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


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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/9/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,299 times Debate No: 23506
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)




Do you support the death penalty yes or no. I personally think that there should be a death penalty in the united states but, then again I don't think there should be one. I mean when you put someone to death it is murder. So I figured your just as good as the guy who is being put to death the only think with that is that, your murder is "legal". So comment on here and let me know what you think of the death penalty.


I am against the DP. I shall post one of my old debates on the subject (as there is no rule saying I cannot) to explain why:

So, let's go over the major points of the opposition before starting the argument: The points of contention are that those who are "charged guilty run the chance of endangering other's life's [sic]", "The death penalty...serves as a deterrence" and "The death penalty is primarily retribution".

My arguments will be very simple, and hopefully, we shall all learn something from this:

Firstly, i'd like to state that both myself and my opponent will think we have a moral high ground, so I shall refrain from this specific line of argument, as it is redundant. Therefore, I am going to eliminate my personal, individual moral position for this, and continue with (hopefully) pure observation.

The financial side of the issue
Firstly, there is the financial side to the argument. Now, there are a multitude of different reasons why we should not have the death penalty, but this is the first one. If we take an amoral position so personal judgement does not cloud our position, the first is money. This is the thing; we are in a reccession. This is an incredibly strange scenario we find ourselves in, one of the first times in history where I can actually apply cost into an argument about the death penalty and be rational. The thing is, we know that the death penalty costs a lot more; this is a fact. Citations have been gathered[1] showing the cost is high; in California, the average waiting time on death row is 20 years, the average time in the country is 14 years. Texas prides itself on being the fastest; an average of ten years before killing someone.

But in all actuality, the cost of death row is extreme. The cost of people on death row in California has been cited at 300 million dollars[2] and the cost in Illnois... well, I think this quote explains it:

"Illinois has spent over $100 million in 10 years and hasn't put anyone to death," said a sponsor of the Illinois bill, State Rep. Karen Yarbrough, a Democrat. "It's time to put this barbaric practice to rest."

In California a 2008 report showed that the $137 million annual cost of maintaining the criminal justice system would drop to just $11.5 million annually if the death sentence were abolished.[3]

In Maryland, an average death penalty case resulting in a death sentence costs approximately $3 million. The eventual costs to Maryland taxpayers for cases pursued 1978-1999 will be $186 million. Five executions have resulted. (Urban Institute, 2008).[9]

If we were to look economically, we can tell very clearly how inefficient the death penalty is, and its repeal would reduce California's spending by enough to almost secure their target of state deficit reduction.

York University has estimated that in 2006-07, it cost£5,425 for respiratory problems,£9,974 for circulatory problems,£15,387 for cancer,£21,538 for gastrointestinal problems and£26,428 for diabetes.[10] The amount of money saved means we can put more money into the national health budget, and save more lives. Banning the death penalty can save many times more money than its legalisation.

The lack of redemption
Now, some people will argue with me that some criminals are beyond redemption, and will not think that they should be treated humanely. I'd agree and disagree.

I'd disagree firstly because of motive behind most actions. The majority of the people on death row are there for murder. What are they specifically there for. Those who have the capacity for redemption and return to society should not be executed; the slothul behaviour of society when it comes to these people should be condemned to the point of public outcry. Yet the execution of those who are irredeemable by modern society would be caused by a form of insanity[4] and it is from an ailment where the person would not kill if he was of able mind. If we suppose that, and I know it is a strange idea, that those who kill people actually have something wrong with them, then it would be deemed illegal to execute them.

Force people to murder
If you enact a law which creates Capital Punishment, what you are affectively doing is forcing people to kill others. The pro-death penalty camp has been dwindling, now 40% of people are against it. By enacting Capital Punishment, you force people to pay for Capital Punishment; you force people to kill others, no matter how indirectly. [5]

Justice of the victim
Capital Punishment works purely in favour of the victim. This is not how the law works, and people need to recognise that. We cannot make the entire law system revolve around the victim of the crime. If so, the entire law system works around the idea of knee jerk reactions and disregard of others. It is obvious that a victim will always want heavier punishment, while the defendant will want a less severe punishment; that is how the system will always work. We can see from cases such as the Milly Dowler case that people will want extreme punishments: Sally Dowler said that "I hope that in prison ... his life is a living hell."[6] If we allow only the distorted victim's view, we get hellish actions as the response. We are living in a culture where we look at the victim's parents, their family, and their lives, but we cannot forget that the defendent has their own mother, father, family, and we cannot simply disregard people because they are related to others.

The charged guilty run the risk of endangering others' lives
I will take this as meaning in case they escape, for the explanation of this is too vague and weak for myself to go into too much depth with confidence of the specific contention. The Florida ADX Supermax has had no prison breaks or serious attempts[7]. Obama himself mentioned that there has never been an escape from a supermax prison, exceptone case in 1977. The risk of escaped prisoners is significantly less to chance of getting an innocent man executed.

The death Penalty serves as a deterrence
Undeniable fact. Just as, say, the placebo effect helps cure cancer. It is so minor and ridiculous to claim it as a useful deterrence that it cannot be held up. 88% of criminologists agree that it is not a useful form of deterrence[9].

The death penalty is primarily retribution
Retribution is synonymous with victim's revenge (see justice of victim) and is a reason against the Death Penalty, not for it. The law should work objectively, and should be used in order to promote justice, not revenge.

For these reasons, the Death Penalty should not be instituted in a society.

1 -;
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3 - 84, reference to the four alternatives.
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7 -
8 -;
9 - Ibid
10 -
Debate Round No. 1


cloudman forfeited this round.


Extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 2


cloudman forfeited this round.


Extend all arguments
Debate Round No. 3


cloudman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by 1dustpelt 6 years ago
Lol why does this have 4 likes?
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 6 years ago
The financial side is deathly important (pun intended). If we could save, say, 40 million pounds, then we've got a decision to make: invest money into the NHS to save hundreds of lives, or have the Death penalty (or the numerous other options, such as PAY OFF THE DEFICIT CAMERON STOP SQUANDERING MONEY)
Posted by Shouri 6 years ago
Posted by Shouri 6 years ago
Alooging death penalty isn't the main issiue i think neither the financial side of the problem is. The debate is better this way; Is there any country who will not abuse deah penalties? Corruption is there present in all societies, i believe death penalty is needed for indivicuals beyond redemption yet i am against allowing deth penalty since i don't have faith in our system. I have seen a calligraphy on a wall in my lawyer's office, it was saying 'Might is Right!'. Couldn't help but thought 'so true...'. Anyways DP should be legal only if we are living in a society not falling short of the definition of Utopia without any fatal flaws...
Posted by Zaradi 6 years ago
Oh come on Hawking. Don't noob snipe this xD
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 6 years ago
Easy win, I hope :P

I hope I'm wrong though.
Posted by Zaradi 6 years ago
If you're just polling for opinions, go to teh forumz. Don't make a debate where you're forced into a side.
Posted by NotYourFault 6 years ago
are you debating FOR or AGAINST the death penalty...? you can't choose both, for obvious reasons.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by vmpire321 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeits