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The Flogging Controversy

            "Bring Back Flogging," by Jeff Jacoby was an interesting article that supports the use of corporal punishment to deal with offenders, especially those that commit less violent crimes. The argument presented was not persuasive enough for two reasons: (1) failure to acknowledge the impact corporal punishment will have on victims and their family. (2) Biased opinion about prison and judicial system. The author's thesis; corporal punishment should be reintroduced because the criminal justice system is not working. He started by supporting his arguments using the whipping of Richard Hopkins in 1632 for selling arms and gunpowder; conviction of Joseph Gatchell and whipping of Newell for committing adultery. He went further, by claiming corporal punishment was still in place in Delaware until 1972- but for all relevant purposes, it has been out of fashion for 150 years. .
             Jeff's arguments for his thesis was compelling and intrigue, but the question to be asked was is this enough to convince the majority of people who were against corporal punishment? And can his argument stand the scrutiny of the audience to which the article was addressed? The answer to both questions is no. The evidence the author gave when he said ''Hannah Newell pleaded guilty to adultery in 1694, the court ordered fifteen stripes severely to be laid on upon her naked back at the common whipping post" was interesting, but to think appointing similar punishment to the same type of crime in today's world is practically impossible in a country regarded as the leader of the free world.
             In a civilized society like United States such a barbaric attitude would not only be against the principles for which the country was founded, but will also send a bad message to rest of the world who look up to the United States as an embodiment of law and order. The author failed to realize that even in the 16th century, when corporal punishment was common it was not a popular practice and the majority of the people were against it at the time.

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