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.
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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.