For this discussion, we will focus on the courts.
- During the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton was criticized for an interview in which she laughingly described how she managed to get a violent defendant released despite knowing he was guilty. As a defense attorney, her duty required her best efforts at defending her client, yet often doing so will conflict with the attorney’s personal ethics. Should defense attorneys, when appointed by the court to represent indigent defendants, be required to always act in the best interest of the client, even if doing so conflicts with his or her ethical system?
- When ruling on matters of evidence, and when imposing a sentence, judges are expected to apply the law as written. Are judges in criminal cases bound by ethics to adhere to the law, regardless of their personal views on a case? Use the issue of minimum mandatory sentencing as a basis for discussion