The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

The Death Penalty should be banned

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Debate Round Forfeited
justathot has forfeited round #2.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/31/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 557 times Debate No: 107346
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)




To begin, I want to discuss the massive issue of what if the person being executed is actually innocent? Murderers who have been convicted guilty of murder are occasionally put on death row. Yet we have to wonder, what if that person never committed the awful things the judge and jury may be accusing them of? Is it not unlawful to execute a person who is innocent? Does that not make the executor the true murderer? Since the 1980"s, there have been 13 cases in which executed inmates may have been innocent after further investigation. The most recent was Brian Terrell who was executed in December 2015. Here is a bit of his story:

"Just before 1:00 a.m. on December 9, 2015, Georgia executed Brian Terrell. As the execution drug was administered Terrell mouthed the words: "Didn't do it." His lawyers argued that no physical evidence linked Terrell to the murder and that his conviction and death sentence were the product of prosecutorial misconduct and false and misleading testimony. Physical evidence from the crime scene leaves substantial questions as to Terrell's guilt: footprints found near the victim's body were smaller than Terrell's feet, and none of the 13 fingerprints found by investigators matched his fingerprints."

It is not ethical to sentence someone to death if there are doubts about the evidence found at the crime scene. Furthermore, it is unlawful to put someone to a daunting fate if you cannot be positive that the person standing in front of you is the person who you are looking for. Additionally, we have to question whether the justice system may be tied to religion, racial bias and family history. Statically, black people may be more likely to commit crimes but we cannot base whether someone is deserving of the death penalty on what they look like or who they are as a person. Brian Terrell was a black man and many lawyers wonder if the judge believed he was more likely to have committed the crime due to his ethnical background. Imagine the outrage the family of the inmate may feel if they discovered that their family member was executed and then discovered to be innocent? Think about the family of the victim who believed they finally had closure for their deceased only to discover that the real monster is still out there. Thus concluding the reason why the death penalty is so dangerous if the person is truly innocent.


the death penalty has put many criminals out of commision. The death penalty should stay it's not a bad thing it's the people. I do agree with part of your argument as they shouldn't execute innocent people. If the jury are not completely sure they did it should have an extra year to find evidence instead of completely getting rid of the death penalty.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to raise the fundamental question of what if the execution goes wrong? Due to the chemicals used to create the lethal injection, failure or extended periods of time where the inmate is being put down can cause immense pain. According to the DPIC (death penalty information center), out of the 1,054 executions carried out through lethal injection, 75 have gone wrong. That is a percentage of 7.1%, or around 1 in 14 people executed to be in tremendous pain before their death. In 2014, Joseph.R.Wood was planned to be executed yet after the drugs were administered, Joseph gasped for an 1 and 40 minutes before being pronounced dead, hospitals were called and the appeal to stop the execution was denied.

A reporter for the Arizona Republic who witnessed the execution, Michael Kiefer, said that he counted 640 gasps from Wood before he finally died.”

Would you not agree that something like that happening is essentially torture? The Oxford dictionary states that torture is “the action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment.” Even though this severe pain was not intended, it still happened as part of a punishment which at its core is technically torture. If that is torture and torture is not sanctioned by the UN or the USA, are they not going against their own morals? Are they not quite literally doing what they tell so many people is wrong and unacceptable in our 21st-century society?

Last but not least, what about the whole debate about the concept of violence for violence? A quote that I personally love is one from Martin Luther King Jr:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

If someone is violent towards somebody, and we treat them back with violence, that will not eradicate violence, only make it worse or sustain the current level. There is no credible evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than a sentence of life without parole or a prison term. In fact, evidence startlingly reveals the exact opposite. Twenty-seven years after abolishing the death penalty, Canada saw a 44 percent drop in murders across the country. Putting people to death evokes outrage causing more people to want to defy the law and in result get themselves put into prison or put to death. Isn’t the whole concept of the Justice system, which is to reform people and try and change them totally disregarded by carrying out the death penalty? I do understand that some people can’t change because of certain reasons but there is still the option of life without parole.

For the people that can change, we need to treat them with love and show them that they are not worthless and that do have a purpose. As Martin said, hate cannot drive out the hate but love can. We can only help someone let their anger go if we love them and show compassion towards them so they can realize what they did was wrong and can change. Does the death penalty do that?


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Debate Round No. 2
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Jawad_aslam 3 years ago
Is it right to kill people in the name of justice
I have to say that death penalty is a option in some circumstances but in those circumstances the juge must be 100% sure that he is guilty, because there are innocent people dying.
Posted by Parley 3 years ago
Yes, but your entire argument against the death penalty is that we shouldn't do it at all because some innocent people may die. You said that 15 innocents have died to the death penalty since the 80's, right? Well, 1000 times that have died from the death penalty since just the year 2000. The amount of people who die to the death penalty is extremely minute compared to the amount of people who die due to other causes. The death penalty is the worst form of punishment we have preserved for those who have committed the worst offenses, and we prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are guilty almost all of the time.
Posted by Minddagger 3 years ago
"I want to discuss the massive issue of what if the person being executed is actually innocent? Murderers who have been convicted guilty of murder are occasionally put on death row. Yet we have to wonder, what if that person never committed the awful things the judge and jury may be accusing them of?"

well theirs always evidence against them right? we have every reason to think its justice
Posted by WOLF.J 3 years ago
13 cases only, wow, strong arguments there bro!!!! not
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