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ANSWER ANY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS. THESE ARE ‘BOILERPLATE” COMMENTS, BUT THEY’RE IMPORTANT! THERE ARE NO “CORRECT” ANSWERS PER SE. EFFECTIVE, WELL-SUPPORTED, CLEARLY WRITTEN ESSAYS MAY BE CONSTRUCTED FROM A VARIETY OF PERSPECTIVES. THE PROMPTS RELATE TO BUT USUALLY GO BEYOND THE SPECIFIC COURSE MATERIAL IN ORDER TO STIMULATE BROADER AND DEEPER ANALYSIS AND APPLICATION RATHER THAN MERE FACTUAL RECALL. THE OBJECTIVE IS TO ANALYZE THE PROBLEM CAREFULLY, SYNTHESIZE MATERIALS EFFECTIVELY, AND EXPRESS YOUR VIEWS AND CONCLUSIONS COHERENTLY. BE SURE TO MAKE APPROPRIATE REFERENCES TO FILMS, DISCUSSIONS, AND EXTERNAL SOURCES WHEREVER RELEVANT AND APPROPRIATE TO YOUR RESPONSE. THE ESSAY SHOULD BE TYPED AND BE APPROXIMATELY 6-7 PAGES IN LENGTH WRITING MATTERS: AS NOTED IN CLASS, ESSAYS SHOULD ADHERE TO HIGH STANDARDS OF CLARITY, CONCISENESS, ORGANIZATION, GRAMMAR, AND PUNCTUATION. BE SURE TO PROOFREAD YOUR PAPERS CAREFULLY.

1. “Judgment at Nuremberg” is a highly complex film, widely regarded by critics and scholars as one of the finest of the mid 20th century. This film deals with many issues of ethics and morality. This prompt addresses merely one of them, brought up near the end of the film. In one of the final scenes, Judge Heywood (Spencer Tracy) and one of the defendants, former Nazi Judge Ernst Janning (Burt Lancaster), are shown conversing. Janning admits that the guilty verdict is just. Then
he says, “I never knew it would come to that.” Judge Heywood’s response is both powerful and full of enormous implications for the present, because it deals with the implications of moral compromise with evil: “It came to that the first time
you sentenced a man to death…” Imagine the following hypothetical scenario: One of your closest friends, from early childhood
and a recent UCLA graduate, is a new member of a police force in the Los Angeles area. She wants to build a career as a police officer, making that a focus of her commitment to public service. Recently, while on patrol, her partner, a superior officer, engaged in an unlawful act of extremely mild violence (a little shoving, without injury) and racial profiling (nothing at all like the George Floyd murder, but wrong and probably illegal nevertheless). Your friend witnessed everything during that encounter but had nothing to do with it at all. The victim complained to the Police Commission, which referred the matter to Internal Affairs. Your superior officer asked you to “try to be as be as silent as possible” about what happened when you were summoned to appear. He said, “Just say you don’t remember seeing anything.” This is no big deal and you shouldn’t rock the boat. Besides, you do want to get ahead here in the Department, don’t you?” Because you were confused and upset, you went to your Sergeant and asked him what you should do. He told you to do what your conscience demanded if you really wanted to, but added, “Look, sometimes you just need to keep your mouth shut. You’re a good officer and so is your training officer. You gotta go along to get along. Isn’t that what your parents told you? You’re a cop now, and you’re gonna see a lotta . . . . during your service. We deal with some tough stuff out there and some potentially dangerous people.”

So, your friend decides to ask you for advice. As it happens, you’ve just seen and discussed “Judgment at Nuremberg.” You tell her that you understand her dilemma. You recognize her need to advance in her career .just as you hope to, and you realize that this incident is fairly minor and not at all the same as Nazi Germany and genocide. But at the same time, her silence or even a lie would be a moral compromise. What is your advice? She trusts and values your judgment. Make an argument, with any position that makes sense to you, drawing on the film, discussions, and your own capacity for reasoning. How much, if any, compromise on this issue should you advise her to pursue and why? Always keep in mind that she is a police officer; it could make sense to address the role of policing in early 21st-century America as part of your response to this prompt.