Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ethical Principles and the Law

Prior to attending Magistrate Jostad's presentation on Friday, Jan. 23rd, please respond to the following 2 questions related to the handouts given in your English class:
  1. Do you agree with the court's decision in Case 1: People v. Becker, or with the dissenting opinion? Please state your reasons.
  2. Regarding Case 2, do you feel Pautler acted unethically and, therefore, should have been punished? Or do you feel that he "did the right thing," and that his actions should be excused because of the outcome? Please state your reasons.

YOU MUST SIGN YOUR NAME TO YOUR POST!!!

There will be a follow-up blog assignment after the seminar as well.

Mrs. King

167 comments:

ZoeW said...

Case 1: Wow, this one was really tricky to make a decision on because of all the aspects involved: was he in custody? was he free to leave? did he know he was free to leave? etc. I had a hard time making a choice on this one a) because of all the aspects that had to be considered {told he was detained, yet free to leave; nice tone by officer, yet prescription taken away; allowed to have wife with him, yet employees not allowed etc} and b) the language involved {what does detained really mean?}. While I am still shaky on the case I would have to agree with the court's decision because it seems like Becker was in a position where he could have left and thus his statements should be used. Despite the dissenting opinion that he was "detained" I feel like all the other actions the officer did (no back to the door, allows wife to be there etc.) countered this. I do understand the dissenting opinion though because of how in depth cases go - the case can hang on the definition of one little word (showing the importance of language in the law).

Case 2: For this one, while it was good that the murderer got captured, I don't think that lying about being a PD was the right thing to do. Given, Neal had just committed a crime and needed to be captured but faking the loyalty of a PD seemed a bit unfair. I kind of understand why Neal was so wary to accept help from the real PD as it would be hard to verify if he was actually from the PD office or not. I think that the fake PD should have revealed himself as fake immediately after Neal's capture, at least, so as not to lead Neal on unnecessarily. The fake PD took a deception tool and let it go too far which is probably why Neal lost trust in the PD he was later assigned.

Zoë Wallace

Tae said...

Case 1: I agree with the dissenting opinion in this circumstance. Becker was never explicitly informed that he was free to depart from DeFusco's company. Moreover, he was told that he was being "detained," which does not equate to being able to leave at any point during the questioning. Furthermore, Becker was escorted into the employee lounge, and was also followed when he went to find his wife (a major deviation from the case that set a precedent for this event).
Case 2: I believe that posing deceitfully as a public defender would only be justified if it were utilized as a last resort (if capturing Neal had proved elusive, then perhaps mendacity might have been necessary). Nonetheless, the crimes that Neal committed to not justify any means towards capturing him, and if this act were excused, Pautler might continue to violate the the code of ethics assigned to his profession. The punishment seemed fair.
Tae Naqvi

Eric Yin-Yang said...

I am really confused...

Case 1: First, did the trial court's suppression order need to be overturned in order for further investigation? The evidence and the physician's statements weren't suppressed, right? Also, I still don't understand why the defendant altered the prescription in the first place. If he really felt like his doctor was doing something wrong, he should have consulted another doctor. It is common knowledge that forging prescriptions is illegal, and there was obviously no dire need for such an action since he waited a few months before bringing in the fake prescription.

But, specifically on the decision, I agree with the majority opinion. Martinez's dissenting statements make really good points, but I feel that 1) people should learn their Miranda rights and be able to use them to prevent deception and 2) if someone straight out tells you they're guilty, why suppress that information and jeopardize an entire investigation just because of a vague procedural mishap? Yes, ethics must exist in police interrogations, but it is also on the part of the defendant to be wise in what he/she says and to take advantage of the "asked, not told," non-restraining situation if they really have a problem with something (in this case, the doctor's alleged "pill-doctor-ness").

Case 2: Wait, why did the murderer, Neal, keep J.D.Y. alive, and why did he record his personal account of his criminal actions and give it to the police? The fact that he wanted to be paged when the police were contacted makes it seem like he wanted to be captured and jailed (and executed).

But onto the decision, I think that Chief Deputy District Attorney Mark Pautler needs to be punished for his actions not because deception was inappropriate in this specific case but rather because his openness to taking a role of deception would set an example to other members of law enforcement, even the corrupt ones, since he is pretty high up, relatively. I'm not a consequentialist, but I think that it was a good thing that the murderer was captured in end. The question is, should we be ethical to all people, even those who would smash your head open with a maul? Also, how essential is it for us to trust our justice system?

Meredith Wheeler said...

Case 1: I identified pretty strongly with the dissenting opinion in this case, because the language issues present were compelling to me. The majority opinion was quite explicit in its criterion of establishing what an "objective" person would have thought in the situation. Personally, as an objective observer of the case, I would assume I was in custody if I was told I was being "detained", regardless of the body language of the officer present. I thought that the majority opinion speculated a lot on how a reasonable (objective) observer would interpret body language, but I feel that what is said is much more relevant in this case. Also, by physically removing the prescription from the defendant, the officer created a situation in which he had power over the property (custodial power) of the defendant. Therefore, I side with the dissenting opinion.

Case 2: I feel Paulter acted unethically in this instance and should be reprimanded, but not disbarred. However, I do think that the ethical principle of professional excellence can be interpreted to varying degrees here. On one hand, the theoretical aspects of Paulter's professional position, and the oath he is sworn to upheld, make impersonating a PD a grievous compromise of the principle. On the other hand, professional excellence also requires that Paulter represent the victims of the crime, and ensure that Neal is brought to justice. I think that in a situation as dire as the one Paulter was placed in, it's difficult to judge him too harshly for his desire to capture Neal at all costs. Therefore, while I feel he acted unethically according to the technical definitions, I don't believe the laws of ethics can be universally applied to this instance.

Kathryn said...

Case 1
I think in this case, I would have to disagree with the court's decision. While DeFusco did take precautions to make sure that Becker knew he was not under arrest or required to cooperate, there were many things he also did that somewhat reversed his precautions. One of his initial actions was grabbing the bottle from Becker, and this automatically showed that he had authority in the situation. Defusco specifically used the word "detained" and was an arm's length from Becker at all times until in a rather private room, so it seems as though DeFusco was acting rather forcefully and intimidation towards Becker. As Meredith said, had I been in that situation, I would not have thought that I had the right to leave. Granted before reading about this case I didn't know much about the Miranda rights and the difference in being detained or not, however I don't think the steps that DeFusco took to make it seem like Becker had the right to leave were at all clear. Just because DeFusco didn't stand with his back to the door doesn't mean that the implications were clear to Becker, they were afterall still in an enclosed room instead of in the store where DeFusco had confronted him.

Case 2
My opinion falls into the middle with this case. More so I think that Pautler acted unethically, but I also wonder what his history of ethical or unethical actions during his career is. Also, while Pautler suggested falsely posing as a PD, it said that "those law enforcement agents at the scene agreed." So I think it's clear that Pautler and the other agents present thought that this was the best way to have Neal surrender to police forces. I agree with the decision to have Pautler take twenty hours of CLE credits in ethics, however I don't feel that the entire suspension and probation decision is necessary.


Kathryn QUinn

alm said...

Case 1: Okay, so logically I would have to say that for this case I side with the dissenting opinion. Yes the man was not technically under arrest but if I were to place myself in Becker's situation I would not believe myself free to leave. Unless the officer specifically told me that I could leave at any time I would feel coerced by the officer's badge to stay and cooperate with him, even were I to have an inclination to leave. However, emotionally I would say the exact opposite. This man obviously committed a crime, having admitted to forging the prescription, and he admitted that to a police officer. Whether he thought himself forced to stay or not that doesn't change the fact that he has committed a crime and for that reason alone I am inclined to agree with the removal of the suppression of his testimony. Of course that isn't the way the law works :)Legally, the man was deceived in my opinion.

Case 2: So for this one, I am going to throw logic out the window and go straight for emotion. Yes, it was wrong and unfair to deceive this man, but so what! He murdered three women, torturing them and raping another. Had he had proper legal representation at his trial I find myself hoping that he still would have received the death penalty, and that manipulative actions by a PD would not have spared him this deserved fate. Life isn't fair. He wasn't fair to those women and the justice system wasn't fair to him.

I apologize if I have offended anyone who is against all uses of the death penalty, that was not my intent. This is simply my point of view.

Amy Meyer

Rick_Andrews_Director said...

Case #1: This one was actually pretty tricky, but I think I'll have to go with the dissenting opinion. Technically, Becker was told that he was detained, giving the implication that he was not free to go, and he was also not given his Miranda rights. So, from a legal standpoint, the dissenting opinion is correct and Becker's statements have to be suppressed.

However, it was hard for me at first to accept the dissenting opinion because I didn't like Becker and thought that he deserved to go to jail. I mean, he forged a prescription and all of the evidence points towards that fact. I kept wanting to find a way to support the court's decision, because I really felt that Becker SHOULD go to prison. But, the law is on his side, and I'm a person that won't go against something like that! So, in the end, I reluctantly have to go with the dissenting opinion.

Case #2: Again, it goes back to the point I made earlier. I felt that Paulter was doing whatever he had to in order to bring a man to justice. It's one of those cases where you have to weigh the pros and cons. Which is worse: Giving a serial killer and rapist the rights he deserves by law and possibly give him the chance to lower his penalty, or supress his rights and give him the punishment he may well deserve.

Again, I was rooting for Paulter, my intuition tells me he did the right thing (And oh the power of our intuitions!), but Paulter did break the law. It goes back to the idea of Machiavelli's "The ends justifies the means" and whether or not two wrongs make a right.

In the end, I have to say that I think Paulter did do something wrong, and he deserves to be punished for his wrong doings. But when i take into account the Ethical Principle of Utility, I have to say that I think it was for the best.

Sorry if that was a bit confusing, but if you need me to clarify anything, I'd be more than happy to do so!

See You All Friday!

Rick Andrews

Hannah said...

Case 1: When I read the analysis I agreed with the majority conclusion, however when I read the dissenting Justice's piece I agreed with it, too. I hadn't considered the implications of language and the importance of word choice in the case. Although I agree that the use of the word "detained" implies Becker was in custody, all other aspects of the case imply that he wasn't and I agree with Zoe that the officer's actions cancel out his use of the word "detained."

Case 2: I'm torn on this case because while I think Paulter acted unethically but I find it hard to judge him too harshly based on the position he was put in. On one hand, Neal had just murdered three women and raped another and it would have been difficult to step back and view the situation objectively to determine the best and most ethical action to take. On the other hand, though, Plattner's deciet looks bad on law enforcement officers everywhere. In order for law enforcement to be effective it is neccessary for there to be complete trust between citizens and officers, and when an officer decieves a citizen (regardless of whether the citizen is guilty or not) it makes it more difficult for there to be strong trust in the future. I think Paulter's punishment was acceptable for his crime.
Hannah Seusy

whitepanda said...

For Case one, even though Becker committed a crime, I feel that the means the police used to extract that information was unneccesary. Like Meredith said, the language issues in here are fraught...to me detained would be the same as restranined, against me will..etc, as well as the fact that Becker was talking to the police, and they are intimidating purely based on the fact that they do have the power to do aything...they have the weapon and I don't...Even though he had the power to leave, would he really want to? How good is it of an idea to turn your back on the police...would anyone here do it? Also, It would be acceptable to do this, if none would be used to actually prove that Becker committed a crime...it can be used to find proof, but to use it as proof seems to be in direct defiance against the Miranda rights...Besides, they already had a significant amount of proof from the doctor and the penmanship and theoretically, this would be enough evidence to detain (for real) Becker, and get him to confess the more traditional way.

Case 2...oy...I think that a good person was mowed over b/c he happened to treat a psycho rapist murder a little unjustly. Oh my goodness...sometimes, I think the notion of having representation goes too far. The man is obviously demented...and he does not deserve anything..no...nothing...and if Pautler didn't volunteer, it could just have easliy been someone else...they were just doing their job. I think that Pautler perhaps deserves a mild punishment....50hrs of community service, but not the punishment that was administered. Another thing to consider: andy PD may be just as appalled by what Neal did as me, therefore clouding their ability to best represent him, and he would end up in the same place anyways...

whitepanda said...

oops... Emilly Zhu

Anna said...

Case #1: I agree with the dissenting opinion, as DeFusco’s actions and words were unclear to Becker, and although he mentioned that Becker was not under arrest, he failed to completely describe Becker’s Miranda rights. As Zoë mentioned, the case illustrates the importance of clear language in the judicial system, as does sense perception and the interpretations of one’s body language.

Case #2: In my opinion, Paulter acted unethically, as he broke a number of rules imposed on one of his position. However, I could see the argument going both ways, as the case stresses the knowledge issues inherent in the ethical principles. Because there’s no specific line that can be drawn between what’s considered ‘equal’ or ‘harmful,’ the principals have the potential to be interpreted differently by everyone who reads them, making it difficult for people to reach uniform conclusions.

Anna Ballard

tucker said...

Case 1: Although i had a hard time following this case especially, i have come to the conclusion that the gov't messed up on this one. He was not explicitly told his rights and that he was free to go. he was also told that he was being 'detained' i think it was. i've never been even close to arrested, but I'm pretty sure if i was being told i was detained, i would keep my heinie there because in an already emotionally frightened state, a word like detained would sound like going to jail for me. i think he was treated unmorally.

Case 2 This case was also tough. i decided that Neal was also treated unjustly and should've gotten more respect and interest from his gov't. i don't think that this excused the punishment in any manner, and given i don't know too much about it i feel unfit to say whether the punishment was unjust but i do know that he deserved more than what he got from our gov't.

tucker said...

ugh. forgot sorry. sarah tucker :~)

Rebecca said...

Case 1: It's the officer's fault that this thing is so mucked up with language issues. He should have either made it clear that Becker wasn't in custody, or he should have placed him under arrest. The fact that he didn't do either is what created the uncertainty. I don't believe that Becker should be punished for cooperating when it was the officer that messed things up. Therefore, I agree with the dissenting opinion that rules in Becker's favor.

Case 2: I believe that Pautler acted morally, but not ethically. I think that he meant to do the right thing by going to any lengths to apprehend a dangerous criminal. However, this doesn't change the fact that he broke the law, and did so willingly. Therefore, I agree with his punishment.

Rebecca Mitchell

Durrie said...

Case 1: I beleive that DeFusco acted within his rights while questioning Becker, although not completely ethically. In my opinion, forging a prescription is not a dire offense. The extra pills could have been for a sick relative without insurance, and as long as he pays for it and is accountable for the repurcussions, it isn't the worst thing in the world. However, in the sense of preserving the spirit of due process, DeFusca had to do his job. Misleading a suspect isn't explicitly illegal, as far as I can tell. But was bending the rules really necessary in this case? If Becker had left the store and refused to speak, DeFusca could have tracked his contact information with the pharmacist and filed a search warrant, forcing Becker to speak through legal means. At this point, the suspect was not in danger to himself or anyone else. Anyway, if he hadn't gotten the pills at the pharmacy, I assure you he would have gotten them another way.

Case 2: I do think that the Miranda rights are vital in keeping corruption out of the justice system. Even the rights of convicts and suspected felons should be respected. However, in this case, I find that the ends definately justified the means. The man was a dangerous fugitive, and if a police officer had to lie to get him in custody, that doesn't bother me at all. Paulter did not read the criminal his rights, which was wrong, and that should be taken into account during the trial, although all information needed had been gathered by that time. Paulter did not come up with the idea, he was simply the messenger. If punishment is to be given, it should be equal and shared between everyone involved. However, I think their actions were warranted.

I. Kennedy said...

1. I think that both points have merit. I certainly would have felt "detainted", or if nothing else, restricted in what I could or couldn't do. I suppose that I would have felt inclined to give the details, in order to minimize the difficulty in dealing with the police. I think that this response is natural. However, I also acknowledge that the guy buying the drugs was not formally under arrest and had the right to leave. I think, however, that the guy's statements should be used against him, since he did not exercise the good judgment to not say anything.

2. I do feel that Pautler acted unethically by posing as a PD. However, I don't think that this should prevent the statements he acquired from being thrown out. I do think that he should face some sort of punishment for posing as a PD. He committed a crime, and should face the some sort of punishment, just as the murderer did. It reminds me of perjury (which is different). As it was illegal to pose as a lawyer, he should face punishment.

Durrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
justina said...

In consensus with most of the people who've written so far, i feel divided about both these cases.

1.) DeFusco never plainly stated that Becker was able to leave at any time, but the actions of the officer can allow one to believe that he could have left at any time, if he chose. I believe that the most important part of this decision is the fact that the Miranda rights were not read to Becker, as he was not being placed under arrest. Although he was "detained"--and here is where i agree with the dissent--the possiblity if him leaving still existed. I believe that, as the dissent stated concerning traffic incidents, it was expected that Becker was to be detained for questioning.

(Case 2 to be added)
Justina Cline

Jessi G said...

Case 1: i agree with the courts decision, because, although i don't know how much help it would have been, waiting to answer questions until you have a lawyer is a right and it wasn't clear that he was granted that right. Even though DeFusco's body language may have implied that he was free to leave, because he stated that he was being detained, it wasn't obvious that he had a choice, i think that if it had been me, i would've stayed and answered questions assuming that i had to.
Case 2: I think that what Pautler did was unethical but i don't know the other options that the law enforcement had. He said he didn't trust anyone at the PD office and that law enforcment would not have allowed him to talk with a real PD anyway, but i think they needed to consider more options. What if they could persuade him with out legal representation? what if they had informed him that the man he requested was not available and he had another option? Are these even options? i don't think that i have enough information about what choices Pautler had. Also, i think that what Neal did was very much more unethical than what Pautler did and that becuase there was proof that this man had committed these crimes, it seems that it may have even been worth the punishment.

