Legal and Ethical Case study
The Menendez Brothers
The Legal and Ethical issues
The legal issue here is a double homicide. The two young men, Lyle Menendez and Erik Menendez, were accused and later convicted of killing their parents. On the night of the murder, their parents, Jose Menendez and Kitty Anderson, were at lying on the couch asleep when their two sons came in and shot them both dead with shotguns. The shot guns were purchased several days before, showing premeditation. The boys purposely chose to murder their parents on a night when their maid was off work, displaying special legal circumstances “lying and wait.” Due to these “special circumstances” the Menendez brothers were eligible for the death penalty. The brother’s defense was that they were sexually and psychologically abused by their mother and father for years. The brothers painted a picture of how controlling and abusive their father was and that their mother was emotionally and mentally unstable. The brothers never mentioned a word about the alleged abuse before the trial started, not even to their psychotherapist Dr. Jerome Oziel. The boys said that they feared their parents were going to kill them and they acted upon it by killing them out of fear. The prosecution claimed that the boys were selfish and that their motive was greed because they were not going to put into their fathers will. There are a few pieces of evidence that really make the brothers story hard to believe. One is the 911 call where the boys acted like they were upset that “someone killed their parents.” Two, after their parents were dead the young men spent approximately one million dollars of their parents money on over indulging themselves. Three, the tapes that were retrieved from their psychotherapist contained their confession. In these tapes they threatened his life if Dr. Oziel turned them in. The Menendez brothers had two trials, both in which they plead not guilty. The first one...
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