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

Imprisonment for life is a better punishment than death penalty

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/3/2014 Category: People
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,930 times Debate No: 53874
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




Death penalty should not be used as a punishment for any crime. There are many reasons for this argument, firstly in a lot of cases (admittedly in the past, but it is still an issue) innocent convicts have been put to death. This may be the result of lack of evidence to prove the case otherwise, death penalty being imposed before all the evidence has been found, or unjust power (such as is the case of Sacco and Vanzetti)
Another reason that the death penalty should not be legal, is that new drugs being tested on convicts are inhumane, as with the recent cases heard in the news, one where a man suffered for over 10 minutes before he finally passed away.
I realise that these are bad people, and in the eyes of the law, and in the eyes off the mass majority, they need to be punished, however, we must remember that they are still people at the end of the day, and killing them because they killed somebody else does nothing for anyone. An eye for an eye makes another man blind. We should make criminals realise the error of their ways with imprisonment, and the prison systems should be harsher, but Ibelieve death penalty is not the right way to go about it.

I am starting as CON because I am against Death Penalty, I would like somebody to start PRO and show me why it should be used.


I'd like to thank Abdab for the challenge. The resolution is slightly confusing as Abdab stated that he/she is against the death penalty yet he is Con against the notion of "Imprisonment for life is a better punishment than death penalty" but no matter, here is a few easy clarification.

Please ignore the original Con/Pro positions as well as the resolution and take these into considerations.
Abdab will be against the death penalty, I will be for it.

Abdab you ready?
Let's begin.

Argument I - Death penalty is more sane than life imprisonment

Let's assume that all convicts are guilty. Prisoners are likely to commit suicide based on the study conducted by fellow psychologists of the University of Manchester ( The most common method of suicide used are self strangulation, hanging as well burning etc. It is unclear as to what the actual reason for their suicides but results show a disorder that exists amongst prisoners.

Most prisoners, in that study specifically, commit suicide just 7 days into their prison life. Moreover, this does not concern a small sample, but it represents a large sample which is highly representative to society, as suicide and murder rates soar( for years.

That is just 7 days. A life imprisonment is much more severe and traumatic for the prisoners. If the prisoners are guilty and that they deserve the most severe form of punishment, it is better to choose the death penalty rather than being insane for the rest of your life.

Hence the death penalty is better for the serial killers rather than life imprisonment.Assuming that they do deserve severe punishments.

I will present my rebuttals in the next round.
Back to you, Abdab. Thanks

Debate Round No. 1


[Firstly I would like to apologise for my confusing PRO/CON stance, I hope all is understood now]

Keeping your assumption that all convicts are guilty, there are still problems with the death penalty. If we take a look back in history, capital punishment, which at some point has been practised in most societies, has been a cruel punishment accompanied by torture, humiliation and a public audience. []
Now, some may say "He has committed a crime! He deserves this!" And yes, he may deserve this, but think about his family. While some families may turn away from their black sheep and agree that this is a justified punishment, other families cannot get past the fact that they are family and they love each other. Not only is the criminal shamed, but so is the family, whether that be parents, spouse or child. Prisons have visitation not only to keep the criminals sane, but to keep the families sane too. Do innocent people deserve a punishment also, just because they are related to a bad person? Capital punishment is more than just getting rid of a criminal. It breaks apart a whole family. It means children may grow up with a missing parent, adults may have to suffer the pain of watching their partner die just because they made a mistake, or parents may have to watch their child die.


Thanks Abdad for your originality, I'm new to the website as well so no worries.
Abdad agreed with the new resolution, just a reminder.

Argument II- The Death Penalty is sound

There are immeasurable cases that makes the death penalty justifiable. Even a simple case such as the murder of Travis Alexander( compels the Prosecution team to sought the death penalty. Travis Alexander was killed by Jodi Arias by being stabbed to death sustaining multiple gunshots to the head. The trial was furious and Jodi was charged with First Degree Murder. This alone makes death penalty justifiable. If you choose the opposite, Travis Alexander died for nothing and Jodi might choose the prison life, of which my first premise states that she will go through a degrading life.

1 murder case is sufficient for the penalty, much more severe cases exists and the existence of them makes death penalty justifiable.

Rebuttals I - Family relationship

Sure, I agree with the premise. Family is a strong institution that seeks to strengthen and provide moral support to prisoners. This is just 1 small picture. Look at the bigger picture. Prisoners are confined forever behind bars, leaving nothing but a stool and a bed. Moreover, they have to engage in the same repetitive behaviour for the rest of their lives this is much more severe than the death penalty. A swift death is always preferable than a slow and painful death.

It doesn't break families apart, the Oscar pistorius trial was feeble to say the very least, especially in terms of family relationship. Families aren't all bogged to emotions that blinds them to love their peers regardless of evidences to the contrary. If one of their members have committed a serious offence, one that involves multiple rapes and murders, surely they would not resort to blind emotion.

Rebuttal II - Lack of evidence

Death penalty is mostly exercised on extreme cases that holds strong evidences. Jodi Arias testified that she killed Travis in court, that alone is a strong evidence for the judge and jury. Killing the murderer amounts to the concept of responsibility for your actions in life and acts as a deterrent for future criminals.

