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Judges who drive under the influence of alcohol: ethical implications and the role of restorative justice measures to balance judicial duty and societal expectations.

Walker, Richard Bryant
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) Contemporary Justice review. 15(3):323-337.

Judges across the US have been charged or convicted of driving while intoxicated, yet many judges are allowed to continue to practice despite their criminal act(s). The issue becomes not only a societal issue, but also an ethical and professional one which impacts the individual criminal justice practitioner and criminal justice agencies. Duty to judicial and social expectations informs an argument regarding ethical theories: deontology and utilitarianism. Solutions include an examination of restorative justice measures such as: a balance of service to the community such as participating in victim-offender mediation and victim-offender panels as the offender, and completing community service where the victim chooses the judges number of hours and location of the service. While some may believe these jurists should suffer punitive punishments such as loss of judgeships, long-term treatment, and extensive probation coupled with individual psychiatric therapy, consideration of all factors with restoration in mind, might be more appropriate for these judicial offenders. (author’s abstract)


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