SamanthaJo said...

#1:
I agree with the first court's decision. The statements should not be allowed in court because Becker was not informed of his Miranda Rights at a time when they were necessary. I believe that a logical person would have believed that they were not free to leave, especially when DeFusco used the word "detained." It is pointed out that the connotations of this word imply that Becker did not feel like he was able to leave. The dissenting court ignored the use of the word "detained," and that was the selling point for me. I believe that DeFusco purposefully acted so that it was unclear to others whether or not Becker "would believe himself to be deprived of his freedom of action to the degree associated with a formal arrest," but I think it is pretty clear that Becker did believe this - for I would consider myself a "reasonable person" and would not have felt like I was free to leave while be "interviewed" by a police officer.

#2:
I do believe that Pautler acted unethically. I understand that at times it may be necessary to lie to a murderer in order to make him confess or turn himself/herself in, but this murderer had already confessed and was willing to be punished for his crimes. It was wrong to lie to him to that large of an extent, especially when it is constitutional for the murderer to be represented by an attorney. They could have found a PD to defend Neal legally, but overstepped their jurisdiction to real in Neal more quickly. Pautler's lies evidently affected Neal's future mistrust in attorneys and therefore to being represented with less quality. This was huge, especially with the result of Neal being subjected to the death penalty. Pautler definitely contributed to this outcome with his lies and should be punished for breaking his rules and expectations.

Samantha Thompson

Lynda L. said...

Case 1: I agree with Rebecca on this one. Officer DeFusco's words contradicted his actions, making the case a lot more complex than it should have been. Why did he have to walk around the room? Why couldn't he just sit down and talk to Becker face to face? In my opinion, standing and walking around the room, no matter how casually the officer did it, would still intimidate me because not only does it look like DeFusco is trying to assert his authority but the fact that he's standing and I'm sitting would lead me to believe that I'm not in fact free to leave. Because of the inconsistency of DeFusco's actions, I agree with the dissenting opinion.

Case 2: I don't really understand why Pautler and the other officers didn't call a PD right away when Neal requested one during their phone conversation. Was Pautler afraid that his chances of capturing Neal would be smaller if he called a real PD? Whatever the reason, I think it was wrong of Pautler to deceive Neal. If he wanted to capture him, he should have done so through ethical means, not through lies and deceit. If every lawyer acted like Pautler did, who would trust another lawyer ever again? Although it's important to catch a criminal before he or she hurts more people, in the end the government must treat everyone, even criminals, with truth and honesty at least for the sake of maintaining trust and faith between the people and the government. I can't really judge if Neal deserved to die or not, but it was wrong of him to hurt and murder people and it was also wrong of Pautler to lie to him.

justina said...

(continuation)
Case 2.) I believe that it was morally wrong for the officer to impersonate a PD, lulling the criminal into a false sense of security. This could have been rectified, however, if the officer had revealed himself to the murderer, but he didn't. This then makes it unfair to the criminal, even though he murdered several people and was arrested. Unfair representation (or false, in this case) should not be allowed. I agree with the punishment for the officer, as well as the verdict.

KatieA said...

Case 1: I agree with the dissenting opinion for this case. The officer did state that Becker was "not under arrest", and this supports the court's decision. However, the language involved with this case is extremely vague and potentially deceptive. It does appear that Becker was technically free to leave while he was being interrogating in the lounge, but the fact that the officer asked employees to leave implies that the "conversation" had serious implications and that leaving could be considered an avoidance of the interrogation. Ultimately, however, I was swayed by the dissenting opinion's use of the dictionary to define "detain". The use of two dictionaries, each of which are trusted source, that are in agreement convinced me that Becker most likely felt that it was not in his power to leave. This distinction pushes me to agree with the dissenting opinion.

Case 2: I have a lot of difficulty choosing a stance with regards to this case. I believe that Pautler acted unethically due to his intentional deception of Neal, but it is difficult for me to argue that it wasn't justified. The language of the case, involving the graphic description of Neal's abductions and murders influences my decision, though. Obviously, Neal is a danger to society and needs to be brought into custody. Still, Pautler's active deception was in violation of his oath. Therefore, I believe that he should be reprimanded and punished in some manner. However, due to the circumstances and the importance of making an arrest, I feel that the punishment imposed was too harsh. It is frightening to in any way view a concept such as ethics as being subjective, but I can't view this particular violation without considering the significance of the reason for it- apprehending a murderer and rapist.

Katie Ashby

Michelle Madsen said...

I think i would agree with the court because of the way DeFusco confronted Becker. He was asked not demanded to come suggesting that he wasnt under arrest, he took Becker to an informal area, the employee lounge to discuss, and he and Beckers wife both commented that he was civil and he did not block the doors. Therefore I dont think that the Miranda rights needed to be said because the informal setting and that of the officer.
I think that Pautler should not have turned to impersonating a public defender, they had a confession and several key witnesses, so therefore i think that Pautler didnt look at all his other alternatives it made him look bad and the others in his profession. I think that Neal still deserved the punishment but i felt that it was almost shocking how quickly Pautler would impersonate a PD to make the case, it was completely opposite of the ethical standards of Colorado Rules and Professional Conduct and lowering their prestige and credibility.

Simone said...

1) I think the statements made by Becker in the Albertson's staff room should have been used in trial court and not suppressed. The officer used the word 'detained' which thereby implies Becker was not free to leave, Becker was escorted outside the store within an arms reach of a plainclothes police officer, and he was asked questions regarding an investigation. At no point did he ask for an attorney, nor did he ask what the purpose of the interrogation was. He made the statements, and they should be used in court. Of course, I wonder how Becker would have reacted and if he would have been so willing to speak if the officer had been in full uniform. Sense perception issue?
2) I think the issue here lies on the lack of attempts to contact the PD office when it was available to the officers at the scene. I feel he did act unethically in his deception, and should be punished. But I do not believe that invalidates the following trial. I agree with the punishment enacted by the Attorney Regulation Counsel. His behavior was unethical, but it was the means to an end, and I believe that justifies his actions.

~Simone

Erin said...

1. In accordance with many, I agree with the dissent. Even though DeFusco did not officially take Becker into custody, the layman's definition of "detain" reinforces the generally confrontational atmosphere in which the officer removed the prescription and isolated Becker (with the exception of his wife). I think Amy M. brings up a significant point with her opinion that he "obviously" had committed the crime, justifying disregard of the ambiguity. As we have seen in psych class, in the film "12 Angry Men", and many other situations, what appears to be "obviously" the case may well be a false reconstruction. That is why such a persnickety evaluation of the issue is necessary.

2. I think the same ethical obligation applies to Pautler's deception. Although Neal himself confessed to murder and all the evidence implied his guilt, taking Pautler to task for his assumption establishes a precedent for as fair a justice system as possible. Falsely assuring Neal of his representation disregards Neal's rights. Yes Neal transgressed against others and yes he was dangerous, but (as far as I understand) Pautler's deception wasn't vindicated by any extenuating threat to innocent life. I think the question has to be asked, could any other (legal) course of action have been taken? Unless the answer is a resounding, immediate "no" then Pautler should have re-evaluated his decision. At the very least, as soon as Neal was apprehended, he was obligated to disclose his deception.

lisaking said...

1. I would agree with the court’s decision. While the ambiguity of the word “detain”, accompanied by the location of questioning, and other conceptions of arrest does provide strong evidence for the dissent of the majority, I feel that Becker’s unrecognized Miranda rights and obliviousness to the situation are major hindrances to his case. Personally, if I were in Becker’s position, I would feel as though I was in custody and under arrest. However, I am completely ignorant as to procedures of arrest and would feel at fault had I misinterpreted police interrogations, after all, they are the authority…
2. Do the ends justify the means? Why certainly. While Paulter did violate the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct (and should receive some reprimand for fault), the reasons for investigating are protective. I believe that police impersonation should be allowed for investigative purposes, but not in confrontational situations, especially with females, because of recent police impersonators. Because of the dangerous aspect of criminality at stake (murder!), I think police officers should use utmost caution and suspect guilt before innocence, while lives are clearly at stake. While our judicial system projects “innocent until proven guilty”, as common sense aren’t we all taught “Better safe than sorry?”
Sarah Greenlee

Micha said...

Case 1: Like many people have already said, this is a very complicated case due to all the uncertainty that was involved. During his interrogation, the circumstances were very confusing. For example, while he was asked to accompany the police officer, his meds were taken from him before it was made apparent to Becker that the police officer knew he was guilty. This example, among others, could show a wrongdoing from the side of the law because the man that was under questioning might not have been entirely aware of what was going on and what the real situation was.
However, because his wife was allowed in, the police officer was dressed informally, etc, making the interrogation a lot more casual and less intimidating, I do not think that Becker was at fault for leaving.

Case 2: The method is not justified by the outcome, in my opinion, as noone is above the law no matter the intentions. Pautler should not have made assumptions about the credibility of the lawyer that Neal was requesting, and should have kept on trying. Dishonesty could have given Neal grounds for an appeal.

Michelle Cook

Nels said...

Nels
Case 1:
This to me is in a gray area. My previous experience with police comes from my cousin, a police officer. Even with his relatively calm nice voice he can come off as harsher than other people. Plus the fact that he jumps to conclusions when pertaining to guilt fairly quickly. Also, the fact that the defendant did not go out of his way to come to the police affects how I view this. To me that is the most important part. Like the judge noted, the location affects how I view this. The fact that he was allowed his wife made me think that it was an interrogation tactic to make the man calmer and more talkative. I would have to say I agree with the dissenting opinion.

Case 2
I think that Paulter acted unethically as he tricked the strained mind of Neal into thinking that he had representation when he in fact did not. I might be more lenient to Paulter if Neal had not recieved the death penalty, something a competent lawyer could have prevented. However, I believe that Paulter acted morally when he tried to bring Neal in quickly without incident. Paulter also did make the phone call to the man's previous lawyer which, even though he did not follow it up intensely, showed that he did try to find another way out. Same with trying to pin point the mans position. Paulter did what he did so that he may bring in the murderer without incident. So while I view it as moral, I do support the mild punishment that Paulter recieved.

cypresstreee said...

Case 1: I'm a little confused about this case; what does "detained" mean in the legal sense, and where is the line that seperates "detained" and "free to go"? Using the knowledge that I do have of the legal system, I think that the testemony should be able to be used, because he was not technically arrested, brought to the police station, or otherwise forced to stay. The police officer never stood in front of the door, allowed the man's wife in, and he never seemed angry, all of which indicate that it was more of a meeting setting, and not forced. However, there are not many people who will walk out on a police officer due to the fear that if they do, it will look bad for them if the case is brought to trial. This fear definantly could of been used to the police officer, letting him "detain" the suspect without having to legally arrest him.

Case 2: I agree with the court's decision; lying to someone is completly unethical. The attorney testified that he didn't trust anyone in the PD's office, but then later admitted that he did trust at least one of them. Therefore, there wasn't a compelling reason to continue to lie to the suspect; he should of instead called a PD that was sympathetic to the DA's office and would have cooperated with the police, at least until the suspect was in custody. This is especially true because the suspect admitted to the murders, and left behind witnesses, meaning that the PD couldn't possibly claim that his client was innocent. Because of this, there would have been no reason for the PD to not cooperate with the police department and the DA, and a PD should of been called.

Cypress Staelin-Lefsky

kgibbs said...

1) I would agree with the majority opinion, because with the way the evidence is presented despite the use of the word detained the defendant could have refused to talk at any time. He was also allowed to get his wife which makes it seem much less threatening. He was also aware that this all might be used against him, I mean it was a questioning and he was the suspect.

kgibbs said...

2) I agree with the decision again. I believe that it was okay to use deception to peacefully bring in Neal. However, soon after being imprisoned he should have been told of the fake, and appointed a true PD. I don't think that really affected the verdict however, because he had confessed to the murders. Whether, or not that caused him to mistrust Aber. The problem was not the initial deception, but the lack of honest and open communication later. There was no professional need to keep the fraud going.

Sarah Dean said...

Case 1: I agree with the court's decision for this case. Becker was not in custody when he made his statements. Yes, DeFusco did present a language issue when informing Becker that he was "detained", but Defusco asked, not told, if Becker would accompany him to the police station, and spoke in polite tones with appropriate body language, suggesting that Becker was not in fact in custody. This was difficult to make a conclusion on, let alone even make sense of the entire case, but after reading it a few times I have to say that I definitely agree with the Court's decision.

Case 2: This one had much more of an impact on me, probably because it had a more emotional influence on my decision. I believe that Pautler did not act unethically, and should not have been punished. Just looking at the Ethical Principles, he followed the Principle of Beneficence, the Principle of Utility, and the Principle of Distributive Justice. He made what became a personal sacrifice to catch a dangerous criminal. Yes, he did decieve Neal into believing that he was a PD, but he weighed the benefits and harms and chose the action that maximized the good and minimized the bad (Principle of Utility).

Sarah Dean

shilpa said...

1. Due to my strong tendency to use sense perception as a justification, I agree with the court’s decision. The fact that DeFusco’s weapon was hidden goes to show that he did not intend to use any open form of force against Becker. Additionally, the fact that the area where Becker was taken did not contain a door, and was in the employee lounge, rather than an actual police station, goes to show that the interview was not meant to be extremely formal and would not resemble an interrogation of an individual in custody. Moreover, the fact that Defusco directly told Becker that he was not under arrest and that any physical restraints were not used shows that he was not meant to be under any form of custodial interrogation. Additionally, through my use of logic, I came to the conclusion that the fact that DeFusco was facing the entryway proves that he was carrying more of a conversational tone with Becker, and was not trying to intimidate him in any way.

2.I do agree that Pautler was unethical in his actions and deserved his punishment. After reading the list of ethical principles, it is clear that Pautler seriously violated the principle of autonomy because he did not provide Neal with the appropriate information to make informed choices regarding his defense in court. I feel that,
even though Neal was a criminal, he was still a citizen that deserved equal opportunities to be defended appropriately and justly in the court of law, regardless of
whether or not he would ultimately be found guilty.

shilpa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon said...

Case 1: I don't agree with the dissenting position, because the tone of the interrogation was civil, even though it was also restrictive. In that position, it would seem as though he could not leave, but most everyone knows that they have the right to remain silent. This suspect could have refused to answer a question without leaving, so I don't believe the "detainment" was really an issue. The suspect did answer the questions, so I believe that his answers to the interrogation should be used to decide his case.

Case 2: I don't think Pautler did the right thing. Even if his impersonation of a PD was approved by the other law enforcement agents, he should have told the suspect what had happened after the arrest or soon after. I believe the punishment was a little severe, but it does seem important to discourage people from impersonating any official that they are not.

madibee said...

Case 1- I definitely saw some huge language issues in this case (like meredith) because of the definition of the word "detain" and how it has been used in both this case as well as in traffic violations. I think that in this case however, it would be ethically correct to say that yes, the man wasn't in police custody and that he did confess (though from what we read I'm unsure if those two can go together) but he did confess to filling out a part of the prescription and I do think it's suspicious that he didn't even "need" the prescription until 3 or 4 months later. He did confess and it is the judicial branch's job to uphold the law and what the man did was substance abuse... I just think that the issue revolved around one word and that the police man was clear in his actions that the man actually wasn't under arrest, did the man actually think that if he was under arrest that he could walk around freely without handcuffs?

Case 2- The main thing I noticed in this one was how much I wanted the murderer to be captured and how much I wanted justice. Especially since I am a woman and he did such terrible things. As a magistrate or a judge it would be very hard in this one because of the intense hatred that someone hearing this case would feel towards the murderer. However, the policeman acted unethically as well by faking that he was a lawyer and tricking the man. Which is against a person's rights under the miranda laws, since they have the right to an attorney. Perhaps this would be more acceptable as a "last resort" or if there were special circumstances, but as it is, I think that faking to be a PD is unethical as well.

-Madi Lytle

Mia said...

Case 1:
I have to say that despite the explanation of dissent, I agree with the court's decision. There is a lot of emphasis on the definition of the word "detained" and its connection to being "in custody". Most of the argument for dissent is based around whether being detained is a formal arrest and how the use of one word changes the situation. In my opinion, DeFusco may not have even been aware of the dictionary definition of the word "detained" and through his actions (not blocking the door, allowing the wife to be present, and speaking calmly) demonstrated his attempt to make Becker understand he was not in custody.

Case 2:
I agree with the ruling that punished Pautler for his deception. While apprehending Neal was important because of the crimes he committed, lying to bring him in was wrong. It goes against the oath of admission that Pautler took and his wrongful deception may have been the cause for Neal's distrust in his real PD. I agree that the situation is hard to judge based on the fact that Neal was a psycho serial murderer, but Pautler took an oath to "treat all persons whom I encounter through my practice of law with fairness, courtesy, respect, and honesty." While he may have captured the murderer, he did take an oath to the treatment of ALL persons. In deceiving Neal he broke all four of the things he vowed to keep and for that I believe he should be punished.

Mia Colby

Shellie said...

Holy crow. Okay. Here goes nothing. Things like these cases are really why I couldn't be a lawyer or anything. My head is about to asplode. Okay.

