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In the United States criminal justice system, should truth-seeking take precedence over attorney-client privilege?

Asked by: msmith0126
  • Attorney Client Privilege takes away our freedoms

    I found this story on CBS News:

    “This is a story about an innocent man who languished in prison for 26 years while two attorneys who knew he was innocent stayed silent. Alton Logan was convicted of killing a security guard at a McDonald's in Chicago in 1982. Police arrested him after a tip and got three eyewitnesses to identify him. Logan, his mother and brother all testified he was at home asleep when the murder occurred. But a jury found him guilty of first degree murder.

    Now new evidence reveals that Logan did not commit that murder, something that was not new to those two attorneys, who knew it all along but say they couldn't speak out until now.

    Attorneys Dale Coventry and Jamie Kunz knew Logan was innocent. And they knew because their client, Andrew Wilson, who they were defending for killing two policemen, confessed to them that he had also killed the security guard at McDonald's - the crime Logan was charged with.

    The problem was that the killer was their client. So, legally, they had to keep his secret even though an innocent man was about to be tried for murder.”

    I know that I would hate it if one of my loved ones was put in jail for 26 years for something they did not do. This story illustrates how Attorney Client Privilege takes away our freedoms.

  • I think so

    The truth provides the only way to pure justice, and the most efficient route to justice would be the path with the most truth. That is why we need to prioritize the truth. In the resolution it says to "take precedence" which means that instead of changing the ways of truth-seeking we could change the attorney client privilege itself, and it is exactly that, a privilege, not a right. So the government could potentially regulate it so as to create exceptions so that we find the most efficient route to justice.

  • The social contract demands justice

    All societies are formed around the social contract. All social contract theories are based off of the idea that the people will give up certain rights, to an extent, in order for the government to protect the populace in some way. The mechanisms for a government to uphold its end of the social contract are its laws. However, for laws to mean anything, they must have authority, meaning that if someone breaks a law, they must be punished, otherwise it would be as if no laws existed at all. The mechanism is simple, but its implementation is difficult. Modern jurisprudence, including attorney client privilege, makes it substantially more difficult for the guilty to be convicted, causing a net decrease in the number of correct verdicts. In these circumstances, the law is not upheld, and the guilty go free, undermining the authority of the law in the process, and, by extension, the social contract itself is undermined.

  • The truth must be found

    A great many more guilty people would be convicted if the information that they tell to there attorney came out and was know to the public, many people that are guilty go free because of a lack of evidence or motive and the defenses lawyer might know some of these things but does not have to tell them.

  • An unadulterated justice system requires the comparison of different perspectives of the whole truth.

    Attorney-client privilege is essentially a method of selectively omitting certain parts of the truth, and, upon testimony, one swears to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and attorney-client privilege implies the retainment of some of the truth, not the telling of the whole truth. Proper justice requires an unadulterated truth.

  • The truth will always come out.

    The truth has a funny way of coming out, sometimes it comes by force, and sometimes by accident. When put into a court scene, not only should both parties be telling the truth, but should try their hardest to uphold the values we hold near and dear. Truth is important.

  • Truth is important over all.

    The only way to bring criminals to justice through the truth. When a person commits a serious crime their rights should be second to the truth. This is the reason why, when you testify in court, you swear to tell" the truth, the whole truth , and nothing but the truth.

  • Truth is the only way to achieve true justice.

    The job of any government is to serve it's people. To value truth over attorney client privilege allows to save more lives by having more guilty criminals behind bars. The only way to achieve the justice that a great nation like the United States requires is to have all evidence open, to value truth over the attorney client privilege. Although the criminals are also U.S. Citizens, the rights of the innocent outweigh those of criminals.

  • Truth seeking ought to take precedence in the US criminal justice system

    The primary goal of the Criminal Justice System should be to protect the innocent. In terms of resources and access to evidence, attorney-client privilege is compromised by imbalance between parties. Motivation to win, parties will coach witnesses, suppress facts, employ tricks and surprises, distort the truth, and manipulate fact finders. Truth seeking is at the core of the the justice system, and attorney-client privilege violates truth because of the concealment of truth.

  • It just should; truth is more important in finding justice

    We all want justice, but how are we supposed to get it without truth? That's right, you can't. That's why I STRONGLY believe that truth-seeking should take precedence over attorney-client privileges. It is obviously significant more important in keeping the United States whole, moral, and American. God bless the USA.

