Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice

Topics: Crime, Police, Morality Pages: 2 (662 words) Published: September 5, 2009
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Ethics, or moral conduct, are of major importance in the Criminal Justice field today. If the police force condoned unethical behavior, there would be very little, if any, justice being served. Official police misconduct is any “objectionable actions taken by police officers in connection with their official duties, which can lead to a miscarriage of justice”. (wikipedia.com). However, “police misconduct may include a broader range of misconduct, reflecting the high standards that we expect of police officers. Unlike official misconduct, police misconduct can apply to off-duty behavior as well as conduct on the job”. (clc.qld.gov.au). Ethics are applicable in an investigation because, as I stated before, if the force condoned unethical behaviors, there would be very little, if any, justice being served. We will now focus on three ethical issues and see how these issues can impact a case. The issues we will cover are planting evidence, falsifying testimony, and bribery. Planting evidence on a suspect is a very big problem. Some police officers do this to meet a quota, such as this happened in Atlanta and lead to a 92-year old woman’s death a few months ago. Some officers have done this because they were convinced that it was the only way to get a known criminal off the streets in order to make the neighborhood safer. Huntington Beach, CA has a practice of planting evidence on unsuspecting vehicles in order to train new officers. Las Vegas abandoned a similar training tactic last year when a man was falsely charged with drug possession after a canine officer forgot to retrieve drugs planted in the man's car. This unethical behavior is a problem because innocent people are charged and convicted with crimes that they did not commit.

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Falsifying testimony is a problem for many reasons. If an officer falsifies testimony, it can ensure that the perpetrator goes free and no justice is received for the victim. It also can lead to the...

References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_misconduct
http://www.cmc.qld.gov.au/asp/index.asp?pgid=10760
http://jonathanturley.org/2009/03/08/three-atlanta-police-officers-sentenced-for-planting-evidence-and-killing-a-92-year-old-grandmother-in-botched-raid/
www.clc.qld.gov.au
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