Case 1: This case war rather confusing to me, but I think I finally have it (probably not, but please don't make fun of me if i get it wrong). I have to agree with the dissenting opinion on this case because firstly, Becker was never told that he was free to leave at any time. Secondly, Becker was followed when he went to meet his wife and when he went into the lounge. Thirdly, Becker was told he was detained, meaning he was held in custody and wasn't free to leave at any time. Regardless of whether or not Becker was read his Miranda rights, it wouldn't matter, because enough evidence was there to convict him in the first place anyways. His statements needed to be used in the case, in order to speed up the process. He committed the crime, and needs to receive some sort of punishment for it. I really don't think the Miranda rights affect this case very much at all, because he could be arrested anyways; all the proof is there.

Case 2: In this case, we need to look at both crimes here. When one transgresses upon the rights of others in society, they need to have their own rights taken away, because they pose a threat to the rights of every other member of society. When we join a society, we give up some of our rights in order for protection. Along with this, there needs to be a mutual agreement amongst all to protect these rights (in this case, the right to life) to prevent any sort of anarchy or destruction. In this case, the larger transgressor was Neal. By killing three people, he automatically waived away his rights and was no longer a part of society, so no societal rules applied to him anymore. Anything could have gone at this point. If you are not ethical, why should others practice ethics towards you? I really believe Pautler did the right thing, because he prevented a murderer from the possibility from killing other people in the future. Besides, Pautler was punished for his actions, and Neal did end up surrendering, which makes this issue of ethics rather unimportant. Is something really wrong if it leads to a greater good?

Michelle Moon

Ben White Chocolate Olsen said...

Case 1: I would have to agree with the dissenting opinion in this situation because it certainly seemed like Becker was forcefully being detained and was not given the oppurtunity to walk away freely. Based on the actions of the officer Becker believed he was not able to leave and since he did not know his Miranda Rights he was not aware that he could leave the situattion. The officer should have followed procedure more clearly and been more clear to Becker as well.

Case 2: This is a very difficult situation to take a stance on but Pautler did the right thing in breaking the code of ethics associated with his profession. If he had not posed as a PD neal may have murdered more people but by lying Pautler could possible save people's lives which is always a good thing. I don't believe he deserved the punishment he received because he did the right thing by capturing Neal even if it means he broke the ethics code.

Ben White Chocolate Olsen said...

Ben Olsen

Fred said...

I don't know how to feel about either case. Logically, I know that of course the judges ruled properly in the case of the druggy, and naturally it was silly for the lawyer to step so far out of bounds and pretend to be someone else. Emotionally, I feel that the detective could have done a better job articulating that he wasn't taking the drug guy into custody, but also that the guy should not have been doing what he was doing and that his activities were unlawful. The second case I seriously hope was an investigation within an investigation, because I kept getting more and more frustrated thinking about what the man had done and how the court was wondering about the actions of a lawyer who helped bring the man to justice. I don't approve of his lying, but I also don't approve of someone murdering three women and raping a witness and then blatantly admitting to it. Gross.

So really, I have no idea where I stand.

Kate Radford

Adong said...

CAse 1: In People v. Becker I agree with the court's decision because every cop should know that you should always give the Miranda when you are accusing a person of a crime. In this case the cop messed up by not citing the Miranda rights and by leting Becker go, when he knew that Becker broke the law.

Case 2: I believe that Pautler should be punished because by faking as a public defender he unlawfully got a confession out of the murderer. Neal trusted Pautler because he thought he was defending him. However, Neal was a murdere that committed a horrible crime and was caught, but I believe that they had enough evidence to catch Nel and Pautler did not have to fake being a publid defender.

Alysia Dong

Adong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
antonia said...

Case 1: I agree with the dissent of the Justices on this case. There are definitely language issues present in this case, issues that Justice Martinez points out. As a trained police officer, DeFusco probably saw his own actions (such as keeping his body away from the door) as non-threatening, but I don't think a normal, everyday human being would see it in the same way. From Becker's point of view, he was told he was "detained", had a police officer within an arms length, and was questioned in a private room, all indications he was not free to get up and leave at his own choosing.

Case 2: The case states that "members of our profession must adhere to the highest moral and ethical standards ... regardless of motive". I believe that Pautler acted unethically when he impersonated the PD. While it did aid in the arrest of the murderer, it was an unethical approach. We trust police officers, and other authority figures in high positions, to uphold the ethical standards, which Pautler failed to do in this situation.

Antonia David

taydolak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KellyR. said...

Case 1:This was a really interesting case with really heavy opinions on what I would have thought would have been right. I think that the statements made in the non-custody interrogation show be suppressed because with the ethical principle of autonomy the person has the "freedom to make and exercise decisions by avoiding manipulation" and he wasn't given the chance to explain himself which
I think was unethical as well as the fact that really he should have been told that he had a right to leave. The fact that he was told he was detained made me think that it doesn't go with the principle of professional excellence. And that this police officer thought he had the right to enforce the ethics that weren't evaluated. In my opinion he seemed to be assuming that his morals could be used as the ethics.

Case 2: This one I also had a clear opinion. When I finished the case I thought that Paulter did deserve to be punish because he was "inflicting harm, emotionally and mentally" which goes against the principle of no harm because this man, although he did do something HORRIBLE deserves to NOT be lied to. Paulter could have at least contacted the PD office to get someone. It may have taken longer but it would have been ethical. His actions shouldn't be excused for lying to someone. He got his punishment of reviewing ethics but in the end I think that the murder got punished for something he didn't deserve: being lied to. I understand the opposition to that of the principle of beneficence because at the time they didn't want the murder to go kill some other people. My knowers perspective is that he is a human being so he should be given a chance and NOT be lied to. I guess I get that from having faith in other people, maybe too much.

Peter XP said...

Case 1: Maybe I should watch more CSI since I didn't realize the importance of the simplest details in court and how they could sway the court decision either way. In this case however , I would agree with the court decision. DeFusco handled himself appropriately ENOUGH for the interaction between him and Becker to be deemed not in custody. The investigator held a civil tongue during the investigation, allowed for his wife to be included, and he was free to leave when he wished. He also went as far as letting Becker on the door side of the room to feel less constricted. The other counterpoint of him mentioning "detain" does put a stick in the gears, DeFusco's actions held greater significance overall.

Case 2:I do believe that Paulter acted unethically in this situation and therefore deserves some punishment (although his might be harsh, but tough noodles). He willingly duped Neal, who was willing to cooperate with the police with one of the few being a LAME reason of not trusting those in the PD. Subsequently, he didn't mention that he fooled the guy, which gives suspicion that Paulter knew he was at fault for the alleged act he performed. There isn't evidence that allowing Neal to contact a REAL PD would have resulted in a worse outcome. He broke the law and knew that there would be consequences.

KellyR. said...

sorry KellyR. is Kelly Rappé

Ben Baroch said...

#1: i think that since it was not an official interrogation, the information from the conversation with the police officer should not be used.if it was an official interrogation where the suspect(Becker) was being detained in the police station, the things said could be used. since it was an informal environment in which none of the conversation was being recorded, all things that were said are not concrete. if the evidence is not concrete, it should be ignored.

#2: Pautler impersonated a defense attorney. that is unethical by all definitions. he made a person feel as though they were being fairly represented, not conned. even though impersonation of an attorney only constitutes a misdemeanor and a minor fine in most states, it is not right to deceive someone in that manner. i think his behavior most certainly should be punished. personally, i believe that some jail time is in order for Pautler. while i have no problem with the occasional white lie, a lie of this magnitude that circumvents the legal system and affects the outcome of a man's life is not acceptable. in a quick summary, Pautler was unethical and as a member of the justice system, he should be punished.

Ben Baroch

LN* said...

Case 1: I'm going to have to agree with the dissenting opinion due to the use of the word detained and seizing the prescription. Although DeFusco says that Becker was free to leave why did he not tell him this? The entire situation could have been avoided if he had explained to Becker that he had the right to leave. It was hard for me to come to a decision on the case because there are so many variables and it seems to come down to things like body language and specific word use. Because the interpretations of these can vary so much from person to person, one might have felt at ease because DeFusco's back was to the door, one might have felt indifferent, it is difficult to judge. In the end the only thing I can really hold onto is the use of the word "detained."

Case 2: I agree that Paulter acted unethically, however in the situation I feel that when the Principle of Utility is applied Paulter acted as he should have. On the one hand, he could have stayed within the regulations and not posed as a PD, but would that have resulted in the apprehension of Neal? The point at which I feel Paulter's actions are called into question is when he fails to "correct the misrepresentations." Because of this I feel the punishment is deserved.

Ellen Palmquist

Bismah A. said...

Case 1: For this case I don't agree with the dissenting opinion. Becker was not read his Miranda rights, and although I am not very well informed in these kinds of legal proceedings, but I wouldn't be under the impression that I was being arrested unless these basic rights were read. The proceedings all struck me as very casual, and not condusive to a detainment.

Case 2:
This case was easier for me to have an opinion. I do think that Pautler acted unethically. Regardless of the defendant's guilt, police officers have no authority to impersonate public defenders. This is in direct violation of the defendant's rights, which I don't think should be relinquished regardless of the defendant's guilt and crimes. As far as I am concerned with legal proceedings, the ends do not always justify the means, and in this instance there were other legal avenues availible for the officers to take.

Bismah Aziz

leahreynolds said...

Case 1: I would have to agree with the courts decision. This is due to the fact that Becker was in a position where he could have left. The officer dressed casually, carried a concealed weapon (giving the appearance that he had no intention of using it), and he spoke to Becker in an open room with no door. Although his word choice could have been better, his body language and casual conversation should have allowed Becker to realize that he could leave at any time. On the other hand, if I was in that position I would automatically think I couldn't leave because he is an authority law figure.
Case 2: I think it was unethical for Pautler to impersonate a PD because its unfaire to the suspect and his rights. I do however believe that if all other options have been exhausted then it would be appropriate in order to catch the murderer. Because of Paulter's decision to tell Neal that he was a PD, people will have a reason to no longer trust law enforcers. This situation is similar and realates to undercover cops and the role they play in capturing criminals. Should this be allowed? (unlike Pautler, undercover cops inform the suspect that they are agents as they are arrested).

Leah Reynolds

Mr. T said...

Case #1: Holy Language Issue Batman!!!

It seemed to me like the officer seemed to make it fairly clear to that Becker had every opportunity to leave, but at the same time being stopped and questioned by a police officer would seem to suggest some amount of being "in custody" as the terminology goes. The officer didn't go through "official" procedure of holding a suspect for interrogation, I'm going to have to agree with the dissenting opinions. It seems to me like being stopped and escorted to a room by a police officer would suggest being in some form of custody. What do you think would have happened had Becker left before the questioning had concluded? Somehow I doubt the police were just going to let him walk away.

Case #2: This is a very difficult case to ponder. On one hand, I don't believe myself to be able to rationally discuss this issue as Neal is obviously an unbalanced and incredibly sick individual, and murder and rape are simply gross and heinous crimes. But at the same time, do the ends justify the means? Is it acceptable for a figure of authority to blatantly lie in order to advance the prosecution of a man who, quite frankly, is a monster?

Like I said, I don't view this case rationally or logically. From an emotional standpoint, I would say that Pautler did something wrong, and the punishment he received was a just one. He should be made to answer for his actions.

But so should Neal, by any means necessary. I know that isn't a rational or maybe even logical view and I'll find out how wrong I am on Friday, but I can't help but not feel much sympathy for a combination murderer/rapist.

-Michael Toland

callaghan said...

Case 1: I think I may have to agree with the dissenting opinion for this, although I am still unsure. Becker was never told directly that he could leave at any time. The way DeFusco approached him, told him he was a cop, removed the prescription from his hands and informed him he was being "detained" makes it clear for me that he could have been in custody. Also the fact that DeFusco stayed close to Becker the whole time, including when he went to find his wife, made it seem like he was not free to go. Just the use of language alone made it seem like Becker could have been in custody.

Case 2: I feel like it was more unethical than anything although I can see both sides of this. It helped solve the case and capture the murderer, which may have been the most important thing. However it was not right for Paulter to lie about being a PD. But as I think about it more both of these people did unethical thing. However Neal's was way more extreme so although Paulter decided to lie in order to capture Neal it resulted in a good outcome. I agree that it would have been better if it was a last resort because they could have just gotten a real PD and solved the case in the same way it seems like without deceiving Neal.

callaghan said...

-Callaghan Hendrickson
oops

Kaelee said...

Case 1: I agree a lot with Taylor Dolak, i agree with the courts decision. However, the language of this case is a very important factor. What is the true meaning of "detain"? Does it have multiple meanings? A lot of the case also had to do with the way the person questioning Becker was acting becuase he did not make a point to pressure or make Becker feel like he was in custody. But then we get into do actions speak louder then words?

Ryan Beethe said...

I've manage to lose my packet since I read it, so I'm going off of memory:

First Case: I agree with the court. It seemed like the officer did everything in his power not to create a "situation" so-to-speak; he told Becker he would not have to go to jail, never exposed his weapon, allowed him to be with his wife, etc. Giving Becker his Miranda rights would have certainly created a tense situation, since everytime anybody gets read their Miranda rights on TV, they're being hand-cuffed. That's the image I get when I hear them, so I imagine that's what Becker might get too. DeFusco did not want to create that tension, so he did not administer the Miranda rights unecessarily, and stayed within the letter of the law (albiet not exactly in spirit). Therefore, I stand with the court's decision.

Case 2: It is kind of lame that an attorney would engage in such deceitful behavior in this case, but I can't personally condemn him. My emotion gets in the way, because I think this creep should be caught by any means necessary. OK, maybe not ANY means, but certainly I would have no moral qualms with acting as Paulter did. It was unethical, and I think he did deserve punishment (the ends rarely justify the means), but I can't blame him.

Ryan Beethe said...

OK, so if anyone has trouble interpreting my screen name, I'm Ryan Beethe.

griffin said...
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CJ said...

Case 1: I must say, this was a fairly difficult case to judge but I think I can safely agree with the dissenting opinions. By all literal standards I think they are right. As a police officer you have to be very careful of what you say and this is an example of a time a word could have made the difference. By saying "detain" he mislead Becker by accident but that was a very key phrase.

Case 2: While I admire his motives, I have to say that legally he did the wrong thing as acting ethically goes without regard to motives (as the packet states). It is also clear that the murderer was affected by this when he refused to connect with any other worker lending to the idea that Pautler did the wrong thing. I really wish this would have been handled better, though I understand that after seeing something like the murder scene it would be very easy to let emotion take over.

CJ

Abby said...

Case 1: I agree with the dissenting opinion in this case. Becker was never told that he was free to go at any time, and it was explained to him that he was being detained. DeFusco was an arm's length from him at all times except in the lounge, where questions were being asked. All of these circumstances would certainly make me feel that I did not have the right to leave.
Case 2: Though I do think that Pautler may have acted unethically, given the circumstances, it was a reasonable thing to do. Something had to be done to get the murderer behind bars, and at the time, lying about being a PD seemed like the only thing to make that happen. The safety of others had to be accounted for, and that is why he lied about it. The main thing to consider is that though he could have handled the situation differently, another serial killer had been caught and locked away for the safety and protection of other innocent people.

KellyC said...

Case 1: This situation is very tricky because the word detained causes quite a but of confusion. If I would have been in a similar situation, I believe I would have felt "detained" and felt the need to stay and answer questions. However, the body language implied differently, as well as the fact that his wife was allowed in the room. But I believe the dissent is correct in my opinion because the definition of the word detained cleary states that one is confined in an area.

Case 2: Neal is obviously in the wrong in this situation and it is only right that he is punished to a large degree. However, the fake PD was acting out against the law as well. He should be reprimanded and punished to a certain extent, although he was only trying to help arrest Neal. He acted out for a good cause, but should still deal with small consequences for his actions so as not to start a trend of deception within the law.

Kelly Cannon

griffin said...

Case One:
I have to agree with the dissenting opinion of the court. In no way did Detective DeFusco indicate that Becker was free to leave, at no point in time was Becker not escorted to and from any location the two visited. Most importantly, Becker was not Mirandized during the time and so, while effectively and perhaps legally detained, was not given his rights as a citizen of the United States. Therefore, after the fact that the officer for all intents and purposes illegally detained and interrogated Becker it makes sense to suppress Becker's testimony.

Case Two:
My immediate reaction to Paulter's actions' involved: So what? Who cares what lengths we must go to to catch a dangerous, insane man? What rights does Neal really have? But then if law is blind, as it should be, nothing, no matter the purpose, is above the law. Did Neal break the law? Yes. Should Neal be tried by a court of law? Yes. Now, if we accept that Neal must be held accountable, then shouldn't Paulter be held accountable as well for unethically deceiving a defendant longer than was necessary and possible? Yes.

Griffin Mead

Flip said...

1) I also agree with the dissenting opinion in this case. I think if confronted by an officer, and taken to a secluded area when you know you are wrong, there is a level of intimidation, despite the hiding of the weapon and never actually stating one is under arrest. The word detained doesn't bring with it the idea of being able to leave freely. This simple word, in my opinion, completely feels to me as language that imples a restriction on ones freedom, and I therefore think that the judges were right in their decision.
2) I don no think that Pautler actually needed to impersonate a PD; it seemed unnecessary and unethical. Neal's requests were reasonable, and, if there if one holds any stock in the justice system, would have been easily and correctly convicted. However he did not have adequete legal support because of what Pautler did, and was denied a fair trial. I think, that even though it may not have made a difference, he should still have been given the rights he was promised.

