The Penalty of Death

3 March 2017

He references that in the old days, you were sentenced and it was immediately carried out by hanging or beheading. Although he makes this statement, he also says it’s cruel to leave a prisoner waiting to die. 2) What did you learn from completing this assignment? Did you experience a new understanding of the topic? Did you change your perspective after completing the essay? I changed my perspective on this article after writing in the forum for week three. I realize now that the writer wasn’t pushing for the sentence to be carried out immediately.

Instead, his intention was to help people who were sentenced to the death penalty. I was for carrying out the sentence immediately before reading his article. 3) What difficulties did you encounter during the writing or editing phases of the assignment? I enjoy reading over my writing a few times to see where I needed corrections. In the previous assignment, I wrote about my experiences with writing. I feel that I am a decent writer. 4) What did you enjoy about this assignment? I personally enjoy editing. I do this at my job regularly.

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Because I am a TSgt, I am responsible for reviewing and editing all of the troop’s annual reports. We call them EPRs. If I had to, I would rather edit than write. 5) Which essay did you chose from the “Classic American Arguments” section in your textbook? Why did you choose it? I chose “The Penalty of Death” by H. L. Mencken. I chose this article because I had to do research on the topic in my Public Speaking class. I already had a good working knowledge with this subject. Jeremy Weaver Dr. Nellie Haddad English 102 Feb 26, 2012 9:55 pm

The Penalty of Death Critical Evaluation Essay In H. L. Mencken’s The Penalty of Death, the author argues the various reasons of why people are against the death penalty. His argument to them is that it is unjust to keep an inmate on death row for years. Even though the author says the death penalty has an unjust timeframe, it cannot be carried out as quickly as he would hope for because there has to be time for appeals. During the article, Mencken portrays his argument on the death penalty. Mencken makes quite a few good points during his argument.

His usage of “katharsis” is interesting in the fact that Mencken compares it to the kid placing a tack on the teacher’s chair and then laughing about it. (Mencken 525) Why doesn’t he just come out and say that the kid was yelled at earlier in the day and this is why he placed the tack on the chair. This would make better sense since he uses this term mostly as a replacement for revenge; even though he says that revenge isn’t the right word. He also explains that “The real objection to capital punishment doesn’t lie against the actual extermination of the condemned, but against our brutal American habit of putting it off for so long. (Mencken 525) This is a solid argument. If the inmate has already been given the opportunity to appeal the conviction and has not succeeded, it is time “pull the plug. ” Why should he or she have to sit and wait for many months or even years? Doing so would make anyone go crazy. We might as well call death row the psyche ward. The tone that Mencken uses in his argument is more personal and opinionated; using what seems to resemble a conversation with himself. Even though he ridicules the American process of the death penalty, ironically, it seems as if he is for it.

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