Ethics and Criminal Justice
Ethics involves what humans view good or bad, right or wrong. Justice encompasses what the legal system stipulates as wrong or right. Usually, justice is ethics and people assume that doing right or wrong, bad or good is ethically predetermined. Ideally, justice system stipulates or concerns people’s rights and compensate by punishment once the justice rights are dishonored. Equally, religions provide grounds of recognizing bad and good or wrong and right. For example in Christianity, the holy bible gives a scenario of not killing “brother’s keeper” and gives repercussions of violating such ethical standards. Religions also provide answers to all unethical and ethical moral decisions pertaining to particular ethical or unethical scenarios. Conversely, justice systems provide judgment procedures and remedies to persons violating the rule of the law or the rights of other persons. Concisely, justice and ethics encompasses all the scenarios to be managed by morals and justice system. The paper will explore on the applied and normative ethics and justices, particularly dilemmas and conflicts situations that are prevalent in moral judgment and justice systems.
Moral decision making arise for all people, such as Professionals, clergy members, members of justice bench, students, tutors and lecturers, presidents, police or army officers. Usually, questions of ethics are attached to moral decisions made by an individual. Ideally, making moral decisions on bad and good, or wrong and right revolve around ethical issues. Cheating an exam is morally wrong and the school examination and timetabling system does not allow any such criticisms. Once found guilt for cheating school exam is dismissal or suspension for not less than three years depending on evidence of prove. One day, I entered an exam room with my laptop in my bag and beside I carried my small notepad written shots forms of psychology unit stuffs. Truly, I was not prepared for the exam but I felt confidence to gather for at least minimum pass score. In past I did not feel myself failing a psychology course but for the D-day, it was to become vice versa. When I perused the two-page paper, I sensed automatic less than forty percent pass grade. Temptation rose and geared within, wildly on whether or not open the notepad. Morals engaged into inner self-battle on whether to open or not. Instincts could respond on morality of the vice. I had to analyze the degree of the ethical behaviors and the consequences of the same. The inner self fought for freedom until a decision was reached.
The first thing when faced with such a situation is to identify the facts on the morals. That is the ethical and unethical percepts of moral decision-making. Collecting facts and the consequences of the decision is key factor before making the actual judgment. Again, consequences prevalent were all either positive or negative. After considering all the ethical morals and values, the decision was “not open the notepad”, and use creativity in answering questions. Actually, moral decisions must be supported by a reason. Ethical principles and theories guided in reaching to such conclusions. The ethical theory applied was consequential or teleological theory. The theory hold that, the consequences of the moral decisions or the consequences of actions makes moral decisions or the acts morally good or bad or the situation becoming right or wrong.
Differences between the concepts of morality and ethics
Difference between ethics and morality is somehow seen by scholars and the justice systems to be subjective. As described by Rickle, (1993) ethics are defined as a system in society where all individuals recognize them and are acceptable, while morals are alleged on individual character and are recognized outside the social system. For example, morals in murder recognize convicted as immorally done, while ethics demand the convict to be jailed and defense be based on “beyond reasonable doubts”. Ideally, justice system to judgment take priority over the morality and ethics are given first priority. As stated by IES Porto do Son, (nd) the two concepts are philosophically different where morality depend on private values and influenced by religion, society and the individual culture while ethics reflect morals as beliefs and practices in a social system.
Similarities between the concepts of morality and ethics
As noted above the differences between morality and ethics are final and no similarities can be coined from their definitions. IES Porto do Son, (nd) observed that the differences between the two concepts are similar to the difference between musicology and music. In this respect, the similarity exists because one concept is dependant of the other. Summation of all the morals and entrenched in a social system compile ethics. Usually ethics philosophy reflects on morality. Ethics include not only ones morality but also is inclusive of all individual; morality in a social setup. The similarity also exists in their applicability. Ideally, both concepts having been violated, lead to stiff consequences and remedies. In this regard, they are similarly termed as rules and convections protecting the rights of others.
Moral principles simply imply to the origin, or what made morals to be in existence. Moral principles are useful in the application of the ethical theories in decision-making. According to Rainbow, (2002) ethical or moral principles are the general objectives that theories try to attain in order to make successful and unbiased decisions. Some of the objectives or goals required by the ethical theories include beneficence, respect of autonomy, justice, and least harm. Beneficence guide ethical theory to do what is good. The objective in the theory is “do well”. The principle of least harm implies individuals should try to minimize pain on other that is, to do least harm possible. Principle of autonomy focus on allowing people to make decisions those apply to their lives. The theory goal holds that individual’s lives are given first priority in making moral decisions. Conversely, this principle supports the principle of beneficence. Principle of justice is another ethical theory goal/objective that holds fairness and equality should be given priority to parties involved (Rainbow, 2002).
