I think that crimes committed while acting in a position of power or trust (like a police officer, a school teacher, or an elected official) should be treated much more harshly than otherwise. CMV.
I think that crimes committed while acting in a position of power or trust (like a police officer, a school teacher, or an elected official) should be treated much more harshly than otherwise. CMV. stories
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I personally think "betrayal of trust" is one of the worst acts a person can commit and should be treated as such. I believe that society as a whole only functions when we can trust those to whom we give power over others,
By atomic_houseboat https://www.reddit.com/r/...

I think that crimes committed while acting in a position of power or trust (like a police officer, a school teacher, or an elected official) should be treated much more harshly than otherwise. CMV.

by atomic_houseboat

I personally think "betrayal of trust" is one of the worst acts a person can commit and should be treated as such.

I believe that society as a whole only functions when we can trust those to whom we give power over others,

and that misusing that power needs to be protected against by making it clear that there are legal consequences for betraying our trust.

However, from what I've seen it is often the opposite.

In many cases it seems to me that being in a position of power or trust acts as a mitigating circumstance, rather than an aggravating one.

An example I see often in the news is a police officer committing a crime that would result in a civilian getting several years in jail but his only punishment being the loss of his job.

This seems to apply to many positions of power, not just police, but not all.

I added teacher as an example of a job where the position isn't a shield, but where increased penalties would be justified.

My personal belief is that committing a crime while acting in your position of power should be a aggravating circumstance, which should "bump up" the consequences to the "next tier" of the crime.

I.e. All else being equal, the penalty for a police officer who commits manslaughter while in uniform should be the same as the penalty for a civilian who commits murder.

To be clear, the crime wouldn't be "bumped up", only the penalty.

Similarly a teacher who commits basic assault on a student should face the same consequences as a regular person who commits aggravated assault.

Obviously this wouldn't work in all cases, as not all crimes have "tiers", but a similar approach of increased penalties could be used.

The main argument I see against this would be that such penalties could interfere with individuals ability to do their jobs. I.e.

if a police officer has to worry about being charged with assault rather than misconduct for going overboard in subduing a suspect that officer might opt to let the suspect get away

to protect himself down the road. I don't think this would happen, but even if it did I believe that it would be worth it in the long run as increased trust is a benefit in and of itself.

Also, as a teacher myself I would completely okay with a system that treats an crime I commit on the job much more harshly than a crime I commit on my own time.

EDIT: To clarify, this would only be "when it's to the detriment of someone under your custody/care/purview." Not all crimes committed while in a position of power. Thanks /u/almondbutter1

EDIT 2: /u/graaahh [has convinced me that higher penalties are not needed, such crimes just need to be prosecuted aggressively and given priority over other,

non-betrayal of trust crimes in a legal system.](http://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/comments/1zwqb4/i_think_that_crimes_committed_while_acting_in_a/cfxxtg0)

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