Lincoln-Douglas Debate 2013 November/December Topic

Topics: Law, Common law, Attorney-client privilege Pages: 7 (2385 words) Published: August 23, 2014
Lincoln-Douglas Debate
2013 November/December Topic
In the Unites States criminal justice system, truth seeking ought to take precedence over attorney-client privilege. Affirmative
I affirm the resolution that in the Unites States criminal justice system, truth seeking ought to take precedence over attorney-client privilege. The primary argument in favor of abandoning the attorney-client privilege is that it undermines truth seeking in the criminal justice system. Melanie B. Leslie, Law Professor from the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, wrote, “Consequently, the contents of attorney-client communications are extraordinarily relevant and reliable evidence. If the point of litigation is to deduce the truth, why exclude attorney-client communications? Most evidentiary rules further the search for truth. Hearsay is excluded as unreliable, character evidence as unduly prejudicial. The law of privileges is a stark exception because it conceals evidence that is highly reliable and probative. We tolerate attorney-client privilege because we suppose that without it, fear or ignorance would cause clients to omit, slant, or falsify information when consulting attorneys. Perhaps unwittingly, clients would forfeit the opportunity to obtain sound legal advice. The privilege, therefore, enables clients to function effectively in the legal system. The price is the exclusion of relevant and reliable evidence.” In a fair trial, both the defendant and the accuser swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. This cannot occur if the defendant tells the attorney of the heinous crime, and the attorney covers up the tracks for his guilty client. This breaks the oath by not telling the whole truth under oath, and May possibly let a guilty man be let free even tough he is in all rights guilty. The privileged even excludes evidence that is related to but not necessarily a part of what is covered in by the privilege. As a democracy the U.S is formed around the idea of the social contract in which idea that citizens will give up certain rights, to a certain degree, in order for the government to protect the populace and effectively serve justice. The way the government upholds its end of the contract is through its laws, meaning that breaking the law will result in consequence. If the laws are broken and there is no punishment then the laws don’t serve their purpose meaning the government can’t serve its purpose either. Attorney client privilege makes it harder for the guilty to be convicted and result in a larger number of incorrect verdicts. Therefore the law isn’t upheld, the guilty go free and the law process ineffective. More importantly, however, the innocent aren’t protected and therefore this undermines the purpose of the social contract. As a democracy the U.S is formed around the idea of the social contract in which idea that citizens will give up certain rights, to a certain degree, in order for the government to protect the populace and effectively serve justice. The way the government upholds its end of the contract is through its laws, meaning that breaking the law will result in consequence. If the laws are broken and there is no punishment then the laws don’t serve their purpose meaning the government can’t serve its purpose either. Attorney client privilege makes it harder for the guilty to be convicted and result in a larger number of incorrect verdicts. Therefore the law isn’t upheld, the guilty go free and the law proves ineffective. More importantly, however, the innocent aren’t protected and therefore this undermines the purpose of the social contract. With this essentially immoral, albeit perfectly legal arrangement, we have surrounded ourselves with lies, and locked ourselves up within a system that perpetuates further lies. Our jails are filled with people who are incarcerated for all the wrong reasons, a miasmic haze of generalized guilt-- unspecified and totally disconnected from...
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