Capital Punishment, Essay

1057 words - 4 pages

Death Penalty A major controversy facing the world today is capital punishment. Differences in language and purpose can be seen in two opposing articles. Both sides of the argument have solid cases and bring in ideas that make the reader hesitate and take another look. Both sides of the argument appeal to the audiences' emotion and moral beliefs. The proponents discuss how it is almost our duty, to eliminate these vicious criminals from our society. On the other hand the opponents of the death penalty, argue that it is not ours or any other human beings right to act as God and take another persons life for any reason.The main argument portrayed in the oppositions' case, Lethal Objection, is that execution is irreversible. As Charles Lane expresses his feelings to people who support the death penalty he tells how if someone is executed and the government later finds out the person was innocent there is no way to make up for the mistake. By showing how innocent people can be wrongly accused and punished, Lane appeals to the audiences' emotion. This fact scares people because they feel sorry for the wrongly accused and also worry about the possibility of it happening to them or someone they know.Lane also says, "To assume this Godlike power of deciding whether a person should live or die, the state should possess Godlike wisdom. But cops, judges and jurors are only human." He believes that the choice of using the death penalty to punish criminals is guided by feeling of revenge and that these feelings can cause us to rush into the execution of the wrong person. This makes the reader reexamine their feelings and ask what right do we have to take another persons life. It also makes the reader aware that these decisions are sometimes made based on the feeling of revenge. Lane's main reason for not wanting the death penalty is because he feels the state can not act as an enraged husband. This is true in a way, but the state does not really act as an enraged husband by executing a criminal by either lethal injection or electric chair.Lane also uses logic when presenting his opinion. He states that since 1993, seventeen people who were sentenced to death have had their convictions thrown out on appeals or have been retried and acquitted. This is his evidence of how mistakes can occur and innocent people can accidentally be executed. By examining this statement Lane twists this fact in a manner to appeal to his argument. By saying that these seventeen people have had their convictions thrown out on appeals or have been retried and acquitted, he makes you believe that these people were innocent and almost executed. The real truth though is that by the state letting these people go does not necessarily mean they are innocent. Lane is very persuasive in this essay and uses these facts to shock the reader. Lane also states, "Only if they first acknowledge the powerful emotional case for executing evil-doers can opponents of capital punishment ever hope...

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