The paper "Ethical Considerations in the Field Of Criminal Justice" is a wonderful example of a law research paper.
A career in the criminal justice system requires a high level of ethical standards to govern one’s conduct as a law officer. Ethics provides guidelines on how to interact with lawbreakers, interpret the law, and make decisions. The ethical considerations depend on an individual’s occupation in the criminal justice system. For a defense lawyer, ethical standards are expected of him especially if he is representing a guilty client. He must represent the client fairly at the same time ensure that the client does not give false testimony before the court. As such, he should correct any false statements and make an effort of providing truthful and accurate statements. It is his ethical responsibility to abstain from helping the client make false testimony and encourage defendants to correct deceptive statements (Schmalleger, 1990).
A prosecuting lawyer has an ethical responsibility to maintain true testimony and justify his claims with supporting evidence. He should not present any tempered with evidence as proof against the defendant. He has an ethical duty to present complete unbiased facts as a case against the defendant. A police officer has an ethical role to inform the offender of his right that anything he says may be used against him in the court of law. In their duty to arrive at the crime scene quickly, make tough decisions, and collect evidence, they must remain law-abiding, non-discriminatory, and unbiased. It is unethical for them to harass assault or threaten the defender in order to get evidence. The judge is another key person in the criminal justice system, who has an ethical responsibility to interpret the law fairly without any personal influences, eg past experiences, religious values, and personal emotions e must uphold the laws of the land and obey the five rules of ethics.
Ethical consideration when addressing a prosecution on terrorism case
The prosecutor should avoid making public comments that may cause unfair harm to the accused. This is an aid to justice. Such comments may lead to the violation of the criminal’s rights. The prosecutor may, however, release general information about the defendant and describe the circumstances of the defendant at arrest. Another ethical requirement of the prosecution is to ensure that justice prevails in each case. As much as they are representing the government and they are supposed to win, they should not forget the need for fair judgments. If the investigator was unethical in their collection of evidence or testimony, the following problems will arise: The offender may be judged unfairly because the investigator presented false or biased evidence. If these cases are realized, the court may give disciplinary sanctions for violation of rules by the prosecutor. The court may reverse the conviction, suppress evidence, dismiss charges, or order a new trial. For example, many murder convictions have been reversed on appeal when the appellate court realized that there was prosecutorial misconduct, including misrepresentation of the law and intimidating the witness. The other recent case is where the court found prosecutors to have engaged in unethical conduct when one misstated the defendant’s testimony and said that the defendant had been counseled to lie after the lawyer spoke in the voice of the defendant in his closing argument.
The state going ahead to prosecute the defendant’s case despite knowing that there were unethical issues in the collection of evidence is violating his constitutional rights. The reason is any accused persons have a right to defend themselves. He would have been deprived his right by this unethical evidence. Some of the rights that will have been violated include the right to confront the witness, that is, the right to require the witness to the witness to appear in court. The rights to a public trial where friend and family appear in court and help the government ensure the rights of the defendant are considered. The right for a fair and just jury trial is also violated. Defenders right for a speedy trial is also violated whereby the case is delayed based on the pieces of evidence presented or more time is allocated in order to look for more evidence. It may also lead to lack of right to adequate representation whereby the lawyer fails to seek favorable witnesses in the trial. This may also occur where the attorney repeatedly asked the defendant, who had pleaded innocent to plead guilty.
The proactive investigation is the kind of investigation conducted before the crime is committed. The police deal with the potential crime before it is committed. It is often synonymous with the term ‘sting operation’. Intelligence is so vital in this kind of investigation since it targets potential criminals and subsequently monitors them. Threats are identified and appropriate measures are taken. It always involves experts or specialist squads who rely on an analysis of crime patterns. The information should however not be released to the general public. However, this kind of policing is secretive and less accountable. Reactive approach, on the other hand, is where police respond to an already committed crime. Thus, this kind of investigation is done during the time a crime has been committed. The police here respond to real public demand because most crimes are detected or realized by the public. Therefore, the police rely entirely on the public’s corporation.
Schmalleger, F. (1990). Ethics in criminal justice. Prospect Heights, IL: Wyndham Hall.