Senior Public Figure Offenders and the Criminal Justice System: The Public's Perception

26 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2015

See all articles by Simha F. Landau

Simha F. Landau

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

Leslie Sebba

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

David L. Weisburd

Hebrew University of Jerusalem; George Mason University - The Department of Criminology, Law & Society; Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 8, 2015

Abstract

Public attention is increasingly being focused on law enforcement practices with regard to senior public figures suspected of committing crimes. Indeed, it is only natural for special sensitivity to be shown in relation to the behavior of public figures in general, and senior public figures in particular. Their authority, social connections, and access to material and other state or public resources, locating them with the "power elite" -- or at least the "sub-elites" -- provide them with unusual power in modern society. It could even be argued that their position contains a "constant structural temptation" for misuse or abuse ofnthis power. Even if public figures are believed to be honest and of impeccable character, it is clear that they have opportunities for abuse of their authority that must be taken into account by law enforcement agencies. Moreover, public trust is an important asset on the part ofpublic figures and civil servants. Accordingly, it might be argued that the criminal justice system should perceive breaches of this trust as more severe than similar offenses committed by private citizens.

Keywords: senior public figures, enforcement practices, crime, resources, elite, power

Suggested Citation

Landau, Simha F. and Sebba, Leslie and Weisburd, David L., Senior Public Figure Offenders and the Criminal Justice System: The Public's Perception (December 8, 2015). 35 Isr. L. Rev. 354 (2001); Hebrew University of Jerusalem Legal Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2700635

Simha F. Landau

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus, IL 91905
Israel

Leslie Sebba (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus, IL 91905
Israel

David L. Weisburd

Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, IL Jerusalem 91905
Israel

George Mason University - The Department of Criminology, Law & Society ( email )

4400 University Drive
MS 4F4
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus, IL 91905
Israel

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