The Instigator
littlelacroix
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
whitesoxfan450
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points

Resolved: Hate crime enhancements are unjust in the United States.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/9/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,217 times Debate No: 3968
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (5)

 

littlelacroix

Con

I was hoping to have a real online LD debate complete with values, criterions and contentions. Pro=Affirmative and Con=Negative. I'm taking the first round so that we can follow the official format (Aff-Neg-Aff-Neg-Aff). The beginning of the 2nd speeches for both sides will be used as cross-ex and can only be 7-8 questions long. Each side must answer these questions in the following speech.

Let the round begin...
whitesoxfan450

Pro

Thanks for an LD debate! Haven't done one in 2 months, and am excited to do this! Good luck!

I Affirm the Resoltion that Hate Crime Enhancements are unjust in the United States

Value(What I want to achive): Justice

Value Criterion(How I will do it): Proportionality

Definitions:
Hate Crime-any of various crimes... when motivated by hostility to the victim as a member of a group (as one based on color, creed, gender, or sexual orientation

unjust-unfair

Contention 1) Hate Crime Enhancements violate the First Amendment
Hate crimes are crimes that are based on an idea that the perpetrator had prior to the crime. The crime itself is no different from any other crime except that it is punished harder. Why is it punished harder? Because we are punishing an idea. This is unjust and our own constitution states this. In the 1st Amendment to the constitution we are granted the freedom of speech and thought among other freedoms. Our whole system of government is based on be able to think and speak freely without being coerced by any outside influence. That's why the 1st Amendment was added.

Contention 2) Intents can's be proven fairly
Congress can't make a law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Contention 3) Proportionality
In On Crimes and Punishments, Beccaria argues that in a just society,
punishments ought to be proportional to the crime—for three reasons.
His first two arguments attempt to persuade us that punishments
should be proportional in severity to their crimes,
that is, no harsher than necessary to deter a crime.
1.According to the social contract, individuals agree to give the state power over them, but only to the extent that is necessary to create order and harmony. Therefore, the state can punish only to the extent that is necessary to deter crimes, and no more than is required. Any excessive punishment is an abuse of power by the state.
2.Second, Beccaria argues that if punishments were not proportional, then the state would in fact encourage and create more crimes! This argument depends on Beccaria's understanding of human nature as hedonistic or self-interested: if forced to choose between between a less-serious crime and a more-serious crime that are assigned the same punishment, we would be more likely to attempt the more serious crime. We gain more, for the same risk and consequences.

If the punishments for robbing $20 from the local 7-11 and $2000 from the local bank were the same, which would you be more likely to risk robbing? If punishments are not proportionally assigned, the state would in fact encourage individuals to engage in the more serious crime!

Beccaria's final argument attempts to argue that there
should be a proportionality in kind as well as degree. . .

3.In order to best function as a general deterrent, the punishment should immediately bring to mind the crime in the mind of the would-be offender. The punishment should therefore symbolize the crime that it punishes.

Consider the punishment of the 'chain gang.' The punishment is public and visible--everyone who passes by must confront the prisoners. The black and white stripes of the uniform recalls to their minds the bars of imprisonment. Finally, the labor of the prisoners--their contributing to society--brings to mind theft, the taking from society.

Thus, I believe that hate crime enhancements are unjust
Debate Round No. 1
littlelacroix

Con

Cross-Examination
1. Could you please explain your 2nd contention for me?
2. How does proportionality work on the Affirmative side over the Negative side?
3. Can you just go a little more in depth on how proportionality acheives justice?

I have no other questions as I'm sure that I'm going to run out of characters by the end of this speech.

I stand in negation of the resolution, Resolved: Hate crime enhancements are unjust in the United States.

I agree with all of my opponents definitions and if further clarification is required, I reserve the right.

My value for this round will be that of Justice. The definition of justice is giving each his due, from Merriam-Webster Online.

