What is Capote's opinion on the death penalty, and to what extent does his perspective affect the reader's opinion on the topic? 

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In his groundbreaking "nonfiction novel," Truman Capote expresses an opinion about capital punishment implicitly rather than explicitly. One way in which Capote expresses his disapproval of the death penalty is by humanizing the confessed murderers, Dick Hickock and Perry Smith. While not becoming an overt apologist for them, Capote details the events of their lives that led these two men to enact a horrific quadruple murder on a blameless Kansas farm family. For example, Capote implies that since both Hickock and Smith had suffered brain injuries in automobile accidents, they may have suffered from a diminished capacity to understand what they were doing when they slit Herb Clutter's throat and then shot him, his wife, his son, and his daughter to death.

Besides attempting to build empathy for Hickock and Smith based on the difficulties they had experienced in life, Capote details the shortcomings of the men's defense at their trial. For instance, by not changing the venue of the trial...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 888 words.)

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