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Homework answers / question archive / Final Project: Case Study – 10 pages, 9 References)   No directly quoted material may be used in this project paper

Final Project: Case Study – 10 pages, 9 References)   No directly quoted material may be used in this project paper


Final Project: Case Study – 10 pages, 9 References)


No directly quoted material may be used in this project paper.

Resources should be summarized or paraphrased with appropriate in-text and Resource page citations.

Final Project: Case Study

Ethical dilemmas permeate the criminal justice. At every level, in each segment of the system, people are exercising discretion that will influence the fate of an individual and/or the security of the community. Incongruous laws, regulations, policies and practices create conflicts and distort the basis upon which judgments are made. Very often these conflicts result in an ethical dilemma. Which is the appropriate course of action? What is the moral/ethical rational for the decisions that were made? What purposes or principles are served? This project will ask you to consider a sequence of decisions (do, or not do) all of which contribute, directly or indirectly the final scene.

For each of the three (3) scenarios, your assignment is to: 

  •  Examine each situation and describe the ethical and/or moral question,
  •  Describe what you believe to be the motivation of the actor and the potential consequences of BOTH/EACH options,
  •  Identify the decision you believe the actor SHOULD make, and
  •  Provide the ethical basis for your decision.
  •  Connect the ethical basis for your decision to ethical theories introduced at the beginning of the course and explain the rational for this connection.
  •  Each decision must be considered separately and not be influenced by earlier decisions and/or actions.

 This project is an opportunity for the student to demonstrate their understanding of ethics and value-based decisions. Most of these situations do not have a single correct answer. Grading is NOT based on solving the problem that is presented to the actor but in identifying the ethical dilemmas and determining and explaining the most ethical course of action.


 1. The judge ( 4pages, 3 references)

Judge Jeffery Owens is very troubled by the felony case before him.  The defendant, Woodrow Wilson, had been found guilty of armed robbery of a liquor store.  The case alleged that Wilson had a handgun in plain sight when he entered the Sin-Yon liquor store, that he hit the owner in the head with the weapon and forced him to open the cash drawer. Fleeing the scene on foot, Woodrow only got a few blocks before responding police officers spotted him and made the arrest. The prosecutor, armed with the recovered cash, video surveillance and an eyewitness as evidence had an easy case. Now it is time for sentencing.

Jeffery saw the demonstration of business owners in the hallway when he entered the courthouse that morning. They were chanting “Justice for our victims” and were demanding a lengthy prison sentence. The Pre-Sentence Investigation report said Wilson was suffering from acute addiction and associated mental problems that had caused these violent (but not criminal) outbreaks in the past. There is no information in the file that Wilson has ever received treatment for his disorders. Jeffery knows that, due to budget cuts, the state prison system has very little in the way of addictive or behavioral disorder treatment programs. The prisons had reverted to merely warehousing inmates. However, he had read that the county jail had received a federal grant to establish exactly the kind of services that it appeared Wilson needed. Obviously, he had no way of knowing if this or any treatment would be successful for Wilson.

 Sentencing guidelines were established to ensure that defendants convicted of similar offenses received similar punishments. According to the sentencing guidelines, Wilson should be sentenced to 5-7 years in the state correctional prison system. Jeffery knows that the business community was calling for the maximum sentence. The county jail only took inmates sentenced to eighteen months or less. What sentence should Judge Owens impose on Mr. Wilson?  