I will be upholding my value with my criterion of John Locke's Second Treatise on Government. John Locke promotes that everyone has the right to life, liberty and property. He also contends that if these rights are infringed upon, that they deserve a certain degree of punishment, or, in other words, a punishment that fits the crime. According to Locke, everyone is given their due, if they infringe upon another's rights, through a punishment equal to the violation. Thus, if one person, or in this case, a group of people, are no longer able to pursue life, liberty and property, than the violator has to pay the same consequence, in which the government places an appropriate decision, usually a longer incarceration period. The US Constitution and the Judicial System was based on the principles of Locke's theory and has worked quite well for the past 200 plus years and will continue to work as it has not greatly altered the system. From petty theft to grand theft auto, pre-meditated to crime of passion; different crimes have different levels of punishment, just as violent actions would have different levels of punishment with hate crime enhancements. For the Affirmative to say that hate crime enhancements are unjust, they would also be saying that pre-meditated murder and crime of passion are the same, alongside petty theft and grand theft auto being tried at the same level.

1) Hate crimes have drastic affects on the group being attacked

A hate crime affects more that the person(s) of the original incident, they affect everyone belonging to the group that was attacked. Take the Nazis or even the Ku Klux Klan for example. Their attacks were hate crimes on a massive scale. The symbols representing their groups struck fear into the hearts of anyone they were against. Jews fled from the Swastika and mainly blacks fled from the white hooded men. If something isn't done to prevent hate crimes in the US, then once again we will see the rise of a group that will someday strike fear into the hearts of millions, maybe next time, it will be against one of you.

2) Longer sentences will help the rehabilitation process

When you were younger would you prefer a slap on the wrist or grounded for a month? I would be willing to bet that you would take the slap on the wrist any day. Since hate crimes have a greater affect on society, as shown in my first contention, they deserve a greater punishment. If you know that you would receive a lighter sentence for a major crime, you would be more willing to do it. If you know that you would receive a harsher punishment, you would be more deterred from doing it. A harsher punishment would allow for people to think before doing it in the first place, but would also remind people if they were to do it again.

3) Hate crime enhancements have worked better than regular punishments

Since the introduction of the Hate Crime Enhancement Act in 1990, the number of hate crimes had decreased by an average of 5% until 2001. Since the 9/11 attacks, this nation has experienced an increase in the number of racial separatism among all racial groups. This is the reason for the recent increase among hate crimes and the reason hate crime enhancements have been under fire as of lately. This information is from Michael Shively and Carrie F. Mulford, both Ph.D.'s from the National Institute of Justice. Had hate crime enhancements not been in effect, it has been predicted to have the number of hate crimes rise by over double of what it has previously done

I will now move on to the Affirmative argumentation...

On the values, we are trying to achieve the same thing, but it all depends on the criterion and contentions that will uphold the values and thus we look to the different sides of the resolution in order to determine who best acheives justice.

I will attack the criterion in my opponent's 3rd contention.

1)Hate Crime Enhancements violate the First Amendment

If you know anything about the United States government, then you would know that there are always exceptions to the rule. Take laws against slander, for example. If there are lies being brought forth against a person, than there are protections from publishing them. It is okay to prevent a person's freedom of speech if it is going to endanger a person. Also, if you look to the Supreme Court decision of Dennis v. US, the clear and present danger test came about. If a clear and present danger is imminent to the US or it's constituency, then it is allowed to violate the rights that are supposedly guarenteed to us. Thus, if it is a clear and present danger that a hate crime offender is out to get members of a certain population, then it is allowable to restrict the freedom of speech and is tried above a crime of a similar magnitude.

2)Intents can's be proven fairly

I'm confused about this point as mentioned before in cross-ex.

3)Proportionality

I agree completely that proportionality is key, but we need a further analysis of the Justice System to allow this to be an acceptable argument. When the court system looks at and determines the sentance of a case, they look at the intent of the person (for example, premeditated murder vs. a crime of passion)and the number of the people affected (example, homicide vs. massacre). Therefore, if we are looking at the intent of a hate crime, they are purposely looking to hurt a specific group of people, and looking at group affected, an entire ethnicity, gender, etc. versus a normal crime where one or few people are affected. Therefore if we are looking for proportionality, we must look only to the Negative side in order to acheive justice. My opponent's criterion better upholds the Negative side of the resolution because without proportionality, we would be treating a petty theft the same as grand theft auto, since they are both theft. As mentioned before, we need to look at intent and amount affected in order to decide a proper sentance and that is why petty theft and grand theft auto are on two different levels.

In conclusion, the Negative side is the only side that acheives justice. Looking to the Affirmative, we have the same value, and fairly similar criterion, if you look at them closely, but with the topic at hand, everything fits better on the Negative. In my criterion, Locke talks about giving a person, who violates another's right life, liberty and property, the degree of punishment that is merited by the governing body. Thus, if your words before committing a hate crime affect many people, then you should receive a harsher punishment than if you only hurt one person. Looking at this from a far, this is proportional for the crime they committed.

