The Instigator
Darth_Grievous_42
Pro (for)
Losing
37 Points
The Contender
PublicForumG-d
Con (against)
Winning
46 Points

Topic #29: Plea Bargaining should be Banned. (Attempt 2)

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Started: 4/19/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,462 times Debate No: 3711
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (25)

 

Darth_Grievous_42

Pro

Topic 29 of Round 2. Darth_Grievous_42 vs PublicForumG-d. To be judged by usernames Evan_MacIan, shaqdaddy34, and dmill2010. As Pro, I will be defending that Plea Bargaining should be banned, thus the polar opposite of my stance that PublicForumG-d will have to defend is that Plea Bargaining should NOT be banned. As I am not well versed in foreign court procedures, I will be arguing from an American Perspective. If my opponent wishes to bring up worldwide cases he is more than welcome to do so, and I will do my best to defend against them, but as of right now, I'll be sticking with what I know.

The long and short of what plea-bargaining essentially means is bargaining for a plea. Or in more technical terms, the defendant will admit a guilty plea (/information in some cases) to the crime he/she is being convicted of, and in return the prosecutor will settle for a lesser sentence than the original one. This loose definition is compiled of many differing definitions I've found on the internet, if you look it up, they will all say in more or less words, just that.

My stance is that this bargaining should be banned. My opponent will likely bring up the cases that it alleviates court stress, and in some cases helps the defendant. While this may be true, that does not necessitate that it is right on Constitutional grounds. The American Constitution states in Article III section 2:
The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have ( directed.http://www.usconstitution.net...... )

Note: SHALL BE BY JURY.

The Fifth Amendment guarantees that: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime (In short, no self incrimination)

And the Sixth states: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. (Trial by Jury)

In the cases of plea Bargaining, it violates these rules specifically set by the founding fathers. All citizens, regardless of what they accused of, are ALL innocent until proven guilty in a fair and balanced trial to be judged by a selection of their peers. Now remember, this isn't about what you personally like, it is about right and wrong, legal and not. In which case, plea-bargaining explicitly violates the terms set for the foundation of this society. Rather, it has been made simply for the convenience of the courts, not those accused. By invoking plea-bargaining, they are already sending the message that 'your guilty, we WILL prove it, and you'll go to jail or we can skip the proving part and you'll go to jail LESS'. Seems enticing yes? That's EXACTLY what its supposed to do! What they don't tell this scared-out-of-his-mind person is that he can invoke the trial and maybe get off Scotch free. In most cases, the reason that they invoke it is because they may not have sufficient evidence to prove that they are guilty, and/or just don't want to find it. It is estimated that in 2000, 87.1% of all cases were settled only on plea-bargaining, while 5.2% took it to trial. For those who invoked their right to an attorney, only 6% went on trial, while the rest plea-bargained. Nowhere, that I can find, do any of the three fundamental documents of America (Declaration, Bill of Rights, Constitution) have a law where it mentions bargaining in either a good or bad light. This means that it was made up by the courts for the courts, not the people. They only want the 'speedy' part mentioned in the 6th amendment. This is not right. It may get criminals off on lighter charges then they would have had if proven guilty, but also, they have waived their right to try and get any freedom at all! Look at the O.J. Simpson case. He could have bargained and admitted he did it as a majority of America thought he had, yet he took it to court and won! You personally may not agree with it, that is, until it's you on the stand. Now a lawyer and some detectives say that all this complicated and ultimately harmful court procedures 'that we know will prove you guilty' can all be avoided, and you'll get that much less. Perhaps you would want to take it. What if they are right? You could go to prison for life! Or you sign the paper and admit your guilty and you'll 'just' get 30 years with chance of parole. Which sounds more enticing. In this situation, of course the matter-of-fact lesser one beats the possibility of a more serious charge. But what your not thinking about 98% of the time is that you could get off. So, in essence, these saviors are only playing off of your irrationality and fears so that they can still get paid for not doing their job that the Constitution mandates they do. The numbers of cases that go to trial don't matter, that's the courts job to figure out. Their stress should not violate any persons right to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. This is why this already illegal act of plea-bargaining should be banned, on the grounds that it is unconstitutional, and infringes upon the rights of individuals guaranteed by that document and others. I'll bring up specific trials where plea-bargaining has been proven, not only ineffective, but also unjust as well in the next round. Until then, I'll let PublicForumG-d present his case on why court approved illegal activities should continue. I await your reply, which must be up this time tomorrow on April 20th. Good Luck.
PublicForumG-d

Con

First, I must thank Grievous for his kindness.

To begin, I'm going to talk about my opponent's burdens, then his contentions, and finally move to my own.

@American Perspective: I agree to limit this debate to an American society.

@Burden of Proof: I would like to point out that the Aff must prove the entire resolution true, in every aspect of PBing.

Contentions:

My opponent contends that PBing violates the Constitution. I'm going to explain Constitutionality in general, then each specific part.

General:

PBing is completely voluntary. The Constitution says that the Government cannot REMOVE these rights from any citizen, but it doesn't say anything about the citizen's right to waive these rights.

For example,

1) All citizens have the Constitutional Right to remain silent.
2) But anyone who's watched Cops knows that many of these people talk when they're arrested.
3) The reason they can do this? They waive their right to remain silent.

The Constitution isn't *mandating* that they remain silent, but merely providing them with that option – an option which cannot be taken by the government, only given up by the person: Which is exactly what a PB is.

