A Rhetorical Analysis Of Anthony Ray Hinton's Speech

1241 Words5 Pages

“Thirty years ago, prosecution seemed deemed to take my life from me. They didn’t just take me from my family and friends. They had every intention of prosecuting me for something I didn’t do.” –Anthony Ray Hinton. On October 12, 2016 I attended a speech by Anthony Ray Hinton at the Johnson Fine Arts Center on Northern State University’s Campus in Aberdeen, SD. Anthony Hinton spoke to us about his time on death row, and the events leading up to arrest, conviction, and being exonerated. He was there to inform us on his experience and the injustice that can come with the death penalty. This eventually leads to him trying to persuade the audience to take action to get rid of the death penalty. As a strong believer of the death penalty, Hinton’s …show more content…

At the beginning of his speech, he had a video presentation that had been done hours after he was exonerated, and it gave a slight look into what had happened to him. This set up his actual speech in a way where you wanted to listen to what he was going to talk about, and made you curious about what had happened to this poor man. After this, he began his actual speech. Hinton’s attention getter was as follows, “I wish I could stand here tonight and tell you that race is not an issue in the justice system. I wish I could tell you that the state of Alabama realized their mistake. However, I would be lying if I said anything of these things.” This grabbed my attention because it makes you wonder what happened again, and in addition it was the way he said it. Hinton is a large black man with a deep voice and a thick southern drawl, and when he talks, it demands attention but it’s not intimidating, this was also an attention grabber for me. His introduction was about setting up the scene of his arrest. He talked about his mother in a way that made you want her to be your mother, what he was doing and how the arrest didn’t make any sense in the first place. One thing he said at the end of his introduction, which led into what I would consider the body, that will stick with me is this, “One of the white men that came to carry me to jail said, “Oh I don't care if you did it or didn't do it, you're gonna pay the price for …show more content…

I learned a lot about the justice system in America, and what can happen to somebody who is wrongly convicted. Hinton truly made me question my belief in the death penalty when he spoke. He also taught me that when giving a public speech, it’s okay to let your emotions overcome you sometimes and to make people laugh, or ask them to question their beliefs. If I could give Hinton some suggestions, it would be to better organize the body portion of the speech. This is due to the fact that it was hard to differentiate points sometimes and follow what was going on. Hinton did an amazing job of keeping my attention the whole time. This speech was well over an hour long, and not once did I day dream about when I got to leave, or when this would be over. He captivated me the whole time during his speech. I am extremely happy I got the chance to attend this speech and I couldn’t have asked for a better one to

Open Document