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That we should compel victims of rape to testify in court

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Golfer15Golfer15 (PRO)
First off, thank you for debating this with me.
Good luck and may it be a good, clean debate.

Lets first look at the definitions of the words used.
Compel:"force or oblige(someone) to do something."
Victim: "a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action."
Rape: we all know what this is hopefully..
Testify: "to talk and answer questions about something especially in a court of law while formally promising that what you are saying is true.", "to show that something is true or real : to give proof of something."

In the United States, we have a policy of innocent until proven guilty. We also have the Due Process clause found in the 5th and 14th amendment of the Constitution of the United States, the supreme law of the land. The 5th amendment states: "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.", and the 14th amendment says: "nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

Due Process is defined as: "fair treatment through the normal judicial system, especially as a citizen's entitlement."

This means that all citizens are entitled to a fair trial before they can be declared guilty.

In our courts, all witnesses are required to be under oath in the witness stand.

Rape cases are special in trials, because it is a 'he said, she said" trial, until the witnesses and proof come forward..

First, it is substantial for the victim to identify the rapist. Second, there needs to be a statement from the victim, under oath, declaring that he is the rapist. Lastly, there needs to be substantial evidence against the rapist to be convicted, if you want to follow the Constitution.

If the witness does not testify, there is frankly no way to show that the person on trial is actually the rapist. 

Con will most likely use the argument that there needs to be protection for the victim, well what about security, witness protection program, etc. There are plenty of different avenues for the. 

Unjustly putting someone in prison to protect someone else identity is bogus.

I rest my case your honor(s)

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-12-02 15:23:46
| Speak Round
adminadmin (CON)
I thank my opponent for his case.

I agree that due process is an important right. There are, however, two other rights that are at least equally as important: the right to remain silent, and the right to not incriminate yourself. Forcing testimony in court means that the whole idea of rights to protect the integrity of the legal process is undermined.

There is another way, and it does not involve the violation of anybody's rights, and my opponent has mentioned it already - innocent until proven guilty. If a person cannot be convicted without the evidence of a key witness, and that witness refuses to testify, then that person simply cannot be convicted, can they? That way, nobody is unjustly put in prison. It's working fine like this right now, so frankly there is no problem to solve. If there was a problem, then proper enforcement of this existing system would work just fine.

But doesn't that mean some rapists will walk free?

In the situation pro describes (which, by the way, is not the only way rape happens) there are only two clear witnesses. If the victim was really uncooperative, the case wouldn't even go to trial; there would not be enough evidence for the lawsuit to be anything but frivolous. Even if it did somehow go to trial, a conviction would be impossible to get.

If nobody reports a robbery, robbers also typically go unprosecuted. Robbers are walking free on the streets right now. In all likelihood, so are child abusers, murderers, and any kind of the worst criminals you can imagine. This debate is about whether that's a bad thing.

Why that's not a bad thing
The role of the state is not to prosecute everyone whenever they cross the street illegally. It is to generally ensure that the public is kept safe. Somebody stole my pen the other night at the chess club. Somebody there is guilty of robbery. I'm not going to report it, however, because I don't consider it worth reporting. That's my right. If the state were to force me to report every item of my property that's ever gone missing, that would be draconian and silly.

There are all manner of reasons why rapes are not reported. Let's take a typical example - the victim is male. Many guys who are raped by girls don't report the rape out of shame. They understand they have the right to choose to put the girl away for a long time, and that they will be shielded from much of the humiliation by victim support services etc (and like pro, I'm a big fan of them). But that is their right, and not their obligation. For example, if the girl in question is the guy's own wife, the guy might still not want her to be locked up. That's something only he, and not the state, can decide. There are numerous such cases - the victim may be unsure of their recollection. The victim may have been doing something else illegal at the time. The victim may be unable to cope with the long term repercussions and may just want to forget about it. And so on. It's their choice, and we are not here to scrutinize it.

