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The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Resolved: The death penalty should be abolished.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/26/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 488 times Debate No: 79090
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




Greetings! This is a debate about the death penalty. I hope Kylar will accept my direct challenge.
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)


I am honored to debate this topic with you and look forward to a fun and engaging debate for the both of us.
Debate Round No. 1


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 must be 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]

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.” The answer is that we SHOULDN’T torture these people.

“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]

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]

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.




Thank you for the debate, now the task falls to me to refute, friend :).

First of all, excellent definition of the death penalty/capital punishment. Spot on there :).

Let's look at this...crimes resulting in the death penalty to start. Again, spot on here, good job.
The morality argument is a valid one, I admit. However, you need to take into account the family of the victim. They most likley would want justice for the death of their family member...that is to be expected.

Inhumanity argument refutal
Yes there is a certain degree of the death penalty (crucifixion, stoning) that can be torture. But keep this in mind, my friend, that the killer probably did some very cruel things to their victim/s to end up on death row. Not to say I condone any crucifixion or stoning, or otherwise brutal modes of death but think about it a little bit more :).

Worthy Crime argument refutal
There are a lot of very valid points in this argument. However, there are sometimes major loopholes. I respectfully say that not every country is as coruptt as it seems with their use of the death penalty. Now, I do agree, we should not sentence minors to death however.

Innocence refutal
Yes, there have been a lot of exonerations, that is true. No need to refute this.

Deterrence refutal
Pakistan, and Bangladesh seem to have a good deterrence mechanism in their death penalty.

Cost refutal
no need to refute it, it is expensive
thank you for the debate :)
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you for your response! :)

No dispute here.

What Crimes Result in the Death Penalty?: This is mutual as well.

Moral Argument:
1. My opponent admits that the argument is valid, and concedes this point.
2. Justice can be found via other methods, such as life in prison. Manuel Vasquez explains these ethics well, "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." [1]

Inhumanity Argument:
1. My opponent concedes that there is inhumane action taken when executing capital punishment.
2. We shouldn't necessarily be inhumane to someone just becuase they are inhumane to someone else. For example, just becuase you've been robbed doesn't justify that you can rob someone else.

Worthy Crime Argument:
1. My opponent also admits this argument has "very valid" points.
2. He mentions loopholes, but doesn't explain them.
3. Though every country may not be corrupt, we must consider the ones that are corrupt. Moreover, there is common flaws with the corrupt death penalty, as well as many other similar systems. [2]
4. My opponent concedes that young people have had capital punishment, and that it is not morally permissable.

Innocence Argument:
1. My opponent completely drops this argument with no rebuttal.

Deterrence Argument:
1. My opponent makes a bold claim that Pakistand and Bangledesh see deterrence, but doesn't explain how, or provide evidence to back his claim.
2. He doesn't refute my examples and cited studies of how there isn't deterrence because of the death penalty.
3. For a specific example, the death penalty doesn't deter drug traffickers. [3]
4. The United Nations has also discussed the issue and found no correlation between capital punishment and crime deterrence. [4]
5. The Malaysian Bar (professional body of lawyers in peninsular Malaysia) president also presented a public statement that they have found that the death penalty doesn't deter crime. [5]

My opponent has dropped or conceded the majority of my arguments and has not presented a case. Hopefully this case will be provided in the following round.


Thank you for the debate as well! :)


I thank you once more for an engaging debate.
I am up rather early so if I am rambling sorry.

Taking a look at your arguments for this round I appreciate your research and enthuasism :).
Murder rates for states without the death penalty are decreasing, I found that in the source below

at the same time, I notice that murder rates are going up in the south, where the death penalty remains on the books.

To put it as kindly as I am a kind person, very good job here my friend :).

Now on to my case...
Pakistan and Bangladesh are hanging criminals on a regular basis. Despite violence in their nations, they seem to deter crime realtivley well.
The death penalty brings closure to the victim's families. If you think about it, someone they love has been murdered, and in some cases raped before hand. I don't want to be graphic or anything but suppose you had a loved one kidnapped, raped, stabbed to death and thrown into a ditch.
What would you want done? Me, I want the perpatrator to pay the price. Being a firm Christian I acknowledge the 6th commandment: thou shalt not kill. However, it also says: whoever sheddeth a man's blood, their blood shall be shed.
Now this is not to force religion into this, but I believe firmly you would want the killer to die for their actions.

My case is rested thank you for an engaging debate
Debate Round No. 3


Thank you for accepting this debate, it has been fun. :)

Murder Rates:
1. My opponent pretty much concedes this point.
2. His evidence is weighted in my favor, as it states, "For 2013, the average Murder Rate of Death Penalty states was 4.4, while the average Murder Rate of States without the Death Penalty was 3.4." [1] This trend, in favor of the notion of how the death penalty doesn't deter crime, is consistent with the years that is shows; going back to 2008.
3. He also points out that southern states which use capital punishment continue to see an increase in murder rates.

Deterring Crime:
1. My opponent mentions Pakistan and Bangladesh, and says that they have been successful in deterring crime. Once again, he provides no evidence to support this claim.
2. Studies don't show that it deters crime. [2] [3] [4]
3. Studies, if anything, prove the opposite. [5]

Closure for Families:
1. This falls under the moral/inhumanity argument.
2. I've shown how this creates a murderous cycle, if you kill all who kill.
3. Killing the criminals achieves no end because it isn't a deterrent. [6]
4. My opponent claims he is a Christian (I don't doubt this, I am as well). However, his argument is fundamentally flawed from a Christian perspective.
5. The Old Testament, was the old law. He says, "whoever sheddeth a man's blood, their blood shall be shed." This is in the Old Testament. [7]
6. The New Testament is the the new law. The mindset of "an eye for an eye" [8] was changed in the new law. [9]
7. Besides religion, this would only result in more death among society. (the death penalty obviously KILLS another person)
8. Furthermore, life in prison costs less, and is a more humane alternative. [10]

My opponent has dropped a lot of my arguments, and not provided evidence that supported any part of his case. On the other hand, I have provided a plethora of evidence to give credibility to my stance.


Thank you for this debate, kylar, it has been exhiliarating, engaging, and enjoyable. :)


Kylar forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by ColeTrain 1 year ago
Lol, yeah, sorry... :P
Posted by Lexus 1 year ago
lol I like the inconsistent font types
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by darthebearnc 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments seem to be more comprehensive, example-oriented, and logically sound overall. Great job to both!
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: According to the rules, a forfeit results in a loss. Con ff, so all points to Pro.