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The Death Penalty: Is It Ever Justified (By Edward I. Koch, appeared in The New Republic on April 15, 1985) - Essay Example

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Edward I. Koch has shown how the death penalty is an essential part of human existence and civilized society. He employs ethos (authority or credibility) and also…
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The Death Penalty: Is It Ever Justified (By Edward I. Koch, appeared in The New Republic on April 15, 1985)

Download file to see previous pages... His ethos derives from his “twenty two years in public service” in which he had heard all the arguments for and against capital punishment with equal intensity by the two opposing sides. During his entire years in the public service, he had been a district leader, a councilman, congressman and mayor and knows whereof he speaks when it comes to public issues such as the death penalty. It is a very contentious social issue that concerns with how society governs itself and how to deal with deviants who threaten to disrupt and unravel societal order.
In the first paragraph of his article, former Mayor Koch had used the word “barbaric” as a connotation in connection with the use of capital punishment in dealing with crimes. In a deft use of the word, he compares the advocates of the death penalty as no different from the barbarians of long ago who were uncivilized, crude and savages who inflicted wanton death, the destruction of property and in general, cause great pain and suffering to other people. This connotation implies that people who favor the death penalty are barbarians themselves who in a way find delight in inflicting the same brutality on the condemned criminal (Koch 1).
Many social issues today are very contentious and most often also very divisive. It is the reason why the debate on the use of the death penalty never seems to die down. It can only be settled once a law on death penalty is ratified or in those places where it is imposed, those same laws authorizing the use of capital punishment are reversed or abolished. Koch himself acknowledges that a discussion of the death penalty is never a pleasant topic to begin with but he sees it as a necessary evil that has to be done for the greater good of the greater majority. In his article, he compares the death penalty to a form of cancer treatment which is essential in a time when no cure for cancer has been discovered yet. The connotation of capital punishment as similar to the unpleasant ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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