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Juveniles tried as adults in CJS...

PiperPhoenix
Posts: 168
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1/6/2011 2:28:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Okay so no one in my class can figure out what else to do for this topic in either Aff or Neg and the tournament is on Saturday I'm in my school library with them and we're hoping you guys can help us. here are some of my contentions if you can help it would be much appreciated:
Aff:
Juveniles who commit violent crimes are smart enough to commit the crime so they therefore are smart enough to know the consiquences of their actions.

When Juveniles who commited a small violent crime are thrown in with other delinquents who are more dangerous it usually makes them more violent than not.

Neg:
Adolescents generally seek greater risks for various social, emotional and physical reasons, including changes in the brain's neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, which influence memory, concentration, problem-solving and other mental functions. Dopamine is not yet at its most effective level in adolescence.
Therefore they can not be held at the same level of responsibility as adults.

During adolescence, the brain begins its final stages of maturation and continues to rapidly develop well into a person's early 20s, concluding around the age of 25.
Demons run when a good man goes to war;
Night will fall and drown the sun
When a good man goes to war.
Friendship dies and true love lies,
Night will fall and the dark will rise,
When a good man goes to war,
Demons run, but count the cost,
The battle's won, but the child is lost,
When a good man goes to war.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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1/6/2011 2:42:25 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 2:28:00 PM, PiperPhoenix wrote:
Okay so no one in my class can figure out what else to do for this topic in either Aff or Neg and the tournament is on Saturday I'm in my school library with them and we're hoping you guys can help us. here are some of my contentions if you can help it would be much appreciated:
Aff:
Juveniles who commit violent crimes are smart enough to commit the crime so they therefore are smart enough to know the consiquences of their actions.

When Juveniles who commited a small violent crime are thrown in with other delinquents who are more dangerous it usually makes them more violent than not.

Neg:
Adolescents generally seek greater risks for various social, emotional and physical reasons, including changes in the brain's neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, which influence memory, concentration, problem-solving and other mental functions. Dopamine is not yet at its most effective level in adolescence.
Therefore they can not be held at the same level of responsibility as adults.


During adolescence, the brain begins its final stages of maturation and continues to rapidly develop well into a person's early 20s, concluding around the age of 25.

First of all, it depends on how we're defining "juvenile". For the sake of the "In the United States" bit of the resolution, I'm assuming that you mean any criminal offender under 18. If this is the case, there are a couple of good negative approaches that you can take.

1. Culpability theory--based on the criteria that we ought to use for determining culpability (responsibility + accountability + blameworthiness + punishability, more or less), we can draw a clear psychological distinction between the average juvenile and the average adult. Even though by, say, the age of 10, a juvenile has the ability to comprehend some degree of right and wrong, we would not say that he has full legal competence (i.e. the ability to understand and enter pleas, the ability to assist counsel effectively, the ability to understand and participate in the adversarial system in criminal court, etc.), which means that he cannot possibly be treated as an adult. The psychological capacity just isn't there.

2. It can also be argued that the affirmative necessarily makes unwarranted generalizations about juveniles, and is even forced to group them all together without recognizing their differing mental capacities. We might say that a 16 or 17 year old is generally developed enough, psychologically speaking, to stand trial as a competent adult (keeping in mind that criminal courts assume the full competence of defendants), but drawing a bright line beyond that is really, really difficult; therefore, we ought to, at best, pursue particularized and individualized forms of justice, taking cues from the rehabilitative nature of the juvenile justice system by looking to adapt criminal courts to an offender-centric paradigm, rather than an offense-centric one. The whole concept of justice is about giving people what they're owed, and saying "a crime is a crime, lock him up" is clearly representative of a mindset that fails to account for the gray area represented by juvenile offenders--especially the subset spotlighted by the resolution, which is those charged with violent felonies.

3. Short argument here: because of the level of development that juveniles have achieved, subjecting them to the sorts of experiences typical of a criminal trial would be psychologically detrimental, which could not only harm their mental development, but also increases the defendant's risk of recidivism.

There's good evidence for this stuff. I suggest going on SpringerLink and doing a bit of research on juveniles in the justice system.
Sieben
Posts: 2,736
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1/6/2011 2:57:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Being tried as an adult doesn't mean you think teenagers are capable of rational thought. After all, many adults are retarded too.

Trying someone as an adult is about the sentencing. All you have to do is prove that someone can commit unforgivable crimes at the age of 15. See http://harrypotter.wikia.com...
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TombLikeBomb
Posts: 639
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1/6/2011 2:58:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 2:28:00 PM, PiperPhoenix wrote:
Okay so no one in my class can figure out what else to do for this topic in either Aff or Neg and the tournament is on Saturday I'm in my school library with them and we're hoping you guys can help us. here are some of my contentions if you can help it would be much appreciated:

On an important issue such as this, debating for a side you disagree with is morally irresponsible, as is any school that encourages you to. If the other side's arguments are insufficiently challenging, choose a more challenging topic; don't cynically invent new ways to deceive.

When Juveniles who commited a small violent crime are thrown in with other delinquents who are more dangerous it usually makes them more violent than not.

The corresponding negative would be that throwing juveniles in with adult criminals would be no less dangerous.
From the time of the progressive era with the rise of public schooling through the post-WWII period, capital invaded the time workers had liberated from waged work and shaped it for purposes of social control. Perhaps the most obvious moment of this colonization was the re-incarceration in schools of the young (who were expelled from the factories by child labor laws) such that what might have been free time was structured to convert their life energies into labor power.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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1/6/2011 3:11:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 2:57:36 PM, Sieben wrote:
Being tried as an adult doesn't mean you think teenagers are capable of rational thought. After all, many adults are retarded too.

Trying someone as an adult is about the sentencing. All you have to do is prove that someone can commit unforgivable crimes at the age of 15. See http://harrypotter.wikia.com...

"In the United States, juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to be treated as adults by the criminal justice system."

First of all, the criminal justice system assumes the competence of the defendant unless you run a psychological defense. Trying them as adults absolutely means that you think they're rational enough--that's why you're treating them as an adult in the first place. "Treat as adult" doesn't only mean that you're putting them in the adult justice system--it means that you treat them as if they're fully competent and developed enough to warrant such treatment

Second of all, the bright line isn't 15 years old. The resolution says "juveniles". All juveniles. And there's a hell of a gray area that the affirmative sort of wishes away by pooling all juveniles into one category for a universal evaluation.

Third of all, when treating them as full adults carries psychological risks and a greater threat of recidivism, there's no moral imperative to treat them as adults--all that's happening is we're making the offense-centric claim that "a crime is a crime" without realizing that we're just using the defendant to "make a point" without consideration for what the juvenile actually deserves from the justice system.

Finally, it's totally arbitrary to say that they should be treated as adults just because they committed a worse crime. All that shows is a different thought process. Criminal intent would still exist if they were vandals or thieves.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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1/6/2011 3:13:15 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 2:58:44 PM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
At 1/6/2011 2:28:00 PM, PiperPhoenix wrote:
Okay so no one in my class can figure out what else to do for this topic in either Aff or Neg and the tournament is on Saturday I'm in my school library with them and we're hoping you guys can help us. here are some of my contentions if you can help it would be much appreciated:

On an important issue such as this, debating for a side you disagree with is morally irresponsible, as is any school that encourages you to. If the other side's arguments are insufficiently challenging, choose a more challenging topic; don't cynically invent new ways to deceive.

Seriously? It's high school debate, dude. They're supposed to be trained to see both sides of an issue, even if that means a bit of devil's advocacy. It's not like you're debating for policy-makers or delegates from the ICC--you're competing in front of a judge, or a panel thereof, to see who is the better debater. Jesus.

When Juveniles who commited a small violent crime are thrown in with other delinquents who are more dangerous it usually makes them more violent than not.

The corresponding negative would be that throwing juveniles in with adult criminals would be no less dangerous.
gavin.ogden
Posts: 1,729
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1/6/2011 3:16:55 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 2:58:44 PM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
At 1/6/2011 2:28:00 PM, PiperPhoenix wrote:
Okay so no one in my class can figure out what else to do for this topic in either Aff or Neg and the tournament is on Saturday I'm in my school library with them and we're hoping you guys can help us. here are some of my contentions if you can help it would be much appreciated:

On an important issue such as this, debating for a side you disagree with is morally irresponsible, as is any school that encourages you to. If the other side's arguments are insufficiently challenging, choose a more challenging topic; don't cynically invent new ways to deceive.

When Juveniles who commited a small violent crime are thrown in with other delinquents who are more dangerous it usually makes them more violent than not.

The corresponding negative would be that throwing juveniles in with adult criminals would be no less dangerous.

Holy crap! I agree with Tomblikebomb. Time to find a new site.
Sieben
Posts: 2,736
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1/6/2011 3:20:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 3:11:32 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 1/6/2011 2:57:36 PM, Sieben wrote:
Being tried as an adult doesn't mean you think teenagers are capable of rational thought. After all, many adults are retarded too.

Trying someone as an adult is about the sentencing. All you have to do is prove that someone can commit unforgivable crimes at the age of 15. See http://harrypotter.wikia.com...

"In the United States, juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to be treated as adults by the criminal justice system."

First of all, the criminal justice system assumes the competence of the defendant unless you run a psychological defense. Trying them as adults absolutely means that you think they're rational enough--that's why you're treating them as an adult in the first place. "Treat as adult" doesn't only mean that you're putting them in the adult justice system--it means that you treat them as if they're fully competent and developed enough to warrant such treatment

Second of all, the bright line isn't 15 years old. The resolution says "juveniles". All juveniles. And there's a hell of a gray area that the affirmative sort of wishes away by pooling all juveniles into one category for a universal evaluation.

Third of all, when treating them as full adults carries psychological risks and a greater threat of recidivism, there's no moral imperative to treat them as adults--all that's happening is we're making the offense-centric claim that "a crime is a crime" without realizing that we're just using the defendant to "make a point" without consideration for what the juvenile actually deserves from the justice system.

Finally, it's totally arbitrary to say that they should be treated as adults just because they committed a worse crime. All that shows is a different thought process. Criminal intent would still exist if they were vandals or thieves.

I guess I'm saying that the legal system's intent can be preserved by getting rid of explicit age considerations. As you described it, its horribly redundant. On the one hand, it has an adult/juvenile distinction to account for psychological and developmental differences. On top of that, it has another mechanism to account for psychological and developmental differences. I'm saying you don't need the first, because you can just argue the second on a case by case basis.
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PiperPhoenix
Posts: 168
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1/6/2011 3:30:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Ok I think I understand what you're getting at.
Demons run when a good man goes to war;
Night will fall and drown the sun
When a good man goes to war.
Friendship dies and true love lies,
Night will fall and the dark will rise,
When a good man goes to war,
Demons run, but count the cost,
The battle's won, but the child is lost,
When a good man goes to war.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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1/6/2011 3:31:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 3:20:37 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 1/6/2011 3:11:32 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 1/6/2011 2:57:36 PM, Sieben wrote:
Being tried as an adult doesn't mean you think teenagers are capable of rational thought. After all, many adults are retarded too.

