Law Enforcement Ethics

Essay by chawawwa33 October 2006

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Downloaded 161 times

This fact pattern is a perfect example of ethics in criminal justice, because it comes down to an individual officer who is facing a dilemma of acting ethically, writing the man a ticket for speeding, or unethically, arresting him after an unreasonable search and seizure. This case would undoubtedly be very emotional for an entire tight nit, small community; therefore, it is easy for one to immerse him or herself into the role of the officer facing this ethical dilemma. The fact pattern raises several topics that have been discussed in the course thus far, which are institutional ethics versus individual ethics, the bill of rights, and the Miranda rights. There are also questions that can raise ethical dilemmas, one such being "Can a bad thing lead to a good result?" For instance, if the officer lies about the gun being in plain view and arrests this man, then the whole community will feel safer and experience some justice, hence, it would be good for everyone.

However, where will the line be drawn for police taking matter into their own hands? Also, wasn't it the police department's fault that this guy walked away a free man after a brutal rape-murder of an innocent, twelve year old girl?

The first dilemma of this fact pattern is the ethics of the police department versus this officer's personal ethics, which runs hand in hand with the bill of rights. In the United States, individuals are protected through the bill of rights against unreasonable search and seizure. Police departments must take this very seriously or the evidence they gathered will be thrown out, and there will no longer be a case. Our three branches of government were setup to protect the citizens from a strong centralized government, thus, it is very important that...