I believe that Smith and other jurisdictions that allow this practice is thinking for the good of the people. A Utilitarian way of thinking. By lying to the prostitutes and johns, it is for the greater good because lying validates the end results (happiness is exhausted). Also the positive result of lying to get evidence is the reward and outweighs the consequence of not lying and in turn not receiving the higher conviction or deterrence of prostitution and sexual exploitation. The way the undercover officers get to the end, (by lying) is irrelevant, the results of lying is what’s considered when defining the moral issue.
Smith and other jurisdictions concerns themselves with the part of the population that’s following the law that says – prostitution is immoral. Rule utilitarian, defines the issues of an act by asking,” What would happen if the law allowed this act and what costs or end results would better serve the population?” The utilitarian decides by pros and cons of the actions, which would serve everyone not just an individual within the population. Looking at Smith’s decision to defend, we can consider this question: Does Smith th...
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...ehavior and integrity. Often faced with catch 22, I find amazing that when hired if it’s found that this officer religiously commits immoral acts they may not be hired, but if this same individual becomes undercover performs just those acts. Although questionable in some cases, a person’s past immoral acts, can be indicative of future choices and or decisions.
An undercover officer deciding to lie would be faced with many ethical decisions and choices. Depending on which ethical stance is taken, the outcome can be different. It’s more than likely to be extremely difficult to decide which option to choose, especially those officers that uphold integrity and ethics as the way to walk as an officer. These undercover officers should consider: what’s at stake, who’s at stake, the overall population and can they continue to walk with integrity held at such high regards.
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