The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
12 Points

The Death Penalty should NOT be abolished but instead used more frequently

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
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 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/21/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 26,715 times Debate No: 23047
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)




First round is acceptance


I will devils advocate

I accept, go.
Debate Round No. 1


Someone who has commited a crime deserves to be punished. I think the controversy comes when talking about the extent of the punishment. I believe that the crimes of rape, torture, kidnapping, and murder with inevitble evidence such as multiple eye witnesses, camera footage, DNA, or any other bulletproof types of evidence should end immedient death after trial. The death penalty is by no means degrading of human life, or demeaning dignity but simply showing the crime is unjust and will not be tolerated.

According to a study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately 67% (or two-thirds) of offenders who were released in the year 1994 were arrested again within three years. Prison obviously dosn't stop crime which is what the ultimate goal is. The death penalty does not only punish people for their crimes but prevent further crimes from them in the future. It also sends a message to others that they will not get away with it. The death penalty is by all means constructive and hopefully at the conclusion of this debate you will begin to see my side.




>They need to be punished<

I agree, punishment through LWOP.


LWOP = Life without parole.

They are in jail forever and no chance of parole. "Life Imprisonment (also known as a life sentence, lifelong incarceration or life incarceration) is any sentence of imprisonment for a serious crime under which the convicted person is to remain in jail for the rest of his or her life. " [1]



C1: Innocents

My opponents argument reads use it more often, that means more executions. This also means more innocents being executed.

Everyone agrees that innocents being punished is not a good thing, it isn't justice. So everyone agrees that we should do as much as possible from punishing these innocents into a way that is not reversible. Every time we send a man to execution, we know he is either innocent are guilty, once the needle hits the skin its over, even if we pardon him later it does not matter, cant revive the dead. With LWOP however, if we find him innocent he gets let free, its reversible if he is found innocent. So the problem with the DP is once it is used, it is permanent. If it is used on an innocent, its over. With LWOP innocents can be pardoned.

Now, how do we know we sometimes people that are innocent end up on death row? Sometimes they get released, and often. This means the likelyhood all of them get let out is unlikely, and this means the DNA and such are NOT accurate, this means it is likely they will be executed wrongly.

Now, how do they get executed wrongly? A large thing that sways the jury is the eye witness. Many trials rely on these testimonies, but these testimonies are sometimes mixed, forgotten partially, or they are scared so their perception changes. These factors make the DP inaccurate.

The Justice system we have, although attempts to be fair, has many problems like any institution. But as each institution has its faults, any fault you have with the DP ends an innocent human life, but with LWOP it can be reversed. A serious downside with the DP.

C2: The DP is used unfairly

Many factors come into play with the DP on how it is used, who it is used for, etc. But these biases make the system unfair, inaccurate, and problematic. One factor the DP is administered in is, not surprisingly, race. The racist usages of the DP are not changing over time, and are not confined to any specific regions, so it is happening everywhere. Capital punishment has always been effected by race. Very accurate studies show that if you are black, your chances of being convicted [to death] are 3.9 times higher then a white persons chance. [2]

"The results are dramatic, particularly for a state outside of the deep south, a region where racial disparities in the criminal justice system have a long history. The researchers examined a large sample of the murders which were eligible for the death penalty in the state between 1983 and 1993. The researchers found that, even after controlling for case differences, blacks in Philadelphia were substantially more likely to get the death penalty than other defendants who committed similar murders. Black defendants faced odds of receiving a death sentence that were 3.9 times higher than other similarly situated defendants." [2]

C3: Cost

Its common knowlege the DP costs more.


DP is unfair, racist, kills innocents, and should be abolished.

Debate Round No. 2


I hardly see your argumeent for LWOP. LWOP does nothing but keep useless people alive and take money and yes, our tax money
does go to pay for these people. Keeping them alive does nothing but spend billions of dollars a year of tax payer money.
This is why LWOP is a bad idea.

I feel my opponentss argument that the Death Penalty would result in more innocent people being executed was explained in
my first entry when I said they would be executed upon bullet-proof evidence which means there is no way that there is
reasonable doubt.

My opponent attempts to use the race card in this matter but doing so shows ignorance and immaturity. I think we could all
agree that a criminal is a criminal whatever race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or anything else is a criminal.
They either did or did not do the crime which should be determined by a jury of their peers. I do, however, agree that
there should be strict guidelines to insure the trial stays fair and non biased which is possible under strict guidlines.

