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Ethics of Punishment on Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” Sample

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In the book. “In Cold Blood” . by Truman Capote. Dick Hickock and Perry Smith commit a flagitious offense by butchering the Clutter household.

Should Dick and Perry die for their offenses by having the decease punishment? Throughout the book there is clear grounds that supports both sides. Would this instance adhere to the M’Naghten regulation or were both suspects aware of what offense they were perpetrating? After close analysis of both suspects I do non believe either one deserves capital penalty.

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Before looking into the instance one must take a expression at the two suspects. Along with Perry. Richard ( Dick ) Eugene Hickock was one of the two liquidators of the Clutter household. Dick grew up in Kansas. was married twice. and was jailed for go throughing bad cheques. He is a practical adult male who excludes assurance and inhuman treatment. but in world he is non a ruthless or every bit brave as he seems. Along with Dick. Perry Edward Smith was the other of the two slayings of the Clutter household. His legs were severely injured in a bike accident. He wants really much to be educated. and he considers himself rather intelligent and artistic. His childhood was lonely and disorganized. His condemnable record seems to be an extension of the unusual environment he grew up in.

Perry and Dick do non merit the decease punishment. The suspects of this instance adhere to the M’Naghten regulation. This means “that if the accused knew the nature of his act. and knew it was incorrect. so he is mentally competent and responsible for his actions” ( Capote. 267 ) . Perry every bit good as Dick were non mentally competent and responsible for their actions. First of all. Perry is mentally brainsick and so his actions do non deserve decease. The lone informant for the defence is the psychologist. Harmonizing to Kansas’ M’Naughten Rule all a psychologist can make is attest whether or non a suspect could state right from incorrect at the clip of the offense. In respects to Perry. the psychologist says he is non certain. but the justice does non allow him state anything farther. Capote includes what the psychologist would hold said. carefully naming Perry as a possible schizophrenic. “Perry Smith shows definite marks of terrible mental illness” ( Capote 296 ) .

He writes disjointedly in his autobiography that he writes to the psychologist. At the terminal of the autobiography he wrote: “Went to Las Vegas and continued to Kansas where got into the state of affairs. I’m in now. No clip for more” ( Capote. 276 ) . He can’t think clearly which shows in his authorship. He besides. writes like he thinks. He lacks order and coherency. While in gaol. Perry thinks he is insane. He plans to get away with the aid of a couple work forces. but when they don’t show up outside his window he wonders if he made them up. “a impression that he ‘might non be normal. possibly insane’ had troubled him” ( Capote. 265 ) . He even realizes that he might be a schizophrenic. He was unable to separate world from nonentity. So how could he state right from incorrect? To him the violent death was all merely an semblance.

While Perry had a psychological upset. Dick had a character upset. During the trail the psychologist examined Dick and announced his findings in the tribunal room. With Dick. he found “Hickock does demo marks of emotional abnormality” ( Capote. 294 ) . He is non normal. He has had concussions which has likely lead to this character upset. While speaking with Cullivan. Perry explains Dick’s personality. “Dick loves to steal. It’s an emotional thing with him- a sickness…Dick. if he was transporting a hundred dollars in his pocket. he’d steal a stick of gum” ( Capote. 290 ) . Dick had an dependence of stealing. When you are addicted to something you do whatever it takes to acquire what you want. In this instance Dick wasn’t able to easy his dependence because there was nil to steal from the Clutters. By killing the Clutter household and go forthing no informants enabled Dick to go on his dependence.

For illustration. the psychologist in the instance found: “He is a individual who is unprompted in action. likely to make things without idea of effects or future uncomfortableness to himself or others” ( Capote. 295 ) . He couldn’t travel to imprison. If he did. he wouldn’t be able to steal any longer. In add-on. Perry explained how it was an emotional high for himself and Dick. “I think we both felt high… . Very high. and really relieved at the same time” ( Capote. 256 ) . When you feed into someone’s dependence you get this high esthesis. There was no manner Dick could state right from incorrect. His dependence drove him to kill the Clutters. There was no manner he could halt himself. From the above facts it is concluded that both suspects were non cognizant of the offense they were perpetrating every bit good as they were non cognizant of the effects and hence should non have the decease punishment.

Perry and Dick deserve the decease punishment. They were both mentally capable of cognizing what they were making and they knew it was incorrect. First of all. they both preplanned the robbery and killing. Floyd Wells testified in tribunal that “Yes. he told me he would likely bind them up and so rob them and so kill them” ( Capote. 282 ) . They both knew and had clip to believe about what they were traveling to make. They knew it was incorrect and they still went through with it. The psychologist even testified that Dick “… seems to be in good contact with world. He is watchful to what is go oning around him. and he shows no mark of mental confusion or disorientation” ( Capote. 294 ) . This shows that Dick knew what he was making and cognize what the difference between world and nonentity was.

He knew that he would travel to imprison if he killed the Clutters. Besides Dick. Perry besides knew what he was making was incorrect. The tribunal psychologist stated. “He is orientated. hyperalert to things traveling on about him. and shows no marks of confusion” ( Capote. 297 ) . Perry was cognizant of what was traveling on. The psychologist even agreed that he is good cognizant of the events that were traveling on around him and every bit good as cognize the effects. It is so proven that both suspects knew what they were making and knew the effects of their actions. it is hence concluded that they should have the decease punishment for this offense.

In my sentiment. I believe that neither suspect should have the decease punishment. For the simple ground that I do non believe in killing a individual because they killed person. Two wrongs do non do a right and therefore it would non be right to kill Dick and Perry because they killed the Clutter household. If I did non hold this belief I would still state that Dick and Perry do non merit the decease punishment. Perry admitted on page 290 that he was the existent slayer of the Clutter household. Dick ne’er really pulled the trigger. He assisted in the robbery but non in the violent deaths. Therefore Dick should non be put to decease. If anybody it would be Perry.

Perry on the other manus has a mental upset and hence can non be put to decease because of the 8th amendment every bit good as the M’Naghten Rule. Perry should be put in a mental infirmary and if so he does retrieve from his upset he goes to imprison for life without the possibility of word. Dick on the other manus goes to imprison with the possibility of word. This universe may non be merely but we can non penalize the 1s who can non decode between merely and unfair.

It is really tragic the Clutter household had to be murdered for literaly nil. Dick and Perry murdered an guiltless household in hopes of going rich. It was clearly shown that Perry has a mental upset and hence can non be tried for capital penalty. Dick on the other manus does non hold a mental upset. but he is non the 1 who pulled the trigger that killed the Clutter household and hence besides can non be tried for capital penalty. It is clear that both Dick and Perry need to be punished. but to penalize person who can non decode right from incorrect is cold. In add-on. to penalize person who did non lend to the deceases is un-American and against our whole legal system. That is why it is clip to make the right things and penalize these two work forces harmonizing to their actions and saneness. Although it is clear that Perry committed the offense it is besides clear he suffers from a mental upset. On the other manus Dick is sane but didn’t pull the trigger. Both liquidators do non merit the decease punishment and hence can non be tried for capital penalty.

Cite this Ethics of Punishment on Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” Sample

Ethics of Punishment on Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” Sample. (2017, Jul 19). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/ethics-of-punishment-essay-on-truman-capotes-in-cold-blood-essay-sample-3627/

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