Project #97467 - Ethics and Morals in Criminal Justice

Ethics in the Courtroom—Prosecution

Objectives

 

➢ DESCRIBE the dual role of the prosecutor as an officer of the court and how these roles impact the prosecutor’s moral decision-making​

 

➢ OUTLINE the bases upon which prosecutors can act as virtuous professionals within the context of his/her four professional relationships identified in Chapter 14

 

➢ DISTINGUISH bases upon which prosecutors can act as virtuous professionals within the context of his/her seven professional obligations identified in Chapter 14

Lessons and Activities-

 

1) Read Chapter 14 
2) Review pertinent lecture notes and power points
3) Google “police photo arrays” and “pretrial discovery and exculpatory evidence” 
4) Read carefully the scenario below.
5) Answer fully all questions following scenario.

 

On March 13, 2006, a black woman alleged she was raped at a state university fraternity party.  She claimed three white fraternity brothers raped and sodomized her at an off-campus party where she had been hired to perform as a stripper.  These allegations surfaced in the press and led to several protests, and the firing of the fraternity adviser, a tenured full professor at the university.  She readily consented to be examined and tested at the emergency room of the hospital.  The exam also revealed bruising of tissue in and around her genital and rectal areas. 

 

Despite the fact that the victim was unable to pick out the three accused fraternity brothers from two different arrays of photographs, and the fact that the first round of genetic testing revealed no foreign DNA material present on the victim’s body, the prosecutor instructed the police department to arrange for a third photo array.  In this array only the white brothers in the fraternity were included; three blacks of whom were also members of the fraternity and present at the party were excluded.  The investigator conducting the photo array instructed the victim that he wanted her to look at people “we have reason to believe attended the party," thereby creating a suggestive lineup. Filler photos of those who were not in the fraternity or were not present at the party were not included, also a clear violation of state ABA guidelines.  The victim then identified three suspects from this array, two of whom she was “100% sure were the rapists,” and a third one about whom she was “90% sure except that at the time of the rape he had a mustache” when, in fact, he never had a mustache.  

 

The prosecutor then indicted and charged the three suspects with rape and sodomy approximately a month after the allegations were made public.  Subsequent to the filing of charges, the county prosecutor arranged, perfectly legally, for a private DNA lab to test clothing and other material that the victim wore the night of the alleged rapes.  The DNA laboratory report stated that three male DNA profiles were present in a vaginal swab taken from the victim, but no fraternity brother matched to the sample.  The lab reported that the DNA profile belong ed to the victim's boyfriend and two “johns” who had intercourse with the stripper hours prior to the party.  Yet, the prosecutor made statements on 11 separate occasions following the lab reports that he had turned over all exculpatory evidence (i.e., evidence potentially helpful to the defense).  He also stated that he knew of no additional exculpatory evidence, DNA test results, or information obtained from conversations with his DNA experts that would be helpful to the defense.

 

At the pretrial hearing of the three fraternity brothers it was disclosed that the DNA technicians had found the DNA profiles of three men on the victim's clothing, none of which matched the fraternity brothers’ profiles.  The director of the DNA lab testified that he and the prosecutor had agreed to report only DNA matches with the fraternity brothers’ profiles in the report, not other findings.  This revelation surfaced at the pretrial hearing, along with strong alibi evidence in favor of two of the three suspects.  The rape and sodomy charges were finally dismissed.

However, and despite strong evidence showing the fraternity brothers’ innocence to all charges, the prosecutor continued to proceed with felony assault and kidnapping charges against the three suspects.

 

The state attorney general was then appointed as a special prosecutor in the case.  After reviewing the evidence, he dismissed all remaining charges against the defendants on April 11, 2007, and declared their innocence.

 

 

Assignment: In the Module 7 Drop Box, each team leader will post her team’s responses to the below questions in the form of a list or essay. No PPTs please. List only those team members who participated in the exercise; those who did not will receive a zero for the assignment.

 

1) List and explain each of the several points in the scenario in which the prosecutor violated his professional ethics. (20 points)
• Excellent—Lists and explains at least four points in scenario in which the prosecutor violated his professional ethics= 18-20 points
• Good—Lists and explains at least three points in scenario in which the prosecutor violated his professional ethics= 16-17points
• Satisfactory—Lists and explains at least two points in scenario in which the prosecutor violated his professional ethics= 12-15 points
• Developing—Lists and explains fewer than two points in scenario in which the prosecutor violated his professional ethics= < 12 points

 

 

2) How did he err in terms of his:

 

a) His four professional relationships (20 points)?
• Excellent—Lists and explains how he erred (or did not) based on all four professional relationships=18-20 points
• Good—Lists and explains how he erred (or did not) based on at least three professional relationships= 16-17 points
• Satisfactory—Lists and explains how he erred (or did not) based on at least two professional relationships=12-15 points
• Developing—Lists and explains how he erred (or did not) based on fewer than two professional relationships= < 12 points

 

b) His seven professional obligations (20 points)?
• Excellent—Lists and explains how he erred (or did not) based on all seven professional obligations= 18-20 points
• Good—Lists and explains how he erred (or did not) based on at least five professional obligations= 16-17 points
• Satisfactory—Lists and explains how he erred (or did not) based on at least three professional obligations= 12- 15 points
• Developing—Lists and explains how he erred (or did not) based on fewer than three professional obligations=  < 12 points

 

c) What penalties, if any, should the State Bar Association, the courts, or other appropriate adjudicatory body mete out against the prosecutor? Explain your reasoning. (20 points)
• Excellent—Lists and explains all defensible ways in which the prosecutor could be penalized= 18-20 points
• Good—Lists and explains most of the reasonable ways the prosecutor could be penalized= 16-17- points
• Satisfactory—Lists and explains some of the defensible ways a prosecutor could be penalized= 12-15 points
• Developing—Lists and explains fewer than two defensible ways the prosecutor could be penalized= < 12 points

 

Total:  Maximum of 80 points for the entire exercise

 

• Excellent—72-80 points
• Good—64-71 points
• Satisfactory—48-63 points
• Developing— < 48 points

Subject Philosophy
Due By (Pacific Time) 12/03/2015 01:00 pm
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