"Resolved: In the United States, jury nullification is a just check on government."
Debate Rounds (3)
John Adams, said of the jury: "it is its right and duty to find the verdict according to its best judgment, even in opposition to the court." Because I agree with President Adams, I must affirm the resolution, "Resolved: In the United States, jury nullification is a just check on government."
Affirming achieves the value of justice, defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as "properly due or merited." This is the right value because it is mandated by the resolution, which questions the justness of jury nullification as a check on laws in the United States. To achieve justice, society must protect individual rights. Ayn Rand explains, "A "right" is a moral principle defining a man's freedom of action. There is only one fundamental right: a man's right to his own life. The right to life means the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the furtherance and enjoyment of his own life. The concept of a "right" pertains only to action— specifically, to freedom of action. It means freedom from physical coercion or interference by other men. Thus, for every individual, a right is the moral sanction of his freedom to act on his own judgment, for his own goals, by his own voluntary choice." Therefore, my criterion is the protection of individual rights as life without rights is not a life. If we have individual rights we have freedom of action, so our justice (which is properly due to us) is achieved.
Before continuing, please allow me to define the following term from The American Heritage Dictionary,
Jury Nullification - the right to disregard the law as applied to the case before it on the grounds of the jury's conscious objection to the law.
C1 Jury nullification was instrumental in establishing freedom of the press.
Justice Robert D. Rucker explains, in, "The Right To Ignore the Law: Constitutional Entitlement Versus Judicial Interpretation," written for the Valparaiso University Law Review.
in the 1735, publisher John Zenger argued to the jury its right to determine both the law and the facts. Zenger was the only printer in New York who would print material not authorized by the British mayor. His newspaper, the New York Weekly Law Journal, exposed corruption among governmental officials. Once an uncomplimentary article was published, the author of the article was subject to prosecution for libel. In this instance the articles were unsigned; however, Zenger's name appeared as the publisher. He was arrested and charged by information with libel. There was no evidence to show that he wrote the articles. Further, it is not clear whether Zenger even agreed with their content. Nonetheless, if the jury had followed the court's instruction, they would have been compelled to return a verdict of guilty.
The Zenger trial shows that the freedom of the press was established through jury nullification. Freedom of the press is an essential individual right discussed in the first amendment, thus achieving my value criterion, and therefore my value of justice.
C2 Jury nullification helped end slavery in the US.
The International Society for Individual Liberty explains, in "A History of Jury Nullification."
"Early in the 1800s, federal and state judges instructed the juries they had the right to disregard the court's view of the law. Then, when northern jurors began to refuse to convict abolitionists who had violated the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, judges began questioning jurors to find out if they were prejudiced against the government's position and dismissed any who were. In 1852 Lysander Spooner, a Massachusetts lawyer and champion of individual liberties, complained that courts repeatedly questioned jurors to ascertain whether they were prejudiced. Modern treatments of abolitionism praise these jury-nullification verdicts for the role they played in helping the anti-slavery cause - rather than condemning them for "undermining" the rule of law and uniformity of justice."
This means jury nullification was instrumental in ending some of the worst oppression in US history by ending the dehumanizing conditions brought about to African Americans by slavery. Their individual rights were violated and jury nullification reinstated these crucial rights, which is why it achieves my value criterion.
C3 Jury nullification helped secure the rights of laborers.
International Society for Individual Liberty continues,
"In 1895, going on strike and unionization was against the law. Laborers were not able to protest bad working conditions, low wages, and unmanageable hours. Jury nullification legalized the movement and allowed for unionists to fight for laborers rights, allowing the worker to regain his right to speech, and furthering his ability to pursue happiness
This means that jury nullification has helped laborers secure their rights to strike and unionize, allowing them to fight for the right to speak out and for better worker's quality. This is an essential part of the "freedom of action". This is only another reason that affirming achieves my criterion of protecting individual rights.
C4 Jury nullification puts power in the hands of the people, allowing them to protect their own rights
Dwight M. Callaway writes
"Every single jury nullification of any bad law automatically takes an increment of stolen power away from government. Sometimes the increments are small, but history records that sometimes the "increments" are massive and beneficially change the course of history…Even in small increments repeated nullifications tend to cascade and gain momentum. All power lost by government due to jury nullifications automatically flows back into the hands of the people, where it rightfully belongs."
