The rules themselves are usually the result of discretion by other actors in the criminal justice system, such as the legislature, which has created the criminal code for the jurisdiction. However, even the most detailed rules allow for discretion, and it is possible that this discretion will allow actors subject to the rules to countermand or contradict the rules. The best example of this type of contradiction comes in the case of mandatory sentences, where legislative intent is frequently averted through the use of prosecutorial discretion. In the case of sentencing, disparity involves the application of different punishments to cases that appear to be identical on the merits, or alternatively, the application of same punishment to cases that appear different.
Further, I believe there to be cases where a police officer is morally obligated to lie. In this paper, I will present a discussion of why philosophers should be interested in law enforcement ethics, what the role of police is in society, particular sorts of police lies, how police officers justify deception, and the consequences of police deception.
Please note, though, this is a work-in-progress. Everyone, from prostitutes to philosophers, is affected by the conduct or misconduct of police officers.
Philosophers can assist by calling into question standard ethical precepts and providing tests or methods for evaluating options, though what is easily understood in the classroom may become clouded or more complicated in the field. Some goals of philosophers who deal with law enforcement ethics are to: The nature of police training and work requires police officers to use both intellectual and moral abilities.
Ethics instruction builds moral character in officers and on-the-job use of moral reasoning enables police administrators to identify fundamental problems and balance often conflicting laws, community expectations, and their own consciences p.
While it has been traditional to describe the role of police in the context of social contract theory with Ethics discretion and police misconduct essay officers as agents charged with the enforcement of law such a definition here is not sufficient.
Peace by peaceful means is a trait of modern society—it is evidenced by the establishment of international diplomacy with the task of controlling outbreaks of war, the virtual elimination of force from the administration of justice, and the social condemnation of using violence as being of a low-class mentality.
This is not to say, however, that society is blind to the frequent occurrence of violence within it. The use of force is tightly restricted in modern society, limiting its use to three general categories.
Self-defense is generally permissible when used as an absolute last resort—all other methods must have been considered, including retreat, and either attempted or determined to be impossible. Caretakers like prison guards and hospital orderlies are also permitted to use force for self-defense and to enforce a court order for confinement or restricted freedom.
Police authority to use force, though, is significantly different from the previous two examples. Of these three categories, only one is granted near limitless authority to use force—the police.
The only explicit restrictions placed on police use of force are limits on the use of deadly force, that the officer must be performing his legitimate duties, and that the force must not be applied in a frivolous or malicious manner.
Among other tasks, police officers are called on to obtain and maintain order in large crowds, remove drunk patrons from bars, mediate domestic disputes, and deal with medical and psychiatric emergencies—taken together, situations that require the use of force without invoking law Bittner, p.
Some might argue that these chores are the responsibilities of other professionals—doctors, EMTs, tavern owners, and counselors—even though those practitioners are the ones who may have summoned police assistance.
And for what reason? By the rules society has established, the practitioner lacks the authority to evict a patron or family member by force or to compel a critically ill person to check into a hospital or clinic. Police work, then, requires the overcoming of actual or potential resistance.
Four types of domination and control are available to cops: Authority is marked by unquestioning recognition by those who are asked to obey, neither coercion nor persuasion is needed. Those who obey do so because they understand the command to be right and necessary and they understand the person or institution to be rightly entitled to issue the command p.
It is impossible to know what proportion of encounters between police and citizens are marked by relations of authority. Power is the chance of a man or a number of men to realize their own will in a communal action even against the resistance of others who are participating in the action p.
This form of domination is similar to authority in that it is a social thing, but can be distinguished from authority in two ways—power calculates the cost of resistance, must deal with the idea of if resistance is made that it will be overcome—police are subject to extreme restrictions on action when reacting to the provocative practices of others.
Persuasion involves seeking to overcome resistance through the use of words and arguments that induce in the mind of the person persuaded the belief that he or she ought to comply Klockars, p. A person is not considered persuaded until he believes he ought to do or behave in a certain manner.
Lying or deceiving is a subset of this type of domination. The lie communicates a message the sender knows to be false with the intention of taking from the mind of the person receiving it the capacity to draw its own conclusion.
Errors are excused on the ground they lack the intent to deceive. Physical force differs from the previous three in that the will of the person being coerced is irrelevant to the means used to obtain compliance.
Force is rarely approved of by those to whom it is applied, as is demonstrated by a general unwillingness of society to give approval or legitimacy to its use p.
Brooks suggests the decision to lie involves a utilitarian calculus—a belief that the truth will cause a greater evil than the deception and that individuals, including cops, find themselves in these situations frequently p. Common areas of deception in law enforcement include the use of wiretaps, informants, stings, and undercover operations.
These common deceptive practices involve lying to individuals believed to be involved in criminal activity p. Four major assumptions are necessary on the part of the police officer. The first is the operative assumption of guilt—guilt is assumed as a necessary working premise in searches and interrogations.
The officer is often not in a position to alter this assumption until some action results in disconfirmation. The cop must be prepared for danger and understand the one who has the most to hide will try the hardest to evade responsibility.
Deception can occur in any or all three stages of the detecting process—investigation, interrogation, and court testimony. According to Skolnick, each stage is subject to increasingly stringent normative constraints p.
In the investigation phase of a case police are permitted by the courts to engage in deception and are trained to do so p.The essay question 3. In this case, there is discrimination when it comes to dealing with the officers by their seniors.
The officer who notices the misbehavior of the other two offices is a new recruit who does not belong to any union and can be fired at any time. Police ethics is about being fair in his or her practice or discretion.
Police discretion can mean two things. First, it can mean having the police sentence a criminal and second, it can be an act of identifying whether a person is guilty or innocent.
This article discusses the rationale for, the content of, and the enforcement of the police code of conduct and the law enforcement code of ethics. Abstract: Because law enforcement is a profession, ethics and ethical conduct play an important role. We will write a custom essay sample on Ethics, Discretion and Professionalism in Policing specifically for you for only $ $/page.
Police Ethics. Police Discretion G. Topic: Ethics, Discretion and Professionalism in Policing. How About Make It Original?
Police Discretion and Motivations for Police Misconduct essaysIn America, police officers are revered and highly distinguished because of the power they wield and the dangers they must face. Since the profession carries such danger and risk, they must be allowed to perform their jobs to the best of.
Police authority and powers can also be coercive in nature, which can facilitate corruption by discretion.
Such power, if bestowed upon individuals lacking moral values and ethics, can have devastating and lasting impacts if wielded unethically.