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

Resolved: The Death Penalty should be abolished.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
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: 9/8/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 968 times Debate No: 79532
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




Greetings! This is a debate about the death penalty. It should be open to Mercedes.
Please accept as soon as possible.

Additional Rules:
No vulgarity
BoP is shared
No k's of the topic
No semantics
Trolling results in an automatic loss
Forfeiture results in an automatic loss
The debate atmosphere should remain courteous and respectful

Round Schedule:
Round 1: Rules and Acceptance

Round 2: Presentation of Arguments (Pro) and Arguments and Rebuttals (Con)
Round 3: Arguments and Rebuttals (Pro) and Arguments and Rebuttals (Con)
Round 4: Closing Arguments/Rebuttals (Pro & Con)


Thank you for starting this debate, and challenging me to the best of my abilities. To start off I am Con to the topic of the Death Penalty and how we should keep it for the sake of our lives for the future.
Now lets get down to business, the Death Penalty has been around for years upon years, and it has helped abolish the murders and all the bad people that truly deserved the punishment. Most would think that they don't but, "If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. This, to me, is not a tough call." John McAdams - Marquette University/Department of Political Science, on deterrence. Now that to you Pro may seem like a lousy excuse to keep the Death Penalty, but there are other multiple reasons that follow right behind the topic. "The Death Penalty deters crime and saves lives." On the website called The Heritage Foundation is where I had read an article about the Death Penalty by, David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D. "According to deterrence theory, 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."
"Separately, Professor Shepherd's analysis of monthly data from 1977 to 1999 found three important findings. First, each execution, on average, is associated with three fewer murders. The deterred murders included both crimes of passion and murders by intimates. Second, executions deter the murder of whites and African-Americans. Each execution prevents the murder of one white person, 1.5 African-Americans, and 0.5 persons of other races. Third, shorter waits on death row are associated with increased deterrence. For each additional 2.75-year reduction in the death row wait until execution, one murder is deterred." "In summary," to this section, "the recent studies using panel data techniques have confirmed what we learned decades ago: Capital punishment does, in fact, save lives. Each additional execution appears to deter between three and 18 murders. While opponents of capital punishment allege that it is unfairly used against African-Americans, each additional execution deters the murder of 1.5 African-Americans. Further moratoria, commuted sentences, and death row removals appear to increase the incidence of murder." The strength of these findings has caused some legal scholars, originally opposed to the death penalty on moral grounds, to rethink their case. In particular, Professor Cass R. Sunstein of the University of Chicago has commented: If the recent evidence of deterrence is shown to be correct, then opponents of capital punishment will face an uphill struggle on moral grounds. If each execution is saving lives, the harms of capital punishment would have to be very great to justify its abolition, far greater than most critics have heretofore alleged.

"The United States ranked fifth for the highest number of executions. The U.S. takes a spot behind China, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia for the most executions in the world last year, sitting ahead of Yemen and the Sudan. This ranking comes as no surprise to Brian Evans, Amnesty International's acting director on the Death Penalty Abolition Campaign, who said the same countries are in the top eight every year. (See video: "Inside Death Row.") But why is the U.S."which seems like somewhat of an outlier politically, culturally, and geographically"always in the top five? According to Evans, the U.S. has a strict attitude toward punishment in general. Having a severe attitude toward the death penalty is only natural when you consider that the U.S. leads the world in mass incarceration of prisoners and holds records for solitary confinement and sentences to life in prison."

"It seems that everywhere you turn these days some special interest group is whining about the environment. An actor out in Hollywood, back in the eighties, said we'd all be gone in ten years because we're destroying our environment. Everyone seems just terrified with all this talk about global warming, the ozone, the endangered species, the rain forests and the wet lands, but they're all in an uproar about NOTHING--absolutely nothing. If you know your Bible, then you know this old planet will survive for AT LEAST another 1007 years! So, let's all relax and concentrate on something that will REALLY help the environment. Let's get serious about Capital Punishment!"
How does the Death Penalty help the environment? Gods word should answer that for you, "And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. And if he smite him with throwing a stone, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. Or if he smite him with an hand weapon of wood, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him. But if he thrust him of hatred, or hurl at him by laying of wait, that he die; Or in enmity smite him with his hand, that he die: he that smote him shall surely be put to death; for he is a murderer: the revenger of blood shall slay the murderer, when he meeteth him." (Num. 35:16-21)
"Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die. Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death." (Num. 35:30-31)
Does that answer your question, Gods word over the hopeful soon Pros rebuttal to that.

