Unit 3

Final Statement

Unit 1

Have you ever felt like your back is against the wall when it comes to school? Cant understand a subject, lessons aren’t making sense? Or maybe even having too much homework/assignments due that you just cant seem to focus on. Have you ever wondered how you learn? Everyone has a personal learning type which could be a key to your education, or even just life in general. Finding a mental routine can help keep your work consistent and your mind refreshed, understanding your learning type can play a big part in your education.
Added: Throughout my education I was never really an A+ student, nor was I a failure. I always found my self just evening out, average. Nothing more nothing less. My friends would exceed onto honors society, and institutes of science and such. This motivated me, and drove me to do better in a way. But I always found my self not focused, always procrastinating. A lot of the time; not really interested on the subject at hand. I later came to realize I just wasn’t putting enough effort into my work, I should be doing more. I started asking more questions in class to help me understand subjects more, I started asking classmates there take on an assignment and how they approached it. Asking more questions for better understanding on things opened up a road for me I had not yet been down, but needed to be.
Added: Getting more involved with class opened up a new way of thinking for me. I realized you can always be a good student; handing stuff in on time, passing tests, speaking well during presentations etc. But what’s it all really worth if you don’t have an understanding of it? A colleague of mine in the Electric industry once told me, “anyone can connect a red wire to a blue wire. Its why you are connecting wire A to wire B.” If you have a full understanding of the task at hand you can do anything. Understanding; “I have to do this to make this work” instead of  being told instructions and doing it. “Why” compared to “what” separates the good students from the great. But to get to “why” you have to know your learning type.
Added: There are three learning styles that exist, Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic. Seeing, hearing, and hands on. I would mostly associate myself with Kinesthetic, I usually play with something until I figure it out. But I find myself using all three. Every person uses them but may not even notice. The key is to become familiar with the three. Ask questions, ask to see something, ask to touch something. Once you find out your learning type, you will have a different perspective of learning in general. You will find yourself asking the right questions to fully understand something, knowing what you have to visually see to comprehend something, knowing how to approach something with your hands to understand the mechanics of it. Understanding how to learn will help you understand.
Added: In conclusion, your learning type will help you for the rest of your life. Not just with school, but outside of school also. Discover yours and learn how to learn!

Unit 2

Should the death penalty be abolished, in the United States? I got interested in this question, because I had written a paper on this subject during my junior year of high school. I wrote a paper on the death penalty in general, more of an informative essay. I wanted to write more about it on the argumentative side. So, when asked to pick a topic with a research question as the thesis, I thought why not write about the death penalty, and try to give my opinion towards the subject. I felt like I had only touched the tip of the iceberg when writing about the topic during high school, and I feel like there’s still more information to write about, and things to learn from the topic. I feel like it is also an important matter of subject and is something every American citizen should have a voice about it, which makes me feel like I am writing for a cause, which I enjoy. I expect to find a lot in my research. I expect to find valuable opinions/ information on both sides of the argument, whether that is being for the death penalty or against it. I expect to find finances that are affected by the situation, regarding taxpayer’s money, and governments money of such, also anything else involving money around the subject, like how much it cost for an inmate on death row, or how does a capital punishment fulfilling penitentiary affect the real estate in towns near the penitentiary, etc. If I find something I was not expecting but I think is useful towards my topic I will try to include in my essay. I pretty much know what to expect when researching my topic, as I had previously written about this topic before in school.


Source One- Amnesty International/ McCann Erickson Berlin Death Penalty | Amnesty International

The Death Penalty has been around for three hundred years In the United States and has been around for thousands of years worldwide. The earliest form of capital punishment dates to 1755 B.C. with Hammurabi’s code. The ancient Babylonians believed in what goes around comes around. On the code itself it states, “An eye for an eye, or a tooth for a tooth” (Hammurabi’s code) meaning that a person who has injured another person shall be penalized in a similar degree. Ancient times usually involved a lot of torture methods and brutal deaths, but over the course of time and science lethal injection is not the main source of capital punishment. There are just five methods being used today lethal injection being the main one the others, hanging, beheading, electrocution, and shooting. All these methods are cruel, regardless of if it is painful or not. Civil servants should not have the power to take someone’s life away. A lot of countries even use execution against minors, and even individuals with mental disabilities who are not aware of their actions. The article states “Since 1990 Amnesty International has documented at least 149 executions of child offenders in 10 countries” (McCann Erickson Berlin Death Penalty | Amnesty International) One hundred forty nine children’s lives taken from them, from a decision that they were most likely manipulated into. The authors focus of this article was to expose the death penalty and show just how cruel it is, and how common it is across the world. The author states “Amnesty International recorded at least 657 executions in 20 countries in 2018, and Amnesty International recorded at least 2,307 death sentences in 56 countries in 2019” (McCann Erickson Berlin Death Penalty | Amnesty International.) He then goes on to say how this affects the lives of the families of the inmate, the executioner, and the inmate itself up until his/her day of execution (of course if there still sane) the author states “The death penalty is a symptom of a culture of violence, not a solution to it.” (McCann Erickson Berlin Death Penalty | Amnesty International.) I like this quote because it says a lot on the subject in just a few words. Indeed, we do live in a society where violence is in our culture, violence is almost accepted. But taking a life away is not the solution to this. I feel there are more ways to cope with this rather than executing someone. I fount this article overall very informing and very well written on the topic.