Specifically:

Article 3 Section 2:
Summary: All people have the right to a trial by jury.

This goes back to my general refutation. In a PB, the only way it can occur is if the defendant agrees to plead guilty.

This is actually the ideal form of justice – if you're guilty, you admit it! Its how the justice system would work in an ideal world. Unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal world. Not all guilty people tell the truth. So, we are forced to take them to trial to determine their innocence. PBers are doing the right thing – they recognize their guilt, and admit it. And since the Justice system is forced to examine every single one of the millions of crimes that happen every day in excruciating detail, and the PBers are helping them out by being truthful, they reward them with a smaller sentence.

Fifth Amendment:
Summary: No one can be forced to testify against themselves.

When you lie in a court of law, it is known as perjury – a crime punishable by jail time. Therefore, when a guilty defendant is asked whether or not he is guilty of a crime, he as two choices; lie (and commit a crime) or tell the truth (and screw himself over). The Founding Fathers recognized this dilemma (which left no fair legal recourse for the accused) and added the Fifth Amendment: No one may be FORCED to testify against themselves. But that doesn't say anything about people who WILLINGLY give up their right to testify against themselves – which is exactly what a PB is.

The US Supreme Court agrees in North Carolina v Alford.

Sixth Amendment:
Summary: "Trial By Jury." I direct you to my refutation of Article 3 Section 2 – no one is being deprived of their right to a trial by jury. They are merely exercising their right to waive other rights.

"BY INVOKING PLEA-BARGAINING, THEY ARE ALREADY SENDING THE MESSAGE THAT 'YOUR GUILTY, WE WILL PROVE IT, AND YOU'LL GO TO JAIL OR WE CAN SKIP THE PROVING PART AND YOU'LL GO TO JAIL LESS' "

This is pretty unrealistic. The difference between plea-bargain and trial sentence is not so great that people will willingly opt for the unpleasantness of imprisonment, lifelong stigma, a criminal record, etc. for something they haven't done. The argument also ignores an important legal principle: that you should never plead guilty to something you haven't done. My opponent seems to forget what he said two sentences up:

"All citizens, regardless of what they accused of, are ALL innocent until proven guilty"

The burden of proof is on the Government, not the people, and if there is no evidence that they committed a crime, or evidence that they were elsewhere, why would they plead guilty?

And to address his statistics; the reason so many people take PBs is because of 1 Mandatory Sentencing or 2 They really are guilty, and want a lesser sentence (which is ok, because they are being rewarded for telling the truth)

"WHAT THEY DON'T TELL THIS SCARED-OUT-OF-HIS-MIND PERSON IS THAT HE CAN INVOKE THE TRIAL AND MAYBE GET OFF SCOTCH FREE"

Actually, they DO have to tell you that. In Miranda v Arizona, the man was not informed of several of his Constitutional rights (attorney, trial, silence, etc) and because of this, they threw the trial out. That's where we get the phrase "Miranda Rights" from. Your Miranda rights cannot be violated or it's a mistrial, and the case gets thrown out.

"NOWHERE, THAT I CAN FIND, DO ANY OF THE THREE FUNDAMENTAL DOCUMENTS OF AMERICA (DECLARATION, BILL OF RIGHTS, CONSTITUTION) HAVE A LAW WHERE IT MENTIONS BARGAINING IN EITHER A GOOD OR BAD LIGHT."

Thank you for proving my point. According to the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution:

""The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.""

What this means is that, unless there is a power specifically assigned to the Federal Government or unless it is specifically forbidden to the States then it is the RIGHT of the States and People to invoke that. And since my opponent says that there is no part of the Constitution against PBing we agree; it is a right of people to PB.

"THIS MEANS THAT IT WAS MADE UP BY THE COURTS FOR THE COURTS, NOT THE PEOPLE."

Actually, the Courts aren't allowed to just "make stuff up." In fact, they don't make anything up – the legislature does. They can rule on Constitutionality of something though, and with PBing they did.

THIS IS NOT RIGHT. IT MAY GET CRIMINALS OFF ON LIGHTER CHARGES THEN THEY WOULD HAVE HAD IF PROVEN GUILTY, BUT ALSO, THEY HAVE WAIVED THEIR RIGHT TO TRY AND GET ANY FREEDOM AT ALL!

Actually PBing provides a concrete conviction of the criminal. In OJs case, if he had PBed, he would have definitely been convicted . But by not PBing, he actually received no sentence at all. I think its fair to say that OJ was guilty – even his lawyers didn't try to argue that. His lawyers argued that the police were racially biased and that evidence was not collected in accordance with the rules of the courts. His guilt was actually pretty much left out of it.

Now to my contentions:

Plea Bargaining helps avoid mandatory sentencing guidelines.

Mandatory Sentencing guidelines are strict, tie the hands of judges, and prevent them from exercising due discretion over the facts of a case. In many cases (especially with drugs) jail sentences are worse for the person than rehabilitation. However, some places choose to institute a mandatory amount of time to be served in jail for even a first offence. This ‘one size fits all' mentality ignores the idea of rehabilitation, and instead demands harsh, merciless, blind punishment. PB allows benevolent prosecutors to get around this by never taking it to trial – an avoidance of these merciless sentences. PB allows prosecutors to use common sense, and expert advice, to see if rehabilitation, probation, or a smaller sentence would benefit society more than just unfairly damning the accused.

