Topic: Capital Punishment
Specific Purpose: To persuade my audience that capital punishment should be abolished for various reasons.
Thesis Statement: Capital punishment is not a solution; it is a burden on society and does more harm than good.
A. Attention Material/Credibility Material: The taking of human life has been strongly condemned by most world religions and philosophies over the centuries. However, Capital punishment is the ultimate denial of human rights. Some may say that it is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state. While others say this cruel, insensitive, and shameful punishment is done in the name of justice. Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is the execution of a convicted criminal by the state as punishment for the most serious of crimes known as capital crimes. In the year 2002 alone, seventy-one inmates were put to death. In 2003, thirteen prisoners were executed and another twenty-six were scheduled to die. In the United States, methods of execution range from mild torture such as lethal injection and electrocution, to more barbaric torment such as hanging or being shot to death by a firing squad. According to Amnesty International, seventy-six countries have eradicated the death penalty completely, and many countries that retain the death penalty have not utilized it for years ("Facts and Figures on the Death Penalty").
B. Tie to the audience: One of the people that may face the death penalty could be a family member or friend of yours.
C. Thesis and Preview: Capital punishment should be abolished because of the following: it is not an effective crime deterrent, it may result in the loss of innocent lives, it is morally wrong, and there are other, more humane, alternatives.
[Transition into body of speech]: I’ll begin by telling you how the death penalty is not an effective crime deterrent.
A. The death penalty does not contribute to the deterrence of crime.