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Criminal Law and Procedure

1. Why does the attorney-client privilege exist? Discuss the differences between the ethical obligations of a criminal defense attorney and the ethical obligations of a prosecuting attorney.
2. Discuss the advantages and problems of plea bargaining. What should a prosecutor consider before offering or entering into a plea bargain? Should victims of a crime have a say in whether or not a plea bargain is reached in the prosecution of the crime?
3. Mark Fuhrman, the now-infamous LAPD detective who falsified information and planted evidence in the OJ Simpson trial, is perhaps the best modern-day example of police corruption. Simpson was acquitted of murder in 1995. Many people attribute the loss of the case to Mark Fuhrman
Q. Please research Mark Fuhrman's role in both cases. What do you think of Mark Fuhrman? Is he a good cop who made a bad mistake? Is he a bad, corrupt, and evil cop? Is he a good person who just wants to see justice served? Is he a bad person? Can any of his actions in the Simpson trial be justified? Can his investigation in the Moxley murder be trusted?
4. How would you handle it if you worked with a law enforcement officer who you realized was corrupt?
5. Thanks for the response. We have been discussing the idea of officer who commits a crime. What about when a person has committed an offense prior to becoming a police officer, should that person forever be prohibited from being a police officer? As our supplemental reading points out, law enforcement ethics do not begin when you pin on the badge. Rather, they begin long before that, starting with the candidate's general character.
What offenses do you think should be used to disqualify an otherwise suitable police officer candidate?
Assault, Theft, DUI or Speeding ticket?
What offenses should not be used for disqualification?
Should it matter if it were committed 2 months ago verses 20 years ago?

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1. Why does the attorney-client privilege exist? Discuss the differences between the ethical obligations of a criminal defense attorney and the ethical obligations of a prosecuting attorney.

The attorney-client privilege is when legal advice is sought from an attorney in a professional capacity that is made in confidence by a possible client. Once this happens, he or she is permanently protected from that attorney disclosing their discussions except if the protection is waived by the client. The attorney-client privilege exists in order for a client to feel safe so that they can fully disclose the facts of their case to their attorney without feeling that there will be repercussions; this also allows the attorney to gain full knowledge of the situation so that they can better represent their client.

There are ethical obligations of a defense attorney. These include confidentiality, zealous representation and avoiding a conflict of interest. I believe that confidentiality is the primary ethical concern for any defense attorney. Keeping confidentiality is more than just keeping a secret. An attorney cannot even divulge evidence that would prove their client's guilt if the client shared the information in confidence. The attorney cannot share the anything the client divulges with anyone without the client's permission. Most states even have an oath within their bar admission to maintain confidentiality of their clients.

Zealous representation is another obligation that an attorney must fulfill. This means that the counselor will do everything possible to represent and advance his client's best interest. He will also do everything to protect his client's rights.

All attorneys must avoid a conflict of interest. He also has an obligation to avoid the appearance of any interest conflicts. Conflicts can cause a mistrial or could cause the attorney to not represent a client to the best of his or her ability. Even the appearance of conflict could damage an attorney's reputation. ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses criminal law and procedure.