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That the death penalty should be abolished globally

1 point
4 points
fire_wingsfire_wings (PRO)
I thank my opponent cooldudebro for accepting the debate. It will be a big challenge to debate #4 on debating in edeb8, as I am around 80 something. I think this is unlimited characters.


Let's have a short note on the burdens here. The burden of proof is shared. I have to show that death penalty should be abolished, or banned globally, when my opponent has to show it should not be abolished worldwide. I hope both debaters know what death penalty is, because I won't explain what it is.

My Case:

My case will mostly be around the US. Mostly. It's because it's kinda hard to make arguments and sources of other countries. So most of my sources and data will be about the U.S., but my arguments will mostly be about worldwide. So do not think I read the debates as the US, because I did not do that, only because there isn't much sources for it.


The cost of the death penalty is huge. Look at this source, "In its review of death penalty expenses, the State of Kansas concluded that capital cases are 70% more expensive than comparable non-death penalty cases. The study counted death penalty case costs through to execution and found that the median death penalty case costs $1.26 million. Non-death penalty cases were counted through to the end of incarceration and were found to have a median cost of $740,000 [1]." 

Nearly 70% more. That's a terribly huge cost. It is usually 740,000 dollars, but with death penalty it is 1.26 million dollars. That's a huge cost for death penalty. And that's for only one case. That means that the cost of death penalty is huge, and that death penalty is really expensive.

But the cost isn't always the same in all the sources. Most of the sources say that 700,000 dollars in a non-death penalty case was normal. This source says that death penalty in Texas was 2.3 million dollars in average, and in Florida it cost the state 3.2 million [2] [3] [4].

I have shown that the cost of the death penalty are very expensive, by showing some cost of the death penalty is some states. I will give a few more info, then move onto the next argument, which will be innocents. 

The New York Department of Correctional Services has calculated that death penalty will cost a state around 118 million dollars annually [5] [2]. This is just for one year for a state. There are 50 states, that means around 5900 million dollars for the US annually. For one year. That is a really big cost, for 2 years that means it is over 10 trillion dollars!!! I have shown that the death penalty is really expensive.

That's not it. In California, one report estimated that their state can save 90 million dollars if they abolish capital punishment in one year [6] [2]. That is a really large cost they can save. So our idea is that we should ban death penalty, as then we will save over few hundred trillion dollars worldwide, possibly more.

Okay, just for fun... My opponent might think that if I say 90 million dollars, it doesn't sound much. So as I said of 5900 million dollars, then it is 5,900,000,000 dollars. California can save 90,000,000 annually if they ban capital punishment. I think my opponent will start thinking that's a lot of money right now. Now I'll move onto my next argument. We should ban the death penalty.


My next argument will be about innocents. 

This is a quote from a site, "There is no way to tell how many of the more than 1,000 people executed since 1976 may also have been innocent. Courts do not generally entertain claims of innocence when the defendant is dead. Defense attorneys move on to other cases where clients' lives can still be saved. Some cases with strong evidence of innocence include:
Carlos DeLuna Texas - Conviction: 1983, Executed: 1989
Ruben Cantu Texas - Convicted: 1985, Executed: 1993
Larry Griffin Missouri - Conviction: 1981, Executed: 1995
Joseph O'Dell Virginia - Conviction: 1986, Executed: 1997
David Spence Texas - Conviction: 1984, Executed: 1997
Leo Jones  Florida - Conviction: 1981, Executed: 1998
Gary Graham Texas - Conviction: 1981, Executed: 2000
Claude Jones Texas - Conviction: 1989, Executed: 2000
Cameron Willingham Texas - Conviction: 1992, Executed: 2004
Troy Davis Georgia - Conviction: 1991, Executed: 2011
Lester Bower Texas - Conviction: 1984, Executed: 2015
Brian Terrell Georgia Convicted 1995 Executed 2015
Richard Masterson Texas - Conviction: 2002, Executed: 2016 [7]"

There can be much more innocents, just that we don't know. 4.1% are innocents in the death penalty [7] Because there are innocents, which mean that innocent people die because of the death penalty. It is immoral if you kill an innocent person. That person could have had a life, a good one, but we killed the innocent person, because of death penalty. THIS IS IMMORAL. This was just a source of the US. If you count other countries, there will be much more. US is at least secure at this, but some countries are not, so there will be a lot of innocents. 

