Human Growth and Development

Kohlberg’s Moral Reasoning

Ellie Nesler shot and killed the man who repeatedly molested her son. This was a man with a history of child molesting and jail time, yet the legal system failed to prevent him from hurting more children. He was being tried for her son’s case; however, by all accounts, the man was about to be set free due to a legal technicality. She took matters into her own hands and killed him in the courtroom.

Was Ellie Nesler morally justified in killing her son’s attacker? Should she have been charged with 1st degree murder, 2nd degree murder, manslaughter, or not at all? What type of jail or prison sentence should she have received? After answering these questions, evaluate your answers and state which level of Kohlberg’s moral reasoning you are at and why.

Prof. Angela


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