Now, I know that so far in my debate with the Pro that I have used mostly quotes from pretty creditable sites, but I do have a reason for that matter. I may not have that much good information to paraphrase. And some of which I will tell you. Some thing are just to good to paraphrase, so that is why I have been mostly quoting from these sites.

Debate Round No. 1


My opponent has used the first round as her case. The structure will change to the following:

R2: Pro Case, Con Rebuttals

R3: Pro Rebuttals & Defense, Con Rebuttals and Defense

Judges: Note that Con didn’t provide their case in the instructed round, and that it has forced me to give her an extra round of arguments.

Death Penalty: “Execution of an offender sentenced to death after conviction by a court of law of a criminal offense. Capital punishment should be distinguished from extrajudicial executions carried out without due process of law. The term death penalty is sometimes used interchangeably with capital punishment, though imposition of the penalty is not always followed by execution (even when it is upheld on appeal), because of the possibility of commutation to life imprisonment.” [1]

Essentially, the death penalty and capital punishment are the synonymous, and I will use them interchangeably throughout this debate.

What Crimes Result in the Death Penalty?

“The capital offenses include espionage, treason, and death resulting from aircraft hijacking. However, they mostly consist of various forms of murder such as murder committed during a drug-related drive-by shooting, murder during a kidnapping, murder for hire, and genocide.” [3]

Allow me to move to the crux of the round.

Morality Argument:

The first and foremost problem with is the morality of such an issue. Though lawmakers and politicians push for such a system, claiming it gives justice to the criminals, it simply isn’t moral. The ideology behind the death penalty, and the mindset that is required to sentence and carry out the death penalty creates deadly cyclical killing. The simple reality is that the advocates for the death penalty assume that killers must be killed. But that formula is flawed. Allow me to demonstrate.

A. All who kill mustbe killed

B. a killed b

C. x must now kill a to preserve the ideology.

From there, y has the obligation to kill x, z must kill y, et cetera. This deadly cycle (literally) goes against any moral groundings of killings, and the laws of our land. If murders must be punished for killing, executioners must be punished for killing. If continuing with this problematic strategy, a never-ending cycle of murder will ensue, causing harm not only to the original family affected by murder, but continuing along the chain. If murder is a crime (which it is) the death penalty goes against predetermined laws; thus, leaving of the death penalty in action causes hypocrisy and contradiction of the law. Moreover, “Allowing our government to kill citizens compromises the deepest moral values upon which this country was conceived: the inviolable dignity of human persons.” [9]

Justice is also found in other methods of punishment. “Given the value we place on life and our obligation to minimize suffering and pain whenever possible, if a less severe alternative to the death penalty exists which would accomplish the same goal, we are duty-bound to reject the death penalty in favor of the less severe alternative.” [11]

Inhumanity Argument:

Along with being simply immorality, the death penalty is inhumane. Besides the fact of looming death, capital punishment is often painful for victims, as there are multiple forms of the death penalty. Even though many would argue that lethal injection is the best and least painful form of capital punishment, a study shows criminals can and have been conscious throughout their death. This study comes from the British Journal, The Lancet, where they explain, “43 percent had concentrations of anesthetic in their blood — as measured by medical examiners during autopsies — that would indicate consciousness rather than sedation during an execution.” [4] Dr. Leonidas Koniaris, chairman of surgical oncology at the University of Miami asks us the decisive question, “As a society we need to step back and ask whether we want to torture these people or not.” [16] The answer is that we SHOULDN’T torture these people. Professor Stephen B. Bright of Yale Law School asks, “Does a society torture those it believes guilty of crimes?” [16] Once again, a just society should not.

“Worthy” Crime Argument:

Studies have shown that the DP has deviated from the previous standards of only SPECIFIC crimes resulting in capital punishment. As of only last year, governments are using the death penalty to punish to combat crime and terrorism as well. A study done by Amnesty International documents, “An alarming number of countries used the death penalty to tackle real or perceived threats to state security linked to terrorism, crime or internal instability in 2014.” [5] What we see is that these penalties are being given for reasons that deviate from the primary and regulated reasons.

