The Instigator
gowolves777
Pro (for)
Losing
20 Points
The Contender
Aietius
Con (against)
Winning
22 Points

In the United States, Plea Bargaining in Exchange for Testimony is Unjust.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/13/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,770 times Debate No: 3612
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (10)

 

gowolves777

Pro

Because this is my first debate I thought I would start with an older LD topicc. The debate will of course be in LD form.

I affirm that In the United States plea bargaining in exchange for testimony is unjust.

I will offer the following definitions to clarify the round-

Merriam Webster defines plea bargaining as the negotiation of an agreement between a prosecutor and a defendant whereby the defendant is permitted to plead guilty to reduced charge

Testimony is a solemn declaration usually made orally by a witness under oath in response to interrogation by a lawyer or authorized public official

The standard is Procedural Justice. First, the resolution asks if something is unjust and the only type of Justice that can be used for this resolution is Procedural Justice because it asks if a court procedure is just. Second, since the resolution is contextualized in the United States, we have to use a type of justice relevant to the U.S.. Court systems don't have time to evaluate case by case so a procedure must be used.

Harry J. Sapienza, University of South Carolina explains,
Research and theory suggest that procedural justice is valued by individuals for two main reasons (Lind & Tyler, 1988). First, procedural justice provides assurance that an individual's self-interest is protected over the long run. Fair procedures and treatment serve as an important sign of the decision maker's benevolence, honesty and neutrality (Lind, 1997). This process may be critical in board relationships, given that board members have diverse and often conflicting interests. Research suggests that when a particular decision is not in an individual's best self-interest, just procedures ensure the individual that, over time, he or she will receive what is due from the exchange relationship. Second, procedural justice is thought to be important to individuals because it affirms their status and value to the relationship, group or organization. This view is based on the assumption that people come to value and derive their identity from memberships in groups. Being treated with fairness, dignity, and respect are important to maintaining status in the group. Thus, the theory suggests that the personal relationship among board members will influence the flow of information and the way decisions are made. Sapienza gives two reasons why procedural justice is good. First, procedural justice protects individual's interests in the long run. Second, It affirms individuals their value to the relationship, group or organization.

My first contention is that plea bargaining in exchange for testimony is not procedurally just.

Subpoint A- Plea Bargaining in exchange for testimony incentivizes lying.
In hopes of getting a shorter prison sentence as a reward, criminals may falsely accuse an innocent person of being an accomplice. The incentive for lying is a shorter prison sentence, which is in no regards procedurally just. People who lie and commit severe crimes shouldn't be rewarded with shorter prison sentences while people who don't lie and commit misdemeanors receive longer sentences, thus showing that plea bargaining in exchange for testimony is not procedurally just.
. Cliffor s. Fishman, Professor of Law furthers; "Occasionally, however, a prosecutor might quite sincerely and reasonably, but incorrectly, believe certain "facts" to be true, and might make it clear to the accomplice that there will be no deal unless the accomplice incorporates those "facts" into his testimony. The risk is substantially greater that a supposed accomplice might falsely incriminate one or more defendants in order to have something to offer the prosecutor and thereby obtain a deal more generous than he deserves." By offering plea bargaining in exchange for testimony we are A. Convicting an innocent person and B. Giving the criminal a substantial decrease in his prison time. We are not abiding by a fair procedure which would give each his due. Instead we are convicting an innocent person, and thus plea bargaining is unjust.

Subpoint B- People May be Threatened to testify against themselves
In order to not get convicted, heinous criminals may threaten an innocent person, and force them to testify against themselves. Fishman, continues; "the witness is accepting sole responsibility for the crime because the defendant, or someone connected with him, has bribed or, more likely still, threatened, the witness or his family. Where there is evidence to support this possibility, the prosecutor will of course seek to offer it. For example, where a high-ranking member of a street gang is charged with a crime, a subordinate might falsely testify to his own guilt to exonerate the defendant, either out of loyalty or out of fear. In such a case, an expert witness on street gangs can testify that this is a common pattern among gang members." This also leads to faulty convictions and is not procedurally just because when lying to the jury the innocent person is changing the course of the conviction and in turn the conviction procedure, thus is not procedurally just.

Subpoint C- Plea bargaining in exchange for testimony increases crime.

Alexandra Natapoff Professor of Law Explains; "As the example demonstrates, Not only do informants' past crimes go unpunished, but authorities routinely tolerate the commission of new crimes—both authorized and unauthorized—as part of the cost of maintaining an active informant. The phenomenon is particularly troubling because it represents under-enforcement and tolerance of criminality in high-crime communities. Authorities may also indirectly ratify the interests of informants when those informants provide information selectively and in self-serving ways. This scenario is repeated over and over, both within the criminal system and in the community, creating dynamics of scale. Within the system, the effect is a shift in the adjudicatory process whereby police and prosecutors informally adjudicate the criminal liability of informants based primarily on expediency and investigative usefulness. Within the community, large numbers of criminals remain active who, due to their role as government informer, obtain some degree of immunity (and, arguably, arrogance) even as they continue their antisocial behavior." in exchange of giving evidence people are essentially allowed to commit crimes. This does not achieve procedural justice because the justice system is lenient on crimes committed by people who give evidence.

