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

The Death Penalty

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 480 times Debate No: 47987
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)




I am pro death penalty, my opponent will be against it.

The death penalty is something that should be used for cases such as murder, rape, and child molestation.

The rounds will be as follows:
Round 1: Opening Statements
Round 2: Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals/Conclusion


I oppose death penalty.
I accept your terms.

Try your best/worst.
Debate Round No. 1


The death penalty is something that should be allowed and utilized. If there is sufficient evidence to convict someone of a serious crime, they should not be able to appeal and re-appeal their case, costing millions of dollars per case, most of which, if not all, is paid by taxpayers. It is less of a financial burden to humanely kill those guilty of severe crimes, and it ensures they won't do it again. If the justice system can hold firm on ensuring that those who commit severe crimes are punished accordingly, it should serve as a deterrent to committing these crimes, as most people don't want to die.


Death penalty has a number of serious problems, each single one of which is sufficient to arrive at the conclusion that it is plain wrong.


"Article 1.
  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 3.
  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."

Death penalty infringes Article 1 and 3 of the Declaration Of Human Rights issued by the UN in 1949, which is accepted by most nations in the world and imbued with the status of international law ( ).

No condition is defined in which any human may be degraded by being publicly subjected to the capital punishment nor that a life may be taken.

Most national laws rule exceptions, like self-defense in an actual assault-type situation. But the alleged criminal has already been apprehended and poses no threat to anyone. Killing a person already imprisoned and helpless is only cruel and of no service to society.


The court in the case of COMMONWEALTH vs. KENNETH L. PERUZZI (a much-cited source for the definition of malice) declared: "Malice, on the other hand, refers to a state of mind of cruelty, hostility or revenge".

So killing murderers out of revenge for the harm they have caused would be killing a person out of malice which is would itself be "murder" by the definition of common law, as it was first instated in the US after the foundation of the USA: "killing another human being with malice aforethought" ( ). And even though this has been modified to exclude "lawful" killing, both deeds remain alarmingly similar.

Surely, we have to be morally better than the people we judge and convict. Reacting out of base motives is morally low. It's the most primitive of morals: "an eye for an eye". But how can we judge someone if we feel the same basic need to see them die that drove them to their heinous deed?

"The obligations and purposes of law and government are to protect public health, safety, and morals", says famous Princeton jurisprudence professor Robert P. George ( ). So promoting revenge and malice is against the government's OBLIGATIONS. The death penalty can thus not be employed for revenge.


It is often claimed that murderers and other felons should be executed so that they cannot repeat their offense. But who says they do? Yes, there are statistics proving that repeat offenders exist, but as long as the quota of repeat offenders is not 100% any argumentation that a person who committed a crime must be stopped by execution from committing the same crime again is nothing but an "appeal to probability" fallacy, an inductive conclusion. Especially since the official statistics show a very low quota of repeat offenders in major crimes: " 2.5% of released rapists were arrested for another rape, 1.2% of those who had served time for homicide were arrested for a new homicide." ( )

This shows that executing all murderers and rapists would reduce crime by a measly few percent as far as repeat offenses go. But a lot of people would be executed without that justification, which means that yes, they cannot commit crimes again, but they wouldn't have in the first place, without wasting their lives. "Better safe than sorry" is an attitude that would just be cynical when it comes to human life (see above). The death penalty thus provides little to none protection.


It is often claimed that executions will reduce crime rates via deterring others from committing the same crime for fear of punishment.

But the statistics show this to be a blatant lie:

Year 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Murder Rate in Death Penalty States* 9.23 8.59 7.72 7.09 6.51 5.86 5.70 5.82 5.82 5.91 5.71 5.87 5.90 5.83 5.72 5.26 5.00 4.89
Murder Rate in
Penalty States
7.88 6.78 5.37 5.00 4.61 4.59 4.25 4.25 4.27 4.10 4.02 4.03 4.22 4.10 4.05 3.90 4.01 4.13


"Murder rates are from the FBI's "Crime in the United States" and are per 100,000 population.

The murder rate for the region (death penalty states or non-death penalty states) is the total number of murders in the region divided by the total population (and then multiplied by 100,000)"

Apparently, being threatened with the capital punishment makes criminals ever more desperate, leading to an increase in murders. This is only logical, seeing as many other crimes, like abduction, are severely punished anyway, so rounding thins out with a murder doesn't worsen the criminals' situation.

The death penalty thus does not offer protection for the public, apparently rather the opposite.


People make mistakes. That goes for judges, prosecutors and jury members without any question.

"The US criminal justice system is a broken machine that wrongfully convicts innocent people, sentencing thousands of people to prison or to death for the crimes of others, as a new study reveals. The University of Michigan law school and Northwestern University have compiled ... a database of over 2,000 prisoners exonerated between 1989 and the present day, when DNA evidence has been widely used to clear the names of innocent people convicted of rape and murder. ...

The details are shocking. Death row inmates were exonerated nine times more frequently than others convicted of murder. One-fourth of those exonerated of murder had received a death sentence, while half of those who had been wrongfully convicted of rape or murder faced death or a life behind bars. Ten of the inmates went to their grave before their names were cleared.

The leading causes of wrongful convictions include perjury, flawed eyewitness identification and prosecutorial misconduct. For those who have placed unequivocal faith in the US criminal justice system and believe that all condemned prisoners are guilty of the crime of which they were convicted, the data must make for a rude awakening." ( )

Ten people killed innocently. That is manslaughter, condoned by the law.

And how will we ever be able to correct these mistakes? The capital punishment is something that cannot be undone. And I say that even if a single person was executed innocently, this practice has to be stopped right away. Just like we would prohibit a toy painted with poisonous paint right away if a single innocent child dies. Due to the fallacy of inductive conclusions, we can obviously never be certain that a person committed a crime. The deductive method clearly states that all we can do is clear people of suspicion, by offering an alibi. The US legal system demands the jury to be convinced of the guilt "beyond reasonable doubt". That is no proof. The slightest possibility will always remain that a suspect is innocent after all. Nobody is to blame if someone is wrongfully convicted. Mistakes happen. And long as some atonement is possible this is something that can be forgiven. But killing an innocent person is unforgivable. And it has happened far too often already.

Thank you for your time.

Debate Round No. 2


ru-cimhof forfeited this round.


It's a pity my opponent chose to forfeit on this.

I hope he's well and all, but: extended on all arguments.

Thanks for your attention!
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by YYW 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: CON made some strong arguments, and PRO didn't do much of anything. CON had sources, PRO did not. PRO forfeited a round, CON did not.