Campus Life

Criminal Justice Professionals Speak on Ethics in the Field

Professionals in the criminal justice system face many ethical problems, which Dr. Natalie Johnson explores with her students who will soon be professionals in the field themselves. 

Guest speakers in the judicial system talk to students about problems they face on a daily basis, as well as what other professionals in their field have faced.

Conasauga Judicial Circuit Chief Public Defender Mike McCarthy talks about the biggest dilemma he and his office face - a case overload. 

He doesn't know how to solve that. But he shared his passion for making sure everyone is treated fairly by the courts, even if the defendant is guilty.

Public Defender Cat Pyne said the court system often fails individuals with mental health, especially those who are on or near the poverty level. Often those individuals cannot afford medication to regulate mental disorders ranging from depression to bipolar to schizophrenia. 

Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris also spoke on ethics as a judge. There are many checks and balances in place in Georgia and other states to make sure judges do not abuse the power of their office. Yet, there are cases where judges have done some ethically questionable things while in office, and others where judges have done some outright illegal things. 

Morris reviewed cases with the class, talking about judges who have begun dating defendants, judges who have placed defendants in drug court - even when they weren't charged with a drug crime, and judges who became belligerent with an attorney. 

posted 06/14/2016 in Academics



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