Essay Sample on Charging Police Officers

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A prosecutor is supposed to evaluate whether to file charges every time a case arises. The process that is involved before a prosecutor decides to file charges include answering a few questions internally so as to get clear information about the case (Jacob & Ratledge, 2016). First, is there sufficient evidence of the crime? Murder is a very serious offense that has a great impact on the community and criminal justice. The main aim of murdering is to kill or cause serious injury to the person. For most crimes, there is maximum sentence. Generally, the crime against a person is filed if sufficient evidence is available. Joe Rough should be charged with murder because the evidence shows that he injured the man. The reason why he reacted and shot him is because he was approaching him and looked agitated and drunk. Investigations showed that the man was not armed, so Joe Rough reacted the wrong way and injured him. The best way that Joe Rough could have done is to arrest the man and take him to the police station to face the court because of domestic violence. Fresh from the field training, Joe Rough should have learned how to deal with cases appropriately and not injuring people. There is sufficient evidence that the man was drunk and that Joe used his weapon to strike the man in the chest four times, so the officer attempted murder.

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Secondly, is the prosecutor convinced that the defendant is guilty? According to law, a prosecutor is supposed to file charges that appropriately describe the conduct of the respondent. The prosecutor should charge the crimes that show the nature of the offense and the seriousness of the criminals conduct (Friedland, 2008). Based on the information about Joe Rough, he is guilty. The man that Joe Rough shot was involved in many domestic violence cases and the best way justice could prevail was for him to be arrested. Joe Rough attempted to murder the man because he thought that he was armed with his small handgun. Joe did not wait to arrest the man first as it is supposed to be. Police officers do not have a right to shoot members of the public when they have disobeyed the law, but they are expected to arrest them so that they face charges. Joe Rough is also guilty because he ordered the man to stop and when he did not obey the command he immediately shot him, he did not think twice before he acted.

Lastly, in the process of case evaluation, the prosecutor should determine if the evidence given can lead to a conviction that is beyond doubt. In this case, as a prosecutor in the public unit of Bazalia County I conclude that the police officer attempting murder has sufficient evidence. Joe Rough should have noticed that the man was drunk and agitated and that is why he could not obey his commands. In criminal law, attempted murder is failed murder of a particular person. Attempted murder involves both the intention and the action. Even if Joe Rough did not kill the man involved in domestic violence he had an intention of killing him. Just like any other murder, in attempted murder, the killer has a specific plan to kill the person. In the case of Joe, it is evident that he shot the man when he failed to obey his command. Even if the wife of the man has withdrawn the case about domestic violence, Officer Joe Rough should be charged for attempting murder.


Friedland, M. L. (2008). Cases and materials on criminal law and procedure. Toronto Ont.: University of Toronto Press.

Jacoby, J. E., & Ratledge, E. C. (2016). The power of the prosecutor: Gatekeepers of the criminal justice system.

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