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

The Death Penalty should be legal

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 10/28/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,633 times Debate No: 81677
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (20)
Votes (1)




This is going to be a long debate. There will be 5 rounds. My opponent is Tejretics


1. Acceptance

2. Arguments
3. Arguments
4. Rebuttals, Defending Case
5, Conclusion

Note: You cannot start your arguments in the 1,4, and 5 round. You can't rebut in the 1,5 rounds. You can rebut in the 3rd and 2nd round though.


1. No forfeits

2. No trolling

4. Over 2500 ELO to accept.

5. Over age 13 unless you are tejretics or famousdebater.

6. Over 3000 ELO to vote.

7. Have fun!


1. Death Penalty: The practice or legal sanction of allowing the imposition of punishment of death for people convicted of certain crimes.

of or relating to the law




Thank you. Thanks to tejretics.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for your acceptance. I will first start my arguments.


What is Capital punishment? Capital punishment is the death penalty. It is used today and was used in ancient times to punish a variety of offenses. Even the bible advocates death for murder and other crimes like kidnapping and witchcraft.

When the word death penalty is used, it makes yelling and screaming from both sides of extremist. One side may say deterrence, while the other side may say, but you may execute an innocent man.

Today, one of the most debated issues in the Criminal Justice System is the issue of capital punishment or the death penalty. Capital punishment was legal until 1972, when the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in Furman v. Georgia stating that it violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments citing cruel and unusual punishment. However, in 1976, the Supreme Court reversed itself with Gregg v. Georgia and reinstated the death penalty but not all states have the death penalty.

Thirteen states do not have the death penalty: Alaska, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Today Pro (I) will argue that we should legalize the death penalty and Con (Tejretics) will make death penalty illegal.



"The crimes of rape, torture, treason, kidnapping, murder, larceny, and perjury pivot on a moral code that escapes apodictic [indisputably true] proof by expert testimony or otherwise. But communities would plunge into anarchy if they could not act on moral assumptions less certain than that the sun will rise in the east and set in the west. Abolitionists may contend that the death penalty is inherently immoral because governments should never take human life, no matter what the provocation. But that is an article of faith, not of fact. The death penalty honors human dignity by treating the defendant as a free moral actor able to control his own destiny for good or for ill; it does not treat him as an animal with no moral sense."

Because of Morality, we should have the death penalty.

2. Money

Thats right. We have death penalty for a reason. We are not just killing them because they did nothing wrong. We should kill these people because they killed people, and they did something so bad or they had keep done bad things after going to jail. We don’t kill them by one minor mistake which hurt no one.

This argument is all about that they will make more crimes and then kill more people. This is because of money. If we see any stealer or thief or murderer, if they kill someone, they will probably go to jail and also will lose a lot of their money. They do that to get money and things. Then why would they do these crimes. If these bad people go out of jail what do you think they will do. They did those bad crimes because of money so what else do they do because they don’t have money? They have to do bad crimes to live. If they do not get a death sentence, they will soon hurt everyone. It is much better to kill one guilty person who had faults then plenty of innocent people and not the guilty.

This shows that because they do not have money so that they can not have a choice but to do that. They will kill innocent people and then they go to jail. I think before they kill these people, we should sentence the person who killed the people first. The killing went in the wrong order.

This is why we should have the death penalty because these bad people will kill because of no money. They should get sentenced to death before killing more innocent people.

This is why because these bad people have no money they make these bad crimes and go to jail, which should be much better to sentence them to death.

3. Save lives

First of all our team will argue that the death penalty saves lives. This kinda combines with my first argument was because of money. First of all it kills many lives. Because of no death penalty, 2,000,000 people have died in the USA. However if we had the death penalty, none of these people will get murdered or stabbed or shot. Also the crime rates had went up 11 times because of no death penalty.

This is the end of my 3 arguments. I have nothing to rebut. Now it is Con’s turn. Good luck.

(Because of time which was like 30 minutes, I could not write a lot.)