2. The District Attorney (3 pages, 3 references)

Jessica ran a successful campaign for district attorney on a very conservative platform generally critical of the incumbent's inability or unwillingness to prosecute police misconduct with criminal charges. The city’s police chief did not support her campaign. He felt that administrative actions that could result is fines, suspensions, demotion or termination of employment were sufficient punishment. Additionally, victims could sue an officer in civil court if the officer acted outside the scope of their authority and immunity.  The chief felt that these consequences should be sufficient for any police misconduct except, perhaps, a felony. Since her election Jessica has brought criminal charges of larceny against one officer for switching city tires off his patrol car on to his personal car. She also brought assault charges against an officer when she learned a suspect needed medical treatment for wrist abrasions due to her handcuffs being too tight. Recently several assistants have cautioned her that they are losing criminal cases, including serious felony cases, because police officers are either not appearing to testify at court or are having "difficulty remembering" critical details during their testimony. This started in traffic court but has also occurred in misdemeanor trials as well. The feeling is these officers are retaliating against the district attorney's officer for the criminal charges being brought against members of the police force.  The pattern is quite clear and getting worse. Prosecutors are complaining that police detectives are “too busy” to return their calls. Jessica understands she cannot successfully prosecute criminal cases without the cooperation of the police department. At the same time, she feels as though she is being bullied by an overly protective autocratic police chief. She feels she can and should prosecute police officer for any criminal offense ...and feels that her election demonstrated that the community agrees with her. What should Jessica do?

 3. The Officer   (3 pages, 3 references)

Scot is still on probation as a police department rookie. While on probation he can be dismissed at any time for any reason and would not be entitled to a trail board or hearing prior to dismissal. 

During the course of his patrol duties Scot has cause to stop a car for a legitimate but minor traffic violation. The motorist was highly agitated at being stopped “for no reason” and, using a variety of obscene references and racial slurs, adamantly expressed how upset he was. Agitated, Scot told the man to exit the vehicle and place his hands on the hood of his car. Scot looked through the car interior, and then took the keys out of the ignition to open the trunk. Seeing what Scot was doing the driver told Scot to stop and that he could absolutely not search the trunk of the car.  Ignoring this, Scot opened the trunk and discovered in plain view a large, clear plastic bag containing thousands of pharmaceutical-type capsules. Scot could hear the driver screaming, “That ain’t mine. That ain’t mine.”  Scot suddenly realized he has committed an illegal search. What should Scot do?


Format Requirements

  •  A minimum of 10 full narrative text pages
  •  Double space
  •  12 pt. font
  •  1” margins
  •  Use American Psychological Association (APA) citation format for all narrative and Reference Page sources
  •  Reference Page is not included in the word count

 NOTE: For a formal paper, an introduction paragraph and a closing paragraph are always appropriate.

Additionally - Create a cover page for your assignment (not included in word count)

  •  Include your name
  •  Course title and number
  •  Project title
  •  Date of submission






Week One Discussion (1 Full page, 2 references)

Since this course centers around ethics, maybe we should go to and look up the book definition. Unfortunately, defining ethics is not that simple. The word "ethics" is hard for us to clearly define! We know, or think we know, when someone is ethical or unethical but what does it really mean? First, I want you to give me YOUR definition of ethics before the reading assignments and without asking Google or Siri. After you read the materials for this week, I want you to define ethics again. Is your definition still the same or has it changed based on what you have learned?

Week Two Discussion (1 Full page, 2 references) to The International Association of Chiefs of Police and the U.S. Department of Justice, “Ethics remains our greatest training and leadership need today.” Does this statement infer that police departments around the country are filled with unethical officers in need of ethics training? This begs the question, can ethics be taught to unethical officers? How does age effect ethical decisions?

Reference: IACP Police Chief’s Desk Reference, 2nd Edition, A Guide for Newly Appointed Police Leaders (2008)

Week 2 Mini-Paper Topic (1 Full page, 2 references)


Ethics play an important role in the Criminal Justice System, this is especially true in law enforcement. Ward and McCormack (1987) stated that there are some citizens who strongly feel that “the great esprit de corps in the police force inhibits officers from investigating suspected corruption of fellow officers” (p. 21). Do you think that the "Thin Blue Line" and/or the "Thin Blue Wall of Silence" protects unethical officers? Why or Why not? 



Mini-Papers are single page reflections on a question or exercise. The paper is an opportunity for the student to demonstrate their comprehension of the course material and to apply it to the situation presented. The paper is also an opportunity for the student to demonstrate composition skills. Feedback will be provided for both content and composition.

