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Binghamton Speech & Debate

Proposition: Ashley May (Lincoln High School) vs. Opposition: Illiah Pfau (Wood River High School)

Judge: Joe Leeson-Schatz (Binghamton University)

Resolution: This house believes that prisons should be abolished

  • Ashley  May
    Ashley May

    Illiah Pfau
    Illiah Pfau
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    Speech Details

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    Posted at April 20, 2015 11:39:50PM EST by Ashley May



    2. Dec 25, 2014
    3. march 6, 2013
    4. (families against mandatory sentencing)

    Posted at April 21, 2015 07:03:04PM EST by Illiah Pfau



    Lehrer, Eli. "Responsible Prison Reform Publications National Affairs."Responsible Prison Reform Publications National Affairs. National Affairs, Summer 2013. Web. 14 Apr. 2015

    Posted at April 23, 2015 12:44:15AM EST by Ashley May



    Posted at April 23, 2015 07:09:00PM EST by Illiah Pfau



    Bauer, Shane. "How Conservatives Learned to Love Prison Reform." Mother Jones. Mother Jones, Mar.-Apr. 2014. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

    Posted at April 24, 2015 11:02:43PM EST by Ashley May



    None available for this speech.


    This match has been completed. Show the Decision.

    Submitted at April 29, 2015 08:53:25AM EST by Joe Leeson-Schatz

    Category Ashley May Illiah Pfau
    Use of evidence: 4.5 4
    Delivery skill: 5 4.2
    Coherence of arguments: 4.5 4.5
    Responsiveness to opponent: 4.2 4.2
    Identification of key points: 4.5 4.2
    Comments: Great speaking voice and good job on using the citation box. You could have made it look better my making them appear more formal. Ie giving author names and qualifications instead of just web links. You also have really good contentions that I think accurately identify the key portions of this topic. The one major thing I think you need more on is why abolishing prisons are good. You do that with probation. But I think you can use more on it. Personally, I'm little skeptical if probation alone can pick up the tab for prisons. You have decent arguments on it but I'd prefer more evidence on it. In short, I'd focus more on either subpoint a OR b instead of splitting your time on both so you could go into more depth. I hope you drop down to one of the two alts in later speeches.

    Good job at answering the opp's definition's and focusing the debate. You should impact out economic decline / debt. Your speech would benefit from defining "this house" since it seems like you're advocating a US ban on prisons and not a global ban. Also when you say things like "our prisons" in an international tournament you are using language that is exclusive since not everyone competing is from America.
    I like how you start out with definitions. However, you should do something with those definitions to explain how the prop doesn't meet them. I'm always a fan of the reform CP. I think the evidence you read on it is also really good. I would use more than one author though. This is especially true given the amount of sources the prop is using. Your answers on cost needs more. Even if she doesn't provide numbers you should provide them for her. Ie get some really high examples that you can cite. I also don't understand why she doesn't meet your interp of "abolish." You need more there.

    More on the definition debate. Your one answer is okay but not particularly great. Again, very good evidence. However, you should do a qualification debate as to why I should prefer your evidence to her evidence in the round. Make sure you extend your reform evidence from the previous speech and pull out the warrants as to why reform works. You're good on attacking the prop but not as good at defending your reform CP as a result.

    The decision is for the Proposition: Ashley May

    Reason for Decision:

    Both sides should focus more on the "standards" / "reasons to prefer" portion of the definitions debate instead of just the word. Which makes for a better resolution and why? Given how much time is spent on the definition debate by both sides this is something that really needs more focus. Whether or not it's "building" or "buildings" is a small distinction versus arguments as to why advocating anti-prison systems leads to better/worse education and/or fairness on the topic.

    In the end I think this is a very good and very close debate. I ultimately vote for the proposition since I think the anti-prison system is an alternative to prisons that is part of the topic. I think at the point both teams see problems with the prison system there is more of a risk of the negative effects of prisons to happen with reform instead of abolition. More time by the opp focusing on the success of reform and/or the failure of anti-prison systems would be useful. I think opp is doing a good job answering the probation/sentencing question but less of a good job on the anti-prison question. The only real answer to that is the definitions debate and without standards as to why allowing it would be bad I have a hard time excluding it from the topic.

    Both sides would also benefit from debating over which evidence is more qualified and/or preferable. Prop has quantity. I think opp has quality (at least from what's quoted in the round). Always tell the judge which evidence should be preferred. Don't leave that portion of the debate undebated.

    Again, good debate by both sides. I apologize for how long it took for this debate to get judged.

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