Essay on the Dangers of Noble Cause Corruption
Noble Cause Corruption is defined as the “corruption committed in the name of good ends, corruption that happens when police officers care too much about their work. It is corruption committed in order to get the bad guys off the streets…the corruption of police power, when officers do bad things because they believe that the outcomes will be good.”
The job of police officers is full of dilemma. They make decisions everyday which may test their ethics or moral judgment. For example, they know that a person is dangerous and he is guilty of a crime. But they just do not have sufficient evidence to file charges against them. However, they cannot simply let him loose because they know that he is going to commit another crime. Why should he do?
There are many instances where a police officer can commit noble cause corruption. An example of noble cause corruption is when a police officer commits perjury in court by making untruthful statements in his Affidavit in order to ensure conviction of a known criminal offender. Another example of noble cause corruption is when a police officer knowingly hides evidence that may help clear a known criminal from liability for a given case. Another example is when a police officer manufactures evidence against a known criminal offender. All these are examples of noble cause corruption. They are considered noble cause corruption because the same is being done with the intention of putting known criminals behind bars.
These instances may appear to be harmless since police officers are merely targeting known criminals. They are merely ensuring that known criminals stay behind bars. Who does not want known criminals to be locked up in jail?
However, when police officers make it a habit to engage in noble cause corruption, problems may occur. There are many reasons why noble cause corruption is very dangerous not only for criminal offenders but even for democracy.
A. Noble Cause Corruption is Part of Police Subculture
First, many believe noble cause corruption has become part of police subculture. Though police officers are tasked to enforce the law, there are indications that when presented the opportunity police officers will not hesitate to fabricate evidence against a known criminal. The same police officers will tolerate the actions of his fellow police officers if they know that the actions lead to the arrest of a criminal offender.
B. Noble Cause Corruption may Degenerate into Traditional Corruption
Police officers justify their actions by saying that they are only helping the society by getting rid of criminal offenders and ensuring that they are locked behind bars. The intention is noble but police officers who continue to engage in noble cause corruption and make it a habit will eventually engage in acts of traditional corruption. This is the kind of corruption that is simply motivated by greed and desire for personal gain. The police officers may become use to their actions that they tend to justify all of their actions as beneficial to the society even if the real motive is green and personal gain.
C. Police officers assume the role of the judge and the executioner
Police officers do not have the right to assume that a person is guilty of a crime. The law says that every person is entitled to the right of presumption of innocence. A person is still given the opportunity to get a lawyer and present every defense available to him so that his guilt may be proven in the court of law. In noble cause corruption, police officers play the role of a judge and the executioner which is very dangerous in a democratic society. What will prevent the police officers from doing the same thing to innocent civilians? What if the persons who are victimized by noble cause corruption are innocent people?
D. Noble Cause Corruption May Influence other Police Offices to engage in the same action.
Another problem with noble cause corruption is that the police officers may actually be influenced to engage in the same actions. For example, a police officer has personal knowledge that his fellow police officer has fabricated evidence to convict an accused. He may fear that if he reports this to his superior he may alienate his fellow police officer or anger them. If he decides to cover up his fellow police officer then he too engages in corruption. When this happens, the police officer may in the future engage in the same action of fabricating evidence based on the idea that other police officers are doing the same thing.