These crimes can also give capital punishment to minors, such as George Junius Stinney Jr., who was 14 when he was executed. “Stinney, the youngest person to receive the death penalty in the last 100 years, was executed on June 16, 1944. At five feet one inch and only 95 pounds, the straps of the electric chair did not fit the boy. His feet could not touch the floor. As he was hit with the first 2,400-volt surge of electricity, the mask covering his face slipped off, ‘revealing his wide-open, tearful eyes and saliva coming from his mouth.’” [6] The article further explains that Stinney was never actually guilty of the crime with which he was charged.

Innocence Argument:

We see cases where individuals are not guilty of the crime they supposedly committed, and in serious cases, we see executions when the “criminal” is guilty. In fact, a study from the University of Michigan Law school shows, “a conservative estimate of the proportion of erroneous convictions of defendants sentenced to death in the United States from 1973 through 2004, [is] 4.1%.” [7] Because capital punishment is death, errors are vital, and very important. Justice systems cannot accurately be described as just when they convict and murder innocent individuals. Thus, without conclusive evidence, governments execute innocent individuals and are not just.

Deterrence Argument:

Though it is a common argument, little credible evidence even suggests that capital punishment deters crime. In fact, the evidence points the other way. In a study published by John J. Donohue and Justin Wolfers, they back up the claim that the death penalty doesn’t deter crime. “Sociologist Thorsten Sellin’s careful comparisons of the evolution of homicide rates in contiguous states from 1920 to 1963 led to doubts about the existence of a deterrent effect caused by the imposition of the death penalty… the National Academy of Sciences to issue a 1978 report which argued that the existing evidence in support of a deterrent effect of capital punishment was unpersuasive… We find that the existing evidence for deterrence is surprisingly fragile.” [8]

In reality, deterrence is not a result of capital punishment, and the evidence that supports it is not credible. In fact, “a University of Florida researcher’s new study shows 90 percent of the nation’s top criminologists say killing people to deter violent crime is an immense waste of time and money.” [2] Even besides murders, the death penalty is ineffective at deterring other crimes, including drug trafficking. [12] Moreover, the United Nations nor the Malaysian Bar president have found that the death penalty doesn’t deter criminal activity. [13] [14]


The death penalty costs too much. "A study found that the death penalty costs North Carolina $2.16 million per execution over the costs of a non-death penalty murder case with a sentence of imprisonment for life (Cook & Slawson. 1993). On a national basis, these figures translate to an extra cost of over $700 million dollars spent since 1976 on the death penalty." [10] They continue to say, “It costs six times more to execute a person in Florida than to incarcerate a prisoner for life with no parole.” In fact, “A 1982 study showed that were the death penalty to be reintroduced in New York, the cost of the capital trial alone would be more than double the cost of a life term in prison.” [15]

These reasons explicitly explain why the death penalty should be abolished.










[9] Prejean, Helen. "Executions Are Too Costly--Morally" Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States. 1993. Rpt. In Current Issues and Enduring Questions. Ed. Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau. Boston: Bedford St. Martin's, 2002. 584.






[15] N. Y. State Defenders Assn., Capital Losses (1982) []




For my rebuttal i will argue that the Penalty of Death is moral. To quote from this website, conservativelogic a user of argues that the Death Penalty is moral. "It is not murder.

Murder is the killing of an innocent victim. Those who are given the death penalty (murders) are neither innocent nor "victims".
Also, the death penalty saves money. The cost of feeding and clothing a murderer for the rest of his or her life is enormous. Most murderers are relatively young and, therefore, will spend decades in jail, using up are hard-earned tax dollars. The price of a bullet for the execution is a lot less than keeping these killers alive.
Lastly the death penalty is the most effective deterrent for murder known to exist. Virtually everybody is afraid of dying, Knowing that you will die for your crimes would make people think twice before pulling the trigger." I am using this as my rebuttal because it proves that it is moral, and an even trade somewhat. Because if one takes a life, that life that took one is taken as well.
Another user from also agrees that its moral, Mr. E-Man Comments "100% moral. Of course it is moral as it is a matter of rights. Any individual convicted of taking the life of another or any other crime warranting a life sentence has proven his/her disregard for the rights of others and therefore has no rights of their own. These kinds of individuals should be removed from society permanently. Sure there are times when the innocent are falsely convicted but there are just as many times when the guilty are falsely found innocent. No judicial system is perfect and there is not a high percentage of false convictions."
Debate Round No. 2


