The criminal justice system has been facing numerous problems concerning moral choice; for example, involvement in petition bargaining, the resolution to take legal action, the application of fatal forces, the burden of chastisement, as well as the representation of the charged. It is, therefore, vital for all experts in the criminal justice system to be conscious and receptive to moral problems confronted in the course of their task. The term morality, in the field of criminal justice, can be defined as the principles of aptness and decency by which human behaviors are judged (Gunning, 2007).
Literature review has it that the criminal justice system is most efficient when it is working in an ethical mode- ethics are the footing of the criminal justice system. The following set of questions should guide board of judges when making their final ruling; is the decision moral, have they exhausted all useful materials prior to making the final ruling, and so on. The questions of justice will automatically arise when people differ over what they believe should be given- when the ruling is contrary to what they expected (Kleinig, 2008).
Currently, technology development continues to disclose some of the issues that were not handled honestly by the Criminal Justice System- some conclusions that appeared solid yesterday are being refuted today by fresh and enhanced scientific techniques; for example, Michael Morton case. Each year, we have access to enhanced and modernized information than we had the year before.
Michael Morton subject is among the top ten stories in the Criminal Justice. Michael Morton was working in Texas as supermarket manager. He had a stable family, but things got worse when his wife was murdered in 1986. The court ruled out that Michael Morton was responsible of his wife’s murder, in spite of the remarkable evidence showing his innocence. Is it ethical for the criminal justice system to close their eyes when dealing with sensitive matters? Michael Morton was released in 2011 after spending twenty five years in prison- the growing drift in forensic science came to his rescue after it implicated another man as having murdered his wife. It is painful that the criminal justice system did not conduct a methodical investigation in order to come up with the appropriate convict. The objective of the criminal justice system is ensuring that justice is met, but in this story, Michael Morton was denied justice. In severe cases as well as cases that are likely to affect an honest decision, the criminal justice system should accept the use of DNA since it has proven to be more accurate, thereby, minimizing the chances of taking innocent people to prisons- as depicted by Michael Morton case (Morton, 2015).
Ethical charges were filed by the Texas State Bar against Ken Anderson, Michael Morton’s case prosecutor, alleging that he intentionally failed to act in accordance with a court order by not revealing facts complimentary to Morton, and fallaciously telling the trial judge that he had no such facts- in 1987. The prosecutor pleaded guilty in 2013 and was sentenced to serve for ten days in jail and to pay a fine of $500. It appears that some of the professionals working in the criminal justice systems need to be educated on the importance of acting morally right. Mr. Anderson, assumed vital evidences that could have prevented Michael Morton from going to prison. The terms justice and ethics are inseparable and all the professionals working in the criminal justice system should always be careful and through before making sensitive judgment (Morton, 2015). A simple act of failure can result to severe consequences to the life of an innocent person; therefore, the criminal justice professionals should, always, do their best in order to prevent, such a situation from happening- as it is the case with Michael Morton. The act of punishing the prosecutor makes it clear that no one is above the law; therefore, justice should always be upheld.
Currently, databanks are on the increase and they are intended for storing DNA information that has been collected from lawbreakers. We have all witnessed how efficient DNA is, but it is incongruous how numerous ethical and legal problems have come up in the preparation of a DNA catalog. Ethical issues such as, the freedom of the lawbreaker, the privacy of the lawbreaker, and others have always been the subject of the day. These issues have been affecting the progress of this technology negatively, but it is important to consider the fact that we are living in a modern world, whereby, technology has dominated everything. The crime rate continues to skyrocket; therefore, the adoption of this technology is necessary so as to keep up with this growth. Databanks will act as a point of reference, thus, boosting the effectiveness of the criminal justice system. Forensic technology rescued the life of Morton from prison; therefore, we should all join hands if we want to achieve better and accurate results. Morality is not, only, the standards that the public recognize as being true, but realistically permissible principles of behavior. The adoption of this technology may tamper with the privacy of an individual, but at the end of the day, the benefits will automatically outweigh the risks (Gunning, 2007).
As depicted above, the use of technology in criminal justice system continues to rescue innocent inmates who were convicted by careless professionals. It is important to note that, only, by being moral can criminal justice be notable from the very transgression that it denounces. Ethics and justice are inseparable, and those criminal justice professionals violating moral values will not go unpunished as depicted in the example above. Courses in ethics should be implemented in the criminal justice system, so as to enlighten the professionals of what is expected from them. The use databanks should be prevalent in all states, so as to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system (Kleinig, 2008).
Gunning, J., & Holm, S. (2007). Ethics and criminal justice: An introduction. Cambridge University Press.
Kleinig, J. (2008). Ethics and criminal justice: An introduction. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Morton, M. (2015) . Getting life: An innocent man’s 25- year journey from prison to peace: A memoir.