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Should the death penalty be allowed?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/22/2018 Category: People
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,124 times Debate No: 114170
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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As best stated by Jana Kingsford, big dreams strategist and leveraged life creator, "balance is not something you find, it is something you create". Sometimes that balance that needs to be created occurs in the judicial system, specifically deciding whether or not to give the death penalty. The death penalty is the punishment of execution, administered to someone legally convicted of a capital crime. The death penalty should continue to be allowed because it goes back to bases of balance; it allows for retribution. " When someone takes a life, the balance of justice is disturbed. Unless that balance is restored, society succumbs to a rule of violence " ( Source 1). When penalties are given, the decision must be justified and based on the actual offense. Robert Blecker, professor of law at New York Law School, states ""We have the responsibility to punish those who deserve it, but only to the degree they deserve it. Retributivists do not justify the death penalty by the general deterrence or safety it brings us. And we reject over-punishing no less than under-punishing" (Source 2). For the decision to execute is not random, there is logistics behind it. It is more than grief, it is fairness and equality which is exactly what this country thrives on. (2018). Retribution (In Support of the Death Penalty)
Robert Blecker, JD Professor of Law at New York Law School, "Q&A: Death Penalty Proponent Robert Blecker,", Apr. 2014


Many people that are innocent to a crime that others vision the defendant to be guilty, and are being automatically sent to the death penalty with no fair trial. Taking the life of someone that is innocent is as if federal courts are committing murder themselves.

As stated by Ernie Chambers , a Nebraska Senator that has a JD and debate was published on April 16, 2015,"I want to get as many votes as i possibly can to abolish this death penalty...

Over 150 people in the last few years have been taken off death row because they were innocent. I know there are people who want to believe that no innocent person has ever been executed in this country. But when you have this many people conclusively proved by DNA evidence to be actually innocent, there is no escaping the conclusion that innocent people have been executed...

There are cases where prosecutors withheld exculpatory information. They knew that there were defendants who were coerced into entering a guilty plea to a crime they had not committed".
Debate Round No. 1


Sadly enough, the judicial system does hold its moments in history to be upsetting. This includes false/incorrect imprisonment. However, the likelihood isn"t much. As a matter of fact, more people sentenced to the death penalty are guilty compared to the numbers in which they are innocent. This leads to my next point "irrevocable mistakes". I must reiterate how low the chances are of an innocent killing because of the complex process that must occur to coming to the decision of death. As stated on Sep. 27, 2016 by Michele Hanisee, JD, Deputy District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles and President of the Association of District Attorneys in the article "Justice Requires a Swift Death Penalty in California," "Those in support of abolishing the death penalty point to the possibility of an innocent person being executed... The innocent can take solace in knowing that a unanimous jury of 12 citizens must render the death verdict after an exhaustive trial where the accused murderer is represented by two highly competent attorneys and overseen by an independent judge who ensures a fair trial.

Voters understand that the criminals on death row have been convicted of the most heinous crimes. Voters also realize that those left behind, grieving families throughout California and their loved ones, don"t deserve anything less than justice.

Justice is a reformed, not eliminated death penalty." So although some innocent lives are lost through the death penalty, one must remember that there are flaws in all aspects of life, but some are sacrifices for the greater good of man, in this case, justice.

Hanisee, M. (2018). Justice requires a swift death penalty in California.


Yes, the death penalty does exist and yes it has been used on individuals that were prosecuted as guilty. However, there is a difference between automatically taking away someone's life and actually imprisoning someone with a certain year sentenced. Though they are different but slightly similar forms of punishment, they both have the same circumstances of obtaining court processes before teh defendant is prosecuted. Which means this leads to a lot of expense, and the most expensive between the two punishment is the death penalty itself.

According to Richard C. Dieter, with a MS, JD, and is the Former Executive Director on the Death Penalty Information, "One of the most common misperceptions about the death penalty is the notion that the death penalty saves money because the executed defendants no longer have to be cared for at the state's expense. If the costs of the death penalty were to be measured at the time of an execution, that might indeed be true. But as every prosecutor, defense attorney, and judge knows, the costs of a capital case begin long before the sentence is carried out. Experienced prosecutors and defense attorneys must be assigned and begin a long period of investigation and pre-trial hearings. Jury selection, the trial itself, and initial appeals will consume years of time and enormous amounts of money before an execution is on the horizon...

