The Instigator
Con (against)
5 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
2 Points

Should the death penalty be re-introduced to Britain?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/23/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 728 times Debate No: 57028
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)




Well, our last debate panned, so here's a more serious topic to indulge in: capital punishment.
I will be arguing the against, you the pro.
First round is acceptance.
Second round lays out opening arguments.
Third and fourth are for counter-arguments.
Final round is for closing comments.


I still am undecided on the issue, but sure, why not?
Debate Round No. 1


First and foremost, let me open with my standard argument against excecution: the potential for the killing of the innocent. There are documented cases in the past of miscarriages of justice resulting innocent individuals being wrongfully excecuted for crimes that they did not commit. A famous example of this is the hanging of Timothy Evans in 1950, who had turned out later to be innocent:

Fortunately, this contributed to the abolition of such penalty in the UK, but it came a bit too late for the dead man.

Another point I should make is that there seems to be no logic in killing a person AFTER they have commited the crime. Killing them at this point will not bring back whomever they have killed, nor will it reset the timeline and prevent their crime from ever having taken place: it is simply an act of revenge, and by reasoning it is also an act of double standards:
If I go out and kill a killer, I'll be thrown in prison, but an excecutioner will not suffer the same fate. Where is the line drawn?


Execution is sometimes the humane thing to do.
Potential for killing the innocent? How about potential for destroying the innocent's life anyway? Okay, imagine a twenty year old dude gets jailed for murder. Twenty five years later, he has no job, no work skills, possibly still dangerous (prison is not really good at rehabilitation) and really old. If he was wrongly accused, human somebody really be repaid for that much of their life taken away? Just so the rest of their pitiful existence can continue? All I am saying is there are fates worse than death, and for a wrongly accused person, the damage has already been done.
And because of this, how long is too long to be in prison for a false accusation? Well any time at all in my view, but where do we draw the line? There is always a risk of false imprisonment, and it is a fact of the world.
I am saying the reduction of dangerous people in society and being paid for by taxpayers is as far as I am concerned, the lesser of two evils.
Also, most of these failures are caused by eyewitness testimony, of which I say shouldn't be held as high as it is in court.

Now, here are my justifications for killing someone after they have killed that person.

1) The golden rule is enforced.
If someone is okay with killing other people, then it must be fine for the killer to be killed. They act in one way, and are treated in that way back.

2) Infringement of human rights.
If one infringes on the human rights of another, you lose them. Plain and simple. Kill someone, your right to not be killed is lost (a different wording from the last argument really).

3) Deterrent.
People have a risk assessment + hazard assessment mentality. Risk is obviously the chance of the hazard, and the hazard is the bad outcome. Maximise the hazard, it deters people.

4) Skin-dress man.
Some people will never be rehabilitated, and it shouldn't even be acceptable to sustain and pay for monsters like that. What use will he have in society? People with that kind of messed up head just need to be purged.

I am looking forward to your rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 2


Well, you asked for it:

You made a point that it can be difficult to draw the line as to 'How long is too long' for false imprisonment, but that same argument could be put against the death penalty: where is the line drawn when it comes to excecutable crimes? If the penalty is reserved for murderers only, then just how many must they kill to be deemed executable? 10? 5? 1? If just one is required, then what about manslaughter, or unintentional killing, or even self-defence killing? Are they to be executed as well?

What about other crimes? Do you extend the penalty to include crimes outside of murder? If so, what is the cut-off point? What qualifies as an executable offense in a society that allows execution?

In the end, it all boils down to the slippery slope argument. How far is too far, and where do you draw the line? If you start killing killers, what's to stop you from then killing attemted murderers, or even people whom a system deems potentially dangerous, like a terror suspect who has never commited an act of terrorism?

You also make a point of deterrent in your argument. Well then, how do you explain that the crime ratio in the USA, which has capital punishment, is lower than that of the UK? If it is such a great deterrent, then shouldn't crime figures in the USA be lower?

And finally, your suggestion that infringment of human rights neccesitates killing. If that were the case, then most of the population of the UK would merit execution, as a fair proportion of the people have at some point commited an act of discrimination, a violation of the UN bill of human rights. So again, where is the line?

