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[SUBMITTED] Nullify Nullification?

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The Ice States
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[SUBMITTED] Nullify Nullification?

Postby The Ice States » Sun Jul 24, 2022 12:16 am

[title] Nullify Nullification?

[validity] Must have a jury and prison

[desc] A boring and lengthy court speech by a lorry driver, @@RANDOMNAME_1@@, currently being prosecuted for an act of burglary, has led to much of the jury adjudicating @@HIS@@ case to be convinced to acquit @@HIM@@, despite clear evidence showing @@HIS@@ guilt, as shown by a recent leak from the jury. With a verdict favourable to the driver likely to be rendered, panicked @@DEMONYM@@ are divided on the issue of jury nullification.

[option] After over half an hour since the speech commenced, the driver quietly continues speaking in court, "...all I did was get some Big Max I thought looked nice etc, um, yeah, that's just all I did really, and now the government has decided to persecute me for that and...wants me to remain within some silver bars, oh I shudder at the thought of having to be in prison, I just don't wanna go, but yeah, I thought the judiciary was expected to have some sense of justice as opposed to accepting this b.s, if that's true from the bottom of my heart I am begging you that you please let me continue driving trucks, please acquit me, etc, because it'd be wrong if you stopped me and made me get imprisoned, uh...y.k jurors should have freedom of conscience too, and it'd be unfair if the gubment interfered in the judiciary, separation of powers and all that...if I get acquitted it also means the unfair law can be unenforced, so please acquit me, pretty please, acquit me and..."

[effect] law schools train students in emotional arguing

[option] Meanwhile, @@RANDOMNAME_2@@, a well-known right-wing activist, enters your office and immediately pompously announces, "What, is some hokum speech now the most important factor in determining criminal penalties? No! @@RANDOMLASTNAME_1@@ committed burglary, and should face the proper sentence, which is a lengthy prison sentence. You are not seriously going to allow that criminal to get off scot free because of some insincere, snoozeworthy monologue, are you? I don't care if people think that 'separation of powers' and the feelings of some random, uneducated citizens are somehow more important than due process and the rule of law!"

[effect] randomly chosen citizens go to court in torn, garish, Blackacrean patriotic t-shirts

[option] An unnamed legislator, sitting on the chair next to you, says, "Why do we even randomly choose people to decide something as important as criminal sentences? The judiciary should be staffed by trained professionals, who actually know what they are doing. Just abolish the jury system and make @@RANDOMLASTNAME_1@@ get retried in a proper court!"

[effect] defendants' rights are chipped away at in the name of due process

[option] "This stupid arguing is why @@NAME@@ shouldn't even have a court system!", argues your brother. "Look, a court is just a bunch of bored, supposedly educated bureaucrats -- or random citizens -- tasked with... deciding whether evidence is strong enough? You're better than that! Just abolish the court system and assume the job yourself. Wouldn't it be fun for you to be able to punish anyone you like however you want?", he continues, and whispers into your ear, "Oh, and by the way, I'd strongly recommend executing that @@RANDOMFIRSTNAME_1@@ dude."

[effect] @@LEADER@@ self-identifies as a bureaucrat more than a national leader
Last edited by The Ice States on Sun Aug 14, 2022 12:28 pm, edited 36 times in total.
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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Sun Jul 24, 2022 5:38 am

The Ice States wrote:[desc] A melodramatic but sentimental speech by a nine year old child, @@RANDOMFIRSTNAME_1@@ @@RANDOMLASTNAME_1@@, in court, who is currently being prosecuted for an act of murder and likely to be sentenced to death,
Most countries in real life have separate laws for children, so a child likely wouldn't be punished as harshly as an adult, even for murder. That's a valid subject for an issue, but it does mean that you probably shouldn't assume as a given that most countries would give a child the same punishment as an adult, and it's pretty weird to be making this issue about something that only comes up due to a rare technicality, rather than the more general question of how such cases should usually be handled by law.

