Types of Ethical Violations
8. A lack of ethical behavior on the part of criminal court professionals can have negative impacts for defendants during the court hearing process. Identify and discuss at least three types of ethical violations within the criminal court system that can have a negative impact on the court hearing process for a defendant.
Types of Ethical Violations
Lack of ethical behavior or violation of the code of ethics by the criminal court professionals can have extremely negative and detrimental impacts for the defendants, during and after the process of court hearing. Every party in the criminal justice system, whether it is the judge, the attorneys, or the police officers has a role to play in the maintaining the sanity of the judiciary by being true to the code of ethics recommended that are in place to guide their respective professions.
One type of violations that would have a great impact on the criminal process is when a judge puts into account his religious views when making a ruling. According to the Judges’ code of ethics, judges should be free of any partiality when deciding on a case (Pollock, 2012). By letting his religious views take precedence in a criminal case, the judge has undermined his own impartiality. This will lead to the judge ruling not based on what the law stipulates for the case, and the judgment is deemed to have flaws. Consequently, the defendant may have a chance of going to jail even without being guilty, or handed a sentence too long for the crime he committed. Religious convictions sometimes might be on polar opposites with the state laws, and trying to have a judge with deep-seated religious convictions handle a case with his religious convictions, then you can be sure that the justice will not be served. For example the Islam Sharia law approves vengeance, therefore if someone commits a crime in the name of revenge, he might go free if a Muslim judge presiding over the case decides to violate the code of ethics that demand total impartiality.
Another type of ethical violation can happen with the prosecution attorney, when he presents wrong information/evidence. The prosecutors’ code of ethics demands of them to be honest in their presentation of incriminating evidence in the court proceedings (Downs, 2012). A prosecutor may want to be seen as one who works well and impress his superiors by doing all he can to make sure that the defendant is found guilty and convicted. This may include having to bring before the judge inaccurate information as evidence, as well as having witnesses give false testimonies. This kind of ethical behavior violation can will the bearing of the case, and since judges and jury depend on evidence to make their rulings, they might end up making skewed rulings, and no justice will be served ultimately.
The police officers can as well engage in ethics violation, when they go outside their own mandate and do as they please. The police are supposed to be a force that protects the citizens, and are responsive to the needs of the citizens (Siegel & Worrall, 2014). When a police officer decides to use his power to settle scores, it becomes a violation of the ethical code, which requires them to be very professional in their undertakings. Conducting a bogus investigation and deciding that someone committed a crime while he actually did not, because of personal differences, is a gross violation of the Criminal Justice ethical code. This can cause the prosecution of an innocent man, which in itself is emotionally painful for the person and their family.
Downs, J. (2012). Ethics in forensic science. Oxford: Academic press.
Siegel, L., & Worrall, J. (2014). Essentials of criminal justice (5th ed.). Boston: Cengage
Pollock, J. (2012). Ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice (7th ed.). Belmont, CA:
Wadsworth Cengage Learning
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