated, subjective number, based strictly on death sentences out of a certain population, whereas the number I've provided (100/year) is as accurate as can be.

More Guilty People Would Be Allowed To Go Free
Again, your argument is strictly based on "death vs life imprisonment," and not "death vs set free." The only options judges would have would be to set a dangerous person free, or sentence them to death. And if found guilty, not sentencing them to death would result in the judge being held in contempt of court. If there is no proof that he is guilty and the sentence relies on the jury and judge, they can decide whether or not he's fit to continue to interact with society. Judges wouldn't have a hard time sentencing someone who is detrimental to society. Even if at first it would be a tough thing to do, after a while it would become the norm and judges would get used to it, if they knew the incredible amount of positive outcomes from doing so.

I understand that the idea that judges rule less often as the punishment is more severe, however because the current options are so incredibly vast, it's hard to really compare the current system to my proposed system. And there will always be people willing to take on judicial roles if others aren't willing to sentence people to death. There will always be someone who is okay with that responsibility.

Death Penalty Does Not Reduce Crime Rates
The national clearance rate (rate at which crimes are solved/resolved) is about 40 percent less for rape than it is for murder [4]. Murders are solved at about a 65% success rate, where rape is solved at a 40% success rate. This means the chance of someone getting away with rape is greater than getting away with murder. This statistic, along with the "97/100 rapists get away with it" idea [5], show that if you rape someone, you're a lot less likely to be caught than if you murder someone.

Also, people who have sex with someone against their will in a "passionate affection" usually are not the type of people to cut up bodies and burn them in a field, as well as destroying all traces of any kind of evidence that point to him and her being together recently.

You do have somewhat of a point when you say you can just kill the person so nobody knows you committed a crime, but it's so incredibly difficult to get away with murder nowadays that you're more likely to be caught (as my statistics show) killing someone than performing any other crime. Security cameras, phone records, DNA evidence at the crime scene, all comes into play.

Death Penalty Is Condemned By The International Community
The death penalty, as implemented now, has not affected foreign relations with other countries. As long as those countries are on the up-and-up, they won't need to worry about anything. We still trade millions of dollars a year with countries like Syria [6] who kill their own citizens and produce terrorists by the tens of thousands, so what makes you think other countries would put a halt on their trade with us if we implemented the death penalty to violent criminals? Drug offenses (billions of dollars in drugs shipped international yearly) would not be punishable by death, so they really have nothing to worry about other than the laws that are in place now.

Extended Death Row Period Is Needed
You misunderstood my argument. I never said people who could be a threat to society should be killed. The resolution is "criminals convicted of violent crimes should be executed" - nothing to do with probability of violent behavior, but people who have been tried and found guilty of committing a violent crime. I never said they should be killed strictly if they pose a threat to society, I said they should be killed if they commit a violent crime. The "bettering society" and "removing dangerous people/threats from society" is an added bonus.

Like I've shown previously, the chance of an innocent person being sentenced to death (much less than the 4.1% estimation) is so low that even if they were to appeal at a later date, the chances of them being granted a not-guilty sentence is still incredibly low.

Money Saved In Death
It would have been great if you were able to give some numbers and figures to deal with, with some kind of sources. So far all I've got is "people in prison save money" and "prisons create jobs." I don't doubt that people in prison save money, but the amount of money saved (electricity, welfare, etc, I'm assuming?) is a drop in the bucket compared to the $30,000+ a year it costs to hold a prisoner. And of course the jobs created by spending the money saved (as I've said before) on possible buildings such as hospitals, schools, and private residences etc. far outweigh the jobs created with one prison.

Penal labour is actually a good point, however I believe it has too many flaws to be successfully implemented. It's a possibility now, as the 13th amendment allows it, but it isn't implemented in very many prisons at all. The main disadvantage (I'm going to skip the unethical forced labour aspect of it as I'm saying to just kill them all off anyway, lol) I see is that it takes away from jobs outside of prison. Anything a prisoner produces could have been produced by a non-prisoner, essentially rewarding the prisoner and taking away from the civilian who hasn't committed any crimes. A high level of security would need to also be implemented, costing more money, in order to ensure the prisoner is being safe, isn't stealing supplies, has created acceptable products, etc. A lot of work would go into ensuring the prisoner is being trustworthy. Larger corporations could go to prisons for cheap labour instead of hiring people outside of prison to work, again essentially rewarding prisoners and putting normal civilians at a huge disadvantage, taking away from jobs outside of prison.