Trying someone as an adult is about the sentencing. All you have to do is prove that someone can commit unforgivable crimes at the age of 15. See http://harrypotter.wikia.com...

"In the United States, juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to be treated as adults by the criminal justice system."

First of all, the criminal justice system assumes the competence of the defendant unless you run a psychological defense. Trying them as adults absolutely means that you think they're rational enough--that's why you're treating them as an adult in the first place. "Treat as adult" doesn't only mean that you're putting them in the adult justice system--it means that you treat them as if they're fully competent and developed enough to warrant such treatment

Second of all, the bright line isn't 15 years old. The resolution says "juveniles". All juveniles. And there's a hell of a gray area that the affirmative sort of wishes away by pooling all juveniles into one category for a universal evaluation.

Third of all, when treating them as full adults carries psychological risks and a greater threat of recidivism, there's no moral imperative to treat them as adults--all that's happening is we're making the offense-centric claim that "a crime is a crime" without realizing that we're just using the defendant to "make a point" without consideration for what the juvenile actually deserves from the justice system.

Finally, it's totally arbitrary to say that they should be treated as adults just because they committed a worse crime. All that shows is a different thought process. Criminal intent would still exist if they were vandals or thieves.

I guess I'm saying that the legal system's intent can be preserved by getting rid of explicit age considerations. As you described it, its horribly redundant. On the one hand, it has an adult/juvenile distinction to account for psychological and developmental differences. On top of that, it has another mechanism to account for psychological and developmental differences. I'm saying you don't need the first, because you can just argue the second on a case by case basis.

I think there's a good reason for preserving them, actually. With adults, you have some small fraction of the population that's mentally deficient; however, this is the exception, not the rule--and the justice system is equipped to deal with these cases accordingly. Juveniles, on the other hand, flip the rule. Most don't have a level of competence necessary to "stay afloat" in a criminal court, and the exceptions that do are waived over by judges or prosecutors. I was reading a developmental psychology paper on this the other day, and he pointed out that you can't render age irrelevant in criminal trials, since intellectual and/or emotional immaturity are huge mitigating factors.

Additionally, he noted that, while the juvenile system is set up to be primarily rehabilitative, the adult system is set up to be slightly punitive. This is because of the difference in the fundamental assumptions about amenability to rehabilitation. Psychology tells us that the same deficiencies that make juveniles vulnerable to psychological damage in criminal court also make them more receptive to rehabilitative treatment, whereas amenability in adults is greatly diminished due to more "complete" development of character, emotions, intellect, and other relevant cognitive faculties. Thus, keeping the juvenile system for, say, 12-17 year olds gives us all the necessary options. It gives us a safe default that won't generally be harmful to a juvenile's developing sensibilities, but it also gives us a "bailout" option in things like waiver, direct file, or statutory exclusion.
Sieben
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1/6/2011 3:34:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 3:31:08 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:

I think there's a good reason for preserving them, actually. With adults, you have some small fraction of the population that's mentally deficient;
What fraction of criminals have mental disorders?

however, this is the exception, not the rule--and the justice system is equipped to deal with these cases accordingly. Juveniles, on the other hand, flip the rule. Most don't have a level of competence necessary to "stay afloat" in a criminal court, and the exceptions that do are waived over by judges or prosecutors.
I thought most people don't have the competence necessary to "stay afloat" in court, which is why people hired lawyers.

I was reading a developmental psychology paper on this the other day, and he pointed out that you can't render age irrelevant in criminal trials, since intellectual and/or emotional immaturity are huge mitigating factors.
You mean he argued for age consideration. That's what I'm saying. You should just argue for it in court. There isn't a need for an over general precedent.

Additionally, he noted that, while the juvenile system is set up to be primarily rehabilitative, the adult system is set up to be slightly punitive. This is because of the difference in the fundamental assumptions about amenability to rehabilitation. Psychology tells us that the same deficiencies that make juveniles vulnerable to psychological damage in criminal court also make them more receptive to rehabilitative treatment, whereas amenability in adults is greatly diminished due to more "complete" development of character, emotions, intellect, and other relevant cognitive faculties. Thus, keeping the juvenile system for, say, 12-17 year olds gives us all the necessary options. It gives us a safe default that won't generally be harmful to a juvenile's developing sensibilities, but it also gives us a "bailout" option in things like waiver, direct file, or statutory exclusion.

Again, you're just noting that age is correlated with certain characteristics. My question is why you can't just establish those characteristics without looking at age. This is particularly important because it would actually prove that that INDIVIDUAL was justified in being treated a certain way, rather than just an age group.
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Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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1/6/2011 4:01:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 3:34:43 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 1/6/2011 3:31:08 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:

I think there's a good reason for preserving them, actually. With adults, you have some small fraction of the population that's mentally deficient;
What fraction of criminals have mental disorders?

Let me rephrase and say "significantly mentally deficient". I'm sure a huge number of defendants have OCD or ADHD (since a large number of people in general have those), but I hardly think things like that count as mitigating. The point was that the number of adult defendants who are significantly mentally deficient is fairly negligible. Otherwise, you'd see a lot more (successful) psych defenses.

however, this is the exception, not the rule--and the justice system is equipped to deal with these cases accordingly. Juveniles, on the other hand, flip the rule. Most don't have a level of competence necessary to "stay afloat" in a criminal court, and the exceptions that do are waived over by judges or prosecutors.
I thought most people don't have the competence necessary to "stay afloat" in court, which is why people hired lawyers.

"Staying afloat" doesn't mean handling your entire defense on your own. All you're doing there is trying to define the phrase for me in a way that discredits my argument. I apologize if the meaning was unclear. I'm talking about adjudicative competencies typical of the average adult defendant--assisting counsel, understanding/waiving rights, entering pleas, and so forth. That says nothing about intellectual competencies--hypothetical thinking, logical decision-making, and the ability to reasonably understand the long-term implications of those decisions.

I was reading a developmental psychology paper on this the other day, and he pointed out that you can't render age irrelevant in criminal trials, since intellectual and/or emotional immaturity are huge mitigating factors.
You mean he argued for age consideration. That's what I'm saying. You should just argue for it in court. There isn't a need for an over general precedent.

Like I said, though, the juvenile's psychological vulnerability makes the adversarial form of trial in a criminal court a lot more mentally harmful and conducive to recidivism than juvenile courts, which are more about cooperation and rehabilitation. The reason that juveniles get put in adult courts at all is because they're evaluated as being exceptions to the rule. It's not so black and white.

Additionally, he noted that, while the juvenile system is set up to be primarily rehabilitative, the adult system is set up to be slightly punitive. This is because of the difference in the fundamental assumptions about amenability to rehabilitation. Psychology tells us that the same deficiencies that make juveniles vulnerable to psychological damage in criminal court also make them more receptive to rehabilitative treatment, whereas amenability in adults is greatly diminished due to more "complete" development of character, emotions, intellect, and other relevant cognitive faculties. Thus, keeping the juvenile system for, say, 12-17 year olds gives us all the necessary options. It gives us a safe default that won't generally be harmful to a juvenile's developing sensibilities, but it also gives us a "bailout" option in things like waiver, direct file, or statutory exclusion.

Again, you're just noting that age is correlated with certain characteristics.

Correlated with? A defendant's age is basically a general marker of their psychological development. If anything, there's a pretty good causal link--not in the sense that being a certain number of years old causes you to behave a certain way, but that persistent development, categorized within the juvenile age group, results in varying mental states.

My question is why you can't just establish those characteristics without looking at age.This is particularly important because it would actually prove that that INDIVIDUAL was justified in being treated a certain way, rather than just an age group.

You can establish those characteristics without looking at age; however, in the same way that adult courts assume competence of defendants, juvenile courts take for granted that juveniles are more immature, and set up an entirely different sort of environment for dispensing justice that is suited to the typical psychological disposition of juveniles--even so, there are mechanisms in place to ensure that juveniles who can handle (and who deserve) the adversarial system are put there. Safeguards. So, it's not that we're using age to set a precedent: we're using age to generate a range within which we can safely say that defendants tend to be of a particular psychological disposition, and therefore deserve a different adjudicative environment. Two different systems, two different attitudes toward justice. We don't want them all in the adult system 1) because it's punitive, rather than rehabilitative, which means that it doesn't take advantage of juveniles' amenability to rehabilitation, and 2) because the adversarial system (as opposed to the cooperative juvenile system) is psychologically detrimental and increases the risk of recidivism (which would be increased even more if we threw ALL juvenile defendants into the same court system). On a more pragmatic note, it would also be bad for backlog, and it would be ridiculous and unnecessary for every juvenile to have to run a psych defense, rather than just presuming immaturity until proving competence (the burden of proof being the state's responsibility, after all).
Sieben
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1/6/2011 4:23:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 4:01:35 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 1/6/2011 3:34:43 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 1/6/2011 3:31:08 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:

I think there's a good reason for preserving them, actually. With adults, you have some small fraction of the population that's mentally deficient;
What fraction of criminals have mental disorders?

Let me rephrase and say "significantly mentally deficient". I'm sure a huge number of defendants have OCD or ADHD (since a large number of people in general have those), but I hardly think things like that count as mitigating. The point was that the number of adult defendants who are significantly mentally deficient is fairly negligible.
Its debatable on a case by case basis... which is the point.

Otherwise, you'd see a lot more (successful) psych defenses.
I don't think the US criminal justice system makes a serious attempt at codifying and enforcing rational law.

I'm talking about adjudicative competencies typical of the average adult defendant--assisting counsel, understanding/waiving rights, entering pleas, and so forth. That says nothing about intellectual competencies--hypothetical thinking, logical decision-making, and the ability to reasonably understand the long-term implications of those decisions.
Many teenagers are capable of understanding all those things just as well as many adults. If someone is so stupid that they don't understand what Plea Bargaining is, their age doesn't matter. And even if you have their age, they still need an independent test to figure out if they're competent.

Like I said, though, the juvenile's psychological vulnerability makes the adversarial form of trial in a criminal court a lot more mentally harmful and conducive to recidivism than juvenile courts, which are more about cooperation and rehabilitation. The reason that juveniles get put in adult courts at all is because they're evaluated as being exceptions to the rule. It's not so black and white.

Maybe everyone should go to juvenile style courts. Maybe the whole freaking system is a joke and needs to be reformed. I'm not buying the dichotomy between juveniles and adults.

Correlated with? A defendant's age is basically a general marker of their psychological development. If anything, there's a pretty good causal link--not in the sense that being a certain number of years old causes you to behave a certain way, but that persistent development, categorized within the juvenile age group, results in varying mental states.

So is race. Race is correlated with IQ. Should courts offer "dumber" races more juvenile style considerations

Or should we disregard statistical correlations when we can just go and investigate the relevant attribute directly.

You can establish those characteristics without looking at age; however, in the same way that adult courts assume competence of defendants, juvenile courts take for granted that juveniles are more immature, and set up an entirely different sort of environment for dispensing justice that is suited to the typical psychological disposition of juveniles--even so, there are mechanisms in place to ensure that juveniles who can handle (and who deserve) the adversarial system are put there. Safeguards. So, it's not that we're using age to set a precedent: we're using age to generate a range within which we can safely say that defendants tend to be of a particular psychological disposition, and therefore deserve a different adjudicative environment.
So you're building the system around the average defendant. That isn't justice.

