LD Nov/Dec ’16 -Limit Qualified Immunity

Resolved: The United States ought to limit qualified immunity for police officers.

My information on this one isn’t going to be in the Extemp Files. You’ll need to connect to the LD-Values folder, and then go to the Racism-Discrimination subfolder. It will have the articles concerning the prosecution of police for various legal violations (mostly involving accusations of discrimination of some sort). This folder is not time-limited the way the Extemp Files are, so it has everything I’ve been pulling for years. (Much of the reason for the folder’s existence is as a resource for Sociology classes, a field I enjoyed in college and in which I student taught.)

Also check the Drugs subfolder – it has articles concerning the enforcement of drug laws, which has often led to police complaints or prosecution (or lack thereof).

What you want to start with aren’t the articles about the initial incidents or accusations, but ones about either the trials that subsequently occur (in which immunity may be claimed as a defense against prosecution), or about cases where charges aren’t pursued (perhaps due to immunity).

As you research the topic, keep in mind the number of police shootings (are they the reason immunity is typically invoked?) and the difference between that number and actual prosecutions. When we did Jury Nullification, one argument that surfaced was that most cases were settled by plea bargain, and that given the (small) number of cases that went to trial, jury nullification was something that would only involve a very small number of cases. Is there a parallel to that with this topic?

Remember that this is LD debate – a proposition of value. One of your best friends for all things philosophical is the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.


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