If the people have more power, they can defend themselves against bullying government action, protecting their individual rights with their own shield and sword.
For all these reasons, I affirm the resolution.
I negate the resolution.
Value: Morality defined as the specific set of duties recognized as right by a particular culture. Thus, we are looking to what the culture of the United States considers moral, which, as the United States is democratic, is reflected in law.
Criterion: Obedience to Justice defined as giving to each what he is owed for his moral actions. The word "just" in the resolution means that we are looking to what gives each what they deserve; in a word, their dues. People's dues are what one is owed because of one's moral actions. Thus, we must look to morality, and its impact on justice, to determine the resolution. "Justice" is defined as "giving each his due"; one's dues are decided by the combination of customs and moral principles that make up the body of law in a democratic nation.
Contention 1: Jury Nullification undermines the government.
A. Juries may be racist or bias
An acquittal may come because the jurors found the defendant attractive, or were members of the same race, or harbored hatred toward the victim's race, or merely because they were tired of being sequestered for months. This possibility, which might fairly be called "lawless nullification," is protected by our Constitution not for its own sake, but because of our commitment to the secrecy of jury deliberations and the finality and unreview ability of their verdicts. (This is true in much the same way that the First Amendment protects the right to say many things that nobody would publicly hold up as a model of good civic behavior.) The jury is there, by design, "to prevent oppression by the Government" and to "protect against unfounded criminal charges brought to eliminate enemies and against judges too responsive to the voice of higher authority." Duncan V. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145, 155-56(1968).
B. Jury Nullification allows one individual, often a single-issue activist, to overturn the moral judgment of an entire civilization. Citizens should follow proper, available channels to change the law.
Joseph Leone, "Proposed Amendment Undermines the Law," The Yale Herald, October 4, 2002
"A few examples of overzealous prosecution don't justify giving juries the power to legislate according to their whims. The laws in this country are flexible and subject to change, but if people strongly feel a law is faulty or injurious to their rights, they have every opportunity to come together and rally for a change in this law. And if a law is indeed detrimental, people should work to gather support to repeal it through the legislature. This should not sound new to anyone; it is how our democracy works."
D. Nullification undermines due process.
Iowa State Bar Association, "Jury Nullification," The Iowa State Bar Association, 2001:
"Nullification instructions affect important constitutional protections. When criminal charges are brought against an individual, an allegation is made that the defendant violated a particular provision of state law. Even if the evidence in the case proves that the defendant did not violate state law, a jury may decide to convict the defendant because they think the state law is not a good law. A nullification instruction allows people to be convicted of breaking laws based upon the belief of a small group of individuals as to what the law should be. This would result in persons being convicted without due process of law, because the act for which the person is convicted has not yet been declared illegal. In such cases, persons are also denied their constitutional right to know what he or she is accused of. Furthermore, a person's right to be presumed innocent and not guilty unless the evidence shows guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is lost if the jury can rely on 'conscientious consideration'."
CONTENTION 2: Courts recently have been reluctant to encourage jury nullification, and in fact have taken several steps to prevent it. In most jurisdictions, judges instruct jurors that it is their duty to apply the law as it is given to them, whether they agree with the law or not. Only in a handful of states are jurors told that they have the power to judge both the facts and the law of the case. Most judges also will prohibit attorneys from using their closing arguments to directly appeal to jurors to nullify the law.
A.This just proves that even in court cases, the judges find it unjust to use jury nullification in a trial. Recently, several courts have indicated that judges also have the right, when it is brought to their attention by other jurors, to remove (prior to a verdict, of course) from juries any juror who makes clear his or her intention to vote to nullify the law.
B.Judges have worried that informing jurors of their power to nullify will lead to jury anarchy, with jurors following their own sympathies. They suggest that informing of the power to nullify will increase the number of hung juries. Some judges also have pointed out that jury nullification has had both positive and negative applications--the negative applications including some notorious cases in which all-white southern juries in the 1950s and 1960s refused to convict white supremacists for killing blacks or civil rights workers despite overwhelming evidence of their guilt. Finally, some judges have argued that informing jurors of their power to nullify places too much weight on their shoulders--that is easier on jurors to simply decide facts, not the complex issues that may be presented in decisions about the morality or appropriateness of laws.
