Developingan account that defines and compares moral and ethical actions iselusive because these concepts have meanings that are somewhatsimilar. Ethics is perceivable as the theoretical science of rightand wrong actions (Wheeldon, 2013). Thus, ethics defines whetherhuman acts are moral or immoral in other words, it equips peoplewith the knowledge of whether human actions are good or bad.Considering these assertions, knowing that a particular deed is wrongis different from acting on that knowledge therefore, ethics doesnot serve as a guarantee that a person will act in a desirable way.Conversely, morality defines the nature of human behavior. Thus,morality can be conceptualized as applied ethics (Wheeldon, 2013). Inessence, ethics describes the actions that can be considered as rightor wrong while morality actualizes these ideas. In the same vein,criminal justice can be defined as a system of institutions andpractices that have been implemented by governments to ensure thatcrime is deterred or mitigated, social control is upheld, and theperpetrators of unlawful deeds are sanctioned with rehabilitativemeasures or criminal penalties (Wheeldon, 2013). Additionally, thistype of justice protects offenders from prosecution and investigationabuse. The following discussion offers an account of the Black LivesMatter movement and the various ethical issues that the lobby groupadvances.
Theprotestors of Black Lives Matter, in April 2016, disagreed with BillClinton over the passing of the 1994 Crime Bill (Sykes, 2017). Theyalso felt that Hillary Clinton`s use of the expression "superpredators" to explain the participation of the black youth incrime-related activities was unwarranted (Sykes, 2017). Thedemonstrators were interested in revealing the manner in which thegeneral public and policymakers come up with social policies andnarratives that lead to the development of misperceptions, which, inthe end, fuel racial inequality in criminal justice systems. I willuse Nina Moore’s arguments to support the various ethical issuesthat emerge in this case. Moore offers two reasons to support theassertions of the Black Lives Matter demonstration. First, shecontends that the root of these concerns can be found in the mannerin which racial tracking in the criminal justice system ismanifested. She alleges that the criminal justice system treats theoffenses of the Blacks differently from those of the Whites (Sykes,2017). Thus, in this case, profiling can be defined in terms ofinitial contact with law enforcement officers and dissimilarities inplea negotiations with prosecutors. Moore contends that radicalizeddifferences usually emerge in pretrial court judgments and prisonexperiences. Secondly, Moore asserts that various mechanisms giverise to racial differences in the criminal justice system (Sykes,2017). She contends that the American public and policymakers giveprecedence to different modalities of law enforcement suchpreferences usually come to the surface even when the unevenapplication of justice contravenes constitutional rights to equalprotection and the due process of the Constitution.
Consideringthe above presumptions, unethical behavior has a relativelysignificant impact on society, the criminal justice system, and theaffected individuals. To begin with, the American society has beenindoctrinated to assume that the Whites are superior to their Blackcounterparts. Moore`s arguments support this assumption she contendsthat the prosecution officers and law enforcement agents treat theAmerican public differently (Sykes, 2017). In essence, these lawimplementers use a Black and a White model of law enforcement. As aresult, the Blacks may be subjected to tougher penalties than theWhites, even when the crime is similar. Also, Hillary Clinton`s useof remarks like "super predators" to label the varioussegments of society is a significant obstacle to ending racialstereotyping in the US (Sykes, 2017). The reason for this position issociety begins assuming racism is a negligible evil since theirleaders tolerate it. Consequently, to prevent the further spread ofsuch beliefs, the Black community began protesting against the unfairapplication of the law and public judgment through the Black LivesMovement.
Secondly,unethical actions usually lead to a loss of confidence in the system.The Blacks are among the marginalized groups in America. Today, theseindividuals do not believe that the law enforcement agencies and thejustice department have their interests at heart. As a result, thesepersons have resorted to demonstrating and picketing to request theirleaders to develop policies that safeguard them from the excesses ofinvestigatory and prosecution measures. Moore contends that criminallaw enforcement in the US has been divided into two racially distinctmodes. One of these conventions is Black while the other is White(Sykes, 2017). As a result, the manner in which the law enforcementofficials and prosecutors interact with the offenders is dependent ontheir races. Also, the prison experiences of the Blacks differ fromthose of the Whites.
Finally,the unethical behavior of the two leaders has resulted in adifference in the perception of the policies that governmentsimplement. At the individual level, an African-American man assumesthat a law enforcement officer will think that he has committed anoffense because he is Black. This presumption can be validated byMoore`s assertion that the differences in the application of the lawtake place even when such practices violate equal protection and thedue process that the Constitution promotes (Sykes, 2017). Thus, aBlack person will always feel insecure even though he has notcommitted any crime. Such individuals adopt these premises becausethey know that the justice systems do not guarantee the protection oftheir rights. This stance is bolstered by the manner in which thepolice officers have treated the members of the African-Americancommunity in the past. As a result, the Blacks felt compelled toinitiate a movement that they could use to relay their grievances tothe concerned parties.
Ina recap of the above discussion, the issue of ethics and moralityemerges after studying the complaints that the Black Lives Mattercampaign advances. The constitution stipulates the moral obligationsof leaders, the public servants, and the masses. However, theseindividuals choose to act in a different way. Thus, the actions ofthese parties can be labeled unethical and immoral. Accordingly, thefailure to act ethically leads to the collapse of the criminaljustice system because of the uneven application of the law. Such apractice is injurious since it leads to the suffering of somesections of the public, as discussed above.
Sykes,B. (2017). The Political Roots of Racial Tracking in AmericanCriminal Justice. By Nina M.Moore. New York: Cambridge UniversityPress, 2015. 406 pp. $30.99 paperback. Law& Society Review, 51(1),211-214. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/lasr.12258
Wheeldon,J. (2013). To Guide or Provoke? Maps, Pedagogy, and the Value(s) ofTeaching Criminal Justice Ethics. JournalOf Criminal Justice Education, 24(1),97-121. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10511253.2011.604338