Two different systems, two different attitudes toward justice. We don't want them all in the adult system 1) because it's punitive, rather than rehabilitative, which means that it doesn't take advantage of juveniles' amenability to rehabilitation, and 2) because the adversarial system (as opposed to the cooperative juvenile system) is psychologically detrimental and increases the risk of recidivism (which would be increased even more if we threw ALL juvenile defendants into the same court system). On a more pragmatic note, it would also be bad for backlog, and it would be ridiculous and unnecessary for every juvenile to have to run a psych defense, rather than just presuming immaturity until proving competence (the burden of proof being the state's responsibility, after all).
First, public courts are a total joke in terms of resolution time. This is why more cases are settled in private courts than in public, and why organizations like Visa exist. Visa resolves disputes between its members without any courts or lawyers at all... its all a relic of the past.

/rant against the state

Second, if general trends emerge in the legal system, it can be streamlined along those trends. The point is that you should always be able to argue against the trend, since its just that. A trend.
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Cody_Franklin
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1/6/2011 4:57:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 4:23:59 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 1/6/2011 4:01:35 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 1/6/2011 3:34:43 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 1/6/2011 3:31:08 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:

I think there's a good reason for preserving them, actually. With adults, you have some small fraction of the population that's mentally deficient;
What fraction of criminals have mental disorders?

Let me rephrase and say "significantly mentally deficient". I'm sure a huge number of defendants have OCD or ADHD (since a large number of people in general have those), but I hardly think things like that count as mitigating. The point was that the number of adult defendants who are significantly mentally deficient is fairly negligible.
Its debatable on a case by case basis... which is the point.

In most cases, it isn't necessary to debate it. The adversarial system actually assumes competence. If in doubt, consult a psychologist--you don't need to have an entire trial to determine if every juvenile defendant deserves the full monty in terms of accountability.

Honestly--anything is debatable. Even conceding that, you can evaluate juveniles on a case-by-case basis without subjecting them all to criminal court.

Otherwise, you'd see a lot more (successful) psych defenses.
I don't think the US criminal justice system makes a serious attempt at codifying and enforcing rational law.

The US has a lot of stupid laws, I agree. That doesn't really have anything to do with my statement, though.

I'm talking about adjudicative competencies typical of the average adult defendant--assisting counsel, understanding/waiving rights, entering pleas, and so forth. That says nothing about intellectual competencies--hypothetical thinking, logical decision-making, and the ability to reasonably understand the long-term implications of those decisions.
Many teenagers are capable of understanding all those things just as well as many adults.

How many? Because developmental psychology seems to disagree with your conclusion. where juveniles are concerned. We're not just talking about 16 and 17 year olds, here.

If someone is so stupid that they don't understand what Plea Bargaining is, their age doesn't matter.

Stupidity isn't what I'm talking about. Juveniles--not all mentally developed. Psychologically vulnerable, more impressionable, susceptible to mental detriment if subjected to adversarial adjudication. Those that can stand that so can be waived by the judge or direct filed by the prosecutor.

And even if you have their age, they still need an independent test to figure out if they're competent.

Alright, let's roll with that idea for a minute--that in no way leads to the conclusion that we shouldn't have a justice system specifically geared toward juveniles, a group which we're scientifically aware is generally mentally underdeveloped. I mean, tests exist now for that sort of thing--that's usually what qualifies a defendant for transfer in the first place.

Like I said, though, the juvenile's psychological vulnerability makes the adversarial form of trial in a criminal court a lot more mentally harmful and conducive to recidivism than juvenile courts, which are more about cooperation and rehabilitation. The reason that juveniles get put in adult courts at all is because they're evaluated as being exceptions to the rule. It's not so black and white.

Maybe everyone should go to juvenile style courts. Maybe the whole freaking system is a joke and needs to be reformed. I'm not buying the dichotomy between juveniles and adults.

1. Adults wouldn't receive the same benefit from juvenile courts that juveniles do. Developmental psychology shows that juveniles are far more amenable to the rehabilitative and cooperative environment of the juvenile system than adults are. The splitting line which creates the dichotomy is the difference in the level of psychological development between a normal juvenile and a normal adult. There are extremes in both. There are 15 year olds who could weather the adult system without a scratch, and there are old men with the competence of a toddler; however, both of these are exceptions to the rule, and there's no point in deconstructing the entire system because the dividing line is a little blurred and not entirely seamless. Juvenile justice approaches a gray area. Yeah. That's all the the more reason to have the two systems. Work with what we know, use logic to slowly clarify the rest. The system needs to be reformed--not composted.

Correlated with? A defendant's age is basically a general marker of their psychological development. If anything, there's a pretty good causal link--not in the sense that being a certain number of years old causes you to behave a certain way, but that persistent development, categorized within the juvenile age group, results in varying mental states.

So is race. Race is correlated with IQ. Should courts offer "dumber" races more juvenile style considerations

Or should we disregard statistical correlations when we can just go and investigate the relevant attribute directly.

1. It isn't a "statistical correlation". They're mentally underdeveloped because they're young. It's like a tautology at its most basic form. They're underdeveloped because they aren't finished developing yet, and they should be treated as such. The adversarial system doesn't have the kind of accommodations that juveniles require.

2. If you want to go reform the criminal court to be less punitive, more cooperative, and better at delivering to justice to juveniles, go right ahead. I'll support you all the way. Until then, I prefer to keep them in a setting that takes advantage of their amenability to rehabilitation, shields them from the psychological dangers of criminal court (which reduces the risk of recidivism), and still have safeguards built into place which allows juveniles deserving of "adult treatment" to get it.

You can establish those characteristics without looking at age; however, in the same way that adult courts assume competence of defendants, juvenile courts take for granted that juveniles are more immature, and set up an entirely different sort of environment for dispensing justice that is suited to the typical psychological disposition of juveniles--even so, there are mechanisms in place to ensure that juveniles who can handle (and who deserve) the adversarial system are put there. Safeguards. So, it's not that we're using age to set a precedent: we're using age to generate a range within which we can safely say that defendants tend to be of a particular psychological disposition, and therefore deserve a different adjudicative environment.
So you're building the system around the average defendant. That isn't justice.

Justice is a question of "who owes what to whom?". Building the system around the exceptions certainly isn't going to get the job done. Thing is, building it around the "average" does several things:

1. It allows us to be realistic. It's not as if we're adding people together and dividing by the total; rather, we're looking at what kind of disposition people tend to have, and we build a foundation off of it that still allows a great degree of flexibility. Example: the juvenile justice system itself is only possible by recognizing the differences between normal adults and normal juveniles.

2. The foundation, once built, allows us to fill in the gaps by accounting for exceptions, which you seem to think doesn't happen due to basing the system off the average. Examples to the converse: insanity defense, juvenile transfer, plea bargaining, extenuating circumstances, and so on. There are a lot of legal loopholes and "special circumstances" that allow a maximum amount of adjudicative individuation, despite the fact that the core of the system is based on the norm.

Continuing....
Cody_Franklin
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1/6/2011 5:07:55 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 4:23:59 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 1/6/2011 4:01:35 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
So you're building the system around the average defendant. That isn't justice.

3. I understand where you're coming from--you want to assess all individuals in one coherent system, case by case, without regard to age, sex, race, etc, which I think is great. The problem is, it won't work. The reason I support the existence of the juvenile system at all is because the two systems present different environments. Sure, you could put all juveniles into the adversarial system and size them up, but it totally ignores the mental sensitivity of the defendant, the possibility for damage, the increased risk of recidivism, and it also makes the mistake that your proposed system makes, which is assuming that there should only be one justice system with one goal; however, I think that the juvenile system is correct in judging that, due to increased amenability, juveniles ought to be treated in a cooperative, restorative, and rehabilitative environment, while the decreased amenability in adults means that, while trying for rehabilitation is important, a punitive and adversarial system is a better option. Supporting the dichotomy that I do means that you're supporting the contextualization of justice, which means better particularization and individuation, which is the goal that you seek to achieve with a one-size-fits-all system with case-by-case evaluation.

Two different systems, two different attitudes toward justice. We don't want them all in the adult system 1) because it's punitive, rather than rehabilitative, which means that it doesn't take advantage of juveniles' amenability to rehabilitation, and 2) because the adversarial system (as opposed to the cooperative juvenile system) is psychologically detrimental and increases the risk of recidivism (which would be increased even more if we threw ALL juvenile defendants into the same court system). On a more pragmatic note, it would also be bad for backlog, and it would be ridiculous and unnecessary for every juvenile to have to run a psych defense, rather than just presuming immaturity until proving competence (the burden of proof being the state's responsibility, after all).

First, public courts are a total joke in terms of resolution time. This is why more cases are settled in private courts than in public, and why organizations like Visa exist. Visa resolves disputes between its members without any courts or lawyers at all... its all a relic of the past.

/rant against the state

All that really did was answer the backlog argument, which was more of an amusing aside than anything.

Second, if general trends emerge in the legal system, it can be streamlined along those trends. The point is that you should always be able to argue against the trend, since its just that. A trend.

It's not just a trend. This sort of thing doesn't change or evolve given time. Juveniles are juveniles, and their diminished psychological capacity and its implications aren't going to change or disappear just because we erect a new system and deem such things irrelevant. Like I said earlier, we don't have to use age. Sure. But there's a very good reason that we do.
Sieben
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1/6/2011 5:19:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 4:57:36 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:

Its debatable on a case by case basis... which is the point.

In most cases, it isn't necessary to debate it. The adversarial system actually assumes competence. If in doubt, consult a psychologist--you don't need to have an entire trial to determine if every juvenile defendant deserves the full monty in terms of accountability.
See my point about streamlining. Does your whole argument come down to an economic one? That its more efficient to have a two tiered system? How can you know a priori what the optimal justice system is any more than you can know how many different sizes of shoe to manufacture?

Otherwise, you'd see a lot more (successful) psych defenses.
I don't think the US criminal justice system makes a serious attempt at codifying and enforcing rational law.

The US has a lot of stupid laws, I agree. That doesn't really have anything to do with my statement, though.
Yes it does. Psych defenses might work more often if the US courts had an incentive to actually get the right answer.

Many teenagers are capable of understanding all those things just as well as many adults.

How many? Because developmental psychology seems to disagree with your conclusion. where juveniles are concerned. We're not just talking about 16 and 17 year olds, here.

Those studies deal with averages. You deal with averages. Most people aren't average. Its a mockery of justice to use population statistics to judge an individual case.

Stupidity isn't what I'm talking about. Juveniles--not all mentally developed. Psychologically vulnerable, more impressionable, susceptible to mental detriment if subjected to adversarial adjudication. Those that can stand that so can be waived by the judge or direct filed by the prosecutor.

Oh. That's all unverifiable, immeasurable stuff. So you're trying to base the legal system off an average of fuzzy concepts that are roughly correlated with age... ok.

