The Instigator
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The Contender
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should the death penalty be abolished

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/10/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 665 times Debate No: 118916
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (2)




Acceptance first round
Debate Round No. 1


Since 1791, Our country has had a cruel method of punishing people known as the death penalty. It is a method of killing criminals for horrible crimes by methods of lethal injection, Firing squads, The electric chair, The gas chamber and many others. All of these are slow painful processes. Aside from the cruelty however, There are many reasons we should abolish it.

When executioners execute criminals they have to execute them in ways such as the electric chair, Firing squad, And lethal injection. In the process of these, The criminal often suffers in excruciating pain. Not only is this harming the criminal, But the executioner as well. The executioner has to sit there and watch the whole time. They have to watch people as they writhe in agony as the criminal is being put to death. Jerry Givens quotes, "You can't tell me I can take the life of people and go home and be normal. If I had known what have to go through as an executioner, I wouldn't have done it. It took a lot out of me to do it. " Jerry Givens is just one the many executioners who suffer from PTSD. He is just one of the many people who will have to spend the rest of their lives with this dis-order. If we abolished the death penalty, Think about how many people would be saved from this mental dis-order

Freddie Pitts quotes, "you can always release an innocent person from prison from a sentence of life without parole-but you can never release an innocent man from the grave. " He is exactly right. If you put to death an innocent person it is irreversible. Once you are dead you simply cannot be brought back to life. If an innocent person was sentenced to life imprisonment however, That is a reversible mistake. If you find the man to be innocent you can release him. Unfortunately, Because of the death penalty, Innocent people are put to death all the time. As a matter of fact, 1 in 25 sentenced to death in the US are innocent. Not only does this have an impact on the person itself, But also a string of other negative impacts. The family members of these people would be devastated to find out their loved one was killed when they did not deserve to die by any means. It just shows to prove that the worst punishments in this world are the ones that can't be taken back.

As I said, The death penalty has so many other negative impacts then what it may seem like at first glance. It may seem like that it might just effect the person themselves, But there is a whole string of other effects. This is one of them. The death penalty comes at a great cost. Studies show that death penalty cases cost an average of 1. 26 million dollars per case, While life imprisonment cases cost around 740, 000 dollars a case. If that sounds like a big difference, That's just for one case. The thousands and thousands of other death penalty cases will cause the government to spend billions of dollars on something that is extremely controversial. This is money that the government could be spending on something that truly matters. They could be spending this money on things like charity, Homeless people, The list goes on and on.

You might think that the death penalty would deter crime because people would think before acting but that is not the case. Why? Because criminals don't think before they act. A lot of the time the murders they commit are either when they are mentally ill, On drugs or alcohol, Or when they are in a fit of rage and kill someone without weighing in the consequences. As a result, The death penalty does not work as a proper deterrence to crime. Contrarily, It increases crime by a commanding number. Here is a link to a graph of crime rates in death penalty states to non-death penalty states.
https://www. Amnestyusa. Org/issues/death-penalty/death-penalty-facts/the-death-penalty-and-deterrence/

You would think that the death penalty would bring closure to victims family members, But that is not the case. In fact, Studies have found that very rarely victims family members have a sense of closure knowing that the murderer is dead. 2. 5% of victims loved ones claimed they had any sense of closure after the execution. 20% claimed that that it did not help them heal at all. In addition, They said they felt sympathy for the murderer's family members. Again, It just shows that the worst punishments, Are the ones that can't be taken back.

Have you ever heard your mom say, "Two wrongs don't make a right, " Well here the death penalty is trying to do just that. It is an attempt to create a wrong in order to make another wrong right. It is essentially saying that it is right to kill those who kill. But wouldn't it be committing the same crime the killer did if we put them to death/ Don't you see, The ends don't justify the means.

In summary, The death penalty should be abolished. While at first glimpse it might seem that it only has an effect on the murderer themselves, But actually has a string of other negative effects that is hurting our society.


As the negative I do not disagree with my opponents points. There is a problem of cost, There is a problem of innocent convictions, And there is a problem of deterrence. But I do disagree that these are problems inherent in the death penalty. In other words, I do not believe that the death penalty is the root cause of all of these problems. In spite of this, The problems my opponent has mentioned can either be solved, Or will still be occurring even if we abolish the death penalty. This is the problem with the affirmatives arguments because although these are real life problems, They ignore the other side of the equation.

Argument 1: Although executioners are suffering from PTSD, No one is forcing them to do this work. If they don't want to be an executioner they can quit their job. It really is as simple as that.

Argument 2: This is one of those problems that will still be occurring even if we abolish the death penalty. Prisoners are constantly escaping from life imprisonment and murdering again. Here is a list of a few:
http://www. Wesleylowe. Com/repoff. Html
When you total all of the innocent lives taken away from escaped prisoners, You find it to be more than the number of innocent convictions. So actually, This argument goes my way.

Argument 3: This problem is not inherent in the death penalty. The death penalty itself is relatively cheap. It is countless trials that cost millions of dollars. If we were to change this to one trial and one conviction, The death penalty would be cheaper than life imprisonment.

Argument 4: This argument is entirely speculative as it only compares a few states. However, He cannot promise you this benefit because the death penalty has not been abolished nation wide.

Argument 5: This argument can go either way. There have been stories that victims family members have received closure, And others that say they don't.

Argument 6: There is a difference between killing and murdering. Killing is justified, While murder is not. The death penalty is justified as it is punishment for an unjustified murder. We are killing murderers, Not killing killers. Thus, It is not hypocritical.
Debate Round No. 2


The problem with the death penalty is that it is an outright discrimination against criminals. In our society it is not fair to discriminate.

Argument 1: Although no one is forcing them to do their job, Someone has to do it. Without an executioner the death penalty cannot be accomplished.

Argument 2: I would agree but getting killed innocently through the death penalty is a much more sad, Gruesome death.

Argument 3: If we are still killing innocent people with the death penalty now, Even though it takes 20 years, Then wouldn't we be killing a lot more innocent people if we sped it up?

Argument 4: Even if this doesn't prove much, It does provide evidence that the assumption that the death penalty deters crime is wrong.

Argument 5: I think we both agree on this one. It can go either way.

Argument 6: It is still taking the life of someone. Thus, It is still hypocritical.

Sorry this is short. I am just barely getting in an argument on time before it makes me forfeit.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent has let me know that he would have to forfeit that round. Please do not count off for it voters
Debate Round No. 4


timmyjames forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by zhaod1 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Countering dsjpk5's vote, since it is directly stated by timmyjames that voters shouldn't count off Con's forfeit against him. "My opponent has let me know that he would have to forfeit that round. Please do not count off for it voters"
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Con ff over half of the rounds. That's poor conduct.

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