The Instigator
mongeese
Pro (for)
Winning
27 Points
The Contender
InfraRedEd
Con (against)
Losing
14 Points

The United States judicial system is seriously flawed.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
mongeese
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/25/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,441 times Debate No: 7964
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (6)

 

mongeese

Pro

Okay, I think that our judicial system is seriously flawed.

There are two reasons for this:

1. The Supreme Court
According to "The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constituion", the Founding Fathers had intended for the judicial branch to be the weakest branch of the federal government. Until, of course, Marshall devised the idea of judicial review. http://en.wikipedia.org...
This now makes the judicial branch the most powerful branch, as it has the power to interpret the Constitution, using any wording flaws they choose.
Additionaly, the president has the power to appoint a Justice to the Supreme Court for life, with approval from Senate. Because the Supreme Court usually only reviews highly controversial subjects, the only thing that really matters is whoever was president at the time a Justice died or retired, as long as he also had control of the Senate. This potential abuse of power is a serious flaw.

2. Jury Selection
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Basically, some random citizens who qualify for jury duty are placed in a "pool", and twelve of them are randomly decided. Then, they investigate each potential juror. If a lawyer is afraid of that person being on the jury, usually because he knows that his client is guilty and that the potential juror is smart enough to realize this, then he will remove that person from the pool for a new person. In this way, the majority of the jury usually ends up being unintelligent. Usually, once the "guilty lawyer" recognizes someone as an engineer, who can actually interpret facts correctly and recognize that the defendant is guilty, he is automatically ejected.
This entire process results in a less competent jury than could be hoped, which leads to less court cases reaching the verdict that they should have.

These are two major flaws of our judicial system. It is seriously flawed. Thank you for reading.
InfraRedEd

Con

Resolved, that the criminal justice system is in a shambles. It is in need of dismantling;

and the grand jury system is the most democratic of all our institutions

I affirm the values of good government, truth, fairness and justice.

The criteria for a good democratic institution are that it:

provides that everyone have a voice in government.

provides a check on the abuse of power.

does not require expertise;

requires one to learn about government and its functioning;

does not place an undue burden on the citizen who participates;

provides an educating experience;

teaches good citizenship;

provides opportunities for teamwork, discussion and debate;

and is fair and democratic.

I was being questioned by a judge for jury duty.

Have you ever been on a jury? Yes, a grand jury.

Oops. I can feel it.

My mind went back a thousand years.

Most people have little idea what a grand jury does, and that is a shame. They don't even want to be on one, and that is a bigger shame.

A king, probably John Ashcroft or Dick Cheney, said to himself, "My citizens are probably committing crimes I know nothing about. I must form citizen's committees to inform on their neighbors." Block Watch. Homeland Security. And so the Grand Jury was born. Found only in Anglo law.

But citizens had a little more on the ball than we do today, and when the dust had cleared the grand jury was a "sword and a shield" No one can be charged with a serious crime unless the grand jury first passes on it. Grand juries meet outside of court and go into court only in private session with the judge to present indictments. This is such a power that it has been diluted by other powers but the jury system is the only shot ordinary people have a chance to participate in government. Except I guess the military but that's not the same.

While a petite (we pronounce it "petty") juror can be dismissed for blowing their nose, a grand juror cannot. Out of a pool of perhaps a hundred, seventeen people are chosen; the number varies. The rest go home. The grand jury takes the oath.

"You and each of you do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be), that you will diligently inquire into and true presentment make of all such matters and things as shall be given you in charge, or shall otherwise come to your knowledge, touching the present service; you shall present no person through malice, hatred or ill-will; nor shall you leave any unpresented through fear, favor, affection, or for any fee or reward, or for any hope or promise thereof; but in all of your presentments, you shall present the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, according to the best of your skill and understanding; so help you God."

That pretty much covers it. Congress should take such an oath. This oath is virtually unchanged from antiquity. One can imagine those who have taken it for a thousand years, and what stories they could tell.

There are federal, state and county grand juries. The Constitution guaranteed that no one can be charged with a crime unless indicted by a grand jury. Secrecy varies from absolute to press conferences.

Each case is presented to the grand jury by the prosecuting attorney. Unlike petite juries, which operate by consensus, grand juries use majority rules. The grand jury can request more evidence, and the prosecutor has to provide it, even a tour of the crime scene if the grand jury wants. If the grand jury doesn't get what it asked for there is no deal.

The prosecutor presents his case, with witnesses. Then the grand jury meets and decides what charges to bring and to whom and those are the charges that are brought.

Balance of power operates here. Grand juries are part of the judicial system, but the role of the judiciary is limited to an advisory capacity. The prosecutor is of course admin. The executive is involved as law enforcement, and they testify.

