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In Cold Blood - Law and Morality


            ´╗┐Discuss how the book handles the relationship between law and morality with respect to the following: the death penalty; the insanity defense (M'Naghten vs. Durham rule); Perry's reckoning with organised religion.
             Is the law based on morality? Plato said that morality stems from Natural Law - this existed in prehistoric times and included unspoken agreements such as "I won't kill you, and you won't kill me," or "I'll help you, and you'll help me" and these concepts have evolved, as humans have. It seems that somebody, at one point in history, decided what is right and wrong, how people should behave. Laws enforce those expectations and rules based on what is right or wrong. Truman Capote investigates the relationship between law and morality in his non-fiction novel In Cold Blood using the death penalty, insanity plea and a reckoning with organised religion.
             Why do governments kill people to show other people that killing people is wrong? Humanity becomes associated with murderers when it replicates their deeds. Would society allow rape as the penalty for rape or the burning of arsonists' homes as the penalty for arson? Murder by the state and murder by a criminal. Ultimately the same act, yet one act is justifiable and the other is completely unacceptable. Capital punishment therefore becomes a consistent cycle of death and homicide that generally, people are obliviously okay with. Whether our acceptance is because of our desire to see eradicators pay for their immoral crime or that the assent has been drilled into our minds is unknown.
             However, with deep thought, the internal battle will begin. Is it morally passable for us to kill a person and call it justice or should it be our morals that force us to disagree with this allowable crime. Truman Capote explores this idea in his non-fiction book In Cold Blood. Capote skillfully manipulates the responder's sympathies against the simple rule of law and show how these entities do not sufficiently respond to the moral demands of the Clutter murders.


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