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Analyzing Ethics In The Us Legal System

1746 words - 7 pages

In the legal system of the United States, there are many controversial topics and crises that have no one solution. Following suit, there is the question of ethics that exists within such an ideology. Some think that the current way of thinking is a sufficient way to run a country; others see changes that need to be executed immediately. The fact of the matter is as such, no one social institution is perfect. Therefore, the legal system is not expected to be flawless and the epitome of ethical conduct. Acting with morality is not the strong suit of the U.S. government, especially when it comes to the incarceration of dangerous criminals. Two of the issues that can be seen are the death penalty and the life sentence. Both controversial, it is hard to find a definite, concrete method that makes logical and ethical sense both to the public and the criminal. However, the current protocol takes ‘Cruel and Unusual Punishment’ to a new level. In terms of life sentence, the conditions are not humane and are unacceptable for a person to live in for a prolonged period of time. Then when it comes to the death penalty, there is plenty of resistance due to taking a life that could very well be innocent. With ethics, there is no system that fulfills the high expectations of doing the right thing in every situation, especially when it comes to matters of law.
To fully analyze ethics in the legal system, it is important to have an understanding of what is meant by the terms that are being debated. Thus, when it comes to having ethics it is commonly understood to be, “the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions of particular group, culture, etc.” (Dictionary). With this being established, acting ethically would require knowledge of what is right and wrong in accordance with the way people are treated. This means that in an ethical legal system, people should be treated like human beings even though they have committed a crime; this is not happening in the prison or the court systems in the U.S. There is poor treatment in many ways and it comes from all levels of the hierarchy. In regards to on the streets, criminals are treated poorly by the others when trying to find work after serving time. They are also treated badly in the prison system; inmates, officers and people on the outside still have misconstrued judgments of them. Then, when it moves to the court process there is not always a fair trial and the court is automatically against the accused. On all levels there is some form of unjust behavior when it comes to criminal activity. There are assumptions made and profiling done, but the one thing that is lacking is ethics.
To answer the question, does ethics always mean legal, it seems fitting to look at the question in reverse order. Does legal always mean ethic? No, there are things done to prisoners that no human should have to face, but one might say that prisoners are not normal humans so they do not deserve the...

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