Flip Senn

Lauren P said...

1. This first case is tricky; the entire outcome is based on whether you look at the case from a logical, or emotional viewpoint. As we have learned in class, the law is not out to find the truth, rather it seeks to find the most likely and logical account. And here I must disagree, that when looking at cases of the law, the logic stand is not necessarily the one that most often, and most accurately, finds the true verdict. The main point that stuck with me (for I could list several reasons,) was that Becker was not read his Miranda rights, therefore nullifying any opinion that he was legally detained. Because of that some concluded that Becker was not detained under an "action equivalent to a formal arrest." Yet if you consider Becker's view point, then he was being detain. He was told by a supposed police officer to go into a secluded area, and was not read his rights: both of which would make him feel as if he was being interrogated. Also the fact that DeFusco physically took the medicine out of Becker's hands puts DeFusco in a position of superiority. All of this points to Becker feeling as if his "freedom of action" was restricted as if being under a formal arrest.

2. I believe that Pautler was very unethical in his case, and deserves what reprimands come towards him. Lying under oath obviously did not produce anything in the murderer but distrust, and even though it was used to apprehend a murderer, does not make it right. Someone at the time easily could have called a real PD, or at the time, simply told Neal that one was not there yet, and he would have to wait until one arrived. His wishes over the phone were carried out anyway (being alone in a cell and being able to smoke cigarettes,) which meant that there was no reason for a PD to be impersonated in the first place.

Lauren Persons

Clementine said...

Case 1: Personally, I would have been scared to death in Becker's situation (though why I would be forging drug prescriptions I wouldn't know), but I still believe that his statements should be used against him. Granted, he was not read his rights and therefore may not have known that "anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law," but Detective DeFusco was patient and courteous with Becker, allowed his wife to be present during the interrogation, did not lead Becker on at any point during the questioning, and made every effort to make the Beckers feel that they could leave at any time (the room had no door and he didn't block it or act like he was keeping his eyes on the couple) - all in accordance with the ethical code of professional excellence. I can definitely see where the dissenters are coming from in this case, though - there were so many questionable aspects, like whether Becker was "detained" or not. I agree with Zoe: the law seems to be very dependent upon language and also memory. We've been talking about memory in psychology and most of the time eyewitness accounts actually aren't very accurate at all, calling into question many things about this case.

Case 2: Before going any further, I think Pautler did the right thing, but I stand firm in my conviction that lying is absolutely wrong. Maybe it's just my personal experience with lying that causes me to say this, but I've found that truth is definitely the best policy in life, and for this reason, I think that Pautler deserved the punishment he received. He should have at least come clean to Neal after his arrest that he impersonated a public defendant, but carrying on like he did apparently caused Neal to be completely mistrusting of other public defendants, in effect taking away his right to an attorney. His case probably wouldn't have held up in court anyway (I mean, he admitted to killing three people, raping another, and holding hostages for an extended period, and there were witnesses), but still, rights are rights. Neal was wrong, but Pautler was wrong to lead him on, and the other officials at the scene should have known that, too. This makes me believe Pautler was affected by consensus. As a final point, Pautler seems to have violated the ethical code of autonomy, specifically the "permit others the freedom to make and exercise decisions by avoiding manipulation and coercion of others": he manipulated Neal into believing that he was a public defendant, which meant Neal wasn't making a completely informed choice (another part of the ethical code of autonomy).

ethan_is_ninja said...

Case 1: I agree with the dissenting team. Becker was informed that he was going to be "detained" and since he is being "detained" in an area not open to the public, as evidenced by DeFusco making employees leave when they walked in, it is obvious that Becker was "in custody" and therefore, by law, should have been read his Miranda Rights.

Case 2: It is definitely unlawful and certainly unethical for Pautler to impersonate another attorney. Lacy's Law was established to make it illegal for civilians to impersonate police officers, so how is this situation any different? However, obviously Neal was much more dangerous and committed more formidable crimes, but because of Pautler's fault, should have not been given the death penalty, but a life sentence without parole.



Ethan Zhao

jeewonk said...

Case 1: This reminded me of the ethics in psychology. People should be informed that they are allowed to leave at any time, but in this case, Becker was not, and neither was the wife. DeFusco forced a sense of authority over Becker by taking the prescription from Becker's hands, asking his coworkers to leave the lounge, staying really close to Becker during the questioning, and especially using the phrase "detained for investigation." Had I been in Becker's situation, I couldn't have possibly thought of leaving the lounge. I agree with both of the decisions, but I'd have to agree more with the dissenting opinion because I feel like Becker wasn't granted the basic rights, regardless of his crime.



Case 2: Well, first of all, I can't believe anyone would commit such a hideous crime and expect to have any rights in court, ugh. As much as I feel uncomfortable with Pautler pretending to be a PD, I don't see how else they could've approached Neal. I'm against the use of death penalty, and I believe another form of punishment could've been used.

James Rogers said...

Case 1 :
I agree with the dissenting opinion, since he said the word detain and he knew that the defendant was using fraud to attain drugs. Therefore the defendant would have known he had been caught and psychologically anything past that would have been as if he was unable to leave. Really regardless of legality or wording, the evidence was there, everyone knew it, and he wasn't really able to go against the police officer, suggested or not.

Case 2:
It's great that the murderer was caught and even though there is very unethical procedure, I think it's a necessary sacrifice for someone that dangerous to be captured. I have to say the ends justify the means, and although it's not right for a civilian to take the law into their own hands, we can't ignore the fact that in his position he did what he was able for the greater good, most likely knowing full and well it was a crime.

Minny said...

Case 1: I agree with the dissenting side. Although the investigator did not specifically say the word "under custody" or anything that directly meant an arrest, the word "detained" definitely implies a sense of being under custody. Although the investigator may have tried to give an impression that Becker was not arrested, his wife certainly thought he was going to be. I think most average people would have thought that they would be under arrest too if they were in Becker's situation because of the above reasons (and other points made in the reading).
Case 2: Pautler decieved Neal in order to get the facts/story out of Neal and therefore stop any further murders Neal may inflict on victims--he chose to do this because to not do it may bring about further harm (principle of utility); However, I believe Pautler acted unethically in doing so because he decieved Neal in order to get the facts and acted upon assumption that the PD would advise Neal to not talk. These go against the principle of professional excellence because Pautler was not honest and acted untrustworthyly by decieving Neal.

Cheongmin Suh

Matt Beall said...

Case 1: My biggest problem with this case is that I think that ethics can get in the way of fighting crime. This may be because of the emotion that I have experienced after watching Law & Order and seeing a criminal walk free simply because of some error that the state committed. Although I do feel it is important that the Miranda rights are read, and that police officers act as a part of an ethical code, I also think that the punishment for failing to do so is far worse than what it should be. On one hand, I think a case should be built upon more than just a confession by the criminal, but on the other hand, if a criminal walks free because of an error, that is penalizing the citizens by having them exposed to a murderer and then having more unnecessary deaths.

Case 2: It may then seem contradictory to completely disagree with the actions of Officer Paultner. To misrepresent a client is to void their rights as a citizen of the United States, which simply is not right. And although, I am against Paultner's actions, I do not think any higher of Attorney Aber who is choosing to appeal the case and defend Neal against Neal's wishes. I feel that this is also misrepresentation of Neal, and therefore they are both guilty of the same ethical crime.

RayF said...

Case 1- I Agree with the dissenting opinion, for a few reasons. Becker was explicitly told he was being "Detained", which by very definition essentially means "Unable to leave". Also, after being told this, Becker was taken to a remote location for the undercover police officer's interrogation. This surely would have seemed to a reasonable person as a direct restriction of freedom in a manner equivalent to a formal arrest, therefore his Miranda Rights should have been read to him.


Case 2- I feel Pautler acted unethically and should have been punished, and that in this case the ends do not justify the means. Pautler intentionally created miscommunication between him and Neal, going so far as to alter his surname to further the confusion. Furthermore, after Neal realized he was not being properly represented, Pautler made no effort to correct his misrepresentations. I hereby agree with the Attorney Regulation Council.

Stitches said...

Case 1: I agree with the dissenting opinion. Being told that you are being detained implies that you are not free to leave, and indeed gives the impression of unofficial custody. Also, the fact that the officer dictated the meeting place, and consequently the tone of the meeting, the agenda of the meeting, etc,etc reinforces that impression. In most societies, the in-grained response of a person is to capitulate to the requests of a law enforcement officer. At what point should we not? If they are charged with maintaining law and order, is there really any point that we can say no?

Case 2: If you pay attention to the language of the prompt, then it can be answered both ways. Lying about being a PD WAS an ethical decision according to the Principle of Beneficence and the Principle of Distributive Justic. Pautler could legitamately argue that his actions were to prevent others from being hurt, and that Neal's actions made him unequal, fit to be treated unequally. However, according to the Prinicple of Autonomy and the Principle of Profession Excellence, Pautler's false represenation of a PD was unethical. He didn't allow Neal the right to make his own decision without coercion, and did not act in accordance with the ethical standards put forth by his position. Take your pick.

Personally, I think that he shouldn't have impersonated the PD. If we break the law to uphold it, what message does that send?

Stitches said...

PS this is Oliver

taydolak said...

case 1) I agree with the court's decision, because even though the word "detain" implys that Becker was not allowed to leave, based on the seven factors to be considered to determine custody it would seem that Becker was not in custody. His questioning was in an informal environment, a civil tone, with his wife present and without any physical restraint.
case 2) While yes, I do believe that Paulter acted unethically, I also believe that it was for the greater good because the things that Neal did to his victims were gruesome and needed to be captured. While there may have been better ways to handle the situation, I think that this was one situation where morals had to be compromised because as long as Neal was free there was the threat that he could harm more innocent people, and the police have the responsibility first and foremost to protect/be ethically fair to the innocent. Because this case isn't black or white, it could be said that while Pautler acted unethically, Neal acted much much more unethically and therefore the compromise of values was necesary to bring him in as quickly as possible and keep him from harming anyone else.

Taylor Dolak

Elle said...

Do you agree with the court's decision in Case 1: People v. Becker, or with the dissenting opinion? Please state your reasons.
I feel like the court made too big of a deal about weather Becker was detained and questioned or knew that he was free to leave whenever. I think that the officer did the right thing, and he never told Becker that he was being detained. I feel like the language usage was really confusing with the custody, and detained bit and that this rather than the problem they should have been looking at was way over anaylyzed and focused on. Therefore, no I don't agree with the court's decision and feel like Becker should have been penalized for forging the perscription and that the officer should have been let go.
Regarding Case 2, do you feel Pautler acted unethically and, therefore, should have been punished? Or do you feel that he "did the right thing," and that his actions should be excused because of the outcome? Please state your reasons.
To me, Pautler did the right thing and that he shouldn't have been punished. Yes, he misrepresented himself, but it was justified due to what the defendant had done to his victims. Murder is such a high and terrible crime, that Pautler saying he was someone else or held a different positions, shouldn't have mattered so much. As long as Neal was dealt with in the correct way and the truth about what he had done came out, the case was fine. It wasnt necessary to punishe Pautler and ruin his career because he was doing his job and trying to find out the truth about a murderer.


Elle Noon

Selina Lujan said...

Case 1: Considering the circumstances of this situation, it is difficult to agree with the majority opinion. In the evaluation of this case it is important to consider the language that is used. For example, when detective DeFusco told Becker that he was being detained, was equivalent to being held under custody. When looking through an objective perspective the interpretation if these two words coming from an authoritative figure automatically indicates that the person is being held under custody. This criteria, also indicates his Miranda rights were violated, since DeFusco read Becker his Miranda rights, and therefore the evidence released during the interrogation should be suppressed. I am in agreement with the dissenting opinion.
Case 2: By law Paulter was to act under ethical and moral standards, and by impersonating a public defender he broke the moral codes and violated the regulations. Although, I believe what he did was somewhat ethical, because he minimized and prevented potential harm. Even though, what he did captured the murderer, I do believe he deserved the punishment he received, because he did not follow the rules.

Selina Lujan

Sophia said...

Case 1: I agree with court. Personally I think that whatever a person says should be held against them in any situation, so Becker should have either not answered anything UNTIL his rights were read, constituting a formal arrest, or not have answered BECAUSE he was not under formal arrest. Either way, he did not have to answer anything, it was his decision and his own lack of understanding that he has statements that he wishes would be suppressed. It's just logical; the language issue of what a "formal arrest" entails just twists and manipulates the facts. Becker gave the information, knew that he was in the wrong, and should not have answered if he didn't want his statements against him.

Case 2: I don't think that Pautler did the right thing. In fact, I'm a little confused as to why he did what he did. They had all of the evidence and statements from Neal, and they could have simply contacted the PD's office and avoided all of these problems without hurting the case. Pautler's actions were unnecessary. Though in a different situation, for instance if they needed to get sufficient information from the suspect to confirm the murders, I feel as though he would have been right because he would be deceiving a person in order to protect innocent lives within society. However, that was not the circumstance, and his actions were not necessary. I don't know if his consequences were appropriate, but seem fair as in he is still able to practice (after his suspension).

Sophia Maes

Rebecca said...

Case 1.
I agree with the court’s decision that overruled the initial decision. Evidence should be used against Becker, considering the fact that although he wasn’t specifically under arrest, he was “detained” so there wasn’t any
question as to whether Becker was free to leave. He wasn’t, so the
information he exposed was while he was essentially in custody. However, Defusco didn’t go over Becker’s Miranda rights. I thus understand why it’s an issue, but still, he was being detained, and essentially still under the system.
Case 2.
Well, we all know that there’s a difference between ethics and morals. I don’t think that what he did followed the ethical code, but it definitely was moral. I can understand why he got in trouble; the court system has to be strict to the regulations so that there is no question or just violation of someone's rights, but I’m still really glad he did it. So, I guess I think that the punishment was valid, and I understand why it had
to be issued and why there couldn’t be an exception, but I still think it was the right thing to do and that hopefully he understands that he just had to “take one for the team” at that point.

Brooke Jostad

JuliaC. said...

1. I believe that this case's circumstances are quite ambiguous and therefore make a decision difficult. There are good arguments for both sides, as outlined by my classmates, but I think that the officer should have been very particular about making it explicitly clear whether or not Becker was under arrest. It is his job to ensure justice, and one of the ways to do so is to always make the circumstances of a police confrontation clear. The reading of Miranda rights, the clear statement of arrest etc. are vital to how the justice system works - innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. I agree with the majority opinion because Becker was not adequately informed of what exactly was happening to him.

2. While Pautler did not exactly act within the law, he did act in the interest of the greater good, and with the consent of other law enforcement present. I don't believe he or his associates should be punished for what they did, but they should be verbally reminded, categorically, that what they did could have jeopardized the arrest of Neal, and that it could lead, in another case or context, to the dismissal of a case, since the defendant was misled by law enforcement.

-Julia Cobb

DrewC aka BA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DrewC aka BA said...

Case 1: I agree with the court's decision because they clearly stated that Becker was free to leave and that he could have at any time. I believe this because due to the circumstances it was not only made clear to Becker that he was free to leave but even the physical circumstances showed how he was not in "detention" or being put under arrest. Therefore the information from the interview is valid and should be used in court.

Case 2: I believe that Pautler acted unethically however given the circumstances I feel that he acted out necessity due to the situation. What Pautler did was necessary to capture the dangerous criminal who could possibly act again. Due to the outcome he should still be punished for lying and misleading the man however it should not be major due to the circumstances where the lie was almost necessary.

Drew Carlile

James said...

Case 1:
I agree with the dissenting opinion because if I were in Beckers position I wouldn't have felt like I had the right to leave. The fact that he was told he was detained and the manner in which the officer went about interrogating him gave the impression that he was in custody. This was clearly expressed by beckers wife who felt that he was in custody as well.

Case 2:
I believe what Pautler did was unethical however he shouldn't have been punished to the extent that he was. First, other officers at the scene agreed with his idea which shows that they thought this would be the most effective way of having Neal surrender. Also after Pautler had seen the victims of Neal he was probablly unsure of how this man would react and figured this would be the easiest way to bring him in.

Megan said...

Case 1: Although there are many strange factors in this situation, I agree with the dissenting opinion. Because Officer DeFusco neglected to read Becker his Miranda warnings and because he was “detained”, Becker should not be held accountable for the falsified prescription. At first, I believed that Becker should face charges, but consistency is important within the legal system. The Miranda warnings are in place for a reason and should be upheld at all times by all officers. If they are not said to a defendant, they are unaware of their personal rights. A language barrier was created that is the fault of Officer DeFusco. Even though DeFusco informed Becker he was not under arrest and he maintained a friendly tone, there were still lapses in his conduct. In combination with the removal of Becker’s prescription and his detainment, a situation was created that may have felt threatening to Becker.

Case 2: While I do feel that Paulter acted nobly, his actions were unethical. I understand that the severity of the crime influenced him to take dramatic action but there were probably other, more reasonable courses of action. From the description of the case, it seems that Neal was cooperating with police demands and providing them with all the necessary information. Given this and the apparent ease of communication, there was definitely time for Paulter and the other officers to find an actual public defender. Paulter violated the oath that he took but the punishment given is slightly harsh. His intentions were not meant to be detrimental but simply to ease the arrest of Neal. Because of this, he should receive a punishment that is not so severe. I think it is completely understandable that Neal was apprehensive about the public defender that was later on his case. He should have been able to have a real lawyer but instead he was fooled by the police officers.