Thanks Abdab, Good debate.

Debate Round No. 2


I saved my biggest point for last. Don't you think the death penalty is hypocritical? Don't you think it is a bad way of teaching offenders that what they have done is wrong? Why kill someone to teach that murder is wrong? It is a double standard. They can't kill a man (who may be good OR bad) but we can kill a man because we think he is bad?
Say for example somebody raped your daughter, and you knew, but the police didn't yet. Then you killed him. Who would be the bad guy? Now, in your mind he would be, but he is dead now. The police see that you killed a man out of anger and you get given the death penalty. Wouldn't you be angry that you are punished for killing a man, but they're going to do the same thing to you? Take the case of John Spenkelink [] for example. He killed a fellow criminal, Joseph Szymankiewicz. He was put to death for this.

Soon after the Spenkelink execution, former San Francisco official Dan White received a prison sentence of seven years and eight months in prison for killing two people"the Mayor of San Francisco, George Moscone and superviser Harvey Milk.

Not only this but White committed suicide, but only after he served his sentence and was freed. Many prisoners who serve long sentences do not know how to cope with the change in times after they are released and find a way to return to prison or find a way to kill themselves. Prison serves as a way to protect criminals from prejudice and hate, as after all they are still people, even if they did do something terrible.

The death penalty also gives offenders publicity, which in some cases is what they are looking for, but certainly not what the are deserving of. As death sentences don't actually happen all that often (in the west), they are marked down in history and made public. This makes the offender infamous which may bring them great joy, and they may end up showing pride rather than remorse.

The question we should all be asking is not whether a criminal deserves to die or not, but rather, does another human have the right to kill them because they don't agree with what they are doing? After all, isn't that what the offender did wrong to start with?


Thanks Adbad, I hope the time that you've committed is worth it. Should I have the privilege of having voters, I hope that you guys enjoy this debate as well. Adbad made strong points in his last round, therefore I have to make a strong rebuttal in order to make sure overall contentions does not fall.

Argument I - The Death Penalty is more sane than life imprisonment

Entirely Dropped.

Argument II- The Death Penalty is Sound
His last round is contesting my Argument II, therefore I'm solidifying my case.

I have checked Abdad's contention, the wikipedia indicated that Joseph Szymankiewicz was a small time criminal, one which hardly affects our social life. The causal correlation is weak as evidences pointed out that Joseph was harassed by John beyond reasonable doubt. Joseph was hardly a criminal, the only thing controversial about that case was the blinds covering the execution.

Abdad, you have misinterpreted the evidence to suit your case.

In terms of who has the right to kill a human being,

Abdad completely ignored that death penalty are reserved for extreme cases only, the murder of Travis Alexander was extreme as he sustained multiple stabs and gunshots to the head. This along with strong evidences from witnesses puts Jodi to a position that confessing murder is the only way to save her. This is an extreme case.

Your line of ethical reasoning is difficult to digest.
What about war then? Are all deaths justified in that case?. Appealing to relativity is a reasonable approach, but without a strong case to refute a child rapist charged with death, your argument is without merit.

Final Rebuttal - Publicity is a thing of the past

The Victorians thought that slavery was a normal part of life and that teaching extreme discipline to children was normal. The same can be said for death penalty. Since you appeal to relativity, this case obfuscates your contention and serves as an incentive to mine. Let me put it to you, in the past people perceive slavery as normal and in this age, slavery is entirely rejected.

What you are dealing is irrelevant to the present time. Death penalty convicts are basically conducted under closed doors, all of which death penalty advocates agree. If we live in the past, we still endorse death penalty. Using history as an argument is henceforth denounced.

Thus, the conformity to death penalty is normal as it is sound.

My opponent hardly rebuts my points made especially the first premise. Abdab did however contest my 2nd argument but I've sufficiently defended my case successfully. All of his points have been refuted successfully and the majority of my arguments are dropped as he did not solidify his case when I contested them.

Abdab accepted death penalty as a cruel unethical way but tailors the evidence to suit his/her case. The resolution is Negated

I'd like to Abdab for proffering a good case. Thanks for debating with me.

Thanks to all the readers who have reached this far. I sincerely hope that I entertain both my opponent and my readers

Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Magistrate 7 years ago
Yeah thanks Myhkiel. Abdab did great in last round, I almost thought I lost when she questioned inconsistencies in my

Thanks everyone.
Posted by Abdab 7 years ago
Thank you Myhkiel for your vote, I will take your comment as constructive criticism and try to defend my points and make more convincing arguments next time. :)
Posted by Magistrate 7 years ago
@sadolite I suppose so. Zimbardo conducted an experiment based on that, where guards succumb to a pathology of power.
Posted by sadolite 7 years ago
life in prison is an easy position to hold when you can make other people pay for it against their will.
Posted by Magistrate 7 years ago
Strong last round. Yay. haha.
Posted by Magistrate 7 years ago
Extremely uncomfortable with what my case represents, but I'd like to see what you think. Its not necessary to adopt such a view.
Posted by Magistrate 7 years ago
I think your position is supposed to be pro based on the resolution
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Anonymous 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made many points and none were answered back by con. Con had weak arguments and seemed to present new ones with out defending old ones.

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