The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

The United States should abolish plea bargains

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Debate Round Forfeited
TomPnoid has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/8/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,096 times Debate No: 105651
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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Again, this is my LD case, and since it is made of cards the formating and grammar will be horrible. Please forgive me.

Contention 1: Abolition causes a judicial system crash
Bureau of Justice Assistance, 05
in 2003 there were roughly [75 thousand] cases disposed of in federal district court , 95 percent [or a little less than 72 thousand cases] were disposed of by a guilty plea.

[Under the abolition of all plea bargains, those 72 thousand would have to be brought to trial, bringing a 20 fold increase in the amount of Federal District trials. This would crash the judicial system, and overload the courts. And since this is from the Bureau of Justice Assistance that works directly under the US Department of Justice, they probably have a good idea of what they"re talking about.]

Contention 2: Abolition causes prison overcrowding
Subpoint A: Trial cases have longer sentences than plea deals, and will result in a larger prison population if pleas are abolishedBureau of Justice Assistance, 13
researchers have found that those who go to trial are more likely to receive harsher sentences than those who accept a plea. [Due to 95% of all cases being settled by plea bargains, and trial"s longer sentences, under plea bargains abolition prison overcrowding would increase due to longer prisoner sentences and pretrial detention.]

Sub point B: Prison Overcrowding increases spread of disease
WIRE, 17
One of the problem is that many overcrowded prisons has become a breeding ground for infectious diseases such as [TB] HIV and Hepatitis C. overcrowding allows easy transmission of these diseases TB in prisons represents " of a country"s burden of the disease. due to inadequate treatment, TB cases within prisons acquire resistance to drugs at a faster rate than normal.

[Since overcrowding would be worse, and prisoners would go in and out of jail quickly, disease would be spread to the public at a much faster rate. This drug resistance would also make this pandemic much more difficult to treat since antibiotics won"t work. The World Health Organization already says drug resistant microbes "are now a major threat to public health." and this threat would be made worse.]

Sub point C: It significantly holds back rehabilitation efforts
Mclaughin, 11
[According to the Government Accountability Office] The ballooning incarcerated population holds back efforts to rehabilitate convicts , [Since rehabilitation efforts will be less effective, and prison populations will be larger, the US will have an even larger prison population that can"t be efficiently rehabilitated. This means there's no real way to fix the problem, and we"ll pay billions more for one of the largest prison systems in the world. This can"t be afforded with the 20.5 trillion national debt.]

Contention 3: The aff plan doesn"t solve for harms, past abolishment attempts failed
Subpoint A: Plea bargaining is illegal in the UK, yet happens off record. The same would happen in the US.
Dyer, 2000

Officially, plea bargaining does not take place in [the UK] [in] 1970, [the court case] R v Turner [criminalized the practice]. But this still goes on [with U31; of all barristers taking part in the practice. In the UK there isn"t any sort of documentation whatsoever since it"s underground. This lowers the transparency of the process and increases the likelihood of abuse].

Subpoint B: Abolishment efforts have repeatedly failed
Howe, 05
Efforts to simply ban most plea bargains have also repeatedly failed [El Paso"s 1978 to 1984 increased the backlog by 250 percent, Other attempts have been tried in Bronx County, New York, Detroit, Alaska, New Orleans, and Ventura County], . In each case, either the bargaining shifted to other stages in the process, the provision of bargains merely shifted from prosecutors to judges, or prosecutors ignored the ban [Almost all of the aforementioned cases were reinitiated due to the logistical impossibility of imposing a permanent ban. Plea bargains, and by extension their harms, would still occur with or without the passing of the aff plan.

In summary, the judicial system crashes, prisons becoming horribly overcrowded, drug resistant disease spreads, and prisoners won"t be rehabilitated. Either way plea bargains still take place underground and don"t solve for aff"s harms. We can"t think of morality purely in theory and without looking at the consequences of actions. Under abolition, we aren"t supporting human welfare whatsoever and we"re causing more harm than good.


