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During the course of every day, various ethical issues will require you to make decisions that may affect your career, your personal life, and perhaps the lives or livelihoods of others, including your coworkers, friends, and potential criminal defendants.
At the end of most of the chapters in your textbook, you were presented with a variety of ethics-related scenarios to evaluate. This course project presents similar situations that youll respond to.
Be sure to answer each of the questions as completely as possible, using the information in your textbook and any other information youve learned to support your positions.
The questions have no absolute right or wrong answers. Your answers should be logical and supported by information in the textbook or other reference material.
To satisfy the requirements for this project, you must prepare six short, 250-word essays in response to five questions. Each question is worth 20 points. The five questions are based on the following scenario.
As you prepare your answers to the questions, keep in mind that youre a public official and that you have a duty to uphold justice and follow the law.
ETHICAL DILEMMA 1: GUN RALLY
Youve received an anonymous tip that a local gun advocacy group plans to hold a rally in the town square the next day. The group hasnt applied for a permit to hold a rally, but theyve held such events in the past and theyve always been peaceful. You strongly support Article 2 of the Constitution and the beliefs of the gun advocacy group, and you dont want to do anything to offend the members. You believe the anonymous tipster is providing accurate information, but you cant be absolutely sure. You also believe that no one else in your police department is aware of the impending event. What do you do? Give reasons to support your decision.
ETHICAL DILEMMA 2: CHIEFS ORDERS
Assume that in response to the tip you received about the gun rally, you decide to advise your fellow police officers. You gather a group of officers together the next day in case the unlawful rally is held. As the gun advocacy group begins to appear on the town square, you confer with the chief officer on duty. She tells you to wait until the entire group has gathered and then storm the area, with tear gas and billy clubs. Youre further instructed to arrest everyone you can and to charge them with unlawful assembly, trespassing, rioting, and anything else you can come up with. She also makes some very derogatory comments about anyone who supports such a group, claiming theyre terrorists and thugs. You personally disagree with the chief and believe shes acting both improperly and immorally, allowing her personal beliefs to interfere with her legal responsibilities as a police officer. What do you do? Do you follow her orders? Why or why not? Explain your answer.
ETHICAL DILEMMA 3: ACCEPTING FAVORS
Youre asked to investigate the gun advocacy group and their activities. To do so, you need to work with the police department in the next county. After contacting their chief, youre assigned to work with another seasoned officer who has also been conducting some preliminary investigations of the group. You decide to do some field investigations together the following day. While youre out working on the investigation, the other officer decides to stop at the local convenient market for some lunch. He picks up a sandwich and coffee, waves to the owner, and returns to the police vehiclewithout paying for the items. When you ask him about it, he says that he has an arrangement with the owner and not to worry about it. He explains that he and the store owner help each other out (meaning the officer provides additional protection to the store in exchange for the food). Finally, he says, If youre hungry, go inside and pick up what you want. What do you do and what concerns do you have? Explain your answers.
ETHICAL DILEMMA 4: REPORTING A DEAL
You happen to be in the courthouse during the trial of some of the members of the gun advocacy group. As you walk by the chambers of the judge who is presiding over the trial, you overhear the judge and the chief prosecutor discussing the case. The judge is talking about one of the defendants in the case and is making some very derogatory comments. Youve often appeared in trials before this judge, and youve always found him to be fair and impartial. In this case, however, youre concerned that the judge and prosecutor may be engaging in inappropriate activity. This situation is particularly troublesome because the trial is proceeding at the request of all parties as a bench trial, with the decision being rendered by the judge without the benefit of a jury. What would you do? Explain your answer.
ETHICAL DILEMMA 5: BREAKING PRISON RULES
In the course of your investigation of the gun advocacy group, you have to go to your local county prison to question one of the group members being held there pending trial. This particular individual has been a problem inmate and is being held in solitary confinement. Hes to have no contact with other members of the group. You meet with him alone in a private interrogation room. He knows that you generally support the group, and he does his best to answer your questions, although his answers arent as complete as you would like. At the end of the questioningjust before he rises to leave the roomhe slips you a note in a sealed envelope and asks that you give it to someone who is involved in the gun advocacy group. He says its very important and implores you to just hand it to the person or drop it in the mail. He then leaves the interrogation room. What do you do? Explain your answer.
ETHICAL DILEMMA 6: CRISIS INTERVENTION OR USE OF FORCE?
While on routine patrol youre dispatched to an apartment building where theres been a report of a male disturbing the peace. As you and your partner arrive on the scene, the apartment manager informs you that the tenant on the second floor is threatening other tenants. Upon reaching the suspect you begin shouting commands for the subject to place his hands where they can be seen. The subject isnt complying with the commands and is acting in a way that youre trained to understand may be linked to mental health illness. What do you do? Explain your answer.
Create a title page with the following information:
Title: Ethics in Criminal Justice
Your student number
Project number: 50127900
Prepare your answers to the ethical dilemmas in a word processing program. Each answer should be at least 250 words.
Double-space your answers. Use 12-point fonteither Times New Roman or Arialand one-inch margins.
Incorporate and properly reference any sources of information youve used to develop your answers. Use proper APA in-text citation formatting and include an APA References page at the end of your paper. For assistance with citing your sources and doing a references page, see the Research and Writing page in the Penn Foster Virtual Library: http://pflibrary.pennfoster.edu/c.php?g=633288