With the amount of super villains roaming the streets of Gotham and the massive body count that inevitably follows in their wake, has the death sentence ever been introduced to try and handle the crime epidemic?

Incarceration doesn't seem to work as [ insert any super villain's name here * ] escapes ArKham / Blackgate whenever he / she feels like it.

Have we ever seen the death sentence put to use in Gotham, even for a short period of time?

enter image description here * Extra points if you can tell me who that guy is on the left, in front of Killer Croc and behind Scarecrow in that rogue's gallery picture

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    After googling the extremely advanced phrase "batman villain armour knight helmet", that guy seems to be Prometheus. Aug 12, 2015 at 14:29
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    It's worth mentioning that "breakouts" from Arkham aren't as common as people like to joke. Between adventures, most of the villains are locked up for months or years at a time, and in many cases they're voluntarily released, either after "rehabilitation" (common in Batman: The Animated Series) or due to some scheme or legal loophole (such as Scarecrow's testimony in Batman Begins, recruitment into the Suicide Squad, etc).
    – Nerrolken
    Aug 12, 2015 at 14:45

1 Answer 1


Yes, the death sentence has been put to use in Gotham.

In comics;

In The Joker: Devil's Advocate, The Joker is sentenced to death, clearly indicating that in the comics, Gotham had (for at least some time) a death penalty.

In film;

After Bane successfully holds Gotham to ransom in the Christopher Nolan film The Dark Knight Rises, Dr Jonathan Crane (AKA The Scarecrow) seems to become some kind of judge and jury in a kangaroo court where Gotham's officials are tried.

When found guilty, defendants are offered the choice of exile or death. No matter which option is selected, the "guilty" party is then forced to walk across thin ice, inevitably leading to them freezing/drowning to death. As such, Dr Crane is giving the guilty parties a death sentence no matter which option they choose.

Additionally, after googling the extremely advanced phrase "batman villain armour knight helmet", the guy you ask about in the picture seems to be Prometheus.

  • I realise that both a) you may be looking for non-Nolan universe answers and b) that this may not count anyway. Vote as appropriate. Aug 12, 2015 at 14:35
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    You're right about the non-Nolan universe answer, but this is still a good answer.
    – Daft
    Aug 12, 2015 at 14:44
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    @Daft I haven't read it, but The Dark Knight Rises is based in part on the No Man's Land story arc that sees Gotham seperated from the rest of the US after an Earthquake and deals with super-villains claiming parts of the city for themselves. It could be that something similar to Dr Crane imposing the death penalty happens in these comics. Aug 12, 2015 at 15:04
  • @Daft Found an instance of the use of the death penalty in the comics. Aug 12, 2015 at 15:20
  • Gotham City is in New Jersey, which had the death penalty until 2007. Aug 17, 2015 at 17:22

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