You are a prosecutor trying your first case. You are thrilled with how well it is going. Every objection you make is upheld, and every objection the defense makes is overruled. The judge shakes her head affirmatively every time you
make a point and scowls and makes disparaging comments about and to the defense attorney. As the trial proceeds, you begin to see that it is going so well not because of your legal expertise but, rather, because the judge is obviously and seriously biased against the defense. You do not know if she simply does not like the defense attorney or she does this in all the trials, but you do know that she is making it extremely difficult for the jury to ignore her and, thus, is violating the due process rights of the accused.
Should you be grateful for your good luck and accept an easy conviction or make a stand against the judge’s actions?
You are a police officer assigned to the juvenile division. For the most part you enjoy your job and believe that you have sometimes even made a difference when the juvenile has listened to you and stayed out of trouble (at least as far as you knew). One day you are told repeatedly by your captain to pick up a juvenile, even though you don’t think there is any probable cause to do so. This is the third time you have been ordered to pick him up and bring him into the station. You discover that the detectives are trying to get the juvenile to become an informant because he is related to a suspected drug dealer.
Should you participate in the attempt to intimidate him or refuse to do so?
You are an undercover officer involved in a drug sting at a local high school. You are told by your drug task force supervisor to get the evidence “at any cost” even if you have to use drugs or sex to gain the trust of dealers. You are told that if you don’t bring in a conviction on this case, the task Ethics and the Criminal Justice Professional 177
force will be disbanded, and you believe that it has been effective in helping to get drugs off the street. You are at a party with the suspects and everyone uses drugs and then offers some to you.
What should you do?
As a member of the mayor’s task force on juvenile crime, you have the opportunity to set crime policy for the next decade. What principles, programs, or objectives would you emphasize and advocate for in the coming discussions?
Your partner has been on the force twenty-five years, and you value her opinion greatly. However, you have noticed that she has become progressively more lethargic and unenthusiastic about the job. When dispatch asks for available
cars, she won’t let you respond. When you see accidents on the highway, she instructs you to go around the block so that you won’t have to stop. Even when you receive calls, she tells you to advise dispatch that you are otherwise occupied. You believe that she has just gotten burned out and isn’t performing up to the standard that you know she is capable of.
What, if anything, would you do about it?
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