Thank you and with that I'm open for cross-examination and points of clarification :-)
whitesoxfan450

Pro

so first I'll answer cross-ex questions, ask my own questions, then go on my opponents case, and then close with my case, and voters.

ANSWERS-
1. Sorry, my 2nd contention came out a bit wordy, and a few lines repeated. Basically its saying that the government has no way to prove intents of the crime(Since the difference between a crime and a hate crime is that hate crimes are done with hate in intent) So it wouldn't be fair to add the extra charge for hate. The jury could be racist/sexist, or anything else, and could be against the group in trial. That's mainly what the contention was trying to say.
2. Proportionality works on the Aff side over the Neg side because of my second contention. As you know, proportionality is how they weigh the crime. And if the crime is given extra value for proposed racism, it wouldn't be fair to the person on trial. What I believe should happen is that all crimes should be valued as equal, and the whole idea of hate crimes shouldn't be considered. This is because of proportionality. Also, this goes with my 1st contention.
3. Proportionality achieves justice. Justice is giving everyone their equal due. And if we give the criminals equal due for all crimes, it achives justice. Proportionality is the only way for the criminal to get justice. I'm not saying he shouldn't be punished, I'm saying his INTENT shouldn't be, because you can't prove.
Good questions! :)

My Cross Questions:
1. Can you explain a bit more on John Locke's idea? I'm half way getting it. Also, who is John Locke?(I mean what is his degree)
2. So if you're saying that hate crime enhancements are in place already, why are we debating the topic? Its non-unique!
3. The exceptions you made in you're answer to my 1st contentions are true. But can you describe an exception where HATE CRIMES are included?
Thats all for my questions.

Neg case:
I agree with my opponents definitions, so I'm not going to argue with that.

1) Hate crimes have drastic affects on the group

Hate crimes do effect the group, but I don't think its drastic enough to add more of a sentence. Take you're KK example. Were they punished any extra for the crime? Not really. All the people need to know is that they were punished. As explained earlier, hate can't be determined, so you can't punish for hate, it wouldn't be just. And are the Jews still running? No. We punished the Germans for what they did, not because of INTENT, but because of what they did. And the holocaust is over.

2.) Longer sentences will help the rehabilitation.
Again, go to my contention of not being able to prove intents.

3.) If hate crimes enhancements have already taken place, this case is non-unique!

My Case:
1) Again, going to my cross-ex question, can you explain an exception with Hate Crimes? Also, extend the idea that intents are proven in court, and can't be fairly chosen.

2 and 3. This idea has been extended throughout this speech, and I'll do it again. This also links to proportionality, since the intent itself isn't enough to add time. ALSO, intents can't be proven.

Voters:
A vote for Aff is encouraged because:
1) Proportionality works on my side. The crime intent isn't enough to add sentence.
2) As my opponent stated, hate crime enhancements have happened in cases, so the argument is nonunique.
3) Proportionality is the only way to achieve justice. People will be in fear if someone is given extra time for a so called intent. Take the Jena 6 for example. The blacks were the only ones arrested. The whites got NO TIME.. this links to...
4) The MOST IMPORTANT POINT, and why I must win, INTENTS CAN'T BE FAIRLY PROVEN. We can't be fair with the added time.
A vote for Aff is a vote for fairness, and a vote for fairness is a vote for justice.

Thank you, and I look foward to a great ending to this debate!
Debate Round No. 2
littlelacroix

Con

Cross-ex Answers:

1. Alright, John Locke is a famous philosopher from the 16th century. His philosophies were great insights for the framers of the Constitution and many of them were actually used. Now John Locke fights for everyone's rights for life liberty and property, EXCEPT when a violator infringes upon another's right. Basically what he is saying here is that you should delegate a punishment that fits the crime.
2. We are not debating whether we should have hate crimes or not, we are debating whether they are just or not. My arguments talking about hate crime enhancements being in place is just an example proving that hate crimes are just at the moment.
3. All of these exceptions are related to hate crimes, just not directly, that's why I'm tying them into it. Take for example, the slander laws. These laws were created to protect people, even if it technically violates the 1st Amendment. This is going back to John Locke's theory. If you infringe upon another's rights, you don't deserve the rights yourself.