Alright, let's roll with that idea for a minute--that in no way leads to the conclusion that we shouldn't have a justice system specifically geared toward juveniles, a group which we're scientifically aware is generally mentally underdeveloped. I mean, tests exist now for that sort of thing--that's usually what qualifies a defendant for transfer in the first place.

Yes it does. All your discourse means is that some mental attributes matter and have to be taken into consideration. That doesn't prove there needs to be a binary system. Maybe we need 3 or 4 different court types. Maybe one type of court could handle everything and the current US courts are just structured completely backwards...

1. Adults wouldn't receive the same benefit from juvenile courts that juveniles do. Developmental psychology shows that juveniles are far more amenable to the rehabilitative and cooperative environment of the juvenile system than adults are. The splitting line which creates the dichotomy is the difference in the level of psychological development between a normal juvenile and a normal adult. There are extremes in both. There are 15 year olds who could weather the adult system without a scratch, and there are old men with the competence of a toddler; however, both of these are exceptions to the rule, and there's no point in deconstructing the entire system because the dividing line is a little blurred and not entirely seamless. Juvenile justice approaches a gray area. Yeah. That's all the the more reason to have the two systems. Work with what we know, use logic to slowly clarify the rest. The system needs to be reformed--not composted.

So your argument comes down to saying that you think age is a "good enough" proxy for mental condition. On average it is, but why settle for average? Again, it comes down to an implicit economic argument you're not making.

1. It isn't a "statistical correlation". They're mentally underdeveloped because they're young. It's like a tautology at its most basic form. They're underdeveloped because they aren't finished developing yet, and they should be treated as such. The adversarial system doesn't have the kind of accommodations that juveniles require.

It doesn't matter if there is a causal relationship, because you are arguing outcomes. So correlation is the only thing that matters.

2. If you want to go reform the criminal court to be less punitive, more cooperative, and better at delivering to justice to juveniles, go right ahead. I'll support you all the way. Until then, I prefer to keep them in a setting that takes advantage of their amenability to rehabilitation, shields them from the psychological dangers of criminal court (which reduces the risk of recidivism), and still have safeguards built into place which allows juveniles deserving of "adult treatment" to get it.

I don't think the system is reformable. No incentive structure to speak of.

1. It allows us to be realistic. It's not as if we're adding people together and dividing by the total; rather, we're looking at what kind of disposition people tend to have, and we build a foundation off of it that still allows a great degree of flexibility. Example: the juvenile justice system itself is only possible by recognizing the differences between normal adults and normal juveniles.

It is not realistic because most defendants aren't "average". The reliance on age and assumption of average competence is also circular. What if all the adults really were incompetent and juvenile? Your system would gloss over this because of the assumption that average adults should be tried in adult court.

2. The foundation, once built, allows us to fill in the gaps by accounting for exceptions, which you seem to think doesn't happen due to basing the system off the average. Examples to the converse: insanity defense, juvenile transfer, plea bargaining, extenuating circumstances, and so on. There are a lot of legal loopholes and "special circumstances" that allow a maximum amount of adjudica

Not interested in patching a fundamentally broken system.
Things that are so interesting:

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http://www.debate.org...
Sieben
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1/6/2011 5:26:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 5:07:55 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 1/6/2011 4:23:59 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 1/6/2011 4:01:35 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
So you're building the system around the average defendant. That isn't justice.

3. I understand where you're coming from--you want to assess all individuals in one coherent system, case by case, without regard to age, sex, race, etc, which I think is great. The problem is, it won't work. The reason I support the existence of the juvenile system at all is because the two systems present different environments. Sure, you could put all juveniles into the adversarial system and size them up, but it totally ignores the mental sensitivity of the defendant, the possibility for damage, the increased risk of recidivism, and it also makes the mistake that your proposed system makes, which is assuming that there should only be one justice system with one goal; however, I think that the juvenile system is correct in judging that, due to increased amenability, juveniles ought to be treated in a cooperative, restorative, and rehabilitative environment, while the decreased amenability in adults means that, while trying for rehabilitation is important, a punitive and adversarial system is a better option. Supporting the dichotomy that I do means that you're supporting the contextualization of justice, which means better particularization and individuation, which is the goal that you seek to achieve with a one-size-fits-all system with case-by-case evaluation.

Your justification for separating juveniles from adults is supposed mental damage and intimidation they might suffer from being "thrown to the sharks". This doesn't automatically mean that the only solution is a two tiered system. An unintimidating exploratory procedure could just as easily fill the role. Toning down the "adult" system could just as easily fill the role. There are infinitely many possible solutions, and I haven't even talked about extra-judicial ways there are to handle crime.

You're basing your argument off the expectation that it will be superior to the status quo without it. But if your arguments are moral, your goalpost isn't just to "exceed the status quo".

First, public courts are a total joke in terms of resolution time. This is why more cases are settled in private courts than in public, and why organizations like Visa exist. Visa resolves disputes between its members without any courts or lawyers at all... its all a relic of the past.

/rant against the state

All that really did was answer the backlog argument, which was more of an amusing aside than anything.
Well you're running an implicit efficiency argument...

Second, if general trends emerge in the legal system, it can be streamlined along those trends. The point is that you should always be able to argue against the trend, since its just that. A trend.

It's not just a trend. This sort of thing doesn't change or evolve given time. Juveniles are juveniles, and their diminished psychological capacity and its implications aren't going to change or disappear just because we erect a new system and deem such things irrelevant. Like I said earlier, we don't have to use age. Sure. But there's a very good reason that we do.

The above reasoning doesn't just apply to "trends", it applies to anything that is the norm. So just replace "trend" with "norm" in the above paragraph.
Things that are so interesting:

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Cody_Franklin
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1/6/2011 6:04:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 5:19:33 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 1/6/2011 4:57:36 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
See my point about streamlining. Does your whole argument come down to an economic one? That its more efficient to have a two tiered system? How can you know a priori what the optimal justice system is any more than you can know how many different sizes of shoe to manufacture?

It's not an economic argument at all.

Yes it does. Psych defenses might work more often if the US courts had an incentive to actually get the right answer.

The right answer as regards what? And what kind of incentive?

Those studies deal with averages.

Do they?

You deal with averages.

I start with averages, and branch out to account for the many deviations. You seem to deal only in exceptions, which suggests that your worldview may be a bit simplistic and one-dimensional.

Most people aren't average. Its a mockery of justice to use population statistics to judge an individual case.

I don't use population statistics to judge individual cases. You're oversimplifying. They aren't statistics. You could convert them to that, I'm sure, and say something to the effect of "X perfect of juveniles are of mental disposition Y", but it isn't like that. It's just a psycho-biological fact that juveniles are less mentally developed than adults. Sure, you can name things like autism. Cerebral palsy. Insanity. But when it comes down to it, you can't shape a coherent judicial policy by saying that you should treat juveniles and adults the same until proven otherwise when we know that the opposite--that they're different until the state proves a level of competence different from the norm--is far more applicable to reality.

Oh. That's all unverifiable, immeasurable stuff. So you're trying to base the legal system off an average of fuzzy concepts that are roughly correlated with age... ok.

It's not fuzzy, nor is it unverifiable, nor does "roughly" mean "impossible to work with". You're basically trying to reductio ad absurdum, but all you're doing is oversimplifying by assuming that cognitive and developmental psychology are somehow invalid. It's funny how, before, I'm wrong for using "statistics". Now I'm wrong because what I say is "immeasurable". Plus, we already have the "competence tests" you keep asking about. It's clearly measurable, and it's been measured several different ways.

Yes it does. All your discourse means is that some mental attributes matter and have to be taken into consideration. That doesn't prove there needs to be a binary system.

It does when one system is constructed in a way that disregards those attributes entirely. I told you earlier--I'll support a reform to where we don't need a division, but until then, the juvenile system is the only environment able to contextualize justice for juveniles, who are, on the whole, quite different from adults, mentally speaking. For those juvenile exceptions, I've already mentioned several times the procedures by which a defendant can be transferred.

Maybe we need 3 or 4 different court types. Maybe one type of court could handle everything and the current US courts are just structured completely backwards...

Or maybe not. You're not really saying anything--you're just stiff-arming your own advocacy in here with a rhetorical disguise.

1. Adults wouldn't receive the same benefit from juvenile courts that juveniles do. Developmental psychology shows that juveniles are far more amenable to the rehabilitative and cooperative environment of the juvenile system than adults are. The splitting line which creates the dichotomy is the difference in the level of psychological development between a normal juvenile and a normal adult. There are extremes in both. There are 15 year olds who could weather the adult system without a scratch, and there are old men with the competence of a toddler; however, both of these are exceptions to the rule, and there's no point in deconstructing the entire system because the dividing line is a little blurred and not entirely seamless. Juvenile justice approaches a gray area. Yeah. That's all the the more reason to have the two systems. Work with what we know, use logic to slowly clarify the rest. The system needs to be reformed--not composted.

So your argument comes down to saying that you think age is a "good enough" proxy for mental condition. On average it is, but why settle for average?

You're oversimplifying again. My argument was more that using an age range to construct a system suited to the psychological disposition of the defendants within that range achieves pretty good results, and acts as a shield against the danger that the adversarial system poses; however, this system at the same time has ways to accommodate unusual cases, like super-competent juveniles. You keep focusing on the fact that I'm using averages and developmental norms without realizing that I only use them as starting places for constructing the system.

Again, it comes down to an implicit economic argument you're not making.

I think you're seeing such an argument where none exists. Intentional fallacy, I believe.

It doesn't matter if there is a causal relationship, because you are arguing outcomes. So correlation is the only thing that matters.

Okay? That argument doesn't really change anything, because the point was that a person's age is a numerical marker of development. Age in the numerical sense is correlated, sure. Age in the developmental sense is causal, and is represented by numerical age. It's a perfectly valid standard to base the system on because justifying the criterion by recognizing its implications. We're not using age for the sake of age, or because children are cute.

I don't think the system is reformable. No incentive structure to speak of.

I'm not really sure how you would incentivize a court of law, nor am I sure how that would help, nor am I sure why an incentive structure is necessary for positive reform.

1. It allows us to be realistic. It's not as if we're adding people together and dividing by the total; rather, we're looking at what kind of disposition people tend to have, and we build a foundation off of it that still allows a great degree of flexibility. Example: the juvenile justice system itself is only possible by recognizing the differences between normal adults and normal juveniles.

It is not realistic because most defendants aren't "average". The reliance on age and assumption of average competence is also circular. What if all the adults really were incompetent and juvenile? Your system would gloss over this because of the assumption that average adults should be tried in adult court.

If all the adults were incompetent and juvenile, then the system wouldn't be set up the way it is...? I don't know if there's a name for it, but you're committing some kind of fallacy here by trying to manipulate conditions while assuming the same systemic outcome. The assumptions that I make are based on psychological facts. If the facts are different--as in your scenario--then the premises change, which means that the subsequent system I would advocate would be different.

2. The foundation, once built, allows us to fill in the gaps by accounting for exceptions, which you seem to think doesn't happen due to basing the system off the average. Examples to the converse: insanity defense, juvenile transfer, plea bargaining, extenuating circumstances, and so on. There are a lot of legal loopholes and "special circumstances" that allow a maximum amount of adjudica

Not interested in patching a fundamentally broken system.

I assume this goes back to the "incentive" thing, which I don't see as a fundamental break.
Cody_Franklin
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1/6/2011 6:17:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 5:26:13 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 1/6/2011 5:07:55 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 1/6/2011 4:23:59 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 1/6/2011 4:01:35 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
So you're building the system around the average defendant. That isn't justice.

3. I understand where you're coming from--you want to assess all individuals in one coherent system, case by case, without regard to age, sex, race, etc, which I think is great. The problem is, it won't work. The reason I support the existence of the juvenile system at all is because the two systems present different environments. Sure, you could put all juveniles into the adversarial system and size them up, but it totally ignores the mental sensitivity of the defendant, the possibility for damage, the increased risk of recidivism, and it also makes the mistake that your proposed system makes, which is assuming that there should only be one justice system with one goal; however, I think that the juvenile system is correct in judging that, due to increased amenability, juveniles ought to be treated in a cooperative, restorative, and rehabilitative environment, while the decreased amenability in adults means that, while trying for rehabilitation is important, a punitive and adversarial system is a better option. Supporting the dichotomy that I do means that you're supporting the contextualization of justice, which means better particularization and individuation, which is the goal that you seek to achieve with a one-size-fits-all system with case-by-case evaluation.

Your justification for separating juveniles from adults is supposed mental damage and intimidation they might suffer from being "thrown to the sharks". This doesn't automatically mean that the only solution is a two tiered system. An unintimidating exploratory procedure could just as easily fill the role. Toning down the "adult" system could just as easily fill the role. There are infinitely many possible solutions, and I haven't even talked about extra-judicial ways there are to handle crime.

You're basing your argument off the expectation that it will be superior to the status quo without it. But if your arguments are moral, your goalpost isn't just to "exceed the status quo".

A couple of things:

1. You said you don't support reform. This was in response to a comment I made where I explicitly stated that I would fully support a revamp of criminal courts, or better competence measuring procedures, or, I'm sure, a few other of those "infinitely many solutions". I never claimed that a two-tiered system was the only solution, nor did I claim it was the absolute best solution. You seem to believe, correct me if I'm wrong, that I don't support reform or "toning down", and that I advocate the two-tiered system as some sort of panacea. Incorrect estimation on your part in both cases. In fact, no system is perfect, nor is there ever going to be a system that is, no matter how pretty the theory is. What I said was that, until you can get me a toned down system, good court reform, or a system in place that can replace the dichotomous system while retaining its benefits, I would stick to the status quo.

2. My argument isn't moral. I'm a moral nihilist.

First, public courts are a total joke in terms of resolution time. This is why more cases are settled in private courts than in public, and why organizations like Visa exist. Visa resolves disputes between its members without any courts or lawyers at all... its all a relic of the past.

/rant against the state

All that really did was answer the backlog argument, which was more of an amusing aside than anything.
Well you're running an implicit efficiency argument...

This is the third time you've mentioned that. If you'd care to elaborate on that efficiency argument, I'd like to hear it, because it's certainly not one that I'm making. As I noted earlier, I think that this is a case of the intentional fallacy.

Second, if general trends emerge in the legal system, it can be streamlined along those trends. The point is that you should always be able to argue against the trend, since its just that. A trend.

It's not just a trend. This sort of thing doesn't change or evolve given time. Juveniles are juveniles, and their diminished psychological capacity and its implications aren't going to change or disappear just because we erect a new system and deem such things irrelevant. Like I said earlier, we don't have to use age. Sure. But there's a very good reason that we do.

The above reasoning doesn't just apply to "trends", it applies to anything that is the norm. So just replace "trend" with "norm" in the above paragraph.

So, it's basically an argument that I already responded to. Even though we use these norms as a criterion, the norm isn't our sole decision-making tool. Of course we can argue against the norm, but it doesn't really get us anywhere since A) the norm, as a norm, is demonstrably true, and B) deviations from that norm are already accounted for by the framework that's been put up for the sole purpose of dealing with exceptions.
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1/6/2011 6:27:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 6:04:08 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:

It's not an economic argument at all.
Yes it is. You don't want to test everyone individually, even though it improves your estimate of mental maturity. You'd rather use age alone, which is necessarily inferior to the tests. The only possible reason for this is economic.

Yes it does. Psych defenses might work more often if the US courts had an incentive to actually get the right answer.

The right answer as regards what?
Like, actually figuring out if someone is mentally equipped.

And what kind of incentive?
Do courts go bankrupt if they throw innocent men in jail?

I start with averages, and branch out to account for the many deviations. You seem to deal only in exceptions, which suggests that your worldview may be a bit simplistic and one-dimensional.

I have to deal in "exceptions" because you have defined a system to work for "the rule".

I don't use population statistics to judge individual cases. You're oversimplifying. They aren't statistics. You could convert them to that, I'm sure, and say something to the effect of "X perfect of juveniles are of mental disposition Y", but it isn't like that. It's just a psycho-biological fact that juveniles are less mentally developed than adults.
And what lends credibility to the theory is the evidence. So at the end of the day, you are paying attention to raw statistics. Whether you can reverse engineer psych theory from that is irrelevant. The fact is there are better indicators of individual mental capacity than general statistics or theory.

you can't shape a coherent judicial policy by saying that you should treat juveniles and adults the same until proven otherwise when we know that the opposite--that they're different until the state proves a level of competence different from the norm--is far more applicable to reality
I'm not saying adults and juvies should be treated the same. I'm saying the distinction is totally bogus. Maybe you need two tiered system, but age segregation is just crude.

It's not fuzzy, nor is it unverifiable, nor does "roughly" mean "impossible to work with". You're basically trying to reductio ad absurdum, but all you're doing is oversimplifying by assuming that cognitive and developmental psychology are somehow invalid.
I'm suggesting that common vocabulary like "impressionable" is poorly represented by objective science.

Plus, we already have the "competence tests" you keep asking about. It's clearly measurable, and it's been measured several different ways.
So you're willing to use the tests in order to establish the distinction, but then you throw them out the window later?

Maybe we need 3 or 4 different court types. Maybe one type of court could handle everything and the current US courts are just structured completely backwards...

Or maybe not. You're not really saying anything--you're just stiff-arming your own advocacy in here with a rhetorical disguise.

No I'm running the economic calculation problem against you. http://en.wikipedia.org...

So your argument comes down to saying that you think age is a "good enough" proxy for mental condition. On average it is, but why settle for average?

You're oversimplifying again. My argument was more that using an age range to construct a system suited to the psychological disposition of the defendants within that range achieves pretty good results, and acts as a shield against the danger that the adversarial system poses; however, this system at the same time has ways to accommodate unusual cases, like super-competent juveniles. You keep focusing on the fact that I'm using averages and developmental norms without realizing that I only use them as starting places for constructing the system.
Okay. But if you're going to begin by structuring a system with respect to psychological considerations, why not have a system explicitly in terms of psychology? Why does it have to be implicit through age?

I think you're seeing such an argument where none exists. Intentional fallacy, I believe.
Well, you're refusing to explain why we can't just test everyone... especially since you just said we'd have to test them anyway to avoid screwing over anomalous cases.

Okay? That argument doesn't really change anything, because the point was that a person's age is a numerical marker of development. Age in the numerical sense is correlated, sure. Age in the developmental sense is causal, and is represented by numerical age.
Age in the developmental sense is correlated with age in the numerical sense. So you're still relying on correlations.

But that misses the point entirely. If there were no causal mechanism, but great correlation, would you set up a two tiered system? I think you would. I think this causality discourse is peripheral.

I don't think the system is reformable. No incentive structure to speak of.

I'm not really sure how you would incentivize a court of law, nor am I sure how that would help, nor am I sure why an incentive structure is necessary for positive reform.
Different topic. Another time. I just don't want to hear about any evidence you glean under the status quo. For example, saying that psych defenses seldom work assumes the status quo has an incentive to properly evaluate and present psych defenses.

If all the adults were incompetent and juvenile, then the system wouldn't be set up the way it is...? I don't know if there's a name for it, but you're committing some kind of fallacy here by trying to manipulate conditions while assuming the same systemic outcome.
No. I'm saying that your methodology can't distinguish between two populations of adult males with varying competence levels, because both times you're just going to say that average for the group is "competent".
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Sieben
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1/6/2011 6:38:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 6:17:44 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:

A couple of things:

1. You said you don't support reform. This was in response to a comment I made where I explicitly stated that I would fully support a revamp of criminal courts, or better competence measuring procedures, or, I'm sure, a few other of those "infinitely many solutions". I never claimed that a two-tiered system was the only solution, nor did I claim it was the absolute best solution. You seem to believe, correct me if I'm wrong, that I don't support reform or "toning down", and that I advocate the two-tiered system as some sort of panacea. Incorrect estimation on your part in both cases. In fact, no system is perfect, nor is there ever going to be a system that is, no matter how pretty the theory is. What I said was that, until you can get me a toned down system, good court reform, or a system in place that can replace the dichotomous system while retaining its benefits, I would stick to the status quo.

So this means you can shift the goalposts however you want. Any problems I find with your theory don't matter because as long as you're better than some hypothetical lecherous alternative that no one advocates, you'll hang on to your thesis.

2. My argument isn't moral. I'm a moral nihilist.

Sorry. If your arguments are "humanitarian", then your goalpost isn't just to exceed the status quo.

Well you're running an implicit efficiency argument...

This is the third time you've mentioned that. If you'd care to elaborate on that efficiency argument, I'd like to hear it, because it's certainly not one that I'm making. As I noted earlier, I think that this is a case of the intentional fallacy.
Just make sure you tell me why we can't test everyone individually. If the answer is because its a waste of time or resources, that is an economic argument.

So, it's basically an argument that I already responded to. Even though we use these norms as a criterion, the norm isn't our sole decision-making tool. Of course we can argue against the norm, but it doesn't really get us anywhere since A) the norm, as a norm, is demonstrably true, and B) deviations from that norm are already accounted for by the framework that's been put up for the sole purpose of dealing with exceptions.
Right. So you set up a two tiered system because you think it will be approximately correct. Okay. But the reason for the division in the two tiered system has to do with mental attributes. Rather than structure the system along mental attributes, you decide to divide it up by age as an estimator.

First, this is obviously redundant, especially since you've already said that you won't actually be using age to separate the two groups - you'll be using tests. So why not just create the whole thing around mental capability in the first place.

Second, you limit yourself to just 2 possibilities when you look at age. Juvenile and adult. But if your real concern is mental attributes, there might be 3, 4, 20 different significant differences between people... all of which might do better on their own circuits.

Needless to say you'll concede this last point. Of course a more intricately designed system is better! But Cody's two tiered system is superior to the status quo without it, and for some reason those are our only two options.

So you can see how this is structured where if someone finds a problem with your plan, even if it is easily solvable, you can just cop out and say its better than removing juvenile court even though your opponent never argued it.

If someone tries to advocate anything better, you can also cop out and say you support it too, but this is the best we can do in the status quo. I don't think you can use that argument because both of us can't actually anything in the status quo.
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1/6/2011 7:14:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 6:27:40 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 1/6/2011 6:04:08 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:

It's not an economic argument at all.
Yes it is. You don't want to test everyone individually, even though it improves your estimate of mental maturity. You'd rather use age alone, which is necessarily inferior to the tests. The only possible reason for this is economic.

