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Executions Become Public

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    Throughout history, there have been debates over the morality of public executions. In modern culture, society’sthissociety is considered more primitive than in the past when death was openly considered among the people. Today people consider the ideology of public executions to be distasteful and illogical. The American people have discussed and debated this idea for generations and remain divided when deciding if public executions should be public or not. The assistant professor at Central Connecticut State University, Zachary B. Shemtob, and David Lat who is a federal prosecutor are both supporters of public executions and challenge the ideologies placed on them by society, and why America should reconsider public execution styles. In the article “Executions Should Be Televised,” Zachary B. Shemtob and David Lat, attempt to sway American society to reconsider reasonably holding public executions, but fail to support their argument by unconventionally using the pathos and logos fallacies in their general audience.

    Although emotions are one way to attract, persuade, and convince an audience to take choose one’s side during a debate, Lat and Shemtob, should not attempt to persuade their audience, the American people, to allow public executions because of the emotion that death brings to people and families. The amount of physical and emotional suffering one goes through when dealing with a death is unpleasant so therefore the use of pathos would not help support their argument. In the article, Shemtob and Lat discuss relaying public executions over television. Although they are aware of the emotional state people may encounter, they believe that relaying public executions over television will cause a desensitizing effect on the American people (Shemtob). Although this may be true there is no way of knowing what other emotional and physical effects this would cause to the people. In their argument, this may have seemed like a strong persuasive way to convince their audience but in reality, it supports the opposition. This does not help the author’s case because it weakens the argument. The article, it is elaborated more than once on certain details of public executions, including listing a couple of names of those executed and providing details of their executions. Those names were Roy Blankenship and Andrew Grant DeYoung, the details listed involving their executions were placed in the article for the audience to connect with public executions (Shemtob). The use of pathos in this article if used correctly could have created and assisted the argument being made, but since their argument was already emotional and hard for people to face their argument is not supported.

    Though the authors made logical claims that support their argument, the trust of the reader was betrayed. Shemtob and Lat made connections to accomplishments made by society such as democracy but lack the supporting evidence to enable the audience’s trust. The article, states, “A democracy demands as informed as possible about the costs and benefits of society’s ultimate punishment” (Shemtob). Without supporting this idea, the authors jumped to a different topic and started to talk about that. Instead of supporting the argument with ideas of financial reports or televising a public execution. The authors could have then concentrated on how this goes against democracy by constitutional evidence. Another way that the authors lose the trust of the audience is by stating “A functioning democracy demands maximum accountability and transparency” (Shemtob). When stating this the authors gave only a little evidence to support this argument. This attempt to change the American society’ idea on public executions by providing information on democracy did not help to support the author’s arguments.

    In the article the author’s Lat and Shemtob were unable to successfully persuade their audience, the American people, to hold public executions. The use of criminal cases and appeal to false authority did not help create a convincing argument for the publicizing of executions. The authors misused both pathos and logical appeals to try to support their claim. Pathos unfortunately when dealing with death is hard to use because they are not able to use emotion well and the way it is used in their article the pathos helps support the opposition. The authors also use the appeal to false authority. Since they only used one person’s beliefs to support their argument it did not help convince their audience because it was not credible. Finally, since the authors did not support all of their evidence successfully, they were unable to convince the American people. After reading the article “Executions Should Be Televised” thoroughly, the article lacked the evidence it needed to persuade its audience to allow public executions.

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    Executions Become Public. (2022, May 15). Retrieved from

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