Essay about Death And Justice : How Capital Punishment Affirms Life

1348 Words Nov 30th, 2015 6 Pages
In 1985, The New Republic published Edward I. Koch’s essay entitled “Death and Justice: How Capital Punishment Affirms Life.” This essay 's purpose was to sway readers towards a perspective that affirms the morality and validity of capital punishment. While the article seems effective at first glance, upon further inspection the holes in its message became clear. For this very reason, Koch’s essay, aside from a few valid points, loses much of its effectiveness because of its errors, logical fallacies, and argumentative mistakes.
Throughout his article, Koch combines emotional stories while countering arguments people who oppose the death penalty may have. He begins with two reports of convicted felons, Robert Lee Willie and Joseph Carl Shaw, and their final words before being put to death. Next, he establishes the time and thought he has put into his decision and the credibility with which he, mayor of New York, gives this essay. He goes on to address seven popular arguments commonly used against the death penalty. These points include the cruelty of capital punishment, the value it puts on human life, and the death penalty 's effectiveness. Koch refutes each passing objection with facts, stats, and tales of woe to prove his point. It is with this method that Koch defends the use of capital punishment.
Although Koch’s work has some valid points, he also weakens his argument by contradicting himself. Koch has just finished telling the reader about two convicted murderers who…

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