Uploaded by mylenealexandra04

- Reaction Paper (Law Abiding Citizen)

BSA 19-2 (44692)
Justice. Vengeance. Death. How does justice system work and being attainable by each
and any of us in any circumstances? Does death answer all cases? Is it justifiable? Or do we have
a broken justice system?
No one in this world wanted to have a miserable and a bloody life. We tend to abide laws
as a citizen in our society. We tend to have a peaceful and happy life but one day, an unforeseen
circumstance happened at Clyde Shelton’s house, with his own eyes witnessing two burglars
breaking in his house, Darby, raping and murdering his wife and a five-year old daughter, with his
accomplice, Rupert Ames. He wants to have justice and so he approached a career-minded
prosecutor, Nick Rice, thinking that he would help him to this case but his own testimony was not
enough and not evident for those two to incriminate because he got blacked out at the time the
crime happened. He was so hopeless and felt betrayed. However, he thought of something that
makes himself attain the justice he wanted and after a decade, he went back, killed Ames that
executed via lethal injection and died because of agonizing the pain and Darby by paralyzing him
and torturing him leading Clyde to be in jail. I might say that he was somehow got that justice that
he always wanted but not that much. He knew what he would accountable be with and his
responsibility but the importance of right and wrong, good and evil from him got nothing. He was
blinded by the fact that he needed to do the killing all by himself to those people who made his life
lonely, His mind was being poisoned and had that certain goal despite of the consequences he will
face. He doesn’t care anymore of what the law is, who are the people he will collide or compete
with. So, in his system, the only thing he wants is them to be dead. His strong emotion plays an
important role for him to be accountable and responsible for what he did but I believe, vengeance
was not the only reason why in 10 years of planning, he did that but also to show how life and how
system inside of the cell and the court is working,
One scenario in the film was when Clyde Shelton was being judged by the court and so
there, he stated and showed how broken the American justice system was. He said that he killed
many people but all he would get was to be in prison for many years. And so, I thought that he
wants to pertain that even if a person murdered many people, the same with robbery, rape, etc.,
they just got so many years of being in four corners of the room.
The first ethical dilemma I would discuss was in the start of movie, when Clyde seeking
for help with Nick Rice, Nick was secretly having a deal with Darby, because as a lawyer, a very
career-minded prosecutor, he wants to maintain his 96% conviction rate and so that’s the important
thing in his life, his success, and the justice was being neglected. His decision at that part, makes
him rich and having a stable job and life with his wife and daughter after 10 years not knowing
that, that decision plays and brought a perilous life with so many people. He reconciled with Darby,
to minimize his time in jail if he pleads guilty to third-degree murder, and in return, he’ll sent
Ames to death having his testimony. In this decision he made, he violates the law as well as Clyde’s
side for which he didn’t even do anything to help him achieve the justice. Neither that decision
was morally acceptable nor honorable. This shows that “The justice system is for the victims, not
for the success of lawyers.” He’s being prejudiced in that part and now, when he investigates more
of the reason behind Clyde Shelton’s plan and mission. As the movie goes by, we can clearly see
that there was definitely wrong to the American justice system.
Clyde Shelton, as a step for his revenge, planning it all for about 10 years, his brutal
revenge, torturing his family’s murderer, Clarence J. Darby, cutting his legs and arms, and he even
took a video of him doing it which was sent to Nick Rice’s house and watched by his daughter.
The vile crimes that Clyde committed were too much and grisly one. Maybe because the justice
system they have was not enough for him, for them to suffer, so that since he has an advanced
knowledge of different weapons, he used it and tortured Darby. This way of him taking vengeance
is not morally and ethically right and must pass in the right and proper way. Revenge will never
be a right way of achieving something for our inner peace and self-satisfaction or fulfillment.
Revenge is never be a morally permissible motive for our action. Remember that our actions will
always come with a great and big accountability and responsibility. We may be seen that Clyde
Shelton is good or bad guy, although his reason for his action is good, his action achieving it will
never be good.
As the movie and the scenes in the movie were reaching its climax, all authorized people
were being confused of the idea that a confined person with full of security was still committing a
sin, killing so many innocent people, and in that way, they made up their mind to fully-secured the
place, the cell where Clyde Shelton has been in. Nick Rice is convinced that there is some ally or
accomplice outside but at the end, he realized, after some research of Clyde Shelton’s asset and
properties, he traced the place where it is located near the cell wherein there had built an
underground which was connected to the cell where Clyde is. Nick convinced the judges to revoke
some of Clyde’s rights to meet someone, or to have access to the outside world. And I think it is
ethical for them to implement and have the policy like this because he’s in prisoned and he must
suffer. As when Clyde Shelton is killing innocent people which includes Darby’s Attorney, the
judge, the DA, the mayor, and I think he killed them too using his engineering and CIA skills,
because they are not innocent on what’s happening around and especially to the system. They are
in linked with Nick, with the system, and these individuals have forfeited their innocence. Shelton
believed that these people are not doing their job properly to attain the justice system, playing
tricks/games dirty that’s why justices are not highly attainable by the victims like him.
A movie like this is worth to watch provided the characters they portray, which is a
reflection of what the justice system we have or we might have now. Even in an ordinary citizen
which experiences such cases that needs justice, I can say, it takes a lot of time for the right of
process in the court for this to attain. It may take a year though the committed crime was not that
big. If the justice system does not apply even in a simple or small cases, how much more in the
huge one? This movie leaves us a lesson, an ethical lesson that not all justice that we may receive
will come from the court but rather we can make our own decision or choices to attain it. It’s either
by doing something good or bad that deviates the law. Always remember that our actions come
with greatest responsibility, our actions have an associated consequence, it may be good or bad.
Always consider some factors that affect our decisions in life and the modifiers of the human act
because in that matter, our responsibility to out taken actions, knowingly and deliberately
(voluntariness or involuntary), it may be diminish or increase on how willing we are, and how
consciously we take that certain action.
One part in the movie that strikes me the most was the conversation of Nick Rice and
Darby’s Attorney in the funeral before they went to their vehicle, “The hard part isn’t making the
decision. Its’ living with it.” Living with our chosen decision is really hard and being used with
the happenings brought by it. And now, I am leaving this quote or one line said by Clyde Shelton,
“Lessons not learned in blood are soon forgotten.”