Well I welcome this opportunity to debate on a issue that has such wide felt and harsh effects on so many people.

Well my first argument for the erradication of the plea bargain would be that district attorneys would no longer prosecute crimes without evidence. See today the amount of charges filed is extremely high due to the ability of district attorneys to just throw as many charges at you as possible then let you bleed out all your money till you accept a lesser charge and they look good for catching a criminal and getting a guilty plea.

Also it would help society to become less reliant upon government to solve their domestic and local issues due to the district attorney not being able to prosecute crimes in a timely fashion. This is a ultimate good and would allow parents to not worry about disciplining their children. Husbands not worry about their wife making up allegations and having him thrown in jail. Women would not be able to just regret sex and cry rape with no evidence. People would have to be responsible for themselves.
Also it would lower the amount of people in prisons due to the needing of evidence for prosecution and due process rights being used as intended to only allow one year for trial.

Thank you
Debate Round No. 1


I don't have time to construct a full rebuttal, so I ask my opponent can keep his short too for the sale of fairness.

As proved in my contention 1, plea bargaining would still occur to a great degree underground. Therefore, people won't become more self reliant, since they can just continue what they were doing in the first place, with much less transparency. Also because of this, abolishing plea bargaining won't stop overcharging by prosecutors and causing people to run out of funds.

Requirements for evidence for plea bargains is much less than that of trials, but trials still make plenty of false convictions. Mistakes will still be made. Innocents will still be convicted. A

Due to this higher standard of proof and jury checks, trials would still take significantly longer, and this would still overload the system.

In conclusion, aff doesn't solve for the harms of bargaining, since they will continue nontheless. If they do actually do their job, both the prison and judcial systems will still crash. For these reasons you must vote aff.


Well, let's be honest here. I have stood trial a few times in my life and what I have learned is that our system is full of union state and federal workers. These workers are only truly interested in doing enough to get by so they can collect their pension in 20 years. If you offer them a chance to see less people and have the steps be easier they will do it.

Secondly this will just fall to the local courts to actually show the burden of proof. They are the ones who arraign you anyways. They will send less charges to prosecuted.

Also, I do not believe that plea bargains would go under ground but I do think a sliding scale of time may be introduced
Debate Round No. 2


In any system, a problem doesn't matter if you can't do anything about it. Even if every single person in the judicial system only does what makes their job easier, that doesn't automatically mean that is possible to do anything about it. If pleas are abolished, they would still occur to a great degree underground, as we have seen in the UK, Alaska, Detroit, New Orleans, Bronx County and Ventura County. In all of the aforementioned examples, plea bargains just moved to other parts of the system, or the ban was ignored. You're making a rod for you're own back; abolishing pleas only makes it so that they are less transparent and more likely to be abused. If you thought the justice system was corrupt before, imagine when there is no real paper trail of the reality of the court cases. My opponent tries to counter this by saying that "plea bargains wouldn't go underground," yet he provides no evidence for this, and as Hume said, "that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

Why would it only be the local courts required to show the burden of proof? Other courts clearly exist, and convict people just the same, meaning that the problem of excessively long trials still exists. And if you lower the burden of proof to higher courts, the reliabillity of them will be less.

In rough conclusion, my opponent fails to sufficiently counter prison overcrowding nor the judicial system crash. Overall under pleas abolition, all the harms of them still occur to a greater degree than before. A third of the US government's branches would essentially be ground to an utter halt, rendering it near worthless, and making the legislative and executive branch unable to operate, due to the inability to put anything through courts. Nontheless, my opponent has failed to cite any sort of evidence whatsoever, and on this point alone neg should win on the onset. Yet even so, there are a litany of problems caused by the abolition of bargains. For these reasons you must vote neg.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by PointyDelta 2 years ago
literally no one would argue for this
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