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Capital Punishment

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Arguments on capital punishment have been around for centuries, and will continue to be so. Providing adequate punishment to those that take a human life must be approached very carefully. David Bruck wrote a response to Mayor Edward Koch’s essay entitled, “Death and Justice: How Capital Punishment Affirms Life,” in which he goes on to explain through examples why the death penalty should be forgotten. In Bruck’s response, “No Death Penalty,” he provides many examples, but few arguments to support why the death penalty should be abolished.

Bruck relies on the various cases of death row inmates to persuade the reader against the death penalty. His use of facts give body to the paper but little substance to support his stance. He states that the “rate of intentional homicide declined by 17 percent” in Florida when there were no executions performed in 1983 (David Bruck, 2).

And goes on to state that the execution of eight people in 1984 caused homicide percentages to grow “by 5.1 percent” (3). Burk robs the stability of his claims by stating, “but these are just tiresome facts” (3). He further states “how little the facts have to do with the public support for capital punishment” which contradicts his use of facts to support his argument (3).

Throughout the paper the audience is reading about real life death row cases, the author fails to provide or state any credible information about himself. Bruck never attaches his name to any of the cases, even though “many of his defendants

are prisoners under the death sentence” (1). Luckily the reader is informed that David “Bruck is a lawyer in the South Carolina Office of Appellate Defense” by a header that is injected before the essay was printed. With the lack of credentials Burk fails to solidify the cases through personal experience. His continual attack on Koch’s argument merely

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