Jury nullification ought to be used in the face of perceived injustice. (USA)
Debate Rounds (4)
Pro: Agreement to rules and to topic and discussion of rules.
Con: Agreement to rule and to topic
Round 2 :
Pro: Case, probably only points and questions if necessary.
Neg: Case, answer questions/ask questions, and attack first case.
Pro: Answer questions, defend attacks, attack neg case
Neg: Final say (No new points) Why did you win? Defend if necessary.
Pro: Final say (no new points) Why did you win? Defense if necessary.
Neg: Give a cool quote! (:
The full resolution is: In the united states justice system jury nullification ought to be used in the face of perceived injustice.
Forfeits do not change voting but voters may loose valuable information in order to see one's point when there are forfeits.
Evidence is not too necessary unless a point is outrageous.
You may have a value that your debate is centered around (If my opponent is an LD style debater I would love to see value crash)]
Finally, I accept to my rules. (:
For today's debate I would like to offer the following definitions:
Jury Nullification: the acquitting of a defendant by a jury in disregard of the judge's instructions and contrary to the jury's findings of fact.
Injustice: unfair treatment : a situation in which the rights of a person or a group of people are ignored
My core value for this round is societal welfare because the very purpose of law and the justice system is to benefit society by removing dangerous criminals and creating justice.
My value criterion for this round is empowering the people because ultimately the people who make up society know what"s best for their society. Democracy, and America, are founded on the idea of majority rule because people will ultimately make the best and most moral decisions for themselves.
Contention 1: Jury nullification gives power to the people which helps society.
Sub point A: Jury nullification is a way of people showing what they think about a law: The ultimate purpose of any true justice system is to help society by removing and punishing people that are dangerous to it. Specifically, all democratic regimes are based on the idea of people possessing the power, believing that leaving the government to society itself is the best way to go about making decisions because the people are competent and are the best at knowing what is good for them. Keeping jury nullification allows the people to show what they think about a law. For example, if many marijuana cases were nullified this would be a clear indication that the people don"t think these laws are good for society, the laws need to be altered, or the sentences are unreasonable. Consider this, laws are made for the good of society so if society feels like a law is not beneficial the law's purpose is undermined. Ultimately, society should be the top priority in any democratic process especially in a justice system which is ultimately trying to keep society safe.
Sub point B: In democracy juries should be judges of law as well as judges of fact. Consider why jury nullification happens in the first place. It is because there is discord between law, judgment, punishment, etc, and the very people they should be there for. People are capable of making reasonable choice and they generally have a better moral compass than public officials who are easily corrupted. People ultimately know what they need to survive under the basic instinct to survive. When a jury nullifies, it is because that law or sentence is so against that group, and therefore the communities personal conscience. People should not have an obligation to judge a man on a law that is immoral. It is important that people judge the righteousness of the law because that is how a law can be changed for the good of society. For example, in colonial days there was a trial known as the Zenger trial. What ultimately happened is that William Cosby, an abusive governor, arrested Zenger for publishing libels against him. In trial Zenger admitted that he published the articles and the judge urged the jury to find him guilty. However, the jurors consciences prohibited them from finding him that way because they thought his intents were justified and that the law was not helpful to their society because it put sanctions free speech and discouraged them from removing Cosby who was a terrible leader. This case encouraged many politicians in promoting freedom of speech and so it was written into the constitution. Clearly it is very important that jurors can first judge a law before the judge the man who violated it. It is completely illogical to hold the majority accountable to a law that none can see as beneficial, morals, or helpful to the society on balance.
Contention 2: Jury nullification helps stop injustice.
Sub point A: If we look at America"s government everything is a system of checks and balances. Without giving a jury a chance to nullify judges are overpowered since they get to decide the sentence. It ultimately gives judges all the power to decide how, to what extent, and if someone should be punished where nullification allows juries to stop the guilty verdict if the judge does not portray that he will give a fair sentence. More importantly it makes sure that unjust laws aren"t being made and destroying people's lives, liberty, health, or property. For example, in a recent case in May 2014 a female activist, Cecily Mcmillan was arrested for assault on a cop. However she explained how the police officer had assaulted her and she was severely bruised and instinctively swung her elbow in the officer's eye. In trial, unaware of their powers a jury they reluctantly voted for a guilty ballot. Later, she was sentenced with up to 7 years in prison. One juror said after they found out the sentence "Most just wanted her to do probation, maybe some community service. But now what I"m hearing is seven years in jail? That"s ludicrous. Even a year in jail is ridiculous." In the end a young 25 year old woman was sent to prison for instinctively protecting herself from an abusive cop. In this case the only thing that could have stopped this injustice is jury nullification. It would have saved a young woman from serving several years in prison.
Sub point B: Jury nullification and it"s power to help create justice even better has developed America. In the 1850"s it was illegal to help a slave escape. However, many juries had trouble convicting these defendants because the intent was obviously just and the law that was put in place was corrupt. There are laws that have existed, and still exist, that do not help people maintain their lives, liberty, health, and property which are undeniably some of the things governments ought to protect most. America has always had jury nullification in the back pocket to help the people run the country. The founding fathers ultimately wanted a country where the most power fell on the people. Jury nullification doesn"t disregard law, it allows it to evolve in the most real world sense possible. Law flaws become most obvious in court and therefore jury nullification has been fundamental to America evolving.
