Agencies of law enforcement work hard to train, hire, and recruit only those individuals that show strong moral values prior to joining the academy. However, even the best effort of the departments will not completely eliminate instances of police misconduct from gathering attention. Police misconduct incidences jeopardize significant investigation, weaken public trust, and expose law enforcement agencies to substantial liability. A number of these departments react to these incidences by adopting legal ethics training programs which centers on development of character. This paper focuses on evaluating how officers involved on misconduct should be treated.
Summary of the Case
The case to be reviewed involved a police officer (Julian) who arrested young children from school after a robbery in which a car which was registered under their mother’s name was spotted in the scene of crime. The car was being driven in a suspicious manner. The officer handicapped the three children and forced the elder one to confess that he was involved in the robbery by threatening that if he does not his mother will be jailed and denied the custody of her children. He recorded the false statement and used it to have the child executed for robbery. He then goes and confesses to the family that the child was not guilty but for the child to be released the mother had to confess. He then dropped the case and promised the mother the boy will be released but if she accepts to have sex with him. However after a few days the prosecutor was able to realize the officer’s act and released the boy. A case against the officer was filed. His charges included abduction, and intimidation (Lynch, 2013).
Police Officers and Judicial Code of Conducts
Police officers are anticipated to carry their duties with a high level of honesty. They are required to base all their cases with the collected evidence and not with mere speculation. In this regard, their operation is highly surrounded by moral value of an individual and the code of conduct or ethics defined by the organization. Moral value basically refers to personality traits of a person, as well as personal attitude. Individuals will good moral values are very probable to be honest even in their work (Elliot & Pollock, n.d.). On the contrary, individuals with bad moral values can easily use any means to make their work easier or to ruin someone using lies and dishonest ways. To ensure right values are upheld in the law enforcement agencies, these agencies develop code of conduct or ethics to be followed by all despite of their personal values. This pushes even those with bad moral values to assume good deeds and to behave ethically while performing their duties. Among the most valued code of conduct in law enforcement agencies is the protection of innocents in the society and ensuring justice is enforced at all cases. In this regard, individuals involved in unethical conducts that would jeopardize justice and victimize the innocents require to be punished based on the impact their acts have caused (Fitch, 2011).
Similar to the law enforcement agencies, the judicial system is also guided by a code of conduct or ethics where in any form of misconduct should be punished. Judicial ethics is a section of a huge legal group of legal ethics. It contains norms and standards which bear on judges and addresses issues such as how to uphold impartiality, independence, and eliminate impropriety. Disciplinary actions for rule of conduct infractions by state judge are characteristically controlled by a judicial commission of state. Every American state contains a commission or agency either by amendment or statute to the state constitution. Their duty is to handle judicial misconduct complaints. In this regard, judicial system is not allowed to abuse its freedom or independence since its operations are highly scrutinized by these commissions (Alschuler, 1972).
Consequences of Immoral Behaviors
Based on the case, and the code of conduct governing the police force and the judicial system, the police officer had a case to answer. To being with, the officer subjected children into distress and shame as he handicapped them in school even after being 100% sure that they were not involved in crime. Although the police have the right for arrest, this right need not be abused and it should only be exercised after the officer has enough information and evidence pointing to the suspects. The act of taking children from schools and accusing them of a crime without evidence was interpreted as abduction since there was no legal ground for doing that. In addition, police are allowed to a certain level of intimidation based on the fact that it is the only way that pushes suspects to confess. However, this does not include physical or sexual abuse. The police act of advancing sexually to the child’s mother in order to get information was against the police code of conduct.
Based on the fact that the judicial system is supposed to be independent, and impartial, they therefore have a role of prosecuting the officer based on his unethical needs. Although these actions are defined among the actions where the officer is allowed his act passed the required degree. In this regard, the group evaluated that the officer should be punished by allowing the judicial system to honestly analyze the case and sentence the officer to imprisonment for not less than 5 years.
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