Format: One full page, headed with the student's name. Narrative must be double spaced, with 1 inch margins, written in #12 font. References from the reading materials (go to and sign in. Username: amaxwell11 Password: Password97 and then click on CCJS 380) must be cited in the narrative (page number). One outside source is required to be cited in APA format on a separate page.



Week Three Discussion (1 Full page, 2 references)

According to Barker and Carter (1995), "police lying is comprised of accepted lying, tolerated lying, and deviant lying. They note that accepted lying is a part of police work, the justification being that they fulfill the objective of controlling crime and arresting the guilty; that is, the noble cause of policing." What are the authors talking about and are these lies ethically acceptable? Does this have any effect on what the officers have been taught their entire lives about lying?  Does it give them permission to be unethical under the right circumstances and eventually lead to the arrests like we saw in Baltimore City?

Week Four Discussion (1 Full page, 2 references)

"An officer is called to a home by the parents of a distraught high-school football lineman who is sitting in his room holding a knife against his throat. The teen has committed no crime and has not yet harmed himself. The officer rushes into the room with the noble intention of disarming the youth, restraining him, and then taking the youth to a mental health facility where he can get assistance. Unfortunately, as the officer enters the room, the teen takes the knife from his throat, stands up, and slashes at the officer. Fearing for her life, the officer draws her sidearm and shoots the teen" (Klinger, 2012). Is the officer justified in this shooting? Why or why not? Look at this from several different viewpoints: the officer, the Chief of Police, the media, the public, the victim's parents, etc. What (if anything) does this have to do with ethics?

Reference: KLINGER, D. A. (2012). POLICE TRAINING AS AN INSTRUMENT OF ACCOUNTABILITY. St. Louis University Public Law Review, 32(1), 111-121.

Week Five Discussion (1 Full page, 2 references)

Have you ever followed a high profile case on television and wondered how the defense attorney can defend their client and still sleep at night? If you are old enough to remember, how did the "Dream Team" defend OJ Simpson with all of the evidence stacked against him? For the younger students, how did Jose Baez defend Casey Anthony with all of the evidence stacked against her? How do the ethical codes of criminal defense attorneys differ from the ethical codes of state prosecutors? How are they are they the same? If you were a lawyer, could you defend somebody that you knew or thought was guilty and possibly help set them free?



Week Six Discussion (1 Full page, 2 references)

Please listen to this YouTube audio recording of Perry County Circuit Court Judge Marvin Wiggins.  The volume can be low depending on your speakers but there are subtitles.  Alabama Judge Marvin Wiggins

What are your first thoughts after hearing this? 

Do a little online research about this case and Judge Wiggins.  After reading a couple of websites, how did people respond?  

Does a judge have the legal authority to do this? Has this ever been done in the past?

Did the judge commit a criminal and/or civil violation against these offenders?

From what you have learned in the first 5 weeks of this class, do you think this an ethical violation on the judge? (Defend your answer with course or outside source material)  

Do you think it was a coincidence that a mobile blood bank was at the Court House that day or was this planned?

Week Seven Discussion (1 Full page, 2 references)

Capital punishment has been a part of the society in the United States since the 1600's. Between 1977 and 2014, 1,394 prisoners were executed under civil authority in the United States (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2015).  Some states never had the death penalty, some states have abolished it and some states continue using it in their Criminal Justice Systems.  One of issues with the death penalty is whether or not putting another human to death is morally and ethically right. McCarrick (2002) stated, "the increasing reliance on the death penalty diminishes all of us, increases disrespect for human life, and offers the tragic illusion that we can teach that killing is wrong by killing” 

Where do you stand on Capital Punishment (Include religiously, ethically, politically and legally)?

In the states that use Capital Punishment, how much does the Prosecutors personal views influence their decision to seek the death penalty on cases that qualify? Do you think the American Criminal Justice System should continue to use Capital Punishment?  Why or why not?


Week Eight Discussion (1 Full page, 2 references)

Looking back on our conversations and applying what you've learned in this course, why is it important for criminal justice professionals to study ethics? Explain in detail how applying ethical approaches helps criminal justice professionals make appropriate and “correct” decisions.



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