Contention 3: There are circumstances where jury nullification may be the only way to deliver a verdict. Jury nullification is often defined as going against the perceived fact or as a jury going against a judge's instruction.Therefore there would be circumstances where a judge's instruction would clash with the jury"s perception of fact, and in this case either decision would be nullification. For example, A judge in chicago name Thomas Maloney was convicted of corruption in 1993. He was the judge of 4 cases in which 3 were murder and urged the jury successfully to find all of the not guilty. In the end it turned out he was paid for this favor. However, in this situation no verdict could be made at all without jury nullification because jury nullification wouldn"t allow the jury to go against the judge's instructions or against the natural fact the jury perceived. Sometimes jury nullification is the only way to make any verdict, and clearly the jury making a verdict is crucial to the whole justice system and serving justice. If there was no jury nullification more judges could easily be like Maloney and use their power to completely eliminate a juries power.
1) What does my opponent think is the point of the American Justice System?
2) What does my opponent think is the best way for the American Justice system to make the MOST justice?
(If you don't understand core value and value criterion you can ignore them and I will not use them (: )
My opponent ultimately starts with an observation that ought claims can not be universalized on a topic because they require subjective evidence. My opponent uses the example "One ought to eat." While I agree this may not be true in some cases it is still a debatable stance and the resolution states "In the American Criminal Justice System" which implies majority rule. My opponent also said in response that the best way to create justice is by majority so my opponent agrees with majority rule so we can look at this debate that way.
Basically, my opponent discusses why ought claims can never be come to a conclusion on. Perhaps, but that is why there is debate in the first place and there is a more correct answer in which I will try to prove to use is the affirmative. He says specifically that "Ought claims... have no prior justification." I would like to point out how all justice is perceived in the first place whether by law, judge, jury, or anyone. Therefore justification isn't even a good way to find true fact which is what my opponents point is.
Most importantly, these statements prohibit much real debate and my opponent justifies all this (remember that all justice is perceived so him even trying to justify this claim according to his rules is subjective) through infinite regression. My opponent completely misunderstand infinite regression saying it justifies ought being relative. However infinite regression is actually a logical fallacy defined in Oxford dictionary as: A sequence of reasoning or justification that can never come to an end .http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
Finally, he uses this fallacy of never-ending evidence as his whole value he is trying to uphold stating "I don"t have a value because infinite regression denies all values" which also means his infinite regression is against all goodness like morality, justices, liberty. Obviously my value of societal welfare is beneficial because it helps society which is what a justice system is there for. If you vote for my opponent you are destroying welfare and all values based on his infinite regression.
However, I still understand my opponents point. Negative believes that morality, implied by ought, is relative and all evidence for any side is subjective evidence. However, this isn't bad like my opponent believes. Obviously people will always have conflicting opinions and will try to prove their point. However, jury nullification is fighting biased court trials by allowing a jury of 12 people to nullify if the trial is turning unfair. I understand that the jury could also be subjective but another check on the system will always be beneficial.
Finally, now that I have proven my opponents argumentation with "ought" and infinite regression I must address my opponents counter-plan point. My opponent argues that we should abolish jury nullification and should instead use prosecutorial nullification. He argues this will satisfy my side of the case which is not the case. Let me point out that these are not remotely the same. Prosecutorial nullification gives all the power to prosectors who are even more likely to be subjective since they are paid and have power. In other words my opponent wishes to give the power to prosectors who have more incentive to be corrupt. One could pay them to nullify. Also, jury nullification is nullifying due to injustice in terms of law but prosecutors are only supposed to nullify due to lack of evidence. One could still undergo injustice very easily with prosecutorial nullification because there may be enough evidence to convict them but the law still may be a terrible law. People need the ability to change a law for the good of society. If a corrupt law is in place should we force the jury to judge a peer on it? My opponent also says that this counter-plan is good because it creates competition or incentive to nullify before a jury does however competition usually makes corruption more of a possibility.
Obviously, this counter-plan is not viable because it doesn't give power to the people but to two representatives. May I remind you that representatives aren't perfect and are not obligated to necessarily go with the grain of majority. Obviously giving this power to 12 people directly selected from society would be better.
Finally, my opponent attacks all my contentions by pointing out how they flip to their counter-plan which I have shown is ultimately flawed. In fact it doesn't align with any of my contentions because it doesn't give power to the people. I also showed how jury nullification is the most just way because it gives power directly to the people selected from society. Also, I maintain my 3rd contention that jury nullification may sometimes be the only way to come to a verdict even with my opponent's counter-plan because a prosecutor may see enough evidence (that evidence could be terrible if there is enough) and they may be instructed one way by the judge and the other by fact so it could be the only way.
okobojidebater forfeited this round.
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okobojidebater forfeited this round.
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