Should the American Government Bring Back Flogging?

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Should the American Government Bring Back Flogging?

In his article “Bring Back Flogging,” Jeff Jacoby advocates flogging as an excellent means of corporal punishment. Even though flogging has been “out of fashion for at least 150 years” he insists that flogging should be brought back to replace the more conventional method of imprisonment (193). In addition, Jacoby is convinced that flogging offenders after their first conviction can deter them from going into a professional criminal career and has more educational value than putting criminals behind bars. Furthermore, he insists that “sentencing at least some criminals say, thieves and drunk drivers to a public whipping” (194) will encourage offenders to change their behavior after being flogged. Although Jacoby tries to present flogging as a more effective alternative than putting criminals in jail, his faulty assumptions and misconceptions fail to persuade readers that flogging is a better alternative.

One of the key areas where Jacoby’s essay falls short is his over reliance on assumptions to state his claims. He assumes that flogging is a “quick and cheap” (194) alternative to prison that can prevent young offenders from pursuing a life of crime. Jacoby believes that, “if young punks were horsewhipped in public after their first conviction, fewer of them would harden into lifelong felons” (194). However, his assumption that publically whipping young delinquents will help them from swaying away from a life as a criminal is seldom the case. The author fails to see that there are gang leaders who look forward to recruiting juveniles that can withstand painful and humiliating experiences. In their eyes, a new recruit who can find ways to deal with pain, remain strong and find the will to keep moving is a worthy recruit into any gang. Jacoby also overlooks the fact that if flogging becomes legalized, it would only become the stepping-stone for more violence as well as provide humiliation a...
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