Would it be acceptable for a prosecutor to destroy evidence of a defendant’s guilt? (Note: The question is not asking about a prosecutor withholding evidence of a defendant’s innocence, which is the usual concern.)
It would not be acceptable for prosecutors to destroy evidence of a defendant’s guilt since it is considered breakage of law, which states that prosecutors must not mishandle any physical evidence. Mishandling includes tampering, destroying, and hiding of court records, files, and evidences.
Analyze from a legal and moral perspective whether it might be acceptable for a defense attorney to let his/her client be found guilty?
Morally a defense attorney is supposed to protect the community, contribute towards the desire of the victim to avenge, be attentive to the needs of the state for a fair criminal justice system. Legally the prosecutor should find justice and pursue it (Neubauer & Fradella, 2014). In case the prosecutor is convinced that the defendant is guilty, he should try to secure the defendants conviction. However, the prosecutor must remain fair restricted by the law to eliminate violent partisanship, misconduct, and partiality.
Examine what impact of the decisions described above (prosecutor and defense attorney) would have on the public’s trust in the criminal justice system.
There are various impacts felt by the community as the defendant’s attempts to secure the defendants conviction. First, it makes innocent people convicted of crimes committed by others. Second guilty defendants are freed because of the misconduct of the prosecutor. Totally, the community continues experiencing similar crimes as before since the victims are never jailed. Moreover, as innocent people are jailed their families suffer financially and materially.
Discussion Board Forum Assistance: Is there a scriptural basis for ignoring the evidence of guilt? Could a greater good be served if the constitutional violation was not brought to light?
The scripture records that Pilate gave Jesus into the hands of the crowd to chose between Him and Barnabas who to crucify and who to set free. In John 19:6, ESV, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” Pilate did not find Jesus guilty but he gave in to the demands of the public. Secondly, a greater good would not be served if Pilate did not make it clear that Jesus was not guilty. The constitutional violation served a greater good since The Jews issued statements of threats to Pilate indicating that they have a law which indicates that anybody who makes himself the son of God must die.(John 19: 7-8, ESV).
Neubauer, D. W., & Fradella, H. F. (2014). America’s courts and the criminal justice system (11th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage.
English standard version Bible.