Death Penalty as a Target to Men in the USA
1. Executive Summary
The death penalty is a capital punishment practiced in the contemporary world and is susceptible to many critics and debates. The purpose of this assignment is to conduct a literature review based on determining whether the applicability of the death penalty makes men core targets. This assignment uses a method of analysis that involves conducting reviews on literature acquired from scholarly journals, online sources, books, databases on the relevant issue, and follows on statistical analysis from popular articles and publications. The assignment finds that many sources and literature shows a positive relationship of men being significant targets of the applicability of death penalty and execution compared to women based on aspects of gender discrimination, sexism, and racism. However, other reviews show a contradicting or rather a different perspective based on the applicability of the death penalty is on both men and women only that gender biases influence it. The sources utilize different and unique language features, rhetoric techniques, and types of evidence. The prevalent language features integrated include objectivity, explicitness, and analytical features. Secondly, the types of evidence used include logical, empirical, and anecdotal types of evidence. Finally, the authors employ a variety of rhetoric features and techniques, including the use of deductive and inductive reasoning, analogical sequences, and allusions, among others, to enhance the meaning of the tests, support their arguments, and persuade readers.
The death penalty in the US capital punishment regime is legal in 29 US States and used by the Federal Government and the military. It involves killing convicts and offenders of capital offenses such as murder. The death penalty in the USA is faced with numerous challenges on its application and critics on the applicability equality under the Equal Protection Clause. Scholars and authors have developed different perspectives and arguments on whether capital punishment is targeted mostly at men in the USA. Describing this argument has hence been developed based on that, the death penalty is sexist, presents aspects of gender discrimination as well as racism, and is gender-biased. This assignment conducts a conclusive and detailed review of extensive literature acquired from scholarly journals, online sources, books, databases on the relevant issue. It follows on statistical analysis from popular articles and publications to make a valid comparison and comprehensive development of ideas and information.
3. Background Information
The death penalty is a capital punishment ordered and executed on convicted murderers, which historically was imposed mostly on rape cases notably against the black defendants with white victims. The death penalty was first introduced in 1834 in Pennsylvania’s correctional facilities but abolished 12 years later. In 1976, it was reinstated, and ever since then, this form of capital punishment has undergone a series of amendments and bans, especially on the accepted capital offenses and crimes punishable by death (Sander, 2009). The changes and modifications have hence resulted in critics and biases built upon gender biases and discrimination. This has built on debates with authors providing agreeing and disagreeing arguments on whether the death penalty is targeted among men.
It is vital to research, evaluate sources, and study about the death penalty and men’s involvement as it helps identify patterns and trends both in the past and in the present to understand the aspects of equity, quality, and applicability of the capital punishment. For public knowledge, it is essential as it provides themes and adequate information on justice systems revolving the applicability of the death penalty in addition to invoking constructive critics and debates that would address the contradictions and conflicts present in the issue. Finally, studying the topic is imperative for research and development purposes to identify possible gaps in the available literature and to work on identified weaknesses to develop conclusive information on the issue. Many sources have similar relationships and patterns that concur that the death penalty is targeted at men due to gender discrimination and sexism, as more men are executed than the women are. Other sources offer contradicting arguments stating that the death penalty applies to both men and women based on gender biases whereby it is applied in accordance with stereotypes, individual’s abilities, their role in society, and the violence capacity (Shatz, 2011).
The arguments developed by opponents and proponents of the topic are based on that, the death penalty is sexist, presents aspects of gender discrimination as well as racism, and is gender-biased. These aspects form the primary viewpoints and background of the literature review. These points of view relate and influence each other through the enhancement of the gaps presented and existing materials. They all revolve around men and the death penalty, which results in questioning the role of gender in the applicability of the death penalty in the USA legal and justice systems. Besides, inequalities such as gender discrimination, sexism, biases, gaps, and racism in the justice and legal system are prevalent, which develops the relationship and influence each other’s thoughts and arguments.
4.1 Gender Biases and Sexism in Death Penalty
According to various authors, gender bias is a continuous trend identified in the convicting and execution of prisoners. The application of death penalties among men and women is seen to contain aspects of gender biases, whereby gender-based values influence the decisions from the Supreme Court. There have been reported cases of disparities among the victims and defendants whereby the sentencing is based on the nature of the victims and defendants as well as the crime committed. For instance, if an individual was convicted of rape, they are given many sentences, those convicted for gang murdering and murders based on domestic violence, they receive fewer sentences (DPF, 2018). The authors argue that both women and men are convicted and executed but unfairly, which mostly depends on the stereotypes, individual’s abilities, their role in society, and the violence capacity. The decision to live or die among convicted murders awaiting execution becomes shaky as aspects such as prejudices of gender and violence capabilities, as well as gallantry values, are used, instead of using the evidence presented and governing dogmas.
