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

convicts facing a possible death sentence should be able to kill themselves

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/19/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 898 times Debate No: 75546
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




Criminal punishment is a huge source of controversy in the United States. Opponents often argue that innocent people are sometimes executed and that the main motive is revenge, not true justice. Those who support the death penalty debate that the punishment offers retribution for victims of murder and is more cost efficient than offering life sentences in prison. Whether or not the death penalty will remain legal in the United States has yet to be seen. And so why should they be given the choice on how o kill themselves?


I accept. Individuals facing the death penalty should be able to kill themselves through euthanasia with oversight from a doctor. BOP in this debate is split 50/50 given Con instigated the debate. Good luck to my opponent. I look forward to a substantive debate on a serious issue. Best of luck.

Debate Round No. 1


When committing a crime, or killing a person in this case, we have taken away the others persons right, which then leads to us having our civil rights taken away from us. So why give them the choice to chose how they want to kill themselves if their rights have been already taken away from them.


Con makes a couple of points that needed to be elaborated: first, how is someone on death row dying by suicide take away “our civil rights?” Please specify how a death row inmate that dies through assisted suicide an infringement that “leads to us having our civil rights taken away from us?” What civil rights are you talking about specifically? Perhaps you meant the victims of crimes are somehow denied justice or rights if prisoners are allowed to opt for assisted suicide.

But this is already true since prisoners will opt for the death penalty instead of life in prison.

Here is an ABC News story on exactly this issue:


According to the Death Penalty Information Center, a group opposed to capital punishment, Passaro's execution was one of seven "volunteer" executions in 2002, where death-row prisoners relinquished their remaining appeals and opted to be put to death. More death-row inmates have been volunteering for their executions: Between 1993 and 2002, 75 volunteered for death, compared to the 22 consensual executions between 1977 and 1992.[1]


So, what Con is suggesting already happens in a number of ways, just as a function of the legal system.

Pro (1): would you rather let a death murder receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care and a transplant at taxpayers expense or let them die?

Con ignores several realities, including that prisoners receive medical care, even transplants while on death row.

Here is a second ABC News report exemplifies this reality—ultimately complicating Con’s stance from the last round.

Facts the person, crimes, and treatment

Horacio Reyes-Camarena was convicted of murdering, specifically repeatedly stabbing two women to death. While on death row, the state of Oregon paid “a reported $121,000 a year” from the state to keep him on dialysis and then a “prison doctor determined he was a good candidate for a kidney transplant.”[2] Not only will Horacio receive this treatment but according to ABC he “could be placed on a transplant waiting list ahead of others who did not commit any crimes…”

To Con’s point about victims of crimes and their rights taken away, what do victims think about providing healthcare to a murder.

The report provides an answer:


There's no doubt — there's no debate — that people have lost their lives while murderers have received transplants, said Dudley Sharp, resource director of Justice For All, a Houston-based victims' rights group that supports the death penalty. It is unconscionable that we would put those who have not contributed anything to society but have cost society millions of dollars ahead of hardworking citizens that are not even on the list [for transplants] because they can't afford the insurance, Sharp said. It's not fair and studies need to be done, and it's something our state legislatures need to think about.


Pro (2):

Let’s take a concrete example: Jerry Sandusky. He is facing a life sentence in prison for raping boys. Why should taxpayers foot the bill to house a pedophile, feed a pedophile, and allow him to live? Taxpayers should not. Why protract their sentence if they want to die immediately? What is the point of prolong the life of someone like that, Pro’s position is to allow them to die if they want, it is inevitable anyway, and prolonging their lives means effectively taxpayers are paying for them to live, to eat, to be housed, to breath day after day and year after year.

Ask yourself the punishment on death row is going to be death; does it matter to anyone whether a prisoner wants to die at point A rather than point B?

Debate Round No. 2


emily50 forfeited this round.


I'll extend my arguments for now.
Debate Round No. 3


emily50 forfeited this round.


My opponent failed to make an argument about why prisoners on death row should not be able to expedite the process. The only viable position put forward by my opponent is that it prevents some vague sense of retribution but that is not a sufficient reason. As I’ve already stated, provided death row inmates found to commit the most egregious crimes should be allowed to commit suicide, since the state is already going to execute them. Con has not provided a reason against this argument.

Pro should at the very least get conduct points for not skipping a round.

Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Max.Wallace 3 years ago
In fact, as Six Pack of Mini Bollocks Running Through a Cold Stream/AKA Millton has wished, we should give them the sword, or the noose, or the gun, or the pill, or whatever poison they so desire, in order to rid themselves of the torture of having lived in the hell called, The Planet Earth. Such humanity, and compassion, have rarely been witnessed here on this spec of dust rarely, since the 1940's.
Posted by BearWithMe 3 years ago
I don't think we should send someone to the slaughter when we can imprison them and keep them away from society while they can contemplate what they have done and at what cost to them more so if we just had them killed, which I view as murder, not justice and two wrongs don't make a right. As for taxes paying for a prisoners basics, it's an obligation as citizens to contribute to society, especially if we're going to use the makings of others. It's not like they have much of a freedom to get a job. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
Posted by BearWithMe 3 years ago
It can be quite difficult to commit suicide in a prison.
Posted by Stefy 3 years ago
Why is this even a debate. Its impossible to stop someone from commiting suicide. If they want to do it they're going to do it. This is pointless.
Posted by emily50 3 years ago
@Jonnykelly sure!
Posted by Jonnykelly 3 years ago
@emily50 may I have your permission to use this topic in the future?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture