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Ethical Dilemma Worksheet

CJS/211 Version 1

University of Phoenix Material


Ethical Dilemma Worksheet
Incident Review

1. What is the ethical issue or problem? Identify the issue succinctly.


Based on what the two police officers have carefully observed, there are two problems with
the husband. Should the husband be arrested for driving while intoxicated or should the
husband be arrested for domestic violence?

2. What are the most important facts? Which facts have the most bearing on the ethical decision
presented? Include any important potential economic, social, or political pressures, and
exclude inconsequential facts.
The only visible car in the street was the couples. The officer put his hand on top of the hood
of the car and it was still warm. The wife states that she has not touched the car the whole
day. The husband states that he last used the car 4 hours ago when he got home from work.
When the officer just got in front of their house, they saw what it appeared a set of keys fall
while the husband is walking toward his house and putting it in his pocket. The officer gave
the husband a sobriety test and fail, having .20. Also, this was the same address where the
domestic violence call was made.

3. Identify each claimant (key actor) who has an interest in the outcome of this ethical issue.
From the perspective of the moral agentthe individual contemplating an ethical course of
actionwhat obligation is owed to the claimant? Why?
Obligation
Claimant
(owed to the
Perspective (What does the claimant hope will happen?)
(key actor)
claimant)
Husband
Fidelity
Hope to be left alone and not get arrested.
Beneficence
Wife

Non-injury
Beneficence

She does not need the assistance of the police officers


anymore and hopes they will not arrest her husband.

Officer
Nixon,
Officer Rook

Justice

Knows what is going on but wants the truth and clear


everything up. Does not want to be lied to already knowing the
truth. Want to take the bad guy off the street and help the wife.

Society

Reparation,
Justice

Society would prefer the offender to pay restitution for crimes


committed.

Ethical Dilemma Worksheet


CJS/211 Version 1

Ethical Dilemma Worksheet


CJS/211 Version 1
Evaluating Alternatives

4. What are two alternatives for the scenario? One alternative can be a wild card that you
ordinarily may not consider an option because of potential implications. Both should be within
free will and control of the same moral agent.
Alternative A
Arrest Offender

Alternative B
Warn Offender

5. Respond to the following questions based on your developed alternatives.

What are the best- and


worst-case scenarios if
you choose this
alternative?

Will anyone be harmed if


this alternative is chosen?
If so, how will they be
harmed? Consider
families and derivative
effects.
Would honoring an idea
or valuesuch as
personal, professional, or
religiousmake the
alternative invalid?
Are there any rules, laws,
or principles that support
the alternative? Are there
rules, laws, or principles
that make the alternative
invalid? State the rule or
principle and indicate if it
invalidates or supports
the alternative.

Alternative A
The offender will be removed
from society meaning that there
will be no further harm in
committing a crime. If the
offender is not arrested he
might continue doing the
criminal activity.

Alternative B
Issuing a warning may help deter
the crime or just stop at their
presence and continue at their
absence.

No

Yes, society may continue to


experience hardships from him
driving while intoxicated and the
wife may continue to suffer from
domestic violence.

No

By police officials trying their best


to follow guidelines, they would
prefer to arrest the offender.

Police officers are to enforce


the law and arrest offenders. In
order to arrest the offender
there needs to be probable
cause.

Police officers would not be


breaking the law or doing
something illegal if the use
discretion in issuing a warning to
petty offenders.

Ethical Dilemma Worksheet


CJS/211 Version 1
Applying Ethical Guidelines
6. Consider each ethical guideline and explain whether it would support or reject your
alternative.
Guidelines based on the action itself
Alternative A
Alternative B
Should this alternative become a rule or policy
Rule
No
that everyone in this situation should follow in
similar situations in the future? (Kant)
Does this alternative result in using any person as No
No
a means to an end without consideration for his or
her basic integrity? (Kant)
Yes
Is the intent of this action free from vested interest No
or ulterior motive? (Kants good will)
Does this alternative demonstrate a genuine
concern for others affected by the decision, and is
the moral agency responding to a perceived
need?
Guidelines based on consequences
Is the good that results from this alternative
outweighed by the potential harm that might be
done to others? (Mills harm principle)
Is any harm brought about by anyone other than
the moral agent? (causal harm)
Will anyone be harmed who can be said to be
defenseless? (paternalism)
To what degree is this alternative based on the
moral agents own best interest? (ethical egoism)
Which alternative will generate the greatest
benefitor the least amount of harmfor the
greatest number of people? Select only one
alternative. (utilitarianism)

Yes

No

Alternative A

Alternative B

Yes

No

No

Yes

No

Yes

Moral agents best


interest
Alternative A

Criminal justice
systems best interest

Ethical Decision Making

7. Choose to proceed with either Alternative A or Alternative B and explain the reasons for your
decision.
I would proceed with arresting the husband knowing that he has been driving while
intoxicated and domestically abusing his wife. Because the wife has been affected
emotionally she does not have the courage to report the abuse with the officers. This
complicates things even further due to insufficient evidence and lack of the victim speaking
up. Even tough there is conflicts for arresting the husband for DUI because the officers did
not actually see him driving, they can get the wife to confess. By speaking to the wife, they
can get confessions about he mistreating her and what he was doing while outside, if he was
driving or not.