Because plea bargaining in exchange for testimony is unjust, I afffirm.
Aietius

Con

I'll start by presenting my case, then going over standards, and finish up with a point-by-point rebuttal of my opponent's case.

Before I present my case, I'd like to present the following overview:

Plea bargaining is a tool used by prosecutors to expedite and ensure the fair proceeding of justice. As a tool, it can not be a "just" or "unjust" entity, in the same way that hammer is not a "just" or "unjust" entity. It is something we use, and unless my opponent can adequately demonstrate why plea bargaining is not a tool, it is impossible for the resolution to be correct.

I negate the resolution, resolved: In the United States, plea-bargaining in exchange for testimony is unjust. Because the resolution questions whether a certain practice is just or unjust, the most appropriate value for the round is Justice, defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as the quality of being just, impartial, or fair. It is the burden of the United States legal system to decide the fate of the accused. In order for legal system rulings to be conducted in the most fair and appropriate manner, they must be able to properly provide an accurate sentence to the accused parties by using a system that allows all facts and information to be rightfully considered. The court must deal with the accused in an objective manner. In all of these goals, the system's underlying goal is protecting rights. As such, the best value criterion for the round is the protection of rights.

My first contention argues that plea bargaining ensures that the legal system can handle all the cases it is presented. The Oxford Companion to American Law states that

"Most criminal cases are not resolved by a jury trial, or by a trial of any kind. Instead, in about 90 percent of criminal cases, the defendant waives trial and pleads guilty. Some defendants, wishing to take responsibility for their criminal conduct, plead guilty without any prompting from judges or prosecutors."

As such, the process of plea-bargaining provides a way to successfully and realistically deal with many cases in a short amount of time, which allows those who wish to accept their guilt and find a suitable punishment to their crime to be quickly be dealt with. This provides an expedited way of dealing with criminals, and allows the legal system to have the capacity to allow those who desire a trial by judge or jury to claim their right to a fair and speedy trial. Chief Justice Warren Burger, delivering the majority opinion in Santobello v. New York, agrees:

"'Plea bargaining' is an essential component of the administration of justice. Properly administered, it is to be encouraged. If every criminal charge were subjected to a full-scale trial, the States and the Federal Government would need to multiply by on a great order of magnitude the number of judges and court facilities."

Therefore, plea bargaining ensures that the justice system is able to handle the thousands of cases it is given each year. Without plea bargaining, the justice system would collapse under its own weight trying to organize a trial for each and every case. Our right to trial would become a mandate to have to go to trial, and it would cease to be a right anymore. In this manner, rights would not be protected and the criterion would not be achieved. Abolishing plea bargaining would not achieve our value of Justice.

My second contention is that trials are not always in the best interest of justice. Thomas W. Church elaborates in an article in the Law and Society Review, where he states that:

"Trials do involve a risk that the factually innocent defendant may be found legally guilty. Legal innocence is merely an attorney's prediction prior to a trial. And the most competent attorney can err in predicting success on the basis of procedural defenses such as exclusion of incriminating evidence, or entrapment, alibi witnesses, and the like. If most defendants did not face a very real chance of conviction at trial, all incentive to bargain would be eliminated, and with it this critique of plea bargaining."

Although trials can give a defendant, especially an innocent one, the chance to be considered fully innocent, that is not always the outcome. The denotations of trial are also deterrents for an individual to go to trial. Trial represents an arena in which the accused is demonized and vilified as a law-breaker, a morally corrupt individual who deserves incarceration or even death. Even if the accused is innocent, trial is not always a preferable option. Because going to trial means that the defendant must endure the attacks by the prosecutor and other witnesses, plea-bargaining provides a more fair, and comfortable alternative to those who choose that path. For example, consider an innocent person who knows that all evidence is against them. To proceed with trial would mean that they would have to be berated, embarrassed, and dehumanized by a prosecutor in front of the public eye. Because they are innocent, it would be unjust for them to face the full punishment of the law, but since trial would provide a definite and harsh conviction, plea-bargaining could give a more just sentence.

The argument of the negative, then, can be summarized easily. Plea bargaining
promotes and protects the rights of all in two ways: 1) Plea bargaining makes it possible for the 10% of cases that should go to trial and ensures that the judicial system does not collapse under its own weight, and 2) Plea bargaining ensures that the right to trial remains a right, not a mandate. It also provides an option to innocents who would otherwise be punished unfairly for exercising their right to go to trial.

