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The argument for superheroes to capture villains alive is that superheroes are already illegally operating as vigilantes and compensating for muggle law enforcement is all they are morally obligated. The burden of dealing with super villains permanently falls squarely on the justice system, not the the superheroes.

The more dangerous super villains are walking, talking weapons of mass destruction and threats to planetary security. They cannot be rehabilitated nor permanently killed. Keeping them in prisons and asylums that might as well be made of wet tissue paper only puts the public at further risk of mass death and destruction. The only reasonable choice is to permanently seal them inside personalized vaults with the most extreme safeguards to prevent breach (e.g. nuclear warheads), a la the SCP Foundation.

However, a world where governments did this would be a world where conventional superhero plots just can't happen. There needs to be a reasonable justification for why governments and the public at large are perfectly comfortable putting their lives and property at such risk every week.

(I originally asked another question similar to this one, but failed to take into account the unpopularity of the death penalty and superhero/villain immortality. When I changed to question to account for this, it ended up making the answers into non-sequitur. I decided that this question was sufficiently different that it qualifies as a separate question, but I really didn't want to because I had bad experiences with asking chameleon questions in the past. I leave it to the mods to decide.)

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    $\begingroup$ Before anyone VTCs this quesiton, please read the final paragraph of this question. $\endgroup$ – Nex Terren Nov 17 '16 at 14:14
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They do, or at least they try to.

Magneto in prison
Consider Magneto's plastic prison (image above) or the containment box for The Juggernaut when we first meet him in the X-men movies which completely immobilised him.

There are other equivalent cases where the containment is perfectly reasonable customised and secure for the person in question, but lacking against the attentions of, or simply being opened by, another equivalent metahuman. You cannot create a prison that's proof against the attentions of any metahuman, you can only focus it to be able to handle a small group or specific individual.

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  • $\begingroup$ Took my answer. I was going to reference the super max prison from Young Justice where the villains even had special collars that suppressed their powers and could not be removed. Still was not enough to stop them. $\endgroup$ – Anketam Nov 17 '16 at 14:00
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One of the tags you have added to the question answers both this and the previous question you asked: Ethics.

By not condemning Supervillians to a permanent "death" (actual death or effective by permanent isolation), your society is reaffirming its moral high ground over these despicable people who would put their own goals above that of the greater good.

The thing about Supervillians is that they (are supposed to, at least) represent what humanity would be if we were morally uninhibited and had the power to exploit it. Yes, there are Supervillians out there that are pure evil and everything they do is for the purpose of causing harm, but most of them are trying to achieve an aim which isn't necessarily bad in its own right, just requires doing to morally despicable things in the process. Things like wanting to rule the world (who doesn't want power?).

If you're going to lock someone up, you're basically saying "You are such that you cannot be part of our society". If you lock someone up temporarily, you're also saying "But we concede that some day you might be". If you permanently seal someone away, you're effectively condemning them to death. How many supervillians are actually immortal? How many of those actually immortal supervillians are ever actually caught?

You could also argue that, in an ideal situation, imprisoning someone for a heinous crime is showing mercy - you're giving them an opportunity to change, by being nicer to them than they are to you. Of course, the prison system in most if not all countries has warped beyond recognition of societal rehabilitation; people are more likely to be negatively affected by prison than positively changed, but a theoretical world could have a theoretically functioning prison system.

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Answer is the sucide squad. The government keeps them locked in vaults but every now and them the need to pull the out and have work in classified missions for the government. This gives them an opportunity to escape. So every now and then one the prisoners escape while on a mission. Since the mission is classified it's covered up by the government. An official story of there of escape from prison is fabrcated

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