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In “Execution,” Anna Quindlen argues that death penalty is wrong because it does not achieve its desired ends. She stresses that it cannot provide sufficient justice for victims and their families and it does not make any moral sense. These authors have similarities in the use of personal ideas and anecdotal and hypothetical evidence as evidence, logos through inductive reasoning and agreement on death penalty’s goals, and pathos through an empathic writing style that appeals to justice, although they differ in writing style, audience, and attitude toward death penalty. Quindlen is more persuasive than Mencken because her ironic tone emphatically argues that death penalty is wrong because it is simply morally insufficient as a form of retribution.
These authors have similarities in the use of personal ideas and anecdotal and hypothetical evidence. Mencken talks about his personal ideas when attacking the opponents of death penalty. He argues from his personal viewpoint that crime deterrence is not the only goal of death penalty, and instead “katharsis” is “practically considered” and “more important” (1). By saying this, he shows that something more personal and emotional is behind the need for death penalty. Quindlen also offers her personal ideas on death penalty. She admits that her “guts” “govern” her ideas on death penalty, which is why she can be “hypocritical” about it (450.3). Like Mencken, Quindlen personalizes her attack on death penalty by asserting her personal feelings toward it. In addition, both authors use anecdotal evidence as proof for their arguments. For instance, Mencken says he has not heard any executioner who is complaining of his job and instead, he has “known many who delighted in their ancient art, and practiced it proudly” (1). By saying ancient art, he is underlining the proud tradition behind death penalty. Quindlen also uses anecdotal evidence when she says that the justice system is
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