Plea Bargaining alleviates a severe burden on the court system and society. From PBS [1].

"And, from the state's point of view, the main benefit of the plea bargain is that it saves time and money. Almost everyone acknowledges that the system would collapse if every case that was filed were to be set for trial; there is not enough money to try every case.

Law professor Bruce Green tells FRONTLINE, "It… is…fairer to witnesses and prospective jurors. Imagine if in all these cases, the victims and witnesses had to come to court to testify. And in all these cases, people had to leave their jobs in order to serve on juries. That would be very onerous for the public."

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
Darth_Grievous_42

Pro

To Confirm, PublicForumG-d did post his response with the 24 hour time limit. We may now both proceed at our own convenience.

The resolution, being that Plea Bargaining should be banned, is always my intention to prove, and I will do so by any legal means necessary. In fact, 'legal' will be a large part of this debate.

On his General Example: True, citizens can waive their rights. They can choose to plead guilty on their own accords; however, the Government and Judiciary cannot allow Plea Bargaining as an open legal option. A citizen can do as they want with their rights, but law enforcement knowingly presenting that option is unconstitutional. Plea Bargaining is made just so that someone WILL give up their rights, and all legal staff knows this. If one is to give up their rights it should be out of their own accord, with no possible persuasion involved. That is exactly what Plea Bargaining is.

On Ethics: Unfortunately, right and wrong are not the standards on legal practices. If that really were how the world worked there would be no legal system at all, or crime for that matter, as everyone would be happy neighbors. But as that unfortunately is not how things are we must work with what we have. The Judiciary knows this. It is not about proving right and wrong, but guilty and not guilty, regardless of whether they actually are. Perhaps not ideal, but its what we have. Because this is how things are, every person has the right, from O.J. to Mason, to prove their innocence. The constitution specifically sets up rules so that this will (not can) happen.

On Helping The Law: If you re-read the text, it says ALL crimes SHALL be by Jury. The only exception is impeachment, and seeing as how there are only a handful of people who can be impeached, the rest HAVE to be judged by a jury. Regardless of if they have scruples or not, if they want to plead guilty they can, but it has to be done properly and they face the sentence made by the Jury, not by lawyers. Its not me being difficult, its the very laws in the constitution that say so.

On the Fifth: I'm glad you brought this up. In the case of North Carolina vs Alford, Alford faced capital punishment for murder, but maintained a plea of innocent. However, before the end of the trial, he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, and was sentenced to 30 years. He then appealed saying that he was goaded on to accepting the plea bargain under the fear of the death penalty, and his guilty plea was reversed. The Supreme Court still maintained that his plea was valid, however, and kept the sentence. Although he didn't get off that is not the point. What matters is that he was psychologically manipulated to plea guilty by law enforcement, who undoubtedly by his claims, continued to press the fear of the death penalty. Although a court could have proven his guilt (it was inevitable anyway) he had said he was innocent (which he has every right to say), but was made to bare false witness against himself, which, despite the SC ruling, is unconstitutional. If it happened to him, there is no doubt that it has happened to countless others. Free, powerful, and intimidating men, pushing and pushing the consequences in the defendants face until they plead guilty, whether in their heart they think so or not. This means plea bargaining, and especially the process of getting to it, violates the Fifth, and thus more reasoning as to why it should be banned.

On the 6th: As I said before, they cannot waive the jury. Law requires it. Next, you say in short 'if there is no evidence, why plead guilty'? Because they are made to. Another example is Hayes vs Kentucky. Hayes forged a check, and if convicted could get 2-10 years. He wanted to have a jury trial. Law Enforcement at first tried to nicely persuade him, but then admitted that if he did continue to pursue his right towards a jury trail they would find MORE laws to convict him on. They both did as they said they would. Hayes Pursued his right, and the court 'found' more evidence of more crimes and he was sentenced to life. So we see cases where defendants do want to have the trial, but are threatened to do otherwise, and rather than face these NEW consequences they will go with the presented plea bargain. So this is why. The law doesn't NEED evidence, as long as they call the shots. So they will push their weight around until they get what they want, being the quiet easy plea bargain. So we can see that with the mere option, corruptness ensues, and if it happened there, then there is no reason to doubt its happened elsewhere. So if they aren't psychologically pressured then they are forced. They have the right to rove they are innocent, yet MADE to believe they can't. All of this so that they can AVOID a trial. So still unconstitutional, and generally illegal.

On Scared: Of course they tell you, but they in particularly emphasize why you SHOULD NOT pursue those rights. So while they are not technically being violated, they certainly are not fully being upheld.

On Laws: If you look, you'll find that there is not one single state law in all 50 of them that says anything about plea-bargaining. Go ahead an try, I have. There is not a single law that says it is legal. However, there are several Founding Document laws that do indirectly state that it is illegal. So no State has invoked your 10th amendment. Plead Bargaining was birth SOLELY from legal practices, not the law. So while it technically doesn't exist, as I've shown by my three laws, every aspect of Plea Bargaining is illegal by violating Constitutional law. To incorporate, it is not officially made by either the judiciary or legislature, because it was never passed to be constitutional because it technically does not exist. However we know that it does, otherwise we would not be having this debate, and as such with my evidence it is clear that it is still illegal, whether or not it is tolerated.

