Feb 1, 2008

Resolved: Hate crime enhancements are unjust in the United States

The March-April Lincoln-Douglas topic is in:
Resolved: Hate crime enhancements are unjust in the United States.
Another "In the United States" resolution--what's the deal, NFL? Maybe they're saving their cosmopolitanism for nationals.

Anyhow, watch this space for analysis, links, observations, contentions, and contentiousness over the coming days and weeks. Be sure to comment and ask plenty of good questions, too.

To get you going:

1. The core Aff value is probably going to be justice. Think back to a previous resolution concerning plea bargaining: what specific form of justice are we talking about? Does a "hate crime" enhancement throw off or ensure proportionality? Does it strengthen or weaken deterrence? How much do victim's rights matter when deciding a fitting punishment?

2. Why "in the United States?" Are there uniquely American styles or views of justice that we must consider? How does Constitutionality come into play?

3. On the Aff, do "hate crime" enhancements create a form of oppression--an Orwellian "thought crime?" Doesn't the First Amendment, at its core, allow people to believe bad things? Does it really matter why someone commits a crime, if they acted with intent? Will "hate crimes" enhancements lead to the very same discrimination they're intended to stop? Will it create a form of sadistic martyrdom?

4. On the Neg, what societal good do "hate crime" enhancements create?

More--much more--to come! (Still working on last month's nuclear weapons res.? Click here.)

For folks new to the concept: Wikipedia has a decent rundown on American hate crimes legislation. A "hate crimes enhancement," per US Sentencing Guidelines, allows prosecutors to seek stiffer penalties for crimes "because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person."

In other words, if you punch someone in the face, you could be guilty of assault, and serve, say, two years in prison. If you punch someone while yelling a racial slur, should the punishment be harsher? What might make a "hate crime" worse than a similar offense?



Update: It might be philosophically justifiable, but what if hate crime legislation has an unanticipated--and unjust--result?

Update 2/6: Enforcement, as an empirical matter, is considered.

Update 2/7: I look at US Sentencing Guidelines as a clear way to define hate crime enhancements, and consider a couple resulting arguments.

Update 2/10: I examine whether hate crimes are qualitatively unique.

Update 2/11: Further problems in enforcement are noted.
http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif
Update 2/17: I consider a second definition of hate crime enhancements, and potential consequences for the affirmative.

Update 2/18: Hey, Negatives. How about 6 reasons why hate crime enhancements are, in fact, just?

Update 2/21: Casting aside my initial skepticism, I show how a Rawlsian can approach the resolution.

Update 2/22: Retributivism, it is claimed, comes in two forms. How do they relate to the resolution?

Update 2/23: Hate crime enhancements can influence the plea bargaining process. Might this lead to injustice?

Update 2/24: I show how much hate crime enhancements vary from state to state.

Update 2/29 Looking for evidence that HCEs deter crime? Me, too.

Update 3/8: With a reader's help, I consider some ideas for Aff cases, as well as sample Neg cases.

139 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for starting a discussion on this!

a very generalized question: i'm confused as to what exactly the resolution means by "hate crime enhancement"... do you think you can clarify the resolution? does it mean enhancement for hate crimes as in becomming a higher law/legislation issue?

?confused?
THANKS

Jim Anderson said...

Answered above, I hope.

Anonymous said...

i am confused on what it means... any one have a suggestion?

bluejay9 said...

this topic is stupid!!! i dont get it. HELP!!!!

josh cole said...

I don't think you can dismiss intent so easily. Intent is the difference between manslaughter and homicide and suicide. Killing people because of categorization is a unique crime because it discriminates categorically, not individually.

That being said, proof of intent has always been tricky. But I think you already knew that?

Okie Debater said...

First off, I just want to say thanks for all the posts about the nuclear weapons and plea bargaining topics. So far, I've managed to go 14-0 this year. I'm kind of looking forward to this new topic, although it seems incredibly short compared to the last one! Now is when the real work starts...

KSdb8r Tom said...

well on the first anon. person:

The resolution basically says, that, If i punched a black man in the face. I'll be given a punishment of one year in prison. But if i punched him in the face while shouting racial slurs and not for my own gain, but just for hate for all african americans. Should i get that year in prison for the punch AND a further punishment? that further punishment is a hate crime enhancements.

Like josh cole said, a big debate will be whether or not the accusation of the crime is from hate will be arbitrarily executed. but i disagree with his implications that that is all the topic will be about.

for the aff, you can make the claims of, that HCE's are unfairly distributed, or that they don't work as an effective deterrent of crime.

for the neg,( i think there will be a huge bias) that HCE's should be administered because the physcological effects of the crime will have dehumanizing effects, that go past the physical effects "from the punch" , and that a sentence for that punch AND the dehumanization is just. so..two punishments for two bad things.

in the united states doesn't really have much of an impact on this subject like the original poster implies. it just wants to limit our debate about hate crimes happening here in the U.S. and not everywhere else.

Jim Anderson said...

KSdb8r Tom, I respectfully disagree about the importance of "in the United States." The American legal system is based on specific rights and procedures which other democracies may or may not include. There are real and appreciable differences, for example, between the U.S. and French conception of "burden of proof," among other things.

Also, it allows the Aff or Neg to use constitutionality as a standard.

that kid said...

hey thanks from plea bargaining, i managed to go undefeated with my Aff case, unfourtunatley with my neg, not so much.

Okay, so this time my AFF value is definitley going to be Social Justice, in which me definition is going to be something like -->
[Trying to make a society just. We need to be anti-racist, is anti-sexist, anti-homophist, anti-classist basically, a society against agreesion. A society where one can have the oppurtunity to self-actualize.]
but i cant find no good VC, could you please help me with that?

And i've got no V/VC idea at all for my neg.......

Jim Anderson said...

that kid, your "social justice" value seems to work better for the Neg. This is another aff-that-says-it's-unjust resolution, which bothers me, but that's how they wrote it.

