Morality Ethics Legal Moralism and Retributive Justice

1. Read and Respond to Situation 3. Is the mother legally culpable but morally blameless, both legally and morally culpable, or some other combination.

Situation 3

You are selected for a jury in a trial of a 64-year-old mother who killed her two adult sons. The two men were institutionalized and suffered from Huntington’s disease, a degenerative brain disease. They were certain to die and would endure much pain and suffering before they did. Her husband had also died from this same disease and she had nursed him through his suffering. She took a gun into the nursing home, kissed her sons goodbye, and shot them both through the head. She was arrested for first-degree murder. The prosecutor informs you that there is no “mercy killing” defense in the law as it is written.

2. Why is criminal culpability difficult to determine?

3. Explain the pros and cons of legal moralism as a justification for law, and answer in 200-300 words, what do you think about legal moralism?


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