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Ethical Criminal Law and Procedure

1. Are undercover police operations ethical? Please support your opinion.

2. When an officer commits a crime, what sanctions should be imposed? Officers, like any other person, make mistakes. Therefore, should the officer be given a second chance or should the officer be fired regardless of the level of crime?

3. There are typically stringent hiring standards within the police community. In times of greater need for officers, departments will occasionally relax hiring standards to allow more candidates to qualify for positions. Is it the duty of a department to have a larger force of possibly lesser qualified officers, or a smaller force of candidates with greater qualifications? What would be the positives and negatives of both?

In our history, we have numerous leaders and rulers who committed atrocities just because they hated a nation, a group of people, or a culture. However, in our more recent history, Slobodan Milosevic was probably the closest to what Hitler had tried to achieve in Nazi Germany, as Milosevic attempted to "racially clean" Bosnia in much the same manner as Hitler. Then there were dictators such as Saddam Hussein, Mommar Gaddhafi, and Joseph Stalin who are infamous in history for their atrocities and megalomania personality.

4. What do you believe causes leaders with so much power to commit such atrocities? Is there a criminal theory that explains it or does it depend on the individual dictator?

5. What affect criminally/biologically do you believe that Nazi Germany had on the children it tried to train and recruit for Hitler's future army? Is there a criminological theory that explains the effect it had on German children?

6. Could you imagine the U.S. without 1st Amendment protection? What would be the possible negatives effects if we did not enjoy these rights

7. We now have racist hate groups such as the Aryan Nation that worship Hitler and think he was a great man and visionary. They also believe in his idea of the "perfect" Aryan race, and promote violence and hate. Should the first amendment protect them?

Solution Preview

1. Are undercover police operations ethical? Please support your opinion.

I believe that there is a fine line between ethical and unethical when it comes to undercover police work. Undercover works is ethical, but only if it is the greatest resource in order to complete an investigation. Current U.S. legal codes provide protection for citizens. This means all citizens. It does not matter if someone is a criminal or a law abiding citizen. However, according to that same code, felons do not have many of the rights that others do such as voting, or caring guns. In effect, the Justice System has stripped the person who committed a felony of their citizenship. When an officer investigates a person that is potentially committing felons, and undercover work is the best way for them to gain the needed information, then they should be allowed to gather it by those means, as long as it is within the confines of the law.

However, as I mentioned before, it is a fine line. An officer needs to stick within the confinement of the laws while doing undercover work. It can be easy for an officer to forget that, especially while undercover. I believe that it can be easy for an officer to create entrapping situations when it comes to doing undercover work. For example, officers may be undercover to bust large drug operations; this is ethical as long as they are not committing any crimes themselves nor asking others to commit crimes. However, when the undercover officer asks someone to commit a crime, it entrapment. Entrapment only works if the person was not predisposed to commit a crime. This means that if the officer is undercover buying drugs to expose a drug dealer, this is ethical, but if he recruits others to deal in drugs then he is essentially asking someone else to commit the crime, and this is entrapment which is unethical.

2. When an officer commits a crime, what sanctions should be imposed? Officers, like any other person, make mistakes. Therefore, should the officer be given a second chance or should the officer be fired regardless of the level of crime?

It should depend on the circumstances surrounding the crime and the type of crime that the officer committed. Every person, regardless of their occupation, can have a bad day. For example, if an officer is going through a divorce and goes to a bar to drink then later ...

Solution Summary

The ethical criminal laws and procedures are examined in the solution.

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