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ORC's Case Changes Prediction

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Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:05 pm
With the first round of regionals happening this past weekend, ORCs case changes are closer than ever. I'm hoping to hear from the owner of Barry's Bait & Tackle or maybe from Kennedy? This is my first season competing and I'm not really sure what to expect but I'm excited to see how AMTA changes the case. Y'all have any thoughts?
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:24 pm
I predict that Corbin Dallas will be converted to a swing witness. And I further predict that we'll then see a bunch of D teams call them, make them into a hostile witness and and alternate suspect. Yawn.
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:32 pm
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aymesq wrote:I predict that Corbin Dallas will be converted to a swing witness. And I further predict that we'll then see a bunch of D teams call them, make them into a hostile witness and and alternate suspect. Yawn.
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I for one am getting really tired of the "hostile alternative suspect as a witness" tactic. I wasn't a fan when Yale did it in the Final Round in 2019, and teams running it this year are playing with fire. I imagine a real judge would not be thrilled with a party calling a witness without subpoena, solely for the purpose of eliciting testimony that the proponent contends is false. It's akin to eliciting false testimony.

EditL added "as a witness." Alternative suspect theories are fine. Putting that alternative suspect on the stand to be hostile and therefore insinuate guilt is more troubling.


Last edited by DoYouRemember on Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:26 pm
aymesq wrote:I predict that Corbin Dallas will be converted to a swing witness. And I further predict that we'll then see a bunch of D teams call them, make them into a hostile witness and and alternate suspect. Yawn.
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Is there precedent of converting a constrained witness to a swing witness in case changes?

I'm very interested to see if we get an altogether new witness like the last couple of years.
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:09 pm
I don't really expect them to but I'd like to see more change between the IM and AM cases. Most teams were already pursuing the AM case before the first round of updates which seemed to only strengthen the AM case without really changing the IM case at all. It would be nice to have something to incentivize prosecution to pursue IM so its closer to 50/50 split. It's a little disappointing to have an interesting option between the two charges but almost always having to defend against AM anyway.
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:14 pm
DoYouRemember wrote:
aymesq wrote:I predict that Corbin Dallas will be converted to a swing witness. And I further predict that we'll then see a bunch of D teams call them, make them into a hostile witness and and alternate suspect. Yawn.
''

I for one am getting really tired of the "hostile alternative suspect as a witness" tactic. I wasn't a fan when Yale did it in the Final Round in 2019, and teams running it this year are playing with fire. I imagine a real judge would not be thrilled with a party calling a witness without subpoena, solely for the purpose of eliciting testimony that the proponent contends is false. It's akin to eliciting false testimony.

EditL added "as a witness." Alternative suspect theories are fine. Putting that alternative suspect on the stand to be hostile and therefore insinuate guilt is more troubling.

I agree, but AMTA needs to stop writing cases that signal this is an option. Going as far back as Sinclair for NCT 2016 (and a few teams besides Yale did this at the 2016 nationals) AMTA has written these ambiguous witnesses such that you can put them on the stand and accuse them of being guilty, thus turning them hostile. If AMTA wants to discourage this practice, they need to stop giving teams these witnesses.
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:21 pm
I imagine the new witness, assuming we even get one, will be another camper or hiker on the trail with some very bad facts for defense. I don't think the defense is going to get another witness because Case Balance right now shows a slight D bias, so it will probably be side-constrained. This case is actually surprising difficult to balance given the two charges. P teams pursuing Manslaughter, for instance, would want more evidence that the trail is hard or created substantial risk, but then that means D teams against murder have an easier time saying Parker's death was just an accident because the trail was so hard. I think AMTA will likely focus on making the Murder charge a little easier because most teams are already pursuing murder. Manslaughter seems to work best as a surprise charge that forces D teams to pick witnesses that are likely less well-prepared than Lopez or primary swings. I'm hoping case changes will find a way to really mix up the fact pattern, like by adding new evidence. But I wouldn't be too excited if the Midseason Case Changes are anything to go off of.


Last edited by LeckroneLoop on Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:26 pm
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from what i've seen, there's a pretty big P bias with top teams. And given that's all what ORCS is, I'd expect them to add a D witness or at least make facts a little better for D. I could see Ryder calling Washington saying something like "idk where Parker is" or maybe something more vague of like "I'm getting stressed out, things aren't going as expected" at like 6:30 or something.
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:10 pm
DoYouRemmeber said:" I for one am getting really tired of the "hostile alternative suspect as a witness" tactic. I wasn't a fan when Yale did it in the Final Round in 2019, and teams running it this year are playing with fire. I imagine a real judge would not be thrilled with a party calling a witness without subpoena, solely for the purpose of eliciting testimony that the proponent contends is false. It's akin to eliciting false testimony."

I completely agree. I detest (I chose that word carefully) the concept of scripted hostile witnesses. AMTA says: Let's allow a team to call a witness, get them declared hostile, and script out every word of the following "cross examination." What hogwash. And how deceptive and confusing it is to judges who don't really understand what's happening. In addition, how do judges score a direct that's not really a direct? As most know, doing a good direct, asking clear non-leading questions that allow the witness to shine, might be the hardest trial skill of all.

It's my recollection that a coach of a very well regarded team submitted a proposed rule change to the AMTA Board that would have banned hostile witnesses, and that it was not adopted, though I think the vote was close. Maybe it will be re-submitted this summer. I, for one, hope that it is and that it passes.

By the way, let me just note that there can't be both a P bias and a D bias, though I think that's what I've read in this thread.
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:24 pm
aymesq wrote:
By the way, let me just note that there can't be both a P bias and a D bias, though I think that's what I've read in this thread.

The overall bias right now is towards the Defense looking at Regional Results. What other people were mentioning is that, when you look at the stats, in rounds where two top teams hit each other, it's actually the Prosecution that has a slight advantage looking at ballots won. So there is a slight advantage for defense overall, but also a slight advantage for Prosecution in competitive rounds. Of course, looking at Round 3 results, the defense advantage is almost +6%, I would say that this, combined with the fact that defense teams always get stronger as the year progresses, means that AMTA will likely make case changes that hurt the defense.
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:52 pm
LeckronLoop: Not to drill down on this too deeply, but do they break up the bias stats according to which indictment P chooses to pursue? ( wonder if the person I think might have written that post actually wrote it.)
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:53 pm
Just to echo that, look at the bottom of this thread https://impeachments.forumotion.com/t63-2020-regionals-case-bias-stats .

As of now, Defense wins 50.6% of trials which is pretty close to equal. Specifically in round 3 where its power matched, Defense wins 52.7% of trials which is pretty significant. But in rounds that feature two teams who ended with 5-3 records or better, Prosecution wins 51.8% which I'd also say is significant. With regard to case changes, I think the last one (where teams advancing are playing each other) is the most relevant statistic as ORCS will feature most of those teams. Therefore, I would argue Regionals has a defense bias but ORCS case changes will account for a prosecution bias and help the defense
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:32 pm
Even with the top rounds currently biased toward Prosecution, I think there's slim-to-no chance that the case changes benefit defense overall, unless that bias gets significantly stronger. Part of the reason (according to AMTA) for the mid-year case changes benefiting the defense is the reliable pattern of defense strengthening as the season progresses. In the calculus of balancing the case, they're going to assume additional bias toward defense. If its pretty equal, we should expect case changes to hurt defense. If the P bias grows thenĀ maybe they'll be relatively neutral, but we would need to see a much larger P bias over the next couple weekends to result in case changes that actively help defense.
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