In 1998, Karla Faye Tucker was the first woman to become executed in Texas since the time of the Civil War. The case was extraordinary because of the extreme brutality of Tucker’s crime and the dramatic religious conversions, which she experienced on her death row. The rehabilitation that she had led to calls for clemency and mercy; however, this was denied. This assignment seeks to explore alternatives to retributive justice in this case.
One of the alternatives to retributive justice was corrective justice. Corrective justice involves restitution to the party injured or performance of reperations. Besides, community service is also one of the considerations of corrective justice. In this case, an alternative to execution could be serving the community (Zernova, 2007). However, corrective justice could be a less just outcome because it is not possible to consider restitution to the injured party; this is because human life cannot be gauged or compared to any amount. This alternative has less merit than retributive justice in the Tucker’s case.
Restorative justice seeks to rehabilitate an offender within the community so as to make him realize the negativity of his actions to the community (Zernova, 2007). This could be another alternative to retributive justice. In the Tucker’s case, this could represent a more just outcome since Tucker became rehabilitated and proved to become a new person through religious conversion. This alternative has more merits than retributive justice in all cases
Another alternative to retributive justice could be transformative justice. This form of justice applies the practices and principles of restorative justice past the criminal justice system. This alternative could have a less just outcome because it could not apply to the case since it tends to treat an offense as an educational and transformative opportunity for offenders, victims and other members of the community (Bukuluki, 2011). This alternative has more merits than retributive justice in the Tucker’s case.
In addition, another alternative to retributive justice could be reformative justice. Reformative justice entails re-educating an offender in order to make him become a useful member in the society (Bukuluki, 2011). In the case of Tucker, this could present a more just outcome since Tucker was already showing signs of change implying that re-educating her could make her a useful member in society. This alternative has more merits than retributive justice in the Tucker’s case.
- Bukuluki, P. (2011). Negotiating retributive and restorative justice in conflict transformation efforts: A case of northern Uganda. Berlin: Lit.
- Zernova, M. (2007). Restorative justice: Ideals and realities. Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate.