Bring Back Flogging Essay

Bring Back Flogging Essay

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In “Bring Back Flogging” Jeff Jacoby, a columnist for the Boston Globe, presents the use of corporal punishment as an alternative to the current system of imprisonment. Published in February of 1997, the article states that flogging would be a more effective means of punishment than jail. He insists it would be less expensive and serve as a deterrent to first time offenders. Jacoby’s thoughts on prison reform are legitimate, but his reasoning behind the use of corporal punishment is flawed. He fails to provide reasonable support for his argument which leaves the reader guessing as to the seriousness of his claim.
Jacoby starts his essay by providing a background history on flogging by relating the punishment to crimes that would be insignificant in today’s society. He claims that imprisonment has become an “all purpose punishment” used for violent and nonviolent crimes alike (193). Citing a plethora of facts and research, Jacoby argues that the prison system is ineffective and too costly. To support his claim he advocates for a system of public humiliation and degradation to deter lower class criminals from becoming repeat offenders. Jacoby realizes that flogging’s “crimes of the day” are not our crimes, but maintains that flogging would be effective in current society and not any more brutal than being caged (194).
Jacoby is arguing for reintroducing a system of flogging. The main support of his argument stems from the ineffectiveness of the prison system. A statement by John DiIulio shows that, “about three of every four convicted criminals are on the streets without meaningful probation” (Jacoby 193). Jacoby uses this statement to show that most low level offenders do not receive adequate consequence to divert them from f...


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...gging “and determined to be inadequate. The material used to support the inadequacy is inadequate itself. Statistical data lacks credibility and opinions from authoritative figures do little in comparison to support the reasoning. Jacoby’s solution is to implement flogging into the punishment of low level offenders from becoming hardened criminals, but the solution falls short, failing to discuss the moral issues surrounding it. Jeff Jacoby attempts to replace an ineffective system with an outdated one, ultimately failing to convince the reader that flogging is a reasonable and practical solution.



Works Cited

Jacoby, Jeff. “Bring Back Flogging” Boston Globe. 26 Feb. 1978.
Rpt. in Current Issues and Enduring Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking and Argument, with Readings. 9th ed. Ed. Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau. Boston: St. Martin’s, 2011. 192-194. Print

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