The paper "An Indefensible Punishment" is an outstanding example of an article review on social science. The Editorial “ An Indefensible Punishment” takes on the issue of the death penalty in the United States. Rather than focus on issues of cruelty or the propriety of a government killing its own citizens, this article focuses on the fundamental flaws in the application of the death penalty, saying that it is almost impossible for it to be applied correctly. It makes its points through a combination of statistics and appeals to major studies, all pointing towards the death penalty being used on innocent people. This article is thoroughly convincing.
One of its greatest strengths is the fact that it is able to draw from a wide variety of statistics and sources that appeal to reason. In one example, for instance, the article points out that under the current death penalty system “ 17 innocent people sentenced to death have been exonerated and released based on DNA evidence, and 112 other people based on other evidence, ” which clearly shows that the court themselves admit they were wrong in sentencing 119 people to death.
This forces to the reader to consider the fact that if the courts know for certain that many people were wrongfully sentenced, there were probably a few unlucky people who were wrongfully sentenced and then put to death. This article also makes good use of weighty authority, in one case quoting a “ major study done for the Senate Judiciary Committee” which demonstrated that incompetent lawyers were a major factor in many capital cases. While this article seems fairly reliable, choosing its sources and only using well-documented statistics, it possibly fails to drive home the true horror of the death penalty by failing to emotionally engage the reader.
This makes it a convincing argument in terms of reason, but often the death penalty is something where emotions weigh heavily, and doing something to drive home the emotional side of this issue would have made this more effective.