Did Socrates deserve the punishment of death for his supposed crimes? Probably not. Was the execution a good thing? Socrates apparently thought so. Socrates had the chance to escape execution when friend bribed the prison guards, who were willing to allow him to walk away. However, Socrates had several reasons for not doing so. As a citizen of Athens, he believed he had an obligation to abide by its laws, and he thought that escaping would break this honorable code. He also believed that he would be perceived as fearing death, which he did not. According to Xenophon, he thought he would "be better off dead." Socrates had at least two reasons for believing this: One, he would not have to go through the aging process, which he considered demeaning to the human body as well as the thought processes; and two, he believed that his position as a "gadfly" to Athens politics--like the fly whose sting spurs the horse into action--would make Athens' citizens and politicians take greater action to better his country.