For a criterion for social justice... you could look to protecting minority rights, reducing discrimination and prejudice, communitarianism, Kantian conceptions of human dignity and equality... the list goes on and on.

that kid said...

thank you.

Haha. my bad. I meant I have no V/VC for my Aff, and Social Justice is for my neg

Allie said...

okay, i need serious help. I am pretty new to this whole debate thing, so i feel extremely inept. For a Neg case, would safety be a good value or value/criterion?

Jim Anderson said...

allie, if the purpose of justice (at least in this resolution) is to keep society safe, then sure, safety could be your value on the Neg. One supposed reason "hate crimes" merit a longer sentence is that those who commit them are more dangerous than the average felon.

that kid said...

okay, in my Aff i argue that hate crime laws are abused by the accuser's, hate crime laws are politically motivated not morally motivated and hate crime laws cause false categorizations about the minorities.

What would be a good V/VC?

Anonymous said...

could you use the argument that hate crimes could lead to genocide which deserve further action?

Anonymous said...

Hey! does anyone know where to get any good cards on both sides? i would use google, but the range is to big.

DD said...

We could argue that the U.S. Criminal justice system is hating on hate crime criminals because of their beliefs.

And then there is the question of how are we going to know what is exactly going on in the defendant's head. We have to be able to prove that something is a hate crime

Jim Anderson said...

DD, though, to be fair, mens rea is a requirement for many, many crimes. 'Tis the difference, say, between manslaughter and murder.

Dirk Pitt said...

Okay, since it states in the United States, the Aff can use the following sections and amendments from the Constitution to help support that HCEs are unfair punishments:
Article 3, Section 2
The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; to all Cases…

Amendment 14, Section 1
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States… nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Jim Anderson said...

Dirk Pitt, ah, but then there's Wisconsin v. Mitchell, which ruled that hate crime enhancements can be written in a constitutional manner. I don't know how strong a constitutional standard would be for the aff--my guess is not terribly strong.

Anonymous said...

why does everyone use justice for their value?

Jim Anderson said...

anonymous, they don't have to--justice could be instrumental toward some greater good. That said, an affirmative can argue that justice is the value inherent in the resolution because of its wording and its burden to prove HCE "unjust," so all other values are secondary.

Couch said...

I havent any clue on this resolution, I was thinking that hate crimes are more dangerous and lead to genocide, but I cannot find a V/Vc to support my arguement.

couch said...

or use rawls theroy of justice with the veil of ignorance, and say that we are convicting two felons for the same crime, and diffrent punishments. Because through the veil of ignorance, all bias is unknown?

Jim Anderson said...

Couch, for the genocide argument, you'd first have to show that enhanced penalties somehow "solve" for hate crimes in a way that prevents genocide. That seems to be a fairly difficult argument to support.

Also, Rawls' veil of ignorance is supposed to be the "original position" of a social contract. It's a way of thinking about equality, not a moral obligation to be unbiased.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of running justice wouldn't be equally distributed if the negation were to pass (this is an aff argument)

would that be good?

Anonymous said...

ok, so in my area, we didn't debate the nukes topic, and jumped straight to HCE. i had about a week to write both of my cases and i went undefeated on my neg case, but my aff case was a different story. how does the aff get around the arguement of Wisconsin v. Mitchell and how the SC unheld HCE to be constitutionally just. i really don't like this topic, there is so much bias, the neg almost always wins if they are a decent debater and have a halfway good case. the judge almost always see's the neg's point of view and agrees with it more readily. and if the neg doesn't bring up actual court cases, they will bring up fighting words, which aren't protected under the first amendment. so, my big question is, how can the aff possibly win?

Anonymous said...

hello,
can u give me some criterions that i can use for both aff and neg...also, for affirmative we are saying hate crimes are unjust, and in neg, we are saying hate crme are just...am i on the right track..?..

Jim Anderson said...

Anonymous 1, that's require a little more explanation than you've provided.

Anonymous 2, who says the Constitution is just? For "fourscore and seven years," the Constitution, at least according to the Supreme Court, permitted slavery. Constitutionality is a shifting standard, and can be easily defeated by a more rigorous notion of justice.

In Wisconsin v. Mitchell, the Court essentially was upholding the Constitutionality of antidiscrimination law, and extending its reasoning to hate crimes. In that vein, you might also research why antidiscrimination laws are unjust.

Anonymous 3, well, sorta. The Aff has to show it's unjust, but the Neg doesn't have to show that it's just--only that it's not unjust. Some things aren't just or unjust. But I'd imagine most Negs will naturally try to show why HCEs are just.

fr said...

ok, so does anybody have any good statistics for the aff that show that HCEs don't deter crime? i haven't been able to find any. also, what would be a good V/VC pair for aff. right now, mine is justice/fairness, but i would like to go for something more sophisticated. please help! i have a tournament on friday!

Couch said...

I dont think i worded my VOI argument very well. This is my criterion paragraph,

Veil of Ignorance-The key point is that, in the veil of ignorance, a person does not know who they are in the real world. These things that a person does not know in the veil of ignorance are things that cannot be controlled by the social contract for the design of the society, so there is no point discussing how these things will get distributed among the persons. The design of society does, however, determine what happens to persons and how a lot of other things, like education, health care, welfare and job opportunities, will get distributed among the persons in society. The idea is that persons in the veil of ignorance will end up designing a society that will be fair to everyone because they don't want to risk ending up in an intolerable position themselves. Therefore, if we are to use the veil of ignorance as a criterion, we could not create a rule in a just society that values a hate crime higher or lower than a standard crime, because of the lack of bias in the society.

Jim Anderson said...

fr, still looking for any good evidence about hate crimes and deterrence. But is deterrence the goal of punishment? That depends on your case--if you're a retributivist, deterrence is only a tangential benefit of punishment.

couch, I see. The problem is, the resolution describes a real society--the U.S.--not a hypothetical, perfectly just, perfectly unbiased situation as described in Rawls' scenario.

