The Killing Joke

Even though his methods lie outside the law, Batman’s “no kill” policy makes him an easy ally to Gotham’s police force.  In a city gone mad, he refuses to give in to the chaos.  But when it comes to a psychopath like Joker, is it really ethical for Batman to let him live?

Arkham Asylum must have some revolving door policy that Batman must not know about.  Joker always gets out to kill again.  Batman has to know this.  He’s a fucking detective for shit’s sake!  He’s got to notice that Arkham’s walls don’t hold Joker and Arkham’s rehabilitation program doesn’t fucking work.  It’s clear that Batman doesn’t believe the law can’t do its job.  Otherwise, he’d let the Gotham PD chase the freaks while he sits at home sipping tea.  Why he would trust them to keep Joker in jail is beyond me.  By letting Joker live, Batman is perpetuating a cycle of murder.

Of course from a straight up practical sense, should Batman kill anyone, he ceases to be an asset to the Gotham DP.  They can’t have a killer on their somewhat unorthodox roster of costumed vigilantes.  But being a clever boy, I’m sure Bats could figure out a way to end Joker’s life without doing the deed directly.

It’s possible that Batman thinks he can save the Joker, that somehow the Joker will turn over a new leaf or learn the error of his ways or something.  But if that’s the case, Batman does jack all to see it through.  No hospital visits, no hiring of expert psychologists with that Wayne money, no payment for experimental medication to calm Joker’s madness.  Just some chrome bracelets and a padded cell.

Should Batman end Joker or let him live knowing that he’ll eventually escape to kill again?