ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Discretionary Judgment

Updated on April 23, 2014

“The police have choices about what, when, how, and whom to detect, investigate, or arrest. The existence of choices means that the police have discretion in these decisions” (Travis, 2012, p. 165). On October 18th a women named Annybelkis Terrero was arrested by the Boynton Beach police. According to the Boynton Beach police department she was arrested for trying to hire a hit man to kill her husband and one of her friends. I feel that the Boynton Beach police used their discretionary judgment during their investigation into Annybelkis Terrero.

Annybelkis Terrero became a confidential informant for the Boynton Beach police when they came to her house after their neighbors told the police that they suspected she was using drugs. Annybelkis Terrero agreed to become an informant and to take the police to a drug dealer. While driving to the drug dealer’s house Annybelkis Terrero told the police “that she hated her husband, Neil Logan, 57, and had a plan for his death” (Seltzer, 2013). The officers made the decision to view Annybelkis Terrero as a serious threat when they began their investigation into her plan to have her husband killed.

The officers used their discretionary judgment when they told Annybelkis Terrero that they knew someone who could help her kill her husband. This was a case of discretionary judgment because it was the officers’ choice to both take her threat seriously and to use this method of investigation. At this point Annybelkis Terrero gave the “two officers stolen credit cards as a down payment for the deal and told them to use the cards quickly because they were hot” (Seltzer, 2013). The Boynton Beach police department used their discretionary judgment again when they decided to use a sting operation. A sting operation is when the “police pretend to be criminals to gain the trust of offenders until they have sufficient evidence to make an arrest” (Travis, 2012, p. 165). In this case a police officer pretended to be a hit-man so as to get Annybelkis Terrero to state that she wanted her husband and friend dead. Annybelkis Terrero gave the undercover officer a fully loaded Remington shotgun, ammunition, and the promise of $30,000 from her husband’s life insurance as payment for the hit-man to kill her husband and friend. The officers again used their discretionary judgment when they decided to arrest Annybelkis Terrero instead of trying to collect more evidence.

I feel that the police officers made their determinations about what to do next at the right points in time. This case did not allow the officers’ time to discuss what they should do next when Annybelkis Terrero told them she wanted her husband dead. I feel that the first two judgments made were correct; the officers used their street knowledge to make a split second decision that the threat was serious. However the courts decided not to file criminal charges against Annybelkis Terrero; this leads me to believe that the police may have been better off investigating the case further and gathering more evidence about the potential crime.

I believe that it is typical for officers to make these types of decisions at the point they did during the case. For instance, the officers decided to take Annybelkis Terrero seriously when she stated she had a plan to kill her husband; this would be a typical spot for an officer to decide to investigate. Murder is a serious crime and the fact that Annybelkis Terrero was a drug user could lead the officers to the conclusion that she could be mentally ill or unstable. Statistics show that about 40% of women who commit murder are mentally ill or unstable (Blackwell, 2012). Knowing this, it would be considered typical for officers to begin an undercover operation to determine if she was serious about wanting someone dead. It would be considered typical for the police at this point to decide to encourage, but not entrap, Annybelkis Terrero into hiring a hit-man that was an undercover officer to acquire evidence that she was willing to have her husband and friend killed.

Do you think the police used their Discretionary Judgment?

See results


Bagg, M. (November 14, 2013). Annybelkis Terrero: Boynton Beach woman to be released from

jail; no charges in murder-for-hire case. In News Channel 5. Retrieved from



Blackwell, T. (March 10, 2012). Women who killed husbands ‘rarely gave a warning,’ and most

weren’t abused, study finds. In National Post. Retrieved from


Seltzer, A. (October 19, 2013). Boynton Beach woman, 38, accused of hiring undercover agents

to kill two men. In The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved from


Travis III, L. (2012). Introduction to Criminal Justice. (7th Ed.). Boston: Anderson Publishing


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)