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Ethical Dilemma Worksheet Argumentative

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What is the ethical issue or problem? Identify the issue succinctly. The ethical issues is deciding rather the officers should arrest the suspect and lie on the report. The officers believed the individual was driving under the influence. The felt he was a risk to himself and everyone else around him. The problem is before the law enforcement officer can make an arrest there has to be a clear sign of probable cause if an officer neglects to find probable cause before arresting the individual when the trial comes along, the case will be dismissed in court and the offender will walk away free. Also, the wife only states she was scared and called the police. According to “Domestic Assault Laws” (2013), “You can be charged with domestic assault for a range of actions, from threatening a spouse or girlfriend to attacking a family member with a deadly weapon. It isn’t necessary for you to injure the other person to be charged with domestic violence.” Domestic Assault / Domestic violence laws: The criminal charges and possible penalties in Texas). What should the moral agent do? What are the most important facts? Which facts have the most bearing on the ethical decision presented?

Include any important potential economic, social, or political pressures, and exclude inconsequential facts. Officer Rook and Officer Nixon arrive at the scene of a domestic abuse call. When the officers arrived the noticed a man stumbling to the front door of his home and dropping his car keys on the ground. The hood of the car was warm but the couple both say no one had been driving for hours. The officers did not actually observe the suspect driving the normal policy would be not to arrest the suspect for a DUI but despite policy the police officers decide to arrest the suspect anyway. Upon arriving back at the police station Officer Rook writes a truthful report concerning the night’s events and turned it in to the prosecutor. Later Officer Nixon took back the report and changes the part where Officer Rook had relayed that the officers had not actually seen the DUI suspect driving the car.

The prosecutor who has previously reviewed the report noticed the discrepancy and the alterations that had been made by Nixon. Identify each claimant (key actor) who has an interest in the outcome of this ethical issue. From the perspective of the moral agent—the individual contemplating an ethical course of action—what obligation is owed to the claimant? Why? Claimant Obligation (owed to thePerspective (What does the claimant hope will happen?) (key actor) claimant) Battered wife To be safe The wife wants for her husband to come home and sleep the alcohol off. She does not want to fight with him. Police officers truth Officer Nixon should not falsify the report which in turn he should not arrest the suspect without sufficient evidence, Suspect to do the right thing The suspect does not want to be penalized for drinking and drive nor domestic violence.

Evaluating Alternatives

What are two alternatives for the scenario? One alternative can be a wild card that you ordinarily may not consider an option because of potential implications. Both should be within free will and control of the same moral agent. Alternative A Alternative B Do not arrest suspect and instead provide treatment Arrest suspect Respond to the following questions based on your developed alternatives. Alternative A Alternative B What are the best- and worst-case scenarios if you choose this Best cases: The suspect will have effect Best cases: There would less people harmed in alternative? treatment and stop drinking and driving and the event the suspect hit someone while drinking he will be able to reconcile with his wife. and driving. Worse cases: The treatment does not work and Worse cases: Suspect is released and innocent someone is severely hurt. members of society are harmed when the suspect drives again while drinking. Will anyone be harmed if this alternative is chosen? If so, how When using this alternative society and the will they be harmed?

Consider In this alternative no one would be harmed suspects’ wife would be safe while the suspect families and derivative effects. but instead the criminal suspect will get thewas arrested necessary help they require to become more productive members of society. He will be able to understand the danger he could have caused. Would honoring an idea or value—such Officer Nixon is not honoring the principle of as personal, professional, or the criminal justice system by falsifying a religious—make the alternative In some cases people’s values could play a police report. His actions can taint the invalid? role on rather this alternative is valid. reputation of the criminal justice system harm Valuing the need for rehabilitation or The suspect is protected by the Bill of Rights retribution will out weight this.

Professional there is no grounds for arrest. Are there any rules, laws, or I do not believe there is any laws other than principles that support the The 14th Amendment states “Due process, in restoration that would fall for this alternative? Are there rules, laws, the context of the United States, refers to alternative. The rule is to help the individual or principles that make the how and why laws are enforced. It applies to rather than taking then locking them away. alternative invalid? State the rule all persons, citizen or alien, as well as to or principle and indicate if it corporations.” (“U.S. Constitution”, 2010 invalidates or supports the This will make the arrest of the suspect alternative. invalid

Applying Ethical Guidelines

Consider each ethical guideline and explain whether it would support or reject your alternative. Guidelines based on the action itself Alternative A Alternative B Should this alternative become a rule or policy that everyone in thisyes no situation should follow in similar situations in the future? (Kant) Does this alternative result in using any person as a means to an endno yes without consideration for his or her basic integrity? (Kant) Is the intent of this action free from vested interest or ulterior yes no motive? (Kant’s good will) Does this alternative demonstrate a genuine concern for others yes no affected by the decision, and is the moral agency responding to a perceived need? Guidelines based on consequences Alternative A Alternative B Is the good that results from this alternative outweighed by the Yes No potential harm that might be done to others? (Mill’s harm principle)

Is any harm brought about by anyone other than the moral agent? No (causal harm) No Will anyone be harmed who can be said to be defenseless? No No (paternalism) To what degree is this alternative based on the moral agent’s own Not based on the moral agent’sNot based on the moral agent’s best interest? (ethical egoism) own interests; based on the own interests; based on the best interests of the suspect best interests of society Which alternative will generate the greatest benefit—or the least Alternative A will generate amount of harm—for the greatest number of people? Select only one the greatest benefit. alternative. (utilitarianism)

Ethical Decision Making

Choose to proceed with either Alternative A or Alternative B and explain the reasons for your decision. I would choose to proceed with option A. When choosing option A the suspect is able to be helped. He can understand that fighting is partner can lead him to time in prison and he can even lose the right to carry a gun. He will also see that driving and driving can cause the life of many innocent bystanders The rights of the suspect will not be violated by false imprisonment and the officer will not be falsifying document to colorabate his story.


Domestic Assault Laws. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.mytexasdefenselawyer.com/texas-criminal-laws-penalties/domestic-assault-laws/

University of Phoenix. (na). Law Enforcement Scenario. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, CJA/324 website.

U.S. Constitution. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_duep.html

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