Ethics with Homicide Investigations
If any part of the homicide investigation is rushed or pushed through without being handled in a thorough and professional manor, the case may be thrown out of court or a wrong suspect convicted under false pretenses. Homicide investigators must follow guidelines and be ethical at the same time to properly handle a case and have proof enough to prosecute the suspect. The prosecution must also be fully ethical and professional before taking a case before the court. There are various things that are considered ethical and unethical. Some rough and general summary of ethical principals are: Confidentiality, protecting confidential communications, such as personal papers, police information, and business records. Respect for victims, their families, and friends. Non-Discriminative; avoid discrimination against suspects or witness’ on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, or other factors that are not related to homicide investigation. Honesty; in all communications with data including not fabricating, falsify, or misrepresenting data, do not deceive. Objectivity; avoid or minimize bias or self-deception. Integrity; keep your promises and agreements; consistency of thought and action. Carefulness; avoid careless errors and negligence; carefully and critically examine work. Keep good records of research activities. Openness; share data, results, ideas, tools, resources. Be open to criticism and new ideas. (David B. Resnik)
Confidentiality must be used while collecting additional information from records to ascertain business interests of the victim; trace source of murder weapon through manufacturer’s records or firearms registration records. Review intradepartmental electronic communications on a daily basis. (Osterburg & Ward)
Respect must be used when interviewing people, to check on the background and activities of the victim; obtain leads from those who knew the deceased. (Osterburg...