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The Contender
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death penalty

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/7/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,902 times Debate No: 19744
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (1)




First round acceptance only
Debate Round No. 1


DP=death penalty
LWOP= life without parole

C1. Most Americans are pro-death penalty

Although this isnt a big reason to keep the DP, it is just a thing to consider.

(Gallup poll)
C2. Deters crime

Federal, state, and local officials need to recognize that the death penalty saves lives. How capital punishment affects murder rates can be explained through general deterrence theory, which supposes that increasing the risk of apprehension and punishment for crime deters individuals from committing crime. Nobel laureate Gary S. Becker's seminal 1968 study of the economics of crime assumed that individuals respond to the costs and benefits of committing crime. [1]

Early Research. The rigorous examination of the deterrent effect of capital punishment began with research in the 1970s by Isaac Ehrlich, currently a University of Buffalo Distinguished Professor of Economics. Professor Ehrlich's research found that the death penalty had a strong deterrent effect. While his research was debated by other scholars, additional research by Professor Ehrlich reconfirmed his original findings. In addition, research by Professor Stephen K. Layson of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro strongly reconfirmed Ehrlich's previous findings. [1]

Recent Research. Numerous studies published over the past few years, using panel data sets and sophisticated social science techniques, are demonstrating that the death penalty saves lives.Panel studies observe multiple units over several periods. The addition of multiple data collection points gives the results of capital punishment panel studies substantially more credibility than the results of studies that have only single before-and-after intervention measures. Further, the longitudinal nature of the panel data allows researchers to analyze the impact of the death penalty over time that cross-sectional data sets cannot address. [1]

Using a panel data set of over 3,000 counties from 1977 to 1996, Professors Hashem Dezhbakhsh, Paul R. Rubin, and Joanna M. Shepherd of Emory University found that each execution, on average, results in 18 fewer murders. Using state-level panel data from 1960 to 2000, Professors Dezhbakhsh and Shepherd were able to compare the relationship between executions and murder incidents before, during, and after the U.S. Supreme Court's death penalty moratorium. They found that executions had a highly significant negative relationship with murder incidents. Additionally, the implementation of state moratoria is associated with the increased incidence of murders. [1]

Separately, Professor Shepherd's analysis of monthly data from 1977 to 1999 found three important findings.

First, each execution, on average, is associated with three fewer murders. The deterred murders included both crimes of passion and murders by intimates.

Second, executions deter the murder of whites and African-Americans. Each execution prevents the murder of one white person, 1.5 African-Americans, and 0.5 persons of other races.

Third, shorter waits on death row are associated with increased deterrence. For each additional 2.75-year reduction in the death row wait until execution, one murder is deterred. [1]

Professors H. Naci Mocan and R. Kaj Gittings of the University of Colorado at Denver have published two studies confirming the deterrent effect of capital punishment. The first study used state-level data from 1977 to 1997 to analyze the influence of executions, commutations, and removals from death row on the incidence of murder.[20] For each additional execution, on average, about five murders were deterred. Alternatively, for each additional commutation, on average, five additional murders resulted. A removal from death row by either state courts or the U.S. Supreme Court is associated with an increase of one additional murder. Addressing criticism of their work,[21] Professors Mocan and Gittings conducted additional analyses and found that their original findings provided robust support for the deterrent effect of capital punishment.[22]

Two studies by Paul R. Zimmerman, a Federal Communications Commission economist, also support the deterrent effect of capital punishment. Using state-level data from 1978 to 1997, Zimmerman found that each additional execution, on average, results in 14 fewer murders. Zimmerman's second study, using similar data, found that executions conducted by electrocution are the most effective at providing deterrence. [1]

So according to studies 3-18 murders are detered by the death penalty. I will show a graph next round, knowing that You will try to refute this.

C3: Gives closure to victims families

Some people may take years to recover from a loss life of a loved one. The death penaly makes this healing faster for those victems family and freinds. A DP helps put an ending chapter to this mess, LWOP lets the person live, so that n can still escape and get out, and will always be their to haunt them.

C4: Justice is better served

May the punishment fit the crime, if you murder someone then you should die as well.

C5: The bible

This only affects christians, the bible is for the DP.


"He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death." -Exodus 21:12


"Moreover you shall take no ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he shall surely be put to death." -Numbers 35:31


Romans 13:3-4, St. Paul states:

"For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil...Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil."

So the bible alows the DP

C6: it is constitutional

The supreme court: (sprry I need so save space b/c I am running low)

It is unconstitutional for people under 18, and people that are mentally disabled. But for people that are over 18 that are not mentally "retarded" it is constitutional.

