Essay: Laws and Certain Situations

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Federal and Arizona Law

Fact patterns one and four are in violation of federal law. This statement is particularly apparent in the instance of fact pattern one, in which the judge decided to discuss critical aspects of the court case that he was presiding over with one of the attorneys outside of the courtroom. Doing so violates the legal precedent that judges are not allowed to discuss any aspect of the case with anyone involved in it -- from the witnesses to the jury, from the prosecutor to the defense attorneys -- because doing so could considerably sway the outcome of the court. In the case of fact pattern four, the prosecutor is apparently guilty of withholding evidence. There are very serious ramifications for withholding evidence, which affects the rights of due process. In these instances the prosecutor could actually be subject to a criminal trial of her own, and be punished via imprisonment, disbarring, as well as paying monetary fines (Hennessy-Fiske). Granted, the due diligence of the defense attorney should have enabled that attorney to access the witness's signed statement. Still, the prosecuting attorney was aware of this evidence and deliberately withheld it -- which possibly resulted in the imprisonment of an innocent man.

The conduct in these fact patterns that violates Arizona state law is that found in facts one and four. It certainly is against the law to withhold evidence in a court of law in Arizona. This fact is enforceable both and the federal and state levels. Moreover, the same sort of punishments that the offending attorney was liable for in fact four due to federal legislation are liable for her at the state level as well. It is unacceptable for attorneys to withhold evidence just to influence a jury or court proceeding in their favor. Both federal and Arizona state law attest to this fact. Additionally, Arizona state law prohibits the judge from discoursing with the attorney about the case that they were both working on outside of the bounds of that courtroom. This law is also upheld at the federal level, which merely reinforces the Arizona law which expressly states "a justice of the peace shall have the powers and perform the duties prescribed by law" (Arizona State). There is too much influence that judges can have over attorneys by talking to them outside of the courtroom about cases that they are both working on. Arizona law prohibits such behavior.

The conduct of each of the principle actors in all four fact patterns violates ethical canons and rules for the practicing of the various aspects of law enforcement portrayed within those fact patterns. It is unethical for one to utilize one's professional position for personal gain, which is at the crux of the issues described in fact patterns two and three. Both Jones and Holmes are engaging in acts of graft, and are neglecting their job in the process. From an ethical perspective, probation and police officers are supposed to do their jobs in a non-partisan way in which they treat both pretty… [END OF PREVIEW]

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