Source Two: Pro Con: Should the Death Penalty be Abolished? – Ashley Nellis


In the article by Ashley Nellis, she really gives a clear perspective on both sides of the argument. She mentions how appropriately cruel. A bittersweet taste, that has both positive and negative outcomes on both sides. In this article the journalist recurring theme is that prisoners should just receive life in prison without parole. She mentions it serves the same purpose, without taking the life of an individual. Which seems like it is a good compromise. The criminal is put to justice, without his life being taken away. But the politics and finances behind the decision is actually very difficult. The author states “In Kansas, the median cost for death penalty trials is over $500,000 each, compared to about $33,000 for non-death penalty cases. The cost of the full case in which the death penalty is sought is, on average, $1.2 million, compared to $740,000 for non-death penalty cases.” (Ashley Nellis Should the Death Penalty be Abolished?) That is over three quarters of a million of taxpayer’s money going towards an inmate’s food and shelter. Is it cheaper to execute them for five hundred thousand? It is a very difficult decision. Which leads to the next question, should the entire program be abolished? The state of California alone has spent over four billion since 1978, on working on a cause against the penalty. Which leaves most states at a standstill. Is it cheaper to initially pay billions of dollars to abolish it, or seven hundred forty thousand x amount of times? The author states that states could save millions of tax money a year if the penalty is abolished. The author also states, “for the first time in polling history 60% or Americans voted on having life imprisonment without parole rather than the death penalty.” (Ashley Nellis Should the Death Penalty be Abolished?) Which then leads to listening to the taxpayer’s voice, or make a decision based off money. I like this article because this showed side C of the argument. There are always three sides to an argument/ discussion. A one view on the topic, B the other view of the topic, and C the truth. I feel like this journalist really did a great job on giving a realistic perspective on the topic. Because in all honesty it comes down to money, and which side will save more. This article showed the finances behind the situation, and if a situation were to be made it would be based off money and that’s what this article showed.

Source Three: Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed? – Death Penalty –

In this article there is a bunch of passages from speeches and other articles written by senators, mayors, and even presidents, and their opinion on whether the death penalty should be abolished or not. One of the first articles is a passage from former president Donald Trump that states “The death penalty. It should be brought back and it should be brought back strong… They say it’s not a deterrent. Well, you know what, maybe it’s not a deterrent but these two [men convicted of killing two police officers in Hattiesburg, MS] will not do any more killing. That’s for sure.” (Former President Donald Trump) I agree with him on that it will prevent the person from committing the same crime, it also sends a message, and turns it into a lesson towards other criminals. Another passage is from vice president Kamala Harris that states “It is also a waste of taxpayer money. The California Legislative Analyst’s office estimates that California would save $150 million a year if it replaced the death penalty with a sentence of life without parole. That is money that could go into schools, health care, or restorative justice programs.” (Vice President Kamala Harris) I agree with Vice President Harris on this because I think the money can go towards something with a higher purpose. She mentions how it is a gross misuse of taxpayer’s money which I agree with. I would rather have health care for the sick and elderly rather than pay for an inmate to die that I do not even know. Another passage in the article is a speech from Pope Francis that states “it likewise contradicts God’s plan for individuals and society, and his merciful justice. Nor is it consonant with any just purpose of punishment. It does not render justice to victims, but instead fosters vengeance. The commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ has absolute value and applies both to the innocent and to the guilty…” (Pope Francis) I chose to mention this article not because of my personal religion towards the pope, but in consideration for all religions. The death penalty contradicts most religions, whether that is the executed, or executioner. For Catholics one of the ten commandments is thou shall not kill which pope Francis mentions and goes against that religion. I liked this article because it gave me another perspective on the topic, when religion was mentioned. Religion was something I had not previously thought of when it comes to capital punishment. This contradicts people’s religion, at least in the united states where freedom of religion is an amendment but is now being contradicted.



