Instigator / Pro
4
1596
rating
42
debates
63.1%
won
Topic

Should we use the death penalty at all?

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

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0
3
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2
Spelling and grammar points
1
1
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1

With 1 vote and 3 points ahead, the winner is ...

TheRealNihilist
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Last update date
Category
Politics
Time for argument
One week
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Open voting
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One week
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Four points
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Rated
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10,000
Contender / Con
7
1650
rating
44
debates
77.27%
won
Description
~ 224 / 5,000

I support the death penalty for murder and treason. My opponent must be against the death penalty for both of these crimes. No new arguments in the final round, but arguments in all others rounds are okay. The BoP is shared

Round 1
Pro
Current Contentions(my opponent might bring up more) : The effect of the death penalty on homicide, the cost of the death penalty, and the ethics surrounding the death penalty for both murder and treason.

The Death penalty for murder

-Effect of the death penalty on homicide.

Many people believe that the death penalty leads to an increase in homicide.  However, https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fno3SaXsJAt1SKTlKC-vVAjVJTgWvVJG5I0qKqM5Lbw/edit#gid=0 states that there is almost no correlation between if a state has the death penalty and it’s homicide rate.

-Cost.

The death penalty is currently more expensive then life imprisionment without parole.  However, this can change if murderers are executed in a grandiose stadium. In a grandiose stadium, people pay ticket prices to see a convicted murderer get executed by the method that they deserve.  This helps pay for the cost of the execution. The more people murdered, the more painful the execution generally. Someone that has killed 1 person, could die by firing squad. Someone that has murdered 9 people, like Dylan Roof, could get eaten by piranhas as punishment.  Since he murdered 9 people in a church, he deserves this.  Most people wouldn’t dream of murdering anyone, but only the very crazy in society actually murder.  Live Public executions that could be performed would get even these very crazy people to reconsider their future decision to murder since the consiquence would be so vivid in their head.

-Ethics surrounding the death penalty:

I don’t know if my opponent believes this, but a common argument against the death penalty is, “Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing is wrong”.  The thing is by this logic, it basically means that kidnappers shouldn’t be punished with jail either, hence the logic, “Why do we kidnap people who kidnap people to show that kidnapping is wrong”.  The only difference between imprisonment and kidnapping is one is done to innocents and/or is vigilantic, the other is both not vigilantic and done to guilty people. Therefore, it is acceptable to imprison people, but not okay to kidnap them.

This logic can be applied to capital punishment.  Just as not all forms of involuntarally holding someone against their will are bad, not all killing is bad, or as bad as murder.  There is murder, there is execution, there is manslaughter. A more accurate way to say it is, “Why do why do we execute people who murder to show that murder is wrong”.  Execution is the right punishment for the crime of murder, life imprisionment is harsh, but it isin’t harsh enough and nowhere nearly as scary to the murderer as the death penalty.  If the murderer was suicidal and wanted death, they would have already committed suicide with a gun or something quick and relatively painless, instead of resorting to a death process that takes a minimum of 7 minutes to complete(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dprfHZ7gYvw&t=1s).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huf_GsD60wU is a video that explains it better than I can.  They aren’t too biased, given that they have left wing and right wing content.


The Death penalty for treason.

In addition to much of what I have above, the death penalty for treason helps keep nations safe from traitors.  

If an American person who had access to nuclear bomb information gave a country like Iran enough information on how to build a nuclear bomb, and they use that to destroy tens of millions of people in cities owned by their enemies like America and as a result of that, destroying the economy of the Iranians in the form of sanctions that the UN would impose on them, such an action does not deserve life imprisonment, as it would not only be too lenient, but also dangerous, given that such a person has a high chance of escaping jail with help from the Iranians and as a result, would help supply them info on how to build worse bombs, destroying superpowers and tens of millions of civilians.

The death penalty is the only decent option for a crime like that.  They could escape with foreign help if we select life imprisonment.

Con
Death penalty: (Capital Punishment): is a government-sanctioned practice whereby a person is killed by the state as a punishment for a crime. 
I’ll give the definition if my opponent doesn’t want to.