As far as the cost goes I hardly see a plausible argument. I don't see ho common knoledge tells you that keeping people
alive all of their life is cheaper then a hangng (which is how I believe the death penalty should be carried out)

I feel that I have shown that my opponents arguments hae holes and that there are other factors come into play when
taling about LWOP versus the DP



It is a worse punishment because you know that you never get out, your only argument is that it is more expensive. Just based on trials, in Nevada the DP costs 200k more. [1] It costs almost 200 million for 5 executions. [2] The DP costs more then LWOP because of trial cost, hence your argument is invalid. LWOP costs more, sorry.


The resolution states use it more often. The current system uses "bullet proof" evidence, but still fails to avoid executing innocents. As you say use it more often it mean more innocents die, so the current systeusing "bullet proof" evidence fails, so why would making it bigger help?


No refutation here, you just say I think that the race is not accounted for, and trials should be non biased. Sorry, but that is not the case.
"These new empirical studies underscore a persistent pattern of racial disparities which has appeared throughout the country over the past twenty years. Examinations of the relationship between race and the death penalty, with varying levels of thoroughness and sophistication, have now been conducted in every major death penalty state. In 96% of these reviews, there was a pattern of either race-of-victim or race-of-defendant discrimination, or both. The gravity of the close connection between race and the death penalty is shown when compared to studies in other fields. Race is more likely to affect death sentencing than smoking affects the likelihood of dying from heart disease. The latter evidence has produced enormous changes in law and societal practice, while racism in the death penalty has been largely ignored." [3]

>Cost again<

Trial costs, not the actual execution are expensive.


My case is untouched, and prevails, her arguments are false and dont refute anything. VOTE CON

Debate Round No. 3


I am going to attempt to take a stab at the cost one more time. Maybe the needle would cost more but as for public hangings (again as I feel they should be carried out) would not cost as much as life in prison.

Studies show that the death penalty will deter murder. Death is the most feared thing by human beings and it only makes sence that fear would lead to a decrease in crime. Although people wouldn't want to go to prison for life, it is still less feared than the Death Penalty.

I think people deserve exactly what they dish out (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you) and an ear for an ear I feel will make value human life than they already do. (Knowing the person they are murdering may very well be themselves)

Maybe blacks and hispanics are convicted more because their crime rate is higher? I don't see it racist when just becauset they are convicted more. Men have been convicted of crimes almost as twice as much as that sexist?

I do agree innocent people should not be punished for a crime they didn't commit which is why I believe strict precautions should be in place. Although with modern technology and DNA testing the chances of someone being wrongly convicted are slim to none.



My opponents claim is DP costs less, hangings are cheap. Yes, I agree, the actual execution is cheap, the trials are what cost the money. The added trial costs our justice system demands for death penalty cases are much higher then trials used to lock people up in LWOP, as LWOP can be overturned if your innocent, the extra trials for the DP are used to have lower the chances of executing innocents (though it still happens) and therefore raises costs.

"If the death penalty was replaced with a sentence of Life Without the Possibility of Parole*, which costs millions less and also ensures that the public is protected while eliminating the risk of an irreversible mistake, the money saved could be spent on programs that actually improve the communities in which we live. The millions of dollars in savings could be spent on: education, roads, police officers and public safety programs, after-school programs, drug and alcohol treatment, child abuse prevention programs, mental health services, and services for crime victims and their families." [1]


My opponent uses the highly flawed deterrent studies that claim the DP saves lives.

"One major deficiency in all the existing studies is that none specify the non-capital sanction components of the sanction regime for the punishment of homicide," says the panel's just-released report, such as life imprisonment. As well, "incomplete or implausible models of potential murderers' perceptions," confound the studies, making them suspect." [2]

This means ALL studies done forget many variables so there is not one conclusion, hence neither side can win the argument. But I will use a non study, just a basic comparison. 88% of criminologists reject the idea capital punishment deters crime, 87% say abolishing the DP would have any effects, and 75% say the DP is a distracting issue, and lead congress away from looking into real crime issues. [3] Further, even if we say the studies are correct, they do not meet the high scientific bar, and prove nothing. They fail to look into variables, and many are biased. There is no proof the DP has an effect on crime. [4]

>Eye for an eye<

I agree, LWOP may be worse.


Relies to much on DNA. DNA testings are flawed, we see this many times, take this mans arrest, his DNA test was false. [5] Rellying on technology to protect innocents is flawed, also as stated the racism in the DP makes it more likely to execute innocents.

Debate Round No. 4


First of all I would like to thank you for telling voters to vote pro on the last round, although I know it was an accident.

