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The Contender
Con (against)

Should the death penalty be abolished

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/4/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 week ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 425 times Debate No: 114934
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (23)
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I am arguing that we abolish the death penalty. Here is how the debate format will go:
Round 1: Acceptance only
Round 2: Arguments only
Round 3: Rebuttals only
Round 4: Response to rebuttals only
Round 5: Conclusions

No new arguments should be made in rounds 3, 4, and 5.
I look forward to debating.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


Since 1791, our country has had a cruel method of punishing people known as the death penalty. It is a method of killing criminals for horrible crimes by methods of lethal injection, firing squads, the electric chair, the gas chamber and many others. All of these are slow painful processes. Aside from the cruelty however, there are many reasons we should abolish it.

When executioners execute criminals they have to execute them in ways such as the electric chair, firing squad, and lethal injection. In the process of these, the criminal often suffers in excruciating pain. Not only is this harming the criminal, but the executioner as well. The executioner has to sit there and watch the whole time. They have to watch people as they writhe in agony as the criminal is being put to death. Jerry Givens quotes, "You can't tell me I can take the life of people and go home and be normal. If I had known what have to go through as an executioner, I wouldn't have done it. It took a lot out of me to do it." Jerry Givens is just one the many executioners who suffer from PTSD. He is just one of the many people who will have to spend the rest of their lives with this dis-order. If we abolished the death penalty, think about how many people would be saved from this mental dis-order

Freddie Pitts quotes, "you can always release an innocent person from prison from a sentence of life without parole-but you can never release an innocent man from the grave." He is exactly right. If you put to death an innocent person it is irreversible. Once you are dead you simply cannot be brought back to life. If an innocent person was sentenced to life imprisonment however, that is a reversible mistake. If you find the man to be innocent you can release him. Unfortunately, because of the death penalty, innocent people are put to death all the time. As a matter of fact, 1 in 25 sentenced to death in the US are innocent. Not only does this have an impact on the person itself, but also a string of other negative impacts. The family members of these people would be devastated to find out their loved one was killed when they did not deserve to die by any means. It just shows to prove that the worst punishments in this world are the ones that can't be taken back.

As I said, the death penalty has so many other negative impacts then what it may seem like at first glance. It may seem like that it might just effect the person themselves, but there is a whole string of other effects. This is one of them. The death penalty comes at a great cost. Studies show that death penalty cases cost an average of 1.26 million dollars per case, while life imprisonment cases cost around 740,000 dollars a case. If that sounds like a big difference, that's just for one case. The thousands and thousands of other death penalty cases will cause the government to spend billions of dollars on something that is extremely controversial. This is money that the government could be spending on something that truly matters. They could be spending this money on things like charity, homeless people, the list goes on and on.

You might think that the death penalty would deter crime because people would think before acting but that is not the case. Why? because criminals don't think before they act. A lot of the time the murders they commit are either when they are mentally ill, on drugs or alcohol, or when they are in a fit of rage and kill someone without weighing in the consequences. As a result, the death penalty does not work as a proper deterrence to crime. Contrarily, it increases crime by a commanding number. Here is a link to a graph of crime rates in death penalty states to non-death penalty states.

You would think that the death penalty would bring closure to victims family members, but that is not the case. In fact, studies have found that very rarely victims family members have a sense of closure knowing that the murderer is dead. 2.5% of victims loved ones claimed they had any sense of closure after the execution. 20% claimed that that it did not help them heal at all. In addition, they said they felt sympathy for the murderer's family members. Again, it just shows that the worst punishments, are the ones that can't be taken back.

Have you ever heard your mom say, "Two wrongs don't make a right," Well here the death penalty is trying to do just that. It is an attempt to create a wrong in order to make another wrong right. It is essentially saying that it is right to kill those who kill. But wouldn't it be committing the same crime the killer did if we put them to death/ Don't you see, the ends don't justify the means.

In summary, the death penalty should be abolished. While at first glimpse it might seem that it only has an effect on the murderer themselves, but actually has a string of other negative effects that is hurting our society.

Sources used.


