The Instigator
Mak-zie
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
imabench
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points

Double Jeopardy

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
imabench
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/15/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 10,864 times Debate No: 22047
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

Mak-zie

Con

Double jeopardy: Double jeopardy refers to a person being tried again for the same offense after being acquitted. Double jeopardy is prohibited by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states: "…nor shall any person be subject for the same offence [sic] to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb…".

Basically, you cannot be tried twice for the same trial whether you are guilty or not.

In this debate, I will be debating why double jeopardy is bad, and the opponent will argue that is is good.

No sematics arguments.
First round acceptance only.

http://definitions.uslegal.com...
imabench

Pro

I accept this debate and will argue that Double Jeopardy is a good thing

Other than that,

Debate Round No. 1
Mak-zie

Con

Why Double Jeopardy is wrong:

Possibilities:
1. Corruption
Corruption is common. Someone could corrupt a bunch of people and put them on the jury, or corrupt a judge, and they could easily get away with their crime. Some will pay a lot of money to get out of the crime they had committed. They could also threaten the witnesses, and know exactly if they said what they demanded, as the accused watch their trial and watch witnesses testify.

2. Errors
There could have been some kind of technicality in the case they were in. The judges could have wrongly denied evidence or given a false summation to the jury. Law has it's flaws, it's never perfect, so anything could happen.

3. Evidence
They could find video cameras showing the deed being done, whatever that may be, or their fingerprints on the knife that killed the person, and they could even admit to being guilty and still be free.

Results:
1. Frees guilty
By allowing the double jeopardy rule, we are allowing, in some cases, people to "get away with it," as in, whatever they had done. You could argue that not all cases this happens, as a lot are innocent, but even if a few people were free after they had mass-murdered, then a lot of lives would be at stake.

2. Respect
The reason that (most of us) follow the law is because of our respect for it. Otherwise we wouldn't watch the speed limits, and things like that (but I'll admit, that's also due to the fines). But when convicts get off on a noticeable technicality, evading the punishments, it definitely shakes our confidence of the law, and puts more people to the impression that they can get away with their crimes.

Clarification: I'm not saying that double jeopardy should be completely abolished, as in some cases it is needed, but when there is an overwhelming amount of evidence against the accused after the trial, then exceptions need to be made.
Complications: While I'm sure there are MANY complications to this rule, I only want to name one. The sixth amendment of the U.S. guarantees the right to a "speedy public trial." While this is a good thing for both sides, it causes complications to double jeopardy. It makes it increasingly harder to come to a verdict fairly. It also creates less time for the prosecution to find evidence. The court usually makes exceptions for the defense, but it is always harder for the prosecution.

Additional Statements:
Double jeopardy is an ancient concept, and quite frankly, outdated. According to history, it started before A.D. (Going by "before Christ" and "after death." In 355 B.C. Demosthenes said that the "law forbids the same man to be tried twice on the same issue." It also survived the Dark Ages, Colonial Times, and now, where it is in effect in most countries today. For what reason? Do we still believe in prosecuting witches or that life springs up from recipes? No. A lot of things are different now, so we shouldn't practice old laws. Some are beneficial, some are not. Some just need modified, and like I've said before, Double Jeopardy is one of those.

Sources:
http://www.autrefoisacquit.info...
http://members.mobar.org...
http://www.doublejeopardyreform.org...
http://criminal.findlaw.com...
imabench

Pro

Possibility of corruption:
"Corruption is common. Someone could corrupt a bunch of people and put them on the jury"
Juries are picked at random and then decided by both sides and the judge, for an entire jury to be bribed they would all have to be paid off by the one on trial and everyone would have to accept the bribe for it to work.

"They could also threaten the witnesses, and know exactly if they said what they demanded, as the accused watch their trial and watch witnesses testify."
Well yeah but double Jeopardy doesnt cause that, that happens just because of the justice system itself not double jeopardy by itself, and this same thing goes for the earlier reference to corruption above.

Double Jeopardy is meant to prevent a very particular kind of corruption, that form the government and from big businesses. Back in Old England if the government or a business wanted to sue a person or try to convict a person of a crime, whether it was made up or not, the state and businesses had far more resources at their disposal to try to build a case against the one person with far less at his disposal. Now the double jeopardy rule comes into play when the first time around, the government or business does not get the result they wanted, so they do it AGAIN and AGAIN until they get the result they want over the same crime. This dirty tactic is a cheap way to dry the defendant dry of money and unable to afford a defense for the next trial and get them to plead guilty just by sucking them dry through repetition. Double Jeopardy forbids this cynical and cyclical cycle of the past where powerful entities would pick on average people by constantly suing them and brings justice to those individuals.

