How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask TJ, Esq. Your Own Question

TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 10018
Experience:  JD, MBA
9373668
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
TJ, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Tuesday 09/02/08. 10 27 a.m. Can someone please help me with

Resolved Question:

Tuesday 09/02/08. 10:27 a.m. Can someone please help me with these questions/                                                         1.) Explain the pros and cons of legal Moralism as a Justification for Law, following the mother’s situation. 2.) Do you agree or disagree with legal moralism? 3.) Is the mother legally culpable but morally blameless, both legally and morally culpable, or some other combination? 4.) Why is criminal culpability difficult to determine? MORALITY SITUATION. 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 fro 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 then 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. 4.) How would you decide this case? What punishment does she deserve?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 6 years ago.

Hello and thank you for allowing me to address your legal question.

1.) Explain the pros and cons of legal Moralism as a Justification for Law, following the mother’s situation. The biggest pro of legal moralism is that it allows for different results based on unique situations. This is important since the law does not always provide justice in uncommon circumstances. The biggest con is that different people have different morals, and therefore, applying legal moralism could lead to different results for the same situation depending on a particular person’s beliefs.

2.) Do you agree or disagree with legal moralism? I agree with it since the law should adapt to special circumstances. To an extent, the law does allow adaptability. For example, judges sometimes carve out exceptions to laws in order to prevent an injustice. Another example is “jury nullification,” which occurs when a jury ignores a law when that they feel will lead to an injustice.

3.) Is the mother legally culpable but morally blameless, both legally and morally culpable, or some other combination? I would argue that the mother is legally culpable (though her case may be subject to jury nullification), but morally blameless if her sons were being forced to endure horrible pain.

4.) Why is criminal culpability difficult to determine? Criminal culpability is most difficult to determine because in most cases the prosecutor must prove a “mens rea,” which is the defendant’s state of mind. Since it is impossible to crawl inside the mind of another, it is difficult to prove the defendant’s motivation or intent for his conduct.

4.) How would you decide this case? What punishment does she deserve? If I were on the jury, I would vote to acquit the mother of murder. Her motivation for killing her sons was not to benefit herself, but to prevent them from enduring horrible pain. She did what she thought was morally right, even if the law says that she was wrong. This is a good case for jury nullification.

If the information that I provided was helpful, please remember to ACCEPT my post as that is the only way I will receive credit and compensation for my answer. Thank you and good luck!

DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be sufficiently addressed in this setting. Accordingly, my post is intended as general information only, and should neither be construed as specific legal advice, nor as an adequate substitute for the retention of legal counsel.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

 

Hi BoredAtty!

 

Hey Can you please give me more explanition on the pro and cons of Legal Moralism as a Justifiation for Law

 

Thank you.

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
I'll elabortate, but first I need to correct myself, as I misremembered the definition of legal moralism (sorry!).

Legal moralism is the idea that there needs to be a common societal morality rather than individual morality. So basically, it's the opposite of what I wrote for my answer in question 1.

Therefore, in response to question 1, I would argue that legal moralism is necessary to protect an individual's right to life, liberty and property (i.e. that is the pro). Without it, each person would govern himself by his own beliefs, and those beliefs would conflict with other individual beliefs, and the law would not take sides to resolve the matter (i.e. that is the con). Such a society would not survive.

And in response to 2, I would argue that legal moralism is necessary, at least to a point (such as with regard to matters of life, liberty and property). In social matters (such as homosexuality), legal moralism is not necessarily a good thing, as it could infringe an an individual's inherent right to privacy.

TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 10018
Experience: JD, MBA
TJ, Esq. and 7 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
< Last | Next >
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/retiredlawyer/2012-6-6_19326_franL.64x64.jpg Fran L.'s Avatar

    Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2079
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NA/nathanmoorelaw/2011-5-31_21375_headshotbig.64x64.jpg Nate's Avatar

    Nate

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1625
    Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1434
    30 years legal experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1418
    16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1380
    Licensed attorney with 27 yrs. exp. in criminal law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/RobertJDFL/2012-6-6_175352_7538220120606.64x64.jpg RobertJDFL's Avatar

    RobertJDFL

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1300
    Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
 
 
 

Related Criminal Law Questions

Chat Now With A Criminal Lawyer
TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq.
410 Satisfied Customers
JD, MBA