The US Supreme Court has for over 200 years, repeatedly declared the death penalty to be constitutional (except for the four years from 1972 to 1976). It based it's decisions on two Amendments to the Constitution that specifically mention the death penalty as follows:

The 5th Amendment to the Constitution says: "No person shall be ... deprived of life ... without due process of law."

The 14th Amendment says: "No state shall ... deprive any person of life ... without due process of law."

Plus the Supreme Court noted that when the Eight Amendment was written regarding cruel and unusual punishment, capital punishment was a common sanction in every State [2]

So they said that these ammendments are not against these ammedments, and that when sentanced to the DP there is a de process.

I will expand on this later

C7: DP = cheaper

"Many opponents present, as fact, that the cost of the death penalty is so expensive (at least $2 million per case?), that we must choose life without parole ('LWOP') at a cost of $1 million for 50 years. Predictably, these pronouncements may be entirely false. JFA [Justice for All] estimates that LWOP cases will cost $1.2 million-$3.6 million more than equivalent death penalty cases. There is no question that the up front costs of the death penalty are significantly higher than for equivalent LWOP cases. There also appears to be no question that, over time, equivalent LWOP cases are much more expensive... than death penalty cases. Opponents ludicrously claim that the death penalty costs, over time, 3-10 times more than LWOP."

Out of room, will expand later [1] bible [2]



Viper-King forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


I extend all arguments


To explain the idiotic forfeit, my mom stole my computer which forced me to forfeit. Sorry about that. Give my opponent the conduct point. 1st, just because most Americans are pro-death penalty does not mean that we should do what they say. 139 countries having abolished it after using capital punishment for 10 or more years compared to 58 nations actively using it today. Just because the people agree with something does not mean it should be allowed! This is just an example which does not have to be true: If the majority of the people think that mosques should not be allowed to be built in all circumstances, does it make what they said right? This is a huge problem! People assuming that whatever the majority of the people believe, it's always right and that we should do what they say.

2nd of all, the concept that it deters crime does not account for many things. How does capital punishment save lives? Is my opponent honestly saying that because the USA allows death penalties that it prevents crime? Crime is the greatest in the USA even though the USA have the death penalty and executed the 5th most people in the world recently. Many people are not affected by the death penalty as to see that it depends on what kind of crimes they are but many people would rather be able to gain money, drugs, revenge, or something addicting by doing a crime even though of the risks. They don't think of the consequences but they just do it without thinking or considering the death penalty. Just because all of the people that you have said believes that the death penalty deters crime can not beat back the 87% of expert criminologists who say that the death penalty does not help deter crime at all and the 88% of the top criminologists who say that the abolition of the death penalty would not have any significant effect on crime rates. Also For 2010, the average Murder Rate of Death Penalty States was 4.6, while the average Murder Rate of States without the Death Penalty was 2.9. Also all of the top 10 states with crime all have the death penalty. It's also not biased in the size of the state rather per 100,000 people. In 2008, 14 states without capital punishment were either at or below the national homicide rates. So all of your supposed "facts" in this contention are all wrong because they can't beat back all of these points that I have been showing to you. Also there can be and there has been wrongful executions. As many as 39 people in the U.S. have been executed from 1992 to 2004 because of the death penalty. 138 death row defendants were released since 1973 because of wrongful convictions and withheld papers. That is extremely unfair because of costing one's life just because of the death penalty. Even being in jail because of a misjudgement is better than being executed in the case of a misjudgement. Plus the death penalty is racially biased. 77% of death row defendants are executed for killing a white person but half of the victims are black. . I have so many more points I would like to make and also go into detail about many of them but I have to move on to the other contentions.

3rd of all, the death penalty doesn't actually give any closure to victim families. Sure, the victim's families may hate the defendants and want to hurt them but the death penalty doesn't actually help them feel any better. Let's take a look at Achilles when he lost his best friend Patroclus in the Trojan War. He was dissatisfied with all of the slaughtering of the Trojans and the torturing and killing of the killer Hector but was still empty until the day that he wept for an entire night with the killer's father. Sure, loss of friends and family members will always be a sad thing but the killing of the murderer doesn't necessarily put back what the people close to that victim have lost. The families will never totally recover and revenge by the death penalty is from the government is not going to put an "ending chapter to this mess". I also ask my opponent to tell me how many murderers in jail until they die have escaped and haunted the family. Also about releasing killers, would you give me some facts please? I have made my point that the death penalty has no significant effect and will never put an "ending chapter to this mess" on the people close to the murdered person.

