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Answering Public Forum Research Requests — October 4, 2016

October 4, 2016
Published in Newsletter

We received a number of research requests from Public Forum debaters.   Her is the research —

*Evidence that probable cause does not preclude significant racial biases outside of schools; ideally the “blacks are searched six times as much as whites” stat

J.D May, et al, law student, December 2013, Alaska Law Review, Pretext searches and seizures: In Search of Solid Ground,     p. 186

Yet, we have described how these other civil remedies are useless to most criminal defendants who need a workable opportunity to show inappropriate racial motivations in their cases through a suppression hearing. 265 The objective standard offers the police nearly unchecked discretion, and the probable cause and reasonable suspicion standards relied on by Whren do not limit police from targeting certain types of vehicle operators. 266 Additionally, under this standard pretext can be used to act on unsupported hunches by officers acting outside of reasonable police practices. For these reasons, the standard runs afoul of Article I, Section 14 of the Alaska Constitution. The objective standard prevents review of many police actions which may offend our notions of justice – a review which is at the core of Article I, Section 14.

*Neil Frankin explains in 2014 that,

Neill Franklin, 2014, Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Bias Is Universal.
Awareness Can Assure Justice, New York Times, September 2nd 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/ and-white-and-blue/bias-is-universal-awareness-can-assure-justice

“The problem is, stereotypes in the media and the way our society is structured have skewed the calculation of how we assess threats. From slavery to Jim Crow to the war on drugs, we have criminalized and demonized young men of color to such an extent that a pair of baggy jeans and oversized shirt is sometime mistaken for probable cause.”

*on neg, I need a card showing a trend away from ZTPs.

Catherine Winter, August 25, 2016, Spare the Road, APM Reports, http://www.apmreports.org/story/2016/08/25/reforming-school-discipline

Across the country, schools are moving away from zero tolerance and trying to reduce the number of students they’re suspending. The turnaround is a response to a growing body of research showing that zero-tolerance policies resulted in a disproportionate number of kids of color suspended, expelled, and referred to law enforcement.

*on pro, i need a stat saying how many kids die from illicit drug use annually.

More than 30,000 die annually, more than 70,000 are in treatment centers

Drug Addiction Treatment News, September 23, 2013, http://www.drugaddictiontreatment.com/addiction-in-the-news/addiction-news/more-teens-die-from-drug-overdoses-than-vehicle-accidents/

Motor vehicle accidents have been taking the lives of over 30,000 people each year for the last several years. But a new study reveals that another danger is threatening the lives of youths much more than the road. A national study revealed that more teens are dying from drug overdoses than people are dying from motor vehicle accidents. With drugs being more accessible these days than in years past, teens are finding drugs in school hallways, their friends’ homes and even in their own families’ medicine cabinets. The medical world is taking steps to better monitor the distribution of drugs, schools are still offering prevention programs and parents are starting to watch their medicine cabinets more closely while still talking to their children about the dangers of getting high.

The numbers of American youth who are abusing drugs is amazing. In one day, 71,000 American teens are in outpatient treatment for substance abuse. Ten-thousand more teens are in other forms of treatment for substance abuse.

evidence on the discourse/collective action argument saying that adopting probable cause will reverse discourse from associating the youth with criminalization

This argument is atrocious and there really is no evidence that even comes close to making this argument.

I wrote about how to answer this argument here and I included a quote that people use to try to make this ridiculous argument.

For Con: Link evidence to the reactionary policy argument

There is more evidence that probable cause fails and that more aggressive policy measures will be adopted here —

Icon of Probable Cause Fails, Hardline Policies Will Increase Probable Cause Fails, Hardline Policies Will Increase -- Subscribers Only (40.8 KiB)

There is evidence that legal action to expand rights generates a large backlash, reducing protections in other areas. This also helps answer the “improved justice” argument made above.

Icon of Courts and Social Change -- NEW Rosenberg Cards Courts and Social Change -- NEW Rosenberg Cards -- Subscribers Only (91.0 KiB)

*Probable Cause solvency

Probable cause limits evidence admissible at trial, which is good because it prevents students from being thrown into the criminal justice system

Harvard Law Review, 2015 “Policing Students: Developments in the Law”.  April 2015.  , http://harvardlawreview.org/2015/04/policing-students/

School officials should additionally be held to a probable cause standard even for searches based on a suspected violation of school rules, where the policy of the school is to turn over any evidence of criminal activity found to the police. Such a requirement would, of course, mean that more evidence would be excluded from criminal cases. Though the exclusionary rule is often criticized for preventing valuable evidence from being introduced at trial, this criticism has less force when applied to children, who are considered less culpable for their crimes by both courts and legislatures. The criminal justice system has proved incapable of rehabilitating juveniles, and may indeed fate children who would otherwise have grown out of an unruly period to be forever connected with the system.

Even if weak, probable cause constrains the government


Andrew Taslitz,2013,Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Cybersurveillance Without Restraint? The Meaning And Social Value Of The Probable Cause And Reasonable Suspicion Standards In Governmental Access To Third-Party Electronic Records, http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=7458&context=jclc, DOA: 7-29-15, p. 896-7

Finally, even if probable cause is easily shown, that does not mean that it should not be required or that it should be relegated to secondary importance. If probable cause involves a significant standard of proof and is accompanied by the requirements of high-quality information, police accountability, and individualized justice, numerous benefits follow. Important constraints are placed on the risk of police abuses, respect for law via fair procedures is enhanced, and law enforcement itself can be prodded to embrace a culture of respect for constitutional values and of the professionalism requiring careful attention to evidence and hesitation before too readily invading privacy.

Probable cause places constraints on currently overpowered law enforcement and gives students more ammo for suppression motions


Sarah Jane Forman, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.  “COUNTERING CRIMINALIZATION: TOWARD A YOUTH DEVELOPMENT APPROACH TO SCHOOL SEARCHES”.  The Scholar: St Mary Law Review on Minority Issues.  http://lawspace.stmarytx.edu/archive/files/TheScholar/STMU_TheScholarStMarysLRev_v14i2p0301_Forman.pdf.  2012.

Furthermore, a shift to a probable cause standard would also address the problem of the expanding nexus between school officials and law en-forcement. This was the elephant in the room in New Jersey v. T.L.O. Since that case was decided, police have become a prevalent fixture in public schools and it is more likely that disciplinary infractions will lead to school-based arrests and even criminal prosecutions.3 35 Under a prob-able cause standard, students who are searched and criminally prosecuted based on the fruits of the search, will have weightier grounds to support suppression motions. Probable cause would alter the current methodol-ogy of school discipline wherein every student is viewed as a potential safety threat and treated like a criminal suspect when accused of violating school rules.”‘ Moreover, probable cause would place limits on the discretion of school officials and SRO’s “bent upon searching particular stu- dents suspected of wrongdoing at school,” and who, under the current framework, have very “few constraints.””





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