Unfortunately regarding penal labour, the cons severely outweigh the pros. It sounds like a good idea, but in the end takes away from hard working civilians.

No More Re-offenders
Asserting that "the option that costs less lives must be chosen" with no argument to defend this was kind of pointless. The debate is whether or not it's okay to kill people convicted of violent crimes. You basically just said "no" and left it at that. I've also already explained why killing a prisoner is better than giving them a lifetime sentence, in several ways.

Crime-Free Future
I have to point out that more than half of what you've said is anecdotal (rape+murder, foreign relations, death penalty not reducing crime rates and more). I believe a level of anecdotal arguments are required for a debate like this, as this is not something that can necessarily be argued for or against with nothing but facts.

Dismissing my source because it's related to a man wanting to go to jail in a different country is kind of silly. But because you don't want to accept that people do want to go to jail, here's a story from where I live - Vancouver, Canada - about a man wanting to go to jail [7]. My point is that the average time spent for murder is around 20 years [8], and taking the 75% recidivism rate over 5 years into effect, by killing these murderers instead of setting them free after roughly 20 years with a 75% chance of them committing another crime, possibly murder, we are essentially saving the lives of a hell of a lot of people.

Murder By False Accusation
You have somewhat of a point, but for it to be valid, you'll need to provide some recent sources and literal examples of someone being able to accuse someone of something and actually having them sentenced to prison. On top of that, the amount of people actually sentenced would have to outweigh the amount of false claims dismissed. So if you can provide all those statistics, you'll have a point, and my rebuttal (because no more rounds) is that, again, some sacrifices have to be made to make the world a better place in the long run. The chance of someone "proving" someone committed a violent crime, without them committing it, is incredibly low.

Well, thanks for a good debate. I'm glad you brought such good points to the table :)



Thanks Mister_Man for this very interesting debate.

Death Penalty Is Killing Innocent People
Pro disputes that about 4% if death sentences kill innocent people and claims "The 4.1% is an estimation - it's subjective". The source clearly shows how they used scientific methodology to reach that conclusion instead of gut feelings. There is a difference between people who are proven innocent afterwards and people who are innocent. All of Pro's sources give numbers for people who have been proven innocent and my source uses those numbers to estimate the number of people who are innocent. The difference between my 4% and Pro's numbers is that a lot of cases are just not looked at after the people have been killed, so many false positives go undetected.

More Guilty People Would Be Allowed To Go Free
Pro does not dispute my argument but rather doubts that the effects would be the same in his hypothetical system. However, as I mentioned in a whole paragraph that Pro just ignored those effects can be seen even in todays system. I cite myself: "Even in current law systems (e.g. in Florida) judges are practically forced to decide on death penalty vs. freedom as only the verdict phase requires an unanimous vote while the punishment phase is majority based. Therefore the only way to effectively avoid death penalty for a judge is to vote "not guilty" which, as the sources show, some of them are doing". This shows that there is no doubt to the validity of the argument.

Death Penalty Does Not Reduce Crime Rates
Pro agrees with my point that murder after rape is free to try but argues that due to clearance rates that murder is more likely to be solved than the rape. The reason for the low rape clearance rate is that for rape there is a considerable false accusation rate that is not present for murder. This rate lowers the clearance rate as those cases are less likely to be cleared. Also there are some less-violent forms of rape where people agree on having had intercourse but disagree on whether it was consensual. Thus my point is still valid: In some cases of violent rape, the rapist would rather murder the victim than letting it go free just because of the death penalty.
Also Pro claims that it is "so incredibly difficult to get away with murder". However this completely ignores that this would be different in the proposed system as shown by my previous point.

