The judiciary exists independently is founded on trust and confidence from the people. Judicial organizations’ officials are expected to promote integrity and accountability in their line of duty. This essay unpacks events in two United States of America courts where officials of the judicial system, in their roles as prosecutors, withheld evidence that would help inform court decisions. Suppressed evidence resulted in new trials. In such instances, the officers are terminated from their duties. The essay analyses the effects of the termination and role of policies in enhancing the truth in court procedures.
From a common law perspective, criminal processes are such that they do not dwell mostly on finding the truth rather offer evidence that will either find a victim guilty of committing a crime or acquitted by the jury. In such, some members of the criminal justice organizations have withheld truth to form their evidence and win a case. Law is a form of power that backs up the authority of a State (Balkin J.M, 2003). The law has revolved to defining truth, such that there are things that are classified to be true in the eyes of the law, marked to be the standard of doing things that remains detrimental to the world. The judiciary cannot be without the confidence and trust of the people (Sachar D.J, 2019). Officials of justice organizations interact with the law closely and have found a way to use it to fit their needs, even informing unethical decisions.
The legal truth is the real state of things. The truth breaks down to the witness from a crime’s scene, confessions of victims, employees of the federal, state and local investigators to influence the jury’s decision of a case and ensure the due process is followed. In the Brady v. Maryland case decided in 1963, a petitioner and his companion were acquitted of manslaughter (Hochman, R. 1996). The petitioner had owned up to being present during the time of the killing, but the companion carried out the execution. The petitioner’s advocate had placed a desire of examining the extrajudicial declarations of the companion from the prosecutor, which were withheld until the companion’s sentence. According to the Maryland Court of Appeal, the instance suppressed evidence that denied the petitioner due process; hence, a new trial was called for. The prosecutor holds his reason for withholding the evidence, which highly submits to the protection of the petitioner’s companion. Bound by the code of conduct of Judicial employees, the behaviour was recorded as misconduct and violation of the law.
In 1972, Giglio v United States case, 405 U.S. 15, a bank teller, Taliento, was charged with cashing forged money orders through the bank. Taliento testified against Giglio, who was responsible for forging the money orders. Taliento and Assistant U.S. Attorney DiPaola, in an affidavit, had come to an agreement ascertaining Taliento that he would not face prosecution if he presented evidence against Giglio. The Attorney hid the information concerning the agreement from other attorneys. Giglio was convicted of forging money orders and imprisoned for five years. However, Giglio’s advocates learned of the negotiations between Taliento and the government while waiting for his appeal that resulted in a turn of events. The Supreme Court maintained that rightful process required that Giglio be accorded a new trial as the prosecutor’s suppression of material denied justice (Spector, E.,2008).
The United States law has a Garrity warning that considers rights granted by the state or local investigators to their employees who are subjects to an internal or administrative investigation (Daigle, E.2012). According to Garrity’s warning, the subjects are not only bound by the statements they make, which may lead to their indictment but also enlightened on their independence to remain silent on issues that may charge them with a crime. The Garrity warning helps enhance the subjects’ rights as stipulated by the constitution yet promotes the evidentiary value of statements given in criminal investigations. The Garrity warning is a disciplinary interview for the officials that causes termination of duty once found guilty.
Criminal justice officers are representatives of the government. Their actions act as a storefront of the components of the government. Before being in office, the officials commit themselves to adherence to standards set in performing duties such as integrity and promoting justice; thus, it is important that the standards influence their actions. Therefore, it is appropriate for the officer to be declared redundant from their offices to promote a culture with law-keepers and lawbreakers being held to account to deal with the issues at the root level.
In the 1970s, Fishbein and Ajzen developed a theory on planned action, positing that a person’s change to the desired behaviour is reached when other people support the individual and more people do the desired behaviour. While the opposite is true, for the purposeful functioning of the judicial system, it is beneficial to give warnings when there is behaviour change and further actions taken when the individuals do not transform. Good personnel will always work to better themselves upon recognition of errs.
Families of urban police officers have suffered the effects of family disorganization greatly-violence and divorce. Being laid off from work as a disciplinary action is a negative reason for unemployment. This affects the self-esteem of the individual. When the family establishes the reasons for unemployment, the grounds will affect how they perceive the family member. In cases where the issue had reached the public phase, the family might face stigmatization and discrimination while receiving services.
Employee performance is an important factor for successful organizational success. Employees’ performance is attributed to the employees’ emotional, physical, and cognitive contributions. A criminal justice agency exists to serve and represent the public. These organizations are dependent on trust by the people to consider them to represent them in court. Organizations with strong reputations attract clients. Maintaining officers who have had a bad reputation in their line of duty then affects how the agency is perceived. If the officers are honest, the number of constitution violations would be reduced, increased successful prosecutions, and few losses.
Every individual depends on police honesty. The judicial system should adopt the issue of misconduct by judicial officials in general public policy. Certain professionals, in this case, the police officers, need stricter measures to ensure the law is upheld, the state is well protected, and the state’s authority is maintained. With the adoption of these public policies in the respective states, there need to be regulatory bodies that ensure these policies are implemented, and measures are taken when the guidelines are not followed. A code of conduct is a preferred choice to solving misconduct.
Balkin, J. M. (2003). The proliferation of legal truth. Harv. JL & Pub. Pol’y, 26, 5.
Daigle, E. (2012). Garrity warnings: To give or not to give, that is the question. The Police Chief, 79, 12-13.
Hochman, R. (1996). Brady v Maryland and the Search for Truth in Criminal Trials. The University of Chicago Law Review, 1673-1705.
Sachar D. J (2019). Judicial Misconduct and Public Confidence in the Rule of Law. United Nations Office on Drug and Crime.https://www.unodc.org/dohadeclaration/en/news/2019/08/judicial-misconduct-and-public-confidence-in-the-rule-of-law.html.
Spector, E. (2008). Chief’s Counsel: Should Police Officers Who Lie Be Terminated as a Matter of Public Policy?. Police Chief, 75(4), 10.