Ethics and Criminal Justice: A Case Analysis
As a police officer, you have been investigating a string of murders that has taken the lives of six children. The following is a timeline of events.
The work load in this investigation has been intense as you are working around the clock to figure ways to stop this killer before there is another victim. Personally, it has been difficult sleeping because you keep thinking of the horrific images at the crime scenes. Although the killer has not been caught, the citizens of your community appreciate your efforts to the point of buying you a free cup of coffee when you work the crime scenes.
A suspect has been caught. Some of the evidence you have procured was done without a search warrant and outside of established protocol for evidence handling, but no one from the public or district attorney’s office is aware of this fact. The criminal trial is coming in December and you will be asked to testify as to the chain of evidence. You ask your co-workers and superiors what you should do and they agree that it is fine to present the evidence as being legally obtained since this will be sufficient proof for a jury to convict the killer.
At the criminal trial, you are about to take the stand to testify about the case. You still have mixed feelings about lying to the court, but you know that the community would be safer and proud of your accomplishment in catching the killer.
Alexander, M. (February 2, 2013). Why police lie under oath. The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/opinion/sunday/why-police-officers-lie-under-oath.html
Breton, T. (September 4, 2012). Judge slams Cranston police, tosses evidence in murder of 6-year-old. The Providence Journal http://news.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/2012/09/judge-slams-cra.html
Refuge, J. (June 24, 2011). Ethics and training in forensic science. Crime Scene Investigator Network http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net/print/ethicsinforensicscience-print.html
Assignment: Analyze a Case Scenario
Write a paper in which you analyze the case facts above and include responses to the following:
1. Should you be accepting the free coffee people are offering you?
2.Should you seek counseling for your stress? Explain your response.
3.Is due process being jeopardized if the evidence was obtained without a warrant? If so, why does this matter so long as a dangerous criminal is convicted for his heinous crimes?
4.Is the opinion of co-workers and your superiors correct? Why or why not?
5.Does the desire to appease the interests of the community interfere with ethical police work?
6. Do you think some officers lie to the court if the defense attorney questions the officer about how evidence was procured and handled to preserve the chain of custody? Is this appropriate or ever acceptable?
In addition to the text references above, support your paper with at least seven (7) scholarly resources from the past 5 years. In addition to these specified resources, other appropriate scholarly resources, including older articles, may be included.
Length: 12-15 pages not including title and reference pages