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

The Death Penalty should be abolished

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/8/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,114 times Debate No: 24650
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




Death Penalty - Capital Punishment

BOP even.

1st round acceptance and definitions. I argue DP (death penalty) should be abolished.

LWOP = Life without parole
DP = Death Penalty

I am devils advocating too! :)


I disagree. The Death Penalty should not be abolished. Many will argue that asserting the Death Penalty is cruel and inhumane, however, the people that the Death Penalty is given to have more often than not committed some crime that is also cruel and inhumane. Life without parole is really giving the people that have committed those heinous crimes a life with free food, free television, free housing, free medical care, and a free gym membership. The government's money goes into keeping prisons running to keep those dangerous to our society locked up so we Americans can try to live the safest life possible. Allowing every serial killer, rapist, and homicidal maniac the ability to stay alive and well under the housing of the American's people money that they are a danger to is actually quite ironic. "Do Unto Others" right? Then what goes around, comes around, I suppose. They eat up American money, and let's be honest, the government doesn't do such a great job with money, and there is not enough room to keep everyone there. If they have done something so heinous that a jury of their peers think they should be put to death, then that is saying something. You cannot rehabilitate every criminal that gets arrested, especially people that get the Death Penalty. With that being said, the best way to keep Americans safe is to remove those people completely.
Debate Round No. 1


I stated in round one that it as for acceptance, so my opponents opening speech is IRRELEVANT and for it to become relevant must be re-quoted in round 2 (this round).

=> Case
(--Cost of the DP--)

It is almost a consensus amongst advocates and abolitionists of the system alike that the DP is very costly and may even cost more then LWOP. Using very conservative estimates, the DP in California alone costs the state 137 million dollars a year. Now the estimates also include the costs of LWOP, as without it the results would be very inconclusive and would not be able to show which is more costly. And no surprise the amount of money a full LWOP system would cost is 11.5 million dollars [1]. But let me really emphasis this point. Before we assume the DP is beneficial to our society we must determine its economic problems/benefits. The problem here is the high cost of capital cases. It is a failure economically speaking. This money we spend killing murderers could be used on law enforcement, rehabilitation, or the new LWOP system itself. As we can see the money LWOP saves can be put to good use, much of the time better uses then killing a few murderers.

Now, capital punishment is a capital crime. So what are its trial costs? Its trial costs are 6 times higher for a capital case then a normal LWOP murder case. For example in Kansas, a capital trial costs over 100,000 dollars more then a normal trial. Further this makes the system forced to be more thorough in pre-trial, post-trial, appeal processes, and jury selection then a normal trial, making the costs much higher then a normal court case [2]. As FOX news puts it, "The cost of killing killers is killing us"[3].

As the New York Times puts it, "It’s [the DP] an economic drain on governments with already badly depleted budgets. ... States waste millions of dollars on winning death penalty verdicts, which require an expensive second trial, new witnesses and long jury selections. Death rows require extra security and maintenance costs.There is also a 15-to-20-year appeals process ... According to the organization, keeping inmates on death row in Florida costs taxpayers $51 million a year more than holding them for life without parole."[4]

Simple enough.

(--DP is administered unfairly--)

If someone murders a white victim, they are much more likely to receive a death sentence then if they murder a Latino or African American person. 80% of those executed have murdered a white person. The juries in many cases are tainted in bias, for example 20% of black defendants are sentenced by all white juries [5]. On this controversy many people are attempting to look into these biases. Studies based in PA have found if you are a black on trial for murder you are 3.9 times more likely to be put on death row then a white person would. 96% of studies examining this problem conclude some type of racial/economic bias pattern in most if not all DP convictions. As the DPIC notes, "The rate at which eligible black defendants were sentenced to death was nearly 40% higher than the rate for other eligible defendants. A sentencing rate is simply a ratio of the number of death sentences for a particular group compared to the total number of cases of that group which would be eligible for a death sentence. In the chart below, a death sentencing rate of .18 for blacks means that for every 100 eligible black defendants, 18 will be sentenced to death. For other defendants, only 13 out of 100 will be similarly sentenced."[6]

The DPIC also has a cool graph:

Now, lets look into who chooses who dies.

These graphs from the DPIC have all of the argunments needed here.


140 people have been declared innocent after their executions since 1973 [7]. Further, many of these pardons after the fact where based on other evidence, new evidence, DNA, or witnesses saying they lied etc [8]. "In the past decade, substantial evidence has emerged to demonstrate that innocent individuals are sentenced to death, and undoubtedly executed, much more often than previously understood," the judge, Mark L. Wolf of Federal District Court"[9]

Everyone agrees the DP kills some innocence, my opponent will likely say it deters and saves more innocents then it kills, chall be refuted is brought up, but I am going to be breif. I needen't be long in this debate... vote for PRO.



Strickland1161 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2




Strickland1161 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


No show ==> I win


Strickland1161 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by JKL 6 years ago
My opinion? Death penalty should be abolished unless the accused chooses it over life sentence.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by airmax1227 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con FF'd 3 rounds and didn't respond to Pro R2. Conduct for FF.