Originally Posted by willpell
Strongly disagree. Anyone who wants to keep the "Good" label, and not be in the Punisher's category of barely-non-antisociality, DOES NOT deny a villain the option of choosing to reform, make restitution and eventually be redeemed by doing more good than they previously have done evil. Every person that the Joker kills is solely to be blamed only on the Joker and not ever on anyone else who could have theoretically killed them. After all, you could prevent all future murders by just killing everybody (which is precisely Judge Death's logic, IIRC). Past behavior is not indicative of future possibilities; anyone could wake up with a different alignment overnight, so you always should work to prevent crimes AS they happen, not randomly execute anyone that you think MIGHT commit a crime later, even if you think that because of a long history of previous crimes (nor is capital punishment ever anything but thinly-disguised vengeance). Heroism is NOT about expedient, "get it over with" solutions. It is about accepting the risk that things may go wrong, and assuming personal responsibility for stopping that wrongness AS it happens. The correct solution is not for Batman to kill the Joker, it is for him to turn Gotham's run-of-the-mill criminals over to Robin and Huntress and so forth, and spend the rest of his life watching Joker 24/7 like a hawk, and making sure his natural lifespan exceeds Joker's or that he finds a replacement to take over the vigil otherwise.
Capital punishment is for crimes you really don't want committed- it's a strong disincentive.
Plus you whole "always give the villain a second chance" is so silly and non-sensical. The protagonists just slaughtered their way through a bunch of nameless guards (who, if you think about it, just have a day jobs to support the wife and kids), then you get to the top of the volcano lair and beat up the villain, and now for some reason you're supposed to spare them? The mastermind, the one who is genuinely evil, after killing all those guys who just happened to be working there.
Of course when you turn around, the spared villain reaches for the gun but then you kick him into a pit of lava and quip something pithy.
I guess that would make a great storyline for a 80s action movie, but I really hope goblins doesn't do something so cliched, inane, and morally senseless.