The Instigator
TUF
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
KRFournier
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

MIG tourney R3: Vigilantism is Justified when the U.S. Government has Failed to Uphold the Law

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
KRFournier
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/26/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,914 times Debate No: 24456
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (4)

 

TUF

Pro

Resolved: Vigilantism is Justified when the U.S. Government has Failed to Uphold the Law.

This will be for Round 3 of the Man-is-good's tournament, officially.

http://www.debate.org...

The purpose of this debate will be to discuss/debate a philosophical difference of belief, in determining whether vigilantism is justified in the United States or not, Ultimately, this will be the voters decision. Since MIG hasn't underlined any specific set of rules, we the debaters will formulate our own.

I will start by setting down some framework (Rules), and if my opponent has any discrepancies, or changes he wishes to add to them, he can let me know via PM, or comments section, prior to the start of this debate.

Without further ado, let us begin.

FRAMEWORK:

1. Both debaters will remain kind and courteous throughout the duration of this debate.

2. A forfeit on either side will conduct in the automatic loss of this debate. This is a tournament debate, so the opponent should be well prepared and ready before accepting the debate.

3. Pro Carries the BOP, thus Con is not expected to present a case (though one would be helpful). That said, any and all dropped arguments will count as the loss of a conduct point, and a concession of that individual statement. This is a Lincoln Douglas topic, so I would like to stick to a certain set of LD framework to an extent out of respect for the resolution.


To start this debate I would to offer up some definitions, that may be looked on and agreed/dis-agreed on by my opponent at his leisure. Upon agreeing on a set of definitions, both debaters will presume that definition, and it's meaning throughout the course of this debate. I ask again, that if their are any discrepancies in them, for my opponent to let me know before accepting this debate.

****DEFINITIONS****

Vigilantism: anypersonwhotakesthelawintohisorherownhands,as
byavengingacrime.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

An extended more descriptive definition can be found here, however, both definitions achieve the same notion.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...


Justified: toshow(anact,claim,statement,etc.)tobejustorright.

http://dictionary.reference.com...


Failed: tofallshortofsuccessorachievementinsomething expected,attempted,
desired,orapproved.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

Law: the principles and regulations established in a community bysome authority and
applicable to its people, whether in the form of legislation or of custom and policies
recognized and enforced by judicial
decision.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

Justice: rightfulness or lawfulness, as of a claim or title; justness ofground
or
reason.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Utility: the ethical doctrine that virtue is based on utility, and that conduct should
be directed toward promoting the greatest
happiness of the greatest number of
persons.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

I hope that these definitions provide a clear and concise outlook on the resolution at hand.
To start I have several observations to offer up before jumping into my case.
Keep in mind that these are clarifications on the resolution, not individual arguments, and need not be "refuted".

****OBSERVATIONS****

OB1:
This resolution will be in reference to the U.S. Government. Given that both my opponent and I are both U.S. Citizens, I feel this debate is best focused on the United States as we will both have a well equitted view on our home countries moral views, thus narrowing the resolution.

OB2: This resolution is straight-forward in it's own terms of defining what is, and what should be. Basically the question for this debate is: "If the government doesn't do it's job, is it okay if someone else does their job for them?". The purpose of this debate is to establish an idea that the vigilante will be attempting to accomplish the same thing as the government, through the use of their own methods. That being said, I am not and will not be making arguments that go against this principle. Arguments that vigilantism "can" or "might" violate the U.S. Law should thus be dis-regarded. Vigilantism, as defined above, will be "Taking the law into their own hands", meaning that the vigilante will be upholding the U.S. Law. If my opponent is confused at all about this observation, I ask that he reference it in the comments prior to accepting this debate, such that a clarification can be made.

****MY CASE****

V: Justice

Throughout the course of this debate, I will attempt to value Justice, as it is almost demanded through the use of the word "Justify" in the resolution. Thus, if I can best uphold justice in this debate, I have accomplished the resolutions purpose.


C: Utility


My goal in this debate will be to best uphold justice with Utility. If a vigilante can provide an over-all inherent good by doing an act, and uphold it through the law's Justice system, then vigilantism is justified.

C1: Vigilantism only ensures the government's goal's are carried out to peak satisfaction.

If the government means well, but is unable to enforce the law, is vigilantism unjust? If enforcement of some laws is impossible, do vigilantes still have the right to exercise force?

I am going to attempt to answer these questions.

http://ammonwiemers.weebly.com...

The government has built it's law's and regulations over the principles of the constitution. As U.S. Citizens, we all adhere and abide by these, as terms of living free in our country.

However, in accordance to these laws, there is a great fallible system which can tear every great moral value this country tries to uphold down.

That, my friends, is the United States Court system.

Read more in the link below:

http://www.debate.org...

As evidenced in the link above, we cannot trust the court system to uphold Justice. When the U.S. Government fails to do it's job (which is to uphold Justice), than the people in which it is protecting should be able to pursue their own justice.

C2: The people have a right to defend the Justice system.

It is my firm belief, that it is within our constitutional interest, to be able to protect ourselves and others.

