There are not many issues that come to mind that have had the same effect on societal divides as has the issue regarding the death penalty. Debates swirling around the grounds of whether to abolish it or not has long since divided society on different beliefs in America, resulting in a concept that stirred up countless numbers of arguments and valid points. People’s outlooks on the issue have varied on situations involving the death penalty. The very mention of it sparks a certain passion within the justness and fairness of the American judicial system. Opponents of the death penalty argue that capital punishment demoralizes America as a civilized society by violating its fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of
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This in turn establishes the thought process that those condemned are no longer seen fit to be a part of civilization and in turn must be taken care of in a manner that is deemed appropriate. Opponents argue that the rights as citizens of the United States apply to the good as well as the bad in society, defending everyone from the risk of reprisal; “mistakes are just an ineradicable part of any system… no institution is perfect, and we can't expect perfect results” (Tew, 2011). “The death penalty, however, is not an act of defense against an immediate threat to life. It is the premeditated killing of a prisoner for the purpose of punishment - a purpose which can be met by other means” (Prokosch, 1998).
Following the Toulmin Model of constructing an argument, I feel that the claim being made, that the death penalty is inherently unjust and dehumanizing, is well organized and clearly stated. The data being used to support the claims are, for the most part, clear and concise. The introduction of more advanced DNA testing and advocacy groups for wrongly-convicted death-row inmates have shed more light on the gray areas surrounding conviction and execution (Tew, 2011), (Steiker & Steiker, 2011). I think including more hard facts and actual data, such as statistics for executions of wrongly-accused death-row inmates and death-row inmates who have been exonerated, would have made the evidence supporting the claim stronger. Mentioning the decrease in not only