ethical behavior in criminal justice
Throughout the semester, we have explored numerous ethical dilemmas that are unique to the field of criminal justice. In your opinion, what was the most difficult ethical dilemma that was discussed in a reading assignment or a discussion area? Now that you have completed this class, what would you do if you were faced with this dilemma? How would you go about addressing this dilemma? In drafting your response, take law, policy, and ethics into account. Walk us through your thought process. Be thorough!
A common approach to addressing ethical dilemmas involves the "front-page test." This is a quick ethics test that asks whether you would feel comfortable with your decision if your action was published on the front page of a newspaper. The thought behind this test is -- if you would not want your action to be publicized, there might be an ethical problem with your decision.
Taking into account your response to part 1 of this question -- would you be comfortable if you were to apply the "front page test" to your decision? Thoroughly explain your answer.
Respond to 2 students:
1. The most difficult ethical dilemma for me which we discussed in class was about an attorney keeping a client’s confidentiality. My position has not changed since I believe in maintaining confidentiality once the client-attorney relationship has been established.
If I undertake a case, I will do my job following the rules. If the rule says I cannot discuss my client’s involvement in criminal activity, if it is not likely to result in a substantial harm, I will respect the rule. If the activity my client is involved is something that really bothers me, I will resign. But before I do so, I will tell the client that I cannot work for him if he continues to participate in an illegal activity as I do not feel comfortable dealing with this kind of situation. If the client stops it, that’s great, but if not, depending on the crime, I may resign. For a petty crime, I will probably ignore it and focus on the current case. My client hired me for a particular case to defend him, not against him, so I will not bring up information that will make him look bad. I do what I am expected to do as long as my conscience do not bother me. If I think I cannot represent him anymore because of the “side business” of my client, I will not force myself to continue. Before I am a lawyer, I am a person. I cannot ignore the limit of my moral value.
2. In my earlier response I chose to speak about police corruption. My response to it was simple; I would offer the law enforcement official an opportunity to turn him or herself in. If they didn’t, then I would.
The front-page test addresses the issue of, would I be ashamed of my actions if I reported the bad behavior.
I would not be ashamed. In fact, I know it takes a lot of courage to stand-up for what you believe is the right thing to do. Especially when you are faced with a situation that requires you to report about misconduct done by one of your peers.
Would it be difficult? Absolutely! The police force has been known to protect their own and say things like, never cross the “thin blue line”. So, reporting the information is hard from that perspective. I mean, who wants to be looked at as a traitor by their peers? No one. However, the bigger picture is that you were sworn to protect and to serve - the people. If you didn’t report it, you would be contributing to the bad behavior along with failing to uphold what you were sworn to do.
|Due By (Pacific Time)
||10/11/2015 12:00 am