The constitution ensures of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The government does it's best to ensure that within it's people. However, what about when they cannot? If the government is acting in accordance to it's own people's needs, then by all means, these same people should be able to satisfy their own needs in accordance to our the rights we are ensured.

To complete this arguments, I am going to say a few different phrases that will shine some light on the fact that vigilantism should be Justified.

It is Legal for a police officer to fire a gun at a guilty man who expresses violent behavior.
It is Illegal for a citizen to fire a gun at a guilty man who expresses violent behavior.

It is Legal for a government official to detain and arrest a man who has stolen, or violated another individuals property.
It is Illegal for a Citizen to detain and arrest a man who has stolen, or violated another individuals property.

Now let's phrase this one more time, in a little bit different of a way.

Upon a fallacy or a loophole in a court system being found by a defence attorney, it is perfectly Illegal for a cop, a government official, and a citizen to do anything about either of those two scenario's above.

In this final phrase we can see the true and ultimate harms of not allowing vigilantism in our society.

Our government is not perfect. They cannot actively be around to prevent crime at all times. Vigilantism that abides by the U.S. Justice system law should be viewed them, as a service to our country, and ourselves.

I look forward to my opponents response, and wish him the best of luck throughout the course of this debate.
KRFournier

Con

I thank TUF for this debate and man-is-good for the opportunity to participate in his tournament. TUF's opening round is in the Lincoln-Douglas (LD) debate format, but he has extended me the grace of not having to strictly follow the format myself since I am but a humble debating amateur whose only exposure to LD is via Wikipedia.

TUF and I agree that justice is the value at stake here. He aims to show that the resolution, when affirmed, increases justice. I, on the other hand, will show that when the resolution is affirmed, justice is decreased. I will present my argument against the resolution (Negative Constructive) then follow it with my rebuttal to his contentions (Cross Examination).

Negative Construction

NC1: Vigilantism is self-refuting

Vigilantism is, by definition, the enforcing of justice by citizens outside the regulation of the criminal justice system. Since it is not regulated, an act of vigilantism might be too severe, in which case, the response is more vigilantism. The only way to ensure vigilantism is truly just is to regulate it. Regulating vigilantism will require the criminal justice system to oversee it, in which case it ceases to be vigilantism and becomes an arm of the criminal justice system itself. Therefore, vigilantism only works if it is not truly vigilantism. Ergo, the resolution is negated.

Cross Examination

AC1: Vigilantism only ensures the government's goal's [sic] are carried out to peak satisfaction.

(NOTE: For those readers than chose to skip all the links in TUF's first round, note that one of those links contains his arguments for this contention. I just want to make sure the readers know to what I am referring.)

My opponent takes for granted that vigilantism is itself always carried out justly, and this is where we see TUF's biggest blunder. He criticizes the failings of the criminal justice system for its copious regulations, yet those regulations are designed precisely to mitigate human error. Yet, when the criminal justice system fails, he finds it perfectly reasonable to place justice in the hands of even fewer flawed humans who themselves do not operate under any such regulations.

The justice system—as slow and exploitable as it is—is designed around the notion that due process is an essential element to liberty, as it works to ensure fewer innocent people are found guilty at the expense of truly guilty people escaping justice, and frankly, TUF's criticism against it leaves much to be desired.

First, he links to an article about Mapp v. Ohio to quote Benhamin Cardozo, "The criminal is to go free because the constable has blundered." TUF assumes this is automatically a bad thing, but if he read the rest of his own link, he would see that it goes on explain that the reasoning behind the "exclusionary rule" was to protect citizens. To quote TUF's article:

"Fellow police officers are only too aware that it is both very important and very difficult to obtain evidence, and they are often frustrated by the fact that they 'know' someone is guilty, but cannot get the evidence necessary for a conviction. How effective is the police department likely to be in disciplining officers who break the rules to get evidence that might be used to take a 'known' criminal out of circulation?"

Next, TUF sites the Bureau of Justice Statistics to claim that "60-80% of all crimes are likely to be set free." Now, if that number seems questionable, that's because it has no verifiable truth to it whatsoever. First, he doesn't tell us which year he these tables come from, so I just examined that most recent one, 2008. Second, I could not find this value anywhere in tables 91-108, which TUF sites. Third, those tables are statistics on crimes reported to the police. Not one table mentions "crimes set free." As far as anyone can tell, these numbers are completely fictional.

What it boils down to is this: TUF needs to show that vigilantism increases justice, yet he cannot substantiate the failures of the criminal justice system nor quantify in any meaningful way just how effective vigilantism will be in compensating for said failures. This whole contention is just wishful thinking.

AC2: The people have a right to defend the Justice system.

I can only assume TUF meant to say "The people have a right to defend Justice," not the "Justice System" since he just spent his first contention debasing it. But even with this correction, do people have this right?

