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Jeff Jacoby’s Bring Flogging Back Essay

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In Jeff Jacoby’s essay Bring Flogging Back, he discusses whether flogging is the more humane punishment compared to prison. Jacoby uses clear and compelling evidence to describe why prisons are a terrible punishment, but he lacks detail and information on why flogging is better. In the essay he explains how crime has gotten out of hand over the past few decades, which has lead to the government building more prisons to lock up more criminals. His effort to prove that current criminal punishment is not perfect or even effective is nicely done, but he struggled with discussing ways that flogging could lower the crime rates and provide a safer environment for America.
Jacoby uses many claims about how crime in the United States has grown and the how faulty America’s justice system currently is. One claim said that citizens pay around “$30,000 per inmate each year” (Jacoby 197). This grasps the reader’s attention by connecting their life to the problem; it is their money, a lot of their money, being used to imprison these criminals. The rates have increased on inmates since the 1980s by over 250% (Jacoby 197). Jacoby declares that the prison system is terrible; he uses accurate and persuading evidence.
According to Jacoby, flogging is faster, cheaper, and a more effective alternative to prison. Many young criminals would be less likely to become career criminals if punished through public embarrassment than through prison. Prison can be a sign of manliness or a “status symbol” (Jacoby 197). He says “prison is a graduate school for criminals”, providing evidence that criminals want to be convicted and be in prison, to strengthen their status (Jacoby 197). Jacoby knows how to properly get his view across to the reader, by saying that ...


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... of public humiliation or being locked up for year. There is also a mention of how non-violent criminals are being affected by prison. This affects the reader emotional aspect toward the argument because it make’s the reader have sympathy causing them to lean toward Jacoby’s view. This is called an appeal to emotion and is not generally a good thing to have in a credible paper.
Jacoby also uses active claims to support his thesis, however he lacked the claims that supported the evidence of why flogging is a beneficial punishment. He clearly states proper and valid evidence toward his opposing view, while maintaining a convincing tone.



Works Cited

Jacoby, Jeff. "Bring Back Flogging." Current Issues and Enduring Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking and Argument, with Readings. By Barnet, Sylvan and Bedau, Adam. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014. 196-198. Print


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