Death Penalty Is Condemned By The International Community
I am not talking about a complete stop to the trade. However, if a country violates human rights and transitions into a police state, other countries will not ignore this. Just look at all the embargoes that are enforced on North Korea or Iran. Even today criminals are not extradited to the US just because of the death penalty [1]

Extended Death Row Period Is Needed
Pro claims "I never said people who could be a threat to society should be killed." yet his whole point "No more re-offenders" was exactly about how the chance of committing another crime after being released justifies death penalty.
I extend my point that it is inhumane to sentence millions of people to death without the chance of appealing to higher courts knowing that there is a considerable false positive rate (which I showed to be about 4.1%).

Re: Money Saved In Death
The problem with macro-economic effects is that you cannot see them working in small detail but only on a large scale. However if you think about it, it becomes obvious: Where should the money end if it is not returning to the state? It could end up in some peoples bank account where it is never touched again but that is unlikely to happen very often as most people spend their money rather than stockpiling it. Another possibility would be that the money leaves the country but also that is neglectable as the US trace balance is -40 billion but the total spending is about 4 trillions dollars. All the rest of the money circulates and therefore returns to the government.
Whether or not penal labor is able to make prisons self-sustaining is debatable but there are countries that successfully use it to reduce the costs dramatically. Due to the focus on America I cannot detail this but still it shows a considerable potential.

Re: No More Re-offenders
Pro is right, my whole reason to dismiss this point is based on the assumption that governments should seek to minimize the amount of citizens that have to die. If one denies this assumption and argues that governments should try to kill as many citizens as possible, I must drop this point.
Any other reasons why killing prisoners would be better than lifetime sentence are discussed in the other points and do not belong here as they both have the same result regarding re-offence rates.

Re: Crime-Free Future
Pro is confused about the meaning of "anecdotal": Anecdotal evidence (or "stories") only cover one specific case and therefore can never say anything about a society in general. That is the reason why during this debate I did not tell any of the thousands of heartbreaking stories of people who got taken away from their beloved ones, falsely sentenced to death, and executed.
I do not dispute that there are some people who want to go to jail but I claim that this effect is neglectable and none of the stories claim that this is some kind of trend.
Pro failed to show how his proposal would result in a "Crime-Free Future".

Murder By False Accusation
Pro states: "You have somewhat of a point, but for it to be valid, you'll need to provide some recent sources and literal examples of someone being able to accuse someone of something and actually having them sentenced to prison". [3] contains 25 examples.
This is happening right now in todays system. It is easy to imagine what would happen in a system that has guaranteed death penalty for lots of crimes. Also since the proposed system does not provide any way to appeal to higher courts, the fake evidence only has to stand in a single trial.

Summarizing all of my points, I have conclusively shown that 1) death penalty kills innocent people, that 2) because of that, criminals are more likely to go free, that 3) therefore death penalty is not able to reduce crime rates. Also I have shown 4) that the proposed system would have a negative impact on foreign relations and that 5) this system would allow people to murder by false accusation.
I also have successfully refuted Pro's claims about financial savings and a crime-free future.

Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tajshar2k 2 years ago
np Chase glad I could help.
Posted by Mister_Man 2 years ago
Thanks a lot for the vote, Taj. I always appreciate the really long reasons why you vote how you do, so thanks :)
Posted by Mister_Man 2 years ago
Wishing I had made this five rounds now, lol.
Posted by Mister_Man 2 years ago
LOL no idea why it changed it to say "smile emoticon," didn't even see that...
Posted by Mister_Man 2 years ago
Thanks :) It sounds kind of disturbing at first, but after thinking about it there's actually a lot of positives that could come out of doing something like this.
Posted by MizzEnigma 2 years ago
Nice points. Never would have thought of it that way. @Mister
Posted by Mister_Man 2 years ago
hahah well at least we can have a debate that's more than one round this time.
Posted by dswd 2 years ago
Oh man, it you again! I didn't even look at the name. LOL
Posted by Mister_Man 2 years ago
I would say you're more than welcome to take me up on this, but dswd seems to have a hard-on for me LOL
Posted by MSA31 2 years ago
I agree that the death penalty should be there but for disgusting and irreparable crimes only, in which i do not count physical assault, theft using weapon etc. I think there should be other appropriate punishements for these, another debate though
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tajshar2k 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: