Lincoln Douglas

Lincoln Douglas Topic Analysis Nov/Dec – Jury Nullification – Champion Briefs

Video courtesy of Champion Briefs, website at

Bio and Video Transcription

2015 November/December LD Topic
Resolved: In the United States criminal justice system, jury nullification ought to be used in the face of perceived injustice.


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Adam Tomasi debated for five years at Sacred Heart (MA) in Lincoln-Douglas. He was an elimination round participant at the Tournament of Champions three years in a row. Throughout his career, Adam has won his state tournament twice, made it to the final round of multiple round robins (winning the Harvard Round Robin his senior year), and earned a career total of 18 TOC bids. Adam was recently named a National Speech and Debate Association All-American for the 2014-15 season, an honor given only to the top 25 point earners. Adam is currently a Policy debater for Wake Forest University. As a first-year college debater, Adam was Top Speaker at the University of Mary Washington tournament; he and his partner also made it to the final round!

Rough Transcript:

Hi my name is Adam Tomasi I’ve been debating for five years now and I’m here to provide the topic analysis for Champion Briefs on the jury nullification and also the court controversy. This topic is summarized by two competing ideas. The first with the affirmative that unjust laws don’t matter at all because what jury nullification is is a juror or a group of jurors voting not guilty not because of some factual question of the defendant not guilty rather because they believe the law in question should not exist. First place on the negative you have the argument that there needs to be some stable and consistent rule of law and the jury nullification makes the execution of the truth no matter what affirmative or negative position. Behind all of these positions can rely on this rule or assumptions which makes the topic very special in judge’s legal scholars eyes.

So now we’ll get into kind of the core debate by addressing the court resolved in the United States criminal justice system during the occasion received. So it’s criminal justice system probably means that the affirmative has to defend the federal government doing something to encourage jury nullification because the issues that jurors aren’t capable now they have the power to know why, but judges don’t operate like to tell jurors or inform them that they have the power to know about it. And oftentimes defendants are making their defense centered around informing jury the paper about all the affirmative until the United States federal government requires judges and juries more about this or that they permit defendants utility thing about this formative by event not take that sort of policy out and argue that there’s a speaking about the individual moral obligations of jurors rather than a larger.

But it’d be permitted with the defense policy. They probably have to defend the federal government. They could argue that all 50 states should be fun. They and that United States promotes harder to defend theoretically maybe because you to be in all 50 states do something doctors were more realistic for the federal government that they you can’t breathe deeply permanent but you never have to have the duty. So to continue during the location again that’s what a jury both not guilty be frank topical rather than a textual question of. Whether they are not guilty is indicating an obligation in the face of the nation creating with part of the and it’d be a national public hearing where the topic was inaction in the face of injustice makes individual morally culpable.  

Today that in the face of the injustice is to get out of negative arguments about how infinite obligations you know it. I think this LD topic will hopefully become a trophy because the injustice of it ends up being standards are for a blog that did not exist in the first place. Limited to the jurors yeah I hope that people just to be sure now that I’ve been doing some sort of convoluted today to continue preceding this means that the affirmative  would have to defend that jurors have a right to nullify based on what they think is an unjust war. Whether they are correct in thinking that that is an unjust law although a lot of affirmative they’re gonna be a bit like uncontroversial dr justice’s like sharks already perceived injustice just a matter of recognizing the obviousness of some laws just not deserving to the first of her double talk about double talk about is that a ethical plural this is based in the US, Europe, or WTO.

Arguing that rather than looking at this comprehensively, medical workers form a single foundational principle that applies to every single circumstance or moral dilemma. Like where utilitarianism says no matter what he does and says what the categorical imperative is no morality in the real world like that RGR contextual to our period personal relationships plurality and we are set to stringent you are jewish where we had to hit me up on my contacts are very personal relationships what are believed to be peace of the departed it is that we have a duty to avoid causing unjust harm to others. Jury nullification is essential for jurors to avoid cutting in just trying to defect for whom they would be potentially sentencing too harshly or unpleasant conditions or something that people should not be. The first lady says while we do have a duty to uphold the world. That duty to uphold the rule is not as stringent in this particular case and powerless.

