Corporal Punishment In Bring Back Flogging By Jeff Jacoby

923 Words 4 Pages
In today’s society, debates over what to do about overcrowded prisons are not uncommon. While a life sentence is often seen as more humane than the death penalty, it also takes up space in the prisons, and therefore tax dollars. However, in this effort, crime has less of a deterrent in the absence of practices that are now considered barbaric, such as whipping. In response, Jeff Jacoby, in his essay “Bring Back Flogging”, argues an unpopular, but potentially problem-solving, point of view; he asserts that corporal punishment should be re-adopted by the United States. To accomplish this, he specifically targets popular counterarguments to showcase his powerful logical backing. In addition, his inclusion of specific historical cases of corporal …show more content…
In order to present a logical argument, Jacoby chooses to use refutation as the bulk of his argument, rather than simply explaining and risking the chance of forgetting to address an important counterpoint. For example, in his fifth paragraph, Jacoby targets the argument that imprisonment makes cities safe, and refutes it by citing how unlikely a prison term is for murderers and burglars. For the next four paragraphs, Jacoby follows the same concise format: cite the counter-argument, refute with a logical explanation and statistics. By following this format, Jacoby strengthens his unpopular argument by turning commonly held beliefs on their heads, allowing the reader to be more …show more content…
Obviously, arguing that whipping people is a tough task. However, when Jacoby attempts it, there is no consistent emotional connection, it is simply sprinkled throughout the paper. The first time he makes a case for the humanity of corporal punishment is his juxtaposition of our society’s “humane” standards and the reality of our system: “Now we practice a more enlightened, more humane way of disciplining wrongdoers: We lock them up in cages” (Jacoby 2). By including “humane” and “enlightened” only to compare them directly to “lock[ing] them up in cages”, Jacoby points out the irony in how flawed the justice system is. However, he loses this persona that he seeks to be humane to and protect criminals when he goes on to characterize criminals that get out of prison as “more ruthless and savvy than when they entered” on the same page. Although he does end by citing statistics of inmate rape and an argument that prison is as brutal, the three main emotional appeals are spread out; they seem awkwardly placed when he suggests to publicly whip them in the paragraph just before (Jacoby 3). In short, his consideration for inmates appears to be included only because he needed to address a counter-argument, not because he truly cares about making sure inmates are treated fairly. This is due to the fact that his argument is inherently based upon the beliefs that inmates do not deserve better treatment due to their crimes, making his

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