Analyzing Death and Justice
Do you believe that life is precious? Edward I. Koch was a lawyer in New York from 1949 to 1968 and later joined politics by being elected a district leader for the Democratic Party in 1963. Koch also held other offices in politics being elected into the US House of Representatives and being elected mayor for New York. When Koch ran for Mayor he ran to stop unnecessary spending and to reduce crime which got him reelected twice. In the essay “Death and Justice” by Edward I. Koch first published in the New Republic, Koch try’s to show the readers that “ Life is indeed precious, and I believe the death penalty helps to affirm this fact”(320). Koch says this to convince his readers that the penalty is needed in order to show that life is something precious and not meaningless. In order to do this Koch uses the three modes of persuasion pathos, logos, and ethos to advance his claim that the death penalty is something necessary.
Koch establishes his credibility by showing his reliability on the topic. Koch does this when he writes “During my 22 years in public service, I have heard the pros and cons of capital punishment expressed with special intensity. As a district leader, councilman, congressman, and mayor, I have represented constituencies generally thought as liberal” (320). By using this in his essay Koch is showing that he is not bias and has listened to both sides of the argument beforehand. Koch also lists his positions held while he was doing his 22 years of public service to show his trustworthiness in the subject. Once Koch establishes his crediability he then goes on to use pathos.
Koch uses pathos in order to get the emotional response from the readers of the New Republic to gain support for the death penalty. Right from the beginning he stirs up the readers emotions by giving an example of Mr. Willie who had committed a murder and was being put to death.
Last December a man named Robert Lee Willie, who had...