Besides that, contextual major roads they believe that we need to focus on three busty beauties that generally better and ought to be prioritized unless region based upon particular circumstance vs absolutely that are stringent no matter what we do. Every single other person that enables you to co-opt out of the framework debate negative yet obligation to follow the rule of law. Yeah that’s true but only if you prefer a more second is the evidence supports this after the after tension here is like really grabbed one article you should look at is the duty to disregard the law by Michael. Each year rhetoric exact argument that I just see and that the humor article effectively rebut virtually every stock. I can’t argue that make you miss article released another article should look at is one by Aaron Nick Knight of the united in shining armor. Called jury nullification have a truly about the delay I’m just thinking about what we talked about for more critical lens where your childhood depression, the structural violence is an affirmative legal realism.

The view that there is no objective or consistent body of rules or laws that govern the entirety of our society the very idea of a rule that I would believe some kind of objective rule just popped up oppressive power should be the main article. You are what you this is the best of the rule of law by john Hawkins it’s very and your contention is that jury nullification is opposed to this idea. From stable and objective body of jury nullification all about the beauty and understanding the particulars of the case, but yes juries are acting with the logic. Which means there are any of the heart the negative nicely but during the altercation are inevitable. The affirmative has been because it’s better to be realistic and recognize that the rule of you may have a role doesn’t matter is your contention levels is a jury nullification of an injectable other.

Determine if I think you should consider is a utilitarian affirmative that talks about how encouraging jury though the kitchen makes eventual legalization of marijuana inevitable. There are a lot like it jury nullification struggling just to argue that jury nullification about the kind of pressure that eventually we see you in National League old Asian marijuana. The jury nullification was credited with the end of prohibition of alcohol here goes more and more injuries or prosecutors that brought cases. Alcohol trial and legislators questioned your thought you would argue that legalization of marijuana is significant utilitarian benefit substantially we can start cartels which are causing lots of instability in mexico or maybe that it alleviates california’s drought which has a barber consequently.

There are lots of arguments as to why it legalization of marijuana would be good for a utilitarian standpoint there are also lots of arguments for why they would be bad from the utilitarian standpoint. Do I think they need to take advantage of it, there’s a debate certainly needs to be prepared for it if they want to read it. The reason why I think it’s an effective affirmative is because first is that it gives you by Rage Against critical Rd implementing where you can say that we lost our water is beneficial to minority communities are disproportionately police and second I think that if you’re like really really well trapped on the impact level that you can have negative globalization bad. That where you will efficiently and effectively would be before I talk about the fourth and final offer. If I want to talk about what we wanted to get her to talk about why I think that would be the effect of service is it is directly in answer to the most common topics impact or entirety. And second is something affected with that this affirmatives critical condition of the negative positions or just like jury nullification and torque the attractive yeah.

