University of Phoenix
Ethics in Justice and Security
March 07, 2010
Roger Long JD
Honesty versus Justice and Due Process versus Crime Control
The criminal justice system is built on a foundation of honesty and justice. For justice to work, the justice system, and criminal justice professionals must be honest. The word honesty, describes an individual that doesn't lie, cheat, steal, or abuse to get ahead for personal or professional gain. The word justice describes the concepts of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality and fairness.
How can there be justice if the guilty go free or if the innocent pay for crimes he or she never committed. “In order for this to occur, our legal system must be one that demands absolutely honesty, such as when someone is called to testify he or she is asked, Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? If false accusations and false evidence are presented against the innocent, they will be punished as if they are guilty” (RealPolice, 2000).
The place of honesty in a system that promotes justice has sparked a controversial issue among the Criminal Justice world, that honesty could be put on the back-burner when pursuing justice. For example when officers present false evidence to prosecutor in order to have a case against the accused when they believe he or she will not be found guilty.
A good example of deception by law enforcement occurred in 1993, when “Craig D. Harvey a New York State Police trooper was charged with fabricating evidence. Harvey admitted he and another trooper lifted fingerprints from items the suspect, John Spencer, touched while in Troop C headquarters during booking. He attached the fingerprints to evidence cards and later claimed that he had pulled the fingerprints from the scene of the murder. The forged evidence was used during trial and John Spencer was sentenced to 50 years to...