THW Allow Prisoners to Volunteer for Drug Trials for Mitigated Sentences in US
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This House Would Allow Prisoners to Volunteer for Drug Trials for Lighter Sentences in US
Prisoner: a person legally held in prison as a punishment for crimes they have committed or while awaiting trial
Drug Trials: a subset of clinical trials -- a controlled experiment involving a defined set of human subjects, having a clinical event as an outcome measure, and intended to yield scientifically valid information about the efficacy or safety of a drug, vaccine, etc..
The term sentence in law refers to punishment that was actually ordered or could be ordered by a trial court in a criminal procedure. If a sentence is reduced to a less harsh punishment, then the sentence is said to have been **mitigated** or commuted. For example, a murder charge may be lessened to a manslaughter charge.
Burden of proof is shared
The substantial prison population in the United States is strongly connected to drug-related offenses. While the exact rates of inmates with substance use disorders (SUDs) is difficult to measure, some research shows that an estimated 65% of the United States prison population has an active SUD. Another 20% did not meet the official criteria for an SUD, but were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of their crime.
- "the strongest factors motivating scientists and ethicists to exclude prisoners were not about coercion or restrictive guidance discouraging prisoner involvement"
- Science direct reports: "a very high percentage of particularly vulnerable, mentally ill prisoners demonstrated adequate capacity to consent to research."
- "current regulations ... prioritize justice"
- Con has completely dropped the medical research potential and ability to gain vast amount of information. This will save many lives in the long run and reduce suffering.
- Not only does reduced sentence due to community service encourage rehabilitation, destroying Con's logic and bolstering my policy, it could also save prison money in the long run, thus winning my argument
- The government has no right to decide arbitrarily what seems to be "too much lost freedom". The prisoners already lost quite an amount of rights, so Con's argument seems a bit contradictory. He would rather negate all possibility to decide on that freedom -- so that they would not lose that freedom (see the problem?). It seems like he would rather the Warden sneak some more dangerous deals and allow for secret clinical trials on prisoners (so long as they can hide it), which hides the coercion deeper into the shadows.
- Recall that, in the World Wars, the clinical trials were a norm, yet the regulations were not, hence, it was practically an open secret or ignorance to keep the prisoners as tools to use. Who's to say that corrupt wardens that Con brings up wouldn't continue their trials if only in secret? By making it open, we force the wardens to regulate standards, preventing complete hiding of these trials. By allowing my policy, we openly declare the prisoners' rights and enhance their ability to make this decision.
- Con has dropped all the rights gained by using committee resources to ensure fair treatment of prisoners. Remember that this will result in better treatment of prisoners overall, since they can also check on other activities, not just drug trials. The money is not wasted here.
- Con tries to disconnect my argument by saying giving money is not the same as giving a reduced sentence, but he basically gives up here and admits that there are ways to know when informed consent doesn't exist. Some people think money's going to be the driving factor. Yet the research shows it isn't. He thinks that reduced sentence combined with drug test is a great motivator. But he doesn't support this idea. You might be smuggling drugs in secret regardless of the drug trials. So the experiments would just be an additional test that helps the public and do nothing to heap upon negatives. It's not a unique motivator to go deeper into your dark path. Nobody said the drugs will be even more addicting and harmful. In fact, they might be researching which medicine *cures* addiction!
- Con's negative view of prisoners bolsters my argument concerning stigmatization. He would encourage the prisoners to keep locking them up and assuming they will never change. While my view is that they can help others and get a little something back in return, realizing the errors of their ways, without going even more insane like Con proposes. Remember that Con still has no actual evidence that locking them up helps prevent them committing crimes again. And the rehabilitation will also prevent damages in the long run.