Edward I Koch Death Penalty Analysis

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American prisons today are filled to their capacities, yet crime here in America seems to have increased. I am speaking of one of the cruelest forms of crime that must be eradicated, which is murder. It seems as though a life sentence does not impose fear into modern day criminals, seeing that serious crimes are being committed more often now than in the past. I believe enforcing a death penalty on violent criminals would help them to come into a realization that they should begin to value not only their own lives but the lives of their victims beforehand and not after. In the essay The Death Penalty: Is It Ever Justified? Written by Edward I. Koch, this exact issue is discussed. Koch believes capital punishment in the form of the death penalty…show more content…
Koch realizes this issue would be brought up by the opposing side and brings this along with other possible opposing arguments into hindsight. While bringing up arguments the opposing side has is helpful this issue brought up does not support his thesis of how the death penalty helps prisoners to affirm life. He does this by stating statistics from Hugo Adam Bedau, who Koch states is an “implacable foe” or relentless enemies of capital punishment in America. Bedau states, it is “False sentimentality to argue that the death penalty should be abolished because of the abstract possibility that an innocent person might be executed” (484). In laymen’s terms meaning, it is absurd to argue that we should abolish the death penalty because society has an unreasonable tenderness towards the thought of an innocent person being executed, when the chance of this happening has no concrete existence. Koch then goes on to state statistics that have been cited by Badeu mentioning that there has been, “ Seven thousand executions in his country from 1892 to 1971”, which “concludes that the record fails to show that such cases occur” (485). While I agree with both Koch and Badeu, I believe the evidence stated is not current enough to support what Koch is stating. Koch does not go into enough detail of who Hugo Adam Badeu is and why we would believe him to be credible. The statistics…show more content…
He brings up an argument to the opposing’s side stand that capital punishment cheapens the value of life. Koch states, “It is by exacting the highest penalty for taking human life that we affirm the highest value of human life” (486). For evidence Koch uses a comparison of rape victims. Stating if the penalty for rape were to be lowered, “It would cheapen their horrible experience, and expose them to an increased danger of recurrence” (Koch, 486). I am on the fence about using this comparison as support because both rape and murder are extreme offenses and could in fact put the victim’s life back in danger if the sentence was reduced. However criminals convicted of rape do not receive the death penalty as murder criminals do. Therefore the author is comparing shorter prison time to the death penalty which in its entirety is not as convincing. I do however respect that the author is in fact looking at both sides of the argument and formally arguing with the opposing side. His character helps in persuading and backing up his

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