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The Contender
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Death Penalty Should be Abolished

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/6/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,423 times Debate No: 56142
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




Round 1 is for acceptance
Round 2 for arguments
Round 3 for rebuttal
Round 4 for Closing Statement
Debate Round No. 1


JUDGES PLEASE NOTE: This round is for arguments.

Well, I have tried to cover different aspects of the death penalty, after a thorough research I have tried to keep my argument mostly factual not driven entirely by emotions but by facts. I have incorporated opinions of legal experts and researchers who have extensively dealt with the subject of the death penalty.



The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, the second largest Lutheran church body in North America, during a 1967 church convention, adopted a resolution that stated:

"Whereas, The Lutheran Confessions support capital punishment:

...God has delegated His authority of punishing evil-doers to civil magistrates in place of parents; in early times, as we read in Moses, parents had to bring their own children to judgment and sentence them to death.

Billy Graham, Evangelist and Chairman of the Board of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), in an article titled "The Power of the Cross," published in the Apr. 2007 issue of Decision magazine wrote:

"To gain a clear understanding of God’s attitude toward sin, we only have to consider the purpose of Christ’s death. The Scripture says, 'Without shedding of blood there is no remission' (Hebrews 9:22). Here is a positive statement that there can be no forgiveness of sin unless our debt has been paid.

God will not tolerate sin. He condemns it and demands payment for it. God could not remain a righteous God and compromise with sin. His holiness and His justice demand the death penalty."


The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) wrote in its fact sheet "Islam and Capital Punishment" dated June 23, 2005, that:

"Muslim countries vary in the extent to which they practise capital punishment, though all retain it at present.

Islamic countries that practise a very strict Sharia law are associated with the use of capital punishment as retribution for the largest variety of crimes.”

Basically "two cases" exist for which the Qur'an allows the death penalty. The first case is for murder. The second case applies to "crimes committed against the community" which, depending on who is interpreting the Qur’an, may include: treason, apostasy (when one leaves the faith and turns against it), terrorism, piracy, rape, adultery, and homosexual activity.


The Tanakh, the five books of Moses in the Torah, explain the need and procedures for the enforcement of capital punishment in Deuteronomy Chapters 17-19:

"...At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.

The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall put the evil away from among you...

And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.

And your eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot."

Explanation: "Judaism supports the death penalty, but only when there are at least two eyewitnesses who fully corroborate their testimony, and also that the criminal was warned beforehand that committing this crime could result in the death penalty."


The logic is simple here, a man who has the guts to commit murder or a crime of the same degree is definitely willing and prepared to go to prison for it, but the question of losing his life, meeting the end, would definitely make him think twice if not abandon the idea entirely.

If a criminal knows that he will have to pay the ultimate price of his if he commits a heinous crime acts a big deterrent towards crime.

Michael Summers, PhD, MBA, Professor of Management Science at Pepperdine University, wrote in his Nov. 2, 2007 article "Capital Punishment Works" in the Wall Street Journal:

"...[O]ur recent research shows that each execution carried out is correlated with about 74 fewer murders the following year... The study examined the relationship between the number of executions and the number of murders in the U.S. for the 26-year period from 1979 to 2004, using data from publicly available FBI sources... There seems to be an obvious negative correlation in that when executions increase, murders decrease, and when executions decrease, murders increase...

In the early 1980s, the return of the death penalty was associated with a drop in the number of murders. In the mid-to-late 1980s, when the number of executions stabilized at about 20 per year, the number of murders increased. Throughout the 1990s, our society increased the number of executions, and the number of murders plummeted. Since 2001, there has been a decline in executions and an increase in murders.

It is possible that this correlated relationship could be mere coincidence, so we did a regression analysis on the 26-year relationship. The association was significant at the .00005 level, which meant the odds against the pattern being simply a random happening are about 18,000 to one. Further analysis revealed that each execution seems to be associated with 71 fewer murders in the year the execution took place.

We know that, for whatever reason, there is a simple but dramatic relationship between the number of executions carried out and a corresponding reduction in the number of murders...”

On the grounds that an innocent may be executed

What is the probability of such an occurrence? The legal systems in all countries are very complex and thorough before they award a death penalty. The sentences of such importance, are debated, discussed, scrutinized, only when there is certainty that the crime was committed by the accused is when the death penalty is awarded.

