Pollock ethics 8e_ch03
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Pollock ethics 8e_ch03
Determining Moral Behavior
Lecture slides prepared by Lisa J. Taylor
• Harold Hall was wrongfully convicted in
1990 of a double homicide and rape.
• He was sentenced to life in prison without
• In 2004, he was released after post-
conviction DNA tests confirmed his
• For 19 years, Hall spent his time reading
everything he could, including magazines,
newspapers and law books pertaining to
advances in DNA identification
technology and its uses in cases similar
• But the work paid off. In 2004, in addition
to earning his GED, Hall got his sentence
reversed and won his freedom.
• Related to equal treatment
• Refers to equal shares or treatment
• Refers to the concept of equal treatment
The concept of justice originates in the Greek word dike,
which refers to everything staying in its proper place.
Plato believed justice was achieved by maintaining the
social status quo. He classed it as one of the four civic
virtues (along with wisdom, temperance, and courage).
Aristotle believed justice was the basis of law, defining it as
the unwritten customs of a people that distinguish between
what is and is not honorable.
Aristotle’s Thoughts on Justice
Rectificatory (Commutative) Justice
• Called for in business where unfair advantage or
undeserved harm has occurred.
• Demands remedies or compensations to the injured
• Concerns what measurement should be used to allocate
• Proportional equality: unequal people (e.g., slaves,
women) get unequal shares.
Major Components of Justice
• Division of goods and
members of a society.
• Determination and
methods of punishment.
• Punishment should fit
crime (concept of just
Justice involves rightful possession of:
• Economic goods (income or property)
• Opportunities for development (education or
• Recognition (honor or status)
Since some possessions are scarce, justice requires that goods
be distributed using standards of entitlement such as need and
for Distributive Justice
• Requirements of
• Valuation of services
• Legal entitlements
Theories of Distribution (I)
• Egalitarian Theories: Based on the premise of equality or equal
shares for all.
• Marxist Theories: Places need above rights.
• Libertarian Theories: Merit, entitlement, and productivity have
more weight than needs or equal shares.
• Utilitarian Theories: Attempt to maximize benefits for society by
balancing entitlement and needs.
• Rawls Theory: Any inequalities in a society should benefit the
*** All have an equal right to basic shared liberties
Rawl’s Theory of Justice
• All inequalities in a society should benefit the
• Social and economic inequalities should be
arranged to be to everyone's advantage.
• Decisions about distribution should be made
without regard to one’s status (the veil of
ignorance) because justice and fairness are in
everyone's rational self-interest.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
• Signed into law by President Obama on March
• Represents the most significant regulatory
overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since
• Aimed primarily at decreasing the number of
uninsured Americans and reducing the overall
costs of health care. It provides a number of
incentives to employers and uninsured
individuals in order to increase insurance
• Requires insurance companies to cover all
applicants and offer the same rates regardless
of pre-existing conditions or gender.
• After mixed success in lower courts, on June
28, 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the
constitutionality of much of the Act.
Criticisms of Rawls
• The veil of ignorance cannot counteract
human selfishness and self-interest.
• Preferring the least well-off is bad for a
society; leads to lack of incentive, decline of
• Rawls’s approach to distribution ignores
desert and merit.
• Occupy Wall Street claims to be a movement
that began on September 17, 2011 in
Manhattan’s Financial District.
• It has spread to over 100 cities in the U.S.
and actions in over 1,500 cities globally.
• It claims to be fighting back against the power
of banks and corporations over the
democratic process, and the role of Wall
Street in creating an economic collapse.
• This movement was allegedly inspired by
uprisings abroad, and aims to fight back
against the richest 1% that write the rules of
an unfair global economy.
• The occupations around the world are being
organized using a non-binding consensus
based collective decision making tool known
as a "people's assembly.”
• Based on the concept of just deserts
• Involves the determination of a “fair” punishment
• Based on the concept of law and rules
• Involves steps taken to determine guilt as well as
Two Philosophies of Justice
• Based on the concept of balance
• Perpetrator must suffer pain or loss proportional to the
victim’s (an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth)
• Lez talionis: a vengeance-oriented form of retributive
justice concerned with equal retaliation.