To answer this question, we must understand something very important about human rights. Given one person a right means taking another's freedom. To say "Kevin has a right to life" is semantically equivalent to saying "No one has the freedom to take Kevin's life." So, when asking whether people have the right to vigilantism, it is equivalent to asking that the targets of vigilantism do not have the freedom of due process. TUF needs to convince us, then, that due process is not a right. This presents a steep hill for my opponent to climb for due process has been considered a right since the Fifth Amendment: [1]

No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land. (Emphasis mine)

The whole point of due process is to avoid the very thing that vigilantism risks. Moreover, the whole point of a trial by jury is to ensure citizens are in fact involved in the justice process. So, I have to ask, what need is there really for vigilantism beyond allowing for victims to respond with vengeance? Is due process worth replacing with emotionally charged, reactionary violence?

Now let's examine TUF's hypotheticals in the context of US law:

  • It is Legal for a police officer to fire a gun at a guilty man who expresses violent behavior.
  • It is Illegal for a citizen to fire a gun at a guilty man who expresses violent behavior.

A 19-year old mother Sarah McKinley shot and killed a man intruding into her home, yet she did not have to set foot in a court room. [2] The right to bear arms is protected by the 2nd Amendment and currently all states that uphold the right to self-defense when one's life is reasonably threatened. [3]

  • It is Legal for a government official to detain and arrest a man who has stolen, or violated another individuals [sic] property.
  • It is Illegal for a Citizen to detain and arrest a man who has stolen, or violated another individuals [sic] property.

"Each state, with the exception of North Carolina, permits citizen arrests if the commission of a felony is witnessed by the arresting citizen". [4]

Neither scenario is true, so neither scenario is convincing enough to eradicate due process and grant citizens the right to vigilantism. Thus, this contention fails to affirm the resolution as well.

Conclusion

My opponent is trying to convince us that there are gigantic gaps in justice that just don't exist. The justice system already allows citizens to protect themselves. In extreme cases, we can even respond in violence. In other cases, we have the courts. The justice system is not perfect, but TUF hasn't done anything to convince us that vigilantism will bring about such perfection and that due process should be reduced in favor of an unregulated vigilante system.

I argue that vigilantism creates an endless cycle of violence that can only be stopped with government regulation, thereby rendering the resolution self-refuting in the first place. For it to work, it must be managed by the very justice system it is designed to circumvent.

Sources

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
  2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
TUF

Pro

I thank my opponent for his quick response.

I will be going over the NC, before returning to defend the AC.



****NEGATIVE CONSTRUCTIVE****


NC1: Vigilantism is self- refuting

My opponent must have missed my second observation. He feels that vigilantism must be regulated, in order for it to work, as it could be too severe. My question is, what is "too severe", if the vigilante is only doing the same thing the government is supposed to be doing?

By definition, the one I provided, a Vigilante is only a Vigilante if they take and uphold the law. Meaning the vigilante is not doing anything, that is "too severe". My opponent seems to want to assume that by being a vigilante, the person in question will be running rampant, killing and torturing all of those he encounters.
This is clearly a mis-guided approach at negation of what I am actually trying to say.
My opponent, as most people probably, may have a television show idea of what vigilantism actually is. But in all reality how often do citizens actually take a Batman, or Dexter approach at handling criminals?

A vigilante by definition, is taking and upholding the law; Assisting the government if you will in stopping crime or preventing it.

If a man witnesses another man steal a woman's purse, and he tackles that man and forcibly takes the purse and gives it back to the woman, can we really say that what he did was wrong? That is all vigilantism really is or really has to be.

Force doesn't even have to be used in order to be a vigilante.

I found an article where a man stopped a robbery of a coffee shop, simply by quoting the movie "Pulp Fiction" to the robbers, which scared them enough to make them run out of the store. This was vigilantism used to prevent crime, and thus "Upheld" the law as pertaining to my definition.

http://superofficialnews.com...

Vigilantism isn't an arm of the government, as my opponent says. It is an extension.

****AFFIRMATIVE CONSTRUCTIVE****

AC1: Vigilantism only ensures the government's goal's are carried out to peak satisfaction.

"Yet, when the criminal justice system fails, he finds it perfectly reasonable to place justice in the hands of even fewer flawed humans who themselves do not operate under any such regulations"

In response to this, I fail to see the importance of this specificity. Again, as clearly stated in my contention one, the government doesn't always fulfill it's purposed duty. That duty being to protect our individual rights, and ensure us life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. My entire contention attempts to accomplish that while the government does it's best to support these things, it is exceptionally flawed, in that several aspects of it's own branches cannot stop things in which prevent humans from doing so.

So why not allow us to provide those basic rights for ourselves, when the government fails to? Do we not have to assist the ones we love, or even strangers when they are in need, or are having these principles infringed against? My argument is that the resolution NEEDS to support vigilantism, in order to protect JUSTICE as both me and my opponent agree is the over arching value for this debate to uphold. Justice demands that a person gets what they deserve. Specifically according to my definition, with reason. The government has "reason" to do their job. But they don't have the means to do so, given flaws in our system.

Thus the ONLY way to succeed Justice, is to let our people ensure those rights. My observation 2 premises that vigilantism doesn't succeed law enforcement.

Any vigilante act that my opponent could classify as "Too extreme", I will just classify as an act of a criminal, rather than a vigilante.

