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Use of Utilitarianism and Deontology Theories in Law Enforcement (Research Paper Sample)


Use at least five articles from scholarly sources in a paper that discusses the ideologies associated with utilitarianism and deontological ethics concerning human behavior and the ethical or unethical decisions and/or actions of those working in law enforcement.
Note that references used for your research need to be peer-reviewed/scholarly journals. These journals typically have the following characteristics:
1. articles are reviewed by a panel of experts before they are accepted for publication;
2. articles are written by a scholar or specialist in the field;
3. articles report on original research or experimentation;
4. are often published by professional associations;
5. utilize terminology associated with the discipline.


Use of Utilitarianism and Deontology Theories in Law Enforcement
Use of Utilitarianism and Deontology Theories in Law Enforcement
For the past two decades, research on professional ethics has risen significantly. Business ethics, medical ethics, and environmental ethics are all thriving as a part of the curriculum in most institutions of higher learning. Despite this reality, until recently, higher education courses in criminology and criminal justice have largely shunned the methodical learning of ethics. This is regrettable since the ethical challenges that crop up in the field of criminal justice are important and intricate. And, despite the fact that majority of the ethical issues that crop up in criminal justice are inherent to other professions, there are other factors that are specifically coined to criminology and criminal justice. The most notable example, that is specifically notable to the law enforcement is the decision on whether to use force and under what conditions the officers are supposed to use it. The paradox of using harm to prevent harm is a major ethical issue for law enforcers. Since the use of force is central to law enforcement, this sets apart criminal justice from other professions (Cassidy, 2006). Understanding the ideologies of utilitarianism and deontological moral theories is crucial to comprehending and defining how law enforcers should go about their duties.
The issue of using force is inherent in the criminal justice system. Apart from this, criminal justice decisions are made on behalf of society as a unit, a communal moral judgment set in trust by a solitary person. That would involve a far higher responsibility as compared to what is assigned for other professions. In addition to this, the decisions taken by criminal justice officers are not just incidental but are largely ethical decisions. While an engineer can design a building that may or may not harm people, the decision is mostly a physical one and only incidentally an ethical one. On the other hand, the moment a police officer makes the decision to arrest someone and the moment a judge decides to sentence that individual, the decisions are largely ethical ones. This makes the ethical issues that emerge in law enforcement both unique and noteworthy (Cassidy, 2006).
In order to solve certain definite ethical issues, it is important to pose certain general, theoretical questions. This is crucial as having a grasp of theoretical issues is the only way through which they can be applied to definite ethical problems. For that reason, in relation to law enforcement, the best way to commence is by posing general questions on the nature of justice. The existing theories of justice deal with wide social issues such as human rights, egalitarianism, and the allocation of material goods. Certain theorists have even indicated that justice itself is an extension of ethics (Cassidy, 2006).
Normative Ethics
Normative ethics is defined as the learning of what is right and what is wrong. A normative ethical theorist would try to comprehend whether there are any underlying, primary principles of right and wrong. If such principles are realized, they are treated as the basis of all of our moral judgments. For example, we habitually say that dishonesty, deceitfulness, robbery, raping, and murder are wrong. The ethical theorist would seek to establish the link that makes deceit, theft, and murder all wrong. Establishing the link between these social ills is crucial in deciding the right approach for law enforcement officials. One of the most notable theorist in the history of Western philosophy, Socrates, was well-known for establishing the common in moral matters. In short, when Socrates tried to establish the meaning of justice or virtue, he was not merely asking for the naming of e...
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