Megan Keith

Joel D. said...

1. As stated many times above this one is a tough call, much of which hinges on the language employed. The word “hinge” becomes very important, not only its textbook definition, but its situational meaning to an objective party. I think that just as important to the sense of formal arrest is the tone and diction of the additional dialogue between the two that is not provided.
In the end, I side with the court. The officer seemed to make a conscious effort to create a situation in which the suspect was at liberty to leave. I trust, however, that the legal system came to the right conclusion regardless of whether or not this interrogation was suppressed.

2. I agree that Paulter’s actions were unethical and properly punished. His deceptive actions clearly violate his sworn oath to professional excellence. I don’t necessarily disagree with Paulter’s actions or think I would have acted differently in his position, but rationally, should be punished for violating his oath.

Katy J. said...

1. I agree with the dissenting opinion because the defendant was never specifically told he could leave, Even though he was in an open space, he was being isolated from the other employees. Excuse my TV reference, but it has a good point: In my favorite TV show, NCIS, one of the rules of investigation is that suspects should never be allowed to communicate with each other. That way, they can fabricate stories to save their backs. In this case, the defendant was allowed to converse with his wife, because she was not a suspect. But, other employees of the store were considered suspects, and thus the investigator did not allow the defendant to converse with them, signifying that was indeed being "detained" by taking away his rights. Whether or not the rights that were removed denote an interrogation, is still a small bit shaky for me, but I think that the dissent is correct.
2. I think that Pautler's deception is inexcusable. He knew that his job required him to "treat all persons who he encounters with honesty". But, he deliberately lied to the client in order to get a conviction. In this case, I think it would have been possible for them to get a conviction without lying. It was never stated anywhere that it was the only possible way to get him to confess. I am also confused as to how they came to the conclusion that they needed to lie to him. He confessed through a hostage of some sorts. So, the confession could have been made up by the hostage. Also, I don't see how it was lawful for Pautler to not allow Neal his rights to a lawyer. If my knowledge is correct, everyone has the right to be silent until they have lawful representation. And, Neal was not "lawfully" represented. Even if he was a murderer, he was lied to, and it is worrisome to know that a bringer of justice such as Pautler would lie like that.

Katy Johnson

AllenZhu said...

Case 1: Understanding this article was hard to start off with, but I think I got the basic gist near the end. I would agree with the dissenting opinion regarding the case, because DeFusco's actions did not explain to Becker the rights that he had, especially the right to leave at any time. DeFusco acted with an amount of authority seemed like more than what should have been used. The fact that he did not have his back to the opening of the room does not imply anything. I personally could not figure out that I was free to leave if a police officer did not have his back to the opening of a room, I would probably feel like I was being forced to comply unless I was directly told that I was allowed to leave whenever I wanted. Also, DeFusco specifically used the word "detained", it wasn't just slipped out accidentally, which implies that Becker is not able to leave whenever he wants.
Case 2: I think rules were made to be broken. In this situation, it is true that Pautler acted unethically according to whatever rules were in place, but he had reason to. The authorities at the crime had agreed with his decision for impersonating a PD and therefore the choice at that moment in time was to have Pautler impersonate the PD. I do agree that he should have some sort of punishment because he had not obeyed the rules, but the details of the punishment seem to be too harsh of a punishment that what should be deserved. I also believe that Pautler should have corrected his misrepresentations to Neal immediately after Neal was taken under arrest. Still overall, I believe that the result of the act should have lessened the penalty of breaking that particular ethic code and it's understandable as to why Paulter would use a tactic as he did. I wonder if he has done this before....

blckpanda said...

Case 1: For this case, I was a bit hesitant to decide which side to agree with... There was an issue of the language used. Becker was told he was being 'detained', which implies that he was basically under custody. And like Jeewon said, the officer used his authority against Becker. But there were also other actions taken by the officer - like implying he was free to go, allowing the wife to come along, etc. So... I'm in the middle... I guess...
Case 2: well... I think that what Pautler did was a bit...wrong? unethical? lying and deceiving... but I do agree on what he did... I mean, he was acting to get the truth out of Neal... a rapist/murderer - he was trying to stop the further harms Neal may do...But like Hannah said, there needs to be trust, and what Pautler did goes against his reputation. And like Zoe said... he should've revealed himself. agh...

blckpanda said...

ah.. Sun Joo... yeah.. forgot...

hakysaclown said...

Case 1
I think there is a truth to both sides. Yes the man never got his rights read to him and the cop said he was free to go, but at the same time he did do something illegal. You can't let this guy go back on the street to get more drugs. The best case is that he kills himself, but what if he goes off and sells it to other people. So all-in-all I agree with the dissenting opinion.

Case 2
A man goes and kills 3 woman. What's to say he won't go and do it again. I believe you must do what you need to do in order to ensure the safety of a group. Ethics do need to be a part of it, but safety comes first. Sure his punishment was a little harsh (actually a lot) but it is either kill him or have him kill other people.

Just my thoughts,
Tyler Johnson

Michael W. said...

Case 1: I agree with the dissenting opinion because as a reasonable person, I know that if ever I was in that situation, I would believe that I could not walk away. Personally, after officer Cunningham came to talk to our class, I found out that when an officer says we need to talk then it is pretty much impossible to not talk to them. In that situation, I would bend to authority. Therefore I believe that it is necessary for the police officer to say that we are free to go.

Case 2: I feel that Pautler did the right thing. Since he knew who the suspect was, and the suspect was willing to come into custody without anymore trouble, then his action to accept terms with the killer was justified. On the other hand, I think it is important to let the killer know that he has been fooled immediately afterwards in order to let him actually get a public defender. I think this is important because although the situation might have seemed complete, hearing both sides of the story with a public defender would have allowed more of an even playing field in case something was not right. Therefore in order to promote justice, I feel that Pautler acted unethically because he did not inform the killer afterwards.

Michael Wang

Amelia A. said...

Case 1: In this case, I would have to agree that Becker was not in custody at the time of his questioning and thus his statements are valid evidence. DeFusco told Becker that he was not under arrest and he had his conversation with Becker in a relatively open environment. Maybe this is just because my mother is in law school, but I have been trained that I never need to say anything unless I have a lawyer with me. This is kind of common knowledge, and even with it wasn't my mother has drilled into my brain that "ignorance is not an excuse in the face of the law."

Case 2: I recognize that Paulter was just trying to apprehend the suspect as quickly and painlessly as possible, however I don't believe that excuses his actions. Paulter was definitely unethical in his impersonation of a PD, both before and after Neal was taken into custody. Mostly, I'm just confused as to why they didn't just make the effort to get a real PD involved. Would it really have taken that much effort? Would it have detracted from Neal's apprehension? As far as I can see, the impersonation of the PD was unnecessary. I completely agree with the consequences for Paulter put forth by the courts. It wasn't nearly as harsh as it could have been and it fit the crime well.

Spencer said...

Case 1: This whole situation is really blow way out of proportion. Everyone is so worried about the word "detained", while in reality he just asked the guy a few questions. Was he blatantly allowing him to exit at any time? Yes. The way I see it, he was simply having a conversation with the suspect in the back of a drugstore. Is there really anything wrong with that? People really don't realize that the laws of this country are bent everyday. A cop doesn't have to slam cuffs on a suspect just to have a conversation with him, they can just simply speak. The ethics of the situation has little relation to the actual crime. As for as I'm concerned they were just having a simple conversation.

Case 2: If this guy expects to pop the skulls of several people, rape a human being and still expect to have rights, he is delirious. This guy committed unforgivable crimes, and what Pautler did was perfectly fine. This guy impersonating a PD in order to find this guy is perfectly ethical. In my book, once you have murdered another person, you have no rights.


Spencer Donnelly

Pfiester said...

Case 1: I would agree with the dissenting opinion in this case. The officer used a nice tone throughout the conversation, but he initiated contact by grabbing the prescription and telling Becker he was detained. By accompanying Becker to get his wife and remaining with him at all times it wasn't clear whether Becker could have left. It is understandable that the situation was somewhat ambivalent. Ultimately, the officer informing Becker that he was "detained" determines that he was not truly free to go, regardless of the officer's body language.

Case 2: I believe that Pautler acted unethically. Impersonating a PD to capture a criminal, while it may seem noble, is ultimately wrong. However I am conflicted as to what punishment Pautler deserves for his actions. The officers at the scene of the crime consented and obviously agreed that his method seemed most effective in bringing Neal into custody. Neal was a proven threat and for him to remain a free man was extremely dangerous. I feel the means to bring Neal in were not extreme and the emotional toll the deception caused him was not too exceptional. Because I consider Neal to be such a despicable person it is easy to dismiss Pautler's actions. However, Pautler was wrong to lie about being a PD and required ethics classes seems like a fitting punishment for breaking ethical codes.

Laura Pfiester

rachelchipndale said...

Case 1: I agree the Court decision. I think the way Defusco questioned Becker is very professional. He didnt use any threats or force, that way give Becker a feeling of comfort. Hence, there wont be some false evidence. However, the question is why Defusco didnt question other people that are involved?

Case 2:
I agree with the court decision. Neal was arrested for the murder of the women. Transfering him to PD is also a good idea because polices will around him most of time, and he can feel the power of the police. Hence, he won't repeat the crime again.

-Rachel Chan

Caleb said...

Case 1: I think the punishment was justified in this case. The policeman in question used the word 'detained' when he first talked to him and steered him back inside, he confiscated the medication. There were signs that he could go, but it was never explicitly stated, and that needed to have been done.
Case 2: Aigh. This one was interesting in a completely horrifying sort of way. I can see where Pautler was trying so hard, but what he did was inexcusable, even in those circumstances. There were other options there, he could have communicated with an actual PD, with the other officers, something. and he had to have known that what he was doing was illegal. So, despite the circumstances, it was necessary that he be punished, or rebuked,or disciplined,or judged, or something.
Caleb Stitzel

Big D said...

Case 1: I would agree with the dissenting opinion in this case. The officer used a nice tone throughout the conversation, but he initiated contact by grabbing the prescription and telling Becker he was detained. By accompanying Becker to get his wife and remaining with him at all times it wasn't clear whether Becker could have left. It is understandable that the situation was somewhat ambivalent. Ultimately, the officer informing Becker that he was "detained" determines that he was not truly free to go, regardless of the officer's body language.

Case 2: I believe that Pautler acted unethically. Impersonating a PD to capture a criminal, while it may seem noble, is ultimately wrong. However I am conflicted as to what punishment Pautler deserves for his actions. The officers at the scene of the crime consented and obviously agreed that his method seemed most effective in bringing Neal into custody. Neal was a proven threat and for him to remain a free man was extremely dangerous. I feel the means to bring Neal in were not extreme and the emotional toll the deception caused him was not too exceptional. Because I consider Neal to be such a despicable person it is easy to dismiss Pautler's actions. However, Pautler was wrong to lie about being a PD and required ethics classes seems like a fitting punishment for breaking ethical codes.
-Derek B.

JWolff said...

Case 1- Super tricky to decide, but it seems to me that Becker should have been let off a little for "testifying without lying" to the detective. I can see how someone might tell the truth more often if they were under the assumption of not being under arrest, but there is that small piece of twisting the truth by the law enforcement. Then there are all the aspects of if he was in custody, knowing he was free to leave if he was able to. It's a lot of twisting of the truth to gain a more truthful answer I guess. I also wonder if the court can even use pieces of the conversation for or against him when it wasn't even a formal investigation. It almost seems like a big leap to me.

Case 2- This is a little bit tougher to decide. They were able to get Neal to come quietly on account that the law enforcement lied to him, but who knows what would have happened if they didn’t. A murderer should be punished no matter what he or she did, especially if it’s proven they did it on their own accord. With Neal however, we don’t really get his entire story as to why he did it. Most likely he did it because he could; it definitely wasn’t an accident, so he was justly punished. But with Pautler, he did lie to Neal, no matter the crime. Just looking at the law put in place about impersonating a police man, anyone could impersonate a PD and get away with something. Granted it’s not as bad as impersonating a police man, but everyone has the right to a fair trial and I do have to say Neal’s probably wasn’t as fair as it could have been.

Jensen Wolff

Lindsey Goris said...

Case 1:
at first I agreed with the majority ruling due to the fact that the DeFusco told Becker that he was not under arrest, or in custody, the fact that he was free to leave, and the tone of the conversation. After looking at some of the other posts, and examining the dissenting opinion furthur, however, I beleive that the dissenting opinion is correct. I agree with Meredith that as an objective outsider I, personally, would not feel free to leave after having the perscription taken, and after being told I was being "detained"

One last thing that I wanted to address regarding the first case is what Rick Andrews said about wanting Becker to go to jail as he had obviously comitted a crime. I felt the same way when reading the case: Becker deserves to be punished for his crime regardless of the circumstances under which he confessed them to the police officer. For this reason it would be pragmatic to agree with the majority, however I think that the dissenting opinion is right, logically.

case 2:
In this case I think that Paulter was right ethically if you consider the principle of benificence as he was attempting to prevent Neal from committing furthur crimes. He was also right according to the principle of utility because he was doing the least harm. Lying to a criminal in my opinion is not even close to as bad as murder and rape, so by not wanting to risk Neal getting away Paulter was trying to do the least harm. Having said that, I still side with the Majority. Paulter broke the rules, and as such he must face the consequences for his actions. I think that the punishement was fitting. Also it is worthy of note that Paulter violated as many ethical principles as he followed. According to the principle of autonomy, Paulter manipulated and coerced Neal into giving himself up. Also under the principle of Profissional Excellence Paulter did not act in accordance with the code of ethics relevenat to his job.
So, what should Paulter have done? I think that at the very least he should have admitted what he had done as soon as neal was in custody and allowed a real PD to take over. As to weather or not he should have lied in the first place... If it was really the only way to capture Neal, then yes. If there was another way such as calling a real PD, then no.

I'm sorry if none of that made sense. I think I just started ranting at some point and so I am going to log off. o.O

Lindsey Goris

Noah P said...

I think that for the first one the ruling of the court was the "right" way to go. I believe this mostly because of the definition of the word "detain." Even thought the officer may have not meant "detain" in the same way as it is usually percieved, and due to a miscommunication his language was interepreted incorrectly. Regardless, I believe that because of the word detain the officer should have read the miranda rights.
On case two, I think that the officer acted very unethically. I belive that because the case would very likely not end differently had the officer acted according to the law, the principle of utility does not defend his actions.
-Noah Pearson

Haylee S said...

Case one: I found this case difficult to understand, yet I think I have a feel for both the dissenting opinion and the court's decision. Although it was never clear to Becker whether or not he could have left during his "interview" and he wasn't initially presented with his rights, I still believe in order to finish the case; his words were allowed to be used in court. The law can be bent, and I think that in this case it was morally correct for Becker's rights to be sustained, simply because it is his own fault for saying what he said in his interview. If he found his case to be unfair, then he shouldn't have said anything in the first place. Also, I think it is his own fault for not knowing his rights. After all, if you are pulled over by an officer and they tell you what you were doing illegally, and you say "but I didn't know that was wrong"... they will just tell you "it's your own fault for being ignorant of the law". Although this is a different situation, I still believe the concept is relevant.

Case two: I think Pautler acted ethically to his standards. Everybody has their own personal limits, and personally I think that this was Pautler’s boiling point, when he realized that defending a completely guilty man would be immoral for his beliefs. If I were in his position, I would never have defended Neal, and would have accepted my punishments, because that’s just how the U.S. court system works; lawyers are paid to defend the guilty and the innocent, no matter what the case may be. That’s just how it works, and if Pautler decided he couldn’t handle the job that he got himself into then that’s his problem. I think his punishment was just, simply because he got was he was asking for, even if it meant doing the “right” thing.

~Haylee Schiavo

Drivebracket said...

Case 1: I have to say that I agree with the dissenting opinion. By the precedent mentioned in the majority opinion, any normal person, because of the wording the Officer used and his actions, would belive that they were under a similar degree of restriction to arrest. I believe that by the logic of the dissenting opinion is undeniable and that it is pretty clear that Becker's statements should have remained thrown out.

Case 2: I feel that Paulter acted unethically and should have been punished. Regardless of the outcome, procedural correctness in the execution of the law is paramount. If one were to enforce the law in an unlawful, or ethically questionable, manner that ceases to be the practice of the law, and becomes something akin to Vigilanteism (probably not a word, sorry), it loses its credibility and its impartiality. The law must be held as an untouchable ideal, anything that would tarnish it and would make it questionable must be rooted out and put up for judgement, because the law must be impartial and it must be credible. Anything less puts the entire system under question, and therefore renders it meaningless.
-David Hodson

Callie said...

Case 1: It was a challenge for me to decide on this one because of the slight difference in the language between being arrested and being detained. I think that given DeFusco and Becker's testimonies, Becker was free to leave the room, and the questioning remained civil so Becker was not arrested and his Miranda rights didn't need to be read to him. However, I think that it was poor judgment of DeFusco to seize the bag of prescriptions because that would make an objective person feel like they were being arrested. However, weighing the above arguments I find that I agree with the court's decision.