That may be true but the negative conclusion that we didn’t look like jury nullification is therefore because they diverged from an objective rule. Juries are acting teeth directly we need to respect a jury nullification and instead embrace the actually blog great challenges just right but that ignores the will of irreducible subject. You could say that belief in the rule of what they all of the impression that clark never will be able to leave only be able to predict a sin bet because we can acknowledge that your ego should have to do a better job. If people do so for the title of her new position I want to talk about the Constitution affirmative.  There’s an article that you should in to fight way that call jury nullification that’s hot secret alright and talk about how the historical roots of our supplemental right to a trial by jury. That the purpose of that check back against government austerity and you could argue that jury nullification you the kind of checks and balances over constitutional to ensure that unaccountable government can’t hold us to blocks that violate our individual rights.
Freedom as modified in the constitution I can just affirm is particularly effective birth illegal topic so the competition winners pretty good. Second because I get to the negative article journal criminal unconstitutional even though this affirmative can be turned it’s gonna be pretty difficult. A lot about which of the contention though they will get a negative view that I wanted to really awesome article by Teresa colorway gon gives you a call jury. Know if he did bibliography about the topic and give the gift of you to the article with decisions to summarize the articles. You can assess whether they’re useful before you go out and read which is the purpose of dedicated that we are gonna be really helpful. So to talk about 8:30 the rule of law and we argue that we have a moral obligation especially jurors do you do if we execute all the love that are on the books and the jury nullification inconsistent with their subjectivity in 2011. Your bad kind of like a codified where you can have two individuals jailed because the jury happens to choose to decide between a factual question bill and then you have one person who was you know they can get a ride but they get laid off because the jury they happen to have was a church. Which means that the law would create country and that’s not really the execution one. That’s true that if better for people who care about jury to pursue political activism flight recorder directed by the justice rather than underlying fundamental obligation of a jury only decided a factual question second. That you can say that it was subjectively welcome as long as what he’ll wait southern jury would know. If I heard during the jim crow or and also how rivers sure you know he should might result where you have jury guilty even when someone was actually not guilty. They don’t like the person they might be like oh you know this person kind of rough looking now they probably didn’t do anything but I don’t want to have dinner at my studio right. So you know you could have people act very very arbitrary. You could say the affirmative fails due to the justice they say is a prerequisite. Alternatively you could make the argument that Socrates didn’t go away he said that people have a moral obligation to follow all of the love of a city so I think that’s what he should get your free where he’s looked at it to death for corruption and when he was in jail. And why do you take so you can watch you’ll have an obligation to respect the city but anyway to continue there’s a variation on the negative Cape the democracy and see where you could say that juries would be acting in a way that is democratically accountable because a group of 12. It’s birding a law that it usually station like democratically-elected legislation that it only takes one to know for someone that will not guilty because jury ruled unanimously on a bill would take no one person or no majority rule and in other markets. You don’t invest that much power industrial powers which means that your notifications on this is similar to the rule you gotta follow up a lot in the book, but it’s interesting that on that which I think the rule of argument more effective to be effectively paired with a counter plan. Where you argue that instead of encouraging jury nullification we should encourage prosecutorial discretion. Prosecutorial discretion is where the prosecutor would be essentially know why they refused to predict to keep the trial out of moral corruption or be tried because the same effect of jury nullification, but invest that the prosecutors said. A jury on this article by Orin Kerr BERR the problem with jury nullification where he argued that prosecutorial discretion in better than during our focus prosecutors are democratically accountable if they had the ultimate ability to do it the way they kept out of. The best argument against that what happens with democracy really more like I know right, but that’s what the counterpoint good because prosecutors nullified instances where there’s like obvious just checking back again yes some of the worst decisions that a democracy questions of competition that Carolyn probably out of the only two people that we could have no heightened prosecutorial discretion. And no more jury nullification of the death of others liked the name of Glenn Harlan Reynolds who argue that jury knows he should we get the power is a direct 0. Where the more we invested more courage during patient or that we can play a role and influence that prosecutors would be logical to you lest they get to the shin that I want to talk about it. That jury nullification during the rate is that sort we’ve been used in the affirmative assumption that you’re you know he should result in just two decisions is in a horrible and fundamentally flawed. In the ocean I think this is a particularly effective strategy. A lot of affirmative is going to assume that jury nullification results in juxtaposition just gonna be like, justice matters more liberal arts funding and just as important but you wouldn’t jury nullification more of the nation they make they will know my father did not consequences so I don’t have to win that. So what even if their permission slips that just means that they are permitted. The consequences of inaction are the only two that matter to her, but what does matter to morality under their framework that the injustice as they claim are bad for whatever reason it actually don’t. You be the judge and jury nullification counterproductive for GV name that you want to achieve what you like. They do have to win that essential to close this is kind of a lot of some of the common affirmative and negative positions on the topic the floor and ceiling gives you a general overview of what the topic looks like it used to take it in any direction you are in any direction the topic takes you back and got him up. Research go again I’m a Lincoln Douglas champion was happy to provide a topic analysis, if you have any questions at all about the topic itself, but I covered in this topic analysis you can email me at Tomas de debates at gmail thank you and I hope you have a good one.

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