== What is my advocacy? ==

My advocacy is simple -- abolish capital punishment. The resolution is vague. When the resolution says "the death penalty should be legal," it doesn't specify *where* Pro intends it to be legal. I can only presume everywhere. Therefore, I observe that, if I can prove that capital punishment should not be legal in even one place, the resolution is negated. Thus, the plan text: universally abolish capital punishment in the United States. This abolition of capital action does not include killing in action (e.g. police officers killing wanted criminal suspects in extenuating circumstances), or neutralization of active criminals (e.g. the killing of Osama bin Laden). All my plan will abolish is the sentencing of a convict to death by a jury due to the committing of a crime, after arrest and trial.

== Net benefits ==

(1) Prevention of psychological damage

People perform executions. And this has severe adverse effects. Empirical research demonstrates that executioners suffer from intense psychological damage as a result of them executing criminals. [1] "Every execution requires a team of executioners who watch the inmate in his or her final days, who strap the inmate to the gurney, who insert and reinsert the needles, and who remove the inmate from the gurney following the execution. They are the ones who deal with botched executions, who struggle with inmates fighting to stay alive, and who pull inmates away from their families when it is time for their final goodbye." [1] New Jersey's last executioner, and New York's prior executioner, both committed suicide as result of clinical depression that resulted from executions. "Executioners and wardens in Mississippi and Alabama all attributed their mental and physical health problems to their involvement with lethal injection." [1] Other empirical research also confirms that executioners suffer from psychological damage due to executions. [2] Jerry Givens, a former Virginia executioner, remarked, "The people who do the executions, they're the ones who suffer through it." [3]

There are also multiple other witnesses to executions. All of them also often suffer from psychological problems, and have often committed suicide. "Carol Pickett, a minister who witnessed almost 100 executions in Texas, attributed his severe health problems to the stress involved with executions." [1] Journalists witness executions, and studies have reported on the emergence of anxiety symptoms among journalists who recently witnessed an execution. [1] Executions, in the process of psychological damage, create new victims. Robert Meeropol's parents were executed when he was six years old, and he only survived because of a supportive community. He still has the psychological damage that resulted. [1] "Felicia Floyd was just a child when her father murdered her mother in Georgia. When many years later, the State executed him for that crime, she felt victimized all over again." [1]

Thus, the psychological damage caused by the death penalty is severe, causing clinical depression and suicide.

(2) Reducing fiscal cost

Empirical research has proven that the costs of the death penalty are immense, and outweigh that of life without parole (LWOP) cases. Data from Georgia shows that a capital case, which considers punishing a crime with capital punishment, costs around $2 million more than a non-capital case. [4] They involve, on average, five times more pre trial motions, five times more investigation by the defense team, 66 times longer to select and finalize a jury, 30 days more in court, twice as many lawyers, and longer and more complicated appeals. [4] In Georgia, a decision to seek the death penalty and a capital case can, individually, cost $3 million. [5]

A study by the Loyola Law School reports that, since 1978, the current system of capital punishment in California has cost the city's taxpayers $4 billion *more* than that of life without parole cases. [6] "Recent studies reveal that if the current system is maintained, Californians will spend an additional $5 billion to $7 billion over the cost of LWOP to fund the broken system between now and 2050." [6] The California state debt in 2014 was 778 billion dollars, which means capital punishment is a huge waste of California's money. Since 1998, the state of Washington has spent $120 million on 5 prisoners on the death row, equating to a $24 million court system cost per person. [7] The state has a debt of $89.6 billion. The state of Maryland spent $186 million over five executions, meaning *each* of the five executions costed, on average, $37.2 million in the state, while the state debt is 94 billion dollars. [8] A study commissioned by the Nevada legislature says that a capital case in Nevada costs ~$500,000 more than a non-capital case. "Adjudicating death penalty cases takes more time and resources compared to murder cases where the death penalty sentence is not pursued as an option. These cases are more costly because there are procedural safeguards in place to ensure the sentence is just and free from error." [9]