I forgot who this quote was from, but he is quite famous,“You can release an innocent man from prison, but you can’t release him from the grave.” This means that we should not do death penalty, because of innocents dying. If we put them in jail, and they are innocent, we can bring him back, but when you're dead, you cannot bring the person back, because they are dead. Therefore we should ban the death penalty.

My next arguments will be short, as I explained most in my 2 major arguments above.

Racial Bias:

My next argument is about racial bias. It is shown [8], that death penalty is racial biased, and biased by ethnicity. Therefore, this is unfair, because it is related to their lives. We should ban death penalty because it is unfair, and biased. Because it is unfair and biased, and it is related to their lives, we should ban death penalty.

I will make my next argument in the next round, as I have not much time. Good luck!


I have shown many reasons why we should ban death penalty. Until my opponent makes his own arguments, vote for Pro. Thank you.


[1] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty

[2] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/millions-misspent

[3] C. Hoppe , Executions Cost Texas Millions, The Dallas Morning News, March 8, 1992, at 1A.

[4] D. Von Drehle, Bottom Line: Life in Prison One-sixth as Expensive, The Miami Herald, July 10, 1988, at 12A.

[5] The New York Department of Correctional Services study cited in Moran & Ellis, Death Penalty: Luxury Item, New York Newsday, June 14, 1989, at 60; see also the Massachusetts Bar Association Section News, The Dollar and Human Costs of the Death Penalty, April, 1992, at 5.

[6] S. Magagnini, Closing Death Row Would Save State $90 Million a Year, The Sacramento Bee, March 28, 1988, at 1.

[7] http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/executed-possibly-innocent

[8] http://www.ncadp.org/pages/racial-bias

With that, vote for Con!!!

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-08-09 09:55:02
| Speak Round
cooldudebrocooldudebro (CON)
Thank you for being so respectful of my status on this site. It means a lot to be praised for my skill. I wish you the best of luck.

Moral Argument:
I firmly believe in the saying:
"An eye for an eye"
In other words, if someone does wrong to you or someone you love, it is only right for them to get the same in return. This is where jail time does come in. People can pay for the crimes they committed by serving the necessary time in jail. However, murder is something that is totally different. With an assault, the wounds will heal. With robbery, the stuff can be returned or bought back. With a drug charge, one can be rehabilitated. In other words, whatever is lost can be returned. However, once a life is taken, there is no chance to return it. It is gone forever. This is why we consider such harsh punishments for even conspiracy to commit murder. This is a serious action that can not be reversed. There comes a point where jail time can not give the right punishment needed. What they took can not be returned; and, no matter how much time they spend in jail, they can not get it back or atone for it. This is why capital punishment is set in place. It brings those who decided to perform such horrid acts to justice. Before we go any further, let's answer the question:

"What is capital punishment?"

I define capital punishment as the following:
punishment by death : the practice of killing people as punishment for serious crimes (1)

I would like to note that capital punishment doesn't have set method to it. This means that it can be undertaken by being shot; stabbed, injected with a lethal drug, and much more. This will be important later on in my arguments. However, let's leave this for now. The death of a loved one at the hands of a murderer is something no one will understand except for the victims themselves. Let's take these families for example:

Several friends and relatives of a woman and two children who were stabbed to death on Thanksgiving Day in 2010 couldn’t contain their relief yesterday when a three-judge panel sentenced the killer to death.

Yes! Yes!” some of the spectators said when Caron E. Montgomery learned his fate in a crowded Franklin County Common Pleas courtroom." (2)

"Robert Macy, District Attorney of Oklahoma City, described his concept of the need for retribution in one case: "In 1991, a young mother was rendered helpless and made to watch as her baby was executed. The mother was then mutilated and killed. The killer should not lie in some prison with three meals a day, clean sheets, cable TV, family visits and endless appeals. For justice to prevail, some killers just need to die." (3)

"IN A small, sparsely-furnished apartment in the suburbs of Taipei, Mrs Chou Chang Chan's hands shake as she holds a picture of a sharply-dressed young man - her son, who was brutally murdered at age 32.

