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SUMMER RESEARCH LABS

Labs Overview

Throughout the summer, individuals (whether students, coaches, directors, etc.) can participate in the creation of the article library for the Fall 22 and Spring 23 topics. Labs are a cooperative exercise that allow anyone who is interested to help select and curate the resources we will use in our debates throughout the next academic year. Labs are organized by topic area and a person can join whichever area is of interest, regardless of their school affiliation. 

How to Participate

This page outlines the 5 major areas CARD will debate throughout the 2022-2023 academic year (3 in the fall, 2 in the spring).

Click through the button below to the lab's organizing spreadsheet to sign-up for an area and review the guidelines for that area.

A synchronous online lab session will occur in August where participants will narrow down and finalize articles for the library.

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Fall Area 2: Restrictions on Plea Bargaining

 This topic area explores the discretion that prosecutors have to engage in plea bargaining with defendants accused of a crime. Plea bargain offers often require the accused to plead guilty to a criminal offense in exchange for reduced charges, lighter sentencing, or other cooperation. The practice has been criticized as coercive, violating the constitutional right to a jury trial. Affirmatives would advocate that plea bargaining powers should be significantly restricted. (click photo for spreadsheet link)

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Spring Area 1: Legalize Marihuana

This topic area explores the current federal prohibition of marihuana despite a patchwork of legalization and decriminalization of the substance at the state and city level. Affirmatives would argue that uniform federal legalization is preferable to current status quo. Negatives could endorse the current tragectory of state-level legalization or endorse a policy such as decriminalization (where the substance is not regulated for sale but criminal laws against its possession and use are not enforced).

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Fall Area 1: Community Oriented Policing

This topic area explores alternatives to the current approach of funding, training, and equipping police. The dominant model has been criticized for promoting a lack of accountability and trust between police and their communities, police brutality and violence, and racialized law enforcement. Affirmatives would advocate the implementation of a Community Oriented Policing model, which seeks to create more resources for social problems and promote cooperation and problem-solving between officers and the local community. (click photo for spreadsheet link)

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Fall Area 3: Eliminate For-Profit Prisons

This topic area explores the dynamics of privately run for-profit prisons (as well as jails and other detention centers potentially). Governmental contracting of incarceration facilities to private entities is a common practice in the United States. The practice has been criticized as exploitative and as a form of contemporary slavery. Affirmatives would advocate the elimination of privately owned incarceration facilities that are managed for profit. (click photo for spreadsheet link)

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Spring Area 2: Legalize Prostitution

This topic area explores the ongoing criminalization of prostitution in the United States. Prostitution is widely criminalized in the United States. The near whole-sale ban on this form of sex work has been criticized for fueling stigma against sex workers and creating dangerous and unsafe conditions. Affirmatives would advocate the practice be legalized and regulated by the state to ensure public welfare and sex worker safety. (click photo for spreadsheet link)

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