Evaluate Argument In "Watch It" Article Concerning Capital Punishment

816 words - 3 pages

Cecilia Evaluate Andrew Sullivan's argument in his article "Watch It" In the article, Watch It, Andrew Sullivan argues that a society that accepts capital punishment as part of its justice system should be prepared to watch the executions it condones. Sullivan's basic message is that if people are not prepared to witness murderers being put to death, then they should question the rationale for having executions in the first place. To support his argument, Sullivan analyses several premises which underpin the current decision in the USA not to televise the execution of Timothy McVeigh. In order to evaluate Sullivan's argument, his points related to the televising of an execution, for everyone to see, will be considered.Sullivan's first point related to televising the McVeigh execution concerns the fact that, in a way, it will be televised. Attorney General, John Ashcroft, has allowed the execution to be televised for the families of the victims. From Sullivan's point of view, this is "a curious enough arrangement". However, unfortunately Sullivan does not explain why he considers this arrangement curious. As a reader, one can only surmise that the idea that the families would watch the execution at all may seem strange, but that they would watch it on television, rather than witness it personally, seems even stranger. Had Sullivan expanded on this point, his own views would have been more clear.However, Sullivan goes on to make a stronger, related point about televising the execution. Through the provision of five examples of "our transparent media culture" he argues that it is "truly bizarre" that though the families will be allowed to witness the execution on television, the rest of the country will not be allowed to watch. This point is well made as the examples provided show how the society has grown to accept morally questionable events as legitimate content for television shows. The idea that families can sit down and watch live action of sado-masochistic lovers, drug dealers, bank-robbers and wife-beaters prompts the reader to ask the question "Why not an execution?". This is exactly Sullivan's point. However, one could argue that the examples he provides are a step or two away from watching someone being put to death. In this way, Sullivan's argument could be seen to be suspect but it does raise the question of why...

Find Another Essay On Evaluate Argument In "Watch It" - Article Concerning Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment, Injustice of Society. Argument supporting it

1395 words - 6 pages the victim's family.'(Grisham 120) Realistically, imposing the death penalty is expensive and time consuming. Retroactively, it has yet to be proven as a deterrent. Morally, it is a continuation of the cycle of violence and '...degrades all who are involved in its enforcement, as well as its victim.'(Stewart 1)Perhaps the most frequent argument for capital punishment is that of deterrence. The prevailing thought is that imposition of the death

A Non-Pacifist Argument Against Capital Punishment

2756 words - 11 pages irreversible, or (3) Capital punishment is ineffective because killing is not a deterrent to killing. I propose to argue instead that capital punishment is immoral because of the kind of killing it is, rather than because it is a kind of killing simpliciter. This is a specifically moral argument, but it differs from the usual pacifist argument in that it does not assert or depend upon the claim that all killing is immoral. Herbert H. Haines has

Against Capital Punishment : A Researched Argument

1691 words - 7 pages simple such as marrying a Jew, not confessing to a crime, and treason. It wasn't until 1767 however, that Caesar Beccaria wrote an influential essay that theorized that there was no justification for the state's taking of a life. This came for the abolition of the death penalty in Austria and Tuscany. American intellectuals were also influenced by Beccaria. Jefferson took notice on the issue and proposed a bill that capital punishment should only be

Capital Punishment - Is it required?

2038 words - 8 pages Looking out for the state of the public's satisfaction in the scheme of capital sentencing does not constitute serving justice. Today's system of capital punishment is fraught with inequalities and injustices. The commonly offered arguments for the death penalty are filled with holes. 'It was a deterrent. It removed killers. It was the ultimate punishment. It is biblical. It satisfied the public's need for retribution. It relieved the anguish of

Capital Punishment, Is It Ethical?