Two men were sentenced to death last year for stabbing him in an attempted burglary. If there is one thing his mother and her ailing husband hope to live to see, it is the sentences being carried out.

'We're in our eighties now. We don't know when we'll die but we're only willing to go once we've seen the execution. The government should return justice to the family,' she said." (4)

“I had been asking for the death penalty for all three . . .," she said after the ruling.

Fumiko Isogai is the mother of Rie Isogai, a company worker who was murdered by three men for her money. Fumiko Isogai, who had her only child killed in this crime, launched a campaign to call for the death penalty. Within ten days, her petition was signed by 100,000 citizens. She presented her petition for the death penalty. About 318,000 citizens had signed her petition by December 2008." (4)

I would like to impose a question to Pro. Do you honestly think these families should be denied the justice for their loved ones that they deserve so badly? If a family does not want the death penalty for the inmate, they may ask the jury to not consider it as a punishment.

Case 2: Is The Death Penalty Actually Cheaper Than Life In Prison?!?

Let's look at the cost imprisonment would impose on the state.

"It costs an average of about $47,000 per year to incarcerate an inmate in prison in California." (5)

The ages who murder the most are ages 17-34. (6)

Let's use an example close to the middle of that. Let's say our inmate is 25. The average age at which a human dies is 78.8 years so let's round that off to 79. (7)

Let's do some math; shall we? First, let's find the difference between 79 and 25. 79 minus 25 is 54. Now, let's multiply 49,000 by 54. This would give us 2,646,000. This means that the sentence for life in prison for the average murderer would cost around $2,646,000 excluding the trial. Let's add that to the total of which my opponent has presented. I'll use his Texas example since I am from Texas and there is a bigger difference.




By his numbers, capital punishment in Texas costs $2,300,000.

So, let's calculate the cost difference.




You would still come out to just over a million dollars cheaper per prisoner.

Rebuttal 1:

I don't see how this holds any relevance to capital punishment. Should we stop every execution or life imprisonment just because a certain race gets that punishment more often. Men tend to get harsher punishments compared to women. Does this mean we should totally stop sentencing men or make it mandatory that more women are given harsher punishments that are like a quota to even it out? (8)

Rebuttal 2:

If you look inside the link, you can see a lot of the people's cases were reviewed and were found to be correct in their guilty verdict. The last man in the link literally confessed to the crime; yet, used the excuse he was on withdraw from addictive substances. All of this seems like a representation of misinformation.


Capital Punishment is moral.

Capital Punishment costs less.

Many people that he presented as "innocent" either have large amounts of evidence against them, confessed to the crime, or had their case reviewed which came to the same conclusion. Thank you for your time.

VN/Anime OP:

1. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capital%20punishment
2. http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/05/16/measure-of-relief.html
3. http://deathpenaltycurriculum.org/student/c/about/arguments/argument2a.htm
4. http://prodpquotes.info/prodp/default/view/1630/Victims-Families-
5. http://www.lao.ca.gov/PolicyAreas/CJ/6_cj_inmatecost
6. http://www.statista.com/statistics/251884/murder-offenders-in-the-us-by-age/
7. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/life-expectancy.htm
8. https://www.law.umich.edu/newsandinfo/features/Pages/starr_gender_disparities.aspx

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-08-09 12:00:41
| Speak Round
fire_wingsfire_wings (PRO)

I thank my opponent for accepting the debate. I will make my arguments this round, and good luck!!!

Moral Argument

My opponent gives a "moral argument" that if someone kills one that you love, the person should be killed. First of all, killing is immoral. The law says so, and killing will take someone's life away is immoral. My opponent says it is a moral argument to kill someone back. Killing is immoral. Therefore it can't be a moral argument, it is an immoral argument, and because "immoral=bad", we should not follow this argument, as it is bad.

My opponent gives a introduction to capital punishment... And he gives me a question, which is, "Do you honestly think these families should be denied the justice for their loved ones that they deserve so badly?" I answer no. We aren't denying justice, and my opponent doesn't even say how it denies justice. We aren't denying justice. So this question is NO, but doesn't do anything to my opponent's argument and burden of his side.

