Analysis Essay (Bring Back Flogging- Jeff Jacoby)

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Analysis of “Bring Back Flogging” by Jeff Jacoby In his article, "Bring Back Flogging," columnist Jeff Jacoby tries to tell us about the deficiency of today's criminal justice system and to persuade us to bring back flogging as a punishment for certain crimes. His title clearly and directly states his thesis. Techniques such as evidence and assumptions are used in this essay to persuade readers. However it cannot persuade me to support his proposition. "Bring Back Flogging" was published on February 20, in 1997 in the Boston Globe. In this essay, Jeff Jacoby describes the weak points of today's criminal justice system, and claims that flogging should be our option because it is a much quicker, cheaper, educational, and a more effective way than imprisonment. In his argument, Jacoby does show a good amount of evidence, but he does not seem to support his points. He points out that about 1.6 million Americans were in jail that year (1997), and that this number was 3.5 times larger than that of 1980. This seems to show the weakness of the criminal justice system. However, does the dramatically increased number of prisoners necessarily prove that the prison system is not working? Is it possible that the growth resulted from the changes of the laws as more things become illegal, the federal government passes minimum mandatory sentences? Perhaps many crimes for which a person would not have been sent to prison now require a prison term. That could be the reason for the increase. Can we literally say that the increase in the number of prisoners means the increase of crime? Besides that, are we sure that it is a bad thing if we are capturing more and more criminals and putting them in jail? It seems to me an indication that the system is working, whereas Jacoby uses it to demonstrate that somehow it is not working. Jacoby also attempts to use statistics to support his

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