I will be arguing against the death penalty with 2 reasons:
  • Rehabilitation
  • Death
Duty of the government: Punishment or rehabilitation
The main reason I don’t support the death penalty is that I value rehabilitation over punishment. I rather someone be helpful for society eventually rather the person be put to death. This would mean I wouldn’t support life in prison without parole but if we don’t have the tools to make sure the criminal can’t be reformed then life in prison is my option. Reason is we can’t bring them back when they are dead. 
Death is final
This is mainly elaborating on the death aspect. Death is final. We can’t bring back people who were found guilty. This goes onto a quote I like which is “That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer.” Goes into play with my position. Having 1 innocent person suffer shows a failure in the justice system. There are many criminals who don’t get charged or found out for their crimes. If an innocent is considered a criminal over actual criminals, then good people would be at risk as much as people who are actually doing bad. Failure to uphold is a failure of the justice system. There has been 14 innocent people put to death by the government:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrongful_execution#United_States
Since this is still occurring in the present when the latest wrongful conviction was executed in 2018 Alec will pretty much have to concede he is willing to put to death innocent lives in order to put to death I guess people who commit treason or other crimes he consider killable. Alec would either provide evidence of noticeable change between 2018 till now that has made it impossible to sentence an innocent person to death or concedes. There are other options but I can’t think of them right now.

Since I don’t think this would be enough for this Round I’ll start rebutting your claims here.

The death penalty for murder
-Effect of the death penalty on homicide.
Many people believe that the death penalty leads to an increase in homicide.  However, https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fno3SaXsJAt1SKTlKC-vVAjVJTgWvVJG5I0qKqM5Lbw/edit#gid=0 states that there is almost no correlation between if a state has the death penalty and it’s homicide rate.
Don’t know where he got this from so I consider this an unintentional straw-man if not a straw-man. Given that professionals as in criminologists 88% of them stated that no execution doesn’t lead to homicide rates. This isn’t the grounds of the death penalty I am against nor is it what the professional think either which I do support.
https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/URLs_Cited/OT2016/16-5247/16-5247-2.pdf
(Page 3 Pie chart and 3rd bullet point on the right of the pie chart)

-Cost.
The death penalty is currently more expensive then life imprisionment without parole.
No evidence shown so I await the evidence. This claim is unsubstantiated. If he wants me to provide evidence for my claims, please do ask.
However, this can change if murderers are executed in a grandiose stadium. In a grandiose stadium, people pay ticket prices to see a convicted murderer get executed by the method that they deserve.  This helps pay for the cost of the execution.
Your burden isn’t the application of the death penalty more so supporting it.
The more people murdered, the more painful the execution generally.
You are supposed to be for the death penalty not how it would be carried out. That is your burden. If this was about the best application, then we can discuss this.
Someone that has killed 1 person, could die by firing squad. Someone that has murdered 9 people, like Dylan Roof, could get eaten by piranhas as punishment. Since he murdered 9 people in a church, he deserves this.  Most people wouldn’t dream of murdering anyone, but only the very crazy in society actually murder.  Live Public executions that could be performed would get even these very crazy people to reconsider their future decision to murder since the consiquence would be so vivid in their head.
Anecdote about a burden he doesn’t need to fulfil although there is a burden of where is your arguments for the death penalty?

