Analysis Of Jeff Jacoby's Bring Back Flogging

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In Jeff Jacoby’s “Bring Back Flogging,” he compares the punishments for crimes in the 17th Century to the punishments for crimes in the present. Jacoby suggests in his essay that “the Puritans were more enlightened than we think, at least on the subject of punishment. Their sanctions were humiliating and painful, but quick and cheap.” Jacoby makes a good argument to bring back an old punishment policy. He points out that “a humiliating and painful paddling can be applied to the rear end of a crook for a lot less than $30,000 (per year).” Jacoby’s point makes sense. Why should we waste money on the living expenses of convicts, especially if the outdated policy could prove more effective? Jacoby uses an excellent approach to drawing his audience…show more content…
The action to avoid pain is even natural to the human nervous system and occurs subconsciously. For example, if one were to put his or her hand on a hot object, the innate reaction would be to pull his or her hand away. A “timeout” (imprisonment) would not deter a future offense as effectively as a physical correction (flogging) would. Imprisonment can also be ineffective because the convicts may not see it as a form of punishment, but rather, as “a sign of manhood, a status symbol” in their criminal, social circles, a.k.a. “street cred.” Jacoby says that those who oppose corporal punishment may argue that it is “too degrading” or “too brutal.” Jacoby mentions that, in today’s society, incarceration is “an all-purpose punishment, suitable -- or so it would seem -- for crimes violent and nonviolent.” However, Jacoby believes that it is prison that is degrading and brutal. He supports his belief that prison is too brutal with a fact from The Boston Globe (1994) which says that “more than 200,000 prison inmates are raped each year, usually to the indifference of the guards.” Jacoby quotes former Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun who writes, “The horrors experienced by many young inmates,
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