4.2 Gender Discrimination in Death Penalty
The proponents of the presence of gender discrimination in capital punishment argue that the USA legal system favors the female offenders compared to the men offenders. In a comparison conducted by over three authors, they conclude that the representation of convicted women in the death row is less than the death sentencing rates and overrepresentation numbers seen among men. Scholars and authors argue that there is a gender gap in the applicability of the death punishment between men and women, which relates to gender discrimination presented among other authors. Authors have developed consistent arguments on accounts that gender gaps and discrimination have been prevalent in the applicability of the death penalty that has resulted in execution in men more than in women. These accounts include the differences in lifestyles and life experiences, attitudes and values, traditional gender roles and norms, social status differences, and the emergency of the feminist wave that has increased autonomy, empowerment, and consciousness among women (Sander, 2009). These aspects have profoundly contributed to the inequalities experienced in the applicability of the capital punishment, death, as reactions and judgments are more favorable among convicted women than among convicted men, despite committing similar natural of crimes.
4.3 Racism in Death Penalty
Other scholars argue that the death penalty is prevalent among men and women from minority groups based on racial factors. More importantly, men of color and from the minority groups are the most convicted and executed compared to women, especially when the victims are from the white race. In any case, there is a man presented before the Supreme Court based on murder and the victim is white, the courts disregard the statistical evidence presented to them, convict, and execute the defendants (Shatz, 2011). The authors present an argument that the arrests, convictions, and death sentences, among men, are conducted out of proportions when comparing the rates of arrests and convictions among women that commit similar crimes. Concisely, death sentences are disproportionally given when comparing the number of death cases among men and women in not only the men from the minority groups but generally. Hence, these sources relate to those on gender discrimination in death penalties, among the men in the USA.
5. Language, Evidence, and Techniques
5.1 Language Features
The writing styles and language features used among the authors in their texts and development of arguments and conclusions vary to support their claims, bring about meaning, understanding, and invoke effects among the readers (Swovelin, 2019). Primarily, the language used in the resources is formalized and guided under the logic rules. Authors use these features to achieve completeness of thoughts and arguments, bring about consistency, and promote the validity of the information and claims stated. The authors use analytical features in their work to show the complexity of the topic while effectively addressing the issues at hand with expertise. Through the deductive and inductive reasoning techniques, as well as the evidence incorporated, the authors conduct a critical analysis of the problem by evaluating and examining the evidence presented.
While being analytical, most of the authors compare and contrast their findings of present evidence and academic evidence to assess both sides of the story and issue for comprehensive and conclusive conclusions. For instance, before making conclusions, most of the authors have integrated and used the deductive form of reasoning where they generalize the information on they generalize on the concept of the death penalty and specify the case of gender inequalities. The generalization is mostly on the issues that the death penalty is granted to the convicted men and women in the USA and later show the specification on the higher numbers on men convicts, arrests, and executions compared to the lesser and unfavorable rates and numbers of women executed based on similar crimes. This shows the comparison of both sides of women and men, analyzing the findings, similarities, and differences, and later drawing conclusions based on the evidence presented.
Secondly, an objective language is highly illustrated in the sources, whereby the authors focus on the facts concerning the numbers of men and women convicted and actually killed. In most cases, the authors present their arguments on both sides that determines whether the applicability of the death penalty makes men core targets. This is supported by qualitative and quantitative evidence collected from other sources or the federal and state governments on the death penalty information center. The presentation of the evidence, findings, and judgments conveys a formal attitude whereby they communicate formal and credible arguments rather than personal emotions and opinions. However, in the blogs and other public sources, objectivity is minimal, although the authors incorporate empirical evidence (Swovelin, 2019). Explicitness is another prevalent language feature employed among the authors. It is achieved through the clear presentation of idea and arguments in the articles and books, with well-organized structures, sections, and headings that facilitates the smooth flow of ideas hence easy reading, understanding and more appealing. One can follow the written works through the chapters, titles, and sections created. More importantly, the authors use sign positing phrases that communicate the purpose of the heading or sections and enhances its structures. However, this aspects and features differ among other authors where they present their ideas, information, and arguments without using the signpost phrases. Hence, this feature is applied to a few audiences.
The style of written and organizing the texts, among many authors, is the use of the formal prose style. Through the formal prose style, authors develop their arguments and conclusions through complex sentence structures that abide by stringent grammatical rules with the integration of technical and scholarly vocabularies to bring about precision, accuracy, and credibility. Most importantly, the authors adhere to the importance of maintaining a great reference to the subject matter, which involves the death penalty and its prevalence in applicability among men. Effective development of the arguments is best achieved by the different rhetoric techniques, types of evidence, and the language features incorporated.
