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

The Death Penalty Should Be Illegal.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/25/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,061 times Debate No: 22318
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)




I am looking for someone to give a reasonable explanation(s) and arguments on why he or she feels that the death penalty should remain legalized in certain areas of the United States. Therefore, I will be arguing on why I do not agree with the death penalty. For this 1st round I am asking for acceptance, 2nd-4th round going deeper into the argument, and the 5th round should be the final conclusion. This is only my second debate and compared to my last argument, I know this is going to be even more controversial, so, I'm not quite sure what to expect.

First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Destinee Bayona and I'm an 18 year old freshman attending William Paterson University in New Jersey and majoring in Psychology. As a requirement for my Philosophy class I am taking, and for 15% of my overall grade, I must complete 3 debates throughout the semester, with this being my second so far. Each debate must be a maximum of 3,000 characters, for 5 rounds, and must be completed by April 1st. Also, absolutely NO copying and pasting. If you are going to speak on your opinion, let it be YOUR own thoughts. I have a lot to say so I look forward to this debate :)


Accepted, though my responses might be delayed as i will also be working on 3 other debates as well as upcoming piles of hw for honors classes. But i'll make sure ill respond ASAP.
Debate Round No. 1


Sorry for the delayed response but thank you for accepting this debate. I look forward to us debating such a controversial topic and am sure we have lots to say :)

First off, I would like to say that I am aware that 34 out of the 50 states allow the death penalty and this is appalls me.
I have noticed in my 18 years of life, that the justice system in our country is far from perfect. But, it is ridiculous how guilty people can walk free at times and the innocent can be executed when they are wrongly accused of a crime.

Recently, a 17 year old boy named Trayvon Martin apparently looked "suspicious" and was murdered - even when young Trayvon was begging for his life. All the poor boy had on him was skittles, an iced tea, the clothes on his back, and a cell phone! The man who murdered him, named George Zimmermann, was part of the neighborhood watch in Florida, an area where the death penalty is allowed, and this man walks free for murder with no arrests, charges, etc. Where is the justice in that?

What about Troy Davis? He was executed by lethal injection in Georgia for a crime he "apparently" committed over 20 years ago, which was the shooting of an off-duty Savannah officer named Mark MacPhail. From the moment he was accused to the last minutes of his life, he still swore his innocence and was not even carrying a gun that night.

Plus, there was the Casey Anthony trial, also in Florida. All of the signs pointed to her killing her baby, Caylee, but she walks away free, too. To this day, I still feel that cases like these are determined by bribery, tricks played by the lawyer, or by even racism, and Casey Anthony is an attractive, young, Caucasian female.

These events are not the first times things like this has occurred in the U.S. It happens way too often, which is why we should not execute any criminals. After all our country has done to fix and improve "the system", these outrageous events should not still be occurring. Since, the legal system often has flaws, who is anyone to truly say whom deserves capital punishment and whom does not? Many argue that the death penalty is decided in an extremely biased manner and are pushed towards lower class citizens, minorities, etc. Adding on, what exactly the justice of killing a killer? He or she should rot in jail for their crime if they commit such a murder. Plus, there are some people who kill out of crime of passion, from the heat of the moment, not being able to take someone's physical/mental/emotional abuse anymore, to protect themselves, or because they have psychological problems and could not control themselves. Not saying that this makes what they have done alright at all, however, they deserve less of a punishment or possibly hospitalization and treatment for mental illness. Some are even executed for other things not even as severe as murder, which isn't even fair.

So, what is it that makes capital punishment alright?


I thank my opponet for her response and will dive right into my argument.
My opponents states the death penalty should be legal, yet the only valid point i can address is the taking of innocent lives. Everything else my opponent mentions has to do with guilty people walking(a flaw with the justice system, not capital punishment). Yet my opponent bases her stance on historical events. What the Con achieves to do is uphold capital punishment under correct circumstances. Personally, I would feel that the correct circumstances would be as listed:
1)The individual has been proven guilty of multiple murders (with evidence clearly linking him/her to the crimes).
2)The only alternative for the individual is life imprisonment.
3)At least a year before death be given for re-evaluation of a case
4)Under lesser crimes, it be given as an alternative.
Now, since these circumstances were outlined, I will provide as to why i take my stance. First off, it is much cheaper than life imprisonment since one does not have to provide food for the rest of a convict's life. Second, it allows more room in prisons for the prosecution of future convicts. Third, it follows the conduct of Social Contract. As Kasachkoff writes, "Everything else being equal, persons have the right not to be killed. However, rights, even the right not to be killed, may sometimes be forfeited. [Anyone] who attacks or threatens another without an objectively valid moral reason (as do unprovoked attackers), forfeits his or her right not to be killed." Note that under John Locke's theory of freedom(a person is entitled to do as they please provided it does not infringe upon others' rights to do the same), the state is allowed to punish the criminal using such methods since they infringed upon another individual's freedoms. As Robert Grant notes, "Human rights are the benefits negotiated by reasonable persons and received by each of them as a result of their agreement to accept the natural duties imposed by the social contract. Human rights are the consideration for the obligations assumed under that fundamental agreement. Recall that when parties enter into a contract each becomes obligated to the other and each reciprocally acquires a right to what is promised by the other”. Note that since the offendor did not uphold his obligations(promises), the state is allowed the right to reciprocate the action the offendor commited onto others.

