Abolition of the Death Penalty

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Jeremy Brooks
Suzanne Gerbasi
Coms 101-37
10/30/12

Persuasive Speech

Topic: Abolition of the Death Penalty
General Purpose: To Persuade
Specific purpose: To persuade my audience that we should abolish the death penalty in California. Central Idea: The death penalty should be abolished because of the inefficiency of the legal system, its high economic cost, and its moral implications. I. Introduction

When I joined the current debate team in high school, I knew I would have to learn to respect and accept points of view different than my own. Arguing both sides of a hot topic taught me to value the merit of my opposition’s points. With much research and an open-mind, I even came to change my opinions on many issues—including my support of California’s death penalty. After getting down to brass tacks and really looking at the facts, I concluded that the negatives far outweigh any positives of the death penalty. Along with the extremely high costs, it uses up countless hours of court time and often discriminates against certain groups of people. While other countries have moved forward and outlawed this practice, we remain clinging to an idea that is no longer practical or ethical in today’s world. California needs to abolish the death penalty and save our time, tax dollars, and innocent people’s lives. You would think that keeping someone alive for the rest of their life would be a greater financial burden then simply condemning them to their death, right? Wrong. In this counter-intuitive situation, executing a person is a much more complicated process than it seems. When you add up the costs of pre-trial legalities, the actual trials themselves, appeal court cases, and the necessary incarceration of convicts in maximum-security prisons, the total has robbed Californians of an exorbitant amount of money. Exactly how much is that? Well, a study by Judge Arthur Alarcon and Prof. Paula Mitchell concluded that the death penalty in California has...
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