Ironically, the turning point came in "Joker Walks the Last Mile" (Detective Comics #64), when the Joker was actually executed in the electric chair only to be chemically revived by henchmen.While the Joker was back, he was decidedly less deadly than previous engagements.
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Originally conceived as an evil "court-jester" type, the character was initially rejected by studio writer Bill Finger as being "too clownish," but he later relayed the idea to Bob Kane.
Kane, who started out as a gag artist, loved the concept and encouraged its production.
At this point, the editors decided that only one-shot villains should commit murder, so as to not make Batman look impotent in his inability to punish such recurring foes as the Joker or the Penguin.
As the Batman comics softened their tone, the Joker shifted towards a harmless, cackling nuisance.