In the United States, clients have the right to secretly have conversation with the attorney. Attorneys can plan things out and prepare their speech to prove the clients innocent. However, they should not lie to the public and prove the clients innocent, because attorney-client privilege is to help the attorneys. The oath of the court is to tell only the truth, and attorneys should not break this rule.
First, anything can happen if there are secrets. Truth-seeking needs true information about the clients, and secrets don"t help. These secrets include the conversations between the attorney and the client. The reason is that the client can tell the attorney the truth, and refuse to tell the truth to the public. The attorney can learn that the client is guilty of the crime, but they have to keep it secret from the public because of the attorney-client privilege. The attorney can give up the case after knowing the secret, but they cannot say why they give up the case to anyone, so nobody knows if the client is guilty. If truth-seeking privilege is not a higher priority than attorney-client privilege, clients can get away without anyone knowing if they are guilty.
Under our Constitution, the Fifth Amendment grants individuals the right to remain silent when accused. We don"t torture confessions out of people any longer. The Sixth Amendment grants people the right to a lawyer when accused of a crime. For lawyers to adequately represent someone and to give them good advice, they have to know what happened. The only reason an accused person is going to talk to the lawyer is because the accused knows that the lawyer won"t tell their secrets to someone else. Instead, they"ll listen and help that person know what to do. The lawyer is not a truth seeker. The accused is not a truth seeker. So let"s say a woman is accused of murdering her husband. She has the right to remain silent and she chooses to exercise that right. Courts can"t decide that people who remain silent are more likely to be guilty or might be hiding something. If they couldn"t, the right to remain silent wouldn"t be a right, it would be a trap. But she can talk to her lawyer. If she can"t, then it"s not much of a right. If the woman says she did it because her husband beat her up regularly, it might not be a defense to the charge, but it could be a mitigating factor and the lawyer will use the information to try and get a lesser sentence for the woman or the lawyer might use the information to go investigate the history of the couple. But for the attorney-client privilege, the lawyer would never have known about the couple"s history, because she wouldn"t talk if it meant the lawyer would have to immediately go to the police and report the terms of the conversation. But let"s make the scenario worse. Say the woman told the lawyer, "I killed him for the money when he was defenseless." The attorney-client privilege means that the lawyer can"t go to the police or tell the judge. But he also can"t put the woman on the stand and let her lie. He"s also restricted in what kind of arguments he can make. In other words, he can"t argue something he knows is untrue or let the woman get on the stand and lie when he knows it"s a lie. But he can remain silent and make the state prove its case. She"s innocent until proven guilty and we have "truth finders" in the role of judge and jury to decide what happened. As I said earlier, neither the defendant or the defendant"s lawyer is a truth finder. The attorney-client privilege lets a lawyer find out the facts so she can best represent her client.
There are exceptions and limitations to the attorney-client privilege. For example, if a client tells an attorney that the client plans to murder someone, the attorney is free to go to the police. It can be waived. So it is not without limitation. But those who have examined the issue since the early 1700s concur that its existence generally favors public policy. The attorney-client privilege aids justice by encouraging free communication between client and attorney. The argument against the privilege is that if a client tells the attorney something incriminating, the state could use that information to prove its case. But presumably, the communication would not take place absent the privilege. Thus, the attorney-client privilege does not
harm the truth-seeking process because it only keeps from the Court information that would not exist but for the privilege. I look forward to continuing our debate in Round 3 should you elect to do so.
Reasons for voting decision: Both argued well within the two short rounds. I'm awarding this one to Con because of Pro's forfeit. I wish Pro hadn't forfeited, I would very much like to have seen some rebuttals.
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