Week 1 Project: Ethical Systems
- Ethics and Morals
- Ethical Systems
You are a patrol officer in a state that prohibits the selling, giving, or sharing of any tobacco products with anyone younger than 18 years of age. Similarly, there is also a prohibition of selling, giving, or sharing any alcohol or alcoholic beverages with anyone younger than 21 years of age.
On your day off, you and several members of your shift have been invited to your sergeant’s home for a cookout. While standing around with the sergeant and a couple of your shift members, the sergeant’s daughter asks her father if he has any cigarettes. He hands her a pack of cigarettes out of his shirt pocket. Later, you notice the daughter and one of her friends sitting off to the side and both of them are drinking beers from cans. You know from a prior introduction that the daughter is 16 years old. Her friend looks to be the same age.
Analyze this situation and prepare a report that covers the following points:
- Discuss all of your options in this scenario. Show how each option has a basis in an ethical system.
- Provide background information from your home state regarding the behaviors described in the scenario. What do your state’s laws say about providing tobacco or alcohol to a minor?
- Identify the utilitarian and deontological ethical philosophies of each option.
- Describe what your response would be. Explain how your response would hold up if questioned by your captain.
Week 2 Project: Crime Control
- Applied Ethics
- Crime Control
A criminal justice student is participating in a “ride-along” with a patrol unit (two officers) in a mid-sized Midwestern city to observe the unit’s operations. They observe a street corner on which three women appear to be engaged in prostitution: the women are scantily clad and engaged in conversation with people in cars and passing pedestrians. The two patrol officers simply give a small wave to the women and keep driving.
The student asks why the officers did not stop and question or arrest them—to the student, it is clear that the women are prostitutes. “It’s part of the arrangement,” says the senior officer. “They have certain areas they are allowed to work in as long as they are not really bothering people or creating trouble and we leave them alone. Then when we have a major case go down, they agree to help us gather information on the ’who and where’ of suspects. They self-police and keep their customers from being robbed. It’s sort of a ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ policy that the new chief put in about two years ago.”
The junior officer chimes in, “They also know that for publicity’s sake we do a roundup of them about every six months and book them, but the cases never get processed.” “Does this really work?” asks the student.
The senior officer responds, “Yeah, sometimes it works pretty well, but the main thing is it saves us a lot of time and effort of having to constantly work these cases. Now we have more manpower to work on real crimes, and occasionally one of these girls will come up with great leads on some big cases.”
Capture your analysis of this situation a Microsoft Word document. Your analysis should answer the following questions:
- Assuming that this practice of working with the prostitutes is approved by the chief; can emotivism be applied to understand the perspective of all parties except the student? Does their behavior fall under objectivist, subjectivist, naturalistic, or non-naturalistic theory?
- Is it ethically justifiable to disregard the minor crime of prostitution if it is believed that it will assist in capturing more dangerous or violent criminals? Use relative statements and arguments to support your stand, using correct terminology.
- Since it is obvious that the chief is not fully upholding the oath of office, should the student report this activity to the state attorney general? What is the student’s ethical responsibility?