All of the studies conclude that the death penalty system is far more expensive than an alternative system in which the maximum sentence is life in prison".
Debate Round No. 2


Although some studies may indicate that it is cheaper to keep prisoners with a maximum sentence of life in prison, this is simply not the case. In fact, the death penalty saves money spent on trials and limits the opportunity for appeals. As stated in the article "Local View: Thoughts about the Death Penalty: Correcting the Record," by Robert B.Evnen, attorney and Co-founder of Nebraskans for the Death Penalty, on July 11, 2015, "Much of the cost, indeed, much of the criticism of the death penalty, is attributed to 'decades of appeals.' It is unsurprising that the loudest complaints about death penalty delays come from death penalty opponents who have created them...

Claimed 'cost studies,' often performed by or at the behest of death penalty opponents, are frequently so incomplete as to be false and misleading. For example, they don't take into account the increase in the cost of life without parole cases if there were no death penalty. Criminal defendants who are facing the death penalty " which today must be pleaded by prosecutors up front " often want to make a deal by pleading guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for a sentencing recommendation of life without parole. The existence of the death penalty as a possible sentence leads to guilty pleas that save the money spent on trials and limit the opportunity for appeals".

By this, we see that the death penalty delays come from the opponents of the death penalty and economically it makes more sense to legalize the death penalty seeing as it saves money on trials.

Aside from saving money, the death penalty also saves time; people can move on from the horrendous crime and receive closure. Although many may see the death penalty as a way to offer punishment rather than methods of healing for the survivors of violent crimes, this is not so. The "punishment" is justice being served. Kermit Alexander
Former NFL player and President of the NFL Players Association who lost his mother, sister and two nephews when they were murdered in 1984 , states in "Letters to the Editor, Oct. 1," that ""Whatever your feelings are toward the death penalty, one thing most people will never know is the pain experienced when a family member, or in my case, family members are brutally tortured and murdered. In 1984, my mother, sister and two nephews were cold-heartedly shot to death by an 18-year-old gang member named Tiqueon Cox...

Tiqueon was sentenced to death by a jury of his peers and has been on death row for 30 years after exhausting all of his appeals at both the state and federal level... Cox, while on death row, attempted a violent takeover of the Super Max Adjustment Center at San Quentin with a goal to kill as many guards as possible.

I urge a no vote on Prop. 62 and yes on Prop. 66 to ensure the worst of the worst killers receive the strongest sentence. A yes on Prop. 66 brings closure to families while saving California taxpayers millions of dollars every year."

The death penalty allows people to move on, the death penalty brings closure to victims and their families. Why allow someone the gift of life if they have deprived someone else of that gift? It comes back to the basic ideas of balance, economics, and closure.

Evnen, R. (2018). Local View: Thoughts about the death penalty: Correcting the record.
Letters to the Editor, Oct. 1. (2018). Retrieved from


Many know that our society has been filled with racism over the past century. Racism is not new in today"s society, big or small, many know the intacts of racism that is put into the society. Sadly, our government as we know it has a racist mind when it comes to terrorism. When there is any act of terrorism that appears into the United States, the government automatically points fingers towards races that appear to the US as abnormal. In times of the past, and sadly in some cases in the present, there has been racism in court rooms towards races like African Americans and Hispanics. From slavery of blacks to unequal rights of colored people and now to prejudice officers or prejudice people in general killing African Americans and Hispanics because of their racial identity.

According to Martin O" Malley, the former Governor of Maryland with a JD that emphasizes on "Why the Death Pwnalty Needs to Go" on CNN News, "There is a particular, fundamental flaw in our justice system that other candidates appear to lack the commitment to address - - our failed reliance on the death penalty. This is a tragedy both because it is a racially biased punishment, and also ineffective in deterring crime...

Our nation"s legacy of slavery and racial injustice find continued offense in our use of the death penalty. Our death row population is more than 40% black - - nearly three times the proportion of the general population.

Returning our criminal justice system to save and redeem more lives is not as simple as changing just one thing. But we should be able to admit that we must do more of what works to save lives, and we should stop doing things that do not work.

As a prosecutor, I saw that the death penalty"s racial legacy could not be excused or explained away - - and that too many innocent lives were being taken away by this profoundly flawed practice.

So I decided to fight for the death penalty"s repeal".
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by zorbathegreek 3 years ago
Like virtually everything else that's debatable, the death penalty has its pros and cons. On the one hand, it provides swift closure and instant retribution to the victims of felonies, and/or their relatives and families. On the other hand, it carries the risk of a gross miscarriage of justice, whereby innocent people might be found guilty and subsequently executed, as well as appearing, to many people, to putting the executioners in the same category as the felons they're disposing of. If, for example, Jeffrey Dahmer had been executed rather than sentenced to life in prison, would that have given the families and friends of his victims a better sense of justice being served, or improved closure? I very much doubt it----a view I maintain even after Dahmer was lynched by a fellow inmate, as turned out to be the case.
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