On Helping Sentencing Guidelines: What your talking about is romanticism. Ignoring reality and wishing for the best. But the best is not the same as the legal. If judges and juries feel rehabilitation is better on the advice of the lawyers than so be it, but it is not for lawyers to take the law into their own hands, ignoring the Judiciary system almost entirely. In fact, as I've shown, this action is illegal, as it violates Article III of the Constitution. So whether it is right or not, it is not legal and thus cannot be exercised in anyway (by that I mean by the lawyers behind the scenes. Juries can mandate rehabilitation if they want seeing as how that IS legal).

On the Burden: You finally come to this, as I thought you would. Tediousness and onerousity are no more acceptable reasons for violating the law than simple ignorance of the law. In fact it is even worse as it takes place within a system whose express purpose is to UPHOLD the law. But with the evidence I've provided, we can clearly see that the Constitution REQUIRES trials by, and gives evidence saying that that right is requires and that no one can give a testimony that they do not wish to give. So this fact simply doesn't matter, as it is clearly illegal! So we can't accept this argument until we can find evidence that it is fully legal (which it's not), meaning that there are laws saying it is (which there are none) so that it doesn't violate the constitution (which it currently does.

So until you find direct evidence that plea-bargaining does not contradict in anyway the Constitution, my premise stands, and thus proves the resolution.
PublicForumG-d

Con

Again, I'll start with my opponent's case, and move to my own.

TRUE, CITIZENS CAN WAIVE THEIR RIGHTS

This concession proves my case. If citizens can give up their rights then the fundamental premise to my case stands. I'll explain with my opponent's quote:

A CITIZEN CAN DO AS THEY WANT WITH THEIR RIGHTS, BUT LAW ENFORCEMENT KNOWINGLY PRESENTING THAT OPTION IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

We both acknowledge that they can waive their rights. Your 3rd sentence of your 2nd speech says so. So let's look logically.

Premise 1: Americans can waive rights
Premise 2: Trial By Jury is a right
Conclusion: Trial by jury can be (and IS) waived

UNFORTUNATELY, RIGHT AND WRONG ARE NOT THE STANDARDS ON LEGAL PRACTICES

Of course, we're not only talking about legal practices. We are debating, as a voting issue, legality, but the ethical nature of PBing can contribute to the resolution (which, being phrased as "should" almost implies that there should be a moral factor). Actually, since my opponent's ‘refutation' of this is to call it non-topical because it doesn't fit with his single voting issue, extend this.

THEY HAVE TO BE JUDGED BY A JURY…THEY FACE THE SENTENCE MADE BY THE JURY, NOT BY LAWYERS

I think I understand the disconnect here; criminals are not sentenced by juries ever. In every case, the Judge hands down the sentence. A PB is just where the prosecution agrees to set the sentence instead of having a trial – ONLY with the consent of the accused.

Let me explain further; the reason you have judges is to determine which side is right; in this debate, we have a judge because I believe I am right, and you believe you are right. In a trial, the Prosecution believes it is right, and the Defendant believes it is right. However, like this debate, if I conceded and said, "Grievous, advance to the next bracket" we wouldn't need any judges – the decision would already be rendered; because we both agree that you should advance. Similarly, in a trial the jury is used to judge the innocence of the defendant. However, if the defendant admits themselves guilty, why would we need judges? It's the same as the debate round; everyone agrees on the outcome. There's no battle of wills to be decided which is right.

HE THEN APPEALED SAYING THAT HE WAS GOADED ON TO ACCEPTING THE PB UNDER THE FEAR OF THE DEATH PENALTY, AND HIS GUILTY PLEA WAS REVERSED. THE SUPREME COURT STILL MAINTAINED THAT HIS PLEA WAS VALID, HOWEVER, AND KEPT THE SENTENCE

The first case (before the Supreme Court one) found that he was goaded; that means that by reversing it, the Supreme Court found that he WASN'T goaded.

The Supreme Court found in Brady v United States that it was not a violation of "voluntaryness" by fear of a heavier sentence. If the man was innocent, he had NO REASON AT ALL to fear the death penalty. The fact that he DID fear it indicated that he was guilty – and he was for 1st degree murder. The Supreme Court noted that despite his 'protest' of innocence, he openly and willingly "admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could likely convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty."

As for Hayes v Kentucky, it appears you outright lied. Here's a case summary:

"The case of Paul Lewis Hayes, a small-time American fraudster and petty criminal. Hayes already had two felony convictions on his record when he was caught forging a cheque for $88.30. Prosecutors told Hayes he would get a five-year prison term if he plead guilty, but if he chose to go to trial, he would be indicted under Kentucky's Habitual Criminal Act, which carried a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Hayes refused to accept a five-year term for an $88-crime. He was convicted as a habitual offender and sentenced to life in prison.

Hayes argued all the way to the Supreme Court that his sentence was unconstitutional, and represented a punishment for exercising his right to a jury trial. But in a watershed 1978 decision, the Court ruled that since Hayes was free to accept or decline the state's offer, and knew the potential consequences of each option, there was no coercion."

OF COURSE THEY TELL YOU, BUT THEY IN PARTICULARLY EMPHASIZE WHY YOU SHOULD NOT PURSUE THOSE RIGHTS. SO WHILE THEY ARE NOT TECHNICALLY BEING VIOLATED, THEY CERTAINLY ARE NOT FULLY BEING UPHELD.