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Tinhampton
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Postby Tinhampton » Sun Jul 24, 2022 5:45 am

@@RANDOMNAME@@ exists - and works. (Suppose that you use @@RANDOMNAME_1@@ in your description and then refer to that speaker as @@RANDOMFIRSTNAME_1@@ in the options. Then if John Smith is generated in your description, "John" will be generated in your option.)

Trotterdam: I don't think that the age of criminal responsibility is the point of what Ice's written. He could have just as easily put the following down as his description:
A boring and snoozeworthy speech by a twenty-nine year old lorry driver, @@RANDOMFIRSTNAME_1@@ @@RANDOMLASTNAME_1@@, in court, who is currently being prosecuted for an act of burglary and likely to be sentenced to 60 days in prison, has led to all of the nation's justices abstaining, including your Minister of Justice. As your nation's constitution makes the national leader responsible for rendering a verdict when a judiciary is unable to do so -- a line which has never been invoked before now -- it lies on you to decide the fate of @@RANDOMFIRSTNAME_1@@.

and the gist of the issue would still be clear. In fact, it might even be clearer.
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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Sun Jul 24, 2022 6:07 am

Tinhampton wrote:Trotterdam: I don't think that the age of criminal responsibility is the point of what Ice's written.
I wasn't entirely sure, but the first option does clearly use the suspect's age and the shocking nature of capital punishment as a talking point in arguing for its position, and the second option directly responds to that. If those aren't the intended focus, then the issue still needs an extensive rewrite in a different direction.

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The Ice States
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Postby The Ice States » Sun Jul 24, 2022 6:56 pm

Tinhampton wrote:@@RANDOMNAME@@ exists - and works. (Suppose that you use @@RANDOMNAME_1@@ in your description and then refer to that speaker as @@RANDOMFIRSTNAME_1@@ in the options. Then if John Smith is generated in your description, "John" will be generated in your option.)

Understood.

Trotterdam: I don't think that the age of criminal responsibility is the point of what Ice's written. He could have just as easily put the following down as his description:
A boring and snoozeworthy speech by a twenty-nine year old lorry driver, @@RANDOMFIRSTNAME_1@@ @@RANDOMLASTNAME_1@@, in court, who is currently being prosecuted for an act of burglary and likely to be sentenced to 60 days in prison, has led to all of the nation's justices abstaining, including your Minister of Justice. As your nation's constitution makes the national leader responsible for rendering a verdict when a judiciary is unable to do so -- a line which has never been invoked before now -- it lies on you to decide the fate of @@RANDOMFIRSTNAME_1@@.

and the gist of the issue would still be clear. In fact, it might even be clearer.

This. This is an issue about mass abstention, not capital punishment -- which is why there is no "ABOLISH CAPITAL PUNISHMENT" option but there is an "ABOLISH THE JUDICIARY" option. Capital punishment is only mentioned to introduce the problem of mass abstention.

Trotterdam wrote:
Tinhampton wrote:Trotterdam: I don't think that the age of criminal responsibility is the point of what Ice's written.
I wasn't entirely sure, but the first option does clearly use the suspect's age and the shocking nature of capital punishment as a talking point in arguing for its position, and the second option directly responds to that. If those aren't the intended focus, then the issue still needs an extensive rewrite in a different direction.

I'm honestly hesitant to change the capital punishment theme -- the issue is indeed primarily about mass abstention, but logically the options available to a national leader in the same situation would be both to avoid responsibility -- the current third and fourth options -- or choose a verdict -- the first and second options. Capital punishment of a minor would generally make the narrative more compelling in the latter case. That said, I will try to change it to refocus it on responsibility, not the verdict.
Last edited by The Ice States on Sun Jul 24, 2022 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Saint Tomas and the Northern Ice Islands
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Postby Saint Tomas and the Northern Ice Islands » Sun Jul 24, 2022 7:31 pm

I think more humour can be derived from an absurdly boring scenario, and would definitely shift the focus more onto the abstention rather than the case itself. There's already an issue in children facing capital punishment so you'd want to avoid conflicting with that one.
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The Ice States
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Postby The Ice States » Sun Jul 24, 2022 10:21 pm

Saint Tomas and the Northern Ice Islands wrote:I think more humour can be derived from an absurdly boring scenario, and would definitely shift the focus more onto the abstention rather than the case itself. There's already an issue in children facing capital punishment so you'd want to avoid conflicting with that one.

