In public governance, there are formal and informal rules that govern the conduct of the officials. In most cases, systems use systematic rules that safeguard the interest of the nation and the people served by the office (Urrea, 2015). However, due to the subjective nature of the responsibilities entrusted to these officials, the formal policies are insufficient to ensure maximum efficacy. As such, it is vital for the holders of these offices to follow the informal ethics installed through social interactions and expectations. In the execution of these duties, a public office holder must do so in the best interest of the people as opposed to personal gains. The questionable activities of the county magistrate indicate a violation of the ethical codes for personal gains. The paper uses academic theories to describe the ethical perspective of the conduct of the magistrate and conclude that these ethical violations warrant the removal of the magistrate from the office to face prosecution.
Firstly, the magistrate misuses public resources to engage in personal businesses. As a holder of a public office, an individual must ensure that all the decisions, actions, and inactions should focus on the benefits of the public. In this case, the mismanagement and unethical cases include conducting personal business from the court chambers and sending public workers on personal errands during work hours. It is an ethical responsibility to maximize on effective usage of public resources in promoting social justice and equity. The theory of socialization suggests that people learn from their social and psychological environments (Pojman & Fieser, 2017). Hence, every individual has a significant influence on other people. In this case, the majority of the employees in the magistrate office attempt to enumerate their leader. The responsibilities of the office present a person as a practical role model. It thus becomes an ethical responsibility to maintain the ethics of the office by leading by an example. The magistrate fails to meet the ethical expectations of the office, thus making him unqualified to hold the office or meet the responsibilities.
Secondly, it is unethical to ban the defense attorney during trials. The primary role of the office of a magistrate is to arbitrate over social conflicts to ensure effective operations of the society. As a leader, the magistrate is entrusted to uphold professionalism and objectivity in meeting the objectives of the office. The efficacy and transparency in the court systems help to increase public and government relations, which are vital for harmonious existence and development. In this case, by denying the parties to have a fair trial, the magistrate fails the formal duties of the office. From a moral perceptive, the action is also biased and intolerable. According to the theory of Egoism ethics dictates that an individual is likely to act on his or her interest if there are justified gains through the process (Knez, 2016). However, a decision or action is unethical if the decisions lead to unjustified results to the person or the parties involved. Although the magistrate did not gain any substantial value from the decision, he led undesirable outcomes for the defendant. Thus, the action is unethical and illegal. It is also unethical to change the work hours to prevent the defense from filing motions. The act demonstrates laziness by the magistrate judge. By minimizing the number of the motions filed, a magistrate reduces the workload leading to quick and non-inclusive decisions. Thus, the duty of the magistrate is to encourage motions that increase the accuracy of the decision.
The magistrate also commits illegal and unethical activity by taking bribes through donations to charity. The case study identifies that the court magistrate orders some defendants to donate to specific charities. It is impartial to argue that, whether the magistrate benefits from these schemes are direct or indirect, they affect the execution of his duties. In other words, the magistrate is likely to make biased decisions in the attempts to promote his gains. In the USA, the society trusts the court system to ensure social harmony and co-existence (Hansen, 2017). The expected rules of conduct follow a pre-set moral compass that governs the social conduct of each. Subsequent the need for transparency, bribery, and social injustices are illegal from both moral and law perspectives. The magistrate is a symbol of justice restoration and order. Such diminishing behavior ruins both the formal structures that govern human rights and the moral fibers that define social norms. In retrospect, the magistrate is indirectly likely to increase the rate of bribery across the justice systems and other social systems.
Additionally, it is unethical for the office of the magistrate to make biased decisions for kickback payments. The case study reveals that the magistrate receives payments from juvenile facilities to increase the number of convicted minors. This decision is a major violation of the common laws that define a society. According to Fowers (2015), office notwithstanding it is a natural responsibility for each to ensure equity and fairness. However, due to the complexity of the social interactions, an individual makes subjective decisions based on risk and benefits of the situation. While the gain might include the monetary or status acquired, the risks must encompass the consequences faced by the third parties involved. In this case, by sending innocent juveniles to the prison, the magistrate creates huge risks to their lives by ruining prospects and trust in social structures. In a logical analysis, the monetary gains received from the juvenile facilities do not compensate for the moral comprise of ruining lives of minor citizens. Similarly, it was socially wrong to jail the whole courtroom without a fair trial. It is impartial to argue that the phone belonged to one person in the courtroom. By punishing everyone, the magistrate advocated for public justice, which is unacceptable in the USA.
Despite these offenses, the magistrate does not violate any moral or legal standard by borrowing money from the colleagues. Despite the objectivity necessary in the execution of public duties, an individual can maintain a personal relationship with workers, friends, and family. The concept of corporate social integration assumes that an individual is likely to work better when surrounded by subjective environments. As such, the magistrate had the right to ask for help from the office colleagues if the process does not compromise the ethical codes of the office.
The questionable activities of the judge warrant the judge being disciplined and removal from office. The office holders follow formal and informal moral codes. In the subjective situation, they do logical analysis of the benefits and gains to deciding on a morally ambiguous situation. Ethics dictate on doing so for the best interest of the public and the parties involved. In this case, the magistrate breaks the ethical codes in numerous occasions in the attempts to increase his gains. The majority of the decisions as described in the analysis indicate intensive greed, corruption, and lack of social empathy.
Fowers, B. J. (2015). An Aristotelian theory of natural ethics. In The Evolution of Ethics (pp. 307-344). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
Hansen, M. A. (2017). Trust in the system? Factors that impact citizens view of courts in the United Kingdom. Social Science Quarterly.
Knez, I. (2016). Is climate change a moral issue? Effects of egoism and altruism on pro-environmental behavior. Current Urban Studies, 4(02), 157.
Pojman, L. P., & Fieser, J. (2017). Cengage advantage ethics: Discovering right and wrong. Nelson Education.
Urrea, M. G. (2015). Good decision making in real time: Public health ethics training for local health departments. Facilitators manual public health ethic unit, office of scientific integrity, office of the associate director for science, office of the director centers for. Revista Salud Bosque, 3(1), 86-88.
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