Mobsters being interviewed by the President's Comission on Organized Crime were pretty emphatic. Organized crime cannot exist without corrupt cops, politicians and judges. Well I am here to tell you that organized crime does exist. You do the math.

We need grand juries to protect us from organized crime.
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Pro

Thank you for responding.

Notice how you completely ignored Contention 1: The Supreme Court.
This means that you have conceded every single point within that contention.
I stated ,"This potential abuse of power is a serious flaw," which you agreed with.
Thus, you conceded that the United States judicial system is seriously flawed, which is the resolution, so you basically just conceded the ENTIRE debate.

Also, for a list of criteria for a good democratic institution, this should be added:
The jury and judge frequently find the proper person guilty, and press charges where they are due.

Yes, we may have Grand Juries to determine whether there is enough evidence to do a trial in the first place. http://en.wikipedia.org... However, a petit jury (http://en.wikipedia.org...) is required to actually press charges on the defendant. You did not attack the point I made about the power lawyers have over choosing the petit jury in a way that pleases them, usually through eliminating anyone who could actually discover that their client was guilty.
Because you never attacked the power of lawyers, you conceded Contention 2: Jury Selection, which was another serious flaw. You have conceded the debate by not discussing the issues at hand, but rather clarifying a part of the Judicial System which may or may not be flawed. It's flaws are irrelevant, as I have already proved that the United States judicial system is seriously flawed. I have won this debate. Vote PRO.
InfraRedEd

Con

InfraRedEd forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Pro

All arguments extended.

My opponent has conceded, and has killed a perfectly good debate.
InfraRedEd

Con

Sorry I overslept but that did not prevent my opponent from posting.

The way a debate works is first one side takes a position and defends it; then the opposition takes a stand disagreeing with them and they take turns admiring their own stand and trashing the other guy's.

I am really considered quite a radical in these parts when I insist this is the way it works.

It will take a long time for this to become accepted in debate.com land and it certainly is terribly unfair to let the opposition take a stand just like the other guy but that's just the way these unfair rules are written. These unfair rules should be changed becuse better debates happen when all you have to do is make some stupid statement like "Murder is wrong" and no matter what happens at the end of the debate it is scored by stupidly asking if you still believe that murder is wrong.

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

But I argued that since murder is the illegal killing of another person with malice aforethought that a better statement would be that ANY killing of another person with malice aforethought is wrong.

It's a good thing this sleasy tactic was soundly defeated by the judges. Everyone knows that murder is wrong.

I have failed to counter my opponent's argument and he has failed to address mine so I believe his description of the consequences of this may be somewhat exaggerated.

My position must disagree with my opponent's. My opponent states that the judicial system is seriously flawed. My response is that it is in need of dismantling. This is certainly a disagreement. Similarly, my position on the grand jury system is at odds with that of my opponent. If it turns out to be a contest of who can trash the system the worst that would be fun too.
The jury pool is not randomly selected.
http://www.finitesite.com...
The prosecutin attorney keeps a list of favorable jurors. I'm pretty safe.
The one thing attorneys can agree on is that if law were to be decided based on the law they would all be out of a job. The system you describe is at least equally unfair to both sides. Researching the philosophy of preemtory challenge might be enlightening but if my opponent asserts this is a flaw that argument must be supported.

My opponent asserts that there are two major flaws to our judicial system. There are many. Where shall I start?

The Mumia Exception
http://www.thiscantbehappening.net...

Where is my opponent from? Omigod Texas. So I suppose our Admin

http://www.mysanantonio.com...

and court systems are just fine then.

Here's http://www.lonestaricon.com... the best thing out of Crawford, Texas.

That's http://www.finitesite.com... all for now.
Debate Round No. 3
mongeese

Pro

Thank you for finally responding.

"Sorry I overslept but that did not prevent my opponent from posting."
Why would it?

"The way a debate works is first one side takes a position and defends it; then the opposition takes a stand disagreeing with them and they take turns admiring their own stand and trashing the other guy's."
I always thought that the way a debate works is that one guy says his contentions, then the other guy counters those contentions, and present his own contentions, then the first guy would defend his contentions and attack the other guy's contentions, and so on.

"It will take a long time for this to become accepted in debate.com land and it certainly is terribly unfair to let the opposition take a stand just like the other guy but that's just the way these unfair rules are written..."
I really don't care about your murder case. Sorry.

"I have failed to counter my opponent's argument and he has failed to address mine so I believe his description of the consequences of this may be somewhat exaggerated."
I addressed your argument by calling it irrelevant.

"The jury pool is not randomly selected."
I see nothing in your source that addresses the whole of the United States. Additionally:
"The public knows 'the criminal justice system has all but collapsed'... those convicted of crimes know that too
--------Espinoza v Martin, 182 Ariz. 145 at 155"
I would say that something that has "all but collapsed" is seriously flawed, wouldn't you?