Errors:
"There could have been some kind of technicality in the case they were in. "
Technicalities do happen but if a person is guilty then one technicality could be overcome and justice would still prevail.

" The judges could have wrongly denied evidence or given a false summation to the jury"
Yes but both sides have the right to appeal a ruling to a higher court and have the case done again without violating the double jeopardy rule.

"Law has it's flaws, it's never perfect, so anything could happen."
I agree with this, however this is referencing all laws in general, not just pinning it all on double jeopardy

Evidence:
"They could find video cameras showing the deed being done, whatever that may be, or their fingerprints on the knife that killed the person, and they could even admit to being guilty and still be free."
If you have video of a person doing the crime and he gets off free then that is probably just sh*tty work by the lawyers, thats not the fault of double jeopardy.

Freeing a guilty person:
If a guilty person (in a rare circumstance) does get away, than three things can happen, 1) They pull some other crime and end up in jail sooner or later, 2) They consider themselves lucky and lie low from now on, meaning that the system did its job in a sense, or 3) Those who screwed up learn what they screwed up and be ready for it next time.

Respect / Less confidence in the system
The Pro argues that if people notice others getting off on a technicality, others may pull the same crime since they think they can get away with it. Lets take the Casey Anthony debacle, After that trial dived into infamy there wasnt a growing trend in child disappearences by parents, all that happened was widespread anger towards both the person who got away and the system, not just the system. When OJ was found not guilty there wasnt a trend in killing ex girlfriends because people now thought they could get away with it either.

Sometimes the justice system does screw the pooch, but when people see someone get away they dont try and become that person because they think they will get away with it, they only have some mroe disrespect for the system not working at 100% efficiency.

============================================================================

" I'm not saying that double jeopardy should be completely abolished"
Awesome!

"but when there is an overwhelming amount of evidence against the accused after the trial, then exceptions need to be made."
I see what is going on here, the Pro only wants to amend Double Jeopardy laws to say that
"No one shall be tried for the same crime twice........ Unless we really, really are sure they're guilty"
This though is impractical because 1) who gets to decide if someone is really really guilty? the prosecution? 2) after all the earlier arguemnts the Pro still wants to keep this in place, 3) The only argument for amending this law is to make it a fraction of 1% more efficient

"The sixth amendment of the U.S. guarantees the right to a "speedy public trial." While this is a good thing for both sides....... but it is always harder for the prosecution."
Right to a speedy trial comes from another classic tale of English judiciary injustice where the government would imprison criminals for years before putting them on trial to collect as much evidence against them as possible, which fringes on the human rights of the person in prison.

Double Jeopardy exists to prevent an age old trick to get normal civilians or people to end up or plead guilty by bleeding them financially dry through trial after trial to get what they want. The pro even feels that Double Jeopardy should be only amended, not thrown out, to nab those who could escape the system by allowing an exception to the rule if "they know they are guilty". But if its the prosecution that "knows" they are guilty then NOBODY would be exempt from a charge. People would never be able to sleep easy again if they could be charged for the same crime at anytime at the will of the state or the prosecution. If Double Jeopardy was amended in this way then the prosecution would be less inclined to gather and present all the evidence knowing they could always get a second, third, fourth, or fifth chance to try to get the verdict they want. Lastly the presumption of innocence in trials would be lost if prosecutors could sue away.
Debate Round No. 2
Mak-zie

Con

Rebuttals:
"Juries are picked at random and then decided by both sides and the judge, for an entire jury to be bribed they would all have to be paid off by the one on trial and everyone would have to accept the bribe for it to work."
No, sometimes it only takes one juror, three at the most, to acquit someone.
Acquittal: The deliverance and release of a person appearing before a court on a charge of crime, as by a finding of not guilty.

"Well yeah but double Jeopardy doesnt cause that (threatening witnesses)"
No, it doesn't but it's a contributing factor as to getting a convict off "scot-free," persay.

"Double Jeopardy is meant to prevent a very particular kind of corruption"
Yes, and and in some cases it does prevent the kind of corruption my opponent is talking about, but sometimes it creates even more, as I have said earlier.

"I agree with this (that laws have flaws) , however this is referencing all laws in general, not just pinning it all on double jeopardy"
I am not trying to pin everything on double jeopardy. I was merely making a general statement of how virtually anything could happen in the law, not just double jeopardy.

"If you have video of a person doing the crime and he gets off free then that is probably just sh*tty work by the lawyers, thats not the fault of double jeopardy."
Not if it had been found after the case. I'm not talking about like a store or street camera, as they would have easily found those, but a random pedestrian could have accidentally caught it on tape and didn't know they had it until after the case.