Vigilantism is an effective way for civilians to assist the government in accomplishing justice for the greatest amount of people.

To reference the National Forensic League:


"The problem is that there are other activities that are closely related to vigilantism
but which are something else altogether. The first one that comes to mind is civil
disobedience. An act of civil disobedience is a refusal to obey an existing law, presumably because one feels that the law in question is unjust. Are those people we
refer to as the patriots of the Boston Tea Party actually vigilantes? Or were they
being civilly disobedient? Were they revolutionaries or terrorists?"

http://www.nflonline.org...

Onto Mapp Vs Ohio.

My opponent goes on to cite a passage from source, where it talks about how officers are often dismayed at not being able to obtain "enough" Evidence, even though it is extremely obvious/likely that the killer is guilty.

This is exactly my point though. Even when evidence was obtained illegally that proves a persons guilt, we should be able provide justice.
So what exactly is wrong with convicting a guilty person? Should we not give him his proper justice simply because of how the evidence was obtained?

However this is not the only flawed case where criminals were set free.

Here a drug dealer was set free simply because of a "typo in the search warrant".

http://www.officer.com...

This one happens all the time. Criminals being set free for simply having an over crowded jail cell. (Not that there is much a vigilante could do about that).

http://www.mlive.com...

The point is that when the government fails, we fail. Vigilantes provide a prominent back bone of re-assurance for the government.

Finally my opponent questions my sources. I ask him to review these, as I am quite sure all the statistics, graphs, and analytics I provided in my source are completely accurate.

AC2: The people have a right to defend Justice

"So, when asking whether people have the right to vigilantism, it is equivalent to asking that the targets of vigilantism do not have the freedom of due process."

My opponent again mis-understands me. Vigilantes are only assisting the government. I have provided evidence as to a flawed due process system. Vigilante's are the key to solving justice when due process fails to bring down a criminal. Due process can save any murderer, as long as their is money involved for defence attorney's or a loop hole in finding evidence. Is this really fair? Vigilantes can be the answer to these indescprencies.

My opponent cites the fifth amendment. I will too.

"except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land."

The lawful judgment is the vigilante, fulfilling the law of the land. According to the fifth amendment, vigilantism should actually be perfectly legal, and I thank you for bringing this up.

" So, I have to ask, what need is there really for vigilantism beyond allowing for victims to respond with vengeance?"

Now whoever said responding with vigilantism had any thing the do with vengeance? If a vigilantism is fulfilling the law, really all he/she is providing a free service to the government and his community, to stop crime.

Onto my hypotheticals.

My opponent attempts to dis-prove them by saying these things are legal. I know this. This is why they are hypotheticals. According to the resolution, my opponent is supposed to be arguing that these things should be illegal. I am offering these hypotheticals so my opponent and the viewers can see the explicit harms in allowing a negated resolution. I am perfectly aware of what the law is with that said.

****CONCLUSION****

My opponent has a mis-guided belief on what vigilantism actually is. I have proven successfully how the only way to have a successful formation of the government is to allow vigilantism to surpass the flawed due process system that we call the "Justice" system.

In order to truly allow justice, we need to Affirm the resolution.

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate, and look forward to his response.
KRFournier

Con

Thank you, TUF, for your prompt reply.

Negative Constructive

NC1: Vigilantism is self-refuting

My opponent says I have the wrong idea about vigilantism, but it is in fact my opponent that has the wrong idea, especially in how it pertains to the resolution in question. Vigilantism is the act of taking the law into your own hands, plain and simple. But the resolution focuses on whether or not vigilantism is justified when the government fails to do that for us. For example, TUF's story about the man that quoted Pulp Fiction to scare away a would-be criminal is not the kind of vigilantism about which the resolution is concerned. In that story, the US Government didn't fail to do its job because the US Government didn't even have a chance to do it in the first place.

Implied in the resolution is the notion of reactionary justice, and TUF's anecdotes are false analogies. We're not talking about self-defense. We're talking about bringing people to justice after they've managed to slip through the cracks of the Criminal Justice System (CJS). The reason my argument holds water is due to the fact that judgment over a person's "guilt" is subjective to the vigilante. In other words, after a jury fails to find enough objective evidence to convict, a vigilante subjectively decides the jury was wrong and then sets out to take the law into their own hands.

Subjectivity is the issue here. TUF says vigilantism by definition is always legal, but that doesn't mean that a person isn't bias in their vigilantism. In fact, the only way to uphold truly legal vigilantism is to regulate it. If an entire justice system can't always get it right, surely individuals won't either. Therefore, the CJS will have to regulate all vigilantism in order to verify its legality, in which case, it's not really vigilantism anymore. Hence, the whole idea becomes self-refuting.

Cross Examination

AC1: Vigilantism only ensures the government's goal's [sic] are carried out to peak satisfaction.

"So why not allow us to provide those basic rights for ourselves, when the government fails to?"