• Difficult to agree upon a fair degree of punishment in
situations that involve mitigating factors and partial
• Difficult to measure the suffering or loss in incarceration
(most typical modern punishment)
• Is separate from justice
• Tempers or “seasons” justice
• Is not an automatic right or matter of desert
• Derives its value from compassion
• Requires a generally retributive outlook on
punishment and responsibility
• In 2012, Stewart Creekmore, 26, was sentenced
to17-years by a judge who accepted a plea
agreement reached by the Commonwealth and
• Police say Creekmore ran a red light and crashed
into a truck driven by Henry Bush in July 2010,
killing Bush. Creekmore's passenger and
girlfriend, Stefanie Oatman, lost the couple's 7-
month old fetus as a result of the crash.
• After all the Bush family has gone through, they
still showed Creekmore mercy. "I'm finding it in
my heart to do things right," said the victim's wife.
• Part of the plea agreement, Creekmore's charges
were reduced to manslaughter 2, fetal homicide,
assault, and DUI.
• Creekmore is already serving a 5-year sentence
for escape from the Montgomery County jail in
• Based on concept of “good for all”
• Justice requires punishment be for the greatest good.
• Bentham’s hedonistic calculus.
• Punishment is prescribed on the basis of perceived
• Treatment is acceptable because it supports
• The fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George
Zimmerman took place on the night of 2/26/12 in
• Martin was an unarmed 17-year-old black male.
George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old Hispanic
American, was the neighborhood watch captain
for a gated community where Martin was staying
& where the shooting took place. Zimmerman
noticed Martin acting suspiciously inside the
community. Zimmerman called the police
department to report Martin‘s behavior.
• During a fight, Zimmerman fatally shot Martin.
Zimmerman told police that Martin had attacked
him and that he had shot him in self-defense.
• Zimmerman was questioned for approximately 5
hours, then released.
• On 4/11/12, the prosecutor filed a charge of
murder in the 2nd
degree against Zimmerman.
• Outcome of case still pending.
Justice is the concept of fairness.
Law is a system of rules.
• Procedural justice consists of laws and
procedures meant to safeguard against error
in the application of justice.
• Due process exemplifies procedural justice.
Due Process Clauses
Article V. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise
infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury,
except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when
in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be
subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor
shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,
nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;
nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just
Article XIV, Section 1. All persons born or naturalized to the United
States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United
States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or
enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of
citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of
life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any
person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Procedural Protections in the
• Notice of charges
• Neutral hearing body (jury)
• Right of cross-examination
• Right to present evidence
• Representation by counsel
• Statement of findings
• Appeal of verdict
Who Deserves Due Process
• Only citizens? (not illegal immigrants?)
• Only residents? (not Marielitos?)
• All those held against their will by this
government? (enemy combatants)
Habeas Corpus: ancient form of due
In April of 2010, Arizona Governor Jan
Brewer signed into law SB 1070, The
Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe
Neighborhoods Act. This law allows law
enforcement to require those who may
be illegal immigrants to provide
documentation of their residency status,
or face possible prosecution. Critics of
this law claim this is racial profiling at its
Does this law infringe on basic
due process rights?
What type of justice does this law
Officer Patrick Smith – LAPD
• A 2012 investigation into Patrick Smith, a 15-
year veteran who worked on a motorcycle in the
LAPD’s West Traffic Division, found that he was
stopping Latinos based on their ethnicity.
• Officer Smith is accused of misidentifying some
Latinos as being white on his reports —
presumably in an effort to conceal their ethnicity.
• LAPD Chief Beck reviewed the evidence against
Smith and he and his command staff
recommended Smith be found guilty. Beck
signed off on the investigation's findings and
ordered Smith sent to a disciplinary hearing,
where the department will attempt to have him
• In LA, the chief cannot fire an officer alone, but
instead must let a 3-person board decide if the
firing is warranted. The panel could also
exonerate Smith, who was relieved of duty
during the investigation.
1. It must be nonviolent in form and actuality.
2. No other means of remedying the evil should be
3. Those who resort to civil disobedience must accept the
legal sanctions and punishments imposed by law.
4. A major moral issue must be at stake.
5. When “intelligent men of good will” differ on complex
moral issues, discussion is more appropriate than action.
6. There must be some reason for the time, place and
7. One should adhere to “historical time.”
• Emphasizes compensation over retribution.
• Returns focus to rights and needs of the victim.
• Requires restoration of victims, offenders, and
communities injured by crime.
• Integrates victims, offenders, and communities
more fully into the justice process.
• Leaves government responsible for order, but
makes community responsible for peace.
Community Justice Models
• Victim-offender mediation
• Community reparative boards
• Family group conferencing
• Circle sentencing