CourtroomParticipants’ Professional Standards
Thejudiciary is a trusted firm that provides justice and ensures anysuspect who is found to be guilty is punished depending on theirlevels of mistakes. Consequently, for judiciary system to operateeffectively and provide genuine punishments to wrongdoers, everymember in the judiciary (that’s the prosecutor, criminal defenseattorney and judge) must be faithful in his/her work. When one memberof the judiciary is unfaithful, the resultant judgment might not begenuine. Below are life experiences of the misconducts of thesejudicial members and how they are dealt with.
Aprosecutor is a person who is believed to be genuine and providesclear evidence about a suspect (Gershman,2006).James, a prosecutor in one of the famous law firms was found pantsdown compensating a witness to deliver false witness against asuspect. The suspect was found to have robbed a woman in a certainestate in Cape Town. The suspect was charged with robbery withviolence. The prosecutor compensated the witness and asked the womanto add that she was raped. However, the suspect denied the rapecharges and the woman had to be tested by a government doctor whethershe had any signs of being raped. Shockingly, the woman did not haveany rape signs, and therefore, she was charged with giving falsewitness. The woman revealed later that she was convinced by theprosecutor to give false witness for favors. The prosecutor foundhimself in hot soup, since according to the rules and regulationsthat govern prosecutors, it is a crime to offer compensations towitnesses in whatever cost. The prosecutor pleaded guilty, andtherefore, he had to be suspended for job and even sucked later.However, immunity that is responsible for protecting the prosecutorno matter how guilt they pleaded decided to die with James andaccorded him support needed to prevent him from being sucked. Theimmunity later decided to accuse the witness of accepting a bribe.The prosecutor was proven innocent when immunity accused the womaninstead. James was therefore allowed to continue with his normal job.As noted by Gershman(2006), itis very crucial for a prosecutor to be justice and faithful in theirtoil.
Onother hand, as noted by Hall& Hall (2005),a criminal defense attorney is a lawyer who is responsible fordefending the accused individual, a group of people or even acompany. Misconduct by the criminal defense attorney might result tothe accused being heavily punished or concluded to be guilty yetinnocent, because of lack of enough support from his/her lawyers.There was once a suspect who was to be presented by his lawyer duringhis trials. During the day of trial, the lawyer appeared in court forthe usual defense. Things turned upside down when the lawyer insteadof defending the suspect, he started uttering words that were usedagainst the suspect. The judge had to postpone the trial and thelawyer accused of appearing to the court under the influence ofalcohol. The Strickland v. Washington standard, which is responsiblefor determining when ineffective legal assistance violates adefendant’s right realized that the lawyer was under the influenceof alcohol and that the rights of the suspects of being effectivelyrepresented was violated. However, the performance prong and theprejudice prong of the Strickland standard apply to this example,since criminal convictions have been affirmed on appeal even when thedefense attorney is under the influence of alcohol. It is recommendedthat every defense attorney should uprightly present himself during acriminal’s trial and that they should be of sober mind always whenat work (Hall& Hall, 2005).
Ajudge is the most important person in every law firm, as he/she is incharge of making decisions, and therefore, he should not be biased,either by race, gender or even ethnical group. A judge in one of thelaw firms in Africa found himself in a dilemma when her son wasbrought to him, being accused of robbery with violence, murder andrape. There were witnesses who provided enough evidences, which wereenough to make the son be jailed not less than ten years. It shockedpeople when the judge concluded that the suspect was innocent andshould be set free. Investigations were made and the judge was foundto be the suspect’s father. The accusers returned the case forappeal, and during the judgment day presided by a distinct judge, thesuspect was found guilty for all criminal charges and later sentencedto death. Some judges are always unfair while passing the judgment,whereby some issue heavy punishments to minor mistakes caused andalso setting guilty suspects free. In order to end the misconduct ofjudges, there should be an appointment of a judge who is suspectednot to perform his duties faithfully. The judge should later be putin to a hot seat by a panel of judges to answer questions regardinghis conduct. An investigation of the academic levels should also bedone in order to impeach judges who have not attained the requiredlevel of education (Volcansek,De Franciscis & Lafon, 1996).
Gershman,B. (2006). Prosecutorialmisconduct.St. Paul, MN: Thomson West.
Hall,J., & Hall, J. (2005). Professionalresponsibility in criminal defense practice.[St. Paul, Minn.]: Thomson/West.
Volcansek,M., De Franciscis, M., & Lafon, J. (1996). Judicialmisconduct.Gainesville: University Press of Florida.