Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice chapter 4 & 5 review

In chapter four, I particularly liked how they started off with the unethical decisions that famous politicians had made. On a side note I think it is quite obvious that all of that bad press led to John Edward’s eventual downfall in the election. I think it was ironic how the governor, Spitzer, had promised to clean up the streets but then turned and was caught on tape setting up a “date” with a call girl. It is, in my opinion; when you are in a position of power the people who are under you, or look up to you, ultimately decide your credibility. With that said, if you’re in a position of power any bad rumor or lack of good judgment can hinder you from that position and in some cases make it very difficult for you to be able to get another similar position in the future. Unfortunately making good or bad decisions are not always black and white. But when these decisions are obviously, without a doubt, wrong you will be viewed as a person who makes unethical decisions. For the “ moral crusaders”, one wrongdoing might be enough for them to be seen as someone who doesn’t belong in a certain position, even though everyone makes mistakes.

I was very excited to read the Corruption On the Border section, because it is something I watch very closely. I also find it interesting that they mentioned the a border issue, especially because we live in Arizona and we, just like any other border state, feel and deal with this problem daily. It stunned me to find out that 600 cases were opened and only 9 officers were arrested. I wonder how they started out with such a high number but were only able to process and convict nine people. To be honest it surprised me to find out that it was a woman, Martha Garcia, did a crime as bad and thought out as that. I am not saying men do all of these border crimes, but I assumed that it would be a male that they would mention. When I first read this quite honestly, my stomach felt sick, it disgusted me to find out that someone helped horrible people like the cartel members. Of course I knew that things similar to this went on, but actually reading a story about it made me sick. I find it difficult that someone could put a price on a crime that they would commit. I know that the majority of people I know say” never say never”, but I know that I would never commit a crime for my own benefit. That is why I definitely do not believe the saying “ every man has his price “. This small section actually interested me so much that i went ahead and read about this Martha Garncia lady and what she actually did. I did not find it settling that she was only given 20 years and four years of supervised release. She could have let in hundreds of murders, rapist, and or lawbreakers every time she smuggled in people and she only had to do 20 years in prison. I also find it disturbing that they imported over 200 pounds of marijuana on many different occasions.

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For me, right off the bat, I found the opening small story of chapter five shocking. I wonder what has to go through someone’s mind and thoughts, in order to commit such a heinous crime like the one the story says they did. I cannot believe that they did not cover themselves with a proper search warrant. What if they would indeed have found drugs in the woman’s house? Aside from that, I like that discretion was made a subtopic in this chapter because most people do not realize how much discretion law enforcers have in a situation they must handle. I find it interesting to see that there are three types of styles in policing when it comes to discretion. The one I find that makes the most sense to me and is the most ethical decision is the watchman style. I think that all police officers should analyze the situation then act accordingly. The thing that caught my eye in the middle of the chapter was the In the News Dinner Calls section. I don’t see how anyone could honestly think that they are going to get away with anything similar to this. What surprises me is the fact that these people being mentioned are police officers that have gone through training and have to make the basic requirements. In conclusion, I felt that chapter five was very informative and interesting to read. I did not get bored the whole time I was reading.


Pollock, J. M. (2012). Ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice. (8th ed., pp. 79-133). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Becker, A. (n.d.). Crossing the line: Corruption at the border. Retrieved from

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