False dichotomy. Test everyone or test no one? That's unreasonable. Plus, there's already a fitness hearing in the juvenile system which determines whether someone should stay or go. Like I said, you're seeing an economic argument where none exists.

The right answer as regards what?
Like, actually figuring out if someone is mentally equipped.

Financial incentives aren't the only kind of incentives.

And what kind of incentive?
Do courts go bankrupt if they throw innocent men in jail?

No. That would be idiotic.

I start with averages, and branch out to account for the many deviations. You seem to deal only in exceptions, which suggests that your worldview may be a bit simplistic and one-dimensional.

I have to deal in "exceptions" because you have defined a system to work for "the rule".

Your rule seems to be to treat everyone as an exception.

I don't use population statistics to judge individual cases. You're oversimplifying. They aren't statistics. You could convert them to that, I'm sure, and say something to the effect of "X perfect of juveniles are of mental disposition Y", but it isn't like that. It's just a psycho-biological fact that juveniles are less mentally developed than adults.
And what lends credibility to the theory is the evidence. So at the end of the day, you are paying attention to raw statistics. Whether you can reverse engineer psych theory from that is irrelevant. The fact is there are better indicators of individual mental capacity than general statistics or theory.

Not all evidence is formed into a compact statistic. Plus, it's not just "a theory". That phrase, used with the connotation you're using with it, suggests a lot more doubt than there actually is. Plus, if the theory's correct, there's literally no reason to go testing everyone (especially when fitness hearings already exist) unless your goal is to be pointlessly stubborn and excessively meticulous without a proportional benefit.

Now I see why you thought I was making an economic argument. To be clear, I think you're just trying to be an overachiever. It's nice that you want things to work as smoothly as possible, but it's wasted breath when it doesn't help you in dispensing justice.

you can't shape a coherent judicial policy by saying that you should treat juveniles and adults the same until proven otherwise when we know that the opposite--that they're different until the state proves a level of competence different from the norm--is far more applicable to reality
I'm not saying adults and juvies should be treated the same. I'm saying the distinction is totally bogus. Maybe you need two tiered system, but age segregation is just crude.

You make it out like it's age discrimination just for the sake of age. In reality, that's another oversimplification of my point that we're using the connection between age and cognition/competence to create a range by which we can mold a general criterion for determining fitness. Beyond that, there are more targeted mechanics to handle the specifics. I really don't see the issue.

It's not fuzzy, nor is it unverifiable, nor does "roughly" mean "impossible to work with". You're basically trying to reductio ad absurdum, but all you're doing is oversimplifying by assuming that cognitive and developmental psychology are somehow invalid.
I'm suggesting that common vocabulary like "impressionable" is poorly represented by objective science.

Okay, so I got crazy with adjectives?

Plus, we already have the "competence tests" you keep asking about. It's clearly measurable, and it's been measured several different ways.
So you're willing to use the tests in order to establish the distinction, but then you throw them out the window later?

When they serve no further purpose? Sure. It's like trying to reuse a tampon. You could probably get something out of trying, but there's really no point in trying. We have a round of tests to determine juvenile competence in terms of whether they should stay in juvie or go to criminal court.

Maybe we need 3 or 4 different court types. Maybe one type of court could handle everything and the current US courts are just structured completely backwards...

Or maybe not. You're not really saying anything--you're just stiff-arming your own advocacy in here with a rhetorical disguise.

No I'm running the economic calculation problem against you. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Okay. I don't really see where the argument is. What, that I don't know exactly how many courts we need? I really don't think that argument works here. I've already agreed, first of all, that I'm willing to try toning down criminal courts, reforming the system, and I've agreed that the two-tier isn't perfect (given that no system would operate ideally). Second of all, you've given me no reason to believe that we need to further divide past the adult/juvenile gap. Third of all, the whole premise behind the calculation problem is that the price mechanism of the market is better at allocating resources than a central planner. I have no idea how that's supposed to disprove the two-tier system. At best, it proves that there are more efficient alternatives/better ways to structure a judicial system, which I stated myself several posts back.

So your argument comes down to saying that you think age is a "good enough" proxy for mental condition. On average it is, but why settle for average?

You're oversimplifying again. My argument was more that using an age range to construct a system suited to the psychological disposition of the defendants within that range achieves pretty good results, and acts as a shield against the danger that the adversarial system poses; however, this system at the same time has ways to accommodate unusual cases, like super-competent juveniles. You keep focusing on the fact that I'm using averages and developmental norms without realizing that I only use them as starting places for constructing the system.
Okay. But if you're going to begin by structuring a system with respect to psychological considerations, why not have a system explicitly in terms of psychology? Why does it have to be implicit through age?

Because the psychology is correct, which means that it can be used to establish an effective norm based on what you call the correlation between age and psychological capacities. After the system is created, age becomes something of an afterthought, since the boundaries are already set. Once the boundaries are set, psychology is evaluated directly.

I think you're seeing such an argument where none exists. Intentional fallacy, I believe.
Well, you're refusing to explain why we can't just test everyone... especially since you just said we'd have to test them anyway to avoid screwing over anomalous cases.

Of course we can test everyone. It's a question of whether we have a reason to, and whether it makes any sense to do. Really, we actually do. The testing that you suggest, however, is unnecessary on top of what already exists. Heck, often times, during, say, the investigation or detainment, defendants will undergo some sort of examination by a psychiatrist.

What's new that you're bringing to the table?
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1/6/2011 7:17:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Okay? That argument doesn't really change anything, because the point was that a person's age is a numerical marker of development. Age in the numerical sense is correlated, sure. Age in the developmental sense is causal, and is represented by numerical age.
Age in the developmental sense is correlated with age in the numerical sense. So you're still relying on correlations.

Okay? That argument doesn't really change anything

But that misses the point entirely. If there were no causal mechanism, but great correlation, would you set up a two tiered system? I think you would. I think this causality discourse is peripheral.

I'm not even sure what your point with this whole bit was.

I don't think the system is reformable. No incentive structure to speak of.

I'm not really sure how you would incentivize a court of law, nor am I sure how that would help, nor am I sure why an incentive structure is necessary for positive reform.
Different topic. Another time. I just don't want to hear about any evidence you glean under the status quo. For example, saying that psych defenses seldom work assumes the status quo has an incentive to properly evaluate and present psych defenses.

The status quo doesn't have an incentive to do anything. Defense attorneys, on the other hand, have plenty of incentive. Money and win record, both of which are quite important, especially if the attorney isn't a big-name.

If all the adults were incompetent and juvenile, then the system wouldn't be set up the way it is...? I don't know if there's a name for it, but you're committing some kind of fallacy here by trying to manipulate conditions while assuming the same systemic outcome.
No. I'm saying that your methodology can't distinguish between two populations of adult males with varying competence levels, because both times you're just going to say that average for the group is "competent".

Why would I say that? I think you might be misunderstanding the methodology altogether
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1/6/2011 7:32:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 6:38:48 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 1/6/2011 6:17:44 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
So this means you can shift the goalposts however you want. Any problems I find with your theory don't matter because as long as you're better than some hypothetical lecherous alternative that no one advocates, you'll hang on to your thesis.

Actually, my argument is only that it's better than your alternative at this point. I would much prefer the things I listed in my original "here's what would be better" post.

The original argument--OP--was whether juveniles ought to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system. Based on what the system is like, I disagreed. You took it in an entirely different direction, and here we are.

2. My argument isn't moral. I'm a moral nihilist.

Sorry. If your arguments are "humanitarian", then your goalpost isn't just to exceed the status quo.

I'm not really much of a humanitarian, either. My argument: "this is the best course of action in the status quo given the purpose of the justice system". You don't like the two-tier, and I don't care for it much, either. What you propose, however, I dislike more. I'd be willing to switch out for the alternatives that I listed; however, until those arrive, I'll stick with what I've got. Either way, all that is irrelevant to the argument I originally made.

What do you think my goalpost is?

Well you're running an implicit efficiency argument...

This is the third time you've mentioned that. If you'd care to elaborate on that efficiency argument, I'd like to hear it, because it's certainly not one that I'm making. As I noted earlier, I think that this is a case of the intentional fallacy.
Just make sure you tell me why we can't test everyone individually. If the answer is because its a waste of time or resources, that is an economic argument.

We already do test everyone. My argument is that you don't really bring anything to the table that doesn't already exist in the two-tier. You're criticizing the system, saying it should do other things instead, but what you suggest--"test everyone"--is, basically, already integrated in some form or other.

So, it's basically an argument that I already responded to. Even though we use these norms as a criterion, the norm isn't our sole decision-making tool. Of course we can argue against the norm, but it doesn't really get us anywhere since A) the norm, as a norm, is demonstrably true, and B) deviations from that norm are already accounted for by the framework that's been put up for the sole purpose of dealing with exceptions.
Right. So you set up a two tiered system because you think it will be approximately correct. Okay. But the reason for the division in the two tiered system has to do with mental attributes. Rather than structure the system along mental attributes, you decide to divide it up by age as an estimator.

Right. But the estimator isn't binding. It's a preliminary estimate that gives us some ground to work with.

I didn't "set up" the two-tier, though. Maybe I misspoke. I'm just defending what currently exists in the context of the resolution (which was the subject of OP's inquiry). Negative says we don't treat juveniles as adults in the status quo. Aff says we take them out of the juvenile system and put them in the current criminal court. No reform, no toning down--just put them in. That's why I'm advocating what I'm advocating.

First, this is obviously redundant, especially since you've already said that you won't actually be using age to separate the two groups - you'll be using tests. So why not just create the whole thing around mental capability in the first place.

There are degrees of separation. We start them off separated, and we use the tests to filter out the ones who don't need to be separated.

Second, you limit yourself to just 2 possibilities when you look at age. Juvenile and adult. But if your real concern is mental attributes, there might be 3, 4, 20 different significant differences between people... all of which might do better on their own circuits.

Needless to say you'll concede this last point. Of course a more intricately designed system is better! But Cody's two tiered system is superior to the status quo without it, and for some reason those are our only two options.

"My" two-tiered system IS the status quo, Sieben. It's not some system that I designed myself.

So you can see how this is structured where if someone finds a problem with your plan, even if it is easily solvable, you can just cop out and say its better than removing juvenile court even though your opponent never argued it.

If someone tries to advocate anything better, you can also cop out and say you support it too, but this is the best we can do in the status quo. I don't think you can use that argument because both of us can't actually anything in the status quo.

So you're trying to club me into a position of exclusivity? Because that would be ridiculous. In the status quo, we have what we have--two tiers. OP set up a dichotomy within the status quo. Treat juveniles as adults in the status quo, or treat them in the juvenile system? I say treat most of them in the juvenile system, and use fitness hearings to try in criminal court those who deserve to be tried. I was giving her negative strategies, and that was one. I'm starting to feel like this whole thing was one large misunderstanding.
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1/6/2011 7:42:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 7:14:29 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 1/6/2011 6:27:40 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 1/6/2011 6:04:08 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:

It's not an economic argument at all.
Yes it is. You don't want to test everyone individually, even though it improves your estimate of mental maturity. You'd rather use age alone, which is necessarily inferior to the tests. The only possible reason for this is economic.

