March 11, 2015
You have just received a letter in regards to a family member, who you’ve known as kind, caring, funny, and has even helped you out in times of need. The state wishes to enforce capital punishment on him, however, capital punishment is on the ballot this November… What will be your vote? Most people can be persuaded when it comes to sales, dinner, and even forgiveness, but usually when it comes to an involvement of life and death, people know where they stand. Most choose life. When it comes to the death penalty, it can be very challenging to persuade your audience to support it. Edward I Koch, writer, attorney, and Mayor of New York City, takes on this challenge in an article Death and Justice in the New Republic, 1985. Discussing both point of views of the argument, Koch explains to his readers the pros and cons towards capital punishment, and explicitly showing why capital punishment serves purpose. Koch uses an academic, and a highly skilled route of persuading his audience through ethos, logos, and pathos to accept the justification that capital punishment should be supported.
Through his occupation, experience, and high concern for reducing crime, Koch displays much ethos in his article. His academic level of writing along with his background, which he does inform his audience of, Koch is a highly credible source for capital punishment alone. In this article Koch states “I have heard the pros and cons of capital punishment… I have listed to their [the opposers] ideas. I have weighed their objections carefully. I still support the death penalty.”(320) Koch is explaining that he has approached the idea with an open mind and with much respect for his opponents. Expressing an analytical opinion, Koch does not shoot down their views automatically, he clarifies and reasons with those views and shows the relevance of his opinion, bringing a sincere and fair mind to his paper. Koch also explains in...