Cost argument

My opponent gives a source about the cost. First of all, that is ridiculous. They live like a normal person. Jail should be harsh, as that is why they are in jail. Normal jails give you one shirt and one pants, and make you have that for one year. No education, not much food, and that's pretty much it. It won't cost that much. My opponent's data is incorrect, and it is still that capital punishment is way more cheaper.

I am short on time right now. Defense in the next round. Good luck.

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-08-12 09:13:24
| Speak Round
cooldudebrocooldudebro (CON)
Rebuttal 1:
My opponent seems to be misunderstanding my argument. We are not simply killing someone for the fun of it with Capital Punishment. We are giving them retribution.

Now, what is retribution?

Retribution: "Punishment inflicted on someone as vengeance for a wrong or criminal act" (1)

My opponent confuses murder with retribution.

Now, what is murder?

Murder: "The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another." (2)

Murder is against the law. It is taking the life of someone who did not assault, attempt murder, or break into your property. This is murder; which requires retribution. Jail is no longer an option for him. He took something which can not be given back.

Now, what is the difference between Capital Punishment and murder?

Capital Punishment is lawful in many states; and can easily be made lawful in other states inside the USA; along with countries across the world. Murder is against the law in the USA; and shows no promise of ever getting legalized. Murder shouldn't be encouraged and is immoral because you are taking a life without reason or need for punishment. Retribution should be encouraged as it gives families of murder victims justice, saves money, and has a clear reason and moral reason (justice) for why it is being undertaken.

So, what is justice?

Justice: "the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness" (3)

And what is just?

Just: "given or awarded rightly; deserved, as a sentence, punishment, or reward" (4)

How Capital Punishment Is Just:
For one to murder is an unthinkable and horrible act. You can no longer give back what you have taken. What is taken is now gone forever. They deserve to pay the price. Jail is no longer a suitable means for that. Jail is used for people to give back what they have taken through time; and solitary confinement. Now, no matter what they do, they will never give back the loved one to the families who mourn their loss. He will never be able to give back the loving husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend that someone may be missing and wanting to hold them at night; reaching for their jacket just wanting some semblance of them close to their person. He can never give back all the Christmases and Thanksgivings he took away from the victim and his family. Therefore, he does not deserve to have that right; either. He can no longer pay for him crimes normally; so, he must pay the ultimate price.

What is righteousness?

Righteousness: "the quality or state of being just or rightful" (5)

How Capital Punishment is righteous:
See "How Capital Punishment is Just"

What is equitableness?

"Equitableness: characterized by equity or fairness; just and right; fair; reasonable" (6)

How Capital Punishment is equitable:
See "How Capital Punishment is Just"

What is moral righteousness?

Moral Righteousness: "concerned with or relating to human behaviour, esp. the distinction between good and bad or right and wrong behaviour" (7)

How Capital Punishment is Morally Righteous:
Humans across the world believe in giving someone what they deserve. They believe in giving out just punishments for criminal acts that were committed. Humans across the world view murder as bad. People across the world view retribution as good. In fact, 63% of people in the USA support the death penalty. (8)

With these facts, we can conclude that Capital Punishment does indeed uphold justice. Denying Capital Punishment denies justice. Without the death penalty, the victim's families would never get the justice they so rightfully deserve.

Rebuttal 2:
My opponent can not simply claim my sources are incorrect without any good reasoning besides "this is how it should be!" He needs to present evidence against my claims; not just say "it's incorrect because I can't accept it!"

Capital Punishment is Just
Capital Punishment Upholds Justice
My Opponent Has Yet To Really Refute Much Of Anything

Arigatou Guzaimasu

1. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/retribution
2. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/murder
3. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/justice?s=t
4. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/just?s=t
5. dictionary.com/browse/righteousness
6. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/equitableness
7. http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-definition/moral%20righteousness
8. http://www.gallup.com/poll/159770/death-penalty-support-stable.aspx

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-08-12 10:40:10
| Speak Round
cooldudebro: How is killing without cause and retribution the same?
fire_wings: They are both killing. Killing is killing, they're the same
fire_wings: Sorry for not posting in the last CE
cooldudebro: So, you're saying if someone kills in self-defense, they should get as much time as a cold-blooded murderer. After all, all killings are the same; right?
fire_wings: But killing is immoral, so we shouldn't kill more people
cooldudebro: You're not answering my question. Under your logic, even if someone needed to kill to save their own life, it's the same as cold-blooded murder; which is ridiculous. Don't dodge the question.

