Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sometimes I have to help students learn to write well

Here is an example of a student paper where I have tried to improve the writing style.  

            The death penalty is something that not only affects the lives of the person that has been sentenced to be executed, but also affects the people of our country and/or state. Not only does the death penalty plug up the processes in the court systems but also has the taxes raised because of the fact that the money spent on the death penalty and the processes for it is unexpected expenses and then get taken away from other things that need the money. The death penalty has raised the taxes on the people in the state and have instead of using the money on fixing highways it is used on the death penalty process, whether it is the cases or the actually execution part. Not only do death penalty cases plug up the courts with lengthy and costly processes, but also these death penalty cases take money away from more important priorities, because their high legal costs divert funding from better criminal justice programs (such as crime prevention), schools, or road maintenance, and keep total public safety spending higher than it needs to be, thus pushing up tax rates. 

Another problem them that seems to have affected the death penalty is the fact that people who were already put on death row have been found to be innocent that has already been put on death row. There is also a little bit of a plus side a possible benefit with the death penalty. It helps lower rates of capital crimes the fact of crime in risk of being put on death row and be executed. The deterrence benefit of capital punishment hasn’t been conclusively proven, and there is evidence on both sides, but some recent work by researchers such as Naci Mocan, Cass R. Sunstein, and Adrian Vermeule (all formerly or currently death penalty opponents) judge the evidence in favor of a life-saving deterrence effect of the death penalty to be strong (see “Does the Death Penalty Save Lives? A New Debate,” by Adam Liptak, in the New York Times, November 18, 2007, page 1)

It is almost a catch twenty-two. Do you get rid of the death penalty because there is are innocent people that have been put on death row, or do we keep it because it helps out the crime aspect in keeping it lower than what it normally otherwise would be? Another problem the government faces with the death penalty is the fact of that people receive different treatment based on such arbitrary factors as the age, race, and gender of the victim and the convicted offender. For example, the women and juveniles younger offenders have less of a chance to go onto death row because of the their gender and their age. In fact, the Supreme Court decided on March 1, 2005 that it is unconstitutional to sentence any person to death for a crime committed before their 18th birthday. It is hard for the people  juries, judges, and prosecutors dealing with the cases or the people in the government have a hard time sending to send females and juveniles young adults to death row because our society says that the women are the nurturers and the children are innocent. With these These ideas that society has put into our heads about gender and age, it has have made in it almost impossible for us to be able to be okay with the fact of accommodate ourselves to any situation in which we sentence women and basically children being sentenced young adults to death. 

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