Which of the reading is the most important to an executive in Law Enforcement

From the required reading list, which individual article/topic do you feel was the most important in regards to the law enforcement executive? Be sure to address the legal, administrative and operational perspectives in your response.

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1.

Which of the reading is the most important to an executive in Law Enforcement?

 

I will approach this as a Criminal Profiler and rule out those with the inability to be the most significant.  Trial by Plea Bargain concluded in 1988 and since this dates the research beyond 30 years ago any it is limited to anecdotal.  I found this article to be an interesting introduction to the Plea Bargain process however not relevant today.  Court room workgroups was published in 2016 making it the most recent of our publications.  Workgroups are intriguing and interesting yet cannot be relevant, as it is more of a sociological commentary.  The Attorney Generals Guidelines to Plea Bargaining is actually intended for an English audience and a comparison to the American justice system that is just muddled.  They think that their own Sentencing Council (1) established in 2010 is better than our own system even though it was modeled after the US justice system.  This has very little relevance to an American Law Enforcement Executive other than broad knowledge.

 

This leaves two articles left for analysis and one is clearly more important than the other.  The Article on Padilla v. Kentucky is a significant case because it shows the significance of the Plea Bargain on an immigrant.  Someone who is not a citizen can be deported in the context of being found guilty of certain crimes.  We should consider the guilty plea as an act of good faith and in exchange provide a reasonable concession in the spirit of cooperation.  In the spirit of knowing the truth and in appreciation for the honesty of someone who has made a mistake we can allow for a reduction in sentencing.  This is not always the case if we convict someone who is not a citizen.  There is a good chance that someone being returned to certain countries will be put to death as the equivalent of treason for escaping their country.  We have to be aware of other cultures in the criminal justice process and aware of the consequences of guilty sentences.  We must also consider the fact that immigrants bring their culture with them and may be found guilty of such crimes as homicide where in their country an honor killing is a normal occurrence.  In the case of one father: He killed his son-in-law after killing his daughter’s best friend 11 months prior.(2)  Strickland v Washington is a landmark case that all Law Enforcement executives should be familiar with because set the precedent for an effective council.     “The test for ineffective assistance of counsel, established in Strickland v. Washington, has two parts: a defendant must first show that her counsel was constitutionally deficient and then show that the deficiency prejudiced the result of her case.”(Lang, page 4).

 

That was not the most important reading for a Law Enforcement executive; it was the “Boundaries of Plea Bargaining” that has the most relevance.  “This would enable the prosecutor to establish guilt by meeting the “preponderance of the evidence” standard of proof, and in exchange offer the defendant a reduction of the expected punishment… This interim point improves the situation of each party both vis-a-vis a full trial and vis-a-vis a full plea bargain.” (Fisher, page 20)  On the subject of American Plea Bargaining this article is the most relevant of any other.  The amount of detail with which the determination of the exact plea to which a prosecutor should offer is outlined very well.  This article sets apart from the others by giving probabilities to different amounts of evidence against a defendant and the probability of a specific sentence.  In a weak case against the suspect then there is a greater motivation for the government to offer a deal.  With a strong case against a defendant there are fewer motives to offer a deal.  This can be broken down even further into the specific charges against someone.  There are several degrees of most felonies and we are more likely to offer deals to lower crimes because they are less of a danger to society.  A more serious felony may be offered a deal to a lower crime when there is a lower chance of conviction.  The government is motivated to offer a plea bargain when there is little evidence in order to be certain of guilt.  This article also introduces the idea that one criticism of a Plea Bargain system is that it encourages false confession, in exchange for a reduced sentence when the suspect was not guilty.  “In light of the above, the deontological criticism that may be leveled against the proposed model becomes clear: any deviation from the original allocation of risk in the criminal procedure has the effect of deliberately exposing the defendant to wrongful conviction and harms the procedure’s legitimacy by turning the defendant into an object, rather than subject, of the procedure.”(Fisher, page 35).  This is clearly the most important reading for an executive of Law Enforcement because it teaches the significance of evidence collection and integrity of the criminal justice system.  There is no mention of exchange of information for a plea bargain what so ever, as in giving up another person in exchange for a reduced sentence.  The practice of using one criminal to lead to another should not involve the reduced sentence of one being convicted.  Information provided by someone avoiding a sentence is similar to a false confession; there is no credibility to the information provided by someone facing conviction.  If in the process of investigating one criminal there is evidence of another involved there is no reason that information cannot be applied to a new case however there should be no reduce sentence involved.  This article, “Boundaries of Plea Bargaining”, is where an executive can understand how to have integrity in the criminal justice process.

 

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