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

The Death Penalty should be Abolished

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/3/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 713 times Debate No: 74716
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




I am glad to start this debate

Round 1 will be acceptance only


Challenge accepted. Yay! My first debate!
Debate Round No. 1


The death penalty is necessary, because some people are so vile they can never be in contact with society without harming it in some way. Truly evil people do exist and they harm others - sometimes killing or ruining lives through their actions. This is not something that should be acceptable or allowed to continue without punishment to deter others with a like mentality.


1. The death penalty is not in fact necessary - saying that it is necessary implies that it provides a service and/or solution that cannot otherwise be obtained. And that is patently false. Rather what the death penalty does is allow individuals to sate their need for vengeance. But vengeance is not nearly the same thing as justice and therefore the death penalty should be considered cruel and unusual punishment that does not fit the scope of any crime.

2. The point of the Justice system is to a.) punish and b.) rehabilitate offenders to become useful members of society. I've already addressed point a, but in regards to point b - it's rather hard to rehabilitate a corpse. A dead person can never become a better or more decent person nor can they be taught the value of remorse. Most importantly someone who is dead cannot be taught to repent of their crime - which is to say they cannot be taught to work toward repaying the debt of what they have deprived society and their victims of.

3.) Which brings me to my third point - "vile" and "evil" are not only subjective values, but there are very few individuals who entirely lack the ability to be taught to recognize the errors of their ways if not the actual import of what they've done. And most of those who exist in that category are what would be known as sociopaths and/or psychopaths.

A sociopath can be tried as someone with the competence to know better, but sociopathy does possess a biological component and therefore there is a discernible gray space as to whether they need help or punishment. A psychopath meanwhile can be held accountable, but the gray space for the agreed upon treatment is even wider in nature. Killing either of type of person would therefore be as big a sin as anything they might have done.

4.) And of course in bringing up competence we then must look at how accurate the Justice system even is when it comes to convictions. Because you can't simply apologize to someone you've executed after the fact. Apologies have never brought anyone back from the dead. And unfortunately there have been more than a few executions that proceeded on little if any real evidence and an ungodly amount of racial bias.

Consider the Scottboros Boys or Brown vs Mississippi or Lena Brown the only woman to have been executed in Georgia with electrocution because she dared to defend herself against a white kidnapper. Of course, it's not just blacks - plenty of whites have been screwed over as well.

5.) Now to address the point of deterrence - the death penalty has been shown to fail as a deterrence. There are many reasons for that, but the one that counts most is that the application of the death penalty is simply shoddy. Depending on location, race, gender, and socio-economics it's possible for someone who meets the requirements for such a sentence to be passed over in favor of someone who does not. It's also possible for evidence to be fudged or "lost" or simply discounted.

And then there is the fact a conviction can be appealed for decades all on the tax payer's dime. For the person who would conceivably "deserve" such a punishment it's effectively a Paper Tiger rather than an actual punishment to watch out for.

6.) Which brings up another point - the cost. Maintaining Death Row, providing that final meal, the cost of the attendant form of execution, the cost of appeals, and such all lay a rather heavy fine on the tax payers many of whom aren't in fact okay with this sort of punishment. Is it really fair for money that could go to any number of more socially acceptable gains be instead used in the act of ending someone's life? No, of course not.

7.) Finally ... what right does anyone have to take a life? If it is wrong to murder, why is it okay to kill someone just because a judge and jury says so? If a lynch mob is wrong to hang a man based on their brand of "justice" then isn't it also wrong for the courts to kill a person? This is not like a war where one must kill or be killed nor is a form of self-defense. It is the conscious decision to deprive someone of their life and that can never be correct. Not if actual justices rather than emotional vengeance is to be served.
Debate Round No. 2


For my final speech I would like to say it costs taxpayers $1.9-$3.6 million dollars a year to keep a murderers in prison for life why should they deserve to live after killing a child that couldn't defend himself or an elderly the death penalty is the best way our prisons are getting over crowded and dangerous thank you.


Cost efficiency should never take precedence over things like a person's right to live or the concept of justice. That said, looking at the actual cost of the death penalty shows that it's far more expensive then just locking someone up and throwing away the key.