1. I've provided a whole contention of my case to support this notion, along with evidence from credible sources.
2. Whereas my opponent has only used members of the site on which we are debating, I have drawn my support from sources with available credibility.
3. I've provided model as to showing how it's immoral and leads to immoral actions.
4. It is murder. Murder: "the crime of deliberately killing a person" [1]
5. Mr. E-Man's comment is inherently invalid. I'll provide two examples of how it is incorrect.
a. We can't take someones rights on the basis that they've taken anothers rights. For example, if someone steals your car, that does not give you liberty to steal someone else's car. Just the same, it doesn't transfer that liberty to another, as the death penalty attempts to justify.
b. This concept of returning "what is due" is flawed. In fact, "The phrase “the phrase "an-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye makes everybody blind” is commonly attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, and this idea applies to the American justice system." [2] While they try to achieve justice and morality by "repaying" the criminal, it has no moral effect, and is actually a net detriment to society.

1. This is only briefly mentioned by my opponent, but I willl address it nonetheless.
2. Regardless of the number, any innocent captial punishment is immoral.
3. This is not an uncommon consequence of the death penalty. "“The great majority of innocent people who are sentenced to death are never identified and freed," said Samuel Gross, lead author of the study and a University of Michigan Law School professor, in a statement." [3]
4. Moreover, the same study exposed that over 4% (a conservative estimate) of those punished by the death penalty are innocent. [4]

1. This point is empirically false, as shown in my previous contention.
2. My opponent argues only with flawed logical, with no evidence to support it.
3. On the contrary, I provided multiple cards of evidence to support my stance.
4. No credible evidence supports the idea that capital punishment is a deterrent for crimes. [5] [6] [7]
5. Empirical studies of various origin conclude that the death penalty is not a deterrent. [8] [9] [10]
6. Moreover, life in prison is just as effective, if not more. [11]
7. Because the death penalty destroys regard for life, life in prison both shows that the government wants to protect life of all facets and is thus a more effective deterrent. [12]

1. While I am a Christian, God does not have an implication in the way that my opponent phrases it.
2. What my opponent cites as "God's Word" is in the New Testament altered, to introduce the New dispensation.
3. Regardless, this argument by opponent is under the premise that God exists, which is not the topic of the debate.

Opponent's Sources:
1. Her National Geographic source shows some shady implications of the death penalty. [13]
a. Saudi Arabia utilized crucifixtion: this is obviously a very cruel, painful, and immoral method of ending an individual's life. A medieval form of execution shows how the death penalty degrades society. [14]
b. China keeps its executions secret: one can only wonder why... perhaps inhumane punishment? A number *too* high to publicize?
c. Only 21 countries carried out the death penalty in 2012: As there is 196 countries in the world currently [15], the death penalty is not vastly popular, and for a good reason. One can only conclude that the *majority* of countries/people are against capital punishment itself.

I have provided multiple reasons as to why the death penalty should be abolished. Please note that I have only had 1 round of rebuttals and rebuilding of my case, whereas my opponent gets an extra round. (She posted her initial argument in the incorrect round.) Regardless, I have shown that the death penalty is not pragmatic or moral, and should thus be abolished.




Mercedes2017 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by ColeTrain 2 years ago
@Blazzered, thanks!
Posted by Blazzered 2 years ago
I'm quite disappointed this ended with a forfeit. I will vote on this debate on a later date. Regardless of the forfeit, great job to both debaters.
Posted by ColeTrain 2 years ago
@Blazzered, thanks. :) I feel the same way. I doubt her mistake was intentional, so I feel no reason to penalize her severely for that. I hope you will vote on this debate when it is completed. ;)
Posted by Blazzered 2 years ago
@ColeTrain, I am happy to see you are continuing the debate. I have seen many people call an end to a debate and call for full points towards them simply because their opponent made a mistake.
Posted by ColeTrain 2 years ago
Blazzered, you're correct. However, I also made the mistake of forgetting to change the debate to 4 rounds. We'll see how it goes.

Also, on source [8], the link is messed up. When you click on it, it will likely go to
If so, simply go the URL and add (SLR).pdf to show the correct site. Sorry about any inconvenience.
Posted by Blazzered 2 years ago
If I read correctly, round 1 was just acceptance.... Regardless, this debate should be interesting.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tejretics 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 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:40 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD: