The Instigator
Con (against)
14 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

DDO WORLD CUP: Due Process for Non-Citizens in the U.S.

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 5/15/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 793 times Debate No: 54783
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (2)





This debate is part of Daytona's World Cup Tournament. Voting is open to everyone w/ 2000 ELO or more, but it is an up-or-down win-loss ballot. I would like to thank Fanath for agreeing to this topic, and for agreeing to take a devil's advocate position (Pro) in order to get this debate off the ground.

Normally I prefer 5-round debates, but, unfortunately, I will be departing for CatNats shortly (my first time as a judge)! I cannot guarantee that I will have internet access when I arrive in Chicago. Therefore, all response times are just 48 hours, and there are only four rounds. It is my hope that this debate will conclude prior to the 22nd of May. To this end, I ask that Fanath accept this challenge quickly.

Full Topic

The United States ought to extend to non-citizens accused of terrorism the same constitutional due process protections it grants to citizens


BOP is shared. Pro must show that non-citizens deserve the aforesaid rights, whereas Con must should that such rights ought not to be extended.


1. No forfeits
2. All citations must be provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss


R1: Pro Presents His Case
R2: Con's Case; Pro's Rebuttals
R3: Rebuttals
R4: Con's Rebuttals; Pro Passes


...once again to Fanath! I look forward to a good debate :)


Thanks for setting up this debate Con! Here's the link to the tournament if anyone's curious:

I'll show my case now.

(A) What the Constitution says:

The Constitution clearly stipulates that the United States should vouchsafe the same due process of law:

“nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” [1]

A quick detail we should know is that when the constitution says "Person" it is not referring to only citizens. The Constitution is referring to anyone in the United States in this sentence. There's different examples of when the Constitution does mention rights only given to citizens (Ie: No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens) but this is not one of them.

Another thing I want to show is the definition of liberty: "The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views" [2]

What is "due process of law"?

The right to due process of law is essentially the right to be treated fairly and have a fighting chance when facing legal action. The notion that defendants shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty is a basic rule in the US.

By denying a person the same due process of law, we're denying them the state of being free. The United States would be able to arrest and imprison any non-citizen accused of terrorism for as long as they'd like, thus taking away their liberty. If we take away their liberty, then that would contradict with the United States Constitution. To put it in a fairly simple form:

P1: The USA Constitution demands for non-citizens in the United States have liberty.

P2: Not granting non-citizens the same due process of law takes away their way of life and/or behavior.

C1: Not granting non-citizens the same due process of law violates the Constitution.

C2: Non-citizens in the US are to be given the same due process of law.

With that being said, it is evident that the Constitution urges us to grant the same due process of law to non-citizens in the United States. To deny non-citizens these rights is a contravention, which by definition is un-constitutional. (Definition of un-constitutional is: "not allowed bythe constitution of a country or government")[3]

(B) Fundamental Human Rights:

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights would also support giving non-citizens these rights, as it violates several rights in the declarasion. Some of these breaches include:

1. Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

2. Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

3. Article 10: Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination ofhis rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him. [4]

The declaration also says in the preamble:

"Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms"

The USA is part of the United Nations, meaning it cannot disregard these rights. We must guarantee the due process of law for non-citizens. [5]

I can't rebut Con's case until he makes it, so I'll end mine here. Until he erects any arguments and presents his rebuttals to mine, there is good reasons for giving non-citizens in the United States the same due process of law. I know bsh1 has a busy schedule this week so hopefully he procures the time to make an argument. Anyway, good luck to you Con.





Debate Round No. 1


Thanks to Fanath for a great debate! In this round, I shall be presenting my case.


The resolution requires that Pro uphold that non-citizens accused of terrorism receive the exact SAME rights as citizens. Therefore, I my duty is to show that the same rights ought not to be extended. However, I can still allow non-citizens to have some or many Constitutional due process protections, as long as I don't give them the "same" rights.

I propose that accused terrorists be brought before military tribunals in a timely fashion and without torture to determine guilt. This will prevent them from languishing in detention, while incarcerating those that are dangerous. I contend that the use of military commissions and post-conviction military prisons will maximize safety while preserving legitimacy.


