Caroline is a new staff reporter for a newspaper near Jackson, Georgia. Her first assignment is a protest organized by an anti-death penalty group outside of the local prison. There is a prisoner on death row who is scheduled for execution in two months, but is in the final stages of his last appeal.

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English Composition

Caroline is a new staff reporter for a newspaper near Jackson, Georgia. Her first assignment is a protest organized by an anti-death penalty group outside of the local prison. There is a prisoner on death row who is scheduled for execution in two months, but is in the final stages of his last appeal.

Caroline is excited to cover a high-profile story, but she’s nervous about attending an emotional protest.

Which of the following speeches is an example of a persuasive speech on a question of policy?

a) “The Death Penalty Is Murder” by Reverend Wilbur, who runs a prisoner support group

b) “How Our Justice System Works: An Introduction” by Dr. Frawley, head of public health at the city government

c) “Conviction Rates Against Minorities: A Forecast for a New Era” by Adam Strout, a legal professor from a university

d) “Our Education System Needs to Do a Better Job for Black Boys,” by Dr. Sarah Stevenson, a member of the school board and local city council

 

Caroline arrives at the protest early and finds that many people are already there holding banners and signs. She taps a bystander on the shoulder.

“Do you know who’s going to be speaking today?” she asks.

“We have the mother of the guy on death row; Sister Kennedy, who is a famous anti-death penalty campaigner; a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union; and someone from Amnesty International. I bet Sister Kennedy will give the best speech,” the bystander says.

Select the description of the best practice in persuasive speaking that can help Caroline judge which speech is the best.

a) A speech on a question of policy that argues for a needed change to an existing policy should use a clear organizational structure.

b) Good speakers use deductive reasoning to draw a conclusion from the evidence they present.

c) Good persuasive speeches always need a call to action.

d) A speech on a question of value does not need to use facts because it is based on morality.

As the speakers gather outside the prison gates, a van suddenly pulls in. A group of men jump out with signs and begin chanting “Justice for Selena!” They surround a crying middle-aged woman.

When Caroline approaches, she hears the organizers ask the woman to say a few words about her daughter, Selena. The man on death row had been convicted of her brutal murder at age 16. Caroline wonders whether the crowd will listen to Selena’s mother.

Which of the following speech scenarios would be described as anxiety driven by expectation?

a) The pro-death penalty crowd that shows up won’t listen to the mother of the prisoner.

b) A crime victim advocate is nervous about making a five-minute speech to protesters at an anti-death penalty rally. She’s arguing the death penalty prevents violent crime.

c) When Caroline asks crowd members about who was the best speaker, they all said the best one was the one who argued what they already believed.

d) The crowd won’t be able to follow the arguments made by speakers with opposing viewpoints.

Selena’s mother speaks about how her daughter’s murder has affected her and her family over the past 10 years. Rather than speaking directly about the death penalty, she talks about the emotional damage the convicted man has continued to inflict upon them with each trial and appeal.

Caroline notices that much of the crowd isn’t listening, but some people are in tears.

Which of the following examples is most likely using pathos in its appeal?

a) An employee of the prison system shares the statistics concerning botched executions.

b) An attorney describes the sincere remorse many of his clients showed before and after trial.

c) A politician describes the high cost of putting prisoners to death compared to rehabilitation.

d) A professor shows graphs illustrating the number of young black men sentenced to death.

Sister Kennedy speaks next. Although she speaks quietly and rarely makes eye contact, the crowd is silent as she describes her meetings with death row inmates. She acknowledges pro-death penalty arguments, but outlines how she came to believe that the death penalty is discriminatory. She goes on to list the men and families she has met for over 30 years and cites studies to support her claim that the needy and poor are the only ones put to death.

Which of the following best demonstrates how Sister Kennedy builds credibility at the anti-death penalty rally?

a) She demonstrates an opinion.

b) She is a member of the clergy.

c) She has met with a death row inmate.

d) She discusses her 30 years of experience.

An attorney hired to represent the prisoner on death row takes the stage next. Caroline records the following excerpt from his speech:

“When we compare the conviction rate for African-American men living under the poverty line with the conviction rate for white men living under the poverty line, we see that judges and juries convict African-American men at nearly twice the rate. This level of institutional racism cannot be accepted. It means a black man in this country does not get a fair trial!”

Caroline makes a note to fact check his evidence at the office before writing her story.

Which of the following actions shows Caroline evaluating this evidence for relevance and context?

a) Caroline looks back over her notes on the lawyer’s speech to make sure all of his statistics matched the overarching point of his speech.

b) Caroline researches the statistics mentioned in the lawyer’s speech to make sure they are consistent with current court data.

c) Caroline looks up the attorney’s credentials to ensure that he is representing himself accurately.

d) Caroline interviews protestors after the lawyer’s speech to see if they correctly describe the information the lawyer presented.

Now the prisoner’s mother takes the podium. She introduces herself with the following words:

“We all hope that our children will outlive us. My son is going to die before me and he is going to die alone, scared, and in pain. I know Selena died alone, scared, and in pain and I don’t wish that knowledge on any other mother. I don’t want any mother to picture her baby fighting death, so I believe the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment inflicted on our society as a whole. When the prison kills my son, I will be seeing the chubby, sweet baby that I nursed dying, so to me the state of Georgia will be killing an innocent baby when they poison my son.”

Which of the following is an example of an ineffective appeal?

a) “I believe the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment inflicted on our society as a whole.”

b) “I know Selena died alone, scared, and in pain and I don’t wish that knowledge on any other mother.”

c) “I don’t want any mother to picture her baby fighting death.”

d) “The state of Georgia will be killing an innocent baby when they poison my son.”

Caroline had expected high emotions at the rally, but she hadn’t realized how difficult it could be to remain an objective and critical listener. With so many facts, emotions, and strong viewpoints to sift through, she feared making a mistake in her reporting.

Determine whether the following appeal is rational and complete the statement.

“The Ten Commandments says that killing is wrong and 70% of Americans say they believe in God and the bible, so 70% of Americans probably think the death penalty is wrong.”

The above statement uses __________ reasoning that relies on an invalid inference, or __________.

a) verifiable, data

b) inductive, syllogism

c) logos, deduction

d) rational, logos

Sister Kennedy gently ushers the convicted man’s mother off the stage while the audience chants, “No more murder! No more murder!” Next, a Georgia state senator begins to speak:

“Hello, my fellow citizens. It is my honor to represent the kind and moral people of Georgia in our state house and lead you in the battle to stop this unjust and cruel institution from executing any more of our people. I was the first state senator to introduce the legislation needed to abolish the death penalty. If you don’t vote for me in November, then we have no chance of abolishing this cruel practice.”

Political speeches often contain emotional appeals and errors in reasoning. Which of the following is an example of a common fallacy?

a) This one judge’s actions is proof that all of the judges in this town unfairly target minority defendants.

b) The death penalty is practiced in 19 states.

c) Minority defendants are often represented by public defenders. Most public defenders haven’t gone to school. Therefore, minority defendants have lawyers who haven’t gone to school.

d) The Bible says that killing is a sin, so if you support the death penalty, you are not a true follower of the Bible.

As the rally draws to a close, a community organizer summarizes key points made by the speakers. Caroline makes the following notes on her speech:

Introduction: Four in five men on death row have IQs considered below normal and would be considered intellectually disabled by special ed standards. We must right an unjust and cruel system.

Argument: The death penalty takes money away from the state’s ailing educational and criminal justice systems.
Practical solutions and alternatives to the death penalty based on international examples of crime prevention and rehab.

Conclusion: In the future, we won’t be protesting outside prisons. There will be true justice for all. Programs for crime prevention and prisoner rehabilitation. Call to donate to the organization and attend a protest at state house next month before vote on legislation.

Which statement relates to the action element of Monroe’s motivated sequence?

a) “Practical solutions and alternatives to the death penalty…”

b) “Call to donate to the organization and attend a protest…”

c) “In the future, we won’t be protesting outside prisons…”

d) “Four in five men on death row have IQ’s considered below normal…”

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