You are a prosecutor assigned to a District Attorney’s office in a major urban area. You have a very full case load. You specialize in drug and violent crime investigations.
Consider each of the following scenarios. Offer an opinion as to whether the actions are legal, and support your answer. Offer an opinion as to whether the actions are ethical, and support your answer.
* Leaking the identity of a seventeen-year-old gang member who you are fairly certain committed a drive-by shooting to the media knowing full well he was in danger from rival gang members, and then offering protective custody only if he would plead guilty.
* Authorizing the arrest of a fourteen-year-old boy who confessed to a crime, even though there was no serious possibility that he was guilty, in order to pressure a guilty relative to confess to murder.
* Authorizing the arrest of one brother for possession of a very small amount of marijuana, even though you know the charge would ultimately be thrown out by the judge (but the young man would probably lose a scholarship to college) in order to have leverage so that he would testify against his brother, who is a known drug smuggler. The drug smuggler’s activities have resulted in the deaths of numerous teenagers.