Criminal justice is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that offenders or law breakers corrected through the legal correctional means. In the process of correcting them, criminal justice students will be interested to see how the legal proceedings are conducted, and if there are any ethics followed. When we compare criminal justice systems and the ethical aspects, we first must bring some questions to the fore.
First, is it ethically proper to cross examine a witness with the aim of discrediting their credibility when the lawyer knows well that the witness is telling the truth? Secondly, is it ethical to have a witness give testimony when the lawyer knows well that the witness will commit perjury? (Henry M, 2006).Thirdly, is it ethical for a lawyer to represent a criminal, while the lawyer knows well that the accused has really committed an offence? In the quest to answer these questions, I try to compare the legal practice in relation to my ethical thinking.
It is ethically wrong for example, to have a lawyer representing a criminal while he/she knows perfectly well that the accused for sure committed the crime. Lawyers practice this through “twisting” the truth. They also try to discredit the credibility of witnesses even when they know that the witness is telling the truth. (Henry M, 2006). Many cases are won through this as most witnesses are not experienced in legal matters. It is some form of coercion and intimidation by lawyers in order for their cases to go their way.
When addressing legal matters with people who have different interpretations of ethical behavior, relative to criminal justice application, it is important to understand the public opinion on punishment. This public opinion is measured through what does the public perceive of the punishment meted against law offenders, and how does it go towards correcting them. What is ethical in one community could be unethical in another community. So, the quest should be to attain a middle ground where the legal correction means do not conflict with the social and ethical perceptions of the citizens.
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