Keep in mind that we are talking about responding to the failures of the CJS, not cases of self-defense. So, the answer to this question boils down to the fact that "we" are not objective. Due Process is not some whimsical idea designed to let criminals run amok. It's meant to ensure the government (and by extension, its citizens) does not throw innocent people in the slammer left and right in order to make sure it's rounded up every bad guy in the process. It's unfortunate that some criminals get away with their crimes, but it's much more unfortunate when innocent people are incarcerated. What happens when a vigilante is mistaken? Oh, right, I forgot. In this debate, vigilantism is defined as never being mistaken.

"So what exactly is wrong with convicting a guilty person? Should we not give him his proper justice simply because of how the evidence was obtained?"

There is nothing wrong with convicting a guilty person, and such a question poisons the well against my case. The problem is that elimination of due process has far reaching consequences. It's convenient that my opponent quoted only the first sentence, deliberately taking it out of context. The whole quote shows that when the police are permitted to use illegal means to acquire evidence, then citizens lose their right to privacy. Imagine a "guilty gun" that only discharges when fired at someone guilty of murder. What would be the natural human response? Point and shoot at everyone. Likewise, police would invade the privacy of anyone they desired in the hopes of finding something they are looking for.

"Finally my opponent questions my sources. I ask him to review these, as I am quite sure all the statistics, graphs, and analytics I provided in my source are completely accurate."

My opponent remains confident in his claim that "60-80% of all crimes are likely to be set free." So, I went back to his argument (which is at http://www.debate.org...) only to find out that he edited it. There are two graphs that were not previously there. I'm sorry, but I find this to be highly unfair as I am not able to go back and edit my rounds. At first, I didn't make a big deal that my opponent was exceeding the 8000 character limit in Round 1 (9500+ characters by the way) by placing his arguments into another debate, but changing the data after I've made my rebuttal is clearly overstepping the line of conduct since readers will think my previous round is ignoring data I was not actually privileged to view and evaluate at the time.

That being said, neither graph supports his data. The "Failure of Due Process Rates" details the number criminals set free, but doesn't come close to the 60-80% my opponent claims. In fact, the graph supplies no percentages at all. His second graph titled "Criminals that are likely to go free in 2012" is merely a percentage breakdown of criminals estimated to go free this year. Again, nothing in this graph indicates that "43% of criminals with evidence to their crimes . . . go free this year." My opponent is simply slapping data on the screen and pulling his statistics out of a hat.

In order for this contention to succeed, TUF needs to show that the justice system is failing to the point of necessitating vigilantism, yet all he's offered us in support of this idea is anecdote and arbitrary numbers.

AC2: The people have a right to defend the Justice system.

TUF criticizes the failures of due process for letting murderers go free, which is an emotional plea designed to distract the readers from my insistence that granting vigilantism as a right directly counters the right of due process, which has been deemed a fundamental right for since this great nation's inception. My opponent is under some kind of delusion (probably based on his wildly unsupported 60-80% figure) that murderers are just running rampant. If this were really true, then perhaps due process could be set aside in some fashion, but my opponent hasn't come close to proving this to have any basis in reality whatsoever. I must insist that the benefits of due process outweighs the costs.

TUF then quotes the Fifth Amendment and asserts that "the lawful judgment of his equals" text somehow applies to vigilantism. This is just wishful thinking. In the complete context of the amendment, "equals" is referring to a fair trial by jury. In no way can the Fifth Amendment be twisted to do anything else but protect the right of citizens to have due process.

TUF defends his hypotheticals as being examples of vigilantism in practice. He insists that without vigilantism, we might see self-defense and citizen-arrest laws revoked. Again, this is not vigilantism as it pertains to this debate. These are cases of dealing with crime on the spot when the government is not immediately available. But the resolution implies that the government has to fail first. Defending oneself is not a matter of vigilantism as much as it is survival.

Conclusion

My opponent wants to define vigilantism as always being lawful, by definition. I insist that such a definition is impractical at best and begs the question at worst. TUF's sources completely fail to substantiate his outrageous claims, so his contentions amount to pleading. In every respect, he has failed to affirm the resolution.

I've offered my own argument in negation of the resolution, but even if that fails, TUF carries the burden of proof. Until such burden is met, I contend that resolution remains negated.

Debate Round No. 2
TUF

Pro

Good luck to my opponent in the voting period.

****NEGATIVE CONSTRUCTIVE****

NC1: Vigilantism is self-refuting

"In that story, the US Government didn't fail to do its job because the US Government didn't even have a chance to do it in the first place."

Ah, so in this case my opponent is saying that vigilante acts are justified when the government cannot approach the situation in time? By implying this, then he has defeated himself, because vigilante acts can be the exact same before and after a crime is committed.

More on this in a second.

"We're talking about bringing people to justice after they've managed to slip through the cracks of the Criminal Justice System (CJS). In other words, after a jury fails to find enough objective evidence to convict, a vigilante subjectively decides the jury was wrong and then sets out to take the law into their own hands."