"Sometimes the justice system does screw the pooch, but when people see someone get away they dont try and become that person because they think they will get away with it, they only have some mroe disrespect for the system not working at 100% efficiency."
I was not saying that after the Casey Anthony case people started killing their daughters. I was not saying that they do EXACTLY what the criminals off free had done, but they it is more likely that they are more careless when it comes to the law. Nowhere in my argument did I even say that they disobeyed the law, much less kill their daughters. My words: But when convicts get off on a noticeable technicality, evading the punishments, it definitely shakes our confidence of the law, and puts more people to the impression that they can get away with their crimes.

"This though is impractical because 1) who gets to decide if someone is really really guilty? the prosecution? 2) after all the earlier arguemnts the Pro still wants to keep this in place, 3) The only argument for amending this law is to make it a fraction of 1% more efficient"
I think my opponent has misunderstood me here. I am trying to say if evidence or something were to come up following their trial, then double jeopardy should be dismissed. But only, and I repeat, only when there is savant evidence.

"Right to a speedy trial comes from another classic tale of English judiciary injustice where the government would imprison criminals for years before putting them on trial to collect as much evidence against them as possible, which fringes on the human rights of the person in prison."
I'm not saying the sixth amendment is bad, as I think it is quite good, but rather it simply complicates double jeopardy. I was trying to further point out how easy it is for a criminal to get off.

"If a guilty person (in a rare circumstance) does get away, than three things can happen..."
My opponent gives some good points here, and in some cases is more than likely to happen. BUT if a convict weasels out punishment once, who's to say they won't do it again? Once they get off the first time then they'll only get better and better at it, increasing the crime rate. (Option #4)

"People would never be able to sleep easy again if they could be charged for the same crime at anytime at the will of the state or the prosecution."
If they did not commit the crime then they have no reason not to sleep easy. If they did then they deserve it.

"Lastly the presumption of innocence in trials would be lost if prosecutors could sue away."
It would not be, because as I said before, only specific exceptions would be made when there are overwhelming amounts of evidence found.

Conclusions:
(Numbers do not indicate the importance)

1. My opponent had a bit of spelling mistakes such as "arguemnts," "mroe," and "disappearences."

2. My opponent has still left some of my arguments unrefuted.

3. My opponent has (currently) no sources, and not including my definition websites, I have seven.

Sources:
http://mpdtrainer.wordpress.com...
http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
http://webjcli.ncl.ac.uk...

Lastly, I'd like to cordially thank my opponent. This was actually a very fun debate.
imabench

Pro

Jury Bribery as a result of Double Jeopardy
It is possible for people on trial to bribe jurors and they do not need to bribe the entire jury to get free, but jury tampering when found can be easily fixed because if it is discovered that a jury has been compromised, the court can simply get another one. That was exactly the case when Al Capone was found to have bribed an entire jury while on trial for tax evasion. To fix the problem the Court simply got a new jury, Double Jeopardy had nothing to do with it, and there is a solution to jury tampering that does not involve putting a dangerous loophole into the legal system.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Double Jeopardy causes people to threaten witnesses
Con retracted this statement and remarked only by saying that it contributes to the already minuscule chance that a guilty man can get away.....

Double Jeopardy prevents a very prominent type of corruption
Con concedes this and then remarks by saying that it causes another, however the number of people who get off unscathed due to Double Jeopardy immunity compared to the thousands of people who used to suffer from constant lawsuits is very slanted towards the latter. Double Jeopardy eliminated a great evil and now slightly contributes to a smaller one, and the Pro thinks thats not enough.

All laws are slightly flawed, not just Double Jeopardy
Conceded by the Con

Damning evidence found after person is already found guilty.
"a random pedestrian could have accidentally caught it on tape and didn't know they had it until after the case. "
1) That almost never happens
2) We cant amend laws to include every possible scenario, otherwise they become so compromised that they are now meaningless. If damning evidence is found after someone is already pronounced innocent then thats just bad luck, not the fault of Double Jeopardy.

Shakes the confidence in the Justice system when one gets off
I did screw up on this one when responding to the Pro, my bad. But Double Jeopardy is not solely to blame for this happening, that is the fault of all codes of laws not being 100% effective.

Admitting evidence back into a trial after the trial is decided
" I am trying to say if evidence or something were to come up following their trial, then double jeopardy should be dismissed. But only, and I repeat, only when there is savant evidence."
They do that already though, mostly through DNA evidence and that is used to exonerate people serving long sentences for crimes they did not commit, not the other way around. If evidence could be admitted after a trial has concluded it would only take one very annoyed cop, lawyer, juror, neighbor, or relative to plant evidence or do something to try to frame a person already pronounced not guilty...

