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Make an Ethical Difference by Mark Pastin

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Chapter FourNot in My Backyard

“If the ends don’t justify the means, what does?”

—unattributed

“The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation.”

—Jeremy Bentham (Works, Vol. X, p. 142)

SITUATION #7 Judge for Yourself

In a seminar for a group of state judges, one of the judges asked the following question: “What would you do if you were the judge and the prosecution brought someone before the court who was clearly guilty of the charges against him—and any number of other serious crimes, mostly against the elderly?” The problem is that the prosecution made a “technical error” by not showing the defense certain key documents. This probably happened because the case was so open-and-shut against the defendant ...

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