In Conclusion, I learned a lot more about the subject than I had previously knew. I learned statistics, politicians’ views, citizens views, and even just some facts on how the death penalty works. I learned that it cost half a million dollars to rightfully execute someone via capital punishment, and honestly that is what surprised me the most. How much is cost to put a death penalty inmate on trial then feed him, and then execute them. But it cost even more to keep them alive. It cost over seven hundred and fifty thousand to keep the inmate alive and feed and shelter them. Which leaves most states just leaving the penalty alone, having it legal and just not using it. Why I think learning this information was important, is because this is a very serious topic going on in the United States right now, in fact I think it was one of the most government worked on projects, before the pandemic of course. I think it’s important for every citizen to have an opinion on this subject, as we are all paying for it. All death penalty servants are paid for by the taxpayer’s money. Which I believe leads to every American having a say in what should happen to the penalty. It’s also important to point out your state may be saving a lot more money if the penalty is abolished. Which might lead to your community having more schools or libraries etc. I think everyone needs to know about this subject obviously, but to narrow it down of course high government officials such as the president and vice president, which I’m sure they do know about but if they bump it up on their priority list. I think all criminals should know, so they should be more cautious, not with crime but with thinking, and I think all judges should know the logistics behind the penalty, before sending someone to death.



Unit 3

Should the death penalty be abolished? I first chose this topic during our unit two essay, by thinking back to writing an essay on this topic during my junior year of high school. I had to write an essay about the death penalty, how is started, when its proper to use it, how many times its been used etc. It was just a general essay about the death penalty. During my research is when I found out that the death penalty is still legal in 28 states. More than half the nation still practices capital punishment which blew my mind, prior to this I thought there were less than 5 states that still used it. So when I wrote my essay in my junior year I felt we should be writing an argumentative essay on whether or not it should be abolished, which I felt would be a perfect fit for our unit two essay. My goal was to show how serious this subject really is, besides everything else going on in this country now, this is pretty serious as well. Most people overlook it and don’t care as much because its not them or a loved one going to the chair, but the truth is it affects everyone in the state. The average death row inmate cost the state up to 1.2 million. That’s 1.2 million of taxpayers money. Studies show it is significantly cheaper to have someone serve life in prison rather than executing them, which serves the same purpose, no one dies, justice is served, and the state saves money. My intended audience was the everyday taxpayer, I wanted to show them how there money is being used on this. I originally was going to write an informative essay, but that was the complete opposite of what was asked which I failed to realize, I was glad I didn’t go down that route, because it pushed me out of my comfort zone, because that’s all I write. So I decided to write a court transcript. Not only did I enjoy writing this, but I felt it was a good genre for my intended audience, considering all anyone watches is law shows, I felt this wasn’t to boring and it gets the point across.


I first thought of how to start my essay, do I start off with the crime or court? When I Remembered its a court transcript so I created a fake setting and continued with what’s properly said in court “all rise,” “raise your right hand” etc. I established the crime which had to be serious to be considered for capital punishment, so I made my character commit double murder. I wanted to make it obvious he was guilty, and make the reader even consider capital punishment was appropriate, then hit them with the other side of the argument and make them think, instead of feeding it to them. This is when I wrote the juror part which turns the story around. I wanted the reader read this part going in with the same thoughts and coming out reconsidering. The final part of the essay I had to turn into a story format, to make it dramatic and top things off, and leave the reader thinking.

Now that its done I think it turned out pretty good. I enjoyed writing this and will definitely consider writing something like this again. Given all the money and expertise in the world I think I would retire in a state that doesn’t practice the death penalty and live the rest of my life. What I’m happy with most is just getting a chance to write something like this. Very rarely do I actually enjoy writing an essay, but this assignment I had a lot of fun with. I definitely didn’t expect writing something like this coming into college, and my perspective of college in general was changed. I don’t think I will be using anything from this essay unfortunately, moving forward with my English classes, but I must say it was fun while it lasted.


August 8th 1974 12 PM Texas Supreme Court, Austin Texas

People of the State of Texas versus Mr. Richards

Bailiff: All rise. [Wait for everyone-except the judge- to stand.]
Department One of the Superior Court is now in session.
Judge Chamberlin presiding. Please be seated.

