Offense Issues in Criminal Investigations


The prosecution is the process of charging and trying a case against suspects accused of any crime by a government attorney; who is usually a lawyer admitted to the bar. These government attorneys or prosecutors ascertain the truth and seek justice among various cases presented in courts. In this case, the prosecutor has his greatest ethical consideration as to remain as a minister of justice in all his undertakings. More importantly, the main motive is not to see the accused convicted but to see justice disseminated. Basically, the prosecution must consider the conduct regime, change in climate, and culture of prosecution and conduct codes. On this basis, therefore, prosecutors should consider both legal and ethical aspects of any case on procession in courts, in order to enhance fairness and practice of justices in their processions (Osterburg, et al, 2007).

The prosecutor must maintain high discipline as per the code of conduct; as reflected in how he presents various cases that are supposed to be prosecuted by upholding high moral and ethical considerations. Some cases need not be prosecuted while others need to be settled through bargained pleas. Certainly, various indiscipline cases reported usually take the form of processing cases with less evidence or no one at all. As Osterburg, et al (2007) observe, such cases of indiscipline are difficult to comprehend, and even when reported, they may be referred back to the prosecutors’ office or their supervisors.

According to Kaplan (2009), the prosecutor is not supposed to be one-sided like the defendant who will only focus on defending his client. As earlier mentioned, the prosecutor should uphold justice in all cases; and therefore must be impartial. When he/she has information or access to witnesses who might be of help to the defendant, he is expected to forward him or her to the defendant. Similarly, when the prosecutor has evidence that the witnesses to be presented by the defendant are not trustworthy and reliable; he/she communicates the same to the defendant so that the evidence given by such a person is not considered inadmissible.

In this case, the prosecutors are expected to follow their codes of conduct keenly, in order to facilitate moral and ethical considerations in their prosecution of cases. When a case is not ethically prepared by the prosecutor, the case may either be unnerved from the court, wrong individuals may be convicted, pretenses may be taken as truth, or information forced into place may alter the face of justice. According to Kaplan (2009), investigations and gathering of evidence are critical in ensuring the success of a prosecution. This may take the forms of interviewing witnesses, examining crime scenes, photographing, and sketches of scenes among other presentations in the court. The legal base of such a case must also be firm by ensuring that the crime is well articulated with the existing laws. It’s worth noting that the success of prosecution is not synonymous with conviction; it means administration of justice.

In arson cases, various ethical and legal considerations ought to be put in place; so as to enhance the execution of justice in such cases. The main ethical considerations in an arson case include taking of correct evidence and labeling it from the fire debris correctly. In this case, the prosecutor should not assume having enough evidence without real and actual proof of the case; but should continually seek to have as many facts as possible. Like in many other cases, the prosecutor should observe the ethics of not leading the court or the defendant. According to Kaplan (2009), the prosecutor should simply present the evidence and wait for the jury to pass his ruling. The only way to avoid these unethical issues in an arson case is by having the prosecutor handle the case most professionally. Moreover, such a case should not be prosecuted by an individual who has an emotional attachment to the destroyed property to avoid emotions, anger, and anxiety which lead to unprofessionalism. It has been evident that unethically presented cases have higher tendencies of being knocked out at preliminary stages; where justice will not be practiced.

It should be noted that burglary cases are hard to prosecute and sometimes even go unreported. Such scenes are often interfered with and the collection of accurate evidence remains a challenge. The most basic ethic in such a case is that; the case can not be prosecuted without the offense first being reported. If there is burglary and the victim does not report, the prosecutor would be unethical in taking up such a case. Depending on the country, if the suspect is supposed to be treated as innocent until proven guilty, the prosecutor must uphold this and treat the suspect with dignity. If the prosecutor was to constantly refer to the suspect as the culprit, this may be taken as misleading the court and the defendant. If the prosecutor does not follow these ethics properly, he may for example lead to the conviction of an innocent person erroneously if the prosecutor unethically leads the court. To prevent this, the jury should constantly keep the prosecutor under control by diligently pointing out whenever the prosecutor gets biased or presents illogical reasoning (Osterburg et al, 2007).


Generally, prosecutors ought to be considerate of ethical and legal aspects of various court cases under their prosecution. This is enhanced by having them comply effectively with their codes of conduct, to enhance the upholding of justice in their work. This should be done in all cases including arson and burglary, by having solid facts and evidence on all cases. By so doing, the prosecutors would be described as practicing ethical and legal dealings in their work.


Kaplan, L. (2009). Ethical and Legal Preparations that are Requirements of Successful Prosecutions. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishers

Osterburg, J. et al (2007). Criminal Investigation: A method for Reconstructing the Past (5th ed.). Newark NJ: Anderson Publishing.