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That we should abolish trial by jury

2 points
1 point
Random StrangerRandom Stranger (PRO)
I'd like to start by thanking my opponent for accepting this debate.

I believe there are only to terms that are really worth defining for this debate:

Trial: Merriam Webster defines "trial" as the formal examination before a competent tribunal of the matter in issue in a civil or criminal cause in order to determine such issue.

Jury: Merriam Webster defines "jury" as a body of persons legally selected and sworn to inquire into any matter of fact and to give their verdict according to the evidence.

My argument will essentially be as follows:
1) Juries are an inconvenience for everyday citizens, and a waste of government resources.
2) Juries are more likely to create poor or even incorrect rulings than a judge.

Jury duty is infamously annoying:

(Sorry if this picture is a bit large.)
Multiple sources differ, but the average jury trial can last for four to five days, and possibly much longer. During this time, jury members miss out on their job or taking care of their families. Some citizens go to jury selection, only to not be selected, waisting their time. I'm sure that the vast majority of the public would definitely appreciate it if all trials were conducted by a professional judge.

Certain courts reimburse jurors, though nowhere near the amount of an average wage. These trials still must pay a judge to preside over the trial. Courts use snail mail to mail out summons, which takes time and money. Selecting jury members requires a separate session before the trial, wasting more time and more money. (Money, in this instance is consumed by utilities at the courthouse, as well as potential lost wages for the potential jurors.)

Now for the second, and stronger section of my argument.

The requirements for becoming a judge in America are quite strenuous. [1] On top of the different law degrees and tests that are required, it is definitely preferred that you have experience in the courtroom as a lawyer or attorney. A judge's passion is to seek justice.

A juror, in contrast, is selected from a set of short questions that try to determine whether or not they are biased, which would be easy to conceal. Jurors usually have no knowledge of the law outside of what they receive from the case they are participating in, and don't have a long term will to hand down a just ruling.

In criminal trials, jurors have also been shown to more susceptible to emotion, meaning that they are more likely to hand down a larger and potentially unjust ruling to a defendant. This results in juries giving incorrect verdicts in a stunning 1 in 8 cases. [2] There wasn't any data on the error rate of judges.

Do we really want citizens to be forced to do something that they have no formal training in, while the state still pays highly trained individuals that could be doing the job instead? I don't think so.

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-11-23 17:36:30
| Speak Round
brandon.the.debaterbrandon.the.debater (CON)
Hello, my name is Brandon Acosta, and I will be debating as the negation for the resolution "That we should abolish trial by jury". I would first like to clarify the organization of my argument:
  1. Debate Organization and Rules
  2. Opening Statement
  3. Acceptance
  4. Short Refutations
Due to the fact of the limits in these rounds, in which there is a maximum of 8000 characters, and since my arguments will be pretty lengthy, I would like to state that all my rounds will have a Google Docs link in which, one may open it and read it thoroughly. Since the affirmation has provided no specific rules towards third-party writing software, I am able to do this. All links will allow people to view the file, meaning no editing is allowed, or even possible.
Additionally, I was unable to finish my Works Cited, although there are some links at the end of everything that you may click on a reference. 
If anybody has any issues regarding this document, you may message me on EDEB8, or for preference, anybody may e-mail me to brandondebates1@gmail.com.
Thank you and I wish the best of luck to the affirmation!!!
Additionally here is an actual image of the quote used in the beginning of the opening statement, which is that “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution”.

Also, I do understand that my argument is extremely lengthy, so many will be unable to read it all, but the essentials are taking part of reading the opening statement. 
Finally, I would like to apologize for such lengthy time taken for this post, since I had much that was going on in my school right now, and with finals week coming up, I had to take some time to actually study and find some time to relax. Again, I greatly apologize for postponing this debate around for so long. I have also forfeited my rounds and I greatly apologize for that as well due to the fact of time pressing problems. So sorry to my fellow debater, who basically had nothing to do, I am sorry. But regardless, for logical reasons, vote negation!

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-12-13 12:13:39
| Speak Round
Random StrangerRandom Stranger (PRO)
First off, I'd thank my opponent for his speech, though I would question the format that he used to do it.
My opponent's statements failed to actually deflect my points, and agreed with many of the statements that were central to my argument.

Opening Statement quote:I found Thomas Jefferson's quote quite ironic. The notion that the constitution is only upheld by a jury would be untrue. The only court level that answers only to the constitution is the Supreme Court, which is made up of judges.These judges are picked because of their prestige. (And, unfortunately, their past rulings.) It is the Supreme Court's job to "uphold the principles of the constitution." Local courts, which could use juries, must also answer to state or local law.

Constitutional rights:The resolution of this debate is not "that it will be easy to abolish trial by jury" or even "that it is possible to abolish trial by jury." It is "that we should abolish trial by jury." Regardless of the difficulty to execute abolishment, we are debating whether or not we should abolish trial by jury. With this in mind, my opponent conceded that it is possible to remove the amendment declaring trial by jury a right. The affirmation, therefore, is still a valid choice to vote for.

Checks and balances:I don't deny that checks and balances are an important system of the United States government. However, my opponent has said without justification that juries are an essential part of this system. My argument saying that juries do not have the knowledge or experience of the law refutes that juries are important to this system. Instead, misunderstanding of the law by juries could become an Achilles heel to checks and balances.

Tyranny:The United States government was designed to work without a jury. If a tyrannical ruling was handed down by a judge, then it could be appealed to a higher court, all the way up to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is selected through the federal government, which is voted in by the people. Therefore, the idea that judges are given too much power is false because a ruling can be appealed.