Dirk Pitt said...

I looked up the Mitchell vs. Wisconsin verdict and saw the verdict. Granted, committing crime is bad and the MO of a criminal is important, but as you stated, is it just to punish someone just because they believe in something bad?

Anonymous said...

Alright, so I've just received this new LD topic and I can't quite get a grasp around the whole of it yet. (Usually takes me a few days to fully understand the potential) However, I have a negative case v/vc in place and I was hoping you might evaluate it a bit for me?
My Value would be that of Societal Welfare and My Criterion would be Retributive Justice. In order for us to uphold our society and justice throughout, we have to match a punishment to fit the crime. Hate crimes are more brutal and therefore we must pass enhancements to define more "brutal" punishments. Critiques please?

Joanna said...

Hmmmm...not nearly as exciting as the nuke war topic...and I bet that the stock cases for this will be ksdb8r tom suggested. Nevertheless, I think that it would be waaaay fun to run some crazy kritiks on this topic. Maybe biopower? my personal fave would be securitization aka fear of death, but the link might be tough. wat do y'all think?

Jim Anderson said...

anonymous, I'm not sure about the brutality angle. Even if it's true that hate crimes are, on average, more brutal, then we're not enhancing them for the connection to prejudice, but for the brutality of method.

Consider a guy who punches random targets "for fun." Why should his sentence be any less than someone who punches, say, only octogenarians "for fun?" Isn't it the senseless brutality of the action that merits the punishment, and not the prejudiced choice of victim? And which should society fear / wish to deter more, someone who attacks unpredictably, or someone who chooses only predictable targets?

Anonymous said...

I'm debating this topic at State in only two weeks and havent written cases yet!
Affirmative: I was think V would be Justice defined as equality in enforcement and punishment. VC would be consistancy and proportionality. Then I was going to use the US Sentencing Guidelines definition for Hate Crime Enhancement and adding this observation:
Observation 1: The definition of hate crime enhancement clearly states that the courts are determining the crime is a hte crime, "beyond a reasonable doubt." Thus, the negative has the burden to prove to you that although we are not ever 100% a hate crime has actually occured, they are still just. Note also that by this definition of hate crime enhancements, not all classes are protected, thus hate crime enhancements are distributed disproportionaly within our society.

What do you think so far?

Jim Anderson said...

anonymous, I'm not sure about the 100% proof argument--in criminal justice, the "reasonable doubt" standard isn't 100% proof. Mathematical certainty just isn't humanly possible.

To your second argument, you might also consider that the hate crime protected classes have changed over time. You could burden the Neg to demonstrate non-arbitrary reasons for the inclusion of each protected class.

Couch said...

"Jim Anderson said...

Also, Rawls' veil of ignorance is supposed to be the "original position" of a social contract. It's a way of thinking about equality, not a moral obligation to be unbiased."

How would I refute this?

Jim Anderson said...

couch, I don't think Rawls should come near this resolution. Consider what George Fletcher writes in "Political Theory and Criminal Law":

Justice in criminal law is invariably ex post. The facts are always asymmetrical. Someone is an aggressor and someone else is a victim. This is the reason that ex ante systems of thought--either economic analysis or Rawlsian distributive justice--cannot answer detailed questions about the criminal law.

Anonymous said...

I note that most of you seem to be confusing intent and motive. The intent is merely whether i meant to disobey the law or if i did it on accident. Hate crimes are a case of motive, or why they did it. There is a massive difference and you might not want to make that mistake in your cases

Anonymous said...

STOP HATING ON RAWLS!!

Anonymous said...

Do you guys think i could get away with valueing morality on the neg?

Jim Anderson said...

anonymous talking about motive, you're correct to distinguish motive and intent. Intent is what "really matters" in the charging of a crime. Motive is a reason for the crime, which may or may not come into play in the adjudication. (See here for details.)

However, we need to be even more specific when talking about bias crimes. The prejudiced choice of victim is what determines whether a crime is a "hate crime." This, like intent, must be proven "beyond a reasonable doubt," according to US Sentencing Guidelines.

couch said...

but through rawls can we not show that a criminal who commits a hate crime is equal to one that commits a standard crime?

Dirk Pitt said...

Yes, you can prove that Rawls stated that criminals who commit hate crimes are no different that ordinary criminals.

Dirk Pitt said...

I like it so far, anonymous, for proving that it must be "beyond a reasonable doubt." as a observation. But why not make it a contention?
To Jim, yes it may be impossible to have 100% certainity, but it states "reasonable". That includes over 90% of the American population. So that argument could work.

Jim Anderson said...

couch and dirk, if you can find a place in Rawls' writing that says that hate criminals are (or aren't!) different from normal criminals, I'd love to see it.

Again, from Fletcher:

It is tempting to rest legitimacy on a theory of social contract, a hypothetical contract that all citizens would agree to in order to achieve a just and stable society. Since Rawls reawakened the field of distributive justice in 1971, this technique has become commonplace among social and moral philosophers. Contract theories work with regard to distribution ex ante--that is, with regard to initial allocation of resources. Yet in the field of corrective and retributive justice, we cannot ignore the asymmetry of established facts: Some people are victims and others are wrongdoers. This is easily illustrated by trying to apply Rawls's theory of the original position to the question of whether those defending against rape should be able to use deadly force. If you ask yourself "Which rule would I choose in the original position if I did not know whether I would be a victim or a rapist in real life?", the results will be unsatisfactory. You might reason, "Well, as a rapist, I would not want to be killed." Alternatively, you might say, "As a potential victim, I would want to kill to protect myself." There is no way to formulate a rule that would satisfy both sides. In Rawls's system, the maximin principle assures that the least advantaged can accept the outcome of deliberations in the original position. But the maximin principle will not work in the concrete cases of imperfect justice that we encounter in criminal cases.

It's also important to note that Rawls' social contract permits certain inequalities, as long as they benefit the least advantaged. That's the "Difference Principle." Rawls isn't a pure egalitarian.

