Civil Disobedience In The Shawshank Redemption

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The film Shawshank Redemption is about a banker, Andy Dufresne, who is convicted of murdering his wife and her lover in cold blood. He is sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in the Shawshank State Penitentiary. Andy makes a mistake of trusting the criminal justice system and agrees to cooperate fully. Despite the evidence placing him at the scene of the crime on the night of the murders, Andy has always maintained his innocence. It is at this prison where he meets a fellow inmate, Red, who was convicted and sentenced to life for planning and carrying out his wife's murder. Red and Andy become develop a close friendship. The belief that when inmates are sent to prison, they do their time and get rehabilitated…show more content…
The Captain and the warden engage in acts of civil disobedience. The state has granted them power and authority to manage the prison but instead they let their egoism get in the way. The warden has the view that morality ultimately rests on his own self-interest. For example, when a new inmate named Tommy Williams arrives at Shawshank and tells Andy that he served time in another prison with Elwood Blatch, a man who privately admitted to killing tennis pro Glenn Quentin. When Andy asks Norton to request a retrial, Norton dismisses Andy’s claims and puts him in solitary confinement for more than a month. Furthermore, the warden takes Tommy outside at night and have him killed by Captain Hadley. This is subjecting an inmate to a cruel and unusual punishment that is a violation of the 8th amendment. Under the utilitarianism ethical system, the warden’s actions would be considered immoral because he had inmate killed. This is also dereliction of duty which is an offense. The warden was notorious of dehumanizing the inmates and violating their rights for his own selfish

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