Senior Public Figure Offenders and the Criminal Justice System: The Public's Perception
35 Isr. L. Rev. 354 (2001)
26 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2015
Date Written: December 8, 2015
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
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