In “Bring Back Flogging”, Jeff Jacoby addresses the problems within America’s criminal justice system. He gives many reasons why imprisonment simply does not work, and suggests that corporal punishment should be used as an alternative. Published in the Boston Globe, a newspaper well known for being liberal, Jacoby provides a conservative view and directs his argument towards those who strongly support imprisonment and view corporal punishment to be highly barbaric and inhumane.
However, in order to shed light on our current situation, Jacoby discusses the dangers that we face though our criminal justice system a nd shows concern that imprisonment is doing more harm than good. In effect, Jacoby looks to the past for solutions, and despite knowing the liberal views of his audience, refers to the Puritans’ use of flogging to display historical background of corporal punishment in America. Furthermore, Jacoby uses statistical data and refers to experts such as a Princeton criminologist and a former Supreme Court justice in order to further convince his audience.
He makes an appeal to emotion by mentioning rape cases within prisons. Through effective rhetorical strategy, Jacoby argues that imprisonment contains too many flaws to be used in the American criminal justice system, and suggests flogging as an alternative. Jacoby uses ethos within his essay by displaying a conservative yet credible persona that expresses great concern for the well-being of those wrongfully affected by imprisonment.
In our society's criminal justice system, justice equals punishment. You do the crime, and you do the time. Once you have done the time, you have paid your debt to society and justice has been done. Because our society defines justice in this manner, the victims of crimes often seek the most severe possible punishment for their offenders. Society tells them this will bring justice, but it often ...
One concern Jacoby addresses is that for almost every crime committed, the penalty will always results in imprisonment, which is to say that no matter what the crime is, small or large, everyone will receive the same type of treatment (Jacoby 193).
Subsequently, Jacoby clarifies that imprisonment is an unfair punishment which as a result, portrays Jacoby’s good will. Jacoby does not want to see innocent people being harmed, which is why corporal punishment is suggested as an alternative.
He wants a more just punishment that can vary from person to person implying that Jacoby’s reason for writing this article is for the greater good with the intent to improve this world. Jacoby wants to see a world that can serve justice to the people which consequently builds on his moral character. Moreover, he makes it known that his views are more on the conservative side through opposing liberal views of imprisonment, and goes on to bring up the Puritans. He uses the Puritans and their use of flogging as an indication to show that the idea behind corporal punishment isn’t being pulled out of thin air, but has history within America.
Throughout this essay Jacoby uses several statistics in order to further support that imprisonment is ineffective within the American criminal justice system. He mentions that “some 1. 6 million Americans are behind bars today. That represents a 250 percent increase since 1980, and the number is climbing. ” (193): a statistic used to expose the ridiculous number of people who are thrown in jail. With such a high number rising throughout the years, it’s as if we throw just about anyone in jail, which is not exactly the case.
In fact, many criminals get away without serving any time time at all. “Fifty-eight percent of all murders do not result in a prison term. Likewise 98 percent of all burglaries. ” (193) So if not murderers and burglars, who exactly are we throwing in jail? Jacoby uses statistics to point out one of the flaws in our current criminal justice system. Although there is an overflow of people held behind bars, we are still incapable of imprisoning many criminals. Additionally, Jacoby mentions that keeping a prison inmate is fairly expensive.
... then draws a comparison between this inhumane punishment and imprisonment by stating with irony that, "Now ... that these 1. 6 million people are in U. S. prisons. Another flaw in the presentation ... " About three of every four convicted criminals are on the streets without meaningful probation ... which lend credibility to the information. Jeff Jacoby seems accustomed with using words as tools ...
He provides us with the information that “a common estimate is $30,000 per inmate per year. ”(193).
That’s a lot of money. With our country already in debt, why pay so much for a system that can’t even punish murderers and burglars? With high costs in mind, Jacoby suggests flogging as a solution. He reasons that flogging would not be as costly, and criminals would not turn into “lifelong felons”. Without the use of these statistics, Jacoby would not be able to suggest such a solution and effectively convey his point.
