No, as there are different circumstances in the same crime, take Murder for example. A sadistic murder deliberate without motive. A violent husband who kicks his pregnant wife repeatedly, until she grabs a knife in desperation and stabs him to death. Two very different circumstances of the same crime of murder.
2. In what types of situations should police officers be allowed NOT to enforce the laws?
Police officers should be allowed to use their own discretion in petty circumstances such as children writing on walls.
3. In what types of situations should they be required to fully enforce the law?
Suspect child pornography/cruelty.
Why does police discretion exist and what are its strengths and weaknesses?
Why does it exist. Because the law is many times considered an ***. Take for instance, 'Baby P' reported in the media, the cruelty and pain suffered by that baby was horrendous. If individual police officers could have a true say in their sentences the perpetrators would have got what they deserved not the petty sentences they actually got.
Strengths and Weaknesses. The strength's are that Police cannot take the law into their own hands (as above) and also, the pro's to this is Police cannot just do what they like to individuals they arrest (although this is dabatable from reports in the press about officers assaulting individuals and the power behind their uniforms) driving like idiots, and hiding behind the pretext of duty runs) Then getting off scott free in court. Weakness is officers cannot turn the other cheek with stupid arrests such as drunkeness, half of the time it would be better just to ignore drunks out at night having a laugh. You could say a number of petty crimes could be ignored by police officers, but because they have to get statistics correct for the government departments arrests are made to the detriment of the tax payer, with...