Capital: Prison and American Public Essay

Submitted By ddestefano808
Words: 1363
Pages: 6

The Issues Behind Capital Punishment The three articles all had similar themes on how cruelty and brutality have taken over the American society today. They also all put great emphasis on how torture, an act initially perceived to be inhuman and not part of the American policy, which has not only been tolerated throughout the entire history of the United States from as far back as the colonial days up until today, but being completely sanctioned and even cheered on in today’s society, when being committed by the state. Another message of the three articles is how acts by the government are indeed pulling the wool over the eyes of the American public and leading them to believe and accept inhumane acts and torture which could be compared to that of the Nazi party’s effect on the psyche of Germany. It would seem that the general acceptance of violence committed by the state and government by the American public is spiraling out of control and becoming an all too familiar staple of American living and the American way of life. The general theme being conveyed is a sort of “where does the buck stop” in today’s society. While the articles do have a common theme of how cruelty and punishment are slowly but surely entering infiltrating the American society under the velvet glove of being necessary when carried out by the government each also differs in multiple ways. The first article, “Cruel Nation” by Jonathan Scheel differed from the others in the way that it discussed how violence and capital punishment when afflicted by the state are becoming all the more celebrated and tolerated by the everyday citizens. The article paints the picture of how America has more people per capital imprisoned than any other place in the world which is partly caused because America is growing increasingly more violent or more accepting of it, all the while alienating the ideals of our country being founded on such compassion. It would seem that as time progresses people are becoming crueler as such in the instance described in the article when the patient with no health insurance went into a coma vividly illustrated. It goes on to discuss how America’s previous moral fiber has disintegrated in a post 9/11 America and how American society today seems to glorify violence. The article calls into question why, in a post 9/11 America has violence become so accepted and prevalent in American culture and references how the assassination of Osama Bin Laden was a cause for celebration for some American’s. Scheel even goes as far as to ask “where will the violence stop” in describing a scene in which Americans will one day cheer when other citizens are killed. The article “Torture and Historical Memory” by: Robert Pallitto differs in that it begins by citing man example of how torture has taken place all overt he world and been acceptable by the greater part humanity in some forms. The article then addresses specifically how Torture and violence to prisoners has been evident throughout American history however oddly enough the leaders of our country have always condemned torture. It goes on to discuss how by saying America as a country has always gone one record to condemn the idea of torture or those who have practiced it, however denouncing torture as part of their terrorist or captive policy has given leeway for America to practice various forms of torture and not call it that. In short in a way they are saying that what they do to prisoners; “waterboarding and stress positions” are not forms of torture. Pallitto then calls into question how on one end our countries leaders are saying that we don’t use torture as a means of dealing with our prisoners who are believed to be terrorists but on the other hand as Supreme Court justice Robert Jackson stated “Torture is justifiable by the need to preserve the nation or protect its people”. This article also breaks down and explores the how torture can become acceptable to a country’s…