-Ethics surrounding the death penalty:
I don’t know if my opponent believes this, but a common argument against the death penalty is, “Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing is wrong”. The thing is by this logic, it basically means that kidnappers shouldn’t be punished with jail either,
Kidnapping involves an action involving capturing someone without their consent. The government jailing someone involves court appearance which they are told what would happen. The two subjects are not similar due to the consent factor. Just by that distinction your use of a different subject to explain the logic fails.
hence the logic, “Why do we kidnap people who kidnap people to show that kidnapping is wrong”.  The only difference between imprisonment and kidnapping is one is done to innocents and/or is vigilantic, the other is both not vigilantic and done to guilty people. Therefore, it is acceptable to imprison people, but not okay to kidnap them.
This is based on if what you said was right which is not. Kidnapping is not the same as jailing. Even if the police without your permission arrested you for not complying. That is still more fair than kidnapping because the person knows what he is doing wrong with the act of kidnapping and not complying to the law. What did the person do wrong with the kidnapping? Wrong time wrong place I guess.
This logic can be applied to capital punishment.  Just as not all forms of involuntarally holding someone against their will are bad, not all killing is bad, or as bad as murder.  There is murder, there is execution, there is manslaughter. A more accurate way to say it is, “Why do why do we execute people who murder to show that murder is wrong”.  Execution is the right punishment for the crime of murder, life imprisionment is harsh, but it isin’t harsh enough and nowhere nearly as scary to the murderer as the death penalty.  If the murderer was suicidal and wanted death, they would have already committed suicide with a gun or something quick and relatively painless, instead of resorting to a death process that takes a minimum of 7 minutes to complete(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dprfHZ7gYvw&t=1s).
This logic was debunked before so this paragraph is based on faulty logic. No need for a rebuttal until Alec can sufficiently rebut my criticisms of his logic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huf_GsD60wU is a video that explains it better than I can.  They aren’t too biased, given that they have left wing and right wing content.
Okay. You do know that he is actually attacking people who think life is immoral and support the death penalty right? You haven’t clearly stated that your position was that taking a life is immoral but if you did then this link debunks you. He isn’t debunking me. This video shows the blatant faulty logic of the right. I don’t know how you don’t see it as a teardown of a right-winger. So this sources either debunks your claims or does nothing for you. Either way not an argument for the death penalty.

The Death penalty for treason.
In addition to much of what I have above, the death penalty for treason helps keep nations safe from traitors.
If an American person who had access to nuclear bomb information gave a country like Iran enough information on how to build a nuclear bomb, and they use that to destroy tens of millions of people in cities owned by their enemies like America and as a result of that, destroying the economy of the Iranians in the form of sanctions that the UN would impose on them, such an action does not deserve life imprisonment, as it would not only be too lenient, but also dangerous, given that such a person has a high chance of escaping jail with help from the Iranians and as a result, would help supply them info on how to build worse bombs, destroying superpowers and tens of millions of civilians.
This entire scenario is fabricated from Alec. This hasn’t occurred. What if someone had nuclear codes? What if they used it? What if they escaped jail? What if they used it again? This is Alec’s entire argument for allowing the death penalty for treason. This isn’t convincing because this has yet to occur and something close has not happened. The burden on Alec was to show this is probable not possible. If it was about possibility, then how would we argue against each other’s possibility? My possibility is more likely than your possibility? So we would be making a probability counter-argument but a probability initial argument? I await for Alec to show this is probable until I am arguing against a possibility while knowing anything theoretically can be possible.
The death penalty is the only decent option for a crime like that.  They could escape with foreign help if we select life imprisonment.
Reinforcing the possibility argument not for it being probable.

Can’t believe I made the character limit. Thanks to my short initial argument. I have sufficiently shown how none of his arguments actually are substantial for showing the death penalty should be supported. I on the other hand albeit simple made arguments against the death penalty. I await for Alec to respond.


Round 2
Pro
I am sorry Omar, but due to my WIFI being lost for 5 days or so and my job, I am unable to post my argument.  I am sorry about the inconvenience and I will post in R3.
Con
Okay.
Round 3
Pro
Sorry about basically forfeiting, but since R2 was basicly a wasted round on both parts, I’d say this makes us even.

Duty of the government: Punishment or rehabilitation
The main reason I don’t support the death penalty is that I value rehabilitation over punishment. I rather someone be helpful for society eventually rather the person be put to death. This would mean I wouldn’t support life in prison without parole but if we don’t have the tools to make sure the criminal can’t be reformed then life in prison is my option. 

This is a surprise.  I thought you would be advocating for life imprisonment without parole like what most anti-death penalty people believe.

Death is final
This is mainly elaborating on the death aspect. Death is final. We can’t bring back people who were found guilty. This goes onto a quote I like which is “That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer.” 

I don’t know why you like that quote.  If 100 guilty murderers escape jail, then they could commit even more crime maybe to stick it to the state that imprisoned them.  If such a state was going to catch them anyways, they might as well commit more murder because in the sick mind of a murderer, it’s fun or rebellious to the state.  I know that if living Dylan Roof escaped jail, he would go killing more black people. If he can’t get a gun (which I don’t believe someone like Roof should have, but I digress) then he would use a knife or something to kill black people in a stabbing spree.  He probably could steal one from some source. I would say getting stabbed is more painful than getting shot, so arguably such deaths by knife stabbing would be worse than getting killed by a bullet.