4th of all, is justice served if he has to live in jail for the rest of his life? Yes! Justice is not better served by death penalty than living in jail for the rest of your life. Death is getting executed but life in jail till death is everyday torture knowing you will live the rest of your life in a cell. I would say life in jail till death serves justice better than the death penalty because if you die, you die. No more suffering, pain, hardships. None of the bad things or good things. But life in a prison cell until death is torture for many years to come.

5th of all, if God doesn't tell us to do the death penalty why should we do it. The fist two verses are from the Old Testament which is specifically God the Father wanted the Israelites to use capital punishment because there was no other way to do it. If you disagree with that statement, I bet you $10 (not $10,000 like Romney but $10 like Gingrich) thats you won't be able to find another way to punish a murder or death that is not capital punishment during their time which is an estimated to be after Ahmose and before Assyrians and Babylonians take over Israel and Judah. Also few people would use the capital punushment as the Old Testament says such as doing work on the Sabbath, false prophecy or making false statements about a woman's
virginity. In the 3rd verse, it clearly doesn't mean a literal meaning. It means that Christians must not use their freedom from the Old Testament religious Law as an excuse to violate the civil law. We must obey civil authority, which is instituted by God, because of fear of punishment as well as conscience. The principles set forth by Jesus and the apostles restrict punishment to only that
which is necessary to protect society and rather than giving. Jesus taught great principles for us to apply in our lives, rather than specific laws. Thus, his failure to specifically condemn slavery, capital punishment and many other evils should not be interpreted as approval of capital punishment. I see the mercy He showed to the woman caught in adultery as His rejection of
capital punishment. However, Jesus never specifically repudiated capital punishment. Even if you want to go by the Old Testament which is totally irrelevant, the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:13 says "Though shall not kill." The original Hebrew word ratsach, translated as "kill" or "murder" could refer to either killing in general or unlawful killing (murder). This is only if you want to argure the irrelevant way.

6th of all
, "it is constitutional" is not a good reason. The Constitution has been changed so much and is always debated about if a part is correct or not. Just because our current law says that doesn't mean that it's right. If a country's "constitution" says that slavery is allowed, is that right? There are many flaws in every country's laws and this is one of them.

7th of all, the death penalty costs and diverts much more resources from genuine crime control and more expensive than alternative sentences. Death penalty is not at all cheap but expensive. The death penalty does cost a lot and may be more than life in jail but it depends on the time. Death penalty costs a whole lot on a one time event, life in jail costs a little every year so that is why death penalty is more expensive because it's a one time event.
I have negated all of my opponent's contentions and have made my own points in the crowded rebuttal of my 2nd contention. Vote Con! My sources are in the comments section because lack of space.
Debate Round No. 3


" just because most Americans are pro-death penalty does not mean that we should do what they say. 139 countries having abolished it after using capital punishment for 10 or more years compared to 58 nations actively using it today. "

I already said this. But since you are so argumentitiveon this than I will talk about it.
1. America is a politity, and much ofthe time majority rules. And if there is that much of a gap, than the majority should prevail. Many educated people are on each side of the isle, but in America Majority rules.2. Yes you are correct most nations do not have the DP. But America is not other nations, so since America is its own soverign nation then it should disragard other nations, and do what the people want to be done. A goverment for the people and by the people. So that argument is basically ill thought out. (sorry if that sounds rude, it was supposed to be constructive critisism =) ) So since in America it is a goverment for the people by the people, that the majority of Americans being for it is a good argument, due to the fact that this debate is about the american DP laws.

"How does capital punishment save lives? Is my opponent honestly saying that because the USA allows death penalties that it prevents crime? Crime is the greatest in the USA even though the USA have the death penalty and executed the 5thmost people in the world recently."

1. It saves lives because people that are incarnated can never kill again, and if they are on LWOP (look at early rounds to see what that means) than they kill inmates and guards, and sometimes are let out. So the DP saves lives because it prevents deaths of fellow inmates, and proson guards, and if let out, other innocent civilians. FOr examples of people on LWOP being let out look at :

2. The USA does not have the highest crime rates. This article is about canada and guns, but it shows that their crime rate vs the us, the US has a 50% lower crime rate:

Now you say say that crimetologists the DP doesn't have an effect on the crime, look at this.

Notice that when executions hit zero, murder rises. When executions begin again, then murders start to drop. So crimetologist or not, the Bureu of ciminal justice shows that more executions = fewer murders.

