text: Williams, C. R., & Arriago, B. A. (2012). Ethics,
crime, and criminal justice(2nd ed.). Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson
Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development
Based on your readings for this week write
a response in at least 250-300 words to the following prompt:
Chapter 7 introduces us to Kohlberg’s Stages of
Moral Development. A provocative question is whether the system of law
enforcement should, on any level, make distinctions between crimes motivated by
more or less moral interests. For example, should we consider persons who
violate the law for moral reasons less reprehensible and thus less legally
blameworthy than others? Consider and answer the questions regarding the
following hypothetical cases involving law-breaking behaviors.
Which, if any, of these behaviors are immoral? Why? Based on Kohlberg’s model,
at what level and stage of moral development would you place the person(s) in
the following scenarios?
- A recently laid-off husband and
father of five steals several food items from a local grocery store to
feed his hungry children.
- A concerned mother drives 80
miles-per-hour in a 55-mile-per-hour zone to get her child to the
hospital. The child has 104 degree fever.
- Two officers respond to the
scene of a reported robbery at a convenience store. While the first
officer is interviewing the victim, the second officer is observed by the
first officer taking candy without paying for it. The first officer does
not say anything.
consider the following legal behaviors. Which, if any, would you
consider to be immoral? Why? Given Kohlberg’s model of moral development, at
what level and stage would you place the actor in question?
- Passing by a dark alley late at
night, a young man witnesses what appears to be a rape in progress. As he
is unsure what is happening and somewhat afraid to get involved, he
chooses to simply continue on his way.
- A young couple has managed to
accumulate $50.00 worth of late charges at a local video store. Upon their
next visit, the store manager informs them that there has been a computer
malfunction, resulting in the store losing track of all late charges on
customer accounts. The manager asks them if they had any outstanding
charges, to which the couple replies, “No.”