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EthicalDecisions in Corporal Punishment

Theexistence of humanity is founded on both the morality or ethicalconsiderations and also the legal requirements. Drawing boundarybetween the ethics and legal action in some cases become cumbersomebecause either the ethics or the law overrules in making particulardecisions. Thus, we need to understand and evaluate how the two canbe correlated so that justice forms the basis of any decision madebased on the human acts (Fortney, 2013). In this study, we arelooking at the case of Teresa Lewis, a 41-Year woman who the courtordered for execution following the confession that she had led inthe killing of her husband and stepson (O’Connor, 2014). We shallalso look at the case of Stan ‘Tookie’ Williams who also gotexecuted following accusations of murder. Finally, we will look atTroy Davis who also faced the same corporal punishment from thecourt. In all these scenarios we are going to get to the basis ofethics based on the decisions that were made by the convicts.

ForMs. Lewis, psychologists’ diagnosis revealed that her I.Q was belowthe usual standards. However, the US Supreme Court ordered that thecase involving murder was punishable by execution (&quotExecution ofVirginia Woman Stirs Objections,&quot 2010). In this case, I believethat there was much more that the legal stipulations that need to betaken into consideration before any of the sensitive verdicts givenin such a convict. Since Ms. Lewis has an IQ beyond the intellectualborderline, she could not have had the capacity to make sounddecisions in the case of her planned murder. From the psychologists’report that the I.Q of Teresa Lewis was 72, the Court was as wellbound to rely on such information before making the final decision onthe matter. Although the woman was guilty of murder, the evidenceabout the case is that the killing could have resulted on what shealso could not explain. The other defense against the execution ofMs. Lewis is the fact that the male counterparts that were involvedreceived a lesser law ‘treatment’ for the same case. It isunfair, and to some extent, the decision made by the US Supreme Courtmay be termed to have been biased and inconsiderate of the ethicalposition in the case involving this woman. The ethics position, inthis instance, was based on the psychologists’ report on an elementof mental disability for the convict (Teresa Lewis).

Althoughthe woman’s IQ was just above the court’s value of 70, the courtought also to have relied on the physician’s report on the mentaldisorder that Ms. Lewis had. We might also understand the decision ofthe US Supreme Court for the case of the series murderer Stan TWilliams (&quotBBC News Player,&quot 2016). Been the mastermind ofthe street gang that led to the murders of people, the court hadfailed to inspect the case of Williams satisfactorily. From reliablesources, this man had started reformation projects. He was alsoholding talks to discourage others on gang activities. However, thecourt’s decision for his execution did not consider the long-termplan of the convict in the case that he had got accused. In theperiod of the death row, it was evident that through the peaceprotocol forum and the internet projects that Stan had begun, hewould bring change to the society. It is unethical that the courtterminated the crucial plans and the move that could even have savedother youngsters who could have been later involved in similar acts.Even the rejection of the appeal by Stan Williams on the accusationof racism and discrimination portrays that the court was employedbias in letting the accusing plead for his innocence (&quot- The Updates – Punishment and the Death Penalty,&quot 2016).

TroyAnthony Davis is the other victim of corporal punishment, having beenaccused of shooting and killing a police officer by the name MacPhailThis man pleaded for innocence throughout the trial, but the courtwent ahead and declared that the act was only punishable by death.Even though several witnesses who were testifying against Davisrecanted their statements against Davis, the court failed to withdrawthe case even neglecting the voices of those patriots who suggestedthat Davis is retried on the same case for they supported hisinnocence. The urge is that the decision of the court on the casecould have been made out of coercion since some officers claimed thatthe clarity of the matter does not finalize on the statement thatDavis was the murderer.

Forthe cases of corporal punishment outlined above, it is clear that thelaw played a bigger role in decision making than the ethics, and thisimplies that there exists an extension of the boundary on the legalside to compromise the ethical side. and matters of moralityhave got been neglected for justice. There is also the failure of thedecision makers (the court) to compromise ethics for the law(LaFollette, 2013). Regardless of the sense of the severity of thecases, values should not lose on their ground and play the role alsoeffectively in decisions concerning corporal punishment.


LaFollette,H. (2013). The International Encyclopedia of . Malden, MA:Wiley-Blackwell.

O’Connor,A. (2014). A woman, 41, Is Executed in Virginia. 13October2016,from

Fortney,S. (2013). &ltI&gtA Review of Leslie C Levin and Lynn Mather(eds)&lt/I&gt, Lawyers in Practice: Ethical Decision Making inContext. Legal , 16(2), 409-423.

BBCNews Player. (2016). Retrieved 13 October 2016, from

Updates – The Punishment and the Death Penalty. (2016) Retrieved 13 October 2016, from

ExecutionOf Virginia Woman Stirs Objections. (2010). Retrieved 13October 2016, from

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