As a result, Jacoby proves that through his research, he is qualified to make his arguments against prisons. Furthermore, Jacoby mentions experts within his essay to gain credibility and point out the flaws within the idea of imprisonment. He uses experts such as John DiIulio, a noted Princeton criminologist who states that “about three of every four convicted criminals are on the streets without meaningful probation or parole supervision. ” (193) Jacoby specifically addresses a criminologist from Princeton, a well-known ivy league school, with the intent of providing information that people can trust.
Moreover, the quote from DiIulio helps Jacoby to argue once again, that our current criminal justice system is incapable of imprisoning many criminals, and goes on to say that not only are these criminals free from doing time in jail, they are also free from any form of punishment. Jacoby uses the injustice within the quote to further persuade his liberal audience to agree with the flaws of imprisonment on account that liberals will not stand for injustice. Similarly, Jacoby refers to the former Supreme Court justice, Harry Blackmun to talk about the potential danger that inmates face within prison cells.
Blackmun states that “The horrors experienced by many young inmates, particularly those who… are convicted of nonviolent offenses, border on the unimaginable. ” (194) Jacoby uses quotes Blackmun in order to support his statement that prisons are no better than than corporal punishment since they both have inhumane aspects to them. Blackmun’s quote effectively supports Jacoby’s statement while appealing to his audience, because it goes to show that even Supreme Court officials seem to be in disagreement with the treatment received in prisons. Towards the end of the essay Jacoby gains the sympathy of his audience through the usage of pathos.
Although People think Capital punishment is against human! s rights for life and it is cruel to not give the criminals another chance, I think capital punishment is still an effective way to deter violent criminals, because it can give comfort to the victims and their families, it will reduce the government! s financial spending, and it is a huge warning for the criminals in order to reduce murder ...
He mentions the risk of being raped as a counter argument against the brutality and inhumanity of corporal punishment. As Jacoby addresses liberals who are all about human rights, he purposefully talks about rape towards the end in order to leave a strong impact on the emotions of the readers. He states that “more than two hundred thousand prisoners are raped each year” (194) to show that rape is an ongoing issue within prisons. Jacoby goes on to say that prison guards are often indifferent to rape cases, which goes to say that although the guards are aware of this situation and have the ability to stop it, they could care less.
The indifference of the guards comes to a great shock to the audience, and starts to make them feel uncomfortable with the whole idea of imprisonment. Jacoby refers to rape through the usage of biased terms such as “terrifyingly”and “horrors”, while referring to imprisonment as being “caged” in oder to create a highly negative and inhumane perspective to imprisonment. Jacoby engages the audience to feel horror, giving them the sense that imprisonment is unacceptable and must be changed. As a
result,when considering the better option between corporal punishment and rape, corporal punishment seems to be the right choice. Hence, the audience is able to see more from Jacoby’s viewpoint, which looks down upon imprisonment and views corporal punishment as a better alternative. In many ways Jacoby is able to provide valid reasons as to why one should side with corporal punishment over imprisonment in the American criminal justice system. Jacoby does a great job by skillfully making a strong argument that causes liberals to wonder whether their views on imprisonment are truly right.
A strong case can be made in principle for and against capital punishment. The argument in favor of capital punishment should be based on justice and the nature of a moral community; this is the definition of a just action. People who commit the act of first-degree murder should be brought to justice. Being brought to justice requires that each person respect the life and liberty of others. ...
He gives clear reasons to show that imprisonment may not be the best form of punishment, and breaks down old views to create a new perspective to the criminal justice system that otherwise may have never been considered. However, Jacoby’s essay can mislead readers into believing that his main argument is that flogging is the ultimate solution, and as stated in his title “Bring Back Flogging” should be our main objective. In order for Jacoby’s readers to truly understand the argument that imprisonment is ineffective, he should bring more clarification within his essay and state that flogging is just one of the many alternative we can consider.