The Instigator
eosh89
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
imabench
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Is the justice system set up to fail?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
imabench
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,110 times Debate No: 21623
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

eosh89

Pro

Todays justice system is more likely to influence individuals to fail than to succeed.
imabench

Con

I accept this debate and will argue that more often than not the system is perfectly fair...

Other than that,

Debate Round No. 1
eosh89

Pro

How so?

Our justice system is designed to keep the poor in jail and the rich out of jail. Prison Nation: the Warehousing of America's Poor is a wonderful book that does a great job of exposing a lot of flaws that exist in the system. Every one is responsible for their actions. If you do the crime then you should do the time, however not every one who does the crime and is caught does the time. However if you take sociological conflict theory approach and apply it you can see a much larger picture. Capital Crime was an excellent chapter that highlighted a large flaw in the justice system. For example take a man who sells marijuana and is picked up, and has to serve 4 years in prison as a sentence. Maybe he was selling to feed his children. Maybe he came from a poverty stricken area and that's all he has ever known. It doesn't actually matter, guilty is guilty. Now lets compare it to a large corporations that commit crimes. In 2000, the Food and Drug Association spent $1.4 billion to regulate pharmaceutical drugs that are known to cause 50,000-100,000 deaths per year. $30-$40 billion dollars were spent to regulate the illegal drug trade, which causes 8,000-10,000 deaths a year. All too often no one is ever deemed responsible for any of these crimes. So why is the man selling marijuana, which has been never been linked to a direct result cause to any death in the history of marijuana use, serving time, while people who are responsible for thousands because it puts money in their pockets escaping?

(This is in no way intended to be an argument about marijuana, it is just an example.)
imabench

Con

"Our justice system is designed to keep the poor in jail and the rich out of jail."
There are currently laws in place that allow poor people to not be put in jail and there are also laws that require rich people to go to jail. There are laws such as
- Right to an attorney, if you cannot afford one one will be provided for you
- Right against excessive bail
- Right to a speedy trial
- Right to not be tried for the same crime twice
- If sued by someone richer, there are laws requiring the richer party suing the poor person to pay the bills for the poorer persons defense
- Right to know what one is being arrested or held in court for
- Right to not indefinitely be kept in prison

Those are laws that help poor people in the justice system, if the justice system were truly "designed" to keep poor people in jail then these rights wouldnt exist. Now lets examine how some laws do not allow people to get out of jail simply because they are rich
- Judges can deny bail

There arent many laws that can be used to argue about forcing people to go to jail, but if the system was "designed" to keep rich people out of jail then judges would not have the right to deny bail to rich people which would make them go to jail.

The pro's argument revolves mostly around the statement " So why is the man selling marijuana serving time, while people who are responsible for thousands of deaths because it puts money in their pockets escaping?"

Now here's the thing, when it comes down to selling and distributing illegal narcotics, it is one man behind the crime doing something that is completely forbidden. Now the pharmaceutical drug issue you mention is a little more complicated then that. You have to take into account if the company knew the product they were making was harmful, if other organizations knew it was harmful and decided to let it slide, if they knew the drugs were harmful but were bribed into keeping quite. Then there is who actually carried out the orders to approve and manufacture the drug knowing that the drug was harmful, who approved circulation but didnt know it was harmful, who approved circulation who didnt know it was harmful but SHOULD have known it was harmful.

Point is, when it comes down to selling Marijuana, its a by-the-book crime where 1 and only 1 person is involved. When it comes down to the other example though there are hundreds of things that must be examined and taken into consideration and dozens of people who may or may not be responsible, and you cant keep all of them in jail because many of them would have had nothing to do with what they did for any number of reasons. In this case the rich people arent in jail because they are rich, its because nobody knows yet whose responsible for what and where the blame lies.

"All too often no one is ever deemed responsible for any of these crimes"
That happens too just because it is discovered that procedures were flawed or misleading and people were honestly just doing what they were instructed to do by the manuals and the rules. Another time when it comes to drugs it is a catastrophic hidden side effect that no one ever knew would come up until the general public was exposed to it and not just test groups. Take asbestos for example, it was considered a miracle material but when they found it caused mesothelioma (a deadly lung cancer) no one was to blame because people simply didnt know this issue would arise and now companies just have to pay the victims instead of doing jail time since they never did anything criminally wrong to their knowledge and they had no way of knowing either.

So to reiterate my arguments this round. the reason that poor people go to jail more often than rich people is because poor people commit by the book crimes that are easy to solve and usually only involve one or a few people, whereas the rich people are involved in something much more complex in something where its impossible to figure out who is at fault. It is NOT because the system is "designed" to keep the poor in jail and the rich out of jail.
Debate Round No. 2
eosh89

Pro

eosh89 forfeited this round.
imabench

Con

Extend my arguments
Debate Round No. 3
eosh89

Pro

eosh89 forfeited this round.
imabench

Con

Extend my arguments
Debate Round No. 4
eosh89

Pro

eosh89 forfeited this round.
imabench

Con

Vote Con :)
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Double_R 4 years ago
Double_R
What exactly are you arguing? That the justice system itself is set up to fail, or that it causes individuals to fail? And what is your definition of fail?

Assuming your answers are reasonable, I'll accept if you lower it to 4 rounds. Very few people will take the time to read a 5 round debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
eosh89imabenchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
1dustpelt
eosh89imabenchTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit, leaving unanswered arguments.