Does being a criminal necessarily mean a person is
evil? This is an interesting question, in which
there are many different opinions. This is not a
straight yes or no answer. To have a debate on an
issue like this we should first define the word
evil. The dictionary defines evil as being:
Morally reprehensible, sinful, wicked
(Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary). People
who say that a criminal isnt necessarily evil
might be thinking like this: If a poor person went
into a store and stole food for his family that
was starving on the streets, and got caught, he
would be considered a criminal. But, not many
people would consider this person to be evil.
After all, he was just trying to help his family
survive by any means necessary.
Other examples of
things that would make a person a criminal are
such things as swimming in a no swimming area, or
not paying taxes or doing drugs. Most of these
people would never be considered to be evil. On
the other hand, is someone who kills another
person considered evil? The person who said that a
criminal is not always evil, might say that a
murderer is always evil. The other side of this
argument is the opinion that all criminals are
evil. If I happened to go up to someone and ask
them if all criminals are evil, and the person
answered yes, I would then have to ask the person
what he/she considers a criminal to be. This
persons mind most likely will automatically think
along the lines of murderer, rapist, etc.
dont think that there is much of an argument to
the question: Does being a criminal necessarily
mean a person is evil? I do think, however, that
there is definitely a debate as to whether or not
a murderer is always evil, and whether or not
murder is always wrong. I do not believe that all
murderers are evil. If a woman had been getting
beaten and battered by her husband, and one day
just couldnt take it anymore, and killed her
husband, I wouldnt consider her to be evil. Does
that make the fact that she killed her husband
right? No, of course not. But, I dont think that
she is an evil person. In the book that we just
completed In Cold Blood, we learned about a
character named Perry.
Perry didnt seem to be a
violent, evil man. I dont think anyone could
characterize him as being morally reprehensible,
or wicked. When Perry is describing his dream, it
is obvious that he is not an evil person. In his
dream, he is describing what seems to be the truth that he is being forced to do something that he
doesnt really want to do. He says: I dont know how
to fight a snake. But I figure, well, Ill take my
chances (Capote, p.92).
It seems from that passage
that the killer isnt really an evil person.
Another example of how Dick influenced Perry was
in the following passage: You think I like myself?
Oh, the man I could have been! But that bastard
never game me a chance (Capote, p.185). From that
passage, we see that Perry regrets the killings.
Dick, on the other hand never seemed to regret it.
An example of an evil person, in my opinion, is
Dick. The author writes: (Dick) Hickock tells us
youre a natural-born killer. Says it doesnt bother
you a bit…you went after a colored man with a
bicycle chain. Whipped him to death. For fun..
see that Dick actually told the cops all this
about Perry. That, to me is an evil person. What
if we have the opportunity to kill Hitler? If
killing is wrong, then should we not kill at all?
Not even Hitler? I dont know about other people,
but assuming I had the guts to pull that trigger,
he wouldve been dead long before he murdered
millions of innocent people! Another example of a
murderer not being evil is someone who is insane,
who kills. That person may have done an evil deed,
but that doesnt mean that he is necessarily an
evil person. In closing, I would have to say that
a person who commits a crime isnt necessarily
evil, no matter the crime. To figure out if a
criminal is evil, we would have to find out his
motive and other factors before making a decision..
Research essay sample on Evaluating Criminals Actions As Being Evil As Well As Unjust