The Instigator
mongeese
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
mongoose
Con (against)
Winning
16 Points

Resolved: Plea bargaining in exchange for testimony is unjust

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
mongoose
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/13/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,354 times Debate No: 8260
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (5)

 

mongeese

Pro

This debate is part of a tournament (http://www.debate.org...), so we respectfully ask for no one outside of the tournament to vote in this debate.

I affirm the resolution that plea bargaining for testimony is unjust.

Plea bargaining - http://en.wikipedia.org...
Exchange - http://en.wikipedia.org...
Testimony - http://en.wikipedia.org...
Unjust - unfair (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)

Testimony is "solemn attestation as to the truth of a matter."
Lying in testimony, or only saying the truth in the case of a plea bargain, is unethical, as the person should make a true testimony regardless of the situation.

It is unfair that some people will vouch false evidence for a criminal just because he decided to plea bargain.

Thank you for accepting, mongoose.
mongoose

Con

Definitions are accepted.

"Lying in testimony, or only saying the truth in the case of a plea bargain, is unethical, as the person should make a true testimony regardless of the situation."

This is irrelevant to the debate, because the testimony would be the truth against a different crime.

"It is unfair that some people will vouch false evidence for a criminal just because he decided to plea bargain."

Again, irrelevant. Nobody is supposed to lie.

"Thank you for accepting, mongoose."

Thank you for starting this debate, mongeese.

Because my opponent has put forward no real arguments, I will put up my own.

If a criminal has extra information on another crime, it is overall beneficial to society to get the information through plea bargaining. People who cooperate should be rewarded over those who do not. People can get out of jail earlier than they were supposed to with good behavior. Why can't this good behavior include giving evidence about another criminal?
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Pro

"This is irrelevant to the debate, because the testimony would be the truth against a different crime."
And you know that it is the truth because...?

"Again, irrelevant. Nobody is supposed to lie."
People aren't supposed to commit crimes, either.

"If a criminal has extra information on another crime, it is overall beneficial to society to get the information through plea bargaining. People who cooperate should be rewarded over those who do not. People can get out of jail earlier than they were supposed to with good behavior. Why can't this good behavior include giving evidence about another criminal?"
Ever heard of the Salem Witch Trials?

http://en.wikipedia.org...

http://www.law.umkc.edu...

"Hey, you, sir, you have been accused of witchcraft!"
"Who, me?"
"Yes, you. Three girls fall to the floor every time you enter a room."
"They're faking it."
"All three of them?"
"Yep."
"Unlikely. Now, are you guilty?"
"Um... sure."
"Now, identify one of your witch friends, or else you'll be burned at the stake."
"Um, you."
"Huh?"
"Yeah. You're my witch buddy. 'Member? We'd go out at night and enchant... deer."
"That's rubbish!"
"No, it isn't. Hey, everybody, this man is a witch!"
The instigator is then carried off into a courtroom.

Yeah. When a criminal names another criminal, there is absolutely no guarantee that that man is a criminal. And the person giving the testimony isn't exactly reliable. I mean, who would you rather believe, a man who was originally thought to be unconnected to any crime, or a man who just killed someone and was told that he could cut a year off of his sentence by naming his accomplice, even when he didn't have one?

Yeah...
mongoose

Con

"And you know that it is the truth because...?"

We don't. This will be addressed later in the round.

"People aren't supposed to commit crimes, either."

Well, they do. Then they can partially make up for it.

"Ever heard of the Salem Witch Trials?"

Yes. (What kind of answer were you expecting?)

"[Conversation between two idiots]"

This would not happen. They would not instantly believe him. They would doubt him. And that was then, this is now. That was a very stupid time of American History. The laws for testimony and prosecution for witchcraft have changed.

"Yeah. When a criminal names another criminal, there is absolutely no guarantee that that man is a criminal. And the person giving the testimony isn't exactly reliable. I mean, who would you rather believe, a man who was originally thought to be unconnected to any crime, or a man who just killed someone and was told that he could cut a year off of his sentence by naming his accomplice, even when he didn't have one?"

This would then possibly lead to another court case. If it seems utterly rediculous, it would not. It would be for testimony for an already suspected case. If this information is found to be false (which it quite likely would if it was), then the foolish criminal would get more years in prison for purgery. Not a very good idea. This again rewards good behavior and punishes those who don't cooperate. If the testimony is false, then it is not truly testimony, and thus would not be used to help the convicted person. If it doesn't lead to anything, then it would still not help the person.

"Yeah..."

No...

This is in many ways relevant:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

He got off with good behavior! Good for him!

http://www.ilga.gov....

This shows the rules of good behavior.
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Pro

Well, they do. Then they can partially make up for it."
With lies?

"Yes. (What kind of answer were you expecting?)"
It was a rhetorical question.

"This would not happen. They would not instantly believe him. They would doubt him. And that was then, this is now. That was a very stupid time of American History. The laws for testimony and prosecution for witchcraft have changed."
Well, they would immediately barge into the man's house with a warrant and demand to search his house.