Case 2: I think that Paulter acted unethically because he violated the Colorado State Bar's ethical code about treating all persons with honesty. I think that it was deceptive of Paulter to lie about such an important right; the right to have an attorney or public defender. I also think that it was unethical for him to not inform Neal that Daniel Plattner could no longer be reached as an attorney. I am glad that the murderer was captured, but I think that the same outcome could have been brought about if Neal was correctly informed of his rights and a real public defender appointed to him. I recognize that sometimes law enforcement officers have to do things in certain situations to apprehend a criminal, however, I think that officers and lawyers need to remain as honest as possible throughout the process. Pautler did not correct the misunderstanding to Neal or the courts after the incident which makes his actions dishonest and in violation of an ethical code.

Callie Mabry

Taylor G. said...

Case 1: Based off of the objective data, this case seems like a formality. I've always thought personally that the Miranda rights were implied. As for the officer's body language, it is in my opinion that the isolation in general imposes control over the individual.

Case 2: As for this case, I do not agree with lying. But in the end, the question is whether or not the ends justify the means.

My reactions are markedly brief because this is a matter of opinion involving two possible answers. All of this is structured around the court of law, which is in my opinion, so structured that it surpasses its ability to deal aptly with the complex social conflicts that develop.

The choices result in either erring on the side of the law exactly, or erring inexactly.

Kelsey B said...

Case 1: Well, I can absolutely see where this becomes a tricky issue and it seems incredibly appropriet for TOK since it really boils down to a language issue. What does it mean to be in custody and what does the word "detain" mean. I think though that I would have to agree with the dissenting side. I think that, although he was told that he was not being arrested, it was not made suffiently clear to him that he could technically leave at any point he wanted. I also think that, purely in my opinion, when I hear the world "detained" I associate this word with not being able to freely leave or proceede with what you were doing. I think I would assume I was being held whether I wanted to be or not and that I couldn't get up and go if I wanted to. There are a couple of things I find interesting here though. There seems to be a lot of emphasis on the part about whether or not the suspecs's actions are "restricted to a degree associated with formal arrest." This seems to me to be a very fuzzy issue. Who decides that and wouldn't or couldn't everyone potentially have a different definition of what they consider to be "a degree associated with formal arrest?" This is not very clear. The other thing that struck me as being another issue is when they say that a "reasonable person." How are they defining reasonable? How would you even decide that in a way that would be objective and consistent? I don't know, that just what jumped out at me.

Case 2: This is a very difficult case and I will say that I honestly am not sure exactly whether or not I agree with it. On the one hand, impersonating a public defender seems like deception and that generally seems like a bad thing. However on the other hand, he did it in order to catch a criminal and a murderer at that. I realize that one could argue that deception like that is wrong no matter what the circumstances, but I think the nature of the crime impacts people's opinions a lot. If he had impersonated a PD in order to catch someone who had not paid their library fines, I think people would be quicker to say that he was wrong. It's that whole ends justifying the means thing, arresting a murderer might make the deception justified whereas arresting a fine dodger wouldn't. I think that I would have to say that I would be inclined to think that he was not wrong to what he did, although I see both sides. I think that he greatly helped to catch a dangerous criminal and I think that is a good thing. Granted it might have been worth while to at least consider an alternate method before the deed was done, but I realize that sometimes you only get one shot in a situation like that and you take it. Another thing that makes me feel that way is that I don't really see him benefiting tremendously from what he did. I don't think he personally gained a whole lot from it. I think it would make a difference if he did it in order to make millions of dollars or something like that. I don't see major benefit for him so that makes me feel like he was doing it more to truly do what he felt was right in catching a murderer. However I do think that he should have revealed his deception to the murderer and everyone else right after the arrest. He should have made it clear that he was not really a PD quickly. I guess that I might also agree with some sort of punishment since he didn't make the situation right quickly after it happened but maybe not as harsh as what was imposed. This is a very difficult issue I think because it plays with the trust that we place as a society in lawyers that they are always doing what is right. On the one hand this is dangerous because they are only human as well and on the other hand it is completely necessay becasue if we don't trust them then our entire justice system doesn't function at all and it falls apart. Just an interesting issue that this brought to mind.

Kelsey Blaho

meredith said...

Case 1: I agree with the court’s final decision on this one, although I did struggle making a decision because of the many conflicting aspects to consider. For instance Becker was told he was free to leave and yet he was escorted out to meet his wife, and the officer’s tone remained civil and yet he seized the prescription. The question I had was, was Becker really free to leave, even though he had been told that he was not under arrest?
I agree with the court's decision because Becker was in a position where he could have left (supposedly), so his statements should be used. Although the dissenting opinion was that Becker was being detained, the officer’s actions in this case seem to oppose this: the officer moved around the room without his back to the door, he allowed Becker’s wife to be present, and kept his weapon concealed the entire time, never once saying that Becker was under arrest regardless of whether Becker was read his rights or not.

Case 2: I think that Pautler’s actions in this case were undoubtedly unethical, regardless of the outcome was. The police probably would have captured Neal without impersonating a PD. And even though I’m sure the police thought that they were acting in a way that was justifiable, or perhaps they didn’t really think the plan through, there are certain ethical codes that must always be followed in law, regardless of the severity of the crime committed by the suspect. If these ethical rules were not in place, a great many people would take advantage of that to act in ways that might not be for the greater good. Neal had a right to a real PD and fair representation, which he was not give immediately as he should have been. Instead, his trust in receiving his rights was taken advantage of to trick him, and this was wrong, regardless of the horrible crimes he committed. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Pautler should be "punished" for what he did, because really he was just trying to do his job in the best way he could think of… and if keeping people safe meant tricking one criminal, then perhaps many people would do the same thing… However, I do agree that required ethics classes would benefit the officer.

-Meredith Campbell

hockeysuto22 said...

1. Well this stinks... I am probably the last person to respond to this blog... My bad. Well case 1 is really kinsa confusing. Like so many have already stated, there is a huge language issue in the sense that terns were never established so Becker wasn't ever told clearly whether he could leave or not/what detained actually meant to the cop. Honestly, it is so hard to quiet make a decision because i have no idea how i would respond to this problem until faced with an actual experience in real life. I will say though how fascinating the effect language has in a crime scene.
2. So this one is also quiet interesting. In today's society, it is disgusting just how many crazed and not mentally sound people there are out there. I will never say that murder is a good thing, or forgivable. However, i can say with firmness that lying to the suspect is never an ok thing to do. In life in general, getting led on sucks anyway, regardless that it meant life ir death in the situation, more or less. By all means it is a good thing the murderer was caught, however, the method was not ok. This argument relates to the one about the ends justifying the means... Well, they can and do, sometimes.
Michael Suto

Kenshin_Himura said...

Do you agree with the court's decision in Case 1: People v. Becker, or with the dissenting opinion?
I agree with the court's decision. What really caused me not to agree with the dissenting opinion is the fact that the bulk of the argument was on a single word "detain" and how it implies that they are arrested. Along with that, they left off parts off of Matheny such as "the persons present" Becker asked if he could bring his wife, to which the interrogator agreed. That piece of evidence conviently left out directly affects the "principle of autonomy."




Regarding Case 2, do you feel Pautler acted unethically and, therefore, should have been punished? Or do you feel that he "did the right thing," and that his actions should be excused because of the outcome?

This is an argument that can easily be observed through the ethical principles.
It is a battle between the principles of utility, Distributive justice and autonomy against the principle of professional excellence. I feel that he deserved to be punished. He, while trying to do good in capturing the criminal, treaded upon some ethical guidelines expected of people in the post.


-Lucas Buccafusca

Ariel said...

Case 1: This seems like quite an interesting case and verdict. I feel that there were clear signs that Becker was "in custody" during the time of the questioning but at the same time, there are also signs that Becker was free to go, for instance, he "asked" instead of "told". While I understand the importnace of procedures in the law (reading him his Miranda Rights), it seems ridiculous that simple words, or the lack there of, would cause a potential drug abuser to get off free from a crime. I reluctantly would have to agree with the ruling regardless of my moral beliefs.

Case Two: Like many others have said, while personally, one less sex offender on the streets is a great relief, I do believe that the officer who impersonated a PD deserves punishment. Even when someone has commited such a hautning crime, as in this case, don't we, in America, pride ourselves on our "fair" law and the right to a just trial??? The man convicted of the crime, while terrible as it is, is still a man with rights, which were violated.

Ariel Wilson

Simone S. said...

Case 1: I agree with the dissenting opinion that Becker's statements were made to DeFusco without proper Miranda warnings. The Miranda warnings should have been made clear because Becker was told that he was being detained and this constituted a from of custody. The definition of the word "detained" both the dennotatiosn cited from dictionaries as well as the connotation of the word in everyday language, paired with the situation of a plainsclothes police officer would suggest that Becker was not free to leave. Also, DeFusco's presence at all times, escorting Becker to the room and when he went to get his wife also implies that Becker was not free to leave. For these reasons I think that the dissenting opinion has a valid argument in determining that Becker was in custody, was not informed of his Miranda rights as he should have been and therefore his statements can be suppressed.

Case 2: In accordance with the ethical code that Pautler had accepted on becoming an attorney, he acted unethically because his actions of impersonating a public defender directly went against the code's provision that,"A prosecutor may not deceive an unrepresented person by impersonating a public defender". In terms of the ethical principle of professional excellence, Pautler acted unethically. However, under the principle of distributive justice, relevant considerations such as the severity of Neal's crime can be examined to support Pautler's decision to impersonate a PD. I feel that in this case, it was more important to take into consideration the extent and severity of the crime when examinging Pautler's actions to obtain justice rather than simply look at his actions one dimensionally as failing to adhere to the code of his profession.

Sarah Dero. said...

1) I agree with the court's decision. The dissenting opinion had some good points, but I think it all boiled down to technicalities. The officer was in plain clothes, had his weapon concealed, and made it fairly clear that Mr. Becker was not under arrest. As for asking the employees that entered the lounge to leave, that could just as easily be seen as a measure to preserve Becker's privacy as to assert authority in the situation. The dissenting opinion based much of its stance on how a "reasonable person" would perceive the situation. However, Becker was not a reasonable person. The drug he was prescribed, Ativan, is used to treat anxiety disorders and anxiety associated with depression. This is not the drug he stole. This is the drug prescribed to him by the same doctor who confirmed that the prescription for Adderall was forged, which speaks to the doctor's ethical practices. Also, a considerable amount of time passed between the initial persciption of the drug and the time when Becker went to get it. Becker was not a reasonable person, which means that any assumptions about how a reasonable person would percieve the situation do not apply.

2: I think he acted unethically. His ethics did not live up to either the principle of professional excellence or the principle of autonomy. Paulter's actions leading up to Neal's arrest proved him incredible, dishonest, and untrustworthy. There was no reason not to contact the PD's office. Neal let 3 victims/witnesses go with his pager number and instructions to contact him when the police arrived. Neal spoke willingly to the police, and then requested a lawyer and that his rights be explained. At that point Paulter should have had a PD talk to Neal, or at least explained all the rights that are meant to protect suspects. He lied and omitted information in order to manipulate Neal into surrender. Despite Paulter's personal emotions about the crimes, Neal was still entitled to his rights.

Sarah Derosier

Big Boi PMIL said...

Case One:
A agree with the fact that maranda rights ahd been violated and therefore anything Becker had said should be dicounted. Becker knew that he was being interrogated and that the officer was mantianing power over him by following him in a arms distance but since there was no rights read to Becker everything he said shoul've been forgoten. However since the officer was in a higher power i do agree on the ruling of dissent and think that the courts did a good job in both of the rulings.

Case Two:
I think that Paulter did act unethically and that he should've gotten the punishment that he got and it was well deserved because no matter what everyone has equal rights and going by the text book the outcome was deserved. However i applaud Paulter because without him doing that maybe more women would fall victim to his cruel ways because a PD would tell him to wait and dont say anything therefore giving him more time to kill more innocent women. All in all i think that the court did a good job and justified both parts in an appropriate way.

-Pierce Miller

Paige said...

Case 1: I would have to agree with the courts decision because I believe Becker was in a situation although he was suppose to be detained he could have left and therefore I feel like he could not win at court because I believe he still had the chance at any time to leave and possibly find a different doctor.

Case 2:I do not believe that the fake pd should have been so decietful, lying is a crime too. I don't think that this was anyway fair to be able to get what he wanted from this. I disagree with the ethics and tactics used within this article.

PB

Audrey said...

I agree that Pautler acted unethically and should be punished. Even in cases like this one, law officers have a duty to act transparently, so that trust in police is always maintained. I of course believe that this man needed to be caught and locked away, but I don't think that that justifies Pautler's actions as they would be likely to set an unfortunate precedent for the future and will foster distrust of the police and government, making future cases like this one (which from my understanding depended in large part on the relationship the female sheriff developed with the suspect) even harder to wrap up. As for case 1, I have to agree with the dissenting opinion. The circumstances were such that I, at least, would consider myself detained were I in that position; though clearly it depends on your definition of detained. Still, I think that since the police officer initiated the move to the other room and escorted the suspect and his wife throughout the store, that gives the impression that he couldn't go anywhere without the officer, which in my opinion means that he was detained. So, I think the dissenting opinion is the correct one.

Danya said...

Case 1- I agree with the majority decision in this case, and with Eric's post in particular. Becker made a confession, so it seems kind of poitnless that the court would have to go through an entirely separate investigation to prove something that had already been proven, but was suppressed due to the lack of correct administration. Becker committed the crime, and the court had evidence of that, so I agree with the majority.

Case 2- My opinion is sort of scattered concerning this case. I don't think that Pautler should have pretended to be a PD, because it led to an outcome that could have been avoided... but I also wonder if this outcome was actually deserved, and if Pautler's actions led to a fair punishment. I think the opinion of whether or not Pautler's actions were ethical has to do with personal views about the death penalty, and for me, those are not firmly established enough to give an opinion.

-Danya Kukafka

vishnu said...

Case 1: I would agree to the dissenting opinion for this case because the officer did not mention anything regarding Becker being detained or in custody, as well as he didn't tell him his Miranda rights. If I were in this situation, I would feel obligated to answer any question from a police officer just because being afraid of getting into trouble. I probably wouldn't even remember about my Miranda rights if I were suddenly approaced by an officer who started interrogating me, I guess its the responsibility of the officer to explain, first and foremost, my Miranda rights, and then continue with the interrogation.

Regarding Case 2 : I kind of agree with both sides on this case. From the point of view of a civilian, I would feel that Pautler did the right thing by taking him in custody, to avoid any more victims from being murdered, I would feel safer if I knew that the murderer on the loose had been captured. But, from the point of view of a fellow law inforcement officer, I would feel that he had acted unethically because no officer is permitted to lie, and if the case had proved Pautler not guilty, it would have set a bad example towards other officers. It would show that an officer would be able to get away with anything, inculding lying, to get what they want from people.

Natalie Dunn said...

1.) I felt that the first case was definitely a lot more confusing to follow and to try and agree with only one of the view points. So if DeFusco said that Becker was being detained does that mean he can actually officially interrogate him? Do you not have to be in custody to be interrogated? I don't agree with the actions taken by DeFusco in that he did not follow very proper rules when taking on this case in that he did not read Becker the Miranda rights, which could have changed the course of events in the case. Overall I would say that I agree with the court's decision for the most part in the punishment and sentence that Becker received, but I don't necessarily agree with how it was attained by DeFusco.

2.) I found this case to be a lot more interesting and think that Pautler did do the right thing under the circumstances. Given the extreme circumstances of the case with the murders and crimes done, and the unique chance that the murderer set it up so that he would be on the phone with law officials, I think that Pautler acted in the way that he saw fit and the outcome was what was needed. I think he did what he had to in order to get the killer into custody and sentenced. It was a courageous act, whether seen as unethical on paper or not. I guess factually speaking it was unethical following the ethical principles and some punishment should be inforced but I do think that Pautler did what he needed, even though technically unethical.

Phil_S said...

Case 1: Given the somewhat unique circumstances of the case, a proper decision which upholds both the written law and "good" morals simultaneously is difficult to make. However, in order to make a decision which best adheres to both, I would have to agree with the dissenting opinion. I say this because Becker was never clearly informed that he could leave at his own free will. On top of that, the circumstances of being moved to a secluded room and being escorted by DeFusco are circumstances in which any typical civilian would believe that he/she was in custody.

Case 2: In this case, we must look at whether or not good morals outweigh written law and vice-versa. In my opinion, Pautler's unconventional actions which resulted in the capture of an insane and dangerous murderer were completely necessary given the situation. Because of this, I believe that Pautler should be fully excused.

-Philip Schaeffer

Rachel said...

Case 1: I agree with the dissenting position based on the definition of "detained," which implies being in custody. Also, were I in that situation, I would never even consider the possibility of being able to just waltz right out. However, I suppose it is similar to traffic "detainment," where you cannot really leave, but also are not really in custody - sort of limbo between freedom and custody. Nevertheless, the connotations of "detained" seem strong enough to me that they belied the officers non-confrontational tone.

Case 2: Even though a dangerous criminal was brought into police control through Pautler's actions, I still think they were wrong. Logically, if attorneys are able to bend the rules in their dealings with criminals, they could potentially bend the rules for non-criminals (ok, that slope's a little slipper, but it could happen)... Though I agree that it is ethical to prevent a proven murderer from continuing his rampage, to do so required Pautler to directly violate his oath as an attorney, which I don't think should be taken lightly. As for punishment, I think that the oath-violation was such that he should be reprimanded. I wonder whether there were any other, legal, ways to ensure Neal's surrender without resorting to coercion.

Rachel said...

Sorry, last comment posted by Rachel Dean

Don Park said...