Well first, this contradicts your first speech where you said that they don't tell you at all. Secondly, based on you only using ‘legality' something ‘not technically being violated' still means that its legal. So either way, this supports my position. However, I don't concede that: Prosecutors earn money based on the number of convictions they get. In fact, a prosecutor who is seen as ‘not putting out' by not getting convictions, is a "short lived prosecutor". If they even SLIGHTLY coerce the defendant during the PB, the entire case is kicked out of court.

THERE IS NOT A SINGLE LAW THAT SAYS IT IS LEGAL

There are multiple ways to make a law; formally and informally. Congress makes formal laws. If no law is made about something (ie PBing) and its done, people have the right to challenge its Constitutionality in Court. Which they have and the Court has Consistantly agreed that PBing is legal. This is what is known as an "informal" law. This also goes back to my 10th Amendment argument; no part of the Constitution says "No PBing", and as I've shown, and the Supreme Court has agreed, there is no Constitutional issue with PBing.

WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT IS ROMANTICISM

No, what I'm talking about is called facts. Especially in drug cases, blind punishment for something leaves the problem unsolved; the person is still addicted to drugs. Providing them with alternatives that allow them to get healthier, rather than slapping them across the face and saying "BAD!" often provide more benefit to everyone; the drug addict is less likely to relapse which means there's less on the court's plate as well. But that's not all; we put judges on the bench because we believe they are good judges. To then tell them that they are not allowed to exercise discretion, but must sentence in a certain way, to appear "tough on crime" is ludicrous.

TEDIOUSNESS AND ONEROUSITY ARE NO MORE ACCEPTABLE REASONS FOR VIOLATING THE LAW

I don't think you understand; its not about ‘convenience' or ‘tediousness' – its about the total collapse of the judicial system. The amounts of criminal cases that enter jurisdictions are staggering, and, as I stated in my first speech, "Almost everyone acknowledges that the system would collapse if every case that was filed were to be set for trial". Its just not possible.
To put the cap on this, The Supreme Court, some of the most brilliant men in the nation, who are more educated than either of us debaters, who have had people exponentially smarter than either of us arguing for and against PBing have come to these conclusions:

Boykin v. Alabama: The Supreme Court ruled PBing constitutional.

Brady v. United States: The Supreme Court ruled that the voluntariness of a guilty plea was not vitiated by fear of a heavier sentence following trial, even though that fear was death under a statute that the Court declared unconstitutional subsequent to Brady's guilty plea. What this means that, even if he was afraid of the death penalty, its still considered voluntary under the Constitution. Another ruling of Constitutional.

Santobello v. New York: The Court described PBing as "an essential component of the administration of justice. Properly administered, it is to be encouraged"

In fact, on the issue of the 6th Amendment: The Supreme Court has defined the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of "Assistance of Counsel" to mean effective assistance, which seems to entail a modicum of bargaining and negotiation, as suggested in Strickland v. Washington and Nix v. Whiteside.

Again and again and again the Highest Court in the nation has found PBing Constitutional. Why shouldn't you?
Debate Round No. 2
Darth_Grievous_42

Pro

I notice several times that you've conveniently dropped major elements of my argument, and rather argue on certain phrases. A lesser opponent would say that you must therefore completely agree with me, making the debate mine. However, I'll still allow you to make a case on them. I suggest you do it on the full argument, and not just the cut and pasted parts that you've taken out of context to make them work for you. I'll suggest to the viewer to re-read the segments my opponent has copied just in case. I will reply to PublicForumG-d's rebuttals in chronological order so I do not waste space. Also, I apologize if this statement seems at all rude. It is merely a clarification I feel is necessary to make so that the judges are not misguided.

This is not a concession, only an acknowledgment of fact. Of course citizens can waive their rights. Saying they cannot would be a lie. However, you'll notice that the trial by Jury is not a right but a requirement for judicial proceedings in the Constitution. So it's not even an option to waive this.

You've negated the second part of this sentence, being that law enforcement cannot, in any way, suggest they do so. A citizens rights are their own, and so only they have the ability to waive them. Anything, down to a mere suggestion, from anyone other than the individual is unlawful by the constitution. Therefore again meaning that Plea Bargaining is unconstitutional, as it is a direct suggestion for a citizen to waive their rights.

If you wished to argue on right and wrong you should have made it a separate argument, and not tied it into the law. Your own argument and refutation is a contradiction. Ergo, my stance thus far is extended.

A Freudian slip. Verdicts are made by juries, sentencing is made by judges. My error. However, the basic element of this argument stands. The Jury makes the verdict, not the lawyers. However, Plea Bargaining not only infringes on a Juries duty to make such a verdict, but also the Judges sentencing, as they pre-arranged the lesser charges. Also, your analogy pertaining to us is flawed in comparison to the legal system. My moral stance on this subject (to which I honestly have none), as well as yours is null. As debaters we are defending a stance, just like what lawyers are supposed to do. Our Judges are not here to decipher who is right, but who debated better, just like in the real courts, where verdicts of guilty and non-guilty are determined by how well a lawyer defended the case in accordance to the law. Whether he or the judge agrees personally is moot, as both of their jobs are to uphold the LAW, not their EMOTIONS. If you were to say I should advance, the argument would still have to be judged, and could go either way (albeit, your concession would greatly hurt your chances). If a lawyer did that it would be considered malpractice, as he did not attempt to defend his mandatory stance. With plea-bargaining, the lawyer of the defendant should also be prosecuted for malpractice. Since they are not doing all within their ability to prove their client are INNOCENT, which ultimately is the goal every lawyer should be trying to attain, not just second best. Again, this argument is on the law, not on moral standards.