Goes into play with my position. Having 1 innocent person suffer shows a failure in the justice system

The failure is lack of evidence.  The death penalty kills 96% of murderers the right time.  Even though there is a 4% rate at which innocents are killed, the solution to this is to get a better police force/detective force to keep track of evidence so less innocents have to suffer in jail at all.  Under Omar’s plan, even the innocent would have to suffer in jail for a crime they didn’t commit until it was found that they were innocent. My plan is to get more and better detectives and better means of keeping track of evidence and things similar to that in order to reduce the odds of an innocent suffering at all, whether it be with their life, or just time in prison.  I also would want to dedicate some federal funds towards robots that can do the evidence job better than police officers, and whom can’t care about the color of your skin unless programmed too, which they wouldn’t be.


There has been 14 innocent people put to death by the government: 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrongful_execution#United_States

On a national scale, 14 is not a big number.  This means that most states have not executed someone innocently, even out of the states with the death penalty.  Less people then the number of people in a typical full classroom, and that’s out of one of the biggest countries in the world by population.  How to reduce the number of innocents executed is to increase the number of years that the experts have to gather evidence. If POTUS, I would want to hire people to find good ways to make detectives better and more accurate at their job.  I don’t have any evidence for it, but isn't the rate of innocents being executed going down?

Since this is still occurring in the present when the latest wrongful conviction was executed in 2018 Alec will pretty much have to concede he is willing to put to death innocent lives in order to put to death I guess people who commit treason or other crimes he consider killable. 


I want to put to death few innocents while providing deterrnce to prevent future murder.  Kill an innocent, you kill an innocent. Let a murderer murder, you destroy a family along with anyone that gets murdered.  I would rather kill the innocent then allow the murderer to get “rehabilitated”(assuming it works) only to kill more people.  Scandinavia only tried this rehab idea only recently and many of the people who were convicted of murder have yet to be freed from prision.  When they are, I imagine more homicide would take place. Dylan Roof certainly would want to commit more homicide against black people. He probably won’t change his mind.  If released, even after 21 years, the Nordic model, he easily could commit more homicide against innocent blacks.

If I had to pick between one innocent person dying by firing squad and another innocent person dying at the hands of the murderer, I would pick the innocent dying.  They have had time to prepare and to get prayers answered, and when they get executed, neither of us are religious or anything, but the innocent would at least have the idea of going to heaven in his idea.  A person who gets murdered is scared and usually wouldn’t pray, leading to less of a chance

Given that professionals as in criminologists 88% of them stated that no execution doesn’t lead to homicide rates. This isn’t the grounds of the death penalty I am against nor is it what the professional think either which I do support.
https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/URLs_Cited/OT2016/16-5247/16-5247-2.pdf
(Page 3 Pie chart and 3rd bullet point on the right of the pie chart)

Criminaligists tend to get their evidence from the only study I know of that correlates the death penalty with homicide, the death penalty info study, which states that states without the death penalty tend to have lower homicide rates.  Howeve the states that have no death penalty are more likely to have a high standard of living and GDP per capita then states that have the death penalty(DP) (due to urbinization) and people living in states with no DP also tend to be happier for completely unrelated reasons.  Happy well off people are less likely to commit homicide in general then people living in rural places that have low amounts of happiness due to completely unrelated factors. I think the study I conducted is more accurate because it compares the exact same state, with merely a difference of 2 years.  The Death penalty info study compares entirely different states. My study is more controlled.


-Cost.

You are supposed to be for the death penalty not how it would be carried out.

As long as I am supporting the worst of the worst getting killed by some method, then I am arguing for the death penalty.

Anecdote about a burden he doesn’t need to fulfil although there is a burden of where is your arguments for the death penalty?

Someone like Dylan Roof deserves the death penalty because he murdered 9 innocent people.


Kidnapping involves an action involving capturing someone without their consent. The government jailing someone involves court appearance which they are told what would happen. The two subjects are not similar due to the consent factor.