Do you agree with the court's decision in Case 1: People v. Becker, or with the dissenting opinion? Please state your reasons.
I have to agree with the court's decision. Even if the vocabulary "detained" was used, everything else (the setting and everything) always gave the other person freedom more than a formal arrest. The officer maintained a civil tone, stayed on one side of the room (away from the door) and never showed his weapon. The person has free-range to do whatever he wished. He was assured he wasn't going to be arrested nor was he even under arrest, and he was allowed to have his wife there. A single vocabulary shouldn't determine a man's right to leave or a man's right to do whatever they wish. Honestly... I have to agree that this individual was NOT in custody.

Regarding Case 2, do you feel Pautler acted unethically and, therefore, should have been punished? Or do you feel that he "did the right thing," and that his actions should be excused because of the outcome? Please state your reasons.
Pautler was unethical. That is a given fact and statement. But he did save possibly future lives and therefore also could have stated did the right thing. Its very confusing because we have to balance whether lying to do the right thing is good or lying to do the right thing is wrong. Pautler did impersonate a Public Defender. There is a reason why the law is in place, and honestly I believe that Pautler did mess up. Now it seems they were under the pressure to resolve this matter quickly, but still this doesn't give reason for them to impersonate a PD. It just doesn't make sense!

JgrG said...

Case 1: I believe he was in custody simply because of the behavior of the investigator. If the defendant was truly able to leave as he pleased, there would be no need for the officer to escort him to find his wife. It is irrelevant where the officer was sitting in the room. I am surprised this is not a case of entrapment the officer ordered the pharmacist to give the defendant medication from an obviously modified prescription, so he could later be arrested.
Case 2: I don't think that the detective should be punished for his actions because they were completely justified. The detective posed as a pd in order to protect innocents, which is the job of any law enforcement officer. Lastly i think any person who murders another human being forfeits any human rights or judicial rights. I think the officer acted in the most moral way for the given situation and should not be punished for it.
John Gabler

Laura Jo said...

Case 1: I found it hard to really make a decision with this case because of all the pieces involved. On one hand, you have Becker who was never told that he had to talk to DeFusco, but he was told that he was being “detained”. Well being detained doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re free to go, so it’s completely understandable why Becker would believe he was under custody. On the other hand, you have DeFusco that failed to the read the Miranda rights to Becker, so it’s makes sense why Becker felt obligated to answer his questions if he already assumed he was in custody. However, shouldn’t we all be obligated to know what our rights are without having to be reminded by a police officer? So the question is, did DeFusco intentionally not repeat the Miranda rights to Becker so that he could get the information he needed for an arrest, or did he simply forget? Either way, Becker was in possession of the illegally forged medicine, and did admit to the crime; so why should it matter how the information was retrieved if no physical force was used?

Case 2: For this case, I don’t think that what Pautler did was completely wrong, however I do agree with the fact that Pautler needs to be punished for his actions. If there are murderers running lose like Neal, I would believe that any actions needed to capture someone so dangerous are appropriate. However, if Pautler was not punished for impersonating a PD, then it would send the message that it is okay the break the ethical code that drives our justice system. So in some circumstances, it is a sacrifice that somebody like Pautler have to make; follow the “ethical” law, or your personal obligation.

Laura Jo

katealta said...

1. Although the language issues present a really interesting issue in this case. Although Becker was never told he could leave DeFusco’s company, he was never told that he couldn’t. This presented a dilemma for me, because I agreed with the courts opinion but then I read the dissenting judge’s opinion and also agreed with it. So, I guess I am in the middle mostly because of the word “detained”. I know he wasn’t told either way if he could leave or not, but because most reasonable people would assume that being detained meant they couldn’t leave, I agree more with the opinion of the dissenting judge.
2. Because of the oaths the judges must take, Paulter acted unlawfully and since his code of ethics was his oath, also unethically. I also believe that Paulter did the right thing. I believe since he consciously decided to lie, he should accept the punishment for his behavior knowing he did what was right, but against an ethical code. So although I agree that he did the right thing, I don’t think there is any excuse for his actions.

Kate Wilcox

Kaelee said...

Case 2: The main question is my head that i was thinking while reading was should Pautler have faked being a defense lawyer? In the end and after thinking about it alot i came up with yes he should have but he also should have got in trouble so it is like a double negitive for hi. I believe he did the right thing by doing it because we have no idea how many other poeple could be in danger if the police made this guy actually wait until they could get a defense lawyer. Neal was very dangerous and prosed a lot of danger to the community. I agree with the major of the court that he should have recieved the death pentaly even though he did turn himself in but that does not earses the crime he had already commited

Kaelee Hewett

Max Dean said...

Case One:
Because Becker was specifically told by DeFusco that he wasn’t under arrest, it seems like the majority opinion of the court is justified. If the court documents are right, and Becker was On the other hand, if you’re ordered to a back room by an undercover cop that’s just pulled his badge on you and interrogated, it seems like you’re obligated to obey him.. I don’t understand why the Miranda rights are so important in this case though. It seems like whether or not Becker was in custody was more crucial; if he was indeed in custody, then his Miranda rights would have been important. What’s the significance of the word ‘detained’ then. Is being “detained” different than being in custody then? Are you obligated to obey an officer while being detained as well as in custody? The implications of the court’s definition of when custody’s official seem more important. Its conclusion, that Becker’s confession can be used because he wasn’t in custody, means that by implication based on the case’s circumstances, a police officer must declare you arrested and read you your Miranda Rights to be under custody. However, the implications of the Becker case also indicate that an officer can interrogate you without holding you under custody. Perhaps we should get read our “Becker Rights” as well.
Case Two:
It seems like Paulter did breach ethical bounds. Although his actions helped facilitate getting Neal in custody, they defiantly breached the code of ethics he’d agreed to. At a second evaluation, it seems like getting Neal into custody would have been possible and not much harder had Paulter not pretended to be a PD . It seems like the key point in this case is whether or not Neal would have continued hurting people in the time it would have taken to get a warrant to arrest Neal. Because Neal was in a known location and apparently couldn’t hurt anyone immediately near him, the main people Paulter was protecting were the police officers that would have been put in harm’s way arresting Neal had he not surrendered himself.

A big limitation of these documents is that they are the only source we have on the cases. It seems like we’d be predisposed to agreeing with the majority decisions on both cases because we received the same information the justices received when making these rulings.

christine said...

For Case 1, I agree with the Court's decision because even though the officer approached Becker and told him he was detained, he let Becker request his wife and even made sure that Becker didn't feel like he was completely being held. The officer probably should've asked Becker for the pills after showing him his badge rather than just taking him away. Becker could've interpreted that action as a part of being detained.

For Case 2, I feel that while Pautler made an unethical decision, it was for the better. Even though he did it because he felt that it was the right thing to do, for some reason I still felt like he had to face the consequences. After all, he did lie about being a Public Defender and he took advantage of this position and abused Neal's trust. While the outcome is positive, the process that Pautler used to get there wasn't.

-Christine Lee

Ali said...

Case 1: Ultimately, I think I agree with the majority of the court. It's all narrowed down by that one specific saying of whether if he was in custody or not... and since I don't think he was in custody according to what DeFusco said, I think anything Becker said was useable, like a confession. Both the majority and the dissenting opinions had their high points, but i think that ultimately the majority opinion was right.

Case 2:
I think this entire case revolves around the Principle of Utility... the punishment should revolve around the good and bad outcomes of the situation. For example, Pautler had impersonated a PD, captured the killer, and saved countless innocent lives on top of the hostages that were found in the apartment. This obviously raises itself far above a situation in which he had, possibly, impersonated the PD, let the killer away, destroyed $50,000 in state revenue, and had let the killer get seven more victims. Even though Pautler did something questionable, the outcome was still good, leaving more good in the situation than bad. Therefore, according to the principle of Utility, he shouldn't be punished.... too much.
I also think this applies to the death-camp research... if 5000 people died to save 1 person, it shouldn't be used, but if 1 person dies to save 5000 others, it should.

SusieP said...

For Case 1, I agree with the dissenting opinion. The most important factor to be considered was whether or not Becker felt like he was in custody or not. Because I would never actually be able to understand what Becker was thinking, I can only consider how I would have felt in that situation. If I placed myself in Becker’s shoes, I would have felt like I was under arrest and not free to go. Therefore, I would have to support the dissenting position that Becker was in custody and being detained.

For Case 2, I believe that Pautler did act unethically and should have been punished. I do not think it is okay to lie about being a public defender, even if it is for the greater good. It doesn’t matter if Pautler was trying to catch a criminal, he still shouldn’t be allowed to pretend to be someone he isn’t. I feel like his actions were illegal according to the rights given to citizens of the United States. On the other hand, I don’t understand the reasoning behind his decision and I don’t know what I would have done if I was in his position. I think I might have done the same thing as he did, but only as a last resort. I would have tried every other approach to get Neal to surrender before posing falsely as a public defender.

SusieP said...

For Case 1, I agree with the dissenting opinion. The most important factor to be considered was whether or not Becker felt like he was in custody or not. Because I would never actually be able to understand what Becker was thinking, I can only consider how I would have felt in that situation. If I placed myself in Becker’s shoes, I would have felt like I was under arrest and not free to go. Therefore, I would have to support the dissenting position that Becker was in custody and being detained.

For Case 2, I believe that Pautler did act unethically and should have been punished. I do not think it is okay to lie about being a public defender, even if it is for the greater good. It doesn’t matter if Pautler was trying to catch a criminal, he still shouldn’t be allowed to pretend to be someone he isn’t. I feel like his actions were illegal according to the rights given to citizens of the United States. On the other hand, I don’t understand the reasoning behind his decision and I don’t know what I would have done if I was in his position. I think I might have done the same thing as he did, but only as a last resort. I would have tried every other approach to get Neal to surrender before posing falsely as a public defender.

adrianeg said...

Case 1: After reviewing the facts of Becker’s case, along with the argument posed by the dissent, at least three times over, I would have to say that my views and understanding of the case lean towards the ruling that officer Defusco had indeed “detained” Becker and therefore put him in custody. Like the dissent’s argument, my reasons for believing that Becker was in custody during the interrogation are based strongly off of the fact that officer Defusco used the word “detained” when he was explaining the situation to Becker. However, I also formed my opinion around other information including Defusco’s need to escort Becker to find his wife, and his efforts to keep the place on interrogation clear of other people in the store. In a case like Becker’s every single element must be taken into account in order to reach a just verdict; and because of this I believe that even the seemingly small details (such as the use of the word “detained”) can play a key role in a court’s decision.

Case 2: In response to the question surrounding the second case, I disagree with both options. I do not believe that Pautler acted unethically, but I also agree that he should be punished for his actions. Given the situation, it appears to me that Pautler “did the right thing” in impersonating a public defender. However, this action was still considered unlawful and therefore warrants the suspension of Pautler’s license. In my mind, the only questionable piece of the reprimand that Pautler received deals with the severity of his punishment, seeing that what he did was not ethically wrong in this particular situation.

Adriane Gless

Ryan Strand said...

In case one i would have to agree with the dissenting opinion. I agreee with Justice Martinez in that the most important part of the case was dealing with the word detain and it wasnt ever mentioned throughout the proceedings. It seemed like the evidence was more or less glazed over becuase they knew that Becker had committed the crime and just wanted to convict him.

In the second case I believe that Paulter "did the right thing" by bring Neal into a peaceful surreener, but he did it in a unethical way. Due to his overwhelming amount of lies that he made to Neal. Also should be charged becuase even if a person is in a place of high authority they must obey the laws like very other citizen.

Ryan Strand

Kaitlyn T. said...

Case 1: I think I agree with the dissenting opinion because of the language that was used and that most people associate “detained” with “in custody.” DeFusco never made it clear that Becker was in fact going to be arrested but it did seem like he was interrogating him and preventing him from leaving had Becker been so inclined. The whole issue with the Miranda rights is important because Becker should have been aware of his rights even though he was not in handcuffs or told he was being arrested. The situation too closely resembled an arrest and an interrogation.
Case 2: I think what Paulter did was very unethical but in that situation I can’t be sure I wouldn’t do the same thing. He was trying to get the bad guy off the streets, which was a good goal but he could have done it in a different, more ethical way. Paulter should have known that he would be punished for his actions so he shouldn’t be upset with the consequences he faced. I think he should be punished for what he did but I don’t necessarily think he shouldn’t have done it.
~Kaitlyn Throgmorton

Nick said...

1. I definitely agree with the dissenting opinion in this case. If a police officer approached me and told me that I was being "detained" for questioning, I would assume myself to be in custody, regardless of his tone or body language. I believe that any reasonable person would have assumed that their movement was restricted. Another point that enforces my opinion is that Officer DeFusco accompanied Becker into the store and was always about "an arms length" away from Becker, which in my opinion would definitely feel like a police escort, and a restriction of my freedom.
2. I feel strongly that although Pautler's actions were done for good reasons, the actions themselves were unethical, and he should have been punished for them. Some of the statements that Neal made were done under the assumption that he had a PD there to represent him. "Palmer" acted in a way that a normal PD would not have, by encouraging Neal to continue talking and confessing, while an actual PD would have likely informed Neal to stop talking immediately, but to turn himself in. Pautler acted unethically, though for good reasons, and should be punished for those actions.
Nick C

Ry Barney said...

Case 1: I do agree with the dissent, as when DeFusco told Becker that he was being "detained", and then interrogated, he was under "custodial interrogation", which, as Justice Martinez stated, "is questioning initiated by laq enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody OR otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way". Becker was indeed the ladder.
Case 2: I do not beleive that Pautler was "unethical" in what he did. He broke the law, in order to achieve true justice. Neal deserved to fry for what he did, and Pautler obviously did what he thought would get Neal into the fryer quickest. He, however, did not act intelligently. It was against the law what he did, and it wasn't a very good move as far as the case was concerned, and as far as being a cop is concerned. Cops are supposed to biuld the best case possible within the confinements of the law, and Pautler didn't do this, but whether or not it was ethical, it was. Right with respect to the law and his job, maybe not, but ethical, yes.

Jake said...

Case 1: I agree with the dissent, because they made a strong point of the word used by the officer which was "detained". I've concluded that any reasonable human being wouldn't of felt that they were free to leave. Therefore the Miranda Rights should have been told to Becker since he was basically in custody. The only thing that I can see that i agree with on the majority's opinion is that the officer never literally said that Becker was in custody, but if I was an officer and told someone that they were detained it would basically mean that they were in temporary custody for questioning or other purposes, and that definitely calls for the Miranda Rights.

Case 2: I think that lying that you're a PD is acceptable under these conditions. I agree with the point that we made in the seminar which was that it was basically an act of Civil Disobedience. Though i disagree with not agreeing with you're punishment. Even though he pretended to be a PD to put a killer away he knew perfectly that he was doing something wrong. That and to take your punishment without arguing would've have justified his actions more. I mean from a spectator standpoint. It would've made it much more powerful.

Jacob Morley

tpau said...

Case 1: I'll have to agree with the majority. To me detained or arrested would involve not being able to leave. Because of the way Defusco acted toward Becker and the terminology that he used made me think that he was free to leave. Also because of Beckers body language, not covering the exit and not showing a gun, made me think that he was not obligated to stay or was under arrest in any way.

Ashley Poppewimer

tpau said...

Case 2: I think it was not unethical for Pautler to act the way he did. If him lying about who he was saved lives then I think it was necessary. This is a good example of the principle of utility. He could have waited and seen what the outcome could have been but weighing that option with one that because he did not lie someone else could have died. It would have been unethical of him to not act. Although it was necesary I don't know whether or not that it was necesary for him to be punished. I think that he should have consequences because he is a model to others, but because of the outcome it should not be to severe.

Ashley Poppenwimer

Alex Kreger said...

Case 1: I agree with the decision of the court in this case because Becker did have the option to leave. I also think that what the officer was wearing is extremely important. He was wearing plain clothes which, to me, are less intimidating that the police uniform. Also, his gun was hidden, preventing even the unintentional threat of it. The final factor that made a big difference to me was that the officer made sure not to block the door. This made a big difference because it really did show that Becker was able to leave at all times. However, I do think the officer could have done a better job and told Becker he was free to go at anytime.
Case 2: This is seemingly a question of do the ends justify the means. I don't believe that they do most of the time and, that stands in this case as well. Although I appreciate the end result, I think that Pautler should have been punished. I do understand the decision he made and recognize it's positive results. However, Paulter's punishment was deserved as he did go against ethical codes. These codes cannot simply be suspended depending on the situation, and therefore, Paulter's punishment was necessary.
-Alex Kreger

Paul said...

Case 1: I strongly believe with the courts decision for this case. I think that Defusco’s use of the word detained was reasonable and over analyzed by the defendant’s camp in an effort to liberate a guilty man from the consequences of the offense he clearly committed. It really amazes me how a simple language issue, like that of the use of the word ‘detained’, can lead a case all the way to the Colorado supreme court but I’m happy to hear that the cases was settled in the manor that it was.