August said...

Anon, i don't know if you could. It'd really depend on the case and how you used it. The criterion will be what makes or breaks your case. (also, i have the perfect morality block)

Anonymous said...

Why is it that the NFL is so obsessed with the court system this year? did someone get arrested???

Couch. said...

What about using Justice and the social contract(locke) and say because we agree to give up rights to society, and it is the gov. obligation to protect rights, hate crimes provide a threat not to one victim, but the entire race, gender, etc as a whole because of the intent of the crime is only because of these issues. Therefore the enhancments must be implace to protect the rights of these individuals,which is the moral obligation of the socitiey. .

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about saying HCEs would lead to more discrimination and racism which is contradictory of its purpose but I can't think of a good VC to put that under.

Also it is very hard to have other contentions with that idea because the aff mostly uses means-based arguments and that idea is ends-based thus it would be contradictory.

Can anyone help me with this dilemma?

Jim Anderson said...

Couch and Dirk (and others interested in Rawls), though John Rawls didn't really tackle the problem of punishment using his social contract analysis, and though others see such an application as fatally flawed, there are some who have picked up the Rawls torch in this arena. Sharon Dolovich is one [pdf]. If I get time, I'll post some relevant analysis of that massive paper. If you can't use Rawls directly, at least you might be able to use a Rawlsian.

Cassidy said...

alright, so my cases are outlined for this new topic, with regionals a mere two and a half weeks away. these unwritten cases fatal flaw is their lack of v/c.
in my affirmative, the primary focus is on motive and Orwelian like thoughtcrime. in negative, it's societal good, disproportional attacks, and deterrent means.

i've read this blog for a while now, never posting.

but now, at risk of sounding like an unprepared loser...

could anyone suggest value/criterion?

couch said...

hello Jim, how are you?

well, I did as you said and threw the rawls argument, but I was wondering is this have any strength. Input please.

Hobbs theory of Justice-Hobbs defines Justice as created by public, enforceable, authoritative rules in their relation to morality. , and injustice is whatever those rules forbid or set implace upheld by

Moral Relativism-moral relativism is the position that moral or ethical propositions do not reflect objective and/or universal moral truths, but instead make claims relative to social, cultural, historical or personal circumstances -The "status quo" can be found in the law. The law essentially protects against socially proscribed wrongs. The status quo supports hate crime enhancements, and thus is a reflection of what the MAJORITY of society sees as wrong. Moral relativism upholds the "status quo" in the fact that social circumstances have deemed it worse to kill someone because of their ethnicity, etc. This stems from the idea that if you kill somone because their African american, you now pose a threat to every member of society who is of African descent. Morals are based in society and society has termed that hate crimes are dire than other crimes, then hate crimes enhancements are just.

Jim Anderson said...

cassidy, your value: justice. Your criterion: preserving freedom of thought. As Benjamin Cardozo put it, " Of that freedom one may say that it is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom." Your thesis would be that the state that violates freedom of thought is unjust. Does that work?

Jim Anderson said...

couch, I'm great. An interesting spin on the Neg there.

Moral Relativism is always a risky proposition, because it leads one to admit that, in the past, racism wasn't wrong if a majority didn't believe it was wrong. If your opponent has a more objective definition of morality, they might be able to topple yours.

But I think you're on to something. The resolution says "in the United States" and "are," which places it in the present day, real-world context. Thus, since the United States is a democratic republic, its laws, to be legitimate, must be accepted by the majority. So, you basically take a similar argument, and cast it in democratic, rather than morally relativist, terms.

In essence, you're positing a contractarian analysis of morality, much like the one Sharon Dolovich posits in the article I linked to. Your value would be justice, defined in those Hobbesian terms, but your criterion would be something like "democratic legitimacy" or "social contract" or the like.

Anonymous said...

Hello. This is an awesome site. I just wanted to ask if anyone knows what the standard hate crime enhancement length is. By that I mean does anyone know of any specific cases or sections of US code that I could use to determine how much of a sentence enhancement we are generally talking about. Is it like a couple of years or like 50% extra?

couch said...

Hey Jim. can I send you my case Via email for criteqe?

Jim Anderson said...

anonymous, look at the 2/7 update up above. It's a great place to start.

couch (and others), I do my best to offer comments on cases, but my time is limited, with all the other work I have on my plate. Last minute "help I have a tournament tomorrow!" isn't terribly appealing to me.

couch said...

understandable. well Il just keep postingmy ideas

Well in the basis of my case I show how the intent has no connection to the justifying aim of punishment. I also show how. I also use the discriminatory selection definition and show how it could mean a crime against a minority and not motivaded by prejuduce, I am showiong how these have the same result and therefore deem the same punishment.

But I cannot think of a criterion.

of course I amvaluing just as said by aristotle.

If you can help

also, how do ytou become a member of this site?

Jim Anderson said...

couch, could be that your criterion is a form of retributivism--especially proportionality, that the punishment must "fit the crime." What determines that fit is how you go about arguing your case.

I'm not sure what you mean by a "member."

couch said...

can you further explan retributivism.

and those who have the "blue" under there name.

Cassidy said...

alrighty, jimmy,
i've always used justice as a value, however, i've never branched out to used a criterion that wasn't a specific philosophy, partly due to my coach's prefernce/restrictions.
i've been looking for weeks for a criterion that focus on freedom of thought, however...
is there some type of theory with a philosopher's backing with similar meaning?

Koreena said...

Hey Jimbo,
I am from the same school as Cassidy, and i really like the v/c you supplied us...
but...

Our coach wouldnt be too fond of it. Can you think of something more philosophical?
-because people will argue that my criterion (if i ran it) was a value.

thanks.
-Koreena

Jim Anderson said...

couch, I used retributivism in a sample shell for the plea bargaining resolution. You might find this helpful.

Also, those people in blue joined up at Blogger.com.

