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Binghamton Speech & Debate

Proposition: Moe Kobayashi (Shorin Global) vs. Opposition: Jake Sherman (Binghamton University)

Judge: Randal Horobik (Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama)

Resolution: This house believes that prisons should be abolished

  • Moe Kobayashi
    Moe Kobayashi

    Jake Sherman
    Jake Sherman
    Click to begin

    Speech Details

    Click on the other tabs to watch watch that speech.

    Posted at April 13, 2015 03:39:01AM EST by Moe Kobayashi



    None available for this speech.

    Posted at April 14, 2015 06:39:07PM EST by Jake Sherman



    (Comment & Debate: Comment is free: Abolishing jails is lunacy. But prisons must change
    The Guardian (London) - Final Edition, July 28, 2008 Monday
    Educated Prisoners Are Less Likely to Return to Prison
    James S. Vacca

    Posted at April 16, 2015 10:05:24AM EST by Joe Leeson-Schatz



    None available for this speech.

    Posted at April 16, 2015 06:00:53PM EST by Jake Sherman



    Posted at April 18, 2015 02:51:32AM EST by Moe Kobayashi



    None available for this speech.


    This match has been completed. Show the Decision.

    Submitted at April 19, 2015 03:23:59AM EST by Randal Horobik

    Category Moe Kobayashi Jake Sherman
    Use of evidence: 4 4
    Delivery skill: 4.4 4.5
    Coherence of arguments: 4.2 4.2
    Responsiveness to opponent: 3.8 3.8
    Identification of key points: 4 3.9
    Comments: Hello Moe!

    Please provide links for your evidence. It is just good online etiquette in a format like this.

    I appreciated your clear two-point layout in your opening constructive speech and the global perspective that you brought to bear on the topic with sources and observations from a number of nations.
    Hello Jake!

    My biggest suggestions for you going forward would be to 1. focus more on the idea of reform vs. abolition. You mention it a couple times, but never really paint us a picture of what a world with reform would look like. It is a good distinction to make, but to work the strategy needs to provide substance to the idea that reforms can cure the present-day ills of the system. I think you got too sidetracked into talking about the good in the status quo (like education) rather than how reform could fix the bad.

    Second, when painting an image of what a world without prisons might be like, you need to get some evidence to give strength to the impacts. When you're telling me about 250K violent criminals on the streets or drug crimes, I need clearer impacts on what that means. You inferred bad things, but I didn't really hear an author raising the warning.

    The decision is for the Proposition: Moe Kobayashi

    Reason for Decision:

    Aloha debaters from Hawai'i and the island of Oahu! Thank you for a good debate. This was a good give-and-take and I enjoyed listening and re-listening to it.

    This was an insanely challenging debate to adjudicate for two big reasons:

    -- One side (Opp) provided links to his evidence, the other side did not. While it isn't required to link your evidence, it is a good idea for all involved in the debate, especially the judge, particularly when your opponent has asked for it in both his speeches. For the record, I did check the rules, but the segment I find does not call links a requirement, so I chose not to grant Opp a win on the matter.

    -- One side (Prop) took a global view on the topic while the other remained rooted fairly much in a US-centric paradigm for analysis. This could have been a clear advantage for Prop, but she chose not to wield it as a weapon in rebuttals.

    I'll be honest -- I think a credible rationale exists to sign my ballot for either one of you in today's debate. In the end, I'm going to side with the Prop, because I think the broader global focus brought a lot into the topic.

    That human rights are being abused through the prison process was pretty much granted by Opp, who offered that was a way to discourage people from wanting to go back to the system. Prop's argument that the system also changes non-violent individuals into violent ones struck a chord with me and I didn't hear a challenge to this from Opp.

    I also have to give some weight on my ballot to the US/Finland study cited in Prop's constructive speech and re-mentioned in rebuttal that fewer prisons equals less crime. While I think the study can be attacked in a number of ways as an apples vs. oranges comparison of different cultures, different legal codes, etc....those arguments were not made by Opp.

    I gave strong consideration to Opp's line of argument that only by being in prison do some prisoners get access to things like education or job skills that improve their standing in life. This was a great argument. Had there been a quantifiable number there that I could compare to the deaths, sexual abuses, etc. that Prop mentions in her first speech, I may very well have signed differently here on a sort of utilitarian calculus.

    I also liked Opp's line of refutation that, while prisons are bad, they are a necessary evil and reform rather than abolition is the key. But I think Opp needs to do more than simply say "reform rather than abolish" -- I think you need to spend more time painting a picture of what reform can do (reduce human rights abuses, perhaps?) or at the very least demonstrate that reforms of significant nature are possible to eliminate some of the bad things that you grant are inherent in the status quo.

    Opp's other argument involves speculation about what happens in a world without no prisons if violent criminals and those incarcerated for drug crimes re-emerge on the street. it is a very valid question, but I think you leave a lot to inference here rather than providing evidence on what specifically WILL happen.

    As I said, definitely a close debate and one that I really do believe a credible argument could be made either way for. For me, tonight, it is a Prop ballot by a thin margin.

    Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much) for a good debate!

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