On Capital Punishment (in the Style of John Donne)

by Jim Farrar (1976)

Ah, if those men, those gentlemen, who guide, control, manipulate our stalwart, cherished, and righteously righteous democratic institutions of public trust, if those honorable servants would for a moment consider the hypocrisy, the pertinacious and pernicious perjoration of a society that dare take the burden of God Almighty upon its conscience and play with the fate of its fellow human beings, dealing out life and death as if it were but a small gambit in the infinite game of existence, if these men would realize that the condemnation to death of a man guilty of crimes perpetrated against that society, out of pious pity for victim, is not their privilege or pleasure; that punishment should take the form of rehabilitation and not retribution, if these men who call themselves leaders would realize this, then I believe that the first step toward sanity, in an insane world, can be taken.

Capital punishment should be abolished. No man has the right to play God, to decide whether or not another may live or die. The death penalty is just another form of murder. I find it hypocritical in a society that condemns murder, to practice it in the name of justice. Rehabilitation, not retribution, should be the goal of “punishment.” Justice, with this as its objective, would then become what would have to be the first step toward a better society.

Brief Analysis

The difference between the first and second paragraph is rather obvious. The first is abundant in abstract language, metaphors, and polysyllabic words. It is verbose, the main idea is not clearly stated. Conversely, the second paragraph is, comparatively, rather simple. There are very few figures of speech and its main idea is succinctly state. Readers would most likely find it easier to read and comprehend, though both say virtually the same thing.

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