The death penalty for both Perry Smith and Dick Hickock was for the best. Having them dead meant peace to the public and justice for their crime. They have carried out other offenses in their time such as check fraud and theft.
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Though they were both wounded in accidents they were still sane enough to know they were in the wrong. As for the series of events that involved the Clutters, Hickock and Smith planned out the burglary and even added no witnesses. They are a dangerous and needed to be hung, especially since the only other choice is 15 years in prison with parole. Having them out and about will only fuel the community’s fear of not knowing if they could be the next to go.
No matter how it’s looked at, Hickock and Smith are a threat and a danger to the public. They did not just commit simple burglary and check frauds, but also perpetrated capital murder. At one point they planned to rob another victim, Mr. Bells, of his belongings and his life. If they can go and execute another citizen then there is proof that they will not do it again. This unpredictability will make it hard for pedestrians to live safely when Hickock and Smith are on the loose. There is probability of Hickock and Smith to commit another crime, or even another murder, and even possibly be able to get away with it. 15 years in prison will not completely change their way of thinking, there is a possibility that it will but it could also let them see where they messed up. The death penalty was necessary for Hickock and Smith because their mental state was competent enough to stand trial, they would most likely be tempted to escape, and they had a high chance of being rearrested.
Hickock and Smith were competent enough to be able to stand trial according to psychologist.
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