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Rules versus discretion - Essay Example

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Summary
This is in regards with the discussion on whether rule or discretion prevails regarding the conduct of physical stress or tortures of individuals so that information can be extracted. When talking about rule, this paper refers to the uncompromising standard that limits the methods that can be employed…
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Rules versus discretion
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Download file to see previous pages It serves as a guideline that facilitates the decision making process of people especially those in authority. In other words, it makes the information extraction much more organized. A step by step procedure eliminates extensive discussion regarding the merits and repercussions of method thereby saving time which is very important in life threatening matters.
Rules also serve as limiting factors due to the fact that it restricts individuals from resorting to methods and actions that would prove to be too excessive. By excessive, we mean life threatening. The formulation process of establishing rules necessitates an extensive study to determine the effects of the methods on the physical and mental condition of the suspect. This is because this move will be highly publicized and public reactions must be swayed to support the move. An established knowledge of effects prevents any untoward incident happening to the suspect. It also minimizes the responsibility and possible litigation of those in authority who were too eager to comply to their sworn duty. Since the probable effects have been understood, the public can also rest assure that the authorities know what they are doing (i.e. less negative public reception).
However, rules may become too prohibitive as the methods that may be employed may be limited due to the fact that the public would not...
Remember that authority only emanates from the support of the voting public. Once this disappears, he becomes a regular citizen prone to criticism, parodies and alienation. Thus, only certain measures are expected to be agreed upon. Assuring the public that the methods do not lead to another casualty defeats the purpose as those who endanger the life of others know that they will live through the ordeal. There is no need to divulge information.
Ideally, the option of discretion provides an opportunity for the authorities to extract information faster than when rules are present. It operates on the idea that people will be inclined to self preservation and is therefore forced to divulge information. Discretion also allows for flexibility and a wider array of methods. It also eliminates the need for approval from the higher authorities. The downside is that the measure can be excessive leading to the death of the suspect. This leads to more negative public perception, more propaganda for those who terrorize other people and inability to extract the information desired.
All in all, rules are more favorable precisely because the process is more controlled and less disagreeable than a process clouded with mystery.
II. Opinion Piece
Terrorism has indeed challenged us to the core of our being. It made us question the very values that we hold dear. It made us fear of what could happen leading us to resort to preemptive strikes such as the war in Iraq. Now, we are being challenged again. Our nation is currently in turmoil as the issue of rule over discretion regarding torture is being debated.
Torture has existed since ancient times as it is used in making captives ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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