Cassidy and Koreena,
If you value "freedom of thought," and show that denying this freedom is unjust, you might be arguing along the lines of John Stuart Mill. (Note that not every reason Mill gives for valuing freedom might apply in these arguments.)

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a decent intro article to the philosophy grounding freedom of speech.

Koreena said...

Wow, you're amazing.

and if you dont mind me asking?...

how old are you, and where did you get all the knowledge and debate experience?

lpcp said...

Do you think if I got enough evidence backing up that hate crime enhancements increase hate crimes, I can uphold a vc of societal welfare on the aff? Is that too risky?

Jim Anderson said...

Koreena, I'm a sixth-year coach who never debated LD in high school, but has just learned the event like anyone else. (It helps to have a strong sideline interest in ethics and philosophy.)

lpcp, if you can find the causal link, and then somehow connect that to justice.

Dirk Pitt said...

Okay, so I couldn't find anything in Rawls about how criminals who commit hate crimes are the same as common criminals, so you're right, Jim.
However, for all on Aff who are using freedom of speech, go to http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/freedom-speech/#2.3. It has various philosophers and their beliefs on hate crimes.

Dirk Pitt said...

My bad. Someone already put the link onto the same website I said to go.

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is kind of a random question, but do you do a lot of judging in WA? If so, what's your paradigm? I was just curious as to what kind of LD critic you are.

Jim Anderson said...

I do judge in WA on occasion. My paradigm, in all seriousness, is don't ask for my paradigm. I think it sounds much more human to say, "What do you look for in a round?" or "Anything we should know before the round starts?"

That said, I'm a fairly traditional judge, mostly--shared burden of proof, strong criterion (usually where the debate really comes down), don't insult me with egregious fallacies. I have rarely met a kritik I liked--maybe just because they always come off as desperate. I have a distinct loathing for "spread" or "shotgun" approaches. I can handle speed just fine, but why eight contentions, an overview and an underview?

That said, I try to remain open to new ideas, and I have given low-point wins to those who won the arguments despite sinning in multiple categories.

Anonymous said...

I NEED HELP ON FORMING 2 AFFIRMATIVE CONTETIONS!

Rod said...

Hey, this site is awesome! thx for your tips Jim!


And whats up, Cassidy, Korena, And "Couch?"

Rod said...

By the way, for the veil of ignorance, I think that would make a great neg criterion, since if you didn't now your position in society, HCE would either end up benifiting you, or remaining neutral to you, assuming that you would be either a jewish person, or a white male.

what do you think of universalism for an aff criterion, since HCE do not apply to everyone?

thx.

Jim Anderson said...

Rod, perhaps you might explain your reading of universalism. Punishments are inherently un-universal, since they're only supposed to apply to criminals, and come in different degrees for different offenses.

Rod said...

opps.

I mean that, according to my sources, if an assailant singles out a victim since he is homosexual, and the assailant admits to attacking him only because he is homosexual, this is not considered a hate Crime since gays are currently not protected according to Hate Crime Enhancement Laws. Doesn't this violate universalism, since HCE cant be applied to everyone?

August said...

Rod: This argument hinges on how you define universalism. What's the value you are thinking of using?

Another argument one could make is that it's lack of universality promotes racism because it emphasizes how other groups are different from us.

another possible argument is that HCE's make more severe crimes occur; if someone's going to commit a racially crime and knows they're going to get a more severe punishment, then they are more likely to commit a more harmful crime as that will be more in line with their punishment. (Note: this is an application of the argument on why we should have stronger penalties then we do for people who commit crimes against children; although i know there is a body of research supporting this, at the moment i suggest you take this as hearsay and verify it yourself as i can't remember where i learned this.)

Rod said...

thanx. My value = justice, crit. moral universalism. I think the racism link is good, but being more likely to commit a violent crime based upon hate doesn't really make sence to me, since the sentence will be still be more severe for a violent crime based upon hate in comparison to one such as vandalism based upon hate.

are you saying that instead of commiting, say, vandalism with a swastica, that person will commit a violent crime without showing hate intent, thus getting the same punishment as the vandalism hate crime??

August said...

What i was trying to say was that if they know that the penalty will be MUCH worse then is proportional, they will commit a hasher crime because the penalty will be closer to the crime. After all, you can only give someone so many consecutive life sentences

Anonymous said...

Okay, so the tournament is in two days and I have totally procrastinated too long. Right now my problem is rebutting against aff speeches. For example, the argument about making punishments unequal is not just and that it values some lives over others what would be an arguement to that? Also on the fact that it infringes on the freedom of speech, could neg focus on the fact that we're not talking about hate speech, but rather on the fact that they committed a crime that was brought on by circumstances that victim could not help?

Gah! So confused.

Also about my cases. My aff. case only has one contention and I'm focusing on the fact that hate crime enhancements are not distributed fairly, so that could not be considered just.

My neg case is the thing about only having to prove one case in order for it to be not unjust. However, I can't find a way to explain it without sounding like an idiot. The way it is now is like because my vc is societal welfare, to be able to protect as many citizens as possible is the governments first priority, yadayadayada...

Thanks! This site has helped me a lot!

Rod said...

True.


I think Ill change my criterion

couch0 said...

Is this strong?

moral relatavism- what society deems as morally right constitutes justice, and currently hate crimes are morally just by the status quo of society?

Rod said...

For Anonymous:

For aff blocks, I recomend going over the fact that Hate Crimes ARE less moral, since the intent is that of predjudice, since they harm the entire group by showing that they are more vulnerable, and therefore, HCE are just since first, retributive justice is being shown to the criminal, and second, that criminals will be less likely to commit a crime based upon hate, since they know they will receive a greater sentence.

Hope this helps

couch said...

Can you use the rawlsian view of justice on neg...if so please explain...

Jim Anderson said...

couch, you'd argue that it ensures that bias crimes are deterred, and that minorities don't have to live in undue fear, a position that someone behind the veil of ignorance might make if they were uncertain of which group they'd belong to. I've posted a Rawlsian view of punishment here.