Thus I urge a Con vote and await my opponent's reply.
Debate Round No. 2


destttt_b forfeited this round.


I can deduce that my opponent ran out of time, so it would be rude of me to state this is a form of surrender. Instead, i extend all of my points in the last round into this round and await a response from my opponent.
Debate Round No. 3


destttt_b forfeited this round.


:/ this is unfortunately coming to my opponent not responding time. If my opponent still presents no response in the next round, automatically vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4


I'd like to apologize for my late response. I am a full time college student with lots going on and haven't been on in a while. I realize this affects the voting, but I would still like to get my point across. I'd also like to thank my opponent for not making any rude remarks about me not being able to respond in time.

Anyway, I feel the issue of the possibility of the wrongly accused being executed for a murder or crime they did not commit and especially our extremely flawed and biased justice system are the main problems with capital punishment. Because of this imperfect system, unnecessary deaths are taking place in the majority of the states throughout our country.

Most definitely individuals proven guilty of multiple murders and other serious crimes deserve to be punished, but by being sent to prison, not "capital" punishment. Lots of people see it as less cruel because it's just a legal injection, however, many are unaware that several states still allow electrocution, lethal gas, or the firing squad. But capital punishment is still considered cruel and unusual punishment, therefore making it unconstitutional as well.

About 1 out of 10 people executed are exonerated, again proving the justice system is untrustworthy. What if they weren't? Researchers find 38 "reported" innocent people were executed for crimes they didn't commit. But, courts do not dwell on these cases, lawyers rather move on, and the government does not like mistakes getting out. Whether it is a 1 or 1,000 falsely executed, another life is taken away unnecessarily. The controversy with the death penalty is that both Pro-CP and Con-CP understand the value of life, and that taking another's is immoral. But taking one to be proportional or "get even" is just as bad, even vengeful - a personal feeling that civilized government should not engage in. Capital punishment is almost a contradiction in itself.

The FBI has found the states that enforce the death penalty that have the highest murder rates. Since most of the states enforce it, that means violence is spreading not only there but throughout America. A national survey of police chiefs show that they feel the death penalty is the least effective way to reduce crime, behind curbing drug abuse, hiring more officers, lowering the barriers to prosecution, longer sentences, improving the economy, and gun control. They also feel that instead of spending taxpayers money on this it should be spent on more effective ways of reducing crime (besides jail time).

Furthermore, as a civilized society we need to work together to reduce/prevent crime and violence from occurring instead of killing off other criminals. By doing this, we are only making an "effort" to erase the problem instead of trying to find a solution to it, thus causing more problems to occur.

Though I didn't have time to give my all in this debate, I hope some of you agree with the points I've made and hopefully decide to vote Pro. :)


A late response is better than no response. I understand that your priorities are to school first (as should be the priorities of all students) and urge those who vote to judge based on the arguments presented, not on the forfeited rounds. Lets get to my responses, shall we? :)

So my opponent's argument still hinges on the "flawed justice system". To this point i refer back to the point of providing correct circumstances. Under the circumstances provided, one denotes that such an action is lawful.

On to the "unconstitutional" point, one can refer back to my statements by Kasachkoff, John Locke, as well as Robert Grant which state that if one does not uphold one's own responsibilities, one forfeits all rights under Social Contract, including the right to life. Thus you deduce it is just(under the circumstances i gave) to utilize such an action.

The examples she gives do not follow the conditions i set forth.

Her statement of reducing crime can occur with the proper use of the death penalty (eradicating those who commit severe crimes).

My "cheaper" point stand and can be elaborate to state that the extra money can be used to better the lives of law abiding Americans.

My"space in prison" point stands because it allows for less prisons to be made and more room to exist for more criminals.

Voting Points

I am winning this debate on several points:
1)My outlined conditions and ideological backing prove that the death penalty can exist to do good.
2)Her points were all refuted while my points have been expanded.
3)I elaborate as to the goods the death penalty can do based on what it has done.
4)My opponents condition set forth can be dropped since i refuted hers, but mine was not mentioned by her. Therefore you accept my condition and give the Con the vote.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: 2/5rounds FF'd