Writing Plan Op Ed—Hershey

Thesis Statement


  1. Topic: The abolishment of the death penalty should be prominent, especially towards the wrongly accused. This penalty is beginning to have a new outlook on whether or not the use of this consequence is reasonable for an offense. The use of this sentence should not be used because taking someone’s life should be allowed. If murder can be defined as the “premeditated killing of one human being by another”, then how is this cruelty different.
  2. Background Evidence:
  • Many studies show that black men are more likely to be sentenced to death because they are black and not white.
  • The state of California has spent $5 billion to keep the death penalty on life support in the last 40 years.
  • The intentional killing of an individual is extremely wrong this deems premeditation.
  • “The execution of a person who has no comprehension of why he has been singled out and stripped of his fundamental right to life”.


  1. Sources:



  1. Sources I Have Not Found:
  • If everyone who received death penalty has solid evidence for their accusation?
  • If an innocent person is wrongfully accused are they sentenced to prison still even though it was inaccurate?
  1. Counterargument: It is very easy to judge those who make the decision of an offender facing death unlike bystanders who are just looking from the outside. So what is fair judgment for justice for the victim?


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2 Responses to Writing Plan Op Ed—Hershey

  1. davidbdale says:

    Hershey, as we discussed today in class, newspaper editors don’t hire an OpEd columnist to write an “overview” essay on a broad topic that has nothing to do with today’s (or yesterday’s) news. Instead, they devote the OpEd pages to opinion pieces that reflect directly on something that just happened or is still happening: a new piece of legislation, a new scientific study, a recent tragedy, . . . NOT an ongoing disgrace.

    Important as the generations-long debate about capital punishment undoubtedly is, you need to ground your essay in something very current.

    Of your sources, the one that serves that purpose is the Tennessee article

    that references Attorney General William Barr’s announcement that the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is going to start killing people after 16 years without putting inmates to death.

    Following the link from that Tennessee article at the mention of Barr’s name brings us to this article from July 2019

    THIS is where an OpEd writer would concentrate the argument.

    You can’t spend 1000 words asking general questions about the rightness or wrongness of capital punishment, crucial as those questions are, in an OpEd piece. It needs to be grounded in the particulars of a current situation.

    That does not mean you have to ignore obvious moral objections, but you have to balance those observations against the narrower case. You can say in a sentence that the death penalty is leveled predominantly against black convicts, but you can’t devote 250 words to that observation, or to the observation that inmates have been wrongfully executed on too little evidence. Both are true. Both are fundamental to a deep discussion on the moral dilemma of premeditated state murder, but the OpEd is NOT a deep discussion on a fundamental moral dilemma.

    It’s an opinion piece on a specific bit of current news that is INFORMED by those deep and fundamental concerns. Focus closely on Tennessee, or William Barr, or the deep divide between capital-punishment states (almost exclusively Republican) and non-capital-punishment states (almost exclusively Democratic), or something equally particular.

    I can’t show you the Washington Post article above the same way the New York Times articles appear, but I CAN show you in class how our affiliations with Rowan get us FREE access to the Washington Post articles that might help us in our arguments. That article contains this nugget:

    Executions have increasingly been the domain of red states, thanks largely to Texas’s dominance in capital punishment. Since 2014, there have been 134 executions in the United States, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Three were in Virginia, the only state that didn’t support Trump in 2016 where executions have occurred since then. The rest were in red states. Since about 2000, an increasing percentage of executions have occurred in states that backed Trump.

    Does that help?


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