5.2 Types of Evidences
Just as the language features and rhetorical techniques used among authors differently and uniquely, the types of evidence given matter a lot when trying to support one’s ideas, communicate arguments, support claims, and, most importantly persuading the audience. The works and arguments developed by the authors on determining whether the applicability of the death penalty makes men core targets are presented with evidence and facts that a reader used to determine the accuracy, credibility, and the precision of the argument. Lack of proof, whether shown through statistical evidence or paraphrases and direct quotes, the claims would feel inadequate and not convincing enough to the audience (Swovelin, 2019). The purpose of researching the topic is to persuade and convince one’s audience. The presentation of the arguments and information among the authors involves paraphrases of other literature and author’s work and the use of direct quotes, which shows similarity in thoughts and emphasis. This logical type of evidence is highly used among the authors as they complement other author’s work while some form contrary opinions and arguments. For instance, in one source, the author claims gender discrimination is the most prevalent aspect and feature when applying the death penalty.
On the other hand, various authors borrow the idea and develop arguments such as sexism and gender gaps as a compliment and extension of the first argument and idea. Others use the evidence and arguments of the first author to form contrary opinions and arguments. For instance, there is a contradicting and at the same time agreeing argument whereby the author claims that the decision to live or die among convicted murders awaiting execution becomes shaky as aspects such as prejudices of gender and violence capabilities, as well as gallantry values, are used, instead of using the evidence presented and governing dogmas. Hence, it shows that the issue of whether being male or female influences the decision and disparities minimally. In addition to the paraphrasing, the authors use educational evidence, which creates a correlation between their ideas and arguments and the logic or evidence presented. This strengthens the arguments and enhances credibility and reliability as the facts and evidence provided are verifiable and follow the codes of verisimilitude.
Another type of evidence incorporated and integrated into the authors’ works is the empirical type of evidence that evidences, conclusions, information, and arguments based on scientific research conducted through observations and experiments (Swovelin, 2019). The sources list provides an article that studies the relationship between gender gaps and the death penalty punishment as well as determining whether the virtue of empathy can be used to close the present gender gaps. Through the source, the author surveys students with administered questionnaires that focus on critical aspects of their demographic information, phobias related to criminal activities, and empathetic questions. The data, information, and findings developed resulted in a conclusive argument indicating that there is indeed a gender gap present in the applicability of the death penalty punishment and aspects of racism that relate to previous arguments and authors. The presence of empirical data and evidence enhances the credibility and reliability of the reasoning developed by the author as one can observe and interpret the data and information acquired. The empirical data presented, for instance, by this author, validate the conclusion and argument created. Hence, the primary purpose of using empirical evidence is to disapprove or approve and endorse arguments, ideas, and theories. This type of proof validates and upholds many consistent arguments that, indeed, the death penalty punishment is sexist, presents aspects of gender discrimination as well as racism, and is gender-biased.
The final type of evidence incorporated though seen rarely and in a few works, is the anecdotal type of evidence that involves giving descriptive events and experiences on the concerned topic. This evidence is used to describe instances and accounts when gender discrimination was practiced by recounting cases such as women and men on the row. The discovery on the minimal utilization of this type of evidence is because the evidence is susceptible to many fallacies and biases, with arguments and conclusions made based on personal feelings, values, beliefs, and relations. However, the incorporation of this type of evidence seeks to support claims and arguments drawn to address the central issue, which involves determining whether the death penalty is sexist, presents aspects of gender discrimination as well as racism, and is gender-biased and targets men mostly in the USA. The claims and arguments developed based on anecdotal evidence are highly discredited as they rely on the hearsay rather than the actual happenings and information concerning the issue at hand and events. Concisely, the authors highly utilize the first two types of evidence to make and support their claims and arguments while forming debates and contradicting information. Besides, in this type of literature and issue, precision, accuracy, and reliability are critical and essential aspects, which are easily acquired through the logical and empirical types of evidence.