For these reasons, I urge a Negative ballot.

I'll now go over standards and then move to my opponent's argument.

My opponent presents the best standard for the round as Procedural Justice. Not only is this similar my value of Justice, but it is in fact even more closely related to my value criterion of the protection of rights, because that is what the purpose of proper judicial procedure is. In fact, in my rebuttal I will go on to show you why his standard of procedural justice helps my case in a very significant way. I would like to point out that my opponent presents no criterion for us to determine when we've acheived the value of Procedural Justice. I do offer that standard, and that standard is the protection of rights. Even if my opponent disagrees with this, since he didn't present his own we'll have to look to mine. Therefore, if in my case I can show how we protect rights more through plea bargaining than we harm rights, the resolution is untrue.

My opponent's first and only contention (plea bargaining in exchange for testimony is not procedurally just) is based on three subpoints, which I will adress in order.

Sub-point A: My opponent argues that plea bargaining incentivizes lying by giving individuals rewards in exchange for testimony. I have two responses to this:

1) There are many checks in place which prevent false testimony from being accepted in court as evidence. Judges often reject plea bargains if they feel it was in any way coerced or the testimony given is faulty. In the 2001 case involving terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, a federal judge rejected him. Furthermore, taken from the Federal Rules of Criminal Sentencing:

"a)INSURING THAT THE PLEA IS VOLUNTARY. The court shall not
accept a plea of guilty or nolo contendere without first, by ad-
dressing the defendant personally in open court, determining that
the plea is voluntary and not the result of force or threats or of
promises apart from a plea agreement. The court shall also in-
quire as to whether the defendant's willingness to plead guilty or
nolo contendere results from prior discussions between the attor-
ney for the government and the defendant or the defendant's at-
torney."

I'm out of space so I'll finish the rebuttal in a comment.
Debate Round No. 1
gowolves777

Pro

I'll start with standards go down the con case and then respond to his arguments on mine.
In his response to my standard he says I didn't present a criterion. However LD rules do not state that a criterion has to be used. I am setting up a standard that is very weighable in the round. He tells you he'll link it back to his case but he never does. Under the standard you extend the Sapienza analysis. Sapienza is saying that procedural justice protects individual's interests in the long run. It also affirms individuals their value to the relationship, group or organization. This argument is important to the round because it is showing that by using procedural justice we are benefiting individuals and the society. Second, extend the two analytical points of analysis. Point 1- My first point under the standard is that the resolution asks if something is unjust and the only type of Justice that can be used for this resolution is Procedural Justice because it asks if a court procedure is just. This argument is important because for a court procedure to be just we must strive for procedural justice. Point 2- My second point under the standard is saying that since the resolution is contextualized in the United States, we have to use a type of justice relevant to the U.S. Court systems don't have time to evaluate case by case so a procedure must be used. This argument is important because it is showing that since we are talking about the United States we must have a value beneficial to the United States. The only response he gives is that it is similar to his value but gives no reason why. Thus, my analysis is used in the round.
Let's move on to the con case- First look to his resolutional kritik. It is a few lines long and is a blunt assumption. Don't let him get away with this. He makes a short statement and then goes through the round assuming the resolution is correct….a clear contradiction. Contention One- His main warrant for this argument is the Companion to American Law analysis. However this has one main flaw, it is non- topical. The resolution is specific to Plea Bargaining for Testimony whereas his evidence is relating to plea bargaining in general. As the affirmative I can say that plea bargaining is just but plea bargaining for testimony isn't and still win the round. Contention Two- This contention rests on the Law and Society Review Warrant. However, this warrant is not Plea Bargaining for testimony specific. As stated in my case, testimony's can also be unfairly influenced through threats.
Pro Case- To my first sub-point he makes one response; checks and balances exist. However, judges can be just as coerced into accepting an unjust testimony.
Overview- The rest of his arguments against my con case is published in the comment section. This is unfair to me as a debater. Let me provide an example: In high school LD debate, a time limit is providing. Exceeding this time limit is not accepted. Similarly to this, there is a character limit on Debate.org. Exceeding this limit is not allowed. If an unlimited amount of space could be used, I could write a book prior to challenging and post it through multiple comments. In three days, my opponent could not respond to all of my arguments throughout this hypothetical book. For the reasons above, I urge all voters not to look at anything he tells you through the comment section. Fairness is the most important thing when debating.
Thus since, my opponent didn't respond to any of my arguments, I will now extend them.
Subpoint A- Plea Bargaining in exchange for testimony incentivizes lying.
Plea bargaining in exchange for testimony incentivizes lying. In hopes of getting a shorter prison sentence as a reward, criminals falsely accuse an innocent person of being an accomplice. The incentive for lying is a shorter prison sentence, People who lie and commit severe crimes shouldn't be rewarded with shorter prison sentences while people who don't lie and commit misdemeanors receive longer sentences. The impact of using procedural justice in this case is inequality.
Subpoint B- People May be Threatened to testify against themselves. In order to not get convicted, heinous criminals may threaten an innocent person, and force them to testify against themselves. This will lead to faulty convictions flawing the court systems.
Subpoint C- Plea bargaining in exchange for testimony increases crime. This argument is saying that plea bargaining in exchange for testimony increases crime. By giving evidence criminals are given preferential treatment and are allowed into the society to commit crime. As a result we are increasing crime rate and allowing injustice to innocent people.