"The one thing attorneys can agree on is that if law were to be decided based on the law they would all be out of a job. The system you describe is at least equally unfair to both sides. Researching the philosophy of preemtory challenge might be enlightening but if my opponent asserts this is a flaw that argument must be supported."
Not really; with only removals and not protection; it becomes very easy for the guilty to remove the intelligent jurors, but it is difficult for the prosecutors to keep the intelligent. You will almost never see an engineer on a jury; I know a man who never got into an actual court jury until he retired.

"My opponent asserts that there are two major flaws to our judicial system. There are many. Where shall I start?"
That was my resolution. You're supposed to be fighting in support of our judicial system. You're attacking it. You're conceding the entire debate, pretty much.

So, because you agree with the resolution, you probably would have wanted to be CON, not PRO. I think I win this debate now.

Thank you for your time.
InfraRedEd

Con

My opponent has taken the position that our judicial system is seriously flawed, and there are two things wrong with it, and that my position is not a disagreement with his.

My position is that when the judicial system says the judicial system is "all but collapsed," it is actually much worse. It cannot be saved, and that there are many things wrong with it, and that my position is a disagreement with his.

The Constitution spells out our rights. If something is unconstitutional it probably is so because it infringes on our rights in some way. Therefore, in general, a ruling that a law is unconstitutional is in the direction of protecting our rights. This is often a good thing.

The sign says "Where Law Ends Tyranny Begins." It should say "Where Law Ends Freedom Begins." I went inside anyway.

I didn't know it at the time, but I ended up talking to the gentleman who had argued, years earlier, that it wasn't really necessary to advise Mr. Miranda of his right to an attorney.

What do you think? I asked.

"Of letting grand juries have an attorney? No," he interrupted. That was in fact my question.

"No," he continued, "They'll just indict everyone from the governor on down."

That was also what I had in mind.

The grand jury at least needs to know what is going on, which they do not.

And that is the bottom line.

You cannot say the system does not work if you don't use it properly. And in order for that to happen everyone has to
take an interest and participate and demand the best.

You're supposed to be fighting in support of our judicial system. You're attacking it. You're conceding the entire debate, pretty much.

The rules are that I must disagree with my opponent, not oppose entirely as is commonly supposed.

The reasoning is that the opposition gets to take a stand just like the other guy.
Debate Round No. 4
mongeese

Pro

I don't think we're on the same page here. Sorry.

The resolution is: the United States judicial system is seriously flawed.

As PRO, I am supposed to be backing up the fact that the United States judicial system is seriously flawed, which you have conceded over and over again in this debate.

As CON, you are supposed to negate the resolution; in other words, you need to support the idea that the United States judicial system is NOT seriously flawed. You have never done this. Ever.

"The reasoning is that the opposition gets to take a stand just like the other guy."
Well, your stand has to at least oppose with mine. I am saying the the U.S. judicial system is seriously flawed. You're trying to say that it is not seriously flawed, and that it is about to collapse.

Seriously - extremely (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
Flawed - an imperfection or weakness and especially one that detracts from the whole or hinders effectiveness (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)

In order for me to win, I have to establish that the U.S. judicial system has extreme imperfections or weaknesses.
You are trying to show that the U.S. judicial system is about to collapse. When something collapses, it is because its imperfections haven't been fixed and its weaknesses have been exploited. Your resolution is just an extreme version of my resolution.

It would be like me starting a debate saying, "The United States is the most powerful country in North America," and you disagree and say, "The United States is the most powerful country in the world."

Anyways, about what you said: "The Constitution spells out our rights. If something is unconstitutional it probably is so because it infringes on our rights in some way. Therefore, in general, a ruling that a law is unconstitutional is in the direction of protecting our rights. This is often a good thing."
This would work better if the decisions were obvious and unanimous. Currently, we are under a system in which whichever party the majority of the SC Justices are in has extreme power over everybody else. If the Republicans pass a law successfully through the Senate and the House of Representatives and override the veto, if there are five Democrats in the Supreme Court, the law is overturned. It is not necessarily because it is unconstitutional, but because it goes against their beliefs as Democrats. They could then find some excuse to call it unconstitutional by using a very loose interpretation. The system is made even more faulty by the fact that the President and the Senate are the ones who replace the Supreme Court Justices, so it's a matter of luck for which party controls both branches at the time in which a Supreme Court Justice retires or dies.