False dichotomy. Test everyone or test no one? That's unreasonable.
Straw man.

And what kind of incentive?
Do courts go bankrupt if they throw innocent men in jail?

No. That would be idiotic.
Do they lose money? Do they lose much of anything? What motivates the legal system to get the right answer?

I have to deal in "exceptions" because you have defined a system to work for "the rule".

Your rule seems to be to treat everyone as an exception.
I treat everyone as a possible exception. You do this too. Don't be standoffish.

And what lends credibility to the theory is the evidence. So at the end of the day, you are paying attention to raw statistics. Whether you can reverse engineer psych theory from that is irrelevant. The fact is there are better indicators of individual mental capacity than general statistics or theory.

Not all evidence is formed into a compact statistic. Plus, it's not just "a theory". That phrase, used with the connotation you're using with it, suggests a lot more doubt than there actually is. Plus, if the theory's correct, there's literally no reason to go testing everyone (especially when fitness hearings already exist) unless your goal is to be pointlessly stubborn and excessively meticulous without a proportional benefit.

First, the theory you present is non universal. You readily concede exceptions to rules. Secondly, you give no reason why we shouldn't test everyone. You just say its "without proportional benefit". There's your economic argument.

Now I see why you thought I was making an economic argument. To be clear, I think you're just trying to be an overachiever. It's nice that you want things to work as smoothly as possible, but it's wasted breath when it doesn't help you in dispensing justice.

See the point about goalposts. You've set this up so there's no way you can possibly lose. You're saying your system is better than the status quo with all juvies treated like adults. Well duh. But if you're going to make recommendations on practical, moral, or humanitarian grounds, you open up the door for OTHER possibilities that you don't want to consider because you think they're "overachieving".

You make it out like it's age discrimination just for the sake of age. In reality, that's another oversimplification of my point that we're using the connection between age and cognition/competence to create a range by which we can mold a general criterion for determining fitness. Beyond that, there are more targeted mechanics to handle the specifics. I really don't see the issue.

Age is necessarily a cruder metric than the methods that were used to establish that age is correlated with mental fitness. So why not use the latter?

I'm suggesting that common vocabulary like "impressionable" is poorly represented by objective science.

Okay, so I got crazy with adjectives?
No. I'm saying that the concepts that are relevant, like mental fitness, are not readily testable. You tried to say that I was rejecting neurosciences, but I'm actually challenging the link between science and sociology because their vocabularies are fundamentally different.

So you're willing to use the tests in order to establish the distinction, but then you throw them out the window later?

When they serve no further purpose? Sure. It's like trying to reuse a tampon. You could probably get something out of trying, but there's really no point in trying. We have a round of tests to determine juvenile competence in terms of whether they should stay in juvie or go to criminal court.
You have a round of tests that establish 95% of juvies really are juvies. So what do you do with the next batch? Do you assume they are all juvies? No you have to retest them. All of them. You have to reuse the tampon ad infinitum. This is the curse of justice.

No I'm running the economic calculation problem against you. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Third of all, the whole premise behind the calculation problem is that the price mechanism of the market is better at allocating resources than a central planner. I have no idea how that's supposed to disprove the two-tier system.
Its supposed to stop you from making an economic argument. So when you say that extra testing is a waste of resources, you can't know that because you aren't an entrepreneur looking at prices of different combinations of capital, and their payoff, in a competitive environment.

Okay. But if you're going to begin by structuring a system with respect to psychological considerations, why not have a system explicitly in terms of psychology? Why does it have to be implicit through age?

Because the psychology is correct, which means that it can be used to establish an effective norm based on what you call the correlation between age and psychological capacities. After the system is created, age becomes something of an afterthought, since the boundaries are already set. Once the boundaries are set, psychology is evaluated directly.
Exactly. So your plan segregates by age only nominally, and there will be many exceptions to the age categories. So why not just call them what you mean them to be? Why do you have to call mental fitness 'adult' and mental weakness 'juvenile'?


Of course we can test everyone. It's a question of whether we have a reason to, and whether it makes any sense to do. Really, we actually do. The testing that you suggest, however, is unnecessary on top of what already exists. Heck, often times, during, say, the investigation or detainment, defendants will undergo some sort of examination by a psychiatrist.

What's new that you're bringing to the table?
I'm trying to show how the age paradigm is redundant.
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1/6/2011 9:50:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 7:32:03 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 1/6/2011 6:38:48 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 1/6/2011 6:17:44 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
So this means you can shift the goalposts however you want. Any problems I find with your theory don't matter because as long as you're better than some hypothetical lecherous alternative that no one advocates, you'll hang on to your thesis.

Actually, my argument is only that it's better than your alternative at this point. I would much prefer the things I listed in my original "here's what would be better" post.
We haven't discussed my alternative. You mean testing everyone? Why is testing everyone worse? Because its a waste of resources? See econ calculation argument.

The original argument--OP--was whether juveniles ought to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system. Based on what the system is like, I disagreed. You took it in an entirely different direction, and here we are.
To the OP, I would say make a Con case by kritiking the resolution... that morality requires you to do the right thing, but the status quo is so messed up that you can't. Its like asking you if killing 50 people or 45 people is moral. Neither.

Doubtless you can reply that the lesser of two evils is MORE moral, but the resolution doesn't ask for comparative ethics. The term "should" or "ought" is absolute.

Sorry. If your arguments are "humanitarian", then your goalpost isn't just to exceed the status quo.

I'm not really much of a humanitarian, either. My argument: "this is the best course of action in the status quo given the purpose of the justice system".
Oh. Well that would be failing the affirmative burden. I was trying to be nice and just throw a catchall term (humanitarian) in there, but okay. The purpose of the justice system is not synonymous with moral. You shouldn't debate from its perspective any more than you can debate from hitler's perspective.

You don't like the two-tier, and I don't care for it much, either. What you propose, however, I dislike more. I'd be willing to switch out for the alternatives that I listed; however, until those arrive, I'll stick with what I've got. Either way, all that is irrelevant to the argument I originally made.
So to the OP I would say not to let people use Cody's framework. He thinks the resolution means either a two tier or one tier system. He's said time and again that reforms are extra topical, which basically means there's no way for you to get the one tier system to work. But of course if we really did move to a one tier system, all sorts of stuff would have to change. A lot more psychological defenses would be run to compensate for the mental fragility of all the young people now in adult court. That would require a paradigm shift in the status quo, and if your opponent shuts out reforms, one tier is broken by default.

To be cheeky, I think there's a lot of room for aff ground on this reso. You could argue, as I am, that age aint nothin but a number, and that we should have two (or more) tiers based on MENTAL CONDITION, not age. That will allow you to perm your opponent's cards so long as they are using age as a proxy.

The only really solid neg ground for this reso is to not focus on the mental capability of young adults. Instead, try to figure out moral reasons why you would treat a 15 and 25 year old differently, even if they had the same mental maturity. This will allow you to sidestep most of the aff arguments you come across.

You could run a case based on guardianship or something. Inability to pay... just something legally unique to persons under 18.

What do you think my goalpost is?
Apparently it is whatever nebulous goals the US justice system has.

We already do test everyone. My argument is that you don't really bring anything to the table that doesn't already exist in the two-tier. You're criticizing the system, saying it should do other things instead, but what you suggest--"test everyone"--is, basically, already integrated in some form or other.
So as long as we test people and separate them based on the tests, anything else you do is redundant.

Right. But the estimator isn't binding. It's a preliminary estimate that gives us some ground to work with.
So why opt for an inaccurate label? Why not call a spade a spade? "Mentally developed" vs "Mentally Fragile".

I didn't "set up" the two-tier, though. Maybe I misspoke. I'm just defending what currently exists in the context of the resolution (which was the subject of OP's inquiry). Negative says we don't treat juveniles as adults in the status quo. Aff says we take them out of the juvenile system and put them in the current criminal court. No reform, no toning down--just put them in. That's why I'm advocating what I'm advocating.

Well the OP doesn't actually say US justice system. Regardless, just because Neg ground is the status quo doesn't mean that reform is non-topical. Aff has the option to defend different versions of age collectivization. They HAVE to, because there are many different ways you could collectivize the ages, and aff can't articulate or defend all of them.

There are degrees of separation. We start them off separated, and we use the tests to filter out the ones who don't need to be separated.
Redundant.

Needless to say you'll concede this last point. Of course a more intricately designed system is better! But Cody's two tiered system is superior to the status quo without it, and for some reason those are our only two options.

"My" two-tiered system IS the status quo, Sieben. It's not some system that I designed myself.
Sorry. My sentence, while grammatically correct, is easily misread. I said your system is superior to "the status quo without it".

So you can see how this is structured where if someone finds a problem with your plan, even if it is easily solvable, you can just cop out and say its better than removing juvenile court even though your opponent never argued it.

If someone tries to advocate anything better, you can also cop out and say you support it too, but this is the best we can do in the status quo. I don't think you can use that argument because both of us can't actually anything in the status quo.

So you're trying to club me into a position of exclusivity? Because that would be ridiculous. In the status quo, we have what we have--two tiers. OP set up a dichotomy within the status quo. Treat juveniles as adults in the status quo, or treat them in the juvenile system? I say treat most of them in the juvenile system, and use fitness hearings to try in criminal court those who deserve to be tried. I was giving her negative strategies, and that was one. I'm starting to feel like this whole thing was one large misunderstanding.
Well, the OP didn't actually give us the reso. But its the NFL topic

Resolved: In the United States, juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.

So you can see that Aff ground is very broad. There are a lot of ways they could be treated as adults. If you executed every juvi who committed a crime, well that would be stupid, but it would be treating them as adults. So the aff can pick and choose which way to charge the as adults. I think no matter what aff should run a psychological defense to mitigate the severity of sentences where appropriate.

Neg ground is also very broad, because the alternative to treating them as adults doesn't mean anything in terms of harshness.

Bottom line? Have a philosophy of age. That will be central to the debate. Cody's philosophy of age is just a norm, and that norm is violated all the time. So it fails to provide a clear support for either side of the resolution. I think you're going to have to make something up. Like I said before, something about guardianship rights...
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1/7/2011 7:35:23 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 2:28:00 PM, PiperPhoenix wrote:
Okay so no one in my class can figure out what else to do for this topic in either Aff or Neg and the tournament is on Saturday I'm in my school library with them and we're hoping you guys can help us. here are some of my contentions if you can help it would be much appreciated:
Aff:
Juveniles who commit violent crimes are smart enough to commit the crime so they therefore are smart enough to know the consiquences of their actions.:

Juveniles, even if highly intelligent, often do not fully understand the magnitude of their actions. Be that as it may, depending upon the crime (say murder), obviously there would be a miscarriage of justice to allow a juvenile to murder another juvenile and to have them serve two years in a detention center and then leave.

