Thursday, July 02, 2015

Why doesn't Gotham kill the Joker?

Here’s the deal.

The Joker has been captured by Batman, and then turned over and imprisoned by the ‘authorities’.

Its pretty obvious that Gotham has a death penalty.

So, instead of asking why *Batman* doesn’t execute the Joker, we should ask why *the state* is unwilling to use the ultimate sanction against The Joker when they’ve been willing to do so against lesser criminals.

The Joker’s insane, sure – but that’s not how an insanity defense works. To work a successful insanity plea you have to show that the defendant is incapable of *understanding the import of his crimes*. The Joker is fully aware of what he does, that its considered ‘wrong’, and he’s completely mentally competent enough to understand what’s happening in the trial and the consequences of his actions.

There is no way in hell that The Joker (in the real world) stays in Arkham for longer than it is necessary for a psychologist to interview him and declare him competent (not *sane*, just competent) to stand trial.

*During* the trial, The Joker can bring up insanity as an affirmative defense of his actions – but that’s an uphill battle and still hinges on him not, at the time of commission, understanding the import of what he was doing.

If the state was doing the job the taxpayers *pay* it to do, The Joker situation would have been resolved decades ago.

Really, given Gotham’s poor follow-up to Batman rounding up the criminals that the police don’t have the capability to apprehend, he should just figure that Gothamites simply don’t care enough about their own safety and freedom to be worth defending.

He should simply walk away – but he’s more than a little insane himself.

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