(3) Extradition

The death penalty poses a significant barrier to extraditing terrorist suspects to the United States. Many countries, including the entirety of the European Union, have established a policy of not extraditing criminal suspects or criminals to the US if there is a possibility that the criminal might be given capital punishment, as those countries view it as a human rights violation. [10] This refusal to extradite impedes the United States' counter-terrorism efforts. [11] In 2005, the EU refused to extradite terrorist suspect "Mohammed A." for this reason. [11]

(4) Customary international law

The US is the *only* western country to retain the death penalty. Due to this, the US can be seen to endorse capital punishment. Multiple US citizens have, for example, been executed by the government of Singapore (and other strict governments) due to *nonviolent* offenses, e.g. possession of drugs. If the US abolishes the death penalty, then multiple countries will be seen as violating customary international law by executing a US citizen, a citizen of a country that does not support capital punishment. Without capital punishment, we can save American tourists. The impact is huge. Singapore has executed 400 people for minor offenses, most of them foreign. [12] Similarly, China has executed 53,000 people for minor offenses, many of them foreigners. [12]

== Racism and prejudice ==

Many people in the US criminal justice system are executed by juries that discriminate based on ethnicity, and multiple other, irrelevant, factors. According to a study, "jurors in Washington are three times more likely to recommend a death sentence for a black defendant than for a white defendant in a similar case. The study examined 285 cases in which defendants were convicted of aggravated murder. The cases were analyzed for factors that might influence sentencing, including the number of victims, the prior criminal record of the defendant, and the number of aggravating factors alleged by the prosecutor." [13] In Louisiana, it is more likely for a person who killed a white to be executed than one who killed a black. "Even after considering other variables such as the number of aggravating circumstances, the number of concurrent felonies and the number of homicide victims, the odds of a death sentence were 97% higher for those whose victim was white than for those whose victim was black." [14] Socioeconomic status also matters. "Poor people are also far more likely to be death sentenced than those who can afford the high costs of private investigators, psychiatrists, and expert criminal lawyers." [15] A Supreme Court justice remarked, "This Court declared that the death penalty must be imposed fairly . . . or not at all, and, despite the effort of the states and courts . . . the death penalty remains fraught with arbitrariness, discrimination, caprice, and mistake." With such prejudice in the criminal justice system, it would be highly discriminatory to retain capital punishment.

For these reasons, vote Con.

== Sources ==

[4] Thaxton, Sherod. "Leveraging Death," Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 2013
Debate Round No. 2


logical-master123 forfeited this round.


Pro, unfortunately, has been unable to log in to their account. Therefore, they have placed their argument in a Google Doc; the link is here ( Please do not penalize Pro for the forfeit. I accept all of Pro's observations. But I do not accept Pro's structure. Pro is inserting a new structure, saying I must only rebut Pro's statements from Round 2. This is overly restrictive, and is not specified in the rules. Defending my contentions is a "rebuttal," and, since the Round 1 set-up allows for rebuttals in this round, I can defend my case in this round.

Now, onto the rebuttals.

(1) The morality argument is especially vague. All Pro argues is that the death penalty honors human dignity. I'm not gaining anything relevant from this. So what? I don't gain any link here -- I'm not seeing why the death penalty should be put into practice. Why does the death penalty be put into practice if it honors dignity? Pro is extremely unclear here. I don't see how (a) honoring human dignity upholds morality, and (b) what is moral ought to be done by the government. Pro assumes a government is a moral actor. But governments are based on utilitarian calculations, not on calculations that serve only morality. The very basis of government is to ensure safety, liberty, and happiness. That's exactly what utilitarianism is. The U.S., which is the only part of the world relevant to my plan, frequently employs utilitarian calculations. The Supreme Court has frequently interpreted the Consitution as being utilitarian in nature. In Mathews v. Eldridge, the Supreme Court employed a utilitarian calculation todecide what procedural due process is afforded by the Constitution. Any additional laws that are meaningless in practice, despite morality, should not be enforced.

