The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
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That we should abolish the death penalty

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/11/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 808 times Debate No: 89493
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
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My argument will rest on two premises. Firstly that the death penalty doesn't work as a deterrent and secondly that its too immoral to use even if it did. I will use this first speech to outline the former and my second speech to explain the latter.

To assume the death penalty will deter anyone assumes they are thinking rationally which most who people who commit serious crimes often are not. Broadly people who commit violent crimes can be grouped into four categories. Those who act in the heat of the moment and don't stop to consider the consequence of their actions, those who are mentally unstable or delusional and not in a position to weigh the consequences of their actions , those who are arrogant enough to believe they won't get caught and finally those who are rational and weigh up the risks before committing their crime.

Obviously in the first 3 category will not be deterred by any punishment. As for the last category I think firstly that this is the smallest category but secondly that most people who do consider the consequences will be just as likely to be deterred by life in prison which is also a pretty terrible punishment. So in the end the death penalty isn't really stopping anyone.

Then there is a fifth category, those who commit crimes for fame or Glory. In these cases the death penalty actually encourages criminals to commit crimes because they want the notoriety and fame that comes with becoming a Martyr. In these cases we think that a lifetime locked in a cell would be a bigger deterrent then death.


I will be arguing that the death penalty is a good idea and we should keep it. There are many reasons for this, and I will explain all of them in the next round.

Good luck
Debate Round No. 1


The death penalty is immoral. If we start killing murderers we are sinking to their level. Society should hold itself to a higher standard. Even though moral codes differ, most agree on the point that killing is objectively wrong.

And this point is not merely a philosophical one. The state doing morally wrong things has real world consequences. If we actually want to have a society which values life and discourages violent behaviour then we must be a society that leads by example. We must set the precedent that the right to life is inalienable by refusing to kill even those who we think deserve it most. The states ability to condemn violence and killing is severely diminished if those two things are part of the criminal justice system itself.

The other reason the death penalty is immoral is because its irreversible. Many innocent men have been sentenced to death and then later exonerated. For many it is too late. We should let guilty men live rather then risk innocent men dying. Many crimes which have the death penalty as a punishment have a history of wrongful convictions. We think that these wrongful convictions are really unavoidable because evidence can be misleading and juries and judges are prone to human error and bias. The negative must be prepared to say how many innocent men he is prepared to have die in order to have the death penalty for the guilty. On this side of the house we think one wrongful death is too many which is why we happily propose.

Finally on this moral question the death penalty cannot be carried out in a humane way. Firstly their is something cruel and unusual about keeping someone locked up after you have already told them they are about to die. What's more their is no good method for executing people. The electric chair, lethal injection, the noose and the firing squad have all been known to fail leaving the victim in terrible pain. These criminals weren't sentenced to torture which is why we happily propose.


The death penalty is not immoral. Think of a murder charge: the family of the victim will never see there loved one again, and want justice. The death penalty has been around for centuries, and many guilty people, that actually did do a crime, will be convicted and justice will be served in the form of a death penalty. Yes, some innocent people were killed for acts they did not commit. But killing murderers and others will rattle some future lawbreakers and, shown the punishment, wont even think about attempting to do it again.

Another reason the death penalty is good is overcrowded prisons. Prisons these days are getting overcrowded, which can lead to more violence and death of guards or other prisoners. Certain prisoners , such as serial killers, among other things, will easily kill other prisoners or guards if they wanted to, or that said person annoys them or gets on their nerves. Why waste all that food, supplies and space for people that are serial killers and child molesters, when they can hold it for more petty crimes, like robbery or assault. This could potentially also lower the amount of casualties in prison riots, as with less aggressive people, there would be less cause for such a thing to even take place to begin with.

My claim remains that death penalty is a good idea and we should continue this practice.
Debate Round No. 2


So my opponent raised four key arguments in his speech and they are as follows
1. The death penalty delivers justice
2. The Death penalty will deter people
3. The death Penalty is required due to overcrowded prisons
4. The death penalty reduces prison violence.

On the first point the death penalty is not necessary to achieve justice life in prison is a suitable punishment for even the most severe forms of crime. We just don't believe as a society in an eye for an eye. We don't rape rapists as punishment for example so its unclear why we need to murder murderers to have justice.

On the second point, my opponent simply asserted that future lawbreakers would be 'rattled' by hearing about others being executed. In my first speech I offered you detailed analysis about why this would not be the case due to the fact that most violent criminals aren't thinking rationally about the consequences of their actions. We heard nothing in response to this material from my opponent.

On the third point that prisons are overcrowded, the maths just does not add up for my opponent. Last year in the USA there were 34 executions. The general prison population is over 2 million. There are simply not enough criminals put to death for them to have any impact on the overcrowding. Dispersing those 38 criminals would not make any noticeable difference.

On the final point that having violent offenders behind bars causes prisons to be violent my opponent also runs into a numbers problem. Its pretty laughable to suggest 38 men will cause rates of violence behind bars to dramatically increase. Prisons are inherently violent places because they house violent criminals. You would have to kill a hell of a lot more people if you wanted to get rid of anyone who might become violent or try and harm another inmate. This point is proven by the fact that states which have the death penalty still have violent prisons, despite the fact they kill some of their worst offenders.

I proudly propose.


In round 2 my opponent made the following points:

-Killing murderers makes us as bad as they are
-The death penalty is irreversible
-Death penalties cannot be carried out in a humane way

In the 1st point, the opponent says that "If we start killing murderers we are sinking to their level." This is not the case. Killing serial killers does not necessarily make us as bad as them. If this was the case, the death penalty would have been long gone by now, or we would all be shanking each other or carrying around a burden of guilt.

The 2nd point my opponent makes is that the death penalty is irreversible. To an extent, this is true, but the fact of the matter remains that their victim's death is irreversible (if it's a murderer we're talking about) as well. There is no way of bringing that said person back from the dead, so at least they can rest easy knowing their killer will share the same fate as them.

The last point made by my opponent is that there is no humane way of carrying out the death penalty. There is no humane way of carrying out a MURDER either, but that doesn't stop serial killers from carrying out the crime. Forms of the death penalty include: Electric chair, Lethal injection, and hanging, among other things. Hanging is almost immediate death (most of the time), Lethal injection is almost painless, other than the shot, and the electric chair...well, it's only a few jolts of electricity going through you, and then there done.

Thank you for an awesome debate(one of the best i've ever had) and i hope we can debate again soon, since your one of the best dam debaters i've seen in a long time.

And most importantly, vote me
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by ViceRegent 2 years ago
How silly. Capital punishment ALWAYS deters the criminal from ever committing another crime again. As to the rest, who cares. It is just. That is all that matters.

Immoral? Justice is never immoral.
Posted by The-Holy-Macrel 2 years ago
Nope, we have a taker.
Posted by The-Holy-Macrel 2 years ago
Make the time to post an argument 72 hours and i am in.
Posted by SonicAndRapBattles 2 years ago
Im seriously considering excepting this debate...
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