Case 2: To me the question of whether Pautler acted unethically is much less clear that that of the issues surrounding the Becker case. I see this as a dumbed-down version of the classic ’24 debate’. Is it ethical for Jack Bauer to run around torturing and murdering but doing so to save thousands, sometimes even millions of lives? I believe that it comes down to if the juice is worth the squeeze. Pautler had to have known that there would be serious reparations for his actions and yet his still did what he did. My opinion is that Pautler did act ethically in an effort to save a life and to do so at a cost at which made a personal call to determine was necessary in that specific situation. The fact remains that he has no right not do anything less than entirely accept the consequences that he received from the court because he took action with the knowledge they were a very real possibility.

s.hannon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
s.hannon said...

for case 1: i feel that Becker was not in custody. i think this because for one, if Becker was innocent then he wouldn't have felt threatened and would of had nothing to worry about. But he was guilty and knew the police knew so he felt threatened and a hostage in some ways because of the guilt.

case 2: this one is interesting because yes its important to follow the law and no one must be above it but then there are those instances when safety is important also. the idea that if you break the law to do good, the punishment will still come is a good moral. there are many people who act on that, to better the world. things like the black rights movements in the 60's. the protesters broke laws that were unfair to achieve good and some paied for that but in the end it accomplished much more.

-shannon finnell

emfea said...

Case 1: I personally agree with the dissenting opinion that Becker's statements should have been supressed. If I had been in Becker's posistion I would have felt compelled to tell him the truth under the belief that he is an officer that has told me I am being detained. By removing Becker from the public eye into the private room, he immediately changed the situation from casual to serious. Based on what the public typically witnesses through media like cop shows and movies this movement to a private area usually signifies a formal interrogation in which the person hears their Miranda rights and can then choose to speak or not. If Becker had ever seen one of these shows he might have thought the same thing. I also believe that DeFusco used his knowledge of the law to manipulate the situation so Becker would confess in a way that could be used later in court.

Case 2: I think it is very hard for me to judge Pautler's actions. He is an law enforcement officer who has been witness to many horrific people and crime sthroughout his career, and these experiences may have affected his decision in the way he dealt with Neal. I disagree with his choice to lie to a citizen becuase it will only lead to more distrust throughout all citizens. I feel like Pautler might have made a split instant decision in desperation to bring in a dangerous criminal and it happened to work. But did he consider all of the ramifications of lying if things hadn't worked out. What if Neal had found out about the lie half way through, refused to continue working with the police, and went on another killing rampage? I feel that Pautler got lucky that his scheme went so well. If I were his superior I would have a serious talk with him about his ethics and probably give a punishment that I deemed necessary.

emfea said...

Emily Feavel

tymyshu said...

Case 1: With this case, i initially agreed with the court. Becker did have the choice to leave and was not being intimidated. But upon reading the dissenting opinion about how Becker was told he was being "detained", my opinion completely reversed. To me, and according to the dictionaries I've looked at, "detained" implies "to restrain". i know that if a cop told me I was being detained, I would understand that to mean I could not go anywhere, and would have to answer his questions. Thus, i would be in custody, and he should have read me my Miranda rights.

Case 2: This one is a lot harder for me to come to a decision about. On one hand, I think that Pautler did what he felt necessary to bring this criminal in. if he had of let the man go, and have to track him down, then more innocent victims could have been killed as well as police officers. And when Neal did come in, he was provided with a PD, and the sheriffs department did keep their word.
However, Pautler was misleading, and I do believe he deserved the punishment, because it wasn't too severe, and he still got to keep his job after some probation.
- Kellan

Elliott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liz I. said...

1) i would have to agree with the court's decision in this case because it seems fairly clear that he was never in custody. the specifics are what is most important here, but when it comes down to it, i am inclined to side with the courts on this ruling.

2) this is also a difficult issue to formulate an opinion. personally, if i were put in the same situation as Pautler, i would have done the same thing i think. i would have to agree with him that gettin a murderer off the streets is more important than honesty, however, i also can see why what he did is seen as wrong and why he was disciplined for it. in the end though, i think that for the the consequences he paid, it was still worth it to get this horrible murderer off of the streets.
-Liz I.

Shellie said...

Beethe brings up a good point. That the ends rarely justify the means. But that means there are instances where the ends DO justify the means. Does anyone believe Pautler shouldn't have been punished, because the ends of the second case definitely justify the means Pautler took to get there? I know I do.

Michelle Moon

Ilya said...

Case 1: This case really confused me… while I understood the events, and the arguments, I can't seem to decide which side I agree with... Personally, if I were told by a police officer that I was "detained" and then led into a room to be questioned, I would feel that I had no say in the matter, regardless of how relatively "informal" the interview may have been from a police officer's standpoint. More experienced criminals who have been arrested several times may have recognised the interrogation for what it was, but an average person off the street had no chance... Yet the officer tried his best to avoid looking as though the suspect was in custody... Hmmm... Ultimately, I think I would side with the dissenting opinion, as it feels more applicable to the context which this is in.

Case 2: Ah, a lovely chance to explain my odd morals... I feel strongly in the Theory of Distributive Justice, and while it may technically be wrong, I feel no qualms about lying to a murderer to avoid any future crimes from him... there's perfect justification available, that an untruth is worth less than a human life. If deceiving the criminal is necessary, it's a necessary price to pay. In cases where no criminal is present, only suspects, this method becomes less practical, though ultimately if a few lies can save a life, it's quite alright. It would have been optimal for the DA to have told the murderer about the lie after he was captured, however, as the function of the lies had been fulfilled, and the criminal captured. Leaving the lies unknown after this point could ultimately only lead to legal problems, and thus the criminal should have been informed of the way he was captured... And for those of you who are strongly against lying to the suspect, I must ask the following question of you: "if you don't want to be lied to, why not just avoid becoming a criminal?"

Cheers,
Ilya Smirnov

Karam said...

Case One:
In this case, I have to agree with the dissenting opinion. In this case, Becker was never openly informed that he was free to leave DeFusco’s presence at any time. Also, in this case, Becker was told that he was being detained which probably led him to thinking that he was not free to leave at any point during the time he was being questioned. I would personally assume that I was in custody if I was told that I was being “detained,” which obviously presents a significant language issue. It is also important to note that the officer physically took the paper from the defendant which seems to create a sense of power in this situation. (custodial power)

Karam said...

Case 2:
In this case, I believe that what Paulter did was unethical, and did deserve some form of punishment, but not the penalty of being disbarred. To begin, I do think it is good that the murderer got captured, but I don’t believe that deceiving him about being a PD was the ethical, right thing to do. I believe that that should only be done as a last resort, if there was no other way of capturing Neal. Even so, what Pautler did was a violation of his job, and if it were not punished, he would have possibly continued to break this code of ethics in law. Overall, I do think he deserved to be punished, but not to that extent.

A-Dog said...

Case 1: I think for the most part I agree with the court's decision. While the detective told the truth and didn't create a tense, demeaning atmosphere, it seems that the detective didn't quite tell everything. He seemed to have good intentions, I just think he should have been more obvious and upfront about his plan for the interrogation. I think staying calm, staying away from the door, allowing the wife to come, and telling the defendent that he wasn't under arrest was definitely the right thing to do. It just seems that the detective should be the slightest bit punished because he wasn't as careful and detailed as he should have been.

Case 2: Again, while Pautler seemed to have good intentions during the whole circumstance, I believe that he should've thought about the consequences of his actions more. I therefore agree with the court's decision. His actions could have been appropriate if there had not been more options and if the situation were even more dire perhaps. However, the whole report gives me the impression that Pautler had the right aims in mind, he just needed more experience under his belt in order to make a more lawful and ethical decision. Having a supervisor and being required to get 20 hours of CLE credits in ethics sounds like it could give him a bit more wisdom for when he comes across such situations.

Allison Drenkow

kirsten said...

Case 1: i agreed with the People vs. Becker because although DeFusco did use the word "detained," he made it explicitly clear to Becker that he was not under arrest therefore implying that he could leave if he wanted to (kinda common knowledge) it might have been uncomfortable for Becker, had he wanted to leave but hey he could have if he wanted to. it is also difficult for DeFusco to choose his words THAT meticulously while in the situation and i think he pretty well covered his butt by telling Becker he wasn't under arrest, concealing his weapon, and staying AWAY from the door.
Case 2: in this case i believe that Pautler should have lied (i would have done the same) but that he also should have been punished (i think that the punishment that he recieved was accurate to his offense) what i do believe that Pautler should have done differently is to have told Neal that he reall wasn't the lawyer that he had really wanted. fessing up might have saved his skin a little bit, maybe, i don't know but it sure would have helped his actions be more ethical.

kirsten said...

oops that last one was by me :) Kirsten Moffatt

Vincent said...

Case 1: Well, I guess i'm kind of half and half. As far as i think... i believe that he was in custody because I think that if he had just ran away he would have been perused and then put into custody. So i guess i don't agree with the ruling.

Case 2: I feel that Paulter acted on his gut instinct which may not always be the correct way to go. He could have easily found out if the real PD was actually a PD by simply getting his badge info and then he could have made an informed decision, so i do think that he should be punished

Vincent Levinger

Bonnie said...

Both of these cases smell of manipulative law enforcement practices - for whatever reason. In Case 1, the officer obviously mislead Becker so that he would think himself in the sort of situation that required his cooperation, not realizing that he was not technically being detained. The other option, formally arresting him and reciting his Miranda Rights him, would have proved more hassle for the police, as he could have called for a lawyer, refused any information, etc, while circumventing that whole process seemed the easiest way to get this "petty crime" case wrapped up without much fuss.

In Case 2, the magnitude of the situation was considerably more grave. Lives were at stake. The reality of a dangerous killer getting off loose was indeed a looming reality. The detective blatantly deceived another human being out his rights given under law to have proper representation, but this human being turned out to be a murderer.

In both cases, what both officers of law did was within the codes of ethics, but they should have been punished regardless. Even when the scale of your actions are within the context of some "higher cause," that doesn't automatically cancel out the wrongness of your actions. This is a thinking of "balancing the scales" that runs rampant in all societies - "well, I'm doing this for a good cause, so I CAN break this code of ethics," responsible for everything from petty feuds to revenge, to war.

Bonnie Fan
(O benevolent TOK authorities.... I'll have you know I flew to Anchorage Alaska to post this).

Nick Jordan said...

Upon first reading the information I did agree with the court's decision, but they generally left out the wording that DeFusco used with "detain." This is a very important word as I think that it affects the whole outcome of the trial. "Detain" certainly implies arrest by the law, and DeFusco's failure to read Becker his Miranda Rights was also a problem. My first reaction as a knower would be to convict Becker, because he clearly went against the law. Although it is frustrating, with the phrasing taken into consideration, I would have to say that Becker's argument would stand. I find it annoying when the law has to operate on tiny technicalities such as this, but they are necessary for protecting the rights of the individual.
Nick Jordan

Nick Jordan said...

Case 2: It is hard to say whether or not Pautler acted unethically initially, but after detaining Neal, I believe he did. He could have justified the initial deceit as necessary for the apprehension of Neal, under the Principle of Utility. However, when he still did not inform Neal of the situation afterwards, he did not observe the Principle of Professional Excellence, and thus acted unethically. If the case had been under different circumstances, then I might have felt more offended by Pautler's actions, but as it was I did not feel like the rights of Neal mattered as he was such a horrible person, and perhaps neither did Pautler. But I also realize that in order to have a smoothly running and ethical justice system, the rights of the criminal must always be observed. If I use emotion to seek the answer, I would say that Pautler should not have been prosecuted, yet if I use logic I know that he must be. And as ethics are generally judged via logic, then he was justly punished.

Nick Jordan

annelise gilsdorf said...

Case 1: I think that I would uphold the court's decision in this case, despite the many elements that were complicating the situation. Although the question of whether Becker was actually in custody was a little ambiguous I think the evidence is clear enough to say that he could have left and therefore he was not actually in custody. The word 'detain' does present some issues but I think in this case the implications of the word are not enough to overrule the court's decision.

Case 2: This case was really a hard one for me to formulate an opinion on. I felt that the decision to impersonate a PD was unethical, however, at the same time I did see justification for the decision. I think that his actions should be excused because of the outcome but it still definitely created a bit of a dilemma for me. I felt that my emotional relief in seeing the murder incarcerated outweighed my apprehension of the initial actions taken to take him into custody.
Annelise

kaitlynL said...

Case 1: This case was a bit confusing to me because I felt like they kind of tricked him by saying that he should have known that he was free to go, when I know that if I was in a similar situation, I definitely wouldn't feel like I could go. It kind of goes without being said that if you're in the presence of an authority figure, you're not going to do anything that could potentially be disrespectful. The whole idea of a police officer, or anyone with that kind of power, is to make people obey them by being frightening. I guess the court's decision would be the one that I agree with, though, because he WAS free to go, whether he knew it or not.

Case 2: The only thing that I can say to this case is that life isn't fair. Nothing about any of this case can really be justified. I don't exactly feel comfortable walking around with people that would deceive me, but I also don't enjoy the thought of a man that is a murderer and a rapist. The whole case is a little bit sketchy, because yes, Paulter should be punished, because when is lying and deceiving EVER the right thing to do? Even if it did turn out for the better, what if he did this to you or someone that you knew? I'm sure you would have a different opinion then.

Kaitlyn Lundeby
P.S. Sorry I forgot to post sooner!! I'll do better next time!

Hannah N said...

Case 1: I agree more with the dissenting opinion. When picturing myself in Becker's shoes, if I been "detained" in the manner that he had, I most certainly would be confused as to whether or not I was going to be arrested and whether or not the information I was giving would be permitted to be used in court, etc. In general, the entire situation became more complicated than it should have been. Besides this, I believe that the detention was fairly informal (an employees' lounge) yet the interrogation was formal and performed with the intention to obtain information. This is extremely conflicting for the defendant. Any sensible person will submit to authority in this situation, and would assume, by the use of the word "detain," that they are not permitted to leave, despite the "physical indications" that they could. Had DeFusco wanted Becker to be aware of this information, he should have explicitely presented it to him in the first place ("you are permitted to leave at any time, etc...") but he did not. What makes this so complex is the question as to how closely related "detain" and "arrest" are.

-Hannah Neff

Hannah N said...

Case 2: I do think Pautler acted unethically, and it was right to punish him. However, I also think that there was not many other options in the heat of the crime, and, for a crime as severe as this, it was important to continue to obtain the information from the suspect. Therefore I think that Pautler should graciously accept his punishment, because he should've known from the beginning that to impersonate a PD was an unethical (but debatably necessary) actions. If he'd thought this through in the beginning and determined that it wasn't worth it, well, that was his decision. In some ways he made a sacrifice for the truth. HOWEVER. I truly think they should've taken all of this into account when completing the trial for Neal and especially before giving the verdict of the death penalty. Obviously it cannot be changed now, but, with a case as serious and complex as this one they should've looked at all aspects. I'm not positive of my opinions on the death penalty-- obviously it's a harsh punishment but it was also a gruesome and disgusting crime. But that's irrelevant. They should've looked into Pautler's role before deciding Neal's conviction.

Tess Santangelo said...

Case 1: I agree with the courts decision because he was free to leave at all times and there were no measures to ensure his custody. Despite the language that he was detained the failure to forfill the conditions of questioning him under those conditions defies the intention of custody. Technically there was no physical restraint to prevent him from leaving all suggesting he was not detained.
Case 2: Yes I believe Pautler acted unethically and the murderer should not have been lied to I also believe that the intentions of Pautler were not good. This is a question of morals; to detain a muderer who could possibly hurt others if not detaied or to remain truthful and honest with the possibility of losing the suspect. I do feel he sould be punished because of the specific language that was used during the detention of the murderer, the fact that he acted for the grater good sould be taken into account. There is no simple "right" action with Pautler or in the actions he took.
Tess Santangelo

Peter XP said...

Case 1: I agree with the court's decision. DeFusco had the intent on keeping Becker in a non-arrested state of mind, which I believe to be more significant in the matter. He described methods of establishing comfort such by allowing Becker's mother with him during the investigation and giving him the side by the doorway. However, Defusco still instilled dominance by raptly taking the bottle from Becker and remained within close proximity. These actions are still insignificant depending on whether Becker himself FELT detained or not, which by Defusco's actions, he didn't.

Case 2: Despite the dangerous nature of the murderer or the importance of his capture, Paulter still held no right to dupe Neal, especially on these reasons and that of not trusting the DA officials. By not admitting his lie after the capture, no reconciliation is made that the court may use to rectify his deception. Only as a last resort should he have done so. With this not the case, Paulter shows flaunting of power that should be punished.

Scott-de-la-Trout said...

Case 1: yeah this one was interesting especially because he was in a grocery store, but that doesn't really matter. Well I agree with the court case because he was free to go, but it's tricky. If the ol' police guy was talking to me, I would be pretty nervous, not because I would have drugs on me, but I would just be nervous, so if the officer didn't explicitely say i could leave I wouldn't know I could.

Case 2: Well nuts I think I might have been confused by this here case, but what I got was that Pautler acted unjustly, but the murderer Neal got put in jail, which is good because then he couldn't do much harm. So I guess this comes to the question of the greater good. This also points to the question: is batman justified in his vigilante work? I guess I don't really know. I want to say that Batman and Pautler are right in what they did because the "bad guys" were put away, but if we start to bend rules why keep the judicial branch accountable at all. It makes me wonder is it better to let some criminals go and follow the rules by the book, or bend the rules to put criminals behind bars?

B. Wurz said...

Case 1: I think the wrong decision was made, because Becker's wife was not informed of his situation of whether he was under arrest or not. This is especially important because she was his witness of the conversation, and as his witness she should be informed of every part of the situation.

Case 2: I think because Neal was in a position of power, had sworn to do his job in making sure the law was followed, and then broke the law, he should suffer the consequences.

Ben