Argument 1:

Lets say there was this adult Andrew. He trespasses into someone's house. The Dad is gone because of a buisiness trip. The intruder ties the wife and the daughter to their beds and he rapes them, he f**** them in the vagina. They justifingly scream, but he doesn't want them to make too much noise, so he kills them by sliting their throats with a knife that he brought along and then he rapes their dead bodies because it feels good. Once the Dad finds out, he understandably wants justice. Should Andrew be allowed to keep his life? Or should he die more painfully then the people he murdered because he murdered 2 people? The answer for many people would be the 2nd option.

In this next section, I'll try to not rebuttle too much, but it might happen. I apoligize about it if I rebuttle.

Argument 2:

The vast majority of people executed on death row are not innocent people (only 4%) ( Moreover, the few that are innocent people will tend to accept their punishment out of a hope for an eternal afterlife. If this rate was above 10%, then I would be against the death penelty. However, the rate is below this threashold and because of this I do support the death penelty. For every one person that gets executed innocently, there are 24 people that get what they deserve. Whether or not there is an afterlife is a story for another time (litterally) ( However, since people tend to convert to a religion if they know they are going to die in a few hours, they end up having hope on their death bed for eternal life. So it's not too bad for the people who get executed innocently.

Argument 3:

The death penelty serves as an accurate deterent from murder since life inprisionment is more leinent then getting killed, and pain is not as intense as death. If this were not the case, then poor people, who endure pain comparable to prisioners (they have more freedom, but worse living conditions) would want to kill themselves, but it's good that they don't. Japan has the death penelty, South Africa does not. South Africa has the higher homicide rate (

Argument 4:

Lets say that there was someone who stole $100 from you and burned it, so it ceases to exist. What would an eye for an eye say? An eye for an eye would say that if someone burns $100 from a stranger to make that person poor, then the violater must make retribution. An eye for an eye believes that the criminal must pay the amount he has damaged. If that means he damaged $100, then it means he must pay $100 plus the nessesary legal fees associated with this. If someone on the other hand did something good, he should be rewarded proportionally for his good thing. An eye for an eye rewards and punishes proportionally. If a criminal must pay mnoey to replace money, he also must pay his life to replace life. The criminal giving his money to the people he stole it from won't bring that extra money back, but nothing currently will. However, it's not aout that, it's about providing a criminal what he deserves and giving hope to the side victims such as the family and friends, people that should get help, but on an individual basis, they weren't the ones most affected. The person who is the most effeted is the person who got murdered since death is worse then pain to a high extent.

Defying this code not only leads to too leinient sentences, but also can lead to too harsh sentences. If someone robbs someone else, under an eye for an eye, that person would have to pay for the money he stole and the legal fees involved. Since they aren't expensive cases, they tend to be cheap. If one cannot afford the fines, then the fines can be worked off by contributing to government projects that help the community. The alternative code, which often punishes in units of jail in years, would suggest only a 5 year sentence and when the criminal gets out, he often wants to steal again. However, the reason why this shouldn't apply to murderers is because if sent out to work, due to the fact that they are the worst of the worst, they would be bad for the prision. It is safer to kill them to avoid the pain.

Argument 5: The murderer's family often does not sympathize with someone they belive to be a murderer. If I had a son and he was accused of murder, I would hope that he is innocent but if he is guilty, I would denounce him. Adam Lanza's parents didn't forgive him for the Sandy Hook shooting either. His father said, "I wish he had never been born"( Parents don't forging their kids if they murdered some people.

Argument 6:

On a national scale, the cost difference is nominal. If there are 19,000 murderers in the US, then executing them would cost about $9 billion more then life inprisionment, assuming the numbers are correct. This is assuming the execution can't be paid for it's self. If executions were public in a stadium, then people would ay money in order to watch the murderer get executed as painfully as he deserves. The amount of pain he would endure in his execution would be determined by the fourmula PL^3 meaning he dies with the amount of Pain he inflicted on the murder victim(s)x(the number of Lives killed cubed). This way, there are eclectic expieriences for the audiance and it can offset the prision cost. How does the death sentence cost that much money? Court cases are expensive, but they shouldn't cost over $1 million?

Argument 7:

Most people executed within the United States get executed by lethal injection. They do not get electricuted and they rarely get a firing squad, even though murderers deserve it. If the executioner hated this, then they could negochiate with the prision system about their removal from the job so they could get a different job without being fired. Most executioners relize what the criminal has done to deserve death and they accept their duties in killing the prisioner.

My sources:
Debate Round No. 2


I will go over each of your arguments one by one.