A case that doesn't seek the death penalty will generally cost $ 740,000 to run, but a case that does seek the death penalty with generally cost $1.26 million. That's almost half a million more in costs. Moreover it cost $90,000 more to maintain a death row prisoner then a prisoner in general population. This is due to security, legal representation, et cetra and so forth.

But to put it into perspective let's look at California - a state so associated with Leftism they've started coloring it blue on most maps. California reinstated the death penalty in 1978 and since then over the course of 37 years has spent $4 billion dollars or $308 million dollars per the 13 executions they've managed. This is on top of the $184 million spent on the surrounding circumstances of the death penalty. It's estimated that in another 15 years they'll have exceed $9 billion in costs for a controversial and seldom used feature of their court system. And that's without changing the system. The costs would actually rise if the system was changed to be a more fair process.

Whereas on the other hand a system that only imposes maximum life incarceration comes out to 11.5 million per year. To again put that in perspective: 11.5 million a year versus 232.7 million a year (with a fair system). Considering how overburdened the criminal system is, considering the rapidly eroding safety nets in place for society's most vulnerable, and considering how criminal behavior recedes when education and community values rise... can wasting millions of dollars a year for petty vengeance really be justified?

Instead of wasting millions trying to see someone killed that money could be spent helping people or improving society. On top of which it actively impedes justice - for example the Attorney General of CA devotes 15% of his/her annual budget to death penalty cases. That is 11 million dollars that could go to cold cases, prosecuting "risky" / "low profit" cases, and fighting prolonged cases against crooks with deep pockets. But instead it's spent trying to convince people that this or that person deserves to die - even if the evidence is shoddy as anything (as I mentioned previously).


In the end the things to be remembered are:

- The Death Penalty is an active waste of millions of dollars a year.
- The Death Penalty does not act as a deterrent due to being poorly implemented.
- The Death Penalty has been used in the past against innocent individuals, and a posthumous apology is not justice for said individuals.
- The Death Penalty is not morally sound or justified.
- The Death Penalty's only use is in making certain individuals feel better and that is not nearly a good enough reason to use it.

Thank you for your time.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
RomanCatholic // Moderator action: Removed

3 points to Pro (arguments). Reasons for voting decision: Pro

*Reason for removal* Vote bomb. No attempt made to actually provide an RFD.
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
Russia_the_almighty // Moderator action: Removed

4 points to Pro (arguments, S&G). Reasons for voting decision: Pro crippled con's arguments. Literally all of con's arguments were easily refuted while pro's arguments stood tall.

*Reason for removal* Failure to explain S&G. Only a generic statement on argument point vote that fails to give any real feedback or that is unique to this debate (vs. a cookie cutter RFD that cannot possibly be valid if it were copy-pasted to every debate).
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
Saphirescar // Moderator action: Removed

5 points to Pro (arguments, S&G, conduct). Reasons for voting decision: Neither side provided sources, however, pro did use examples to back their claims.

*Reason for removal* Failure to explain arguments, S&G, and conduct vote.
Posted by EAT_IT_SUKA 3 years ago
It disappoints me that some people instigate these debates and make such awful, weak arguments.
Posted by drag0vien 3 years ago
Death penalty is great.
1. May not be necessary but it sure is great.
2. b) chance person may not become useful. In fact, chance person may do harm.
3. Those you mention should be killed as much more useless and causing harm.
4. Not a big loss.
5. Who cares if other people don't get the picture.
6. I agree, the way people are killed is really inefficient. Much simpler ways should be put into practice like drowning.
7. Who says it's wrong to murder? Look objectively at how this benefits instead of subjective emotional points.
Death penalty is natural selection. Survival of the fittest. In fact, we should use the death penalty outside of law, into places such as schools. We can just keep breeding and killing until superiority rules the world. Well, we don't need to kill everyone. We can instead use them as slaves.
Posted by BearWithMe 3 years ago
Prison separates them from society.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Lee001 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con never rebutted any of Pro's points, instead he just made new arguments. Pro did a good job and rebutting and gave multiple arguments. Therefore, Pro was more convincing.