The Death Penalty by David Bruck Essay

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In “The Death Penalty” (1985), David Bruck argues that the death penalty is injustice and that it is fury rather than justice that compels others to “demand that murderers be punished” by death. Bruck relies on varies cases of death row inmates to persuade the readers against capital punishment. His purpose is to persuade readers against the death penalty in order for them to realize that it is inhuman, irrational, and that “neither justice nor self-preservation demands that we kill men whom we have already imprisoned.” Bruck does not employ an array of devices but he does employ some such as juxtaposition, rhetorical questions, and appeals to strengthen his argument. He establishes an informal relationship with his audience of …show more content…
He uses the KKK statement to transition into discussing Ernest Knighton’ case to indicate that race is another factor in deciding whether a person should be executed. Moreover, he states that people are ruled by fury rather than justice when wanting capital punishment for murderers. Finally he finalizes his argument by asserting that the electric chair was made by a governor who was in favor of lynching to bring justice.
Bruck mostly uses logical and emotional appeal to persuade his readers against capital punishment. His appeals correlate with his use of tone to persuade. He begins his essay by scorning Koch’s reason for the death penalty by stating that Koch views is “the standard ‘moral’ defense of death as punishment.” Hs use of tone and appeals is stronger when he discusses varies cases of wrongful executions such as Green and Knighton’s because of the strong use of pathos and logos. For instance, he states that the “the state of Georgia refused to allow the examiner into prison” in Green’s case even though Green asked for one in order to prove that he was not guilty of killing the woman but of only kidnapping her. The word “refused” has an emotional connotation of bewilderment and frustration from Bruck. That is what he hopes to convey to us and for us to have a mutual reaction to what he is stating. He mostly has a strong emotional appeal when he argues about Knighton’s case. His tone is hateful and…

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