Ethical Punishment: The Tison Brothers

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The Tison Brothers One of the main questions in the court trial for Ricky and Raymond Tison seems to be “do they deserve the death sentence? Would sentencing them to death violate their 8th amendment rights? The 8th amendment says “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted”, how can a person define what a “cruel and unusual Punishment” is? All these questions had arisen because of their involvement in the jail break of their father, Gary Tison and his cellmate Randy Greenawalt, when, in the process of escaping the law, led to the murder of John Lyon and his family. Even though they did not pull the trigger, Ricky …show more content…
according to “In Our Defense” written by Ellen Alderman and Caroline Kennedy, on a chapter about the 8th amendment “Dorothy had created for her and her sons a wildly romanticized view of Gary Tison.”. And when Gary Tison had killed a guard, Dorothy had not told her sons because “apparently, Dorothy Tison was unwilling or unable to do anything but encourage her sons to grow up in the thrall of their father” (Alderman/Kennedy). She had made their father to be a hero and simply misunderstood. Their father had even, from prison, was large part of their lives, giving them advise or even giving them punishments for the stuff they did wrong. Growing up with this knowledge could have been one of the reasons they did not anticipate any murders, and when they broke their father out of jail, they had also broken out a man called Randy Greenawalt, who, the brothers later claimed, “they had never met before and were unaware of his murder record” (Alderman/Kennedy). They claimed that they never anticipated it to lead to the murder of the …show more content…
Randy, and the Tison brothers were put on trial, first together for running a roadblock and the shootout that followed, and each separately for the murder of the Lyons family. Randy had been tried and sentences to death as the triggerman who had killed the Lyons, 18 years later he was executed in 1997. But for Ricky and Raymond being that they did not pull the trigger but participated in the felony that led to the murder, were tried under the Felony-Murder law, It was under this law they were found guilty and sentenced to death. They fought this sentence by bringing up something that happened in a different case with a man called Edmund, who had was driving the getaway in a robbery that turned into a murder, the court had not given the death sentence. They argued that their case was similar. But when rejected they took it to the supreme court. “the court concluded that Ricky and Raymond may have a culpable mental state ---reckless indifference to the value of human life” (alderman/Kennedy), which means that though they did not pull the trigger it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have done it. When tried again in the Arizona court under the new doctrine called “major participation plus reckless indifference to human life” in this thought they found that it was through their major

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