First of all what makes a person guilty of a crime, any less guilty of the crime after he has been wrongly set free from the criminal justice system? You never argued that criminals weren't wrongly set free. So you agree that the Justice System has loop holes. You also just agreed that an act of vigilantism is just if the government doesn't get to the scene on time. So, my friend, what difference would it make if the vigilante performed that same act, on that same guilty person, after the criminal is wrongly released? The person in question is still as guilty as before, and literally nothing will change about his conviction status. He walks, and is free to do the crime over and over again, and upon finding loopholes in the justice system, will continue to do so. Vigilante's with the same goal, can effectively do a better job at providing Justice. Your whole entire argument is a hypocritical statement.

Well it's okay if the vigilante does something before the government is involved, but after the government has been involved, then No Freakin' way!


"In fact, the only way to uphold truly legal vigilantism is to regulate it."

Why regulate something that should already be allowed? Why not just look at the scene of investigation, realize and understand that the vigilante detained the criminal justly, and take him in? Or allow the fact that whatever the vigilante did is okay, knowing the guilt of the person at hand?

****AFFIRMATIVE CONSTRUCTIVE****


AC1: Vigilantism only ensures the government's goal's are carried out to peak satisfaction.

"It's unfortunate that some criminals get away with their crimes, but it's much more unfortunate when innocent people are incarcerated. What happens when a vigilante is mistaken?"

Here is the crux of the debate my friend! Finally my opponent admits the fallacies with the court system. He admits that it is not 100% perfect, and that the court will screw up. And his answer to my early question now seems to be "Oh well, we tried, and it's better than the alternative. However did you not say you were valuing Justice as well? If you believe in valuing Justice as according to the resolution, then you have defeated yourself my friend! Because complete Justice cannot and will not ever exist in the Neg world! Your entire philosophical belief on justice relies on the criminal justice system putting away "the bad guys". But we both know that won't always work, and that's okay. The government is not expected to be perfect. But you see, this is what demands the need for a vigilante. To fill in the cracks where the government has failed to do so.

What happens when a vigilante is mistaken? Well then he is not a vigilante, he is a criminal! I made this really clear in my observation two. A vigilante shouldn't have killed a man who didn't deserve it, IE murder another man. That is generally the penalty for murder in America, the death penalty. Vigilantism is only vigilantism when the citizen (not of government origin) carries out the law in his or her own hands. Meaning that if the vigilante does something that the government doesn't promise it's citizens already, then he is a criminal instead. I am not arguing that crime should be justified, I am arguing that an act of honor in order to protect a citizens right, as pertaining to the law that provides that individual with the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.




"Imagine a "guilty gun" that only discharges when fired at someone guilty of murder. What would be the natural human response?"

You automatically assume that vigilante's are emotional driven fools, who are hot for revenge. You discount the likelihood of the vigilante doing any research on the person in question before making his attempt at bringing him to justice. You also assume Justice enacted by a vigilante means murder every time. You certainly have a lot of un substantiated claims in your arsenal. You ask me for the burden of proof, which I have clearly provided, yet you make claims based on assumptions and hopes. This point falls irrevocably.


"At first, I didn't make a big deal that my opponent was exceeding the 8000 character limit in Round 1 (9500+ characters by the way) by placing his arguments into another debate, but changing the data after I've made my rebuttal is clearly overstepping the line of conduct since readers will think my previous round is ignoring data I was not actually privileged to view and evaluate at the time."

I have used debate sourcing in many debates, in which all of my opponents have been perfectly fine with. The character limit in the first round as well as having to instigate the debate with observations, framework, and formalities, take up quite a bit of character space. I apologize if you feel debate sourcing is wrong, but I will let the voters decide, as it has never been a problem before.

The point remains however. All of my data in the source is completely accurate, and pulled from the U.S. Justice bureau of statistics, and proves that many criminals go free due to failure of the due process system. You try to argue that my source is inaccurate, however provide absolutely no counter evidence to this and actually agree with me several times that the justice system fails in it's attempts to bring down every criminal in question.

I have upheld my BOP, yet you fail to counter it. Thus we must assume that you agree with every piece of data I have presented.

AC2: The people have a right to defend the Justice system.

"TUF criticizes the failures of due process for letting murderers go free, which is an emotional plea designed to distract the readers from my insistence that granting vigilantism as a right directly counters the right of due process, which has been deemed a fundamental right for since this great nation's inception."

An emotional plea? This is low. I have upheld the resolution and have provided evidence as to why vigilantism is justified. Is providing and ensuring Justice an emotional plea? Again, is that not what you want as well? Justice? You agreed that Justice is the value you are supporting here.

"I must insist that the benefits of due process outweighs the costs."

I never once argued that the Due process system doesn't have it's benefits. Only that it has it's mistakes to correlate with those. Mistakes are extremely detrimental to the welfare of the people and continue to harm families who have been victimized all over the country. Vigilantism is an awesome way to oversee these loop holes.


****CONCLUSION****

I feel I have won this debate for the following reasons.

CONDUCT: My opponent says that upholding Justice is the key to this debate, yet attacks both my sources, and my case saying that my attempt of achieving Justice is "an emotional plea".

ARGUMENTS: My opponent admits to the fallacies of the Justice system, thus conceding that Due Process doesn't provide Justice, his own value.

SOURCES: Statistical evidence of the CJS's flaws has been showed, which my opponent agrees to the system being flawed.