Brannden said...

hey, this is an awesome sight, i have an idea for the negative case, how about
Value: Justice, with a criterion of: egalitarianism, it allows for arguments saying that HCE's provide equality, by detering crimes.
Could i get some suggestions on how to bette argue this, because my neg cas efell through at my last tournament.

Rod said...

FOR ALL:

I recomend reading up on the wrongfulness-culpability paradigm, which states that the only two grounds that may justify unequal treatment of offenses in the situation of criminal law are the wrongfulness of the act and the guilt of the perpetrator. In the case of hate crime enhancement, the perpetrators guilt is multiplied since the perpetrator singles out a person of a specific ethnic group for the purpose of discrimination. Thus, the criminal deserves a greater punishment for the increased culpability of the action.

This could be a good criterion for a neg case if the value was retributive justice, or something among those lines. If you search the paradigm, the first site that pops up is the link where I got this from.

Please critique this, Jim.

Jim Anderson said...

brannden, that's a decent place to start. I'd consider some key questions:

1. How will you prove that HCEs deter hate crimes?
2. How does deterring hate crimes increase equality?
3. What exactly does "equality" mean?

Rod, it also appears that the first link is to a critique of the "wrongfulness-culpability paradigm," claiming it ignores the needs of the victim, and a subsequent proposal to replace it with the "fair protection paradigm." The FPP, which is outlined in the preview of the article, is actually a better argument for the Neg, since it provides that...

On this view, protection against crime is a good produced by the criminal justice system, which, like many other state-produced goods, should be distributed in an egalitarian manner.(8) Accordingly, the fair protection paradigm requires the state to take into account disparities among individuals in vulnerability to crime when determining their entitlement to protection.

If FPP means that the state has to use more resources to protect the vulnerable, then hate crime enhancements are just because they reduce the disparity in the state's allocation of protection resources. At least, I think that's where the argument is going. I'll have to track down the whole article.

Rod said...

Yup, the Fair protection paradigm is the one I meant.

Anonymous said...

But it wouldn't be in a egalitarian manner according to your own arguements of unequal enforcements, and the fact that HCE's are distributively unjust.

couch said...

Anon. What we are saying is the punishments are qualitativly equal to the acts committed.

evelyn said...

Are there any legit websites that show progress or deterrence through hate crime enhancements?

Jim Anderson said...

evelyn, not that I've seen so far, but I'm still looking.

Anonymous said...

I have a question, that is of importance.

Can safety be transfered?

Anonymous said...

What are some examples of contentions I could have if I was running proportionality for my VC (For Aff)?

Kathy said...

I've been working on my Aff case, but I'm having a horrible time with a V V/C combo. That always seems to be my trouble. In past years, I've had upperclassmen and a coach to ask for help, but I moved to a new school where I am way more experienced than anyone else and the coach has no clue whats going on. Anyway...

I'm wanting to use:
C1 - All crimes have a bias behind them.
C2 - Determination of motive in this sense in unreliable.
C3 - Special protections undermine minorities and continues to recognize differences.

I think its a little different than the direction most people are going with the topic, but it fits my person views, so I think it would be a good case for me. I'm just not sure what philosophy or anything I can use to tie it all together. Any suggestions?

Jim Anderson said...

anonymous1, I'm not sure what you mean by "transfered."

anonymous2, think of good reasons why HCEs either underpunish or overpunish crimes--that's what "out of proportion" means. There are plenty of reasons given on the posts linked to above--and see below, too.

kathy, your first two are reasons why HCEs wouldn't be proportional (by virtue of the fact that they're not distinct from other crimes). Your third contention is more about human dignity and equality. I don't really see how those are tied together, unless you see retribution (the core of c1 and c2) as essential to restoring "Equal legal liberty for all," which might get you there.

Kathy said...

Jim, would it work to use V - Administration of Justice and VC - Retributivism or possibly dual V with Admin of Justice and Equal Legal Libery (as you said)? And do you have any suggestions of a place to find a good defination of Retributivism? I understand the concept, but something to cite.

P.S. Thanks for your help!

Jim Anderson said...

J. Angelo Corlett, in Philosophy, April 2003, Vol. 78, defines retributivism this way: "[T]that theory of punishment that advocates the hard treatment by the state of an offender (through an institutionally approved system of due process) because the guilty offender deserves it, based on her degree of responsibility and in proportion to the harm caused by her wrongful act, omission, or attempt."

He also warrants the criterion: "The point here is that the retributivist concept of desert...is none other than an admixture of two long-standing and essentially retributivist cluster concepts: responsibility and
proportionality... [A]ny plausible (positive) theory of punishment must make use of this concept of desert. For what positive theory of punishment would deny that only the guilty should be punished, and that only those responsible in the requisite sense be punished in proportion to the harm(s) for which the wrongdoer is being punished? And if it is true that these essentially retributivist concepts are required of any plausible positive theory of punishment, then it seems to follow that all such theories of punishment just are retributivist ones, at least, in a quite meaningful and significant sense."

Jim Anderson said...

Also, for those interested in retributivism, check out some of my blogging about the plea bargaining resolution.

Anonymous said...

So far a have:
V: Justice
C: ??
O1: Because the issue being debated evaluates the justness of an action that would be implemented upon the negation of the resolution, the negative has the burden of upholding the resolution on all grounds…(goes into detail to why)
C1: Unjust on a categorical level
A. Means are unjust b/c they’re punishing thoughts
C2: Deontologicaly unjust
A. Enhancements don’t deter crime
C3: Constitutionaly unjust
A. 5th amendment- double jeaprody
B. 14th amendment..not proportional

Okay, so I was think morality for a criterion but that’s to vaugue...too broad, how would governmental legitimacy work? If not..any ideas, any ideas would help!

Anonymous said...

If we're running that the definition of hate crime enhancement differs, thus causes unproportionality; what should we use as our definition of HCE. I'm afraid of contradicting myself and having to use my opponent's.

