The Death Penalty

617 Words3 Pages
The Death Penalty The Death penalty has been a controversial subject since the beginning of time. People are concerned about the morality of the death penalty thus making it a debatable subject. Because of this, James Freeman, columnist for USA Today, decided to write an editorial on the subject of “Does America need the death penalty?” While being a writer for USA Today, one would think that he would effectively use the appeals of rhetoric (ethos, pathos, and logos), but in fact he does not and concludes with a poorly writing argument. One problem James Freeman’s editorial faces is through the use of its ethos. Basically, the only credibility he shows is the fact that he writes for the USA Today. He uses statements such as, “I’ve struggled with the death penalty…” and “My first reaction was probably typical – Fry the bastard!” These statements make the reader think, as a reader, that he is not at all confident with his argument. Freeman is forthright in telling us that he has a problem deciding where he actually stands. “Frying the bastard,” is what he is trying to stop, isn’t it? The writer’s style and voice as he discusses his analysis is the only effective use of ethos in the argument. As a reader, it was very interesting to read his essay because the author sounds interested in discussing the topic. This style of writing is very informal, which adds to its ease in reading. This is an excellent writing style because he makes his essay most interesting. Pathos is a huge factor that plays an important role in writing arguments. The writer of this piece does an excellent job of emotionally connecting with the reader. The problem that the author has is that he affects the reader in the opposite way. Whe... ... middle of paper ... ...uggests cutting taxes but fails to explain who will pay for the various crime-prevention programs and who will pay for an increase in prison sentences. If there are going to be people in jail for longer amounts of time, who pays for them to live? Do we start charging criminals for staying in jail? Another point the author mentions is imprisonment for life, but he fails to mention the fact that life in judicial vocabulary means twenty years. As discussed in my essay, the author failed to successfully use the three appeals of rhetoric. He wasn’t very creditable to his job; he doesn’t seem to know what exactly his stance is. Emotionally he appealed to the opposite of his so-called view. Also, Freeman does not balance his writing and does not give reasons his plan is logical. All of these factors made his column in the USA Today a ghastly example of rhetoric.

More about The Death Penalty

Open Document