(2) The "money" argument makes no sense. First, Pro says "we have the death penalty for a reason . . . [w]e should kill these people because they killed people and did something . . . bad." I don't see how this entails. It's a non-sequitur. The argument states, "they killed people," and then concludes, "we should kill the[m]." I don't see how anyone who kills another person should be given capital punishment. There's no warrant given. Second, Pro argues from a standpoint of recidivism. Pro doesn't give me any statistics here. How many in-prison murders exist? There are examples, but these are very few. Life without parole and other criminal punishment will prevent this as well. Further, this is outweighed (impact calculus) by the lives lost as a result of terrorist attacks compromised by capital punishment acting as a barrier to extradition of terrorist suspects; this is also outweighed by the severe costs and psychological damage caused by the death penalty. Finally, Pro says something about money. "They want money" and "they will kill others" really has no link that Pro establishes. Everything Pro says here is a bare assertion.

Everything under the lives saved by the death penalty is a bare assertion. In fact, the majority of evidence suggests that the death penalty has next to no deterrent effect. There is no evidence that the death penalty deters crime. Most researchers agree that the death penalty likely does not deter homicides. [1] States without the death penalty have had consistently lower murder rates. [2]

(3) Now, onto psychological damage. Pro's response makes no sense. I'm not saying the *criminals* are stressed about the death penalty. I'm talking about the executioners. Pro has completely misinterpreted my argument. My argument was about psychological damage being caused to (1) executioners, (2) witnesses, and (3) children of the executed. Nowhere in my argument did I mention those that are executed. I'm talking about the people who perform executions -- executioners. This argument is completely dropped.

(4) Next, costs. Pro argues we must have people safe, and that saving people outweighs costs. How does the death penalty make people safe? Pro is very unclear here. He concedes cost entirely, and seems to be arguing from a perspective of weighing it against deterrence. I concede that lives outweigh costs, but I've proven that there isn't a deterrent effect. These costs could be used for constructive, administrative purposes, instead of an ineffectual death penalty.

(5) Fifth, extradition. Once more, Pro doesn't seem to understand this argument one bit. I quote Pro, "This is the argument of Con saying that the death penalty will not work in some occasions." This is a red herring. What does "extradition" have to do with "the death penalty won't work?" I have no clue how Pro gained this complete misinterpretation. I clearly stated that the death penalty is a barrier to extradition, and made the impact clear. Pro drops all of this.

(6) Pro, once more, misrepresents my argument from customary international law. I didn't say the U.S. executed other citizens -- I said U.S. citizens were executed by other countries. The U.S. has always desired to protect its citizens, especially from non-violent crimes. In China and Singapore, United States citizens have been executed for *nonviolent* crimes; if the United States stops capital punishment, it adopts customary international law, and there will be no more executions of US citizens.

Pro basically misrepresents all my arguments, dropping them, and has weak contentions. Therefore, vote Con.




Debate Round No. 3


logical-master123 forfeited this round.


Pro concedes (see comments section). Therefore, vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4


logical-master123 forfeited this round.


Extend. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by fire_wings 1 year ago
I wanted to hear more from Pro...
Posted by ice_wings 1 year ago
I concede.
Posted by ice_wings 1 year ago
debate next week because I need to go on a trip for 4 days.
Posted by ice_wings 1 year ago
You don't need to. I will just concede this debate. Lets redo the debate or anything. However lets redo the de
Posted by ice_wings 1 year ago
You don't need to. I will just concede this debate. Lets redo the debate or anything. However lets redo the de
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
No. You have to send me a new challenge.
Posted by ice_wings 1 year ago
Okay, we copy paste the link right?
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
Let's re-do the debate, then, with your new account.
Posted by ice_wings 1 year ago
this is the link
Posted by ice_wings 1 year ago
Hello. I am Logical-master123. I had to make a new account because I cannot go in my account.

I will post my arguments here.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Concession (see comments)