Pro wants to prosecute victims for refusing to speak up, in court, on the public record, about their experiences whenever they are raped. It's disgusting and pointless, especially in cases where there's only two witnesses, because it could never be enforced. A much better model is to empower victims to have the choice to bring their attackers to justice, rather than forcing the victim's hand. This is what I advocate in this debate.

I don't believe the role of the justice system is to attack victims, or be our big brother. Yet both of those are what pro's model require us to have it be. If the goal of justice is safety, then we need to ensure safety from both the attackers and from the justice system itself. Giving people the right to prosecute ensures this, with no sacrifice of our essential liberties.

The resolution is negated.

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-12-04 16:41:41
| Speak Round
admin: Do you believe in the right to remain silent?
Golfer15: Yes, but in a different sense. Yes we have "miranda rights", but do we really want victims keeping quiet and having rapists roam the streets? If someone knows they can get away with something, they will do it more. If i catch you stealing, but say it's ok, won't you be more apt and willing to steal more? What if the Jarred Fogle thing never came out? He would continue to rape kids, and no one would report him, leaving more victims...
Golfer15: So you are comfortable with letting rapists and other lawbreakers roam the streets if nobody reports them?
Golfer15: Another point I would like to point out is that Self-incrimination is compelling the defendant on trial to give testimony of committing a crime, not having someone not tell the truth or have to say anything to save someone, because if this happens, rape will become more violent so that no one speaks out.
Golfer15: There is a point to what Con says about the little things of the law that are unimportant, but you cannot say that rape, murder, or stealing are minor things. We are not talking about j-walking or going 2 miles over the speed limit, because if we are we are foolish to compare a speeder to a rapists..
Golfer15: *rapist
admin: Yes, and I would like to remind my opponent that CX is not for argumentation. Would you be happy paying for the mass surveillance of all citizens to ensure that nobody breaks the law?
Golfer15: No I would not. Would you be willing to have no jails?
admin: No. If nobody reports them and there is no mass surveillance, how would such lawbreakers even come to trial?
Golfer15: Answer this: Say you killed my father and threatened to kill me too if i said anything about it and I didn't report the killing or who did it, you would be ok with that killer going free?
admin: Yes. And I'd like an answer to my previous question about how I would even come to trial in that instance.
Golfer15: There would be no way to go to trial, right?
admin: Yes. Given this, are you sure your solution would actually solve the problem?
Golfer15: My solution would exactly solve the problem. This issue is already a problem. https://rainn.org/get-information/statistics/reporting-rates
Golfer15: According to that website, you want more rapists to run free?
admin: No, I believe I'm advocating for the status quo. How exactly would your solution solve the problem of rapists running free, if you agree there wouldn't be a trial?
Golfer15: My solution would include a trial. First, Having the victim report the offense. Second, have a trial for the offense, and third, compile the victim to testify and prove that the victim was actually raped.This way we know that the person was raped and also that there is no false accusations. That way we do not allow rapists to run free and also not lock any innocent person up.
admin: How would you ensure that victims report offences if they are unwilling to do so?
Golfer15: Compelling more victims to open up about getting victimized and allow for there to be some program that the victim can open up and share.
admin: And how would you compel them?
Golfer15: by providing a witness protection type program for rape victims.
admin: So if anyone is not compelled by that programme, you're happy to let their rapists walk free?
admin: Would you agree that both the sort of witness protection programme you discuss already exists, and also that not every rapist is caught, under the status quo?
Golfer15: Under the current system, rapists are not being caught.
admin: And you believe you can solve that because... ?
Golfer15: Compelling victims will make victims come out and talk about the rape. Leading to more arrests and more criminals in jail.
admin: But don't we do that already? If so, clearly it's not working, right?
Golfer15: We do not compel victims currently.
admin: Thanks

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Logically, I think Admin is presenting the more sound argument, but in principle Golfer has the upper hand. Admin- advocating for the status quo, when less than one in ten rapes result in conviction, is surely not a good position to hold? I think the point that is really being missed here is how to improve the support structure to encourage more victims to come forward. Perhaps the 'compelling' is manifested in a cultural change as opposed to a legal one?
Posted 2015-12-14 09:35:44
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