Justice and Death Penalty: Views of Edward I. Koch and David Von Drehle

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About this sample


Words: 603 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Feb 8, 2022

Words: 603|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Feb 8, 2022

In April of 2014, Clayton Lockett was executed in an exceedingly brutal way. He was locked in a bleak room, knowing the press and loved ones were about to witness his death. Instead of being injected with a serum that would relax his muscles and make him fall asleep, Lockett’s body adversely reacted and went haywire for 40 minutes. The Oklahoma prison system got what they wanted, in the worst way possible. He passed away due to cardiac arrest from the stress on his body from a lethal injection, not the injection itself. In the essay Death and Justice, Edward Irving Koch tries to defend capital punishment by saying it is necessary, and yet things like this happen. The method of executions are terrible, and should never be used due to the inhumanity of it.

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America has evolved over the ages using various methods of executions, such as burnings, hangings, gas, lethal injections, electric chair, and even firing squad. None of these methods are perfect and can all be done incorrectly, creating a scenario similar to what Clayton Lockett had to experience. No human should ever have to endure the unfathomable feeling of what he had to go through. David Von Drehle said, “Lethal injection was intended to be a superior alternative to electrocution, gassing or hanging, all of which are known to go wrong in gruesome ways. But when pharmaceutical companies began refusing to provide their drugs for deadly use and stories of botched injections became commonplace, the same legal qualms that had turned courts against the earlier methods were raised about lethal injections”. America is trying to get better at capital punishment, but no real progress is being made. Take for example Joseph Wood. He was by no means a good person, but he did not deserve to be strapped to a chair for 2 hours in immense pain because the executioners just could not kill him.

Edward Irving Koch tries to dispute capital punishment being “barbaric” by relating it to finding the cure for cancer. Koch says, “Ultimately we may learn how to cure cancer with a simple pill. Unfortunately, that day has not yet arrived. Today we are faced with the choice of letting the cancer spread of trying to cure it with the methods available, methods that one day will almost certainly be considered barbaric. But to give up and do nothing would be far more barbaric and would certainly delay the discovery of an eventual cure” (Koch). Koch tries to relate two completely unrelated topics to make capital punishment sound more humane. Treatments like radiation, chemotherapy, and removal/radical surgery are done to try and stop the cancer because no other methods are available. Doctors attempting to stop cancer with the best methods available can’t be considered “barbaric”. There is a difference between having to do something, and choosing to do something. The treatments are also things that the patient consents to. The inmate has committed a crime that is deserving of punishment, but is not deserving of incomprehensible pain due to experimental formulas or unregulated techniques of execution.

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The death penalty is a highly debated topic, and many people have a strong opinion on it due of various reasons. Edward Irving Koch has good arguments as to why capital punishment is necessary, and David Von Drehle has good arguments as to why capital punishment should be done away with. The inhumanity of it, though, is enough for the entire penalty to be rendered too cruel for use and grounds for it to be declared unconstitutional. Too many people have had to endure brutal executions that resulted in a painful demise.  

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Justice And Death Penalty: Views Of Edward I. Koch And David Von Drehle. (2022, February 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 21, 2024, from
“Justice And Death Penalty: Views Of Edward I. Koch And David Von Drehle.” GradesFixer, 10 Feb. 2022,
Justice And Death Penalty: Views Of Edward I. Koch And David Von Drehle. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 Feb. 2024].
Justice And Death Penalty: Views Of Edward I. Koch And David Von Drehle [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Feb 10 [cited 2024 Feb 21]. Available from:
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