833 words - 4 pages to, the death penalty. No other form of legal punishment in the United States raises more moral or ethical questions than the subject of capital punishment. Both sides of the argument over the death penalty are very polarized in their stance on the issue with little or no middle ground found in the ongoing debate. In general the main arguments of both sides center around whether or not the death penalty can be regarded as just, whether the death

Capital Punishment in America

2723 words - 11 pages years from now you’re going to get a time out for this the effect is completely lost in time. In an article called Death Penalty Deters Murders, Studies Say it says that capital punishment in fact does deter murders. Although these studies have been ignored over the years, in this article it states that between three and eighteen lives could have been saved by the execution of each killer. Studies done by a professor at the University of Colorado

Capital Punishment in America.

1773 words - 7 pages The death penalty is a highly controversial topic in the United States. The death penalty is the taking of a life by the government for crimes. It has been around for thousands of years, since the ancient Babylonians, and has been used numerous times in history as a deterrent for crimes usually involving murder (Caldwell 597). Capital punishment is beneficial to society not only because it deters crime, but also helps the economy, prevents the

Capital Punishment in America

1816 words - 7 pages through leading up to execution. I cannot really say that the movie was pro or anti death penalty because I think it covered both sides well. In “Dead Man Walking” the justice system was right, and they executed the right man. However, in reality our system isn’t always right and sometimes mistakes are made. Although I don’t think that capital punishment is the perfect solution to our crime problem, I do think that it is necessary. I support

Capital Punishment – Is It The Right Sentence?

1286 words - 5 pages consequence is actually a great deterrent to crime. One additional argument is that the death penalty saves taxpayer money by reducing the costs associated with a lifelong sentence of rehabilitation. For these reasons, should the death penalty continue to be upheld in 35 of 50 states, or should capital punishment be nationally eliminated? Capital Punishment should be eliminated as form of punishment or reprimand. It is simply not the right sentence to

Capital Punishment: Should it be Legal?

1045 words - 4 pages Capital Punishment: Should it be Legal? After the Timothy McVeigh execution over 80 percent of viewers polled supported the decision the courts made to put McVeigh to death, and even a handful of the people who supported the execution thought it was preformed in a way that was too humane. Some people say that the death penalty is the most effective way to control serious crimes such as murder, while others say that it is extremely unethical

Capital Punishment: Is It Right or Wrong?

2149 words - 9 pages Capital Punishment is a controversial topic discussed in today's society. There is a heated debate on whether states should be able to kill other humans or not. People that are in favor of the death penalty say that it saves money by not paying for housing in a maximum prison. Those opposed say that it is against the constitution, and is cruel and unusual punishment for humans to be put to his or her death. I believe that the death penalty is

Similar Essays

Argument For Capital Punishment Essay

1097 words - 4 pages capital punishment, but for this essay, the focus shall just be on those two crimes. A few may bring about the argument that capital punishment is just punishing murder with murder. On the contrary, capital punishment is not murder; it works more like a self-defense for everyone else. If capital punishment is wrong, is killing in self-defense to prevent harm to you wrong also? The basic idea behind capital punishment is in fact self-defense

Argument For Capital Punishment Essay

945 words - 4 pages Argument for Capital Punishment If it were up to me, every murderer in this country would be put behind bars on death row and have their life taken from them just as they took the life of another. The guidelines of " an eye for an eye" go back thousands of years. Many countries still hold true to these guidelines. Although America doesn't follow the same as these countries, I believe when it comes to murder, they should. Putting people

Argument Against Capital Punishment Essay

1384 words - 6 pages unforgiveness? The United States surpasses those barbaric ways, with its exceedingly advanced ways and state-of-the-art technology, yet it’s one of the only countries left of the Western world that still has a death penalty in place. Capital punishment is flawed in its ability to allow further development; today there are so many factors concerning proper sentencing, charges can always be appealed. “[Capital punishment's] imposition is often

Argument Against Capital Punishment Essay

1467 words - 6 pages Protected under the Constitution, “No person shall be deprived of his or her LIFE, liberty, and property under Due Process of law.” These fundamental rights, primarily LIFE, apply to capital punishment- the death penalty. For years, the Court has deliberated decisions in regards to the death penalty and countless times they have overthrown previous decisions. This in no way means laws, under the Constitution, have changed; however, the Court and