Angelique Lavallee Case Study

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Angelique Lavallee was a 21 year-old woman, who was charged with murder after shooting her spouse in the back of the head while he was leaving the bedroom. Kevin Rust, her spouse, had threatened to kill her that night and loaded the gun for her. But instead Ms. Lavallee ending up shooting him that night with the intentions of missing. The psychiatric, Dr. Shane, did an assessment stated her as being terrorized by her partner such as physical, sexual, emotional and verbal abusive. Therefore, in the psychiatrist’s opinion the killing was a final desperate act by a woman who seriously believed she would be killed that night, which would refer as a victim of Battered Woman Syndrome. The accused was acquitted by the jury, but the verdict was overturned …show more content…
According to this theory, the law does not require a battered woman’s fear to be correct but only reasonable in Ms. Lavallee case, with the help of expert evidence to be acceptable and relevant. Therefore in this case, the law pursues their own understandings of the good in Ms. Lavallee. With this said, this theory plays on the concept that if an individual feels if their life is in danger, self-defence is accurate. In this case of Lavallee many reasons were questioned including both reasonableness and ethics. However, from this utilitarianism theory, act utilitarianism focuses on individual happiness which the law makes calculation of good versus evil that relates to Ms. Lavallee (….pg. 140). More significantly, Mill believes that “Instead of focusing on what the consequences might be for the majority of people, utilitarian’s might also focus on the best course of action for the people involved in an immediate situation”. (Perez & Moore, 2013). Meaning that operating in this manner does not mean that other interests are ignored such as, Ms. Lavallee being a victim of battered woman syndrome in the mental state of the accused at the critical moment when she pulls the trigger cannot be understood except in terms of the cumulative effect of months or years of being brutality …show more content…
According to this theory, the rules of law make it easier to implement them so that everyone can follow them. Therefore in this case, the law focuses on the intentions Ms. Lavallee had in her actions and for so, consequences are largely irrelevant. With this said, this theory plays on the concept that one should not disobey the law under no circumstances. In this case the expert evidence was necessary because an ordinary person may be unable to understand why she would stay with her spouse if he was beating her and it is not a free pass to kill any abuser. However, from this formalism theory, it focuses on the developing respect for the law and ensuring equal treatment of people similarly situated. (…..pg. 129) More significantly, Kant believes that “Act only on that maxim which you can at the same time will to be a universal law.” (Perez & Moore, 2013). Meaning to this case that Ms. Lavallee should have at least still followed the lawful rules as in not to shot her spouse in the head but rather call the police to let them handle

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