"You cannot say the system does not work if you don't use it properly. And in order for that to happen everyone has to
take an interest and participate and demand the best."
So, the rest of the United States is using the system improperly, and the way they are currently using it is flawed. Because how they use it is synonymous with what it is, the system is flawed. They aren't using it improperly, exactly. They are bending the rules that were laid down, but they are not breaking them. The allowance of such abuse is a fault of the system.

In conclusion, my opponent has not said anything to oppose my resolution that he hasn't ever conceded, and because all arguments he makes next round are irrelevant because of the 5th round clause, I win. Vote PRO. For my undisputed arguments, see Round 1. I would also like to point out that his sources are going for my case, not his.
InfraRedEd

Con

In order to have a debate first a good debate topic must be selected. This has not been done.

The National Forensic League runs debating tounaments

The pick debate topics with great care because the topic is very important. It must be fair.

The thesis that our judicial system is just fine is indefensible.

We need some protection from stupid debate topics.

This is provided in the rules:

http://wiki.idebate.org...

1. Each debate involves two debaters, one of whom argues the affirmative side, the other the negative.

The affirmative speaker must present a position agreeing with the resolution.
The negative debater must disagree with the resolution's statement.
(1) In circumstances where a resolution presents two alternatives, (e.g., "the sanctity of life should be valued above the quality of life') a negative side most commonly should argue the alternative to which the affirmative side has given second priority (i.e., 'the quality of life should be should be valued above the sanctity of life').

(2) A negative may choose a third option and argue both alternatives provided by the resolution.

(3) A negative debater can also argue a "critique" against a resolution in its entirety.

Because productive conflict, or 'clash,' is key to a Lincoln-Douglas debate, each debater should be able to make a positive case for their position and values, as opposed to a purely negative attack on those of their opponent.

2. Lincoln-Douglas is a fundamentally value-oriented (as opposed to policy-focused) debate. Judges must remember that debaters are not required to propose 'plans' for dealing with given situations. The role of debaters is to argue a moral position, and to use logic and ethical reasoning to do so.

Notice the word "disagree."

I am critiquing the resolution. It is stupid. It is not even remotely fair. That is why I took the debate.

If my opponent wants to say, for example, that the U.S is the greatest country in North America, and I am able to argue that restricting the debate in this manner is unproductive and does not address the broader perspective, and I can come up with a better topic, I should be allowed to argue that.

My opponent is becoming desperate if not entertaining with an argument that it is the car's fault or the gun's fault, or that obesity is the fork's fault. It is our fault.

Anyway online debaters are stupid anyway.

We can see why serious debaters avoid online debating and do not even consider it a serious attempt.

My opponent clearly states that there are exactly two things wrong with our judicial system. Since the examples I am citing are not judicial review or the jury system, they are the part that my opponent asserts are not wrong with the judicial system.

This may be a little difficult to follow but that is a consequence of my opponent picking a stupid topic and presenting stupid arguments.

Can my opponent describe the Munia Exception?

Is my opponent arguing that there is not enough judicial review due to party politics? A good point.

Anyway Leonard Peltier.

Evidence was suppressed but it was successfuly argued after the trial that evidence that proved he could not possibly have commited the murder with which he was charged would have no effect on a jury considering this charge.

I rest my case.
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
My claim was that I never said that there were ONLY two reasons. Those were the two reasons that I started the debate.
Posted by InfraRedEd 7 years ago
InfraRedEd
My opponent's opening argument clearly states:

Okay, I think that our judicial system is seriously flawed.

There are two reasons for this:

So my opponent did in fact state that there were two such reasons as I have claimed.
My opponent's claim that he "never" said that is due to overexposure to Texas sun.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Okay, I kind of want to know who just vote-bombed.
Posted by InfraRedEd 7 years ago
InfraRedEd
Anybody in Texas can trash the judicial system better than my opponent.
Posted by InfraRedEd 7 years ago
InfraRedEd
The main thing about it is it can be changed. We need to use it and we need to fix it if it is broken and not just complain about it.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
"My opponent clearly states that there are exactly two things wrong with our judicial system. Since the examples I am citing are not judicial review or the jury system, they are the part that my opponent asserts are not wrong with the judicial system."
I never said that there are exactly two. I decided to affirm the resolution, then gave the two reasons that I used in coming up with the conclusion that the U.S. judicial system is flawed. Of course, there are more. I never said there weren't any more. I never said that the rest of the system was perfect.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
You know, I'd love it if my opponent would argue their point sometime soon, because someone else probably could have accepted and argued by now.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
The point is, the power of the Supreme Court is more than it was intended, and it gives the majority political party more power than it should have.
Posted by I-am-a-panda 7 years ago
I-am-a-panda
One huge flaw in referring to the wishes of the Founding Fathers: If it wasn't put in the constitution, don't refer to it. The Founding Fathers were PRO-Slavery, PRO-Isolationism.
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