5.3 Rhetorical Techniques
When reading and reviewing the sources and arguments developed among authors, they employ different rhetoric appeals and strategies to persuade the audience and support their ideas and opinions fully (Swovelin, 2019). Few resources, most notably, the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) and related federal and state governments websites, they use inductive reasoning. They show specific cases, discusses the nature of the crimes and inmates and presents the facts on the exact numbers of the death row inmates in the USA. It is through this information; it becomes easy to discern the information and numbers to draw useful conclusions relevant to the topic on whether men are the core targets of the death penalty compared to women in the USA. On the other hand, in almost half of the resources, authors use deductive reasoning, whereby they generalize on the concept of the death penalty and specify the case of gender inequalities. The generalization is mostly on the issues that the death penalty is granted to the convicted men and women in the USA and later show the specification on the higher numbers on men convicts, arrests, and executions compared to the lesser and unfavorable rates and numbers of women executed based on similar crimes. The broader claim focuses on the gender gaps present in the USA legal and justice systems that involve statistical evidence of the number of convicted and executed men and women. For instance, in one source, the author shows that out of the 2,639 inmates arraigned for execution, 98% comprises of men, and the remaining 2% consists of women. Later they specify on the gender gaps and inequalities present in the number of inmates actually executed. The specificity shows around 1 woman among the 2% is actually performed, while 97.7 % of the 98% among men are killed (Brian D. Godcharles, 2019). This reasoning highly aligns with the topic and issue at hand.
The resources selected for this review are scholarly journals, from online sources, books, databases on the relevant issue, and follows on statistical analysis from popular articles and publications. Hence, they are reliable and credible, developed by respected and subject matter experts in the issues pertaining to social justice, the death penalty, capital punishments, and related aspects. The credibility of these sources results in substantial and well-developed information and arguments that are susceptible to minimal biases and fallacies. However, this does not mean they are all perfect that they lack conclusions and arguments drawn from circular arguments and ad populum types of fallacies. When reviewing article sources from popular magazines such as the CNN and Forbes on the central topic, authors mostly use the ad populum biases, where they instigate emotions among the reader. They show the negative aspects such as racism ad historical issues of segregation among the minority groups to explain the origin of gender discriminations and prevalence of men-oriented executions. They mostly focus on the historical development of racism to show how women and men are viewed differently in the society through the gendered roles that have resulted in inequalities even in the legal and justice systems in the USA. The conclusions drawn are sourced from their personal beliefs, which invokes an emotional sensibility on the non-existence of values and justice in the legal systems. However, this technique helps the authors support their arguments and claims rather than distracting on the main issue, as one would think and susceptible to misinterpretation.
Conveying and communication the main arguments and ideas, authors have mostly utilized the allusion rhetoric technique, including referencing events, people, and places (Swovelin, 2019). This is mainly seen when authors refer to case laws on death penalties, where the names of the defendants and plaintiffs are mentioned and brief case analysis conducted in their work to prove, elaborate, and support various claims. For instance, one illusive example encountered in the course of reading focuses on gender inequalities most specifically on the role of racism in the death penalties debate, where there was a case between McCleskey vs. Kemph (David W. Neubauer, 2019). Through this illustration, the author based their conclusion that men of color and from the minority groups are the most convicted and executed compared to women, especially when the victims are from the white race. The authors, through an analogical sequence, present the emphasis and development of the relationship between gender inequalities such as biases, racism, sexism, and discrimination. For instance, using a figure of speech to compare the two variables and using the antanagoge devise to show how corrupt and unequal the Supreme Courts are when applying the death penalty punishment between men and women yet showing their importance and complementing their efforts (Brandon Garrett, 2018). Concisely, the authors employ and integrate the above-identified rhetorical techniques in their work to build on their arguments that result in the identified viewpoints concerning the topic while persuading the target audience. The persuasion is achieved differently and uniquely among authors on the issue under the guidance of the ethos, logos, and pathos of sound, credible, and reliable content and information.
In reference to the question of determining whether the applicability of the death penalty makes men core targets, authors claim that the death penalty is sexist, presents aspects of gender discrimination as well as racism, and is gender-biased. It is vital to research, evaluate sources, and study about the death penalty and men’s involvement as it helps identify patterns and trends both in the past and in the present to understand the aspects of equity, quality, and applicability of the capital punishment. Through the evaluation, there are consistencies and contradictions of information and arguments developed by authors that are depicted by their choice of language features, evidence type, and rhetoric techniques. Many sources have similar relationships and patterns that concur that the death penalty is targeted at men due to gender discrimination and sexism, as more men are executed than the women are. Other sources offer contradicting arguments stating that the death penalty applies to both men and women based on gender biases.
These points of view relate and influence each other through the enhancement of the gaps presented and existing materials. This is seen from the weaknesses and strengths presented in the literature review of the sources chosen. The authors employ a variety of rhetoric features and techniques, including the use of deductive and inductive reasoning, analogical sequences, and allusions, among others, to enhance the meaning of the tests, support their arguments, and persuade readers. They employ these techniques and features to persuade the audience and support their ideas and opinions fully. They use them to enhance precision, accuracy, and reliability, as they are critical and essential aspects in the comprehensive and conclusive development of the arguments. These aspects have profoundly resulted in the development of concrete information, data, and different viewpoints and perspectives that help understand and answer the main question revolving around men and death penalty rates in comparison with the women.
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