For these reasons I urge you to vote Pro. My opponent has failed to respond to any of my arguments and all of them have been extended, impacted, and warranted.
Aietius

Con

ahahahahahaha, Mr. Gowolves777, you are too funny. Forgive my brief ad hominem attacks, I know they're base and low-class, but you're the kind of debater I used to face back in novice, the guy who thought that since he knew the theory he knew how to debate. Address my arguments, please. In my rebuttal I hope to show how the affirmative position is trying to blind the judges with semantic and pointless trivialities that sound astute but are, in fact, non-topical pieces of fluff. Furthermore, I will show how his rebuttal, while seemingly sharp and technical, is in fact lazy.

I'll just go down my opponent's case point by point.

Wolves argues that no criterion is required, that his value is very weighable in the round. This is, of course, a spurious claim: the value criterion exists so that we have a brightline to determine when the value is reached. Procedural Justice is a fine value, but how do we know when we've acheived it? We need a criterion, like the protection of rights, that demonstrates that when rights are protected, Procedural Justice is upheld. Even if we accept his argument that no value criterion is required, let's look at his case.

My opponent states that I dropped his first two points of topical analysis, and I accept that. He then tries to explain why they are significant, and it is with this that I have issue. To quote my opponent:

"My first point under the standard is that the resolution asks if something is unjust and the only type of Justice that can be used for this resolution is Procedural Justice because it asks if a court procedure is just. This argument is important because for a court procedure to be just we must strive for procedural justice."

This is circular reasoning, baseless and semantic logic that does nothing to further either case. He then continues to point out why his second point of topical analysis is significant:

"My second point under the standard is saying that since the resolution is contextualized in the United States, we have to use a type of justice relevant to the U.S. Court systems don't have time to evaluate case by case so a procedure must be used. This argument is important because it is showing that since we are talking about the United States we must have a value beneficial to the United States."

Again, semantic fluff. I accept that this debate is centered in the United States, I made no point to contest this. He tries to point out its significance: don't buy it.

My opponent attacks my kritik by alleging that it's a blunt assumption. Just to recap, my kritik is that plea bargaining is a tool used by prosecutors to convict criminals, and as such, in the same way that we don't judge the hammer to be just or unjust if it's used wrongly, we shouldn't judge plea bargaining in this manner. My opponent claims that you shouldn't let me get away with it, but then doesn't explain why. He then points out that it's a clear contradiction to the rest of my case. Perhaps he doesn't understand that it's just an overview, a point that it's his job to address, removed from the rest of my case but still part of the negative position.

I'd just like to point out that in his rebuttal of my two contentions, Wolves claims that the arguments are based on the evidence I give, and this is not true. The arguments, which are that the judicial system would collapse without plea bargaining and then also that the alternative to plea bargaining, the trial, does not always promote justice, stand on their own and I provide long justifications to the claims. Gowolves is trying to lead you astray, don't fall for it.

Gowolves responds to my first contention by claiming that it's non-topical because my evidence supposedly relates to plea bargaining in general while the resolution is in fact about plea bargaining in exchange for testimony. However, I'd just like to point out that if I plead guilty, I am waiving my Fifth Amendment right to not testify against my self. To put it more clearly, guilty pleas are in essence testimonies. All plea bargaining involves testimony, be it against another individual or concerning ones self. After all, my opponent defines testimony as "a solemn declaration usually made orally by a witness under oath in response to interrogation by a lawyer or authorized public official," and guilty pleas are always made formally, in court, under oath, through questions given by the judge. Not only that, but judges don't just accept guilty pleas without evidence that it's a valid plea. Questions are asked and the individual is interrogated. In the past pleas, of guilt have been rejected because of faulty testimony. Furthermore, his response is a mere three sentences, with no analysis of the argument, just a cursory claim of non-topicality. Don't let him get away with the lazy accusations without warranting any of his statements.