Understood -- done.
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Electrum
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Postby Electrum » Sun Jul 24, 2022 10:40 pm

I don't understand the premise. Judges don't abstain from cases. They decide for one side or another. Alternatively there is a jury that decides one way or another.
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The Ice States
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Postby The Ice States » Sun Jul 24, 2022 11:27 pm

Electrum wrote:I don't understand the premise. Judges don't abstain from cases. They decide for one side or another. Alternatively there is a jury that decides one way or another.

In many legal systems, judges can fail to rule for reasons other than an objective conflict of interest; eg in the USA, Section 455 of Title 28 requires justices to abstain "in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned". A boring monologue is absolutely a reason for a judge to become biased against -- or for, if somehow convincing -- the defendant, and want them to receive a harsher sentence.
Last edited by The Ice States on Sun Jul 24, 2022 11:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Electrum
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Postby Electrum » Mon Jul 25, 2022 3:07 am

The Ice States wrote:
Electrum wrote:I don't understand the premise. Judges don't abstain from cases. They decide for one side or another. Alternatively there is a jury that decides one way or another.

In many legal systems, judges can fail to rule for reasons other than an objective conflict of interest; eg in the USA, Section 455 of Title 28 requires justices to abstain "in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned". A boring monologue is absolutely a reason for a judge to become biased against -- or for, if somehow convincing -- the defendant, and want them to receive a harsher sentence.


Yes, that is something called recusal. These generally apply to a conflict of interest or even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

As this case law analysis says (relevant parts highlighted):

Recusal is usually unnecessary in cases of the judge’s adverse ruling or expression of opinion; rumor, suspicion, or innuendo; familiarity with parties or events; personal attacks on the judge; and threats or lawsuits against the judge. Recusal is more likely in cases of close personal or professional relationship to attorneys or others; public comments or outside activities; ex parte contacts; involvement pertaining to guilty plea; and a judge taking personal offense.


The usual solution is a new judge would be chosen. I find it extremely implausible that 'all of the nation's justices abstaining' for a simple robbery case. I would find it impossible to not find a judge who would hear this case impartially, especially with a pool of hundreds of judges within @@NAME@@. There's been plenty more controversial cases in real life that have managed to find both an impartial judge and jury, regardless of the actions or crimes of the defendant.
Last edited by Electrum on Mon Jul 25, 2022 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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The Ice States
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Postby The Ice States » Mon Jul 25, 2022 7:01 pm

Electrum wrote:
The Ice States wrote:In many legal systems, judges can fail to rule for reasons other than an objective conflict of interest; eg in the USA, Section 455 of Title 28 requires justices to abstain "in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned". A boring monologue is absolutely a reason for a judge to become biased against -- or for, if somehow convincing -- the defendant, and want them to receive a harsher sentence.


Yes, that is something called recusal. These generally apply to a conflict of interest or even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

As this case law analysis says (relevant parts highlighted):

Recusal is usually unnecessary in cases of the judge’s adverse ruling or expression of opinion; rumor, suspicion, or innuendo; familiarity with parties or events; personal attacks on the judge; and threats or lawsuits against the judge. Recusal is more likely in cases of close personal or professional relationship to attorneys or others; public comments or outside activities; ex parte contacts; involvement pertaining to guilty plea; and a judge taking personal offense.


The usual solution is a new judge would be chosen. I find it extremely implausible that 'all of the nation's justices abstaining' for a simple robbery case. I would find it impossible to not find a judge who would hear this case impartially, especially with a pool of hundreds of judges within @@NAME@@. There's been plenty more controversial cases in real life that have managed to find both an impartial judge and jury, regardless of the actions or crimes of the defendant.