You said that most people would want someone who murdered someone else to be put to death. Wouldn't it be hypocritical to do punish someone by doing the exact same thing to them that they did to their victim? Wouldn't it make us murderers as well? It would be like saying this. if your friend punched you would it be right to punch him back? If you think that it is wrong for someone to punch you, what makes you think that punching him is okay?


Even though only 4% of people on death row die innocently, that is still a number. How would you feel if you were one of those people? How do you think your family would feel if they found out you got the death sentence for doing nothing?
You also said that people convert to religion before death and therefore have a hope of an afterlife. If this is the case, then shouldn't we just kill every religious person as they will have a hope of an afterlife?


You said that the death penalty serves as a deterrent for murder because criminals have a fear of being put to death rather than being sentenced to life imprisonment. If this is true, than why are the murder rates lower in states without the death penalty? I gave reasons in my last argument for why this happens. I will give them again here. A lot of the time the murders people commit are either when they are mentally ill, on drugs or alcohol, or when they are in a fit of rage and kill someone without weighing in the consequences. As a result, the death penalty does not work as a proper deterrence to crime.


You said that an eye for an eye is how everything should work. But as I have already mentioned, it is hypocritical to do the same thing someone else did to you.


In terms of the closure argument it can honestly go either way. There are a lot of cases in which the family feels closure, and a lot of cases in which they feel more trama.


You said that if executions were in a public stadium where people had to pay to watch the executions, death sentences would be a lot cheaper. Let me point out that this is by far the cruelest, most immoral thing you could ever do to somebody and would HANDS DOWN make innocent deaths that much worse than they already are.
You also said that decreasing the amount of court cases there are would make the death penalty cheaper. This would make it cheaper, but would also make the number of innocent people who die skyrocket.


You are right when you say that executioners could quit their job at any time, but this argument doesn't just check out. Someone has to do the job of executing evil-doers and if everyone refused to be an executioner, the government would be forced to abolish the death penalty as there would be no one to actually complete the sentence.


I will go over each of your arguments one by one.


“You said that most people would want someone who murdered someone else to be put to death. Wouldn't it be hypocritical to do punish someone by doing the exact same thing to them that they did to their victim?” I said many would, not necessarily most people. It would not make us hypocritical because execution is killing for a serious crime. Murder is a murderer being angry enough at people to kill them. Execution kills those who are perceived to be guilty, murder deliberately kills humans who are known to be innocent.

If John’s friend punched him, John should have the right to punch him back. John punching the initiator is okay because it is retaliation on the basis of a previous action. Execution is just a retaliation.


4% is a small number “How would you feel if you were one of those people?” I probably would pray out of desperation. I wouldn’t believe in heaven (right now) but I would play on the safe side if I knew I was going to die and convert out of desperation.

“How do you think your family would feel if they found out you got the death sentence for doing nothing?” They wouldn’t feel anything if they are not told of the wrongful execution.

“If this is the case, then shouldn't we just kill every religious person as they will have a hope of an afterlife?” No. This is what Adolf Hitler did to the Jews and what Saint Patrick did to the Pagans, although for different reasons. The bible says most Christians will go to hell anyway, so it would be counterproductive. “Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it. 14 But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is hard, and there are few people who find it.”(


My opponent claims that states with the death penalty tend to have higher homicide rates. This is true because of another factor. This factor might be economic differences. The states without the death penalty tend to have a higher GDP per capita than the states with the death penalty. This makes the people in the anti-death penalty less likely to commit crime. Also, what about Japan and South Africa? My example may be more legitimate because the difference in homicide between Japan and South Africa is higher than the homicide difference between the pro death penalty states and the anti-death penalty states.


"it is hypocritical to do the same thing someone else did to you." No, it's not. Execution is killing a guilty person as a punishment for a crime, murder is killing an innocent person.


If it's expected that the family could be sad if their murderous family member got executed, then they are simply not told of the execution.


"Let me point out that this is by far the cruelest, most immoral thing you could ever do to somebody and would HANDS DOWN make innocent deaths that much worse than they already are." Actually with all that money gotten from public execution ticket prices, the state would be able to subsidize more accurate trial cases that would make it even more rare for an innocent person to get executed.


"Someone has to do the job of executing evil-doers" That person would be someone who supports the death penalty and therefore would have no problem with executing people that they felt deserved it.

Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mosc 2 hours ago
""No, there should be no death penalty. The Jewish community has always been against it, it actually costs more to kill them.""

BUNK. This kappo assumes that he possesses such great wisdom, when in point of fact he's a Hebrew illiterate and reads only from translations.
Posted by judaism 3 days ago
Sometimes, however, if there are multiple murderers, the government can impose the death penalty (see Rambam's Laws of Murderers 2:4, Laws of Kings 3:5). This maybe due to necessity, or when a court may exercise "extralegal" authority in dealing with those who've become hasha'ah tzichalekach. These methods aren't mentioned in Talmud; it was instead illustrated by Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov (see Yevamos 90 b, B.T. and Sanhedrin 46a, B.T.). This means that the court may violate the Torah to protect it. For example, there was once a case where a man rode a horse on Shabbat, this happened during a time of persecution, and the observance of mitzvot was low. Another example was when Shimon ben Shetach executed 80 women in one day so as to not risk their escape for witchcraft (Sanhedrin 45b., B.T.). The Rashba explains on a rational level that if these things weren't carried out when things got out of hand, society would crumble. With that said, however, such lawlessness was often unheard of in a Torah-driven society. This is, again, because human life is the most important thing save for G-d. In fact, we're not told to save a life, we're required to do so, even if its ON Shabbat (see Pikuach nefesh). We already have enough punishments for breaking the law, we don't need death, after all, any old judge can be mistaken.
Posted by judaism 3 days ago
Shalom asta, thank you again for your generous question.

I think this site holds the key. Just scroll down to Baba Kama 83b, or click on it below the first page.

Let me clear up some issues:

The Torah says that we're punished by G-d in the next life for our actions, that's why murders aren't put to death. Its why Israel is against the death penalty, unless the person was extremely cruel,
such as in the case of the SS Officer Adolf Eichmann. By this, we don't mean to keep the peace by fear of revenge, this way, capital punishment teaches us which sins are the worst, which we should be afraid of. As I said earlier, there are numerous procedural safeguards which help shows G-d's concern for human life.

Again, here is a list of requirements needed for a person to be put to death:

First, there must be a Beis Din, they must have been ordained via semicha; there must be a quorum of 23 judges, with three rows of wise men, they must offer arguments for the accused; there must be two impartial witnessesR03; R03;not related to the accused; they must have first warned the accuser before he/she committed the crime, and they must have understood their warning, and still proceeded; lastly, punishment could only happen if we have the Great Court (the Shanhedrin of 71 judges), whichR03; R03;must be in the Beis HaMikdash (the Temple), and, all 71 MUST AGREE unanimously, that the person should die (which gave off suspicion on theR03; R03;court's end). Makkos 71 says that the death penalty hardly occurred, not because of any moral questions - though I'm sure that would have been part of it - but because the judges were always concerned with accurate details, which were hard to come byR03; R03;(they could only put to death one person per day to ensure they were spending enough time and not make a mistake). The Talmud also records things as they really happened, we have no solid reasons fo
Posted by asta 4 days ago
P.S. Remember when you "blocked" Mosc? Well, he's still responding.

But interestingly, the sample's link that I showed you how to block people with, he hasn't responded in a while. In other words, I think you blocked passwordstipulationssuck by accident. If you deblocked him, then he will get back online. If you block Mosc instead (make sure it's not passwordstipulationssuck again), then he will cease to comment.
Posted by asta 4 days ago
Do you know the folio in the Torah that is against the death penalty for murder? Is there a link for it?
Posted by judaism 4 days ago
A tractate is a treatise. A folio like a page, a, b, c, etc. The Talmud is broken up this way. So perhaps you read Bava Kama 33a, not 33b - the page after in some editions, or the folio, which is broken up for ease. Also read 84a-b. Help this helps.
Posted by asta 4 days ago
What's a tractate and what's a folio?
Posted by judaism 5 days ago
Should I present the whole tractate? It definitely does say what I presented. Perhaps you just read one folio?
Posted by asta 6 days ago
I read your site and it says that Eye for an eye wouldn't apply to people who kill other animals owned by other people. This isn't about non disputed animals. This is about human beings. Your source does not denounce eye for an eye for killing people.
Posted by judaism 1 week ago
See specifically, Bava Kama 83b-84a, B.T. Here's a good site:
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