Growing up we are taught right from wrong and to live our lives as good people, but morals and ethics are not always followed. Our legal system sometimes conflict with an ethical society resulting in the right thing to do is not always legal. So we are faced with wondering if our legal system and the people entrusted with upholding the laws are promoting good ethics or bad ethics. The following will analyze and explain this issue.
The Justice system in America is based on rules that are written by Federal, State and Local Legislative bodies. Most rules promote a civil society leading its people to live together in unity and harmony. In order to thrive as a functioning society, rules should be based on the people’s ethical beliefs and its morality. When we break down this system in terms of good or bad ethics, I found that the two are very different. Laws are rules of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority.
They do not change for an individual; they apply to all people despite their beliefs. Ethics are about individuals and their beliefs of right and wrong. Dry. Bruce Weinstein, professional ethicist, suggest that ethical standards around the world and religions are based on these four principles; do no harm, make things better, be fair, and be compassionate. We Americans put trust in our legal system and law enforcement to do the right thing, but the right thing is not always done.
For example, police officers are sworn to protect us, but incidents of police brutality often occur, as in the case of Adolph Archie who was eaten to death by police officers and tried to cover it up by saying Archie fell. The coroner ruled it a homicide by police intervention, but no officers were prosecuted or sanctioned, why because of a code of silence police officers have (Herbert, 1995). Why did this happen? Stringent codes of conduct govern the behavior of law enforcement officers, but when these codes are violated they abide by a code of silence to protect each other which makes it difficult to find and prosecute the guilty parties.
This is when ethics comes into play, officers who find it unethical or morally rang speak out and “blow the whistle” on the guilty officers, regardless of being shunned or becoming victims of uncomfortable investigations by fellow officers. Our legal system promotes good ethics, by placing codes of conduct for law enforcement, lawyers, Judges, and even Judicial employees to follow. These codes of ethics sets standards of behavior, these standards attempt to ensure that these appointed officials uphold our laws without allowing personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships influence their decisions (Policemen’s. Mom, 2004). Most Americans live in our legal system and hold on to this belief Witt great respect. However, in all situations, there are a few people who violate these standards making the promotion of good ethics impossible. The position of a Judge carries much power so his or her role in promoting good legal ethics is essential to upholding the laws of our government. They need to show that they are capable and reputable in a court of law whether they are elected or appointed. A Judge needs to treat all persons who enter his or her courtroom with fairness regardless of what their personal feelings re.
Ethics play a big part in a Judge’s career; they govern how Judges behave and carry themselves, being impartial throughout the performance of their duties. Professional ethics provide guidance to Judges to make proper and necessary decisions, without it Judges could severely damage the public confidence bestowed on the Judicial system (Mall, 2013). Judges are also required to enforce the Judicial code of ethics, for example if a Judge witnesses improper behavior from another judicial employee; it is his duty to take action (ROR, 2012).
In conclusion Americans eave to trust that our legal system is and will always promote good ethics, because without good ethics in our legal system our society would weaken leading to an increase of lawlessness and some individuals taking the law into their own hands.