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Exhibitor News

The Business Show

05 Dec 2023

Expert Opinion: Should we sacrifice fairness in order to show mercy?

Merlin, Hunter & Associates Ltd Stand: B2844
Expert Opinion: Should we sacrifice fairness in order to show mercy?

Mercy can be a way of showing compassion and understanding.  However, sacrificing fairness can create a sense of injustice for victims. Victims of crime deserve to see their perpetrators brought to justice, and they may feel that they have been denied justice if their perpetrators are shown mercy.

As an Investigator, I am committed to upholding the principles of truth and justice. However, I also recognise that there are situations where justice may not be served without sacrificing some degree of fairness.

Balancing Fairness and Mercy

In the pursuit of justice, it is often necessary to make difficult decisions that balance fairness with mercy. Investigators must weigh the potential consequences of their actions on all parties involved, including the victim, the accused, and society as a whole.

Examples of Sacrificing Fairness for Mercy

There are several scenarios where an investigator might consider sacrificing fairness for mercy. For instance:

Protecting a Witness: An investigator may need to protect a witness from harm, even if it means withholding information from the defense.

Securing Cooperation: An investigator may offer leniency to a suspect in exchange for their cooperation, even if it means giving them a lighter sentence.

Preserving Evidence: An investigator may need to destroy or conceal evidence to protect a victim, even if it means compromising the integrity of the investigation.

Ethical Considerations

The decision to sacrifice fairness for mercy should never be taken lightly. Investigators must carefully consider the ethical implications of their actions and ensure that their decisions are based on sound judgment and a deep understanding of the situation.


When an investigator makes a decision that sacrifices fairness for mercy, they must be prepared to justify their actions to their clients and the public. They must be transparent about their reasoning and demonstrate that their decisions were made in the best interests of justice.


The balance between fairness and mercy is a nuanced issue. Investigators must navigate this delicate balance carefully, ensuring that their actions uphold justice while also demonstrating compassion and understanding.