Understood. I wonder if it would work if it's changed to the entire legislature -- rather than court -- abstaining on some controversial new policy? I know there's an issue about ties in elections, so I don't know if the overlap is significant enough for it to be discarded?
Last edited by The Ice States on Mon Jul 25, 2022 7:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Electrum
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Postby Electrum » Mon Jul 25, 2022 7:23 pm

The Ice States wrote:
Electrum wrote:
Yes, that is something called recusal. These generally apply to a conflict of interest or even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

As this case law analysis says (relevant parts highlighted):



The usual solution is a new judge would be chosen. I find it extremely implausible that 'all of the nation's justices abstaining' for a simple robbery case. I would find it impossible to not find a judge who would hear this case impartially, especially with a pool of hundreds of judges within @@NAME@@. There's been plenty more controversial cases in real life that have managed to find both an impartial judge and jury, regardless of the actions or crimes of the defendant.

Understood. I wonder if it would work if it's changed to the entire legislature -- rather than court -- abstaining on some controversial new policy? I know there's an issue about ties in elections, so I don't know if the overlap is significant enough for it to be discarded?


I don't think that would work but one 'abstain' scenario related to the courts is jury nullification. I don't think we have a specific issue on that. We have issues about juries letting off people from white collar crimes because they're too complicated to understand but I don't think we have an issue where a jury decides 'not guilty' despite overwhelming evidence because they don't agree with the law or charge in question.
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The Ice States
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Postby The Ice States » Tue Jul 26, 2022 6:45 pm

Changed premise to jury nullification.
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Postby Australian rePublic » Tue Jul 26, 2022 11:43 pm

That's not what jury nullification is. Jury nullification is when a court case is found invalid, not when the person is found innocent
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Postby Verdant Haven » Wed Jul 27, 2022 6:13 am

Australian rePublic wrote:That's not what jury nullification is. Jury nullification is when a court case is found invalid, not when the person is found innocent


No.

Jury Nullification is when a defendant is found not guilty, regardless of the law or the evidence. Juries rule only on the guilt or non-guilt of the accused.
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Postby Australian rePublic » Thu Jul 28, 2022 4:45 am

Verdant Haven wrote:
Australian rePublic wrote:That's not what jury nullification is. Jury nullification is when a court case is found invalid, not when the person is found innocent


No.

Jury Nullification is when a defendant is found not guilty, regardless of the law or the evidence. Juries rule only on the guilt or non-guilt of the accused.

I see. Perhaps a better for jury nullification would be the jury disagreeing with the law?
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The Ice States
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Postby The Ice States » Sun Jul 31, 2022 2:12 pm

Bump.

Australian rePublic wrote:
Verdant Haven wrote:
No.

Jury Nullification is when a defendant is found not guilty, regardless of the law or the evidence. Juries rule only on the guilt or non-guilt of the accused.

I see. Perhaps a better for jury nullification would be the jury disagreeing with the law?

That is already implicitly the case -- the jury evidently was convinced by the speech that the charge was unfair.
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Postby USS Monitor » Sun Jul 31, 2022 3:06 pm

The Ice States wrote:With a verdict favourable to the driver about to be rendered, panicked @@DEMONYM@@ are divided on the issue of jury nullification.


How does anyone outside the jury know the verdict before it's actually rendered?

Once the jury has made a decision, they deliver it right away. It takes maybe a few minutes to walk everyone back to the courtroom, not enough time for a national debate.

I can think of a couple of possible ways to fix this plot-hole:

1. Have someone leak information on how the jury deliberations are going, and it sparks a debate -- but leave more uncertainty about whether the defendant will actually be acquitted. Don't make it sound like the jury has already made up their minds.

2. Have the debate happen after the verdict is announced.
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The Ice States
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Postby The Ice States » Sun Jul 31, 2022 8:36 pm

USS Monitor wrote:1. Have someone leak information on how the jury deliberations are going, and it sparks a debate -- but leave more uncertainty about whether the defendant will actually be acquitted. Don't make it sound like the jury has already made up their minds.

Done
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The Ice States
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Postby The Ice States » Sat Aug 06, 2022 5:45 pm

Bump.
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The Ice States
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Postby The Ice States » Wed Aug 10, 2022 7:13 pm

On last call for submission in a few days.
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The Ice States
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Postby The Ice States » Sun Aug 14, 2022 12:28 pm

Submitted.
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