Should a judge do it’s job or maximize overall happiness
John Smith is a head judge. He’s living in a state with has a three strikes law. He personally doesn’t believe in the three strikes law. He resides in the highest appellate court in his state. He’s operating in a state without juries.
As part of John’s job he writes down his confidence on whether a witness tell the truth whenever he’s hearing an witness make a statement. He has an assistant that checks his results. John quite frequently is 99,99% sure that a witness lies. He was never wrong when he made the prediction because of his skills at reading bodylanguage.
In his private time he also trains his ability to tell whether people tell the truth in training cases where it’s easy to determine the truth afterwards. He’s perfectly caliberated.
He gets a court case where Bob is accused of bribing a lot of politicians in an African state. He’s supposed to have given them bribes to drop a law that forbids vaccination. Bob himself claims that he only talked with the African politicians and they afterwards saw Bob’s wisdom and changed the law. In any case Bob got the law changed and produced massive utility in the process. Bob also pledges to do other lobbying in African countries to get rid of very harmful laws in the future.
After Bob attempts of getting the law Bribing officials of other countries is a felony is Bob’s state. Bob already has two court judgements against him so being judged for bribing would put him for the rest of his life behind bars.
Carol is a billionaire. She is supposed to have give Bob $100,000 for his lobbying efforts to change the law in the African state. Carol however claims that she only payed Bob $3,000 for his traveling costs in the process and she never gave him an amount of money that would be enough to bribe the African policitians.
Through his bodylanguage reading skills John knows that Bob and Carol are lying to him. One previous court thought that Bob did the crime, the second court thought that Bob didn’t.
John gets asked by his fellow judges on the court whether he thinks the two are lying. His fellow judges know of his impressive bodylanguage reading ability and fully trust him.
John swore an oath to fulfill the law. Should John break his oath and tell his collegues that Bob and Carol are telling the truth? Or should he tell them that they lie. John knows that telling his collegues that they lie would mean that Bob would spent the rest of his life behind bars and couldn’t do any lobbying in Africa in the future.
How should John decide?