The Penalty of Death by H.L. Mencken | Major English | Class 12

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‘The Penalty of Death’ is an essay written by H.L. Mencken. In this essay he supports of the death penalty. He believes that the capital punishment is a very good thing of any justice. Mencken believes that the death penalty should be given those who take the lives of other and challenging all civilized order or break the rule. He delicious three reasons for Tye support view of about capital punishment. They are given below,

  •  pleasantness of ancient art, 
  • deterrence, 
  • and katharsis.

He catches the idea of abolitionists’ or that the job of a hangman punished is unpleasant. He says that there are many more jobs which are unpleasant such as the job of soldier, sweeper, plumber and so on. However, those jobs are essential for society. According to him, a hangman is satisfied to practice his ancient craft or also it is necessary for community. Mencken says that capital punishment helps to provide safety in people’s lives. Because it stops for those who assassinate and murdering again. It also prevents possible murderers who ever commit the crime.

The third or last reason the writer delivers is the strongest of all. He says that the major reason for death punishment is to give Katharsis to the victims’ family, and society in general. Katharsis refers to the healthy release of emotions, grief, hatred and anger. It presents that through the punishment victims and family can get sudden emotional and mental satisfaction. It also provides a feeling of safety, security and mental peace to the public of the relevant society.

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