The most important word in debating is because.
Whatever point you make in a debate, substantiate it by finishing your phrase using because, because only then do your points become clear and gain depth. And if your arguments have more depth than the ones your opponent has, you are likely to win a debate (when judged by an unbiased adjudicator).
A nice way to do this is using the SEXI-scheme: State, EXplain, Illustrate.
Use clear wording in one short phrase, stating the point you are trying to make. Be aware that you may have more/different knowledge than your audience/opponent, so use simple words. Also make sure to start your argument with the statement, because by doing this, the other person is prepared to follow your explanation.
Making an argument is not about surprising the other person, it is about taking her by the hand and guiding her step by step from her point of view to yours.
The death-penalty should be abolished.
The death-penalty should be abolished, because the state should never kill innocent people if it can be avoided.
As a trial is always trying to reconstruct what happened, using evidence and testimonials, there is always (even a very small) chance that they got it wrong. By taking an accused person's life, you take away their chance and the one of their family, of benefiting from any new evidence which may prove their innocence in the future. This is why the state should always take the softest measure possible (life-sentence), because by doing this, it keeps the public safe, but recognizes at the same time the right to life of the innocently accused.
As trials are made in the present but the crimes happened in the past, there will never be a 100% certainty, and the state should therefore never become the murderer of a possibly innocent life.
There have been 140 accused and convicted people released from death row (according to the Death Penalty Information Center) in 26 states of the US since 1973. This shows that courts can many times not prove beyond any doubt the guilt of an accused person.
As these are only the few cases which have been discovered on time, we can only guess how many innocent people have been executed, without having found evidence proving their innocence, before their execution.
False accusations will always be found in a probabilistic court system, but the deaths of innocents does not have to be a part of it.
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