I felt that I should give further information on your weakest defense of abolishing the death penalty. Earlier in the debate you claimed the death penalty was "racist". According to a recent study of the percentage of races on death row
43% are white
42% are black
12% are Hispanic
and 3% are other

You stated the death penalty is racist against African Americans but according to this recent study. The percentage of whites on death row is a whole percent higher.

Society is justly ordered when each person receives what he deserves. Crime disturbs this just order, for the criminal takes from people their lives, peace, liberties, and worldly goods in order to give himself undeserved benefits. When given a deserved punishment it protects society morally by restoring this just order, making the criminal pay a price equivalent to the harm he has done. This is retribution, not to be confused with revenge, which is guided by a different motive.

(Professor of Government and Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin
"Capital Punishment: The Case for Justice,"
Aug./Sep. 2004)

My opponent fails to justify some of his arguments with accurate recent information and data. The death penalty is not only political but moral. Review the facts and determine who's side you are on and in the mean time VOTE PRO

To my opponent: I had a fantastic time debating the death penalty with you. I learned a lot through the research I have done as well as the research you have done shown through your arguments. Whatever the outcome I look forward to debating another topic sometime soon on a matter we disagree on.



My opponent uses basic statistics showing whites are more on the death row. But fails to see the real deal. Blacks, although 1% less, are only about 13% of the population. [1] So even using basic statistics, we can see that Blacks although the percent on death row is slightly lower, their low portion of the US population hints overall a larger percent of the sub sect are on death row, in comparison to whites. Let me shrink it.

10 people are black, 20 are white. 2 of the blacks are on death row, 3 of the whites are.
20% of blacks are on death row, and 10% of whites are on death row. So obviously these numbers are smaller and 10% of whites are not on death row, it was done to prove basic statistics. Even if these basic statistics show whites on death row more, the smaller group will have a higher % of their subset on death row, hence your basic comparison fails.

"black defendants were 1.7 times more likely to receive the death penalty than white defendants and that murderers of white victims were 4.3 times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who killed blacks. " [2]

So even though whites are more on death row, basic statistics (like my simple 10-20 analogy) prove the DP is racist.

"Even though blacks and whites are murder victims in nearly equal numbers of crimes, 80% of people executed since the death penalty was reinstated have been executed for murders involving white victims.

More than 20% of black defendants who have been executed were convicted by all-white juries." [3]

>Eye for an eye<

As stated, LWOP still accomplishes the same goal. Many inmates fear jail more then death! They claim if they go to jail they around bigger, meaner people, that abuse them, and well they are stuck there forever, and its worse then death. [4]

My opponent fails in her argument as she does not justify the DP is worse then LWOP, a LWOP is worse under her logic LWOP is a better option.

Refuted. DP people do not get out unless they are pardoned on rare occasions. New arguments last round = conduct to me.


MY opponent fails to provide her BOP, I said he had most of it above and she did not deny it, hence she had 70% of the BOP, she did not fulfill it, so I win.

--Dropped arguments

3. DETERRENCE (I had the last words here)
Hence off of this I still eserve victory.

Args - She did not fulfill BOP, dropped arguments, I refuted the premise.
Conduct - She had a new argument last round
S/G - You choose
Sources - She had one, I had many all from credible back rounds.


Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
That could be countered by: think of the victim
Posted by tylersch96 6 years ago
Just think of the families that would be devastated because their son or daughter is being executed because they were on something and happened to kill someone. Did you think of that? I think that everyone has the right to repent and maybe the murder or whatever victim would it have been families would forgive them...
Posted by Ixaax 6 years ago
Con told voters to "VOTE PRO."
I would also like to note that 16k has strong arguments here, where they are not entirely reliant on data.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 6 years ago
I'm liking this frothy mixture of arguments.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
No, their conviction rate is 52% vs 48% ish
Posted by AlextheYounga 6 years ago
I dont agree with all of what the Con is saying, but i still believe con has the better argument. Especially with the cost of the death penalty.
I have doubts about the death penalty being racist though. I think those statistics are a little off. How can you measure a person's racism level. I think those statistics mean that black people are convicted 3.6 times more, I don't think you can judge how racist a person is.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by frozen_eclipse 6 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: mr adam had more compelling argumets and is just an overall
Vote Placed by TUF 6 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:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro barely looked like she even tried! Conduct and arguments to 16k for the dropped points.
Vote Placed by bossyburrito 6 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro seemed to backtrack on arguments that have already been dealt with.