Legalization Of The Death Penalty Analysis

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Legalization of the Death Penalty
The death penalty is only legal in some states, and there is much debate over whether or not sentencing criminals to death makes our communities safer. For those against the death penalty, it is understood that executing murderers does not stop other murderers, or make killings more likely. However, on the other side of the argument, those for the death penalty believe that the more severe the penalty, the more criminals will be deterred from committing the crime. In the article, ‘When Murder is Punished with Death, Fewer Criminals Will Murder,’author Jeff Jacoby argues that the death penalty is a good idea because the harsh punishment will make criminals stop and think before committing murder. Jacoby formulates
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He begins with the premise stating, “All penalties have some deterrent effect, and the more severe the penalty, the more it deters,” (Boston Globe, 2016). The author uses examples to back up his strong premises. He relates his claim that if the penalty is more severe, the more the penalty deters crime, by giving a common example of a small crime. He makes the audience think by asking which violation they are less likely to commit, “Let a parking meter expire, and you risk a $20 ticket; park in a handicapped spot and risk a $200 ticket,” (Boston Globe, 2016). He uses this example to get his audience on the same page that if the fine is a higher price, you are less likely to take the risk of breaking that law. Once his audience agrees, he can go on to argue a much more serious matter of life and death. He makes a second premise that “a penalty cannot deter if it is never imposed,” (Boston Globe, 2016). Jacoby validates this argument by explaining how even though California legalized capital punishment, the law is rarely enforced and therefore not useful. He explains that “Only 13 killers have been put to death since 1972,” (Boston Globe, 2016), to show how rarely the law is used. This argument ties in with his previous argument that more severe penalties have more deterrent effects. All of his premises are backed up with factual evidence and examples to which the audience can easily …show more content…
He leads up to this premise that the more severe the penalty, the more deterrent the effects by first stating the claims of the opposition. He begins by noting how in support of Proposition 62, the California ballot initiative to repeal the death penalty, former El Dorado county supervisor Ron Briggs made the “tiresomely familiar claim” (Boston Globe, 2016), stating his position that the death penalty is not safer for the communities and does not deter crime in any way. He also states how the death penalty opponents believe that using death as a punishment does not make killings more likely, then quickly refutes their claim by adding “never mind a thick sheaf of peer reviewed academic studies refutes the abolitionists’ beliefs, as, of course, does common sense,” (Boston Globe, 2016). He recognizes his opponent’s side, however he follows their claim with logic that proves the argument of the other side to be invalid. After noting the other sides’ claim that the death penalty doesn’t deter killings, he refutes this argument once again by getting the audience into the same mindset. He claims that it is invalid to say that the death penalty does not make California communities safer if the death penalty has rarely been in use in California and “endless legal appeals and procedures have made executions, for all intents and purposes, impossible,” (Boston

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