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Debate people who can't debate

Posted 03-30-2010 at 06:23 PM by Ascherit
Updated 03-30-2010 at 06:27 PM by Ascherit
Today my junior English class held a mock trial involving murder from a book against a freshmen English class. Us juniors defended the murderers while the fish prosecuted.

So come time for cross-examination of the prosecution's witnesses, we had two defense attorneys who told me yesterday that they were definitely 'well prepared' with their arsenal of questions. One of them was a pretty eloquent person while the other person was an ex-debater from CX debate. From here on I shall dub them A and B, respectively.

After the questioning of the first witness by prosecution, we had person A go up for cx. Person A did pretty well, especially since she was able to stumble the witness with quotes from the book. Then it was Person B's turn to cx the second witness, who was a junior from our class that went to the freshman team to even out the playing field. This witness acted as a medical/legal expert, and as the daughter of actual Asian doctors, girl knew her shit when she stated to Person B that the murderers showed no signs of temporary insanity during the time of the murder (and she skillfully brought down our insistence on the Durham rule for our insanity defense). Now, screwed and flustered, Person B kept asking the same damn thing over and over again, but in different words. I just wanted to YELL at Person B to get her ass back to her seat and let Person C (a guy who wasn't one of the attorneys but knew his shit) do cx because he practically GAVE her written questions (which Person B rejected) to ask since he couldn't do it himself.

Witness #3, another junior-turned-freshman, came up and testified for the prosecution. Once it was our turn to cross-examine, Person B got up and threw herself back into the game. And, like the previous legal/medical expert, Person B was chewed up and spat out by the witness--this time the detective in charge of the murder case. You could not tell how hard I facepalmed. Here Person A was, sitting down, perfectly capable of questioning the witness, when instead, Person B goes and runs incoherent questions through the witness like a schizophrenic trying to read a speech.

1) IF YOU CAN NOT DEBATE THE FIRST TIME, CHANCES ARE, YOU WILL SCREW US OVER IF YOU TRY THE SECOND TIME (AND YOU DID)
2) I DON'T CARE IF YOU WERE IN CX DEBATE LAST YEAR -- YOU SUCK AT DEBATING AND YOU DON'T DESERVE YOUR CX POSITION IN THIS TRIAL
3) WHEN THE WITNESS IS A MEDICAL/LEGAL EXPERT, YOU DO NOT ASK HER "on what grounds do you have the right to testify to the absence of mental defects of the defendant?" BECAUSE SHE WILL SHOW YOU HER PSYCHIATRIST ID AND MAKE YOU LOOK NOT SO SMART.

sorry for caps but my god you'd think someone who took CX debate for 2 years would know how to argue by now.

tl;dr mock trials are srs bisnis and debate people who don't know how to debate are just stupid.

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  1. kuyaBaka's Avatar
    I remember having to debate on whether or not the US should have bombed Japan back in my US History AP class last year. I suck at debates, so I defended them bombing by saying: "Well ... they already made them, so the might as well use them, right?"

    Needless to say, it got quite a few laughs while I had thought I had a valid argument for a minute.


    Person B sounds like a saboteur. Either that, or she is an idiot. I'm assuming the latter.


    (I find it strange that my avatar matches your blog layout ... ` `)
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    Posted 03-30-2010 at 08:28 PM by kuyaBaka kuyaBaka is offline
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