First debate that we had yesterday was on the motion THW allow the use of illegally obtained evidence. This was the main debate for selecting people who shall participate in Vilnius Open 2007. Below one can find the plan and some of the introduced as well as not introduced arguments can be found.
- Plan proposed
Allow usage of all illegally obtained evidence; however, still punish people for the illegal act of getting the evidence
- Gov’t arguments
– To discover the ultimate truth, all possible evidence should be considered (even if it is obtained by illegal means). This would allow the court to take a better decision (having better information) that would lead to fairer decisions and higher efficiency of the justice system. This could be supported by illustrations about the cases where such kind of evidence would appear and when actually a person would keep evidence to herself (usually offenders try to get rid of all the evidence). Illustrations would then be used to back the case, plus it would give a better structure for further debate. Examples of illustrations:
* high profile cases (political corruption, mafia bosses etc.) where offenders keep evidence (different notes, videos etc.) that could be stolen and presented in the court;
* in cases where police fails to follow the procedure and it leads to foolish consequences (policeman not citing rights to mafia boss, makes the boss walk away freely).
– Allowing lesser crime to be committed to solve a more serious crime. Government can argue that not all crimes are the same (that’s the reason why they have different punishments) and that the ultimate goal of the justice system is to prevent and discover those crimes that are the most serious (murder, rape, child abuse, armed robbery etc.), even if we stimulate burglary to get the evidence;
– Still there should be a good ruler used to show that it makes sense to give up some rights of potential offenders to protect the rights of victims. So this debate had to cover argumentation about offenders vs victims rights, and where should we draw the line of right abuse.
- Opp arguments
– Snowball effect that one crime will lead to several other crimes (to get the evidence). If we allow to commit crime to solve other crimes, we actually stimulate our society to increase the general crime level. Plus if we see that the punishment has not prevented the first crime (say murder), how come the punishment would prevent or stop stimulating next crimes to get evidence (say burglary). That further could prove increased crime level;
– The aim of the justice system is to find & punish guilty people as well as to prevent further crime. However, the plan would motivate further crime thus contradicting the fundamental aim of the justice system that could lead to complete degradation of it. Furthermore, we already admit that ends don’t justify means, for example, we don’t allow to steal even if the things stolen are donated to poor people (would Robin Hood be sentenced?);
– Most likely the plan would be used by police forces themselves (not by a victim or a guy next doors). The question arises if it is reasonable to allow police to break the law to get evidence. One should also consider that police is the only force having weapons and other equipment, so it would be very risky to let these people actually brake the law;
– The plan would stimulate usage of torture to get evidence. If we currently have problems preventing, discovering and punishing for torture, would this plan make it any better? Possibly Opp could go on and run whole torture case in their side.
- The Result
1OPP – less mistakes made, reasonable arguments introduced;
2OPP – role fulfillment (extension), losing ground on whip speech
1GOV’T – most of Gov’t arguments introduced, 2GOV’T doesn’t come up with extension and new material
2GOV’T – almost no reasonable extension, whip speaker doesn’t even mention it, most of ideas are just taken from 1GOV’T