Edward Koch Death And Justice Analysis

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“Death and Justice”: The Art of Persuasion Regarding Capital Punishment For as long as anyone can remember, the death penalty has often been a topic of controversy that can be sensitive to talk about. The article, “Death and Justice” by Edward I. Koch, published in the New Republic in April of 1985, discusses the aforementioned matter with regards to why he believed it was necessary in the time and age for crimes such as murder to face dire consequences. Koch was a renowned leader and the mayor of New York City for 11 years, and strongly believed in capital punishment. The main audience that he had hoped to address with the article were those who at the time may have been skeptical, unaware of why the death penalty was needed, or even opposed …show more content…
It is crucial that the audience is willing to trust what Koch is saying and take into consideration the arguments he is making. An example of the well-executed use of ethos can be found towards the beginning of the article, where he introduces himself and talks about his many years of experience, stating, “During my 22 years in public service, I have heard the pros and cons of capital punishment… As a district leader; councilman, congressman, and mayor, I have represented constituencies generally thought of as liberal” (320). The reader is given the understanding that Koch is knowledgeable regarding a controversial topic such as the death penalty considering what an important figure he was in state of New York. After spending so much time around criminal justice and anti-crime campaigns, it’s only natural he found himself for the death penalty. Seeing as the audience may not agree with him at first, they also may feel as though they are able to trust him and what he has to say after reading about his qualifications, given he was the mayor for such a long time, which gives the implication that voters believed he excelled at what he did and re-elected him time after time. When he expresses in detail the amount of time that he has spent in the eye of the public, as well as representing …show more content…
He uses the argument to strengthen his own claim, by saying that instead of it being a valid reason for ending the death penalty, if seen from a different perspective, it is even more justification for extending it. He expresses that “The appeals process for a condemned prisoner is lengthy and painstaking. Every effort is made to see that the verdict and sentence were fairly arrived at” (323). This goes to show that the discrimination factor of the death penalty is no longer the main problem, as the state maintains standards as to how the decision is made and why. Koch explains the unrighteousness of those who may be accused not being held accountable simply because of a few who are speculated to be “favored”, as justice also falls under equality, no matter the circumstance. With this information clarified and presented to the audience logically, it’s impossible to arguably dispute what is known to be factual, thus making them more likely to be inclined to agree with what he has said. As a whole, readers are much more influenced by Koch and this may be a turning point within their mind. He acknowledges the counter argument’s point of view and why people may believe that, and then explains why he believes this is wrong and provides evidence and support. This gets the reader’s attention because what they believe is the counter

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