  • It is unconstitutional

    The founders wrote the constitution so that the citizens would have their rights such as a fair trial. Without attorney client privilege no one who is said to be guilty would hire a attorney which could lead to an unfair trial because the role of the attorney is to defend their case and use the Constitution, because the judge could bring up something from the Constitution and the average person could not understand the point of it and eventually be said to be guilty just because they couldn't defend that one case.

  • Truth seeking is more important

    Why should the needs of one person come before the needs of society. How can we argue that it is just to keep information between a client and attorney when it is hypocritical to do so. This is because the legal system is supposed to bring justice but it cannot be just if the verdict is not true.

  • Attorney-Client Privilege is Tantamount

    Attorney-Client privilege (ACP as I'll refer to it) was established to protect clients from unneeded prosecution. Essentially, the client can counsel with the attorney to get correctly represented, and sometimes there are activities that they must disclose to be correctly represented but not prosecuted on.

    If ACP is abolished, truth might (ironically) be diminished because the clients would be afraid to fully disclose details which would result in a technically unfair trial because the attorney wouldn't know everything.

  • The U.S. System fails without Attorney-Client Privilege

    One of the basic tenants of the U.S. System is a strong defense without all the knowledge possible a defense attorney cannot give a defendant the best defense possible. The absence of Attorney-Client privileged would cause defendants to actually not tell their attorney's the truth resulting in the opposite effect of the intent of the Resolution. One could actually argue that Attorney Client preventable is essential to truth seeking therefore they should have eqaul precedence.

  • Truth is not inherent in justice.

    The entire purpose behind the United States criminal justice system is to uphold justice. Therefore, we must choose whichever option would be the most just. Although truth is related to justice, truth does not inherently entail justice. This is not to say we must disregard truth altogether; rather, we should simply prioritize the pursuit of justice over the pursuit of truth. However, the truth, even if it is found, would not necessarily bring justice. Therefore, it is nearly pointless to pursue truth. On the other hand, the attorney-client privilege brings a greater possibility of justice. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines justice as "the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action". On one scenario, we have truth-seeking, which does not necessarily bring justice at all and is incredibly difficult to discern. Our second scenario is the attorney-client privilege, which allows the defendant to consult professional advice on what is the "right action", and thereby just. This allows the defendant to more accurately decide what is just, and therefore, because the attorney client privilege brings a higher chance of justice, should take precedence over truth-seeking in the United States criminal justice system.

  • A person should fully feel that their attorney will protect them, since that is what they are hired for.

    In the affirmative world, the so called suspect of the case should be assumed innocent. But, in the negative world, the suspect can be assumed guilty and in need to protect their self at all cost. The reason to hire an attorney is to help protect the suspect, to protect so called "innocence". In order to feel protected by the attorney, the attorney-client privilege should hold precedence over truth seeking by the justice system. Especially, if the suspect is paying money to the attorney it should be for the attorney's trust and protection to not be convicted and punished by the court system. Every human being is entitled to their own defense and without the attorney-client privilege that person would be limited to protect their self without any professional law advice( which in this Capitalistic country can be easily paid for). If truth-seeking ought to take precedence over attorney-client privilege America would have to reconstruct it's whole society.

  • Is truth, the real truth?

    If truth-seeking were to take precedence, we could never tell if someone is truly telling the truth of their case. Trying to find the truth would lead to more trouble than its worth. Most likely leading to torture. This would also hold back people from wanting to find an attorney unless they are truly innocent. We would be overstepping our human rights and the laws that were made for us. The simple answer is NO

  • Truth can lead to rights being diminished

    Wanting truth comes with consequences. If we want the truth, it can lead to torture if someone refuses to speak. It is also sacrificing our privacy, and with the accused not knowing what to do without someone who knows the court system, who you can tell the truth to, knowing they will do their best to help you.

  • We should have a just criminal justice system.

    Truth-seeking should not take precedence, nor should attorney-client privilege. They should be treated as equals. The complete and horrific thinking that we can invade people's privacy shouldn't be taken into hands. Not only that, but when was it right to lie in court because you have attorney client privilege? So, neither should be higher, they should be valued as equals.

  • The whole point of a trial

    Is to persuade the judge to rule you innocent. PERSUADE is the key word. Trials have attorneys and such to defend the client's rights. If this wasn't the case, the victim could call the accused's attorney to the stand and whatever he/she has been told by the accused must be divulged. The whole point of Attorney-client privilege is confidentiality. Otherwise, we would have no need for lawyers and millions would lose their jobs.


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