ASSIGNMENT #2 – Police Discretion
When enforcing the law, no two situations are ever the same, there for becoming difficult and impossible, in some cases, to enforce the law equally. There are different circumstances in every crime, take murder for example. A ruthless, sadistic murder that was intentional. A pregnant woman being beaten by her husband until she, out of desperation, grabs a knife and stabs him to death. Two very different circumstances but they both fall under the same crime, murder. The types of situations that police officers should be allowed to not enforce the law/ use their own discretion is when it comes to petty crimes such as children writing on walls, jaywalking, or having a headlight out. You can’t possibly write a law for every possible situation, therefore, police discretion is necessary.
***The types of situations that police officers should fully enforce the law are crimes such as burglary, DUI, A&B, larceny, and such. Police use discretion to prioritize and to be efficient. They can’t spend all their time citing every jaywalker and every person who has a taillight out or else they wouldn’t have time to catch real criminals. Police enter the job believing they know “right” from “wrong” and exercise their authority in correcting the “wrongs”.
Strengths of having police discretion are letting police make “right” decisions. For instance, if you were pulled over because you ran a red light while heading to the Maternity Ward, without police discretion, you would have to close your legs and wait while you get issued a ticket, but with police discretion the police can even escort you and get you to the hospital more quickly and safely. It allows officers the flexibility to handle each situation in a manner that best fits its individual needs. Some weaknesses are that some police officers will abuse their power of discretion and which can lead to a greater threat in police corruption. Some people will get arrested or cited because...
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