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Word Count: 1,151
The Death Penalty Justice or Murder The death penalty is one of the nations most hotly debated topics Most Americans are either heavily in favor of execution or heavily opposed to it Mr Edward Koch former mayor of New York is an ardent supporter of the death penalty in 1985 he wrote an essay entitled Death and Justice How Capital Punishment Affirms Life557-562 A South Carolina lawyer Mr David Bruck read Mayor Kochs essay and replied with an essay of his own entitled The Death Penalty 563-566 Mr Koch claims that to lessen the penalty for murder would be an insult to the memories of the victims 560 however Mr Bruck correctly argues that justice is not served by creating another victim this one to feed the bloodlust of the public 566 The death penalty is barbaric it cheapens life sacrifices dignity and defies morality To call for the murder of another human being cheapens life in general Capital punishment is a vicious cycle someone whether it be the media a politician or someone else entirely stirs up the American public then claims the people support the death penalty This leads to more media coverage of capital cases which in turn incites the population and perpetuates the cycle People should be likened unto sheep in some ways singly the person may be quite intelligent but given the presence of many other people a group consciousness forms Under the influence of the group that intelligent person could conceivably act in a way he or she wouldnt consider normally The death penalty further cheapens life by being a legal means of discrimination The Southern states are far more likely to convict black males than white males particularly if the crime was against a white person While Mr Bruck doesnt directly address the issue of discrimination in his essay he does give several examples in which the defendant was African-American Lenell Jeter received a life sentence in Texas
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