Now to attack my opponents case
His value from the aff world is flawed because as I've proven through my case juries may be racist or bias and don't support a just way because they base their decisions off of race also 99.9 percent of the defendants called before federal grand juries are indicted, buttress the belief -- and concern -- that prosecutors today almost always get what they want from a system originally set up to protect citizens from governmental overreaching.(http://truthinjustice.org...) showing that the jury system is lenient and isn't spreading justice
In this he makes an argument about protecting individual rights but this isn't true.Cross apply(use) the argument in my case and against his value that these juries aren't spreading justice and not protecting individual rights by being racist and http://www.affirmativelinks.com... describes that juries may easy on the peple and don't deter crime
Here I have effectively shown that his value and vc are flawed therefore his value and vc are not in consideration while my value is supported with common sense and good being so since this is ld debate "value debate" you should vote for the negative.
now to his C1,C2,C3
all these arguments are non-resolutional because for the fact they talk about ending slavery and establishing freedom of press this is not related because the resolution is talking about juries influencing the GOVERNMENT so these arguments aren't valid. Also all these arguments are dated way back past 21st century and we must look to today in the United states. Also arguments I make are resolutional since i says how the gov. can replace juries jobs.Also he didn't show a significant impact or show links so please voe con.
On his C4 putting power from gov to people this is done without juries because the republic votes for these judges and the people's voice is heard and the power is put in the people's hands without juries
You should vote for con because mainly Aff has made off topic arguments, value and vc are flawed, and I have shown that juries are bias people that make bad decisions so voe con.
V- my opponent states his value is morality. Is it moral to deny the jury the right to decide upon his/her own judgement? It is not moral therefore my opponents value is flawed
VC- my opponents value criterion is flawed because my opponents value is flawed. if my opponent trys to achieve a flawed value then that would only destroy his case and destroy the society
C1- Jury nullification does not undermine the government as the government, if just, would want to give rights to its citizens.
A- of course juries may be bias. that is inevitable. But the chances of all the juries to be bias is nearly impossible
B- one individual will not overturn the whole judgement as there is more than one jury
(my opponent skipped sub point c)
D- This argument is the same as his C1 so as I attacked C1 this is attacked as well
C2- This is not a contention so much as an UNTRUE statement. courts believe that the right to nullify according to their judgement as courts are just
A- My opponent didn't provide a warrant for this statement
B- Judges are just therefore this statement is false
My opponent didn't provide sources, warrants, evidence or any cards to prove his points
V- as I stated, people being bias is inevitable so the judge could be bias as well so neg is unjust. Since there is only one judge he can overturn all of the decision
vc- if juries can be lenient then so can the judge so that statement is false
All contentions- The resolution states " a just CHECK on government" therefore Ur statement is wrong. Putting power in the hands of the people checks the government
My opponent did not provide sufficient attacks to my case nor did he defend his case properly. He also did not provide sources for ANY of his arguments and his case is flawed it every angle. For all of these reasons I strongly urge an Affirmative vote
Vaue-my opponent claims are just asking a question about the juries decision. This is not a sufficient attack and got conceded with ego and said it was flawed. Now let me examine that if your were to make that argument(question) you would most likely loose in a debate round.Oh also no evidence=D. Now for my evidence
In an article titled "License to Nullify: The Democratic and Constitutional Deficiencies of Authorized Jury Lawmaking," found in the June 1997 edition of the Yale Law Journal, Richard St. John answers with an emphatic "no." He situates his analysis in the context of attempts by the FIJA (and similar groups) to make nullification a legally protected right by amending state constitutions. (As it stands, in most jurisdictions, juror instructions make it clear that the jury is to merely sift the facts and apply the law, not judge the merits of the law.)
While making the case against statutory reform, St. John offers several reasons why nullification is unjust. The first: it is patently undemocratic.