The theory is coined from the utility perception of the party involved. Generally, utilitarianism theory allows individuals to possess moral preferences when acting on their interest and others utility gain need to be recognized by their actions. An individual needs to compare utility benefits from both sides. Though the theory does not provide the exact distribution of good, it does provide a just way of dealing with ethics and morality. As an applied ethics theory, it suggests that end justify the means, greatest good should be for the greatest number and that, what is right is the most positive for the agents to benefit (Sherman, nd). As a normative theory, it is regarded as ethical system. Rising, (October 2002) shows that, John Stuart Mill’s uses the theory to determine what can be said just. He suggests that what is injustice can be natural rather than person’s fault. Also, Rising, (October 2002) further argues that the relationship of ethics and justice and the role of the theory might act as development of ideas in justice.
Free will and reason theories to the moral or ethical dilemma
The theories of free will and reason were coined by Kant. The theory is observed as an alternative to utilitarian theory when it comes to morals or ethical dilemmas. Kant’s theory argues that, everybody is a moral agent. He suggests that people give themselves moral laws. For these reason, individuals’ moral actions on ethical or moral dilemmas should be treating others as morally valuable. In addition morally valuable refer to rationality when making dilemma decisions and treating human being with respect and dignity (Angelfire, nd).
Discussion Board post: example of criminal justice field in moral or ethical dilemma
Example of criminal justice field in ethical dilemma may include; suppose am faced with a dilemma whether or not prevent taxi driver to attack a lorry driver. This situation is an ethical or moral dilemma. Ideally, once blocking attack, all the other taxi drivers may turn and engage in a fight. The attack of preventing a taxi driver not to attack the lorry driver is in itself a moral dilemma. The lorry driver has a right to safety and given opportunity to raise questions to the taxi’s driver act. On the other hand, taxi driver has no right to attack lorry driver, the act itself is against the rule of law and justice. Conversely, the driver has a moral and right to self-defense. Again, failure to prevent the attack will find the driver being beaten for his driving faults.
For this reason as indicated by Banks, (nd), the following process needs to be followed to reach at the decision.
Identify all the facts faced by the ethical dilemma and clearly analyzing the moral dilemma precisely.
Collecting all the facts and the situations surrounding the evidence, what the accident scene indicate, identify on all those involved to the accident, and any other moral or legal information.
Gathering knowledge relevant to decision including own values on the circumstance and the value under the traffic rules. Judge position of the outcome, either confronting or charged with violence and battery, taken to hospital or reporting the scene to legal institution and enforcement (lawyers and police).
Because this is a moral dilemma, application of ethical theories, convections and principles on possible actions and outcomes/results became practically important.
Fifth, evaluate on the available alternatives in the scene. First, choose leaving the scene and allow the driver to be wrestled. Secondly, report this immediately to the legal enforcers and journalists to cover up the story. Thirdly, intercede by mediating the scene parties.
Lastly, decision is made on the entire decision alternatives available. The decision to be made is based on the ethical principles, theories and moral judgments. Thus, determine on the ethical decision appropriate and act on it appropriately (Banks, nd).
Angelfire. (nd). Kant’s Moral Theory. Retrieved from http://www.angelfire.com/space/omakridis/kant2.html
Banks. (nd). The Importance of Ethics in Criminal Justice. Retrieved from http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/4031_Banks_Chapter_1_Proof.pdf
IES Porto do Son, (nd). Ethics. Philosophy department. Retrieved from http://www.edu.xunta.es/contidos/premios/innovacion07/mod_b/etica/Ethics/1%20Ethics%20and%20morality.pdf
Jimmy Rising. (2002). Justice and Ethics. Retrieved from http://www.mit.edu/~jrising/resources/prog/webres/justice1.2.pdf
STAVEREN, I. V. (2007). Beyond Utilitarianism and Deontology: Ethics in Economics
Radboud University Nijmegen. Institute of Social Studies. Retrieved from http://www.justanswer.com/uploads/MightyWriter/2009-05-28_024253_DEN__UTIL.pdf
Rainbow, C. (2002). Descriptions of Ethical Theories and Principles. Davidson College. Retrieved from http://www.bio.davidson.edu/people/kabernd/indep/carainbow/Theories.htm
Sherman, J. MD. (nd). Ethical theories. University of florida. Retrieved from http://www.asbh.org/uploads/files/membership/protected/task_force/doukas/pdfs/ethics_course.pdf
Thrawn Rickle 46, (1993). Ethics vs. Morality. williscroft. retrieved from http://www.argee.net/Thrawn%20Rickle/Thrawn%20Rickle%2046.htm
STAVEREN, I. V. (2007). Beyond Utilitarianism and Deontology: Ethics in Economics.
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