Imprisionment is nonconsensual as well.  The prisioner didn’t choose to be there unless he wanted to be there.  Just like murder involves killing someone without their consent. If the punishment for kidnapping is prision, then the punishment for murder should be execution.

This is based on if what you said was right which is not. Kidnapping is not the same as jailing.

What’s the difference?  Neither are consensual. If you would use the logic, “They chose to go to jail by committing a crime” then wouldn’t a murderer by that same logic choose to get executed by committing murder?

You haven’t clearly stated that your position was that taking a life is immoral but if you did then this link debunks you. He isn’t debunking me.

He is debunking a popular argument used by people against the death penalty.

This video shows the blatant faulty logic of the right. I don’t know how you don’t see it as a teardown of a right-winger. So this sources either debunks your claims or does nothing for you. Either way not an argument for the death penalty.

If you watch like 10 random videos of his, you would see that he isn't a right winger.

The Death penalty for treason.

This entire scenario is fabricated from Alec. This hasn’t occurred. 

It might occur in the future, and we need laws to prevent terrible things from happening.

Con
Sorry about basically forfeiting, but since R2 was basicly a wasted round on both parts, I’d say this makes u
A Round that you did not post anything resulted in me not having anything to argue against. That was the problem.

Duty of the government: Punishment or rehabilitation

This is a surprise.  I thought you would be advocating for life imprisonment without parole like what most anti-death penalty people believe.
This is not a takedown of my argument. I really have nothing to go on and since this was the last Round. 1 of my arguments have gone unchallenged.

