Hypocrisy Of Murder In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

655 Words3 Pages

Truman Capote’s classic true crime novel, In Cold Blood, examines the definitions of murder and capital punishment and questions whether any form of death or act of aggression is justifiable. The book documents the vicious murders of the Clutter family from the small town of Holcomb, the execution of the two men that killed them, and the antipathy surrounding the community’s response to these men. By painting a candid portrait of the murderers and the reactions of the town, Capote brings light to the irony and hypocrisy of death as an antidote to death. In the context of this novel, the phrase “in cold blood” is shown through these crimes by the lack of empathy and moral qualms involved in both of these killings. With this explanation in mind, …show more content…

However, their hanging is definable as murder due to the premeditation of those responsible for their deaths. In regards to the crimes committed and the fact that the victims were well-loved community members, the jury felt as though these criminals’ actions merited their execution. However, if one strips the cloak of law from these citizens, the reasoning behind these hangings is incited by malice and a belief in the necessity of the deaths of these men. Consequently, in a court of law, no intentional killing is justifiable; a murder is a murder, regardless of circumstances. Nonetheless, a juror states during the voir dire examination, “Ordinarily I’m against [capital punishment]. But in this case, no,” which firmly shows a sense of forethought and a belief that the perpetrators’ deaths are valid and just (273). If this is the attitude of the jurors themselves, then this conviction is done in contradiction to the values that the American justice system itself values above all …show more content…

Proof of this shows in the attitude of the audience during the executions who refer to the “festivities” of the hangings (338). These investigators and witnesses casually chat and laugh about Hickock’s sense of humor, what the prisoners chose for their last meals, and the rain in an extremely disrespectful fashion considering that killings, acts that they considered so vile when they transpire in relation to someone they loved, were about to take place before their eyes. Another instance of the severe compassionless intentionality of the hangings is evidenced by head investigator of the Clutter case after Perry makes his confession when the text explains, “He found it possible to look at the man beside him without anger….[His] sympathy, however, was not deep enough to accommodate either forgiveness or mercy. He hoped to see Perry and his partner hanged….”(246). Consequently, a hypocritical lack of mercy and explicit desire for their deaths reveals how the murders are

Open Document