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The Death Penalty

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/31/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 320 times Debate No: 72695
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
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The Death penalty should be abolished for the following reasons
- The risk of killing the innocent
- It violates human rights
- Its morally wrong, taking someone's life is wrong no matter what
- Most murderers aren't afraid of death, they'll never suffer remorse, which is actually helping them
- It completely ignores alternatives, for example Jail life without parole
- The so called "painless injection method" is getting very costly
- The mentally ill are executed, rather then getting the help they need
- The "painless injection" collapses your lungs before the person can scream, therefore showing signs on pain
- There is no evidence that it reduces crime rates
- Racial discrimination


Capital punishment is a necessary evil. It is part of retribution so that society has an ordered sense of justice. It is used as a last resort. It is a form of deterrence.

It's important to distinguish between the threat of punishment and the actual effectuation of the punishment. No one would receive capital punishment except through a long process of deliberation and a lengthy number of appeals in the justice system. For example, if a person who was convicted of a serious crime, such as first-degree (premeditated and/or with malice) homicide, received a very poor defense from a public defender because he or she could not afford a decent lawyer, she or he could obtain redress and possibly overturn the original conviction due to incompetent counsel.

When it is determined that many wrongful convictions have occurred which have placed innocent people on "Death Row," the governor can and should declare a moratorium on the death penalty until all current death row inmates awaiting execution would have further opportunity to review their cases and figure out ways to speed up DNA crime analysis to confirm or disconfirm guilt.

The death penalty should never be used except in cases of premeditated, conscious murder and never self-defense leading to accidental homicide.

One of the primary reasons for the death penalty is a just society where one person who takes another person's life has serious consequences. Blood for blood, so to speak. In Genesis chapter 9, after Noah has been discharged from the ark, God issues instructions for civil and just societies to be conducted. There are punishments for taking the life of humans and animals: "For your own lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning: from every animal I will require it and from human beings, each one for the blood of another, I will require a reckoning for human life. Whoever sheds the blood of a human, by a human shall that person's blood be shed; for in his image God made humankind." 1 The taking of another person's life is not to be flippant or a trivial thing; justice whereby the perpetrator receives a similar punishment to the crime committed ensures that life and spilling blood are serious matters.

My opponent writes about some interesting reasons for opposing the death penalty including the "risk of killing the innocent." That is not a great reason; many people who sit in a prison cell for years, cut off from their families and the rest of society may have been innocent of the charges that were brought against them. Is it better that they sit, wasting away in a prison cell, or that they die innocent? Either way, it is about a miscarriage of justice which we need to reform. Another similar reason she cites is "racial discrimination." But the same response I just gave applies to this argument as well. Racial discrimination is wrong whether a particular state has enacted the death penalty or not.

She argues that human rights would be violated by the death penalty. Again, human rights would also be violated by awful, overcrowded prison conditions which many states have an issue with.

I would like to see the evidence that the "mentally ill" are being targeted by the death penalty. Now, if we are talking about mental illness as in ADHD, then I could see a possibility of that.

Basically, since the perpetrator has taken away and/or violated the human rights of another person selfishly, they lose their human rights and it is a lesson to society to take human life as a precious thing.

In short, there are no really compelling reasons to abolish the death penalty. The death penalty makes a point about justice and morality that actions have consequences.
Debate Round No. 1


delilah_sanchez forfeited this round.


I will make just a very brief post since my opponent is still weighing the strengths and weaknesses of the
positions for and against the death penalty.

Several years ago, Illinois permanently banned its death penalty. Here's an interesting story which is primarily
anti-death penalty in its focus from NPR:

One of the reasons given for the abolition was that the governor (Pat Quinn) couldn't find a "perfect system."
Well, there is no perfect system of human justice. There is always some fallibility, some error which can
occur in the judicial system. Is that a reason for abandoning any type of punishment to prevent criminal
activity? Should we just throw our hands up and say, "Let them all free since we could have made mistakes
in their trials."? Of course, not! That would be stupid.

Near the end of the article, it points out that the last person in Illinois executed was convicted of mutilating
and killing a 21-year old woman.

Illinois also convicted and executed a clown who liked to volunteer in his community named John Wayne
Gacy. Gacy not only like to volunteer but he loved non-consensually sodomizing young boys whom he could
overpower. When he wasn't able to subdue and sodomize them or keep them quiet, he would permanently
keep these boys and young men killing them and disposing of their bodies.

So....was this a grave injustice to execute Gacy?

Would it have been fair to tell all of the victims and their families that Gacy might have been wrongfully convicted and therefore should just go to prison? Should he have been allowed to become a "model prisoner" like he did the first time he was sentenced to prison...only to be paroled 18 months later for good behavior?

Think about these questions and these issues and I look forward to further discussion with you.
Debate Round No. 2


delilah_sanchez forfeited this round.


Thanks to my opponent for the opportunity to discuss this topic. I realize that it is a complicated one to debate
and perhaps there was not enough time for my opponent to formulate responses in the allotted time frame.

I look forward to a future discussion on this topic, should the opportunity present itself again.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Jonnykelly 1 year ago
How on earth does con get racial discrimination from the death penalty??
Posted by Ninja4Butoku 1 year ago
We should return to the guillotine and death by firing squad. Imagine a terribly violent rapist (charged with aggravated forcible rape of a child) was released after 15 years in jail. How would you feel knowing that person was freely walking around in your community? I guarantee you would feel extremely alarmed. People are blind to the harsh realizations of these criminals and think that by allowing them to live is morally correct but fail to see that it's infinitely more morally wrong to let them back into the community. I used to work in a jail for a short while and some of the rapists were given jobs to get them out of jail a little sooner!
Posted by StalinIncarnate 1 year ago
Con Sounds like he Dislikes the Military.
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