The Instigator
Joeytarn1
Pro (for)
The Contender
g626
Con (against)

Compulsory Jury Duty

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/4/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 118 times Debate No: 104765
Debate Rounds (3)
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Joeytarn1

Pro

Any who want can accept. There will be 3 rounds, with myself arguing for compulsory jury duty, and the con, obviously, arguing against that. And for whoever accepts the challenge, I wish you good luck and I hope we can have a good debate!

"Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph."

The individual rights of Americans requires the active participation of all citizens, and the swift and reliable justice achievable only by a court of one"s peers.
The basis of this case and what we ought to strive to protect is individual rights, the protection of the inalienable human rights of all people, and we achieve this through active citizenry, the participation of citizens in the political system in order. The federally mandated program of jury duty ensures and protects these rights, and must be upheld in order to continue to protect these rights.

Contention 1: The alternatives to compulsory jury duty violate an individual"s right to a fair trial by his peers. If the United States were to stop using compulsory jury duty, there would be two primary alternatives for our criminal justice system.

Subpoint A: The first of these alternatives is a system in which the jury is not chosen at random from the citizenry, but rather a hired class of jurors. Because jury duty would no longer be required, the only people who would be willing to be jurors would be people who want to be, in a sense, professional jurors. The only people who would have time to participate would be people who actually devote time to acting as jurors, essentially forming a class of professional jurors. This violates the right to a fair trial by one"s peers, because this small class of elite jurors would cease to represent the majority, as the majority would no longer be serving. According to a study done by the Harris County District Clerk, only 35-40% of those who are assigned jury duty show up, in a system that is already compulsory, and the number of jurors would only drastically decrease once compulsion is gone, and the few jurors who would serve would now be motivated solely by whatever governmental incentives provided, adding incentive as an additional form of bias in the jury system. However, there is only one other primary alternative.

Subpoint B: The other alternative to compulsory jury duty would be simply having judges be the final deciders of trials. A system such as this would cause an inherent miscarriage of justice. The problem is that our system of judges is inherently flawed. Elected judges run unopposed astonishingly often. For example, according to the LA Times, in June of 2013, 150 out of 151 judges ran for reelection unopposed in LA County. This happens across the country, because there are never enough people running for judicial office to provide adequate competition. As a result of this, a large portion of our nation"s judges don"t hold office because they are a good judge or judge fairly, but simply because nobody ran against them. With such a flawed judicial system, it is inherently wrong to expect a system in which justice is based solely on one person to be fair. In such a system, justice would no longer be based on a fair assessment of evidence, but rather on the opinion and viewpoint of a single person. In this way, the removal of a compulsory jury in favor of a system based entirely on judges would violate a citizen"s right to a fair trial.

Contention 2: Jury duty, a form of compulsory national service, serve to maximize individual rights by limiting the power of the government and big business.
Currently, the system of trial by peers and the courts system at large acts as the people"s check on the government and big business. This is because people have a right to a trial by their peers, and because of that, they have the ability to take businesses and the government to court when they feel they have abused their power. The jury system is a crucial point of this, as without a system of compulsory jury duty, the benefits of a jury by one"s peers breaks down, as shown by my first contention. Without of a courts system based on a peer jury, businesses and the government are free to wield their power without fear of repercussion. However, a system that is based on a peer jury allows for average citizens to take a stand in the face of government overreach or abuse by large corporations. This is absolutely necessary in a society that values its citizens over the powerful who wish to abuse their power and use it as means to harm. This has been seen time and time again, especially in curtailing government power, such as Map v. Ohio that prevents the government from using evidence obtained by illegal search in trial, or Miranda v. Arizona which famously secured the right of citizens to be made aware of their rights. These liberties we consider an intrinsic part of American jurisprudence were only won in the last 60 years through federal courts. These examples of curtailing power are also present in business, such as Standard Oil v. New Jersey, which broke up a monopoly that had run wild with power, and it was through the courts system, and through a compulsory jury of American citizens, that that power was controlled for the sake of everyday Americans.

For the sake of the rights of everyday Americans, and in order to affirm the constitutional rights of all citizens, I strongly urge you vote in affirmation of compulsory jury duty.
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Debate Round No. 1
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Debate Round No. 3
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