TY.

Amir Shah said...

Hey, love the site. IT really helped me win the last 4 debates in a row and get into my county's finals.

Just wondering if anyone has thought of any really good cross-ex questions to corner the opponent.

Thanks
-Amir

A Puzzled Debater Once said...

A couple of silly questions:

When the resolution says hate crime enhancements - do we discuss hate crime enhancements in general or also how there are only guidelines for hate crime sentencing...and then go on perhaps to discuss the differences in sentencing from state to state or the fact that prosecutors are given a powerful tool....
(is discussion of the legal aspect legitimate?)
Can I use the latter points although it is not discussing the hate crime enhancement itself ... I might just be dodging the real debate here, I don't know...

If one defines justice using philosophical definitions -i.e. Kant-- but there are other parts of his philosophy specifically dealing with justice that are more controversial but not essential to the debate... can one do that? Is it valid? Does it work?

For example one idea he presents that I like is that (if i'm understanding it) the justice system cannot punish an individual for the sake/means of proving a point or for any demonstration to society. The individual can only be punished for the actions. But he also goes on about how a State Head cannot be punished (I cannot reconcile myself with that point and if someone questioned other aspects such as this I don't know how well I could retaliate except by saying, I'm looking at a specific idea and I don't care about what he says regarding other areas...pardon the long aside)

Do the questions make sense?

Much gratitude in advance
and this blog is truly a remarkable resource especially for us lone LD debaters with next to no connections to the Debating world (except tournaments).

Jim Anderson said...

Puzzled, those aren't silly at all.

To the first, it depends on if that's how you want to take the argument. Certainly someone might retort, "We're talking about the enhancement itself, and not how it's applied or enforced," but that requires some explanation and defense itself. (It's the difference between de facto injustice and de jure injustice. Either, one could argue, is unjust. The Supreme Court has adopted that line of reasoning in its reading of discrimination laws, for example.)

Secondly, you don't necessarily have to adopt every aspect of Kant's philosophy. You're a Kantian, not Immanuel Kant himself. However, there are some grounding principles--the categorical imperative, for instance--that you can't really wrest his legal philosophy away from. How he treats the Head of State is, I think, a tangent that can be dismissed as irrelevant. The principles of retributivism are what really matter, if you're going to adopt that line of argument.

Does that help?

satej said...

first of all, this blog is awesome. thanks so much for posting this analysis for free.

secondly, i need help with my aff case. ive only lost once with it, but i want to strengthen it before the state qualifier. its basically:

V:J, defined by plato as the state in which a practice performs its intended function

vc: giving a punishment that performs its social function

then i use cesare beccaria and john locke to define the function of a just punishment to be
a. retributive,
b. deterrent, and
c. rehabilitative

my contentions basically say why HCE dont meet each of the standards of a just punishment.

comments? obvious weak spots? i can send you the specific arguments if this outline is too vague.

Jim Anderson said...

satej, there may be a problem if a, b, or c point us in different directions. However, there are many "mixed" theories of justice, so you're not "out there." Just be ready to answer for how all three are complementary, when someone else might claim they conflict.

Anonymous said...

I plan to talk in my aff case about why HCE simply don't work because of subjectivity and other reasons (retalitory violence, unbalanced system, etc.)
I don't really wish to address why they are inherently bad. I just wanna say that they are not practically applicable "in the US".
So how can I define justice to include not only ideology, but also practicality? I saw that this conflict arose with the Rawls VOI, because it was too ideological, so what should I do?
would using a criterion like pragmatism and empericism help? I don't really think that they link to justice well enough.
Any help would be appreciated.

Jim Anderson said...

anonymous, to sound more debater-ish, frame it in terms of "means" and "ends." Because HCEs are a real-world practice, it's a fair point to argue that their means, not only their ends, must be justified. A Kantian perspective might be appropriate here.

Jim Anderson said...

I also notice something: I should clarify what I said above about the Supreme Court. De jure discrimination--created by positive law--is unjust, even if the law that created it appears neutral (such as a literacy requirement for voting, which was used to deny black suffrage in the South). One test the Court has applied is whether the law creates a disparity so large as to appear intentional.

The Supreme Court has not found truly "de facto" (i.e., established by custom or circumstance) discrimination to be unjust.

Almayra said...

I need an idea for a vc on my neg case

v- Justice

c1- HCE provide proportionality
c2- HC are dehumanizing

thanks

Jim Anderson said...

almayra, it seems like you're set to use a Kantian criterion like retributivism. Kantian judicial ethics are based on proportionality--let the punishment fit the crime--and a Kantian can never permit dehumanization, which is a form of using people as means to an end.

debataholic said...

Hey Jim do you have any information on how HCE's are "backfiring" and are directed towards minorities.

Jim Anderson said...

Yep--in the first update, above.

debataholic said...

I was wondering..Do you think that using the vail of ignorance mixed with the difference principle on the neg would be a strong contention? Thanks

Jim Anderson said...

You could, but the reasoning behind it could be fairly complex. I talk about some issues related to a Rawlsian approach at the link listed above.

debataholic said...

How would you use consequentialism on the aff..other than saying same outsome=same punishment....Thanks

Jim Anderson said...

Actually, debataholic, "same crime = same punishment" doesn't necessarily flow from consequentialism, which is the position that the morality of our actions depends on their consequences. Thus, a consequentialist might call for lesser punishment if it helps an offender rehabilitate, or a greater punishment if it keeps society safe. It all comes down to which consequences we think are the right ones, and what action will get us there. It's not an exclusive criterion, since there might be more than one means to the same end.

So, to recap:

1. Choose the consequence that outweighs all other consequences.

2. Show why HCEs interfere with that consequence, or, worse, achieve the opposite. (Looking to the equality debate might work here--check the "unanticipated" link above.)

debataholic said...

hey jim.. tanks for all the help! just one quick question, i am running HCE's promote inconsistancy within the legal system on the aff. what do you think i should say regarding how inconsistancy=unjust

Jim Anderson said...

debataholic, your nickname is more appropriate than I imagined.