Also lets look at basic deterence theory.
How capital punishment affects murder rates can be explained through general deterrence theory, which supposes that increasing the risk of apprehension and punishment for crime deters individuals from committing crime. Nobel laureate Gary S. Becker's seminal 1968 study of the economics of crime assumed that individuals respond to the costs and benefits of committing crime. [1]

So MOST, not all, but MOST crimnals look at the pros and cons, and if death is a con then you are less likely to commit murder because thats a huge con.

97% of criminals are crazy, beyond belif and will kill no matter what [2]

So that 97% can be detered, only 3% will do it no matter what. The DP will deter a large portion of that 97%, and nothing will deter the 3%. So looking at the facts, the DP will most definatly deter crime.

"3rd of all, the death penalty doesn't actually give any closure to victim families."

Well even that can be explained easily. Someone murdered your mother (god forbid), wou you rather the murderer lived to keep killing or was put to death. Sure nothing will bring the victem back to life, but it would help speed up a small recovery. It wont ever fully help you get 'healed', but it will help you say "hey justiceis served". I see you argued that it doesnt, but I will ell you how:

Have you ever heard may the punishment fit the crime? An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth? Well the DP does all of that. f you kill someone, that so match that doesnt killing them make sense? Also an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Same consept, if you kill, may you be killed is what that means. The bible says that too only christians should count that as an argument). So it does serve justice.

You also argue that the bible doesnt say pro death penalty things, then tell me why most protestans are for the DP? And that the bible says it clear as day. Once again, this is a shaky argument that really doesnt apply to either of us, or the voters because the church shouldnt influence laws, but this is to interpretation. Even though the bible says it CLEAR AS DAY. So this argument is...faulty for both of us. And also, Jesus taught us the eye for an eye concept, since that applies to the death penalty then it probably means he is for it or nuteral. Not against.

"And you will profane me among my people...killing people who should not die, and keepng people alive who should not live?" Ezek 13:19

So this says it offends me that you kill innocents, but let sinners live. So it says we should kill murderers, protect innocents.

First, Jesus said:

  • "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you... whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also." Mat. 5:38-39

So return the doings. If someone is nice, be nce, if somone kills, let them be killed. The words of jesus right there man. =)

Second, Jesus forgave the woman "caught in adultery, in the very act." To those arguing that she should be put to death, Jesus said:

  • "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." John 8:7

Self-explanatory. Pro DP

So overall, the bible says killing murders is ok, but killing innocents is not. You quote thou shall not murder, true, but killing in defence and or retalliation is no sin. The bible above says that kill the murderer, and save the innocents.

Also in the movie no guns for jews, which is not racist, it is about jews, it saysthat sinners should be killed.

Shraga Simmons, Rabbi and Editor of, in a response to "What are the Jewish views on the death penalty?" posted in the "Ask Rabbi Simmons" section of, accessed on July 25, 2008, wrote:

"Judaism supports the death penalty, but only when there are at least two eyewitnesses who fully corroborate their testimony, and also that the criminal was warned beforehand that committing this crime could result in the death penalty."

Jut a factoid for the ewish people.

You say the constition is a bad reason, it is a great reason, it is the law of the land, it trumps state law. But the common abolitionist sys it is not, so I said that with proof as an arguent to counter the con DP people, not a pro argument. =) Just for clarification.


Edwin H. Sutherland, PhD, late President of the American Sociological Society, and Donald R. Cressey, PhD, late Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the 1974 revised edition of their book titled Criminology, wrote:

"It is not cheaper to keep a criminal confined, because most of the time he will appeal just as much causing as many costs as a convict under death sentence. Being alive and having nothing better to do, he will spend his time in prison conceiving of ever-new habeas corpus petitions, which being unlimited, in effect cannot be rejected as res judicata. The cost is higher."

So the DP is cheaperaccording to this study.

"And will you profane Me among My people...
killing people who should not die,
and keeping people alive who should not live...?"
Ezek. 13:19

Front Sight Firearms training Institute lectures on criminals and ethics of use of force [2]


Edwin H. Sutherland, PhD



Viper-King forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Viper-King 6 years ago
Forgive me. I will whip up a part 2 because i want to have a rebuttal!
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
I messed up, 3% of criminals are crazy, 97% are normal opportunistic scum.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
good luck =)
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
Hey which source has the crimeatologist stats
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
Im probably gonna need to FF
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
Im probably gonna need to FF
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
Lol when I have a computer again I will respond
Posted by 16kadams 7 years ago
Posted by Viper-King 7 years ago
DAMN IT! My mom stole my computer so i couldn't get on.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by cameronl35 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for now