Now we will examine con's refutations against my first speech:

"Juries as stated in the affirmation definition does not seem to show how they are inconvenient,instead it shows the legal, factual, sworn, and evidence-based system it is."
My definition states that a jury is "sworn to...give their verdict according to the evidence. " This means that a jury doesn't by definition have to gave a verdict based on the evidence, they are merely sworn to. A jury does, however, take time away from citizens' lives to take in the evidence.

"If this system was of inconvenience, then it would not have positive and logical benefits, the affirmation fails to have common sense in this situation."

Untrue. It is inconvenient for someone to drive a car to work every day, rather than to magically teleport to their destination. However, by purchasing a car, our imaginary commuter creates jobs. He gets to see the scenery and have time to himself. In the same way, a person may draw benefits by going to jury duty both for themselves and the community. However, it only makes sense to use the system that has benefits that outweigh the negative aspects.(the negatives of commuting outweigh negatives of teleporting, as I am arguing that the negatives of a trial by jury outweigh negatives of a bench trial.) My opponent doesn't use common sense by appearing to suggest that we should use any system that has benefits of any kind.

"Now, when saying that it is inconvenient to everyday citizens, is false. When juries are presented it allows the citizens to educate themselves on the government, and they will feel as though they have a voice in the government, which is what all citizens should plead for."

After a little research, I found that citizens are not "pleading" for jury duty, whether they should be or not. 55% of people in a poll[1] said that they wouldn't want to be selected for jury duty, with some going as far as to try to be excused. Only a measly 27% of surveyed people would want to be selected, with 17% unsure. While 68% of people rated their experience on jury duty as "positive," the term can be widely debatable by what it means. Did they mean that jury duty was preferable over their regular business, or did they mean that it was simply a positive experience? (A "positive experience" could be like going to school; not preferable but enlightening.)

"If a jury is a group of people that work together to find the solution, then how would so many people commit the same mistake? How does working together lead to poor thought or incorrect thoughts?"

It's not quite as simple as that. As I pointed out in my first speech, one of the biggest problems with a jury is that they tend to be swayed by emotion as well as evidence.

"If a jury is a group of carefully chosen people, then why would they choose incorrect and illogical thinkers to do this important job?"

Questions in jury selection tend to try and show any bias that a potential juror may have. While most jury members will have a reasonable thinking process, evidence can often come down interpretation by each side of the case, where "slick-talk" by lawyers can be a factor. A judge is more qualified to understand and make the right decision in these instances.

"Isn’t a judge one single person, that has nobody to tell them right or wrong, no group of analysis? Can’t they just do whatever they want for they are independant?"

No. The ruling of a judge could answer to the ruling of a different judge using the system of appealing[2], as stated previously.

"...when actually in court they are paid $40 a day and after 10 days they are paid 50$ a day."

This is only true in federal courts. Some states don't give jurors money for the first few days, or give little money at all.[3]

"for this is the government we talk about, the government can afford many things."
"the government is not going to go bankrupt because of high energy or water bills."

If you think from a neutral standpoint toward trial by jury, you will quickly realize that it has many unnecessary costs that could be avoided, no matter how small. Also don't forget about: http://www.usdebtclock.org

"Since this is a learning experience, jurors will be able to take a lot out of the cases and use them in their own day-to-day lives..."

If I were an innocent man about to stand trial, the last thing I would want would to have my fate decided by unknowledgeable people. The point is that though going to jury duty may benefit citizens, the small changes to their life are dwarfed by the implications that it will have for the defendant, whose fate lies their (usually) unqualified hands.

I believe that I have answered the counter-questions for the most part.

Vote pro. Keep the law in the hands of those who understand it.

Return To Top | Posted:
2016-12-18 15:10:26
| Speak Round

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You are both aware that any defendant can opt out of a trial by jury I assume?.
Posted 2016-12-26 09:51:35
Random StrangerRandom Stranger
@brandon.the.debater You can at least post your next arguments in the debate itself.
Posted 2016-12-13 00:39:25
I am not in the debate, so I can't make arguments.
Just post your arguments in the debate instead of here. There is only one round to go off of anyways (from your opponent). You may be able to post all of what you need in this round.
Posted 2016-12-12 15:46:26
Hello, all thank you for visiting the comments. I would like to explain that I have been unable to post arguments due to the fact of the server crash which left me without access and other things, for it is actually finals week at my school. With permission from @Random Stranger I would like to provide my arguments from both rounds here. Is that OK?
I greatly apologize for my forfeits, and I understand that @BioHazard is a little disappointed in my lack of time. But, I would greatly like to invite @BioHazard to make my arguments. Ya, that's what I thought, stop complaining, and start doing something other than making your own miserable life feel better by bringing people down.
Posted 2016-12-12 15:35:08
Round Forfeited

Round Forfeited

Round Forfeited

(Wow, these are great arguments!)
Posted 2016-12-12 08:07:20
Random StrangerRandom Stranger
Too late.
Posted 2016-11-22 00:39:25
@Random Stranger
Lets switch to trial by ordeal.
Posted 2016-11-21 11:42:32
The judging period on this debate is over

Previous Judgments

2017-01-02 07:50:33
fire_wingsJudge: fire_wings
Win awarded to: Random Stranger
CON forfeited 3 rounds, and that is enough to call it a win for PRO
1 user rated this judgement as biased
0 comments on this judgement
2017-01-03 02:57:39
ultimate.debaterJudge: ultimate.debater
Win awarded to: Random Stranger
2017-01-03 10:40:01
Abookishdreamer Judge: Abookishdreamer
Win awarded to: brandon.the.debater
Brandon.the.debator has proved logical arguments and has made more valuable points than the affirmation. He has good framework and his choice of words and professional use of language is over the top!

Make a better framework of your arguments
1 user rated this judgement as constructive
0 comments on this judgement

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