I hope this clarification is good enough :-)

Going down the flow of the round...

1) So the way I hear this, you say that KKK member's punishments aren't drastic enough, but that any ol' punishment will make society feel better. First of all, it sounds contradictory to me that there aren't drastic enough punishments for them, but any ol' punishment will work. Secondly, it's not about making society "feel" better, it's about giving people what they deserve for breaking the law. Also, intent can be proven. Look back to the KKK and Nazi example. They're intent was obvious, they meant to hurt a certain group. And the Nazi example is just in the past. Had we not done all that we could had in WWII, then the Nazis may have ended up winning WWII and they could've hurt millions more. We need to treat MAJOR crimes with MAJOR punishments. Furthermore, take for example, the case of Mitchell v. Wisconsin. The intent was proven through oral confession. How can you say that intent isn't able to be proven if they say it themselves? Intent is something that can be proven.

2) There is no actual refutation to this argument except the intent argument, which Ive already proven against.

3) Once again, this debate is about whether something is JUST OR NOT, not whether they should be taking place. Again, I have proven that they are necessary over regular crime punishments and this went basically unrefuted.

On to my opponent's case...

1) Once again, if you look to any of the rights that are guaranteed to us, there will always be exceptions if they are to infringe upon another's rights (John Locke) and thus, this entire argument should be thrown out the window as my criterion has been completely unrefuted in this round.

2) & 3) I will attack these in my crystallization.

Some points of crystallization...

1) Normally I start with a value clash, but since we are both going for justice, we must look first to the criterions to see who best upholds their value and then to the contentions.

2) Now on to the criterion clash. John Locke vs. Proportionality. Once again, there isn't much difference between criterions but what you must see is that proportionality works on the Negative side better. The Justice System already uses proportionality to decide the proper punishment, in example, they give a different punishment for petty theft and grand theft auto, because of the amount affected. I mean, they are both theft, they should be given different punishment and, if the Affirmative is trying to say that a hate crime is the same as a regular crime, then we are not punishing them proportionally to the number of people affected. Every member of the group being attack is affected, as proven in my original 1st contention, and went un-argued by my opponent, and thus it must be given a proportional punishment, which is more than a regular crime, which is the definition of a hate crime enhancement.

3) My final point of clarification is the entire intent argument. My opponent doesn't EVER prove how intent cannot be proven, he just says that it can't. If you look throughout the round, I have proven that intent can be proven through oral (or even written) confession and through the obvious reasoning. If a man is completely outspoken against blacks (for the politically correct, African Americans) and just happens to kill a black man, it's not just a coincidence. It's obvious that he just committed a hate crime. I hope anyone voting on this debate sees that the "I'm right, you're wrong" technique being used by my opponent isn't really effective. There were several arguments that were only attacked by this single point, and thus I should win all of those arguments.

I hope that since the cross-ex was a little fuzzy that this was enough clarification for this round and that nothing was left out. I also hope that my opponent doesn't bring up any new arguments in his next speech as I would not be able to refute them and would be abusive to me. Generally that's not a problem but I just wanted to cover all grounds.

I thank my opponent for this debate and good luck! :-)
whitesoxfan450

Pro

whitesoxfan450 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by SportsGuru 6 years ago
SportsGuru
meh. sorry, have other things to do (like an english paper).
Posted by SportsGuru 6 years ago
SportsGuru
Okay, if this not taken by 8:00, it will be mine, ALL MINE!!! MUHAHAHAHAHA!
Posted by SportsGuru 6 years ago
SportsGuru
I won't take it today but if it is not taken tommorrow, I might
Posted by Geekis_Khan 6 years ago
Geekis_Khan
I believe he's doing that because that was the actual LD topic.

It also limits the scope of the debate, which could just be something that an individual debater wants.
Posted by Harlan 6 years ago
Harlan
Why do you specify "in the united states"?
Posted by Geekis_Khan 6 years ago
Geekis_Khan
Doing a real LD debate won't work because you don't have the same speech constraints, unless you make an agreement to keep a word limit in every round.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
Can't you just finish our debate instead? :P
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Vote Placed by Excessum 5 years ago
Excessum
littlelacroixwhitesoxfan450Tied
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littlelacroix
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whitesoxfan450
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