Return To Top | Speak Round
fire_wingsfire_wings (PRO)
My opponent does not rebut any of my arguments. Extend them. Don't let Con touch them, or it's unfair. I am busy, so I can't make my argument. Good debate.
Return To Top | Posted:
2016-08-15 00:33:12
| Speak Round
cooldudebrocooldudebro (CON)
I have refuted all of your arguments while all of mine are untouched. I extend my arguments. Vote Con.

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-08-15 09:43:13
| Speak Round
cooldudebro: Well, I'd say I won
fire_wings: I'm sorry i didn't have any time. I don't think you refuted my arguments though
fire_wings: You didn't rebut my cost argument, you probably thought your cost argument was the rebuttal, but I showed it was wrong. You didn't say anything about death is immoral
cooldudebro: I did; though. You didn't post any sources for your arguments. You simply said it wasn't so because you said so. You didn't bring that up. I showed that retribution was moral. Capital Punishment is retribution.

Return To Top | Speak Round
cooldudebrocooldudebro (CON)
My opponent has simply denied my claims with no idea of the jail system without presenting any evidence of his own to counter mine. I have won the moral argument as well. Vote Con!

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-08-17 10:03:09
| Speak Round

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Thank you so much!
Posted 2016-08-09 12:49:35
My apologies, this was related to the autolinker fixes I introduced recently, which applies to debates for people who are too lazy to hotlink stuff. It's all working now.
Posted 2016-08-09 12:11:32
It's a tradition of mine to put an anime OP into each of my arguments. It isn't doing it. Could you please put this in my argument? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcHt733Yin8
Posted 2016-08-09 12:02:55
The judging period on this debate is over

Previous Judgments

2016-08-21 09:01:44
dsjpk5Judge: dsjpk5
Win awarded to: fire_wings
2016-08-21 20:11:27
adminJudge: admin    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: cooldudebro
Pro brought up cost to open the debate. Would have been better to open with a general principle to show why a high cost should be valued in this debate. Cost is usually a poor argument as it is hard to prove with logic, only reliant on sources where you can find a source to justify almost anything. Pro furthered this with analysis that exoneration is a good reason to disallow the death penalty, something pro extended by talking about racial bias here. The argument was simple but the causal links were there.

Con opened, correctly, with a moral principle. What con did very well was set this within a narrative context, giving some of the stories of those killed. This was a good substantive point overall. The narrative could just have been framed a bit tighter like, why exactly this is so bad that capital punishment is deserved... usually extreme examples are fine I think. Serial killers and the like. As expected con parried the cost argument, and launched two very short rebuttals to the exoneration argument - honestly I felt this point deserved more analysis, as con did little to answer the moral principle backing it (bringing people back from the grave), only speaking to the example.

Pro's rebuttal was very short, apparently due to time. The only really novel substantive here was this idea that if killing is immoral then the state shouldn't kill, which could have been analyzed a lot more. This point didn't go very far with con presenting a weight of analysis in the next round.

In the end, there were a few key differences. Con presented more of a narrative case, while pro tried to rely more on an evidential one. Usually narrative cases are stronger and I feel like this applies here, because evidence is very hard to prove absolutely in a debate setting. With regards to the arguments, cost didn't fall either way. I felt like the death penalty is an imperfect system with biases and such, and con did not do enough to answer this claim. But I also think con got a bit lucky in that their substantive stood as well, that terrible crimes deserve terrible punishments. This principle ultimately was better supported at the end of the debate just by narrative weight. And to be perfectly honest, pro being short on time probably contributed to them not being able to answer con so effectively.

The decision, therefore, is a close but clear win for the negative side.

Integrated above. In general, both sides should consider working on:
> Focusing rebuttal effectively to address the most weighty points in the most detail; and
> Structuring their points & signposting these clearly

Happy to take questions or provide additional feedback to either debater if they want :)
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