‘Case of the Week’ 8 (NCFCA): Flogging

Important Disclaimer: We pretty much just throw these together over the weekend, and don’t put a lot of work into them. Case of the Week cases are not subject to the same editorial process and stringent quality standards as the COG 2011 sourcebook, and are frequently contributed by non-COG authors. You will likely find material and sources in these cases that would not appear in the sourcebook. Also the backups are not intended to be complete. That said, we hope these cases will be useful to you; enjoy!

About the Author: Devin Creed after debating for years in the NCFCA  will be attending Hillsdale College this Fall. In 2009-2010, Devin, with his partner Andrew Min, dominated Region 10 and the rest of nation, winning the Massachusetts Open in addition to many other tournaments and coming in 7th place at the National Championship in Virginia Beach.

1AC: The Case for Flogging (Bring the Pain!)

By Devin Creed

America’s prisons are in a sorry state. According to the bipartisan Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons in 2006:

“Within three years of their release, 67% of former prisoners are rearrested and 52% are re-incarcerated, a recidivism rate that calls into question the effectiveness of America’s corrections system, which costs taxpayers $60 billion a year. Violence, overcrowding, poor medical and mental health care, and numerous other failings plague America’s 5,000 prisons and jails.”

With this in mind, my partner and I stand Resolved: The United States Federal Government should significantly reform its criminal justice system.

Today, we will be presenting an alternative to the present prison system. It is not meant to replace the system, but to supplement it by easing overcrowding in prisons and the problems that go along with that. First, let’s look at the Failures of the status quo in regards to prisons:

Failure 1. Violence and disease plague US prisons

a) Violence

John Gibbons and Nicholas Katzenbach (with various other researchers, attorneys, and witnesses) June 2006, “Confronting Confinement:A Report of the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s prisons” http://www.prisoncommission.org/report.asp

“Finding: Violence remains a serious problem in America’s prisons and jails. There is disturbing evidence of individual assaults and patterns of violence in some U.S. prisons and jails. Corrections officers told the Commission about a near-constant fear of being assaulted. Former prisoners recounted gang violence, rape, beatings by officers, and in one large jail, a pattern of illegal and humiliating strip-searches. Former Florida Warden Ron McAndrew described small groups of officers operating as “goon squads” to abuse prisoners and intimidate other staff. And in February, 2006, while the Commission was gathered in Los Angeles for a final hearing, more than a thousand prisoners were attacking each other in the Los Angeles County jails, days of violence that the press described as riots. At that hearing, California corrections Secretary Roderick Hickman told the Commission: “Quite frankly, no one denies that violence occurs in prisons and jails in this country.”

b) Disease

John Gibbons and Nicholas Katzenbach (with various other researchers, attorneys, and witnesses) June 2006, “Confronting Confinement: A Report of the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s prisons” http://www.prisoncommission.org/report.asp

“Finding: High rates of disease and illness among prisoners, coupled with inadequate funding for correctional health care, endanger prisoners,staff, and the public. Much of the public dismisses jails and prisons as sealed institutions, where what happens inside remains inside. In the context of disease and illness, which travel naturally from one environment to another, that view is clearly wrong. Left untreated, staph infections and diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis C, and HIV directly affect our families, neighborhoods, and communities. As a result of poverty, substance abuse, and years of poor health care, prisoners as a group are much less healthy than average Americans. Every year, more than 1.5 million people are released from jail and prison carrying a life-threatening contagious disease. At least 350,000 prisoners have a serious mental illness. Protecting public health and public safety, reducing human suffering, and limiting the financial cost of untreated illness depends on adequately funded, good quality correctional health care. Unfortunately, most correctional systems are set up to fail.”

Failure 2. The prison system is ineffective

a) Little impact on crime despite rising incarceration

Reuters News, November 2007, “US prison system a costly and harmful failure: report” (The report was produced by the JFA Institute, a Washington criminal-justice research group, and its authors included eight criminologists from major U.S. public universities) http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/11/19/us-usa-prisons-idUSN1841666120071119

“The number of people in U.S. prisons has risen eight-fold since 1970, with little impact on crime but at great cost to taxpayers and society, researchers said in a report calling for a major justice-system overhaul.

The report on Monday cites examples ranging from former vice-presidential aide Lewis “Scooter” Libby to a Florida woman’s two-year sentence for throwing a cup of coffee to make its case for reducing the U.S. prison population of 2.2 million — nearly one-fourth of the world’s total.”

b) Incarceration makes criminality worse

Prof. Peter Moskos (Assistant Professor of Law and Political Science, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; PhD, Sociology, Harvard University; MA, Sociology, Harvard University; BA, Sociology, Princeton Universit), April 24th 2011, “In Defense of Flogging” http://chronicle.com/article/In-Defense-of-Flogging/127208/

