April. 23, 2015
“To Flog or Not To Flog”
In Jeff Jacoby’s article, “Bring Back Flogging,”[published in the Boston Globe in 1997] he tries to inform Americans about the flaws in today’s judicial system and persuade his readers to bring back flogging as a form of punishment for certain non- violent crimes. Mr. Jacoby’s title is very clear and states exactly what he is arguing, and he puts together his article in a way that provides evidence, as well as assumptions to convince his readers. Although, Mr. Jacoby’s article is an informative piece of literature, it may not persuade American citizens to agree with flogging. Instead they might see it as inhumane and a downright cruel form of punishment. Mr. Jacoby argues that Flogging-- a form of punishment in which a person is brought into public view and whipped with a switch, stick, or strap across the person’s body--should be optional, because it could be a much cheaper, quicker and more educational form of punishment. The purpose of Jacoby’s essay is to persuade the reader that flogging is a better form of capital punishment than sending non- violent criminals to prison.
Mr. Jacoby points out that about 1.6 million people were imprisoned in the year 1997 and that the numbers grew to be 250% greater than that by the year of 1980. (Jacoby par. 4).According to Anna Kharva, “the author just introduces the stat for prison inmates and proves his point, but there is no way to verify if the stat is correct.” Mrs. Kharva states,“ Mr. Jacoby uses the warrant to assume his readers agree with him why the judicial system is not working.” This shows his readers the weakness in judicial system, but doesn’t clearly justify that the rising numbers in prisoners is the reason the prison system is not working. Mr. Jacoby suggests that by using flogging for first time offenders can be an effective way of punishing young criminals after their first offense, and would be a quick form of punishment with quick results.
While flogging is a quick form of punishment according to Mr. Jacoby, he also states the option of flogging will lower costs of housing non- violent criminals. He uses statistics as evidence to support his statement, by stating the estimated cost of housing a criminal is $300,000 annually per inmate. Mrs. Kharva argues again that Mr. Jacoby is making assumptions and does not have a research study proving what he indicated. He makes valid points in this argument, but still has to convince the readers how this can be a moral form of punishment without crossing that fine line of humane and inhumane punishment, and