CONTENTION ONE: Criminal Trials and Jails Jeopardize Public Wellbeing

Dr. Thomas Powers observes that, “Ordinary criminal courts are not designed…to provide the kind of security for witnesses, judges, and jurors required where terrorist attacks and reprisals are a concern.” Former US Attorney Michael Mukasey agrees, noting, “that the places of both trial and confinement for such defendants would become attractive targets for others intent on creating mayhem...” [1] Use of conventional courts would require that the prosecution disclose to the defense all documents to be presented at trial—risking an information leak. Prof. Ruth Wedgewood notes: “The 1980 Classified Information Procedures Act helped to handle classified secrets at trial, but doesn't permit closing the trial or the protection of equally sensitive unclassified operational information.” [2] According to Prof. Louis Klarevas: in criminal trials there is " not only the risk to the prosecution of revealing sources and methods, which is likely to be much greater than in an ordinary criminal trial, but also limitations imposed by criminal law on means of obtaining evidence. Means commonly employed overseas in covert operations, unauthorized wiretaps, for example, may render their fruits inadmissible in domestic criminal proceedings.”

John Pistole of the FBI notes that conventional prisons fails, stating that in “U.S. correctional facilities…Inmates are often ostracized, abandoned by, or isolated from their family and friends, leaving them susceptible to recruitment. Membership in the various radical groups offers protection, positions of influence, and a network they can correspond with both inside and outside of prison.” That is to say, conventional prisons encourage terrorist recruitment.

CONTENTION TWO: Military Detention Facilities Work

According to Clerk Tracey Gonzalez, “it’s simply impossible to put up defenses everywhere...against every conceivable terrorist threat. The only way to defend ourselves is to imprison the terrorists.” Prof. Matthew Morehouse states, detention of terrorists leads to fear of the possibility of arrest among other terrorists: “...detentions can assist states in combating their enemies through creating paranoia within the organization in the wake of an arrest.” According to Prof. Stephen David, “There are a limited number of people who have the technical ability to make bombs and plan attacks. If these people are eliminated, the ability to mount attacks is degraded...”

Ultimately, consider that when charismatic leaders are removed and effective isolated in military facilities, terrorist organizations are also impaired. Consider that the loss of an important, knowledgeable, and motivational leader can be a great detriment, in terms of leadership capacity and recruitment, to a terrorist organization.

CONTENTION THREE: Military Tribunals Work

According to Ashley Pope, JD, “trials before a military commission are the only option for detainees in custody that strikes a balance between the needs for legitimacy and detaining those too dangerous to release.” Assistant Attorney General Viet Dinh notes, “Trying terrorists before military commissions offers a number of practical advantages...Commissions enable the government to protect sensitive national-security information that would have to be disclosed publicly before an Article III court. Ordinary criminal trials would subject court personnel and other civilians to the threat of terrorist reprisals; the military is better suited to coping with these dangers.” [3] Military trials are also fair, according to Prof. Peter Shane, because “Obama amended military commission procedures to (1) prohibit the admission of statements obtained through cruel…treatment; (2) give detainees greater latitude in their choice of counsel; (3) afford protection for those defendants who refuse to testify; and (4) place the burden of justification for using hearsay on the party using it.”


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Thanks! I apologize if my case was a bit rushed/haphazard. I am a bit high right now...valium has that effect. And before anyone asks, lol, I am taking it because it was proscribed to me by my physician.


Due to complications "In real life" I won't be able to post an argument this round. The rules call for an automatic FF of the debate.

Sorry about this.
Debate Round No. 2


I thank Pro for posting in the round to inform me of his withdrawal, rather than simply letting the clock expire. Thanks, and I wish him well with whatever's going on IRL for him.


Random text to fill space.
Debate Round No. 3


Thanks Fanath for this opportunity! Please, VOTE CON.


I can't make any arguments due to forfeiting the round (from time) so yes, vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
No, it's fine :)

Please accept quickly within the next hour or two...b/c I won't be able to get online in a few days.
Posted by Fanath 2 years ago
Lol sorry for the confusion, it's my fault.
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
Gaaaaahhhh! Hold on...
Posted by Fanath 2 years ago
I'm still Con.
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
Fixed. Please accept soon.
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
Sure thing. Give me a second...
Posted by Fanath 2 years ago
Oh. Ugh, sorry my mistake. I'd love to change it then if you'd be okay with it...
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
Oh...I thought you agree to be "Pro on torture" as you put it, which would be Con on this topic.

If you want to be Pro, just confirm here. That's an easy fix.
Posted by Fanath 2 years ago
The quote below is taken from the comment you posted on my profile after I said I'd take devils advocate and go Pro on this subject.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Romanii 2 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.