fOR DXJ WRITER: · Complete the blank Ethical Dilemma Worksheet located in the course materials forum. · Use the Corrections Scenario, located on the student website. · Review the Ethical Dilemma Worksheet sample located on your student website and posted to the course materials forum. · Use the blank Ethical Dilemma Worksheet located in the course materials forum. Do not use the one located on your student web site. BELOW IS THE CORRECTIONS SCENARIO: University of Phoenix Material Corrections Scenario Ethical Issue: Corrections The husband eventually is convicted of driving while under the influence following a jury trial. It turns out to be his third conviction. A judge orders that a presentence investigation report be prepared. In the course of the investigation, the probation officer discovers that the husband had served in the U.S. military in Somalia. His military records indicate that while there, his duties involved collecting the dead and the injured to be taken to the hospital. In the course of this assignment, he was captured by enemy soldiers and placed into a black metal box the size of a coffin where he remained for the better part of 6 weeks. Medical and psychiatric records confirm that the husband suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and has regressed to the level of a 10-year-old because of his imprisonment in Somalia. In the opinion of his treating psychiatrists, any prolonged confinement, even for a few hours, could cause even further regression and could trigger explosive outbursts and traumatic flashbacks. Although the sentencing range for this offense could fall anywhere between zero to 365 days in jail, the standard sentence for a third time offense usually begins at a minimum of 90 days in custody. His prior convictions occurred before his military service in Somalia and he served a total of 60 days custody on those, without incident. What should the probation officer recommend?
BELOW IS THE ETHICAL WORKSHEET EXAMPLE:
University of Phoenix Material
Ethical Worksheet Sample
The moral agent is a criminal defense attorney. The attorney knows of another criminal defense attorney who is an alcoholic and ignores his client obligations. What should the moral agent do?
The attorney often appears in court intoxicated. He ignores his cases and does not file appropriate motions before deadlines expire. His clients, who are court-appointed, usually end up with convictions and heavy sentences due to his incompetence. In trial, he is unprepared and unprofessional. Defendants have complained. Defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges are aware of his incompetence and have done nothing. The attorney’s disbarment would likely cause drastic economic consequences for the attorney. If the moral agent is responsible for his disbarment, the moral agent may face the social stigma and pressure of being labeled a snitch. With emphasis on stiffer penalties for defendants, there is political pressure to ignore the situation, as only alleged criminals are affected by his incompetence.
(owed to the claimant)
Perspective (What does the claimant hope will happen?)
The attorney would prefer that the moral agent ignore the situation and do nothing.
The clients would prefer that the moral agent help them obtain new counsel or that the attorney's incompetence was corrected.
Other criminal defense attorneys
Good defense attorneys would prefer that the incompetent attorney's behavior was corrected or that he be prevented from practicing criminal defense. Marginal defense attorneys might prefer that the moral agent does nothing, lest their own actions be called into question.
Prosecutors, judges, and bailiffs
Bailiffs would prefer not to have to accommodate his unpreparedness and intoxication in the courtroom. Prosecutors and judges may prefer that the moral agent does nothing, as a more competent attorney may make their job more difficult with motions and objections. Some prosecutors and judges may prefer that the incompetent attorney's behavior was corrected or that he was prevented from practicing to avoid reversals on appeals due to his incompetence.
The advocates of law and order may prefer that the moral agent does nothing, as criminals will receive harsher sentences as a result and the process will be more streamlined. Advocates of individual rights would prefer that the incompetent attorney's behavior was corrected or that he was prevented from practicing law.
Talk to the attorney and offer to help him with his cases while he seeks treatment for alcoholism.
File an official report with the agency that is responsible for appointing cases to him.
What are the best- and worst-case scenarios if you choose this alternative?
Best case: The incompetent attorney accepts the generous offer, addresses his drinking problem, changes his behavior, and thereafter represents his clients effectively.
Worst case: The attorney rejects the offer, and his incompetent behavior continues.
Best case: His behavior is corrected, or he is removed from the appointment panel.
Worst case: Little action is taken by the agency and the behavior continues. The moral agent is labeled a snitch.
Will anyone be harmed if this alternative is chosen? If so, how will they be harmed? Consider families and derivative effects.
The moral agent may be harmed by the financial consequences of agreeing to help the incompetent attorney if the moral agent is not provided with monetary compensation for the work performed. The moral agent may be harmed by potential backlash if the offer is rejected and if the agent encounters the incompetent attorney in future professional dealings.
The attorney may be harmed if removed from the panel and he does not have other opportunities to generate revenue. If he has a family, the family could be harmed as a result of the loss of income. The moral agent's reputation may be harmed by the negative label. The panel may be harmed by the loss of one of its attorneys.
Would honoring any idea or value—such as personal, professional, or religious—make the alternative invalid?
Perhaps family values would be compromised if the time constraints from assisting the attorney result in the moral agent's decreased ability to take care of family obligations, including spending time with them.
The value of loyalty to fellow criminal defense attorneys is called into question.
Are there any rules, laws, or principles that support the alternative? Are there rules, laws, or principles that make the alternative invalid? State the rule or principle and indicate if it invalidates or supports the alternative.
Standard 4-1.2(d) states: The defense counsel should seek to reform and improve the administration of criminal justice. When inadequacies or injustices in the substantive or procedural law come to the defense counsel's attention, he or she should stimulate efforts for remedial action.
This ethical rule supports the alternative.
Applying Ethical Guidelines
6. Consider each ethical guideline and explain whether it would support or reject your alternative.
Guidelines based on the action itself
Should this alternative become a rule or policy that everyone in this situation should follow in similar situations in the future? (Kant)
Does this alternative result in using any person as a means to an end without consideration for his or her basic integrity? (Kant)
Is the intent of this action free from vested interest or ulterior motive? (Kant’s good will)
Does this alternative demonstrate a genuine concern for others affected by the decision, and is the moral agency responding to a perceived need?
Yes: concern for others and responding to a perceived need are implicated
Guidelines based on consequences
Is the good brought about by this alternative outweighed by the potential harm that might be done to others? (Mill’s harm principle)
Is any harm brought about by anyone other than the moral agent? (causal harm)
Yes: the decision of panel
Will anyone be harmed who can be said to be defenseless? (paternalism)
Maybe: the moral agent's family
Maybe: incompetent attorney's family
To what degree is this alternative based on the moral agent’s own best interest? (ethical egoism)
Not based on the moral agent's own interests; based on the best interests of the state bar association
Which alternative will generate the greatest benefit—or the least amount of harm—for the greatest number of people? Select only one alternative. (utilitarianism)
Alternative B will generate the greatest benefit.
Ethical Decision Making
I recommend that the moral agent report this conduct to the appointment panel. This would help correct his behavior, which affects his appointed cases and those who retain him. These people would have civil recourse and the ability to hire another attorney. It would not necessitate extra work hours for the moral agent, which may negatively affect the moral agent's family. If the behavior continues, then the moral agent could follow up by reporting the behavior to the state bar association. The label of snitch might be possible to avoid, especially if the moral agent's name is XXXXX XXXXX during the disciplinary proceedings. If it is not possible to avoid, any negative consequences from this label would be offset by those who appreciated and respected the moral agent's actions.
BELOW IS THE BLANK WORKSHEET:
Ethical Dilemma Worksheet & Rubric
CJA/324 Ethics in Criminal Justice
Student Name: ________________________________
Obligation (owed to the claimant)
Would honoring an idea or value—such as personal, professional, or religious—make the alternative invalid?
Is the good that results from this alternative outweighed by the potential harm that might be done to others? (Mill’s harm principle)
TOTAL POINTS EARNED
Hi! Got it! I might ahve a few questions on this one:-)
:-) I'll let you know if I do! DXJ
Working through this now........I should be a pro on this sheet but it always takes me longer:-)
Hope you're having a better day..........thinking of you and your family! DXJ
Hi! Your ethical dilemma worksheet is here.
Should have DQ to you shortly.........had to sort through your notes fro the answers:-)
Hope this helps! DXJ