(Evidence) Proponents of jury nullification have convincingly argued that nullifying juries make law. Although they would conclude from this that the jury might be understood as a lawmaking body parallel--or even superior--to the legislature,I will argue that this insight demonstrates the crucial and fatal flaw in the case for enactment of the jury nullification power. When legislatures delegate to juries the right to make law, the law becomes not more but less democratically legitimate. [J]uries can neither represent nor embody the community or its will. Not only do juries fail to reflect an adequate demographic sample of the community, but their voting rules make them minoritarian rather than majoritarian bodies. It is impossible to reform their minoritarian nature without undermining what little confidence we do have in their verdicts' representativeness.
The paradox of supermajorities in all forms, of course, is the same: they tip the scales toward dissenters. St. John also notes that the "minorities" in the jury room are not even necessarily minorities in the wider community, which doubly means that the the mistrial (or, possibly, reduced charge) that results from a hung jury will not reflect the community's wishes.
Showing juries are unmoral
Value Criterion- the claim he makes is that since my v is flawed my VC MUST BE FLAWED, but I've shown you that my value isn't flawed therefore my v and vc are a legitimate argument. so vote con.
C1-all he does is says that the gov. would give rights. Okay yes they would want to give rights but in a proper way and that can't be done through a jury because I showed you that they're bias. Second my evidence saying judgescan mke better education,http://www.america.gov... states judges are more informed and make better decisions that juries giving the citizrights that aren't flawed. So showing that juries don't have a just check on the gov.
A-he gives no warrants for this claim while I provide evidence(http://www.time.com...) saying most juries are bias and thus hurts a just check on the gov. so you must vote con. The evidence says majority of juries are bias therefore my opponents claim is unue
B- He says one individual will not over turn a whole judgment but my evidence I provided says one will sympathize with others making the judgment flawed.Also my opponent had no evidence.
C-my bad for skipping
D- this is a different argument than my C1 tagline. My sub D talks about due process rights which he must not know because he skips this and for his memory I provide him a link of what due process is(http://en.wikipedia.org...) and since he dropped this please extend this argument across meaning since juries are letting people break the as explained in my card in sub point D they undermine a key process in the criminal justice system
Now to my C2
He provides no evidence for this attack and makes a bias opinion and says that courts are just so they must make a nulify but this false because as my evidence(In most jurisdictions, judges instruct jurors that it is their duty to apply the law as it is given to them, whether they agree with the law or not. Only in a handful of states are jurors told that they have the power to judge both the facts and the law of the case. Most judges also will prohibit attorneys from using their closing arguments to directly appeal to jurors to nullify the law. Judges have worried that informing jurors of their power to nullify will lead to jury anarchy, with jurors following their own sympathies. They suggest that informing of the power to nullify will increase the number of hung juries. Some judges also have pointed out that jury nullification has had both positive and negative applications--the negative applications including some notorious cases in which all-white southern juries in the 1950s and 1960s refused to convict white supremacists for killing blacks or civil rights workers despite overwhelming evidence of their guilt. Finally, some judges have argued that informing jurors of their power to nullify places too much weight on their shoulders--that is easier on jurors to simply decide facts, not the complex issues that may be presented in decisions about the morality or appropriateness of laws.) says that courts are fearing that juries because they're doing bad so they won't make a just check showing my opponents claims are false.
I have provided evidence on my contentions and my attacks while my opponent has NO EVIDENCE on his/her attacks.
v-on this he says the judge can be bias yet provides no evidence.Also he says a judge makes bad decisions but look at my evidence I'm about to provide you saying juries are "dumb" make dumb decisions (http://www.law.umkc.edu...) says in the case of O.J Simpson the juries were racist had no education and they made the wrong decision and let a murder go on the loose.showing that jury nullification isn't a just check on the gov.
vc- he has NO EVIDENCE while i provided some evidence saying juries sympathize alot
All contentions- he doesn't explain his horrible claim ad all he talks about is ending slavery and labor hours which aren't related to this because the just check isn't being put on the people.
I had provided evidence clearly shown defense in my case shown how those attacks matter in the debate,and attacked my opponents case bit by bit making them into shreds while my opponent has no evidence,make claims are false,no proper defense so you to vote con.
S98-SAMMAN forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by S98-SAMMAN 6 years ago
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