Right to a speedy trial vs Double Jeopardy
" I was trying to further point out how easy it is for a criminal to get off."
First of all, you can only get a speedy trial if you have a really good reason to get one, they dont just hand them out to everyone who asks. Second, these laws and rights arent puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly, there will be some cases where they do collide with one another and cause problems, but those kind of things are small, rare, and unavoidable.

The one who gets away would stay away from crime
"Once they get off the first time then they'll only get better and better at it, increasing the crime rate. (Option #4)"
Its not that easy Con, if someone is put on trial, suspiciously declared not guilty, and then started committing actions similar to the original crime, then they could be investigated and nabbed for the same TYPE of crime....

Threat of always being sued
"If they did not commit the crime then they have no reason not to sleep easy. If they did then they deserve it."
Its not about if they committed the crime or not though its about the hassle of having to hire a new defense team every time the prosecution gets 1 extra piece of evidence to use against them for a charge that might have been filed decades ago.

Presumption of innocence would be lost
" only specific exceptions would be made when there are overwhelming amounts of evidence found. "
How often do court cases occur where after a person was found not guilty a HUGE cache of evidence was found that would have otherwise sealed their fate? The answer is that such a thing rarely happens, and when it does it is rarely a landmark or popular case, Casey Anthony wouldnt even qualify for this since "Overwhelming" could mean that only something that 100% proves a person is guilty could only be admitted.

Conclusions:
1. My opponent had a bit of spelling mistakes such as "arguemnts," "mroe," and "disappearences."
Really? Youre actually going to argue that you should get spelling because I misspelled 3 words out of 1083 total? Thats like a 0.28% error rate....

If you honestly think I should lose spelling for that then fine, but then I want to ask for conduct because pointing out spelling mistakes is the DDO equivalent of a nut shot....

2. My opponent has still left some of my arguments unrefuted.
Which ones? I responded to all of them the only one i didnt bother addressing was your history reference from 355 BC since that wasnt even related to the debate.

3. My opponent has (currently) no sources, and not including my definition websites, I have seven.
Sorry that I like to focus more on my arguments then finding sources to give definitions that people on DDO are smart enough to know....

Ok all in all, even the Con thinks that Double Jeopardy should NOT be abolished after saying in the first round that "I will be debating why double jeopardy is bad". This whole debate is now over whether or not a good and just law like Double Jeopardy should be amended just because it is not perfect and not 100% effective. The Con has openly admitted that Double Jeopardy does not single handedly cause many of the problems seen in the justice system, that Double Jeopardy does prevent against a historical type of corruption, and that it should NOT be abolished...

Despite the nut shot I got I still would like to thank the Pro for this debate, it honestly feels good to debate seriously once again and over something that is actually interesting. I also would like to thank the voters for reading.


Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
Thanks, Imabench. Sorry, Mak-zie.
Posted by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
Con is a girl.......
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
The title, "Double Jeopardy" is not an assertion. So we don't know which side Con is on.

"I will be debating *why* double jeopardy is bad," [emphasis added] is no clue either.

During the debate, Con, the instigator of this debate, can't seem to decide which side he's on. So his actual arguments don't give much guidance to let us know what he is "Con" against. It's so bad that he confused his opponent, who sometimes calls him "Pro."

My theory is that Con sometimes thinks "double jeopardy" refers to being tried twice, and sometimes think it refers to the right not to be tried twice.

In any case: S&G to Pro.

Con says, "Double jeopardy is an ancient concept, and quite frankly, outdated," and, "I'm not saying that double jeopardy should be completely abolished." Regardless of which side he thinks he's on, he's close to conceding.

Pro dealt well enough with Con's arguments, and raised the big argument that Con couldn't overcome: If double jeopardy were allowed, someone the prosecutor didn't like would never be free of the threat of being tried again.

Persuasion to Pro.
Posted by Mak-zie 5 years ago
Mak-zie
"...not including my definition websites, I have seven."
-I must apologize, I accidentally counted one of my definition websites as one of my actual ones. I'll clarify: I have six sources, eight including my definition websites.
My apologies.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 5 years ago
1dustpelt
Mak-zieimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: lol Con argued the wrong side.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
Mak-zieimabenchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con didn't even argue her side! She said one thing argued another.... vote pro
Vote Placed by Mimshot 5 years ago
Mimshot
Mak-zieimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: con said: "I will be debating why double jeopardy is bad" and then argued why BANNING double jeopardy is bad. Pro took this in stride and made a reasonable case nonetheless. Pro explained the abuses of prosecutorial power the double jeopardy rule was designed to prevent and con never really rebutted them.
Vote Placed by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
Mak-zieimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.