Christopher and Melissa Butler have been living together for three years and have a two-year-old daughter, Madden. Christopher and Melissa were married in August 2018.
On January 3, 2019, Melissa came running into the University City Police Department crying hysterically and shaking.
Officer Billy Klub said, “Young lady take a deep breath, and tell me what is going on.”
Melissa paused to catch her breath and said, “My name is Melissa Butler, and I ran here from my house because I fear for my daughter’s life!”
”Why do you fear for your daughter’s life, Melissa?” Asked Officer Klub.
Melissa replied, “Tonight, my husband, Christopher Butler, grabbed my cell phone and threw it to the floor; the phone broke into pieces. I quickly ran out the door, so Christopher could not hit or strangle me. As I was running away, I heard Christopher yell; if I catch you texting anyone again, I will kill you.
Officer Klub interjected and said, “Melissa, what about your daughter?”
Melissa’s crying became worse and threw her sobs; she said, “I am so worried that Christopher will hurt our daughter. I usually get her and take her with me when he is like this, but I was not able to get her before I ran out of the house.”
Officer Klub said, “Melissa, I will send officers to your house to check on your daughter. You will stay here at the station with me where I know you will be safe.”
“Wait, the officers need to know that when Christopher drinks alcohol the more violent, he becomes, and tonight he has been drinking a lot.”
Officer Klub asked Melissa, “Are there any weapons at your house, and has your husband been arrested for domestic violence in the past?”
Melissa said, “Yes, there is a handgun registered in Christopher’s name, and he has been arrested a couple of times for beating me up.”
“Melissa, do not be scared, just tell me what happened,” said Officer Klub.
Melissa recounts another violent incident that occurred since her marriage. “In August, not long after we were married, Christopher put his hands around my throat, making it hard for me to breathe. Fortunately, I able to break free, grab Madden, and run out of the house. Madden and I stayed next door at the neighbors until Christopher calmed down.”
Officer Klub asked, “Did you call the police and report the incident?”
Melissa replied, “Yes, the neighbor called the police for me, and the officers arrested Christopher because of the marks around my neck, but he was released the next day. Then a week after that incident, our new puppy went missing. When I asked Christopher what happened to puddles; he told me that he would pay for the puppy. I asked Christopher to explain to me what he meant by that statement and in a stern voice, Christopher told me not to push him on the subject or I would be sorry. Christopher then made a comment under his breath, but I heard him, he said that we did not need a puppy to take care of because Madden and I were enough mouths to feed.”
Officer Klub asked, “Melissa, what do you think happened to the puppy?”
Melissa teared up when she said, “I believe Christopher killed my puppy.” Melissa continued to tell the officer about another incident that happened around the middle of September. “It was around 8:30 p.m., and Madden was crying when I put her to bed. I tried to get Madden to stop crying by rocking her. I put her in her crib for a few minutes while I ran to get a cup of tea. Madden continued to whimper, and Christopher became annoyed with her; he yelled at her to shut up and then put a pan over Madden’s head. I grabbed Christopher’s arm to remove the pan; he shoved me and threw the pan at me; it hit me in the back.”
Officer Klub asked, “Did you report this incident to the police?”
“Yes, the neighbor, who I had run to in the other incident, heard the yelling and called the police. When the police arrived and after I told them what happened, the officer asked to see my back. After I showed him my back; he took pictures, and the other officer arrested Christopher. Since this incident happened on a Friday, the judge did not arraign Christopher until Monday; he got another signature bond and was out Monday morning.”
Officer Klub informed Melissa, “The officers that responded to your house arrested Christopher for domestic battery, and Madden is fine. Another officer is bringing Madden to the station to pick you up and take you both back home.”
When booking Christopher into the county jail, the booking officer acquired his past criminal record. The booking officer advised the arresting officer that Christopher has had three other arrests for domestic battery within the last six months. In all prior cases of domestic violence, the prosecuting attorney declined to prosecute Christopher (no reason was given). Christopher is currently facing 11-counts of domestic battery; the charges include strangulation, suffocation, battery, and criminal damage to property.
The next afternoon after Christopher’s initial court appearance, the judge gave Christopher a signature bond. After Christopher’s release, he returned home and stabbed Melissa to death in front of their two-year-old daughter, Madden. The police later arrested Christopher for Melissa’s murder. Christopher will remain in the custody of the sheriff until further orders from the court.
In 2 to 3 paragraphs, a minimum of 250 words, apply an ethical system to the scenario above explaining the concept of prosecutorial immunity. Explain if the cloak of absolute immunity should exist for prosecuting attorneys.
*Police officers do not have absolute immunity, or the President of the United States, should prosecutors be held accountable for their lack of action? There is a time-honored belief in the United States that no one is above the law. Why do prosecuting attorneys continue to be the exception?
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