Ethical Issues In Law Abiding Citizen
The ethical issue that we can found in the movie is about the justice. Law Abiding Citizen is a critique of what is wrong with the criminal justice system. All fraught with moral quandaries about what the State owes its victims, how it should punish its criminals and how it manages an impartial system run by flawed humans. The notion of our corruptible nature, then, leads us right back to the initial problem about criminals and victims. To halt the carnage, Foxx cuts one deal after another, which is precisely what Butler wants: to expose the corrupt nature of the justice system.
So, the main problem with Citizen is that it tries to tackle the thorny issues of justice by pushing each ethical dilemma to an extreme conclusion. For example, the accomplice to the murder of Clyde’s kid is put to death by lethal injection – but through some bewildering infiltration of the Pennsylvania penal system Clyde has sabotaged the machine. So instead of painless death, this child murderer is, essentially, tortured in his final moments. Shelton’s bloody crusade appears psychopathic, but he is often treating criminals and the criminal-friendly system with the same “respect” they gave him and many other victims of crime. While pacifists like to say that violence begets violence, the ugly truth is that appeasement invites bloodshed. While we all must have compassion for victims of crime, at the same time, the criminal justice system operates to be fair to those accused of a crime. Sometimes they are innocent, many times they are probably guilty, but there are usually extenuating circumstances if the latter is the case.
At the very least, the criminal justice system operates to ensure that both the police and the prosecutors/district attorneys are held to the highest ethical standards and do not take shortcuts in order to get a conviction. Furthermore, another character that raising ethical issue is Foxx’s character, Rice, we confront explosive pro-life issues. By way of example, what will feminists make of the fact that the prosecutor refers to his unborn child as his daughter, while maintaining a pro-death penalty position? Is he a hypocrite or a realist? Maybe he just understands the difference between guilt and innocence, as a pro-life dad. Director F. Gary Gray, to be sure, is not shy when it comes to showing blood, but at the same time the red liquid stuff never masks real ethical questions. In fact, the violence exposes them, for all to see. The sword-friendly, table-turning rebel told us to turn the other cheek in some situations, but he never instructed men like Clyde Shelton to turn their children and women over to monsters, or nations over to barbarians. Foxx is convincing as the ADA who tries to do the right thing.
On one hand, he wants those convictions not because they are victories for him, but because they serve as vindication for those who suffered. On the other hand, he has to abide by the rules of criminal procedure. ADAs and police do not have carte blanche to just get whatever they want in order to secure a conviction – and for good reason. But, there are times when Nick Rice is not above violating one’s civil rights if it means protecting the community. Gerard Butler puts forth a good effort as the grieving widower turned avenger. Lose your family in such an inhuman and vicious manner – it does not get ay more horrific than that. Understandably, you want those who were responsible to be held accountable and pay for what they did.
Often, they deserve the death penalty. Unfortunately, you begin to lose sympathy for the main character Clyde while he carries out his wrath. Whereas the main character says in Death Wish went after the guys who really deserved their comeuppance, Clyde eventually starts to target individuals who really were just trying to do their job under the best circumstances. There was an attempt to make Clyde Shelton into a tragic figure who has declared war on what he perceived as corruption in the justice system itself, but he ultimately ends up being a one-dimensional villain with a bit of a sadistic streak.
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