Inconsistency violates proportionality, since some will be punished more or less than they ought. It also violates "equal protection of the laws," a principle of justice guaranteed by the 14th amendment.

debataholic said...

Thanks for all the help!

just wondering said...

As aff. would it be possible and valid to create a case that shows that the negative case must always be of a socialistic nature and even if their case isn't that the argument they provide is only a secondary argument to veil the socialism and then give like ten reasons on why socialism in America is bad; then during the rebuttals to cross-apply your arguments to their case while maybe adding a few additional blocks/turns?

Anonymous said...

Hi! Thanks for all the blogs, they've been extremely helpful.

I'm thinking of using fairness as my vc for AFF, but I'm not sure what type of philosophy I could use to explain it. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

when i was AFF, they gave stats on how enhancements improved the society and how it was just, and gave ex. of how people were more psychologically damaged from hate crimes more than standard crimes. any suggestions on how to counter?

also, when i was NEG, AFF gave stats that minorities aren't protected and whites are prioritized over blacks. how could i counter that?

thanks!

Aylin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh Aberman said...

Jim anderson. i am in dire need of your help. for negative my value is jsutice giving each their due. For value criterion i have proper distribution of punishment. my first contention is the safety valve theory. can you give me another good contention for neg.
for AFFIRMATIVE i have nothing. i need a lot of help with that. a value and a value crieterion with some contentions. PLEASE HELP.

Jim Anderson said...

Hey all, I'm back from my National Board madness. Time for some comments.

just wondering, I'd be curious to see how you'd make that argument. Although the "even if it isn't, it really is" might not be too persuasive. But again, it depends on how you go about it.

anonymous1, fairness is most associated with Rawls. See the Rawlsian links above.

anonymous2, I think you've found your own answer. Counter one with the other--depending on your V/C, of course. Otherwise, your rebuttals totally depend on your V/C, or on finding empirics to refute the ones they offer, or on casting doubt on their studies or statistics. There's a lot going on in those links up there.

Aylin, why do you have to show harm to discourse? Isn't the fact that they're unjust in three ways good enough to affirm the resolution? Perhaps you could clarify your line of argument.

Josh, I know it sounds repetitive, but there are some great links up there where most of your questions have been answered, at least initially. Check 'em out. (Safety valve theory might work well with a utilitarian argument, for example.)

Anonymous said...

Hey could you please critique my ideas?
Aff.
V.Justice- the quality of being just, fair or impartial.
VC.Proportionality
C1.Hate crime are unjust on the societal level(how should I prove this?)
C2. Hate crimes are unproportional.
Neg.
V. Justice-giving each his due
VC. Societal Welfare
C1. Proportionality- corresponding in size, degree or intensity.
C2. Deterence
C3. Democractic Society

Aylin said...

I think discourse works great as value or even a vc because it's the essential prerequisite to everything. For example, if negative was arguing justice or even dignity, liberty, life-anything really...I could argue that the only way for society to derive an actual meaning o conception to any one of those values is to insure proper discourse within a society. Then I could argue that hate crime enhancements basically attempt deter hate speech, and aside from the obvious constitutional issues this is unjust because any policy that deters any voice or expression of opinions infringes on proper discourse. Any infringement of discourse leads to society having no means to develop a conception of Justice.
How's that sound?

Jim Anderson said...

Aylin, that makes more sense. However, I fear your discourse argument might be turned, as the Neg could say that Hate Crimes, through fear and intimidation, stamp out a whole group's access to discourse. The hypothetical harm to a bigot's free expression of hate speech (separate from the criminal action) is not as compelling. Furthermore, the greater psychological harms of hate crimes outweigh discursive impacts. (The Supreme Court used this line of reasoning in Wisconsin v. Mitchell.)

Anonymous said...

ok..os im working on my aff right before NFL districts.
do u think it would be smart to argue that it treats criminals differently?
such as..
the punishment can vary greatly on the orientation of a person, the social class etc etc.
so i mean..can i argue that..treating one crime differently and treating a criminal different is unjust?
im open to like..
ANY aff ideas wat so ever.
n v/c as well..im running justice.

August said...

For VC i'd run proportionality.

debataholic said...

Has anyone found any good statistics? I have been searching everywhere and i cant seem to find anything...

Anonymous said...

If aff runs an arguement saying hate crimes are unjust because they are arbitrary, (the vary from state to state, and the perception of what is and what isn't a hate crime really belongs to societal norms) what would be a good neg response to this?

Jim Anderson said...

anonymous, you might go with the "insignificance" response--all criminal laws vary from state to state. Plus, there are good reasons for this--different communities have different problems with Hate Crimes, and enforcing a single standard on every last one of them would be another step toward a super-State tyranny.

Any one of those responses might do.

Aylin said...

Okay that make sense. One more question though...
One of my affirmative arguements under that same "hate crime enahancements arbitrary" card is that hate crime enhancements actually cause greater phycological damage because the state deems racist speech against some minority groups as a hate crime and others as "acceptable". For example, in the state of montana crimes against gays and lesbians are not considered hate crimes but crimes against latinos would recieve an enhancement, so thus- this says one of two things...
a) hate speech against lationos is worst then hate speech against gays and lesbians
b)latinos are in need of more help by the state and this shows them to be inferior to other groups and thus need enhancements
Thus, either way greater phycological damage is caused.
...okay so first of all, does this make sense? And second of all, what would be the negative argument to this? Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Yea it does make sense. Basically what it says is that HCE are arbitrarily implemented, thus it doesn't achieve justice by disproportionately distributing dues, etc.

Neg response would be justification of arbitrary application by the 10th amendment which state that states are allowed to have different laws to treat their own unique set of problems. You could also say that all laws are arbitrary implemented so that it is non-unique to target HCE specifically as being arbitrary.