Over to you.


My point about 'how long is too long' was that if false execution is reason for not allowing the death penalty, then that argument could be used for incarceration.
Manslaughter, unintentional killing and self-defence are obviously different cases.

My cut-off point personally is pre-planned killing or multiple killings. Anything less is more ambiguous and I would probably hand you anything less.
The reason for this is the 'golden rule' being upheld. They planned to kill someone, therefore they find it okay for people to be killed. If they object to this logic, they are by definition being a hippocrite.

The crime rates in the USA are complicated. This is something complex, and to keep it short, my idea is the lack of critical thinking and empathy taught through religious indoctrination causes this form of violent behaviour.
0.2% of prisoners in US jails are atheists. But let's leave that for now, as I could rant forever about that.
Also poverty. There is a huge rich-poor gap so that may be a factor too.

Again, my line is what they break.
Theives should have their possessions taken away.
Murderers should be killed.
I guess it is an eye-for-an-eye kind of philosophy, but it isn't necessarily bad.

Again, back to you my good friend.
Debate Round No. 3


Your 'golden rule' argument can be redirected back at you:

You are arguing that, effectively, we must "do unto others as you would unto yourself." The whole 'eye for an eye' argument is nothing new, dating way back to the old testament and the original jewish teachings, but this is now outdated. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, after all.

Secondly, you are accusing murderers who object to capital punishment of being hippocrites, but I argue that capital punishment is in itself hippocritical. If the law states that killing people is wrong, and then we start killing people for killing people, we are breaking our own rules. The law is supposed to be above everyone, and all are supposed to abide by the law. What you propose is double standards, just like I said in my opening arguments: if I turn vigilante and hunt down killers, I will be charged with murder. Why should that same reasoning not apply to an executioner?

I must also point out that your comment on supposed "religious indoctrination" in the USA is totally irrelevent, as well as bias. The UK also has its fair share of religious followers. After all, we have an entire branch of Christianity named after the country! Also, you are over-generalising a blanket statement to an entire population without any empirical evidence to back up your claim, therefore your argument is weak. Where did you gain your figures?

Finally, you made a claim about a "rich-poor gap" in your last paragraph, but simply left it at that. What do you mean by this, and how is the statement relevent to this debate? Could you please elaborate?

Your turn.


As for your first argument.
Pacifist activists like Gandhi always get killed. His example may not have been the best to follow.

The argument that killing is wrong is a misrepresentation of my position. My argument is that killing innocent people is wrong. You lose your rights when you kill someone. Simple as that. It also prevents the argument for the executioner being guilty as well.
Remember, murderers start the rule breaking.

As for my lack of evidence of the lack of atheists in the prison population, I was actually wrong. I make serious apologies for my 15 year old statistic of 0.2%
Here is an article of the updated statistics.

That's right 0.07%! Thank you for asking me to cite that source. I found out even better data than I originally expected!

Also you have to accept what I meant was religious fundamentalism, which is extremely pervasive in the US in comparison to he UK. Indoctrination with "objective morality" is dangerous because of lack of justification. Also, religious fundamentalism can cause the ability to rationalise atrocities in holy books (My discourse with religious people over the internet and listening to public debates has shown that to be evident. There are plenty of videos on youtube that show how religious fundamentalists rationalise atrocities. Eric Hovind and William Lane Craig come to mind when I talk about this.) can cause other violent or harmful acts petty in comparison.
There are complete city-wide callings in the bible. One abortion clinic doctor?
But I digress.

As for the rich-poor gap or income inequality, I meant that there is a bad wealth distribution in the US. In other words, a few rich people and very large amount of poverty.
Poor people are more likely to commit crimes. Please don't tell me you will dispute that.

Again, I will explain that the slippery slope argument is a fallacy. The cut-off point is a crime that involves multiple or planned deaths. Any more I would concede.

Back to you.
Debate Round No. 4


Stottinator forfeited this round.


For flying spaghetti monster's sake you NEVER finish debates!
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by spinosauruskin 2 years ago
This has been engaging so far.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: ff. injustice outweighs midlife crisis.
Vote Placed by InfiniteBears 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: wasn't convinced, but ff from con