S/G: So, so.

I thank the viewers and my opponent for your time, and wish KRF luck in the voting period.
KRFournier

Con

In the interest of summary, I will keep this round brief. I'd like to thank my opponent for this debate and for the readers' thoughtful and responsible voting. This is, after all, a tournament debate.

Negative Constructive

NC1: Vigilantism is self-refuting

My opponent, while responding to bits and pieces of my argument out of context, failed to deal with the overarching issue of subjectivity. My argument reaches the conclusion that the resolution refutes itself when it takes into account the fact that vigilantism is carried out by bias, subjective persons. The only way to ensure that vigilantism—practically speaking—can possibly maximize justice is to regulate it within the jurisdiction of the Criminal Justice System (CJS). So, my opponent hasn't really dealt with this issue other than to insist—by circular reasoning—that vigilantism is always just and fair. Unfortunately, since my opponent's stated value is justice, he must show that vigilantism is always just, not just state it so.

Affirmative Constructive

AC1: Vigilantism only ensures the government's goal's [sic] are carried out to peak satisfaction.

TUF tries to turn the tables on me here, citing my admission that the CJS has its problems as support for his case. However, his rhetoric doesn't paint the whole picture. Indeed, I've never insisted that the CJS mete's out justice with 100% perfection. Rather, my opponent is tasked to prove that vigilantism improves, or increases, justice. Has he accomplished this?

TUF did show that the US Government is falls short of perfect justice, but he didn't really show us that was a failure. He gave us bogus statistics and refused to explain how those statistics were remotely supported by his charts. The charts certainly do show that criminals escape justice, but they don't come close to reaching his wild "60-80% crimes go free" figure (see my Conclusion below as to why that quote is no longer available). TUF complains that I didn't provide counter evidence. Counter evidence to what? TUF's evidence is utterly fallacious. I don't need to counter non-evidence with anything.

Now, even if we grant that the CJS is a failure, it's not enough to support this contention. He also has to show us that vigilantism actually improves justice. However, not one single piece of data was offered to show how vigilantism compensates for the CJS's failures. Thus, his entire argument for this contention commits the fallacy of reaching an affirmative conclusion from negative premises.

AC2: The people have a right to defend the Justice system.

"Mistakes are extremely detrimental to the welfare of the people and continue to harm families who have been victimized all over the country."

I agree. Mistakes in justice are detrimental, which is why due process exists in the first place. Notice how TUF repeatedly condemns my position for accepting the mistakes of the CJS without showing us that vigilantism won't make the same or worse mistakes. All throughout this debate, vigilantism is assumed to be better. This is blatant question begging.

Of course, that's not what this contention is really about. This contention is about rights, and TUF does not address the issue of rights. I've argued that giving rights to one group takes freedoms from another. He agrees that due process has its place, but he ignores my highest criticism: that the right to vigilantism removes the right to due process. His only response is, "Is that not what you want as well? Justice?" Yes, but TUF never showed us that due process is less just than vigilantism, he only assumed it based upon his misguided definition that vigilantism is always just in the first place.

Conclusion

My opponent has the burden of proof, as indicated in this opening round. His two contentions are circular in their reasoning, as they are based on the notion that vigilantism is always just, when it's the justness of vigilantism in question in the first place. I gave my own argument against the resolution, but it's only extra-credit on my part, as simply refuting TUF's contentions is all I need to do in order to negate the resolution.

On the issue of conduct, my opponent stated that he has used external debates in the past without troubles. So be it, but this is a tournament debate and formal debates (in real life) have a time limit for a reason. Our character limit is like that time limit, and violating it gives him a distinct edge. However, I don’t really mind the character limit issue so much. I'm okay with it because he had to dedicate a portion of his opening round to rules and parameters.

However, I strongly object to the alteration of his opening arguments after I made my first rebuttal as it serves to unfairly taint my cross examination in the eyes of the readers. In fact, I want back to that debate again in this round and he edited again. As of this writing, he changed his argument 4 hours prior. You will no longer be able to find his claims that "60-80% crimes go free" or that "43% of criminals with evidence to their crimes . . . go free this year." They are gone, deleted without a trace. Not only should that factor into the conduct vote, but it should grant me the most convincing argument as well. I put a lot of time refuting arguments that were changed or removed, which makes me look worse with each edit. I insist that such tactics are no less than flat out cheating.

As for sources, my opponent has exhibited very poor scholarship when it comes to his facts and figures. He repeatedly dodged my criticisms of his "60-80% crimes go free" figure (other than to delete it), which had no basis in reality. He dodged my criticism that his pie graph had zero correlation with his 43% of criminals going free figure (other than to delete it). Instead of rebutting my criticisms, he only states, "All of my data in the source is completely accurate." Such bare assertions are not debate.

I'd like to thank everyone for their time and thoughtful consideration.

Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
Well, you're welcome.:)
Posted by KRFournier 4 years ago
KRFournier
Wow, MIG, that was very comprehensive. I don't want sound boastful--since I was on the positive receiving end of that vote--but I really do appreciate RFD's that are clearly the result of much thought and time. Thank you.
Posted by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
Read top to bottom.

