The Instigator
Tmurdock
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
wpmesq
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

resolved: In the us criminal court system jury nullification to be used when percieved injustice

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/28/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 861 times Debate No: 81384
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
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Tmurdock

Pro

Rules.
1. Ld format debate
2. Respect all others
3. Provide links to full article
4. Answer all questions
5. You forfeit all points to me if you break any of the following rules: 1-4

Rounds:
R1: Acceptence
R2: Opening
R3: questions
R4: answer questions
R5: rebuttal and closing arguements
wpmesq

Con

I accept your debate challenge and will argue against jury nullification.
Debate Round No. 1
Tmurdock

Pro

Intro: Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
Reinhold Niebuhr
Value: Justice
Criterion: Direct Democracy
I stand in firm affirmation of the resolution which states, Resolved: In the United States criminal justice system, jury nullification ought to be used in the face of perceived injustice
Defenitions:
Justice: Oxford english dictionary defines it as the quality of being fair or reasonable
Democracy: Merriam Webster defines it as an organization or situation in which everyone is treated equally and has equal rights
jury nullification: The legal dictionary defines it as when the jury uses their own conscious to judge the and decide the verdict
perceived injustice: Horowitz, Irwin A. (Professor of Psychology at Oregon State University), Norbert L. Kerr (Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University), Keith E. Niedermeier (Assistant professor, Department of Marketing, School of Business at Pennsylvania State University) define it as technically illegal, was justified to some degree
Debate overlook: The aff will be advocating for the fact of we need jury nullification to achieve justice through direct democracy and the neg will be advocating for letting the law reign supreme, absolute obedience, and ultimately try to persuade you of the flaws of the Jury.
Contention 1: Nullification enables juries to do their job of reflecting political and moral discourse in their decisions pg. 65
Carey, Gearoid (Associate at Matheson, Dublin). "Jury Nullification. Democracy and Rationality." Irish Student Law Review. Vol 7. 1998.
O'Hanlon further argues that juries going against the law is "indefensible in a modem democracy where fundamental rights and freedoms are protected by the country's Constitution." However, this argument is essentially self-defeating, not only by virtue of reference to O'Dalaigh C.J.'s prescient description of the jury's "improbable but not-to-be overlooked future." The constitutional right to trial by jury is well recognised by the courts in this jurisdiction as a fundamental right and freedom worthy of vindication in itself. Moreover, important constitutionally enshrined rights and freedoms can be incrementally encroached upon by a zealous legislature to the extent that exceptions or restrictions become normalised. It is in such circumstances, where rights and freedoms are under attack, that the jury power to nullify becomes most indispensable and the jury itself becomes a protective mechanism. In this sense, the jury provides a healthy democratic element in the administration of justice and the proof that the jury is such is implicit in the fact that a number of continental countries abolished trial by jury after they had abandoned democratic principles. (pg. 19)
Contention 2: Live Free and Nullify: Against purging capital juries of death penalty opponents. Harvard Law Review [Vol. 127:2092] May 20, 2014. http://cdn.harvardlawreview.org...
Jury nullification checks back against the power of the elites
We are not using this to take over the law. We are not doing away with the law. We are not ignoring the law. Harvard school of law says, "The jury is an independent body meant to be the voice of the people in a judicial system dominated by elites. It serves as an additional check on the excesses of state power and can mitigate majoritarian impulses that effectively cabin the will of minorities, racial and ideological. Nullification is a symptom, not the root cause, of a system plagued by runaway discretion and arbitrary application " and, when used in the employ of mercy, it is a value worth protecting. In the choice between life and death, jurors convinced of the former are not propagating lawlessness, but rather, they are exercising their constitutional roles and drawing on the full weight of their moral judgments in a system inevitably rife with them." So therefore we are just putting the law in perspective and checking it in this instance. pg. 43
Contention 3: Laws are not perfect.
"Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered."
ARISTOTLE
Listen to this story. "Jury nullification would be helpful in a case like the recently publicized trial of Cecily McMillan. After having her breast groped from behind by a police officer, McMillan, an Occupy Wall Street activist, reflexively elbowed backward and was subsequently charged with assaulting an officer. After the judge suppressed relevant evidence, the jury ultimately felt compelled to render a guilty verdict, but its members were surprised to later learn that that verdict carried a potential seven-year sentence. Nine out of twelve jurors later wrote a letter to the judge urging him not to send McMillan to prison. Had these jurors known about jury nullification, they could have initially said, "Technically guilty, we supposed, but COME ON!" and not left her subject to harsh, unwarranted punishment." We need jury nullification. It does not replace a law nor ignore a law. The jury simply uses their conscious to vote on a topic and make a temporary amendment to the law.
Conclusion: It is not only [the juror's] right, but his duty...to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.
John Adams, 1771
By following democracy we are achieving Justice
wpmesq

Con

wpmesq forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Tmurdock

Pro

Is my opponent going to continue the debate?
Is my opponent giving up?
Will the voters please vote for me?
wpmesq

Con

wpmesq forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Tmurdock

Pro

no questions to answer
wpmesq

Con

wpmesq forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Tmurdock

Pro

vote with me
wpmesq

Con

wpmesq forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Sarai.K82 1 year ago
Sarai.K82
Should be an interesting debate. I can see strong arguments for both sides.
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