Ethics in Criminal Procedure
Ethics plays an important role in the criminal justice system. Individuals rely on fair treatment and due process to be fulfilled before any guilty verdict. Due process and fair treatment are needed in our society to ensure equal protection. The Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment help protect ethical issues and fairness. The Equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment ensures all persons are given fair treatment.
As defined in Doing Ethics, ethics is the philosophical study of morality (Vaughn, 2010). Morality refers to beliefs concerning right and wrong, judgments, values, and principle. Sometimes, ethics is also used as a term to discuss moral norms of society. Ethics plays a role in everyday life. Every person makes choices every day, some choices are considered an ethical choice and some are not, for example deciding to eat a sandwich has no moral value. The domain of ethics is large, it covers every aspect of daily living.
The criminal justice system is no exception to ethical and moral questions. All components of the criminal justice system, i.e. the Supreme Court and local Police officers, are obligated to treat each individual in question, before custody and during custody, to a certain standard. These standards ensure no person is treated unfair. Reasons for unfair treatment can range from racial roots, to authoritative control.
There are two Due process Clauses within our constitution. Although, the Constitution does not clear define due process (Wright, 2013). The Due process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies to the states. Whereas the clause in the Fifth Amendment, applies to the actions of the federal government (Davis, 2008, pg. 352). Both however, ensure protection and fairness of each individual when the government imposes a burden on him or her (Davis, 2008, pg. 353). Both the federal Constitution and individual state constitutions protect against the deprivation of life, liberty, or...