Wolves responds to my second contention by saying again that it is non-topical. And again he provides no evidence, no warrants, just the singular statement that we're supposed to take at face value. And like I said, all plea bargains entail a certain amount of testimony, be it against another individual or against ones self.

My opponent does not respond in any way to my argument that trials do not necessarily uphold justice. Often, innocent individuals find the evidence stacked against them; they face a certain conviction of guilt if they go to trial. For these individuals, the plea bargain is a necessary option that would protect them from drastically unjust punishment. Furthermore, my opponent does not address my argument that for the Sixth Amendment right to trial to even BE a right, individuals must have the choice to waive it. Imagine if instead of given the CHOICE to bear arms, we were FORCED to bear arms. It would stop being a right, and instead become a mandate. In order to ensure the proper procedure of justice, which is my opponent's value, we must protect the Sixth Amendment right to trial by keeping it from becoming a mandate. The fact that my opponent fails to address this is significant for those reasons.

I will now move to my opponent's defense of his case. Before I even go point-by-point, I'd like to address something significant: he claims that my rebuttals that did not fit into the space allotted should be disregarded, because they exceeded the word limit. He presents an outrageous example that he could "write a book" as a response to an argument and so therefore it's unfair to exceed the limit. This is not true for several reasons:

1) 8000 characters is not enough for the negative to both present a case and also respond to the affirmative's case. The average affirmative case is about 10000 characters. The average negative is about 6000. If we are to truly do this in LD format, we should adjust the character limits to reflect the length of both the cases and also of the rebuttals. The 1NC is a notoriously long speech, and it is preceded by 3 minutes of cross-ex and it ends with 3-minutes of cross-ex. In the interest of making this as true to LD format as possible, I made a rebuttal that would reflect the long response.

2) Other debaters go over the word limit often; it has become a widely accepted action here on debate.org. I wrote my responses based on the precedence set by other debaters.

3) My opponent is discounting my rebuttals simply because he has no response to them. This is something that we should not let him get away with. If he truly had responses he would just put them in the comments, too.

The only rebuttal that I was able to fit in the 8000 letter response was an argument against his first contention, which said that plea bargaining is liable for abuse. My argument was that there already exist many checks against this, and I offered several examples of instances where plea bargains were rejected because they were found to be coerced or faked.

Crap, out of room, I'll finish as a comment.
Debate Round No. 2
gowolves777

Pro

Reextend all three justifications for my standard. By cross applying the warrants given earlier, you see that my standard is very weighable and can help determine the round. My opponent conceded that he dropped these justifications thus we use my standar in the round. As I have clearly won the standards debate if I can link any of my subpoints back, I would win the round. He realized that my standard was to be accepted but still didn't show why his arguments link back. Don't accept any new analysis in the next round.

Because all of my opponents arguments have been dissproved (They don't link to Procedural Justice) this round comes down to whether or not my opponent was justified in refuting my arguments in the comment section. He gave three reasons why he is justified in doing this and now I will refute these reasons.

1) He gives all of this analysis about average lengths for specific round in LD Debate. This is a complete assumption and is completely made up. Because this argument relies on false information, you should not even look to it.

2)Following others clearly reflects your ability to make decisions. You can't make your own choices so you follow other peoples choices. This does not make you intelligent at all and has a very negative effect on your reputation.

3)I make my own decisions, therefore, I decided to be fair and follow the requirements. As far as you saying I have no response...complete assumption unless you have the ability to read my mind.

In my opponents last rebuttal, he disregarded the rules even more and posted in the comment section. I ask the voters to not buy any of this. I have clearly extended all three of my subpoints and have linked it back to my standard. Therefore, in this round, I urge a decision for the PRO.
Aietius

Con

This debate is a joke. My opponent makes sweeping statements that are blatantly false, refuses to responds to my extended responses, and then doesn't even respond to my rebuttals that DO fit in the 8000 character limit.

My opponent's third speech also did not address any of what I said in my second speech, both the extended part and the part that fit. He dropped all of my contentions and also dropped my responses to his arguments. Not once in the course of this debate has my opponent provided any warrants for any of his claims, while I've been sure to produce evidence and examples that support what I'm saying.

So in his third speech he states that we should extend his justifications for the standard of Procedural Justice. This is fine, we've accepted that a long time ago. He then claims that all of my arguments have been disproved, because they don't link to procedural justice. This is untrue. In fact, I can quote directly from my case an instance where I provided an explicit link:

"Finally, my contention that plea bargaining ensures that the judicial system can continue to operate fully supports my opponent's value of procedural justice because without plea bargaining, proper procedure would be impossible."

GoWolves claims that we should disregard my entire case because part of it was posted in the comments section. I have a number of things to say to that:

1) Extending arguments into the comments section is a common practice on this website, a practice that I've seen and a practice that I felt was fine. If someone has more arguments to make, then by all means make them. My opponent attacks this logic by saying that this simply demonstrates my inability to make my own choices, that me coming up with a multitude of responses harms my reputation. Great, now respond to my arguments instead of making personal attacks.

