EthicalBehavior in the Criminal Court System
Accordingto Peter Singer, living ethically involves thinking beyond one’sinterest. Ethics is a branch of philosophy that is involved with thestudy of what is right or wrong and how people ought to live [ CITATION Sag15 l 1033 ].In other words, ethics involves making judgments between what iswrong or right orwhat is good or bad. Ethics lays the groundwork for law in thecriminal justice system as it ensures that defendants who appear in acourt of law receive fair treatment in courts hence giving themconfidence of a fair trial. In this essay, the author will discussthe importance of ethical behavior within the criminal court system.In addition, the writer will highlight the definition of ethicalbehavior for defense attorney and judges in the criminal court systemas well as the negative outcomes that could arise in case of ethicalviolations.
Ethicsor ethical behavior is the foundation on which the criminal justicesystem has been established [ CITATION Gru15 l 1033 ].It indeed helps the court system develop moral reasoning in howcriminal activity is defined and also how the society deems the mostappropriate mode of punishment. The knowledge of ethics in thecriminal justice system allows questions and analysis to be made onissues concerning relationships between crime and justice, the extentof punishment and the functioning of prisons. It is only through thestudying of ethical behavior that the criminal court system can beable to define unethical behavior. Forexample, a court would only allow fair trial in court because byallowing unfairness in the court could put themselves at risk ofreceiving fair treatment in court when their time comes. Theunderstanding of ethical behavior in the criminal court system iscrucial because it ensures that criminal justice system professionalswho have authority and power do not abuse their power. Criminaljustice professionals might be tempted to go beyond theirjurisdiction due to their own interest or the interest of otherparties [ CITATION Sag15 l 1033 ].
Defenseattorneys are required to correct false statements, failure to whichcould render them guilty of obstructing justice. Defense attorneyshave to act ethically in ensuring that they represent their clientfairly and that a client does not provide false testimony. It is theduty of the defense attorney to ensure that truthful statements andaccurate information is provide in court thereby placing the burdenof proof on the prosecution. Defense attorneys should act ethicallyin assisting their clients offer false or misrepresenting informationin a court of law. Ethical behavior is perhaps more crucial to judgesin the criminal justice system than other professionals in thecriminal court system. This is because judges are expected to actindependently and have to be fair in their interpretation of the law.Judges in criminal court systems have to adhere to several ethicalbehaviors such as being impartial, offering non-biased decisions, notbeing involved in special interest groups and most importantly notdeviating from the law. Judges should also not be inclined toreligious opinions and their own personal feelings when executing ajudgment [ CITATION Tuc15 l 1033 ].
Failureto observe ethical behavior in criminal court systems could result tonegative outcomes. For example, if defense attorneys allow theirclients to use false statements they could be obstructing the courseof justice and criminals who should be in prison could be walkingscot free. Judges who do not apply fairness in their judgment couldsee more innocent defendants face prison sentences thus crowdingprisons and leading to a lack of trust in the justice system.
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Sage Publication. (n.d.). The Interaction Between Ethics and the Criminal Justice System . Retrieved November 22, 2015, from Sagepub: https://www.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/46945_CH_1.pdf
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