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You are a retired law enforcement officer who now teaches at a local community college in the criminal justice program. In addition to teaching ethics, you write crime novels on the side. You recently heard of a real-life case that you thought would make the basis for a good story, but, as you looked into it further, you realized that it provided many opportunities for educating students and criminal justice professionals on ethics. You decide to write a paper for possible publication in a journal.

To research this case, you have obtained a copy of the police investigative file, reviewed media accounts of the case, and interviewed witnesses, members of the criminal justice system who were involved in the case and other criminal justice professionals not directly connected with the case. As part of the preparation for writing your paper, you will organize your notes, outline your ideas for the themes for the paper, and identify the ethical dilemmas presented in the case. You anticipate as you work on this project that you will have to do substantial research to make this paper worthy for publication in an academic journal.


Details from the police report:

On July 27, 2007, Lois Murphy was found dead on the floor of her garage, a victim of an apparent homicide. She was discovered by her brother, James Murphy, who had come to her residence to check on her after being unable to reach her for three days. James immediately called 911 to report the discovery.

MPD conducted a comprehensive crime scene investigation, including photographing and videotaping the crime scene, collecting physical evidence, and gathering fingerprint evidence. The MPD classified the case as a homicide. Following the initial crime scene investigation, MPD detectives conducted an extensive investigation, interviewing many witnesses and following all credible leads.

Although there were multiple signs of blunt wound trauma around the head and face, according to the Metropolis County Medical Examiner, the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest. The ME listed the cause of death as homicide.

The MPD eventually arrested William Tanner on suspicion of murder. The evidence indicates that the crime was motivated by an unpaid debt for drugs.

The crime occurred in the city and county of Metropolis.

Assignment: Prepare a 1-2 page paper in which you analyze this crime that was presented last week for your Ethics Project. Use each of the four approaches to explaining criminal behavior ethical theories; classical, positivist, structural, and ethical. Discuss the morality of the act of homicide using the ethical framework.

  • Science -

    How would you like us to help you with this assignment?

  • Science -

    I am very confused on what they are wanting us to do? I don't get how they want us to approach to explain criminal behaviot for the ehthical theories for the reading. Please help..:)

  • Science -

    First go back and study the four approaches to explaining criminal behavior. Take notes on each.

    Then discuss the morality of this homicide from each of these points of view. How would advocates of each theory explain this crime?

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