2) My opponent has made no effort to address any of the responses, which reflects an inability to respond to the arguments presented. He's spent most of his time making these spurious claims that we should extend all of his case and ignore mine. Maybe next time you should actually address the arguments.

3) Even if we disregard what was said in the comments section, which we shouldn't, Mr. GoWolves didn't even respond to the arguments I made in my 2nd speech, anyway!

He drops my responses to his rebuttals, which means he pretty much accepts that the contentions are valid. He drops my link to the standard of procedural justice. He dropped my resolutional kritik. I don't even have much to say in this speech because of everything that he dropped. We can extend all of my contentions, as well as their impact to the value. For the purpose of clarity, I'll just restate what they were:

1) Plea Bargaining is so prevalent in the justice system that without it, judicial procedure would break down. Since 90% of all cases are resolved through plea bargains, the other 10% of cases that warrant court procedures can go through. Without plea bargaining, all 100% of cases would have to go through, and this would be impossible, as evidenced through my Chief Justice Warren Burger Card. Obviously, by upholding plea bargaining we defend the procedure of justice, which is the standard for the round.

2) Trials do not uphold justice, which is the purpose of judicial procedure. Therefore, if all cases went to trial than procedural justice would not necessarily be upheld. Trials vilify and demonize the accused, even if he or she is innocent. They make the deliberating process part of the punishment, which is obviously unjust for an innocent.

3) The Sixth Amendment Right to trial would not be a right if we were forced to go to trial in every case. Imagine if the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms was instead a MANDATE to bear arms. In order to uphold the proper procedure of our constitutional rights, we must guarantee options to not go to trial. Obviously, by negating the resolution we would uphold the standard of procedural justice.

Please don't allow my opponent to respond to my contentions after dropping all of them in his 3rd speech.

My opponent also does not respond to my kritik after I rebut the statements made in his second speech. This is significant because it inherently shows that the resolution cannot be affirmed. If he doesn't respond to it, he forfeits the round. His silence on the matter implies acceptance of the argument, and as such we must negate. I'll just briefly go over the kritik again:

Plea bargaining is a tool, like a hammer or a pencil. Prosecutors and defense attorneys use tools like plea bargaining to ensure the proper procedure of justice. As such, in the same way that we wouldn't and can't judge a hammer to be just or unjust, we cannot judge a tool like plea bargaining to be just or unjust. The fact that my opponent fails to respond to this means that he has forfeited the round by accepting the affirmative position is false.

Please, just understand that because my opponent did not address my rebuttals to his arguments, my rebuttals to his response to my arguments, or my resolutional kritik, he has in essence conceded the round. He spent his entire 3rd speech doing two things:

1) Claiming that we shouldn't accept what was said in my comments

2) Claiming that I dropped all of his arguments.

If you were flowing you would see that this is not true, but since you're not I just ask that you briefly review my 1st and 2nd speeches, which will show you that I didn't drop any of his arguments, and the only thing that you can argue that I DID drop is his topical analysis, because I accept that the standard of procedural justice is fine for this round.

The fact that his 3rd speech didn't rebut anything just affirms my own suspicion that he has no response to any of my arguments. Don't let him get away with abuse of accusations that I "dropped" this or that, when in reality he dropped everything in his 3rd speech. Also do not let him get away with responding to my arguments in his 4th speech when he already dropped and thusly accepted them!
Debate Round No. 3
gowolves777

Pro

First of all, I would like to thank my opponent for this debate. I will now go ahead and address the standard debate.

My opponent CONCEDED that my standard is to be used in this round. I then said none of his arguments link to my standard and therefore I win the round. In response to this my opponent said,""Finally, my contention that plea bargaining ensures that the judicial system can continue to operate fully supports my opponent's value of procedural justice because without plea bargaining, proper procedure would be impossible." However throughout my constructive speech I pointed out that plea bargaining for testimony is a flawed procedure because incentivizes lying, causes people to testify against themselves, and increases crime. This means that plea bargaining in exchange for testimony is flawed and doesn't maintain procedural justice. To reitterate, I have clearly won the standards debate. None of my opponents arguments link to my standard. Therefore my opponent has no offense in the round and you CANNOT vote for him in the round.

I would also like to point out that in his first rebuttal my opponent didn't resond to any of my arguments. These are clearly weighed and link to my standard. Therefore, Subpoints A,B, AND C, become voting issues and I win this round.

Moving on to the main issue: whether on not posting in the comment space is appropriate. He makes three arguments.

1)I'm not attacking you just saying certain precedents aren't always the best to be followed.