No system of justice can produce results which are 100% certain all the time. Mistakes will be made in any system which relies upon human testimony for proof. We should be vigilant to uncover and avoid such mistakes. Our system of justice rightfully demands a higher standard for death penalty cases. However, the risk of making a mistake with the extraordinary due process applied in death penalty cases is very small, and there is no credible evidence to show that any innocent persons have been executed at least since the death penalty was reactivated in 1976... The inevitability of a mistake should not serve as grounds to eliminate the death penalty any more than the risk of having a fatal wreck should make automobiles illegal..."

Steven D. Stewart, JD
Prosecuting Attorney for Clark County Indiana

My opponent may argue that life in prison without parole is a better option, he may say that it is final and ultimate in its nature and crueler than the death penalty itself to invalidate this I would quote…

David Schaefer, PhD, Professor of Political Science at Holy Cross College, in his Dec. 2001 article for The American Enterprise titled "The Death Penalty and Its Alternatives," wrote:

"Death penalty opponents often argue that executing criminals is a needless act of inhumanity, since the threat of a sentence of life without parole is just as effective a deterrent to crime. Whatever one thinks of that claim in the abstract, the fact is that no jury has the legal authority to prevent government officials years or decades in the future from offering clemency or parole after all -- or to prevent judges at some later date from finding grounds for a new trial...

Anti-death-penalty groups know, of course, that there is no guarantee that a sentence of life without parole will actually be followed. Potential killers likely know it too. Those of us who believe that the punishment should in some since fit the crime may doubt the prospect of spending two or even more decades behind bars, with the hope of ultimate emancipation... constitutes just retribution for an act of cold-blooded murder... And in a society that doubts its right to impose the ultimate penalty on individuals who have committed the most vicious crimes against their fellow citizens, the horror against committing murder will tend inevitably to erode."


All lawmakers legalize self-defense, and they say it is permissible for one to kill a person who attacks him, if there is no other way. So in resisting the attack, man is compared to the society as it fends off aggression. That is, a murderer deserves death penalty because he has trespassed against the whole society by killing one of its members.


To refute the claim, I am reminded of a brilliant quote I read in a legal journal, "If the multiple layers of appeal are pursued in an ethical, and fiscally responsible manner, execution is less costly than warehousing a murderer for life."


I understand the proponents of the resolution may argue that life is sacred, that no govt. has the power to take human life or that after taking someone’s life the legal system and the convict are no different.

No matter how much I would LIKE to believe that but the fact is the death penalty is not carried out for retribution or anything of the sort, simply because the convict may do it again, it is done for the greater good of the society, it is done in public’s interest and well-being, now again the argument of humanity and morality can be used, but at the end of the day what is more humane – to let a man like Osama Bin Laden spend the rest of his days in prison –living, eating, on the taxpayers’ money, on the money of the people whose fathers, brothers, mothers he killed in the World Trade Center bombing, for all you know these convicts could escape their containment facilities, or would you rather have these vile creatures rightfully executed?

That is all. I thank my opponent for accepting the challenge. I look forward to Pro’s arguments and to a good debate.



iheartfandoms forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Extend arguments.


iheartfandoms forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


rjayx8 forfeited this round.


iheartfandoms forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by evangambit 7 years ago
*I state the leaded-gasoline as a hard-and-fast study. To the best of my knowledge this hasn't been explicitly been proven to be a cause-effect relationship. I apologize for citing it as such.
Posted by evangambit 7 years ago
In the interest of transparency, do you have any idea what the correlation is that you cited between executions and murders?

It is also worth noting that the drop in violent crime during the 1990s was due to the phasing out of leaded gasoline more than anything else. See which, among other things, notes that these "correlations match not just at the national level, but at regional, and even neighborhood levels" AND "the same correlations exist in countries all over the world" suggesting a far stronger relation than your correlation (though obviously without actual numbers, it's really all we're really doing is guess work anyway)

Finally, the "stabilization of executions" correlating with an increase in homicide, while by itself seems to indicate that capital punishment correlates negatively with homicide, nonetheless casts doubt on the significance of this correlation.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Themba 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF and uncontested arguments.
Vote Placed by lannan13 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con actually made arguments.

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