The question addressed by David Bruchs May 20, 1985 article The Death Penalty from The New Republic regards whether capital punishment is just or unjust. In this article, Bruck believes that capital punishment is wrong and that Edward Koch misuses the issue. The tools used by Bruck to address this issue are ineffective. Bruck first attempts to define Kochs point of view and claims that capital punishment does not work. Next he uses his reinterpretation of Kochs specific example of J. C. Shaw.
Following this, he then uses a specific example intended to demonstrate that states are trying to execute criminals who may be mentally ill. Bruck goes on to use another specific example intended to demonstrate the flaws in the justice system. He then also reinterprets Kochs use of Bedeau. Frome here, he uses a specific example intended to demonstrate that possibly innocent people have been executed. Bruck follows this up by using another specific example that the death penalty has been used arbitrarily.
Near the end of his essay, he claims that the death penalty is a waste and that it does not work. He goes on to also claim that support for the death penalty comes from frustration and rage. Bruck concludes his essay by making an analogy that the lynch law is comparable to the death penalty. Bruck reinterprets Kochs example of J. C. Shaw. He claims that Koch mistakenly writes that Shaws statement came in the form of a plea to the governor for clemency but rather Shaw made it only seconds before his death . . What makes Brucks claim so ineffective is the fact that he has no proof to back his statement up. It has merely turned into a he said this, no he said that situation.
What also makes Brucks claim questionable to the average reader is that fact that when attacking what Koch had said, he misquotes Kochs statement of it being a curiosity of modern life that we find ourselves being lectured on morality by cold-blooded killers. Bruck also reinterprets Kochs use of Bedeau and claims that the state ventually admitted error in some four hundred cases and goes on to say Of course, very few of these cases involved actual executions.
The fact that Bruck uses the term very few rather than using a specific number because using a specific number will definitely hurt his point. If Bruck were to say that only 2 out of the 400 admitted error, that makes his argument very weak because it only indicates that 0. 5% of admitted errors are actually executed which is arguably a very low number. It is very much different than if he were to say that 100 of the 400 admittvoled errors were executed.