2)I responded to his arguments in the space alloted whereas he went on to the comments section.

3) I responded to your whole case in the first rebuttal whereas you posted in the comments section which is equivilant to cold dropping my AC.

I honestly don't care that you think I don't have response because I do. I wanted a fair debate and your actions caused it no to be. YOU COMPLETELY DROPPED MY AC AND I HAVE WEIGHED/ LINKED MANY TIMES. Even if you win every argument it doesn't matter because I have showed why your not creating procedural justice. Half of your rebuttals were in the comment section and this is unfair. I win this round on every aspect, fairness, argumentation, refutation. My arguments have ALL been extended and linked back whereas none of his arguments have. For these reasons, I URGE A VOTE FOR THE PRO.

Before I finish I have a couple statements for the judges:

1. No new arguments in his next rebuttal.
2. Please vote on debating rather than opinion.
3. Fairness is ESSENTIAL.
4. My standard is used in this round.
5. Since, my opponent didn't respond to these in his first rebuttal extend Subpoint A,B,C.
6. All my analysis is weighed back to themy standard.
7. My opponent has done no weighing back to my standard, don't let him get away with this in his next rebuttal.
8. Thank You
Aietius

Con

Interesting debate, I guess. The fact that my opponent refuses to respond to my extended arguments, and also his repeated claims that I dropped his argument make this debate a joke in my eyes. We didn't spend enough time debating the topic, only nitpicky details. Despite my misgivings with the debate, I'm confident that I won. Here's why:

1) My opponent made no effort to respond to my resolution kritik. For the purpose of clarity I'll briefly restate it here:

Plea Bargaining is a tool. In the same way that we would not judge a hammer to be just or unjust, plea bargaining has no moral agency and as such can't be just or unjust. Therefore we must vote Con.

2) I successfully demonstrated the checks against false testimony.
3) I showed how the judicial system rests on plea bargaining. Plea bargaining resolves 95% of all cases that go into the judicial system, which makes it possible for the remaining 5% to go on to court. Like I stated multiple times in my various responses, without Plea Bargaining the judicial system would collapse, and as such Plea Bargaining protects judicial procedure.
4) I provided a clear link between my main contention and the standard for the round.
5) I successfully rebutted all three subpoints made by my opponent, and as such countered his only contention. My opponent made no effort to respond to any of my rebuttals.
6) My opponent provided no evidence or warrants for any of his contentions. He made statements and did not back any of them up with justifications.

Now, we should also consider whether or not the arguments I made in the comments section should be accepted. I will re-represent my reasons for taking these into account:

1) It's a common practice on debate.org. I was simply following precedence.
2) Judge based on the content of the rounds and the arguments used, not the trivialities of the limitations of the site.
3) My opponent is only saying we should disregard what was said because he has no response to my arguments. It's a cheap, underhanded trick. If he truly had responses to the cases made, he could have made them himself.
4) My opponent makes it seem like I was abusing the system and was using the comment section for my own advantage. The fact is that he could use the comment section, as well. I had no advantage.

Ultimately, my opponent repeatedly made erroneous claims that never had any basis in the reality of the debate. I've tried my best to debate the arguments, not the trivial semantic bullshit, but he pulled it into the argument every time.

Just remember, he conceded my resolutional kritik and my arguments made in the comments. I made clear links between my arguments (that he failed to successfully respond to) and the standard for the round, despite his arguments to the contrary.

Please, for the love of god, don't let him get away with this bullshit. Vote Neg.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Pluto2493 8 years ago
Pluto2493
Marina, calm yourself down. No need for name calling. It is quite childish.
Posted by MarinaG 8 years ago
MarinaG
OH MY GOLLY GOSH GAWD!

Wolves, you are the biggest dooooche ever.

Any good debater would know that you judge your opponent based on their ideas and the content of their responses. It is NEVER worth arguing over petty things, bringing up that the round seems unfair because it is not in your favor, or making FALSE claims about the validity of your opponent's case.

Maybe if you had actually FLOWED you would see that you were never winning from the start. Your case is sh*t, you have NO standard of weighing, you never impact in any of your AR's, and you dropped your opponent's overview as well as most of the CONTENT of his contentions.

You do not win a debate by trying to stick in debate jargon that you just learned into your rebuttals, or by being rude to your opponent.

Next time, don't drop your opponent's case in your AR's, and don't try to argue that because you agreed on the value of justice (which comes in different forms) you won. You lost automatically based on three issues: You had a very very weak AC, you didn't respond to your opponent's overview or points in your AR's... and therefore your AC was dropped and your opponent's points were mostly extended, and you had no weighing mechanism in a case that required one. Content wise, your debate was sorely lacking as well.

Finally Wolves, I am utterly confused as to how you were able to get three votes in your favor. Did you perhaps ask your friends in real life to vote for you just because?