No, they revised it because they admitted he WAS goaded, but kept the guilty plea as they thought that it was legitimate. This brings me back to one of the first arguments I made. Whether he knew he was innocent is not the case, but what he knew would actually happen, being they would prove him guilty and still send him to jail, even if he maintained a plea of non-guilty. Because Brady knew this to be true (no doubt because both lawyers and police caused him to think so), he would of course go for a lighter sentence. He like any men would fear the death penalty, and the knowledge that he would get it one way or another would make any man give in to plea bargaining.

Also, you've ignored the part in the Hayes trial where the lawyers and police threatened him into taking a plea bargain rather than going into trial. His ultimate verdict is of no consequence here, as that is a regular trial. We must concentrate on the plea bargaining part, where it is all too clear that it was done unjustly and grossly disregarded the Constitution.

All plea-bargaining is illegal as it is unconstitutional. Therefore, even if they tell you your rights, the simple fact that they pursue plea-bargaining is a violation of them and the law. Also, nowhere in my first round do I mention whether they tell you your rights or not, so my second rounds reasoning is not a contradiction, but a stance I maintain still.

Since they are informal, that means they are implied, true. However, because Plea Bargaining is not a specific state law, and because it is clear that they violate Constitutional laws, this means these informal laws, are in fact illegal. So while they may not specifically say ‘no plea-bargaining', it is clear that 'informally' it does.

This argument has nothing to do with plea-bargaining, but your feelings on rehabilitation. If the Judge AND Jury deem rehabilitation a suitable punishment, fine. However, it is unlawful to pursue this sentence by plea-bargaining.

If there are not enough Judges, Juries, and Court Rooms to facilitate all these cases then the solution is simple: get more. America's last census states that there are over 2 million people in the US. With that many people, it far from impossible to expand. So it still comes down to a convenience issue, which is no excuse for deliberately breaking Constitutional law. There are solutions that fall within the law, and ones that don't. Plea-bargaining falls into the second category.

Now, onto your Supreme Court Justification.
The Supreme Court is specially set up to give accurate rulings based purely on the Founding documents. Now, right here, you think I've conceded my whole point. "Plea Bargaining can't violate the Constitution if the Supreme Court has ruled for cases that use it" right? Wrong. The simple basis of this claim is that the Judges are human, and while they are supposed to uphold every facet of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence they don't. This can easily be seen in the cases of both Civil Rights and Slavery. Although it is clearly stated that 'All men are Created Equal", the Supreme Court allowed slavery. Even once it was repealed, and the laws in the Constitution were amended, they still allowed the unjust treatment of Black people. Several times this case was brought up, and an important facet that 'All men are created equal' was always brought up, which if the Supreme Court were really doing their job, would have settled it then and there. But it didn't, the main reason because each and every highly educated Judge had their personal biases. Thus, the cases on civil rights continued for nearly 100 years after slaveries abolishment. This clearly shows that the Supreme Court, while they should be the most just and fair court in the country, is not. Therefore, their specific rulings cannot be taken into account because of their many, many flaws in judgment, which in more cases than not, based on their personal feelings rather than the laws they should be upholding. Meaning this argument must be fought on the specific rules and laws of the Constitution, not the opinions of nine people.

So, in conclusion, I maintain that Plea Bargaining is unconstitutional, and should thus be banned. By the rules of Amendments 5 and 6, and Article III section II of the Constitution, we can see that the informal, and purely legal-PRACTICE born 'option' of Plea Bargaining directly violates these fundamental laws. Convenience, Moral Standings, and the Supreme Courts personal feelings are not acceptable excuses. If it violates the law, especially the Highest one, then it is already illegal. So, we must officially ban Plea Bargaining. Darth_Grievous_42 out.
PublicForumG-d

Con

I'll go down the flow and name the voting issues as they appear.

YOU'LL NOTICE THAT THE TRIAL BY JURY IS NOT A RIGHT BUT A REQUIREMENT FOR JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS IN THE CONSTITUTION

I think you've consistently missed what this phrase was intending; that people CANNOT be STRIPPED of the right to a trial by jury. I'd like to take this argument Ad Absurdum

Let's pretend we have a really good person here. He stole food for his family. He was caught, and charged with theft. Feeling bad, he admits his crime, and asks for a direct sentence; he doesn't want to go to trial. (No PB, he just admitted guilt.) Are you really saying that the Constitution MANDATES this man go to trial, even when he admits being guilty? That the Framers intended EVERY SINGLE CHARGE to be taken to trial? It doesn't make sense.

ANYTHING, DOWN TO A MERE SUGGESTION, FROM ANYONE OTHER THAN THE INDIVIDUAL IS UNLAWFUL BY THE CONSTITUTION.

Proof for this would be nice. I think you're talking about COERCION. Coercion is strictly banned from the Courts, and if they find out about ANY of it, they throw the entire case out. Otherwise, they're just informing them of their legal options. In fact, the Supreme Court found PBing to actually be an EXTENSION of the 6th Amendment.

