Case For Capital Punishment

675 Words3 Pages
From the pre-historic clans to the modern-day countries, the majority of social units have carried the notion of justice, and therefore systems of punishment are almost innate to human nature. As legal mechanisms evolved to be more sophisticated and elaborate, the suitability of a punishment developed to be matter worthy of intricate analysis. In order to achieve an impartial system of punishment, modern nations have come up with a commonly agreed set of criteria consisting of six theories. “These theories are deterrence, retribution, just deserts, rehabilitation, incapacitation, and more recently, restorative justice.” (Banks, 103) While each of the aforementioned criteria could be analyzed single-handedly or in a cumulative manner, the present essay focuses on consequential outcomes of Death Penalty execution or lack thereof through retribution theory in the notorious case of the Clutter family killings and robbery of November 15, 1959. In spite of writer Truman Capote’s sympathetic stance towards the murderers Richard "Dick" Hickock and Perry Edward Smith in his non-fiction novel In Cold Blood, revolving around the Clutter massacre and its aftermath, the incident itself is concrete proof that Death Penalty should be actively practiced.
Although the theory of retribution roots from the ancient principle of “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth ” traced all the way back to Hammurabi’s reign, the contemporary understanding of retribution is much more intricate. As stated in the essay “Why the Death Penalty is Morally Permissible” by Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Louis P. Pojman, “Retributivism is not based on hatred for the criminal (though a feeling of vengeance may accompany the punishment). Retributivism is the theory th...

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...ers opened up a deep wound in the trust of a minuscule town of “two hundred and seventy” (Capote, 5). In the mid-1950’s, Holcomb was a conservative society in Kansas, where everyone knew each other and trusted each other, until the Clutter killings took place, “But afterward the townspeople, theretofore sufficiently fearful of each other to seldom trouble to lock their doors, found fantasy in re-creating them over and again- those somber explosions that stimulated fires of mistrust in the glare of which many old neighbors viewed each other, strangely as strangers. (Capote, 5) The harm given to the body of citizens as a whole, and the psychological damage that took place on an individual level to each citizen is also a noteworthy point of the impact of the murders. Disturbing the peace of mind of an entire town in cold blood is not a course of action to be chosen by
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