Death is final
I don’t know why you like that quote. 
If 100 guilty murderers escape jail, then they could commit even more crime maybe to stick it to the state that imprisoned them.
Yes I value the justice system not imprisoning innocents and imprison criminals on a later date that found a way to escape not because of the government allowing them to simply leave. I have already gave an argument earlier " Having 1 innocent person suffer shows a failure in the justice system". If an innocent person under the law is put to jail then that would mean the laws are not applied equally or do not matter when it comes to assigning someone a criminal. That would mean anyone can be a criminal it would be based on a whim of the state when that is okay. This is bad because people who have done nothing wrong can still be punished. This would be if I valued a just system. If Alec doesn't value a just system I can't change his mind on that. I can only say an innocent should remain an innocent because they have done nothing wrong and since this is the last Round I can't expect Alec to have an answer for it.
If such a state was going to catch them anyways, they might as well commit more murder because in the sick mind of a murderer, it’s fun or rebellious to the state.  I know that if living Dylan Roof escaped jail, he would go killing more black people. If he can’t get a gun (which I don’t believe someone like Roof should have, but I digress) then he would use a knife or something to kill black people in a stabbing spree.  He probably could steal one from some source. I would say getting stabbed is more painful than getting shot, so arguably such deaths by knife stabbing would be worse than getting killed by a bullet. 
Again with these what if statements. The problem with this is that I have to assume too much for you to be true instead a better approach would be to state this is likely or say it is inherent. Since this is a debate I can't simply accept assumptions that would concede me a point instead I am saying these assumptions are far fetched and not supported by data. 
My plan is to get more and better detectives and better means of keeping track of evidence and things similar to that in order to reduce the odds of an innocent suffering at all, whether it be with their life, or just time in prison.  I also would want to dedicate some federal funds towards robots that can do the evidence job better than police officers, and whom can’t care about the color of your skin unless programmed too, which they wouldn’t be.
Saying you want to do something. Doesn't mean it will happen. You would have to demonstrate it is likely. How are you going to get better detectives? Better procedures or simply bad detectives in favor of good ones which is supported with evidence that their are bad detectives so much so that it needs to be addressed? A failure to show this shows the lack of thought put into the idea. Alec would have a much better position if he was able to provide evidence of something bad and then provide a good counter to that bad but he couldn't. He simply stated a good but didn't say what bad it would fix. Saying you want good detectives doesn't mean there are bad detectives. No number given to the amount of federal funds Alec wants to give nor when would this supposed robot will be made. I can't argue with an idea that hasn't even reached outside his mind and onto paper. Sure he typed it up but if this was more of an idea he would be able to demonstrate the problem while also demonstrating how it could be fixed as well. Simply remove some things that you rebutted of mine and make your point better.  
On a national scale, 14 is not a big number.  This means that most states have not executed someone innocently, even out of the states with the death penalty.  Less people then the number of people in a typical full classroom, and that’s out of one of the biggest countries in the world by population.  
You are not arguing against innocents being murdered you are just saying well it ain't that bad. 
How to reduce the number of innocents executed is to increase the number of years that the experts have to gather evidence. If POTUS, I would want to hire people to find good ways to make detectives better and more accurate at their job. 
This is politician talk. There is no substance to support this or policy that would help. Saying better detectives can be equated to Trump saying build the wall. So it is basically having an idea but not having something more to work with. Yet again Alec could have given more of a point by removing rebuttals in favor of supporting a policy of better detective or measures but he simply stated it twice instead of demonstrating how it could be done.
 I don’t have any evidence for it, but isn't the rate of innocents being executed going down?
Alec could have made a point here but he didn't. Even if I support this in favor of Alec I can simply use what I said earlier that 1 innocent being a criminal under the law is a failure of the system. A failure means it isn't a just system which would mean it isn't consistent so anyone can be a criminal.
I would rather kill the innocent then allow the murderer to get “rehabilitated”(assuming it works) only to kill more people.
So basically Alec is against people changing for the good instead takes the position if a person did X even though they don't do it anymore and have done the allocated time for that incident they still should be treated the same way as they were before. Since Alec values punishment over rehabilitation he is perfectly fine murdering people who he thinks deserve it or serve a just punishment. In instances where the poor have to steal to get food he would much rather put them in jail instead of finding ways where they can help the poor in their instances or at the very least screw the poor criminals in favor of helping potential poor criminals since they are not criminals yet. Alec in this instance would not be for helping people instead punishing on things they might not have control over like how 62.1% of bankruptcies were over healthcare.
Scandinavia only tried this rehab idea only recently and many of the people who were convicted of murder have yet to be freed from prision.
Evidence? Since this is the last Round I can't exactly wait for him to support this and make an actual point instead of simply saying something without proving it happened.
If I had to pick between one innocent person dying by firing squad and another innocent person dying at the hands of the murderer, I would pick the innocent dying. 
This is not my position and since I had very little as a way of initial arguments it is difficult to for me to see this as not a straw-man or not understanding the very little I typed.
The Death penalty info study compares entirely different states. My study is more controlled.
This source that Alec brought up was not a problem in the debate. It is a non-issue that I made clear earlier so to spend an entire paragraph on something that isn't even my position is useless to what we are discussing.

-Cost.
As long as I am supporting the worst of the worst getting killed by some method, then I am arguing for the death penalty.
Yes I understand. I just want you to show how it is a good idea.
Someone like Dylan Roof deserves the death penalty because he murdered 9 innocent people.
This is the first point like this Alec made. So basically either his points is that 9 innocent people = death penalty for the murderer or something less but this is an application of it. I would have liked to know why 9 innocents murdered calls for the death penalty so that I have something to argue against.
Imprisionment is nonconsensual as well.  The prisioner didn’t choose to be there unless he wanted to be there.  Just like murder involves killing someone without their consent. If the punishment for kidnapping is prision, then the punishment for murder should be execution. 
The prisoner chose to break the law which he should have known what it was. You are missing key information that makes the criminal consensual when trying to imprison them rather than the act of murder which isn't consensual.
What’s the difference?  Neither are consensual.
Yes they are and you haven't demonstrated how it was the case apart from missing out key information like the criminal will have a court appearance, should know the rules and are told ahead of time what they have done and what their punishment is.

The Death penalty for treason.
It might occur in the future, and we need laws to prevent terrible things from happening.
A better thing to do is not engage with war unless it is defensive. Maybe then people won't turn to treason.

To conclude I think I won and I don't see how Alec could win. Hopefully that shows in the votes but a debate isn't won by who made the better arguments that were not persuasive. It is won by the common crowd perception of who won. So even if I made the better argument that isn't based on appeal to popularity I can still lose. 

Thank you Alec for creating this debate and next time can you increase the character limit please?