Death penalty debate: pro side cross examination?

hey, i am doing a debate pretty soon on the death penalty. I have to do a cross examination for the pro side (or con-abolishing) in other words SUPPORTING the death penatly. So are there any really GOOD cross examination questions that i could ask that would really make the other side look bad?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I can't tell you a whole lot of good reasons that aren't emotional to support the death penalty. But I've found in my numerous debates, and in the debates that I've won (state champ in hs) the best thing to prepare for was to come up with a statement to discredit what your enemy will argue. Most enemies of the death penalty point to it's racism. They say people who are poor are unable to pay for a defense, and people who are rich get away with everything. Since most poor people are minorities, then that would seem to point to the fact that the system is biased.

    The best thing you can do is plan for ALL of the counterattacks by researching the opinion oppisite of yours. Then, once you've done that, then you start working on your opinion.

    Good luck. :)

  • 1 decade ago

    On the facts, your work is cut out for you. To establish your case will be very difficult. You may as well know what the facts are.

    Some of the answers you have received are incorrect:

    1. The person who wrote:

    1) with DNA evidence it's almost impossible to convict someone that's innocent.

    2) Some criminals are repeat offenders they second they get released by into society they are back repeating the same horrendous crime.

    DNA is available in very few cases. In most of the cases of people released from death rows with evidence of their innocence DNA was not a factor at all. (Over 120 people exonerated)

    More and more states have life without the possibility of parole on the books. It means what it says.

    2. The person referring to cost is not correct. He wrote:

    If a person is confirmed guilty by DNA testing, is it fair to the taxpayers to pay up to 50K a year to keep a person locked up for many years, when the jury has handed a death sentence?

    Average annual costs to incarcerate someone are closer to 35,000 per year. The cost of the death penalty is much higher. This is the result of pre trial investigation needed for a prosecutor to determine whether to seek the death penalty in a particular case, two stage trials (guilt vs innocence and a separate sentencing stage,) costs of appeals, costs of maintaining a separate death row. (New York State had 7 people on death row in a 10 year period. None had more than one appeal. None have been executed. This has cost New York State well over 200 million dollars. For information about states where there have been executions, you can find similar information at http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=10...

    3. Racism. Statistics show that if a murder victim is white his accused killer is far more likely to face the death penalty than if the victim is non white. “Even though blacks and whites are murder victims in nearly equal numbers of crimes, 80% of people executed since the death penalty was reinstated have been executed for murders involving white victims.” (Amnesty International Report on the Death Penalty)

    The best source on the Death Penalty is the Death Penalty Information Center. Its website, www.deathpenatlyinfo.org is easy to navigate, very thorough. It includes stuff on the history of the death penalty as well as information about the death penalty as practiced now, in the US.

    In a debate, the abolitionists have the facts on their side. The argument that death penalty supporters use these days is “retributionist” which seems to be different spin on revenge.

    If you google “retributionism” you will certainly find some useful talking points.

  • Carol
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    - Mistakes happen. In the last 35 years in the U.S., over 130 people have been released from death row because they were exonerated by DNA and other new evidence (DNA is not available in most homicide cases). - Because of the legal apparatus designed to minimize wrongful executions, it costs taxpayers MUCH more to execute someone than to imprison them for life. - It is not a deterrent - violent crime rates are consistently HIGHER in death penalty jurisdictions. - It is inconsistently and arbitrarily applied. - It fosters a culture of violence by asserting that killing is an acceptable solution to a problem. - Jesus was against it (see Matthew 5:7 & 5:38-39, James 4:12, Romans 12:17-21, and John 8:7). - Life without parole (LWOP) is on the books in most states now, and it means what it says. People who get this sentence are taken off the streets. For good. - Whether you’re a hardened criminal or a government representing the people, killing another human being is wrong. Period. “He did it first” is not a valid excuse.

  • Akkita
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I found you some great websites that will give you some outstanding quotes , victim's stories and opinions on both sides of the issue. Good luck

    1)Anything to Save a Killer

    2)Death Penalty Links

    3)Info & Resources

    4)Arguments For and Against

    5)Thoughts on the death penalty

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  • Carl P
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    If a person is confirmed guilty by DNA testing, is it fair to the taxpayers to pay up to 50K a year to keep a person locked up for many years, when the jury has handed a death sentence?

    You may want to re-run the numbers on this: the figure was old and may be only from one state.

  • 1 decade ago

    the american public supports the death penalty and the supreme court has rule it constitutional as it is administered, on many occasions, it would be undemocratic to subvert the will of the people unless the supremes ruled it unconstitutional.

    also, the charge of racism is not a fault with the death penalty itself. we can solve that by executing more white criminals.

  • 1 decade ago

    1) with DNA evidence it's almost impossible to convict someone that's innocent.

    2) Some criminals are repeat offenders they second they get released by into society they are back repeating the same horrendous crime.

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