Aietius, you were a very solid debater. I had a great time reading your ideas. Good case, good points, good job! I wish you didn't worry about responding to Wolve's assertion that you cheated by commenting. It wasn't worth it.
Posted by Aietius 8 years ago
Aietius
hehe, lots of typos and errors in my last speech, but no matter. I hope people know what I meant >.<
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
I have certain comments to make about this debate, but I'll wait until it's finished.
Posted by Aietius 8 years ago
Aietius
This is a continuation of my Round 2 response:

I'll quote the last thing I said for the sake of clarity:

My argument was that there already exist many checks against this, and I offered several examples of instances where plea bargains were rejected because they were found to be coerced or faked. His response to this was only one sentence, in which he claimed that judges can be lead astray. I have two responses to this:

1) That's a criticism of the judge, not a reason that plea bargaining is bad.

2) The reason we hire judges is because they AREN'T corrupt.

My opponent fails to address any of the arguments that I made in the comments. Just to recap, they are:

1) Just because something is liable to abuse does not make it unjust

2) Even if we accept that prosecutor's reward testimony for lesser sentences, sometimes this is necessary to get the big fish. It is worth it, in my mind, to let the little pot-smoker back out into the streets to get the evidence needed to convict a major drug-pusher.

3) His second sub-point, which is that people may be threatened to testify against themselves. I point out that this is a non-unique harm to plea bargaining and as such is not a reason we should abolish it.

4) My opponent argues that plea bargaining somehow increases crime by allowing informants to commit crimes. However, this is a spurious connection between plea bargaining and the informant system. Because none of the evidence given by underground informants is ever formally given in a public court, it can not be considered testimony, making it non-topical to the resolution.

As you can see, I had all of my arguments fully laid out, and I simply used the comment space to finish up because it seemed to be a common practice here on debate.org. My opponent chooses not to address it simply because he has no response to the rebuttals, and we should not let him get away with it. Thank you =D
Posted by Aietius 8 years ago
Aietius
Conclusion: As you can see, my opponent's only contention is based on three very shaky subpoints, and it cannot stand without their support. The only valid sub-point is the first one, which I gave three responses to. The second subpoint presents non-unique harms that are not caused by plea barganing, and the third subpoint is non-topical.

Finally, my contention that plea bargaining ensures that the judicial system can continue to operate fully supports my opponent's value of procedural justice because without lpea bargaining, proper procedure would be impossible.

For all these reasons, I urge you to negate.
Posted by Aietius 8 years ago
Aietius
Following my first response to my opponent's Sub-Point A:

2) Just because something is liable to abuse does not make it unjust, as Timothy Sandefur writes:

"Plea bargaining, like all government activities, is liable to abuse. Yet the mere fact that a process can be abused does not necessarily make that process unconstitutional, or immoral. Plea bargaining is rife with unfair prosecutorial tactics, and it needs reform. But the process itself is not unconstitutional or unjust, nor does it violate a defendant's rights."

Policemen often act in very corrupt ways, accepting bribes and looking the other way. However, this does not mean that we should abolish policemen, since they serve an important purpose to uphold justice.

3) Even if we accept that prosecutor's reward testimony for lesser sentences, sometimes this is necessary to get the big fish. It is worth it, in my mind, to let the little pot-smoker back out into the streets to get the evidence needed to convict a major drug-pusher.

Subpoint B: My opponent argues that people might be threatened to testify against themselves. My only response to this is that it is an argument that is non-unique to plea bargaining. The threatening of witnesses would happen with or without the plea bargain, and in fact the plea bargain gives witnesses an incentive to testify DESPITE the threats given by criminals! As such, my opponent's second sub-point works against him and we can turn this argument.

Subpoint C: My opponent argues that plea bargaining somehow increases crime by allowing informants to commit crimes. However, my opponent draws a spurious connection between plea bargaining and the informant system. Because none of the evidence given by underground informants is ever formally given in a public court, it can not be considered testimony, making it non-topical to the resolution: In the United States, plea bargaining in exchange for testimony is unjust.

Out of space >.<
Posted by Johnicle 8 years ago
Johnicle
oh my goodness... i just clicked that i would and then his name pops up... dang it... oh well, good luck
Posted by Aietius 8 years ago
Aietius
Oh, f*ck, Four rounds? I really should check these things before I accept them. Ah well, this was a fun topic.
Posted by Johnicle 8 years ago
Johnicle
I might take this, I have to see
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by wiseovvl 5 years ago
wiseovvl
gowolves777AietiusTied
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Vote Placed by monicat 5 years ago
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Vote Placed by Aietius 7 years ago
Aietius
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Vote Placed by Pluto2493 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by MarinaG 8 years ago
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