Explore BrainMass

Ethical Reasoning and Arguments

Can someone help me with setting an ethical argument for the victim's family and the DA in the following situation?

Joe drove the getaway car during a bank robbery in which a teller was killed. Joe was caught and sentenced to 25 years to life under California's "three strikes" law.

Fifteen years into his sentence -- gaunt, wheelchair bound and tethered to an oxygen tank -- he has been diagnosed with a terminal disease and three competent physicians from outside the prison system have certified he has less than 6 months to live.

A special meeting of the parole board is called.

His family argues a moral ideal -- for his "compassionate release" so he can die at home with his family.

The victim's family and the DA argue obligation & consequences -- that he should die in confinement in accordance with the sentence of the trial judge.

Assume you are in a court of ethics, not law.

Use ethical reasoning skills to argue the victim's family and the DA's side. Leave personal biases, culture, or religion as well as the experiences of all of your friends, neighbors and relatives at the door. Think obligations, moral values and consequences.

Solution Preview

I think the crucial question here is what sort of justification you offer for punishment. If the purpose of punishment is rehabilitation, then there is really no point to prolonging Joe's incarceration, since he will not have the opportunity to improve any further. On a deterrence theory of punishment, there is also ...

Solution Summary

This job uses ethical reasoning skills.