“Because not only does incarceration not “cure” criminality, in many ways it makes it worse. From behind bars, prisoners can’t be parents, hold jobs, maintain relationships, or take care of their elders. Their spouse suffers. Their children suffer. And because of this, in the long run, we all suffer. Because one stint in prison so often leads to another, millions have come to alternate between incarceration and freedom while their families and communities suffer the economic, social, and political consequences of their absence.”

c) Need an alternative

Prof. Peter Moskos (Assistant Professor of Law and Political Science, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; PhD, Sociology, Harvard University; MA, Sociology, Harvard University; BA, Sociology, Princeton Universit), April 24th 2011, “In Defense of Flogging” http://chronicle.com/article/In-Defense-of-Flogging/127208/

“Incarceration, for adults as well as children, does little but make people more criminal. Alas, so successful were the “progressive” reformers of the past two centuries that today we don’t have a system designed for punishment. Certainly released prisoners need help with life—jobs, housing, health care—but what they don’t need is a failed concept of “rehabilitation.” Prisons today have all but abandoned rehabilitative ideals—which isn’t such a bad thing if one sees the notion as nothing more than paternalistic hogwash. All that is left is punishment, and we certainly could punish in a way that is much cheaper, honest, and even more humane. We could flog.”

Let us examine this alternative of flogging as we turn to the:

Plan

Mandate 1. The US Congress will legalize flogging as an alternative to prison sentencing. Prisoners will decide if they want to serve time in prison or if they would like to be flogged.

Mandate 2. Standards: The prisoner must have the physical ability to withstand flogging without death. A ratio of 2 lashes per year will be enforced.

Mandate 3. The most dangerous criminals such as child molesters and serial killers will not have the option of being flogged to escape prison sentencing.

The plan will be enforced the Department of Justice. Funding comes from Normal Means. The States will be free to enforce the measures of this plan as they see fit.

Let’s turn to advocacy. Our plan is fully advocated by PhD Peter Moskos:

Choice of 2 lashes per sentenced year

Time Magazine, June 27th 2011, “Should Flogging Be an Alternative to Prison?” http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2079933,00.html

Flogging, Moskos argues, is an appealing alternative. Why not give convicts a choice, he says: let them substitute flogging for imprisonment under a formula of two lashes for every year of their sentence.

Advocacy: Medical examination

Prof. Peter Moskos [Assistant Professor of Law and Political Science, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; PhD, Sociology, Harvard University; MA, Sociology, Harvard University; BA, Sociology, Princeton University]: “In Defense Of Flogging” Published in 2011: [Google Books] (JE)

The actual flogging I propose is based on the Singapore and Malaysian models, but it’s different in several important ways. Once you consent to be flogged– a luxury you don’t have in Singapore or Malaysia- you’d be led into a room where an attending physician would conduct an examination to make sure you’re physically fit enough to be flogged, that you won’t die under the intense shock of the cane. The punishment would not be a public spectacle but would not be closed to the public. There would be perhaps a dozen spectators, including bailiffs and other representatives of the court, a lawyer, a doctor, perhaps a court reporter, and maybe a few relatives of both parties, including the victim. After the doctor’s approval, a guard would tie your arms and leg to a trestle-like whipping post designed specifically for this purpose. This strange piece of furniture resembles a large and sturdy wooden artist’s easel, but in place of a painting or canvas, you would be tied somewhat spread-eagle to the front. Once the guard takes down your pants and adds a layer of padding over your back (to protect vital organs from errant strokes), the flogging would begin. An expert trained in the use of the cane would lash your rear end for the prescribed number of times. This flogging description from a Singapore newspaper captures the quick brutality of the procedure:”

Our plan leads to several

Advantages

Advantage 1. Convicts get on with their lives and do not have to experience the horrors of prison. Keep in mind that according to the harms, prison actually makes criminality worse.

Time Magazine, June 27th 2011, “Should Flogging Be an Alternative to Prison?” http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2079933,00.html

“There would, he [Moskos] says, be advantages all around. Convicts would be able to replace soul-crushing years behind bars with intense but short-lived physical pain. When the flogging was over, they could get on with their lives. For those who say flogging is too cruel, Moskos has a simple retort: it would only be imposed if the convicts themselves chose it.”

Advantage 2. Society benefits and prisons would no longer be crowded

Time Magazine, June 27th 2011, “Should Flogging Be an Alternative to Prison?” http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2079933,00.html

“At the same time, Moskos says, society would benefit. Under his proposal, the most dangerous criminals would not be eligible for flogging; the worst offenders, including serial killers and child molesters, would still be locked up and kept off the streets. But even so, he guesses the prison population could decline from 2.3 million to 300,000. That would free up much of the $60 billion or more the U.S. spends on prisons for more socially useful purposes.”

Advertisements

One Response to ‘Case of the Week’ 8 (NCFCA): Flogging

  1. [1] Some judges say its cruel and unusual, and thus unconstitutional. [2] what about those that cannot survive a flogging (due to sickness etc.) its unjust that some get to choose what they like best and others cannot.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: