Convincing The Public Essay

1462 words - 6 pages

Living in the 21st century means living with basic health care facilities. Dying of preventable diseases is unacceptable, and yet an inmate in one of California’s prisons died every six to seven days (Saunders). All people should have access to basic hygiene and decent health care. But when it has to do with an inmate it becomes a fight on how much is too much. On one side J. Clark Kelso argues in his article “California Must Spend More on Prison Health Care,” that health conditions in prisons need to be dramatically improved. On the other hand, in her article “California Should Not Spend Excessively on Prison Health Care,” Debra Saunders debates that California should not spend too much on ...view middle of the document...

To fully understand a subject you must be able to teach it. Kelso obviously knows what he is talking about since he is a law professor. Plus, he is driven enough to be the state federal receiver. The reader can be sure this author knows what he is talking about. On the other hand, Debra Saunders is a conservative syndicated columnist (Saunders). Already she can be interpreted as a biased people pleaser based on her description of being conservative and a columnist. Conservatives usually stick with their point of less government, which can then influence her view on the topic of her article. Being a columnist she is expected to write what people would want to read. She makes a living off her writing so what she writes is important. In some ways she has to keep the reader interested and entertained, therefore she uses quotes in her introduction that can be seen as insulting and disrespectful to Kelso. Her tone throughout the article is also critical and her writing style includes labeling and name calling, which all affects her credibility. Saunders uses a Jerry Brown quote to label Kelso’s plan as “‘a gold-plated wish list’ for California’s prison health care system.” She then proceeds to title Kelso’s proposal, “Pampering Inmates” (Saunders). This subtitle can be seem biased as well as name calling. This makes the article seem less professional which consequently makers her lose credibility as an author.
Another thing that supports an author’s argument is effectively using facts. As a fact Kelso writes, “The U.S. Constitution protects every person in this country from cruel and unusual punishment.” Kelso uses credible sources such as the U.S Constitution and relates those facts to readers by stating their rights. But what the reader might not notice is the overgeneralization that Kelso is making when he uses a fact that relates to all citizens when in reality his argument targets a specific group of people, a group of people whose rights are sometimes withheld. He then brings forward the fact that, “three federal courts have independently found that the state of California consistently violates the U.S Constitution’s Eighth Amendment [which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment]” (Kelso). Kelso also uses these court verdicts to support his argument, which in turn makes the reader question why this issue is presented for permission instead of being fixed. Giving these types of legitimate facts and sources adds a state of urgency for his argument. He effectively manipulates his facts to give his argument support and convince readers.
As for Saunders, she too effectively uses her facts to support her argument. Saunders dedicates a subsection in her article, “Gains Have Been Made,” to facts about the improvements in the prison health care system before Kelso’s plan is even in effect. She states, “health care spending per inmate rose from $7,601 per inmate in 2005-06 to $13,778 per inmate in 2007-08… the number of inmate deaths has fallen...

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