The Death Penalty: Is it Right?
Capital punishment is a very controversial topic that has many supporters and critics at both ends. Like anything controversial, there will be strong arguments for and against a matter that seem both feasible and logical. In a situation like capital punishment where a unanimous vote for or against the issue will never be possible, it is important to address the main concerns and to alleviate conflicting opinions as best as possible by providing evidence and addressing opposition. In Edward I. Koch’s “Death and Justice,” he addresses capital punishment by taking common critics’ opinions on the matter and dissects them with use of evidence, statistics, and previous situations to make his point clear. What is interesting is he makes what initially seems like a good point not a very strong argument at all once facts (among other things) are considered. While he supports the death penalty, it is important to note that in no way is he biased, and he makes many persuasive and valid points throughout his address to this matter. The three examples I think are most persuasive are the points about the death penalty being barbaric, death of the innocent, and the death penalty in the biblical sense.
First is the notion that the death penalty is a barbaric task. Koch notes that: Sometimes [people against] capital punishment horrify with tales of lingering death on the gallows, of faulty electric chairs, or of agony in the gas chamber …Several states such as North Carolina and Texas switched to execution by lethal injection. The condemned person is put to death painlessly. . . . (320)
An article in the BuffaloNews.com asserts that the death penalty is: Far from being a ‘barbaric . . . ,’ the death penalty is the deliberate, rational act of a civilized society protecting itself from violent predators . . . [; so] what is barbaric about being [accused], formally charged, tried,
Cited: Holy Bible: King James Version. Nashville: Royal Publishers, 1969. Print. Koch, Edward I. “Death and Justice.” Forty Model Essays: A Portable Anthology. Ed. Jane E. Aaron. Boston: Bedford/St. Martian’s, 2005. 319-25. Print. Tripi, Paul. “Death Penalty is not ‘barbaric anachronism’.” BuffaloNew. The Buffalo News, 1 Oct. 2011. Web. 17 June 2012. < http://www.buffalonews.com/ editorial-page/from-our-readers/letters-to-the-editor/article577520.ece>. Zeller, George. “Capital Punishment: What Does the Bible Teach on This Vital Subject?” Middletown Bible Church. The Middletown Bible Church, n.d. Web. 17 June 2012. <http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/capitalp.htm>.