Critical Analysis Of Edward Koch's Essay, "Death And Justice: How Capital Punishment Affirms Life"

962 words - 4 pages

In Edward I. Koch's essay, "Death and Justice: How Capital Punishment Affirms Life", readers view the opinions Koch has toward the death penalty in today's world. Koch reviews a variety of excuses to abolish the death penalty. He argues the importance of the death penalty, as well as, argues excuses of the death penalty opponents. He argues the ethics and politics towards the importance and support of the death penalty. In the following essay readers will see an evaluation of Koch's essay. The evaluation will: contain a brief overview of Koch's essay, state whether or not Koch's arguments were strong and persuasive, and state whether the essay was successful in what it was trying to say.The essay, "Death and Justice", contains several of Koch's arguments toward the death penalty. He begins his arguments by analyzing the statement, "The death penalty is 'barbaric'" (Koch, 715). That alone comes off very strong to readers and he continues to use strong words, such as horrify. He then goes on to compare the death penalty to finding a cure for cancer in order to convince readers that the death penalty is needed in order to tolerate injustice, it was very persuasive and passionate. Moving on to his second argument, Koch goes into talking about how the United States is one of few other countries that even has a death penalty. He goes into using statistics in this argument in order to try to prove his point to readers. This argument was not as strong and passionate as the last one and it wasn't very convincing because all it contained were studies and numbers, which can make the reader become less interested in what the author is trying to say. In Koch's third argument he starts off by saying that, "An innocent person might lie executed by mistake"(Koch, 716). This comes off very strong and persuasive, but then Koch goes into talking about how "Human life deserves special protection, and one of the best ways to guarantee that protection is to assure that convicted murderers do not kill again"(Koch, 716), which is the total opposite of what his first sentence stated. This seems to confuse readers and make them unsure of his arguments.The next argument that Koch has with the death penalty is that he talks about the value of human life. Koch comes off very strong in this argument because of his belief that "by exacting the highest penalty for the taking of human life that we affirm the highest value of human life"(Koch, 717). In Koch's fifth argument readers it seems like it wasn't very necessary to have in the essay because even he says that "This factor no longer seems to be the problem it once was"(Koch, 717). This right away throws readers off because why would it be in...

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