Death penalty

The Unquiet Death of Robert Harris
  1. Kroll pauses in paragraph 14, 18, and 21. Each time, he adds a little more detail to the specifics of the events and more suspense towards Harris' looming death.
  2. The tone is not too emotional but very informative, descriptive, and innocent. Kroll does not really talk too much about whether or not Harris should receive the death penalty for his murders, but rather on what was going on during the final hours of his life. I don't think Kroll is trying to defend Harris for his unforgivable acts, but rather evaluate what goes on in a criminal's mind during the final hours before his or her death, and especially during the gassing period. Kroll described what he saw happen to his friend Harris as "indescribably ugly."
  3. His approach was largely an emotional appeal, because he describes the place of execution of Harris as a "medieval torture chamber" as he saw his friend "being strangled slowly to death." Kroll tried to reason and be rational throughout, but I think his emotions just overwhelmed him as he saw a living human being being tortured to death, especially a person who was a friend of his.
  4. Being a friend of Harris, Kroll undoubtedly had a bias favoring sparing him. When he witnessed the victims' family members fooling around the minutes before his death laughing while Harris was dying, he felt very indignant about their behavior. I think Kroll might have even felt embarrassed and ashamed of even being in the same room as the family members because he could have felt that they were mocking Harris even during the man's last final moments.
  5. Kroll described Harris' death in great details because he wanted the reader to mentally be in the room and visualize the agony and torture of Harris. This depth in description is part of his persuasive effect to in a way let the reader feel sorry for all the victims that were killed by execution.
  6. Making this argument in a form of a personal account makes it have more emotions and allows the reader to in a way connect with him. If he wrote this in a scholarly form advocating a ban on all death penalties, the audience might become bored and find it too political and stiff. However, changing it into a personal account allows flexibility and vivid description that might make the argument appear more persuasive.

The death penalty should not only be allowed, but constantly enforced in today's society. Everyone has the right to life, but there is also a punishment if one commits a horrendous act, such as premeditated murder, grand larceny, or rape. Personally, I believe it's not utilized enough in America. Instead of using these corrupt and immoral criminals as examples for what would happen if another person commits these crimes, taxpayers are paying an enormous amount of money providing decent care for criminals. It's ironic that in some cases people live better in prisons than they do as hobos on the streets.

Not only is it just about setting a precedence, it's similar to the "an eye for an eye" saying in Hammurabi's Code. There are certain acts in life that cannot be reversed, and murder is one of them. You can't "unkill" a person, and because of this law of nature, the killer must also face the same punishment. Instead of sitting on deathrow for decades while leeching off tax dollars, they should be executed within a couple of years of the verdict. Numerous times I see on the news that a person had just served twenty years in prison, come out, and commit the same horrendous crime. What does this say about our justice system?

Simply put, our law system should not have variables, but rather a strict set of punishments. First-degree murder - death penalty. Second degree - 40 years, and so on. This will make people eventually realize that severe punishments will be handed to those who act maliciously towards society.

Kroll gives many hints about how he believes executions are now becoming "public spectacles" throughout his essay. In the third paragraph, he mentions the whole array of food given to the "audience" of the execution, as if this was some sort of movie debut. The stays of execution that went on for those brief minutes again and again also give the reader a sense that the lawyers and judges are just playing around with the man's life. Finally, the description Kroll provided about the family members and their lively reactions to Harris' death also is met by disapproval from Kroll's tone. He even mentions that some of the family members even were sleeping and were playing electronic games while this was all happening. The whole swarm of journalists who attended the execution and began asking for "a Harris" at the end also signifies the lack of seriousness they found in his death, as they are only concerned with pumping up their stories for their respective media companies. Kroll never really said outright that he was disgusted by their actions, but he implied it very explicitly through these small descriptions throughout the essay.

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