>> Business Law and Ethics
Read the following scenarios 1-5. Answer the questions listed at the end of each scenario. When possible, refer to some of the concepts you have learned in your text to support your responses. (Page 73)
Two individuals are being sentenced for the exact same crime of burglary. You are the judge. One of the individuals is a 20-year-old who has not been in trouble before and participated only because the other individual was his friend. The second person has a history of juvenile delinquency and is now 25. Would you sentence them differently? How would you justify your decision?
In your apartment building there lives a young man who appears to be of Middle Eastern descent. You notice that other young men often visit him and that they come and go at odd hours of the day and night. You engage in a conversation with him one day, and during the course of the conversation, he states that "the United States deserved what happened on September 11 because of their imperialistic actions across the world and their support for the oppression of the Palestinian people." You think it is your duty to report him to the local police, and they appear to be interested in your report. One day, you observe him being taken away in handcuffs, and you never see him again. Several weeks later, his apartment is vacant, and you do not know what happened to his belongings.
Would you attempt to find out what happened to him? Do you believe you should investigate further?
You are serving on a jury for a murder trial. The evidence presented at trial was largely circumstantial and, in your mind, equivocal. During closing, the prosecutor argues that you must find the defendant guilty because he confessed to the crime. The defense attorney immediately objects, and the judge sternly instructs the jury to disregard the prosecutor's statement. Although you do not know exactly what happened, you suspect that the confession was excluded because of some procedural error. Would you be able to ignore theprosecutor's statement in your deliberations? Should you? Would you tell the judge if the jury members discussed the statement and seemed to be influenced by it?
You are a probation officer who must prepare sentencing recommendation reports for the judge. The juvenile defendant to be sentenced in one case grew up in a desperately poor family, according to school records. He had a part-time job in a local grocery store, stocking the shelves and providing general cleanup. The store owner caught him stealing meat. Actually, this is the second time he has been caught stealing food. The first time he shoplifted at the store, the deferred adjudication included his commitment to work for the store owner. He explained that he was trying to help his mother, who could not provide enough food for his family. In general, failure to succeed at deferred adjudication results in a commitment to a juvenile facility. What would you recommend to the judge?
You are an ardent tea-party activist who believes the government has encroached unlawfully upon the sovereign rights of the state and the privacy rights of individuals. You do not believe that your taxes should go to anything other than national security and a few restricted activities, such as the federal highway system. Any other governmental programs are theft as far as you're concerned. Your group has organized a sit-in, and you discover that they plan to block the entrance to a publicly funded health clinic to demonstrate their ire at the federalization of health care. You know that the planned activities will constitute trespass and you may get arrested. Would you participate? Why or why not?
Article: Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice by Joycelyn M. Pollock.