IF YOU WISHED TO ARGUE ON RIGHT AND WRONG YOU SHOULD HAVE MADE IT A SEPARATE ARGUMENT, AND NOT TIED IT INTO THE LAW

I actually specifically stated in my second contention that YOU were taking a decidedly legal stance, while I felt morality was a second issue. You really haven't pointed out any contradictions, and I showed morality as a factor, so please weigh this as CON in voting issues.

THE JURY MAKES THE VERDICT, NOT THE LAWYERS

But no one is contesting the guilt! The lawyers aren't making a verdict; a verdict is a judgment. There's no verdict to be had; all involved parties here agree there IS guilt. Why would you judge something that doesn't need to be judged?

Lets flip this. Lets say both the Prosecution and Defense agree that the Defense is innocent (ie, the Prosecution found more evidence to exonerate the Defense after they charged them). Do they still have to go to trial too? No! Because no one is contesting the verdict.

LIKE IN THE REAL COURTS, WHERE VERDICTS OF GUILTY AND NON-GUILTY ARE DETERMINED BY HOW WELL A LAWYER DEFENDED THE CASE IN ACCORDANCE TO THE LAW.

First, I think your premise is mistaken – juries don't judge cases based on ‘who lawyered better' they judge cases based on what the truth is. I understand that in reality, our opinions don't matter, but for the Round we're supposed to pretend we believe in our position. When I go to post my argument, I see "I am ‘against' this topic." So the analogy within the parameters of the debate applies.

IF YOU WERE TO SAY I SHOULD ADVANCE, THE ARGUMENT WOULD STILL HAVE TO BE JUDGED

Why would it need to be judged if I conceded? You haven't explained this, and I disagree; its just a de facto win for you, not something still to be judged.

SINCE THEY ARE NOT DOING ALL WITHIN THEIR ABILITY TO PROVE THEIR CLIENT ARE INNOCENT, WHICH ULTIMATELY IS THE GOAL EVERY LAWYER SHOULD BE TRYING TO ATTAIN

Actually, lawyers "are required to vigorously represent their client, to the best of their ability, and to use every legal tool at their disposal to do so." If their client is outright clearly guilty, then merely protesting innocence is not best representing the client. Often PB is the best way to go – the Supreme Court agrees that "the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of "Assistance of Counsel" to mean effective assistance, which seems to entail a modicum of bargaining and negotiation."

THEY REVISED IT BECAUSE THEY ADMITTED HE WAS GOADED, BUT KEPT THE GUILTY PLEA AS THEY THOUGHT THAT IT WAS LEGITIMATE.

That makes no sense at all, and is factually false. If they thought he was goaded, why would they keep the guilty plea?

WHETHER HE KNEW HE WAS INNOCENT IS NOT THE CASE, BUT WHAT HE KNEW WOULD ACTUALLY HAPPEN, BEING THEY WOULD PROVE HIM GUILTY AND STILL SEND HIM TO JAIL, EVEN IF HE MAINTAINED A PLEA OF NON-GUILTY.

As for the Alford case, the man WAS guilty – so he knew that he would get the death penalty if they went to trial. The reason they ‘would prove him guilty' is because he WAS guilty.

ALSO, YOU'VE IGNORED THE PART IN THE HAYES TRIAL WHERE THE LAWYERS AND POLICE THREATENED HIM INTO TAKING A PB RATHER THAN GOING INTO TRIAL.

They never threatened him! You've provided no evidence that they did either. The reason behind his conviction was he was guilty! Guilt IS material to the debate, because he knowingly broke the law and took his chances. He threw a tantrum about going to jail for 5 years for stealing 88 dollars, and because of this got much longer under a repeat offenders law. He was not goaded at all – he was pissed.

This also ties into my Mandatory Sentencing Guidelines argument; it may seem very harsh that he got 5 years for 88 dollars. If the judge felt he was reformed or that he wouldn't do it again, he could've given him probation or something. However, because of the harsh law, the judge had to hand down a life sentence. PBing goes around overly harsh restrictions, and allows judges to do what they're supposed to do; judge. Because of this, I ask you to weigh this voting issue NEG as well.

I'd also like to address the rehabilitation aspect for drug addicts. I don't think you understand what Mandatory Guidelines are:

IF THE JUDGE AND JURY DEEM REHABILITATION A SUITABLE PUNISHMENT, FINE.

That's the thing; its not fine. The judge is FORCED to rule in a certain way – he cannot exercise the judicial discretion that has been so critical to our nation historically.

IF THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH JUDGES, JURIES, AND COURT ROOMS TO FACILITATE ALL THESE CASES THEN THE SOLUTION IS SIMPLE: GET MORE.

If only we could. But the nation's $9,351,498,901,526 debt gets in the way of that. It would be nice if we could just ‘get more' for education, Medicare or the Courts, but as we exist, we simply cannot ‘just get more'. I provided analysis that says that PBing is essential, where my opponent provides none. Weigh this NEG

"PBING CAN'T VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTION IF THE SUPREME COURT HAS RULED FOR CASES THAT USE IT" RIGHT? WRONG.

While I agree with you that the judges ARE human, I would submit to you that the number of critically made bad decisions could be counted on one hand, and all of the examples you gave have been rectified. Biased Justices may have ruled badly on slavery, yes.

