The Penalty Of Death Mencken Analysis

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Henry Louis Mencken argues the two most commonly heard arguments against capital punishment in his essay “The Penalty of Death”. Mencken believes that the death penalty is a form of “katharsis” for the immediate victims of the crime. Katharsis being a release of healthy steam. He states that criminal punishment is not solely for deterring other criminals of similar crime, but to give a peace of mind to the society that has been wronged. Mencken also argues the complaint of “that of a hangman is a dreadful business” (463). Yet, not one complaint from an executioner has been heard. However, Mencken feels that what is wrong is the putting off of the punishment. He argues that drawing out the death penalty for weeks, months, and even years is unnecessarily

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