"This would then possibly lead to another court case. If it seems utterly rediculous, it would not. It would be for testimony for an already suspected case. If this information is found to be false (which it quite likely would if it was), then the foolish criminal would get more years in prison for purgery. Not a very good idea. This again rewards good behavior and punishes those who don't cooperate. If the testimony is false, then it is not truly testimony, and thus would not be used to help the convicted person. If it doesn't lead to anything, then it would still not help the person."
I would still never believe the testimony of a criminal who is only "testimoning" in an attempt to cut his sentence.
This entire paragraph is about how criminals won't testify falsely. You give no scenario in which a criminal can justly testify against someone else as being in part of his crime, only the negative.

Furthermore, if a man has no alibi against a criminal's testimony, he still wouldn't be thrown in prison on a criminal's word, so it would be a waste of time. Also, it could be fairly convenient for a criminal to set up his crime so that it looks as if he had an accomplice, and then set it up so that it looks as if another man who had no connection to the crime and no possible alibi on the night of the crime was the accomplice, so that he could fall back on the false testimony to cut his sentence and throw an innocent person in jail.

Your "good behavior" links are irrelevant. They talk nothing about testimonies and plea bargaining.

In conclusion, testimony is not something to be bartered with, and it is unfair to reward a criminal for something that he should have none without reward, especially when it is abusive so that a criminal could set up his crime to already have someone ready to frame as his accomplice.

Thank you. Vote PRO!
mongoose

Con

"With lies?"

If they lie, they don't make up for it. So no, not with lies.

"It was a rhetorical question."

Okay.

"Well, they would immediately barge into the man's house with a warrant and demand to search his house."

You provide no evidence for this claim, so I really don't believe you. Why would they believe a criminal when there is no other evidence? I'll answer it for you (because this is the last round): they wouldn't.

"I would still never believe the testimony of a criminal who is only 'testimoning' in an attempt to cut his sentence.
This entire paragraph is about how criminals won't testify falsely. You give no scenario in which a criminal can justly testify against someone else as being in part of his crime, only the negative."

Okay, lets say there is a man selling drugs. The police do not know where he gets the drugs. They offer him a shorter sentence if he tells them who gives the drugs to him. They give him a name, and tell when and where he meets the guy. The police go there at the given time, and catch him with drugs. Because the testimony was found to be truthful and beneficial, the first criminal gets a shorter sentence, and the second criminal is caught, ridding some danger from the streets, and allowing justice to further prevail.

"Furthermore, if a man has no alibi against a criminal's testimony, he still wouldn't be thrown in prison on a criminal's word, so it would be a waste of time."

Correct, so the criminal wouldn't get a shortened time.

"Also, it could be fairly convenient for a criminal to set up his crime so that it looks as if he had an accomplice, and then set it up so that it looks as if another man who had no connection to the crime and no possible alibi on the night of the crime was the accomplice, so that he could fall back on the false testimony to cut his sentence and throw an innocent person in jail."

If there is no other reason to believe that the second person was involved in the crime besides the ones listed, he wouldn't be convicted. He would just be added to the list of suspects.

"Your 'good behavior' links are irrelevant. They talk nothing about testimonies and plea bargaining."

They are not irrelevant: they establish that criminals who cooperate can have shortened time. So why wouldn't criminals who cooperate by giving information to the police get shortened time?

"In conclusion, testimony is not something to be bartered with, and it is unfair to reward a criminal for something that he should have none without reward, especially when it is abusive so that a criminal could set up his crime to already have someone ready to frame as his accomplice."

The sentence makes no sense, no matter how many times I read it. "None without reward" doesn't seem right.

In conclusion, if a criminal can give testimony to help convict other criminals to receive a shorter sentence, it would benefit society by letting fewer criminals go free. I have given a scenario in which this makes sense. It doesn't hurt to offer it, because if they are lying they don't get any benefit and just get convicted for lying under oath.

"Thank you. Vote PRO!"

Thank you. Vote CON!
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by snelld7 7 years ago
snelld7
lol That was awefully fast!!!!!!!!
I still need 2 issue my challenge!
I'll go ahead and vote:

Although this was interesting...
Mongoose gets my vote
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
This was a very difficult one for me, as both sides presented similar arguments. Overall, though, Con's views were slightly more relevant and realistic.

Tournament vote: mongoose
Posted by pcmbrown 7 years ago
pcmbrown
my vote goes to con:mongoose. more convincing arguments, and better clash. however, i think both sides could hav made a better link to justice
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
I'll vote just as soon as I send my challenge to resolutionsmasher. Man you guys are fast haha.
Posted by mongoose 7 years ago
mongoose
Kleptin-time!

Conduct: No problems. TIED
Spelling and Grammar: Each had three noticed errors. TIED
Convicncing Arguments: PRO didn't refute CON's arguments, while CON refuted all of PRO's arguments. CON
Reliable Sources: Wikipedia was pretty much all, excpet for the "good behavior" sources. Either TIED or CON, depending on if you find CON's extra sources relevant.
Posted by pcmbrown 7 years ago
pcmbrown
fyi, voting is in the comments
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by snelld7 7 years ago
snelld7
mongeesemongooseTied
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Vote Placed by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
mongeesemongooseTied
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Vote Placed by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
mongeesemongooseTied
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Vote Placed by pcmbrown 7 years ago
pcmbrown
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Vote Placed by mongoose 7 years ago
mongoose
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