But different cases, different justices, different circumstances, different attorneys, and different time periods over decades have all consistently come to one conclusion: PBing is Constitutional. The fact that there are SO MANY cases consistently ruling in favor of PBing is a testament to its Constitutionality. There was controversy over slavery. Over civil rights. Here, you are the only one protesting. And you're not even attacking the logic of the cases, which constitutes a dropped argument.

I'd like to put my opponent's arguments in perspective. He claims that PBing, which is far and wide used around the country, is unconstitutional. Then what are we doing here debating it? Why isn't there a riot in the streets? When the Supreme Court found "separate but equal" in schools to be unconstitutional, the will of the Courts was enforced. When some schools decided they didn't want to obey, the President took almost immediate action and sent National Guard soldiers to enforce the Constitution. It is the basic law of our land – it must be adhered to completely. Yet for some reason, PBing has magically escaped the eyes of the public. There are no riots in the streets. There is no deployment of troops.

I ask you to look globally; we've taken every action, be it inputting troops from the national guard, to going to war over slavery to preserve the Constitution. Yet here, there is no such action. Logic dictates a neg vote.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by PublicForumG-d 5 years ago
PublicForumG-d
Gotcha.

Thanks.

25 characterrrrrrrrrrrrrrs
Posted by tgoloubentsev 5 years ago
tgoloubentsev
search me as Fyodor Goloubentsev. You should find me.
Posted by PublicForumG-d 5 years ago
PublicForumG-d
@Tglobentsve:

I know what impact calculus is haha.

What's your facebook to PM you?
Posted by PublicForumG-d 5 years ago
PublicForumG-d
And I have messaged you to address your concern in the round.
Posted by PublicForumG-d 5 years ago
PublicForumG-d
I would prefer we didn't go into detail over this in comments. If you really want to talk to me, I've friended you on facebook. Message me.

I don't mean to sound prudish, and if this wasn't for the tourney I'd be ok. I just want this to be properly done.

Thanks Peter.

Christian
Posted by Darth_Grievous_42 5 years ago
Darth_Grievous_42
.Well, PublicForumG-d, since the debate is over (even though I desperately wish I could have had one more round to address all the tangents) I am guessing I can go into more detail on that paragraph. I was limited by the 8000 characters like you, so I tried to insert most of the arguments I felt you dropped in some way to my round three, in the hopes you would properly respond to them. I suppose the most glaring specific example would be how you've never contested my point on the Constitution. Sure, you try with the Supreme Court, but that's a completely separate matter. Throughout the entire debate, not once have you really challenged my major claim. Small facets and snippets of sentences, yes, but not the argument as a whole. But that is only afterthought, and judges should not be influenced by this comment, as it is not apart of the debate. Not that it really matters as it seems the general public is against me, mostly on personal grounds I see. You'll object to this claim I'm sure, but don't let it bother you, its only one person's opinion verses the majority. At least I'm guaranteed one more tournament round. Good Debate.
Posted by Paradigm_Lost 5 years ago
Paradigm_Lost
Both sides made excellent points. This was a tough debate to vote on, but I have made my final assessment. I think tougher criticism would come from legal counsel that coerces a defendant to accept a plea bargain in order to lessen his or her time. If the defendant is innocent, why plead guilty? Why not stand firm to the end, regardless if they give you life?

Legal counsel is solicited advice. But some of these defense attorneys have their own agendas in mind.

But then, how would you stop that legally?
Posted by tgoloubentsev 5 years ago
tgoloubentsev
Specifically on this website, however mundane it is, the judges are not all ex-Ld but in fact are a mixture of extremely lay, and thus unmotivated peers.

The question is not if you're comfortable using debate lingo - I understood you perfectly. Other peers might be lost or find those extraneous.

Influences from public forum, as your name suggests, should be clearly visible in your style of argumentation. Empirics are most convincing and especially convincing because they introduce an authority that supersedes the opinions of judges. That's why empirics are so widespread in public forum - they are effectively tools used to reel in an audience, establish the authority of a position and the superiority of a case, and override predispositions. You should use more empirics because this website is modeled after public forum style as opposed to lincoln douglas style (syllogisms, logic, etc).

Citing numbers, Supreme Court positions, and quotes is essential in terms of maintaining a good research ethic. Your rebuttals/ case lacked that.

On the positive side: good use of analogies and anecdotes to summarize, clear flow, and summarize.

Oh, almost forgot- tell judges how to distinguish between which impact scenarios we should look at by using weighing mechanisms. PM me if you want me to teach you that, or just learn some from policy kids.
Posted by PublicForumG-d 5 years ago
PublicForumG-d
My judges are all ex-LD or in LD. I'm comfortable with debate lingo.

And I didn't make it unclear with my lingo. Neg vote is pretty clear :)

Thanks for the vote, and FYI we flow in PFD as well :)

And I didn't use much empirics, mostly general knowlege stuff and logic...
Posted by tgoloubentsev 5 years ago
tgoloubentsev
"Public Forum God" not only bastardizes public forum debate, but also the arguments by straying away from common diction and preferring gobbledygook to confuse the issues. Refrain from using debate lingo like "tagline", "flow", and "neg vote". This isn't a pofo round and shouldn't be treated as such. Cite sources for statistics.

Despite all that, I'd say publicforumg*d convinces me more, despite his lack or abuse of empirics to support his claims.

PS: If you want to flow arguments, get out of public forum and do lincoln douglas.
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