The Death Penalty Essay

The Death Penalty Essay

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The topic of the death penalty is one that has been highly debated throughout history. In the Intelligence Squared debate, Barry Scheck and Diann Rust-Tierney argue for the notion of abolishing the death penalty while Robert Blecker and Kent Scheidegger argue against abolishing the death penalty. Diann Rust-Tierney and Barney Scheck uses logos and ethos to debate against Robert Blecker and Kent Scheidegger who masterfully manipulate ethos and pathos for their case.
Diann Rust-Tierney and Barry Scheck are well qualified in the topic of the death penalty. Diann Rust-Tierney is the executive director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Her debate partner, Barry Scheck, is a professor at the Cardozo School of Law. However their credibility is hurt as both gain from abolishing the death penalty. Both profit from being executive members from either the Innocence Project or the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
The two debaters heavily applied logos and pathos to their main issues of racial bias and killing an innocent person. One of the biggest issues brought up was the 4.1% error rate of the death penalty. Scheck using pathos and logos, quoted a study done from Sam Gross at the University of Michigan Law School,
“.... Fact that innocents have been executed due to junk forensic science, prosecutorial misconduct, law enforcement misconduct, ineffective lawyers. This system is incapable not just of determining who 's guilty or innocence in the final analysis when charging them with the ultimate punishment but reliably figuring out who should die and who shouldn 't.” ( 19:02:05).
The use pathos allows Scheck persuade the audience into feeling guilt and sympathy for those wrongly put to death. Scheck al...


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...being served to those who have committed premeditated heinous acts such as the Boston Bomber. Scheidegger and Blecker began to argue with each other leading to a loss of ethos and pathos. Internal fighting leads to a loss of trust from the audience leading to less ethos and their pathos is lost as they should have focused their intensity on the opposing team. Their weaknesses in logos showed in failure to elaborate claims such as reform to the death penalty system and claims of racial bias. Merely brushing it off leads to an assumption that they do not know much on the subject.
On a highly debated topic, each side was able to bring good responses to the issue at hand. Due to their masterful use of ethos, pathos, and logos Blecker and Scheidegger won, gaining and additional 23% from where they started while the side for abolishing the death penalty had a gain of 5%.

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