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RFD: MrVindication v bsh1. Jury Nullification

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7/3/2016 7:59:38 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At the end of the debate, I am left questioning how the arguments presented ought to be weighed and why they ought to be weighed in this way. I am not really giving a mechanism to weigh arguments or harms, the only clear recognition of weighing is in the final round with con saying "[w]eigh the arguments, consider the harms", but not saying how I should go about doing this. I assume utilitarian.

I won't be doing a round-by-round commentary of the arguments made, we can all read the arguments and the responses. Much of the arguments come out to a wash. I will take contested and what seem to be round-deciding arguments.

Bsh's main claims are that law is fundamentally situated (and is partially or in whole the same thing as) the principles upon which it came from, essentially that intent is everything; and there are two isolated (though not non-overlapping) impacts: a. reduction of racial biases specifically, and b. a valuation of integrity of the legal system.
MV's responses are lackluster and damning against bsh; he essentially concedes the idea that a nonsensical law ought not to exist at all in society, and principles are just as important as the law itself. He offers no real defense nor offense other than there is another way that we can also change the laws, JRNL is not the only way to do so and may offer actual institutional change.
First, on the concession: because principles are just as important as the written law itself, there is no reason why we should prefer codified law over the principles behind the law itself, and there is no rebuttal that the principles behind the codified law are more important, so MV is giving bsh more offense on this idea. Then, because of the concession that the laws shouldn't exist, gives even more legitimacy to bsh in this regard; because the principles are equally important (or more), we should either not prioritise the codified law over the principles (or prioritise the principles before codified) --> and then we should not have fundamentally a-principled codified laws in society.

One of the arguments MV makes to give him some offense is that the emotion of a jury clouds the judgement; this would be pretty damning if bsh somehow could not prove this wrong, but because bsh was able to straight turn this argument (emotion and instinct are right most of the time) gives bsh offense in the regard that emotion is actually something that is to be trusted, not looked down upon. Bsh gets offense on what would otherwise be a very nice argument for MV.

Then, MV makes this argument that jurors are breaking their oath, and while this is given absolutely no impact, the fact that MV makes ultimately no response against bsh's framework of "law = codified + principles" means that there is no oath-breaking here. (No offense given here, it was just a straight and nice refutation)

MV gets really close to making an extremely compelling (and perhaps round-winning) argument "if laws are enforced unequally by JRNL, this is detrimental to the social order that comes from having a carefully constructed and enforceable set of laws", but there is no clear and articulated impact associated with this, except for a vague notion of "detrimental to the social order", and this argument seems to have been dropped or forgotten by the end of the round, so it is meaningfully removed from the decision.

MV's best offense in the round starts with reformism is a much better way of leading to institutional change. However, I don't see a response that is meaningful against bsh's main issues taken in that reform takes such a long time to happen, that reform may not always happen, and even if it did, it may not free those that were actively harmed (and this gives him more offense on 'wrongful incarceration -> hastened death'). [[And, while it wasn't brought up so I won't factor it into RFD, I don't see any reason why a permutation wouldn't suffice on this; we can both reform and have JRNL, can't we? I'd definitely perm if I was bsh, maybe not using the language of 'perm' but at least attempt to show non-mutual exclusitivity]]

So, in the end, no real offense is given by MV where there is a lot of offense both by the AC and straight and direct turns by bsh. Win for bsh.

(Also, on the bit about the Founding Fathers being racist, I'd try to impact that out into some meta-debate kind of stuff, so that you could maybe win some source points. As it stands, there's no real reason to penalize for the sources, but a very nice argument could be made for doing so).