I think in general, the system is set up to view their crimes on a case-by-case basis. There should not be a one-size-fits all approach to juvenile crime. There are specifics and extenuating circumstances that need to carefully be considered.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
Cody_Franklin
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1/7/2011 8:14:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 7:42:13 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 1/6/2011 7:14:29 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:

False dichotomy. Test everyone or test no one? That's unreasonable.
Straw man.

I don't think it's a straw man at all. Maybe I misread you, but

You don't want to test everyone individually... You'd rather use age alone

seems like a choice between testing everyone or only using age (testing no one). If I've misunderstood you, please set me straight.

No. That would be idiotic.
Do they lose money? Do they lose much of anything? What motivates the legal system to get the right answer?

"The legal system" isn't really an entity, and cannot have motives. If you want to look at incentives, you would have to look at each agent. Attorneys might have different incentives than, say, judges, who, for example, might be motivated by the prospect of a nomination to a higher court.

I have to deal in "exceptions" because you have defined a system to work for "the rule".

Your rule seems to be to treat everyone as an exception.
I treat everyone as a possible exception. You do this too. Don't be standoffish.

I do also, but I do it within a framework built around psychological norms. In the same way that we have "innocent until proven guilty", the two-tier is "psychologically typical until proven significantly abnormal".

Not all evidence is formed into a compact statistic. Plus, it's not just "a theory". That phrase, used with the connotation you're using with it, suggests a lot more doubt than there actually is. Plus, if the theory's correct, there's literally no reason to go testing everyone (especially when fitness hearings already exist) unless your goal is to be pointlessly stubborn and excessively meticulous without a proportional benefit.

First, the theory you present is non universal. You readily concede exceptions to rules.

1. The theory never claims to be universal. For any theory to be universal, all people within a set would basically have to be clones of one another. It's like saying that capitalist theory is wrong because there are exceptions to the behavioral models that it lays out for consumers. In short, exceptions to the rule don't kill the rule--they prove that the rule is just a heuristic that requires additional mechanisms to cope with deviations.

Secondly, you give no reason why we shouldn't test everyone. You just say its "without proportional benefit". There's your economic argument.

The reason I gave was that we already test everyone. Your testing is extraneous, meaning that it proposes a solution already integrated into the status quo, meaning that it brings nothing to the table that isn't preexisting.

Now I see why you thought I was making an economic argument. To be clear, I think you're just trying to be an overachiever. It's nice that you want things to work as smoothly as possible, but it's wasted breath when it doesn't help you in dispensing justice.

See the point about goalposts. You've set this up so there's no way you can possibly lose. You're saying your system is better than the status quo with all juvies treated like adults. Well duh.

Well, the resolution is set within the status quo. Both side are forced into a comparative analysis between juvies in the juvie system and juvies in the adult system. Plus, the resolution specifies "juveniles charged with violent felonies", which I guess gives aff some sort of advantage.

But if you're going to make recommendations on practical, moral, or humanitarian grounds, you open up the door for OTHER possibilities that you don't want to consider because you think they're "overachieving".

The reason I'm not really concerned with those possibilities is because LD debate is ultra-theoretical, and this resolution gets more into culpability theory. If this were policy debate, I'd be more apt to discussing some of the plans we talked about earlier.

You make it out like it's age discrimination just for the sake of age. In reality, that's another oversimplification of my point that we're using the connection between age and cognition/competence to create a range by which we can mold a general criterion for determining fitness. Beyond that, there are more targeted mechanics to handle the specifics. I really don't see the issue.

Age is necessarily a cruder metric than the methods that were used to establish that age is correlated with mental fitness. So why not use the latter?

The latter is used. It's not an exclusive choice between using the general criterion of age correlated to mental capacity vs mental attributes only.


Okay, so I got crazy with adjectives?
No. I'm saying that the concepts that are relevant, like mental fitness, are not readily testable. You tried to say that I was rejecting neurosciences, but I'm actually challenging the link between science and sociology because their vocabularies are fundamentally different.

If you're saying that those concepts aren't readily testable, suggesting a strategy of "test everyone" seems to be problematic, doesn't it?

When they serve no further purpose? Sure. It's like trying to reuse a tampon. You could probably get something out of trying, but there's really no point in trying. We have a round of tests to determine juvenile competence in terms of whether they should stay in juvie or go to criminal court.
You have a round of tests that establish 95% of juvies really are juvies. So what do you do with the next batch? Do you assume they are all juvies? No you have to retest them. All of them. You have to reuse the tampon ad infinitum. This is the curse of justice.

It's not a test in the traditional sense of the word, though. Though juveniles do undergo psychological evaluations, the case for whether or not a juvenile is mentally juvenile is made in the fitness hearing.

Third of all, the whole premise behind the calculation problem is that the price mechanism of the market is better at allocating resources than a central planner. I have no idea how that's supposed to disprove the two-tier system.
Its supposed to stop you from making an economic argument. So when you say that extra testing is a waste of resources, you can't know that because you aren't an entrepreneur looking at prices of different combinations of capital, and their payoff, in a competitive environment.

Prospective cost-benefit analyses are going to be problematic whether you're an entrepreneur or a state planner.

Because the psychology is correct, which means that it can be used to establish an effective norm based on what you call the correlation between age and psychological capacities. After the system is created, age becomes something of an afterthought, since the boundaries are already set. Once the boundaries are set, psychology is evaluated directly.
Exactly. So your plan segregates by age only nominally, and there will be many exceptions to the age categories. So why not just call them what you mean them to be? Why do you have to call mental fitness 'adult' and mental weakness 'juvenile'?

Because the value of the different systems isn't based on age segregation. The value lies in the kinds of environments that each creates, and uses developmental norms + a "double-check" system in cases that are suspected of deviation.

Of course we can test everyone. It's a question of whether we have a reason to, and whether it makes any sense to do. Really, we actually do. The testing that you suggest, however, is unnecessary on top of what already exists. Heck, often times, during, say, the investigation or detainment, defendants will undergo some sort of examination by a psychiatrist.

What's new that you're bringing to the table?
I'm trying to show how the age paradigm is redundant.

I see.
Cody_Franklin
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1/7/2011 8:34:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 1/6/2011 9:50:02 PM, Sieben wrote:
At 1/6/2011 7:32:03 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:

Actually, my argument is only that it's better than your alternative at this point. I would much prefer the things I listed in my original "here's what would be better" post.
We haven't discussed my alternative. You mean testing everyone? Why is testing everyone worse? Because its a waste of resources? See econ calculation argument.

1. It's better than what I've heard of your alternative, which seems to be a differently-labeled rehash of judicial procedures which already exist.

2. I don't think that the calculation argument really applies, since the allocation of governmental/judicial resources isn't what I take issue with. My argument was against the comparative results of your "test everyone" system, which A) uses preexisting measures like they're something new, and B) fails to take advantage of the benefits of the juvenile system, which uses age-related psychological norms to construct an environment that avoids the damage of adversarial-punitive justice.

The original argument--OP--was whether juveniles ought to be treated as adults in the criminal justice system. Based on what the system is like, I disagreed. You took it in an entirely different direction, and here we are.
To the OP, I would say make a Con case by kritiking the resolution... that morality requires you to do the right thing, but the status quo is so messed up that you can't. Its like asking you if killing 50 people or 45 people is moral. Neither.

Doubtless you can reply that the lesser of two evils is MORE moral, but the resolution doesn't ask for comparative ethics. The term "should" or "ought" is absolute.

I hate kritiks in LD.

Plus, you could still argue within the boundaries of moral absolutism that, if the morally perfect option isn't available, the morally righteous thing in that situation consists of doing the least amount of bad. It's more like contextual ethics at that point, of the form "given X circumstances, the morally righteous course of action is Y"; however, it then depends on what your criterion is, since that's the moral paradigm you're using to evaluate the resolution.

I'm not really much of a humanitarian, either. My argument: "this is the best course of action in the status quo given the purpose of the justice system".
Oh. Well that would be failing the affirmative burden.

Not necessarily. There are plenty of moral theories you could run which would disagree. Plus, I'm talking negative anyway.

I was trying to be nice and just throw a catchall term (humanitarian) in there, but okay. The purpose of the justice system is not synonymous with moral. You shouldn't debate from its perspective any more than you can debate from hitler's perspective.

That's an argument you could run, but not something you want to have stored away as an aff response when you're arguing a moral imperative to treat juvies as adults in the status quo justice system.

You don't like the two-tier, and I don't care for it much, either. What you propose, however, I dislike more. I'd be willing to switch out for the alternatives that I listed; however, until those arrive, I'll stick with what I've got. Either way, all that is irrelevant to the argument I originally made.
So to the OP I would say not to let people use Cody's framework. He thinks the resolution means either a two tier or one tier system.

No I don't. I think it's a comparative resolution which asks us to evaluate which system achieves better results in dispensing justice to juveniles charged with violent felonies. Juveniles committing petty and nonviolent crimes are still in the juvenile system regardless.

He's said time and again that reforms are extra topical, which basically means there's no way for you to get the one tier system to work. But of course if we really did move to a one tier system, all sorts of stuff would have to change. A lot more psychological defenses would be run to compensate for the mental fragility of all the young people now in adult court. That would require a paradigm shift in the status quo, and if your opponent shuts out reforms, one tier is broken by default.

Well, it's one neg strategy I have. There's another which goes something along the lines of "adopt the benefits of the criminal court to the juvenile system, but keep the rehabilitative environment to protect against psychological damage". Don't like that one as much, though.

To be cheeky, I think there's a lot of room for aff ground on this reso. You could argue, as I am, that age aint nothin but a number, and that we should have two (or more) tiers based on MENTAL CONDITION, not age. That will allow you to perm your opponent's cards so long as they are using age as a proxy.

If neg responds that the reason age is relevant is because of a juvenile's psychological profile, the response would be that you're still treating most juveniles as juveniles, but you're just labeling it differently.

The only really solid neg ground for this reso is to not focus on the mental capability of young adults. Instead, try to figure out moral reasons why you would treat a 15 and 25 year old differently, even if they had the same mental maturity. This will allow you to sidestep most of the aff arguments you come across.

Moral reasons for treating two people with the same mental capabilities differently in the courtroom? Good luck finding any.

You could run a case based on guardianship or something. Inability to pay... just something legally unique to persons under 18.

I don't think I would buy that. That's too nitpicky. I think there's a good, larger argument behind it that you could make, though.

What do you think my goalpost is?
Apparently it is whatever nebulous goals the US justice system has.

Unless neg is going to try to play by smoke and mirrors, both sides generally have to agree that the ends of the justice system are morally praiseworthy. The subject of the resolution the means--how juveniles ought to be treated--not "justice system good/bad".

We already do test everyone. My argument is that you don't really bring anything to the table that doesn't already exist in the two-tier. You're criticizing the system, saying it should do other things instead, but what you suggest--"test everyone"--is, basically, already integrated in some form or other.
So as long as we test people and separate them based on the tests, anything else you do is redundant.

Separate them how based on the tests?

Right. But the estimator isn't binding. It's a preliminary estimate that gives us some ground to work with.
So why opt for an inaccurate label? Why not call a spade a spade? "Mentally developed" vs "Mentally Fragile".

"Fragile" isn't exactly descriptive.