And if I misconstrued anything, please tell me.:)
Posted by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
RFD:
Good god, what a scandal for the two here. But first my prefatory remarks...

TUF loses conduct chiefly for altering his external debate several times, making it a dishonest effort to taint KRFournier's cross examination and manipulating the evidence. Unfortunate, indeed.

As for the very substance of the debate, it should note that the debate lies on the crux of whether vigilantism is to ensure the peak fulfillment of the government's goal that is neither to be subject to regulation and the specific right ascribed to the citizens in procuring justice. Pro unfortunately based his arguments on a brutal version of vigilantism based on a sense of correct judgement that is shown to be false: there appears, in Pro's case, the failure to consider the human factor that can diminish the purpose of vigilantism, especially in terms of subjectivity, and require regulation, which then, by extension of Con's reasoning, would mandate regulation.

Pro's responses were only further evocations of the rather brutal interpretation, which adds only a further implication to the original meaning. Moreover, despite failing to evoke it, Ob. 2, at least in my opinion, does not necessarily refute Pro's part of the subjectivity of interpreting who holds the pedestal of guilt or the fact that the implications of reactionary judgement would not preclude the initial participation of the government as suggested in the resolution that negates Pro's proposed interpretation of vigilantism or his analogies.

As for the issue of the displacement of due process and the very flaws of the justice system that would enable the justification of such a deed, it should be noted that TUF distinctly circumspect in his address to his opponent's charges in regards to the absence of a correlation between his presented data and his assertions (the 60-80 percentage issue) and, despite manage to at least have a consensus on the failure of the government to fully fulfill its duties of protecting individ
Posted by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
rights, could not overturn the noted institution of due process as a, in ideal, fair method of implication and incarceration in contrast to the more subjective measures taken by a vigilante in measuring or assessing guilt and the fact that his own characterization of vigilantism, as pertaining to specific rights that entail due actions and processes, is false, for such actions fall under the very authority of amendments that is apparently distorted in its application by Pro's case and so forth.

[And as for the noted fallacies within the court system, TUF nevertheless not only fails in establishing the pending need for such a course of action as opposed to reform or that the course of vigilantism, especially if without restriction or regulation, would prove a superior way of inducingh justice, and despite asserting, correctly, that justice cannot manifest in fullest form.]

This vote was not meant to be comprehensive but to cover much of the territory covered. I did not cover the discussion of the forfeit of the right of due process for other rights secured by vigilantism, for example, since it has already been eloquently covered by another member.

Good job, but I'm with the consensus that Con unfortunately won—that is unfortunately for Pro.;)
Posted by CiRrK 4 years ago
CiRrK
Omg this is a problematic round. Accusations are flying. So um...lets see. conduct is going to KR cause TUF kept manipulating the evidence (shame on you :P).

The substance of the round comes down to 2 issues: does the dropped Ob. 2 give enough offensive reason to vote Pro? And second, is having a failed due process sytem better than not? On the Ob. 2 KR makes the mistake of letting it slide which means these vigilantes must be acting in accordance with that law. But this does not in and of itself refute Con's argument that Pro's advocacy essentially deconstructs and diminishes the protective power of due process. Due Process is there to protect innocents against an inefficient system (both agreed by the competitors). Thus, I believe justice is qualitatively better maintained by keeping the integrity of the justice system and due process.

I think overall the debate could have been better - i think Con's only contention was lacking in offense, and TUF seemed to be all over the place this debate.
Posted by KRFournier 4 years ago
KRFournier
Dude, seriously?! You changed your arguments again! I went back to it to quote you and you freakin' removed those quotes? I'm sorry, but how can you possibly justify this behavior? Now when someone reads that round for the first time before reading mine, they'll think I'm on crack or something.
Posted by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
Oops, it looks like some of the defintions got mashed together.

Clarifiying:

Vigilantism: any person who takes the law into his or her own hands, as
by avenging a crime.

Justified: to show (an act, claim, statement, etc.) to be just or right.

Failed: to fall short of successor achievement in something expected, attempted,
desired, or approved.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
TUFKRFournierTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: See vote in comments.:)
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
TUFKRFournierTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro needed a good example of when vigilantism is justified, but he failed to produce one. Self-defense is legal; a citizen's arrest is legal when a felony is witnessed. Examples would be when the government refuses to enforce a law and people are endangered, or in some remote location where there are no police. Conduct to Con for Pro referencing arguments; sources to Con for the "60 - 80 of crimes" reference by Pro. Pro had worse S
Vote Placed by Double_R 4 years ago
Double_R
TUFKRFournierTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pros case was built on an abusive interpretation of vigilantism as something which only occurs when the vigilante is correct. This interpretation was not consistent with the resolution so Cons due process arguments were valid and were also made well. Also, Cons argument that vigilantism is self refuting showed that most of Pros case was invalid as he was trying to argue it as something which should be part of the process. Conduct to Con for Pros editing his argument.
Vote Placed by CiRrK 4 years ago
CiRrK
TUFKRFournierTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments