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NCJ Number: 99324 Find in a Library
Title: Investigative Ethics (From Critical Issues in Criminal Investigation, P 7-14, 1984, Michael Palmioto, ed. - See NCJ-99323)
Author(s): J N Gilbert
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Pilgrimage
Cincinnati, OH 45201
Sale Source: Pilgrimage
Division of Anderson Publishing
P.O. Box 1576
Cincinnati, OH 45201
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines ethical issues in entrapment, interrogation, courtroom deception, and narcotics investigations, as well as remedies to unethical police conduct.
Abstract: Entrapment (police-directed behavior that encourages the commission of a crime) would appear to be an example of blatant illegal and unprofessional conduct, but mitigating circumstances may be found in the overall stresses of police work, the emphasis on arrest clearances, and the wish to apprehend an otherwise unarrestable criminal perpetrator. During interrogation, officers may engage in illegal questioning techniques to obtain a confession from a suspect of whose guilt they are certain. In the courtroom, officers may falsify their testimony in order to secure a conviction. Finally, unethical behavior may occur in narcotics investigations as a result of the failure of traditional investigative strategies or because of the considerable financial temptation that may be involved. Four solutions to unethical police conduct are police (1) acknowledging the existence of the problem, (2) making ethical decisions on the basis of considering the consequences of others acting in a similar manner, (3) acting in a manner consistent with prima facie duty (i.e., a given manner unless such actions are overruled by a superior moral obligation) and (4) acting to maintain a constant level of professionalism and permitting no deviation from that standard. Ultimately, only this last remedy provides the best basis for ethical police conduct. Nine references are included.
Index Term(s): Code of ethics; Criminal investigation; Ethics training; Police human relations training; Police professionalism; Police responsibilities; Police standards; Professional misconduct
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