Judge: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Calling the case of the
People of the State of Texas versus Mr. Richards. Are
both sides ready?

District Attorney: Ready for the People, Your Honor.

Public Defender: Ready for the defense, Your Honor

Judge: Will the clerk please swear in the jury?

Clerk: Will the jury please stand and raise your right hand? [Wait for
everyone to stand.] Do each of you swear that you will fairly try the
case before this court, and that you will return a true verdict according to the evidence and the instructions of the court, so help you, God? Please say “I do”.

Jury: I do.

Clerk: You may be seated.

Opening Statements

Deputy PA: Your Honor and ladies and gentleman of the Jury, the defendant has been charged with assault and two accounts of second degree murder. The evidence will show the defendant’s fingerprints on the loaded nine millimeter pistol found in a dumpster down the road from the victims house, the same bullet used against the two victims. The defendant has used this weapon to murder his victims. The evidence I present will prove to you that the defendant is guilty as charged.

Public Defender: Your Honor and ladies and gentlemen of the jury, under the law my client is presumed innocent until proven guilty, my client was at the cinema at the night of the crime, and has his receipt to a showing at the same time the victims were presumed dead.

Judge: The prosecution may call its first witness.

Deputy DA: The People call John Smith, the neighbor of the two victims to the stand.

John: I recall Mr. Richards being over my neighbors house frequently, he was friends with the two, I came home from work about ten after five and saw his car outside their house when I walked into mine. About a half hour later I heard gunshots and when I ran outside Mr. Richards car was gone.

Deputy PA: and what car does Mr. Richards drive?

John: A red 1973 ford mustang.

Deputy PA: Thank you, that’s all your honor. I would like to call Peter Grimshaw the owner of the movie theater to the stand please.

Deputy PA: Mr. Grimshaw how many showings of “The Great Gatsby” were there the night of July 25th?

Peter: There were only two, one at two PM, and six PM.

Deputy PA: And do you recall selling a ticket to that man? [points to Mr.Richards]

Peter: No sir.

Deputy PA: The witness doesn’t seem to recall selling a ticket to Mr.Richards with a showing just 15 minutes after the two victims were presumed dead. The movie theater is located across town and would have taken Mr. Richards a half hour to get to from the victims house, but somehow got there in fifteen minutes?

Judge: Okay that will be all for now, This trial will continue tomorrow after the Jury has made a decision.

Jury Room   

Juror #1: Well I definitely think Mr. Richards is guilty, and I think he deserves to be punished.

Juror #2: I agree all evidence shows he murdered those two men.

Juror #3: I don’t care what it is I need to get out of here I have tickets to a game in an hour.

Juror #4: It doesn’t matter where you have to be we were called to make a decision on this case, and I think he is guilty and should be executed, the same way he shot those men!

Juror #5: Well I don’t think he should be executed, that’s not right.

Juror #4: Damn right he should, he murdered his two friends in cold blood, and he deserves the same!

Juror #2: Well hold off on that I recently read in the paper that last time the court decided on capital punishment, it costed the state over 1.2 million on the guy.

Juror #4: So what it serves justice.

Juror #2: So what? That’s our money there spending.

Juror #5: He’s right my son is a baseball player, and was supposed to play the first game on the new field at main street, if it was to be finished that is. They called off the project because all the states money went to “serve justice” and execute that last time around. I don’t think its a fair way to spend tax payers money, when they could be building fields and parks for our community. I’m sure there’s a better option.

Juror #3: Well your not the only guy waiting on a game, lets just come up with something and get out of here.

Juror #4: Well we aint leaving until we all agree he should executed.

Juror #5: Hey listen, that guy still has a family, think about them.

Juror #4: Well he clearly wasn’t thinking that way when he killed his two friends.

Juror #2: I understand what your trying to get at, but overall I don’t think its worth it, no one should have there life taken number one, and number two were gonna be the ones paying for his ass.

Juror #1: Well think if your child was one of the victims, wouldn’t you want him to be executed?

Juror #2: Well it wasn’t my child and I don’t have to think that way, I don’t agree with the state spending our money on this, there’s better things to spend it on.

Juror #4: So lets put it up to a vote I think he should be executed.

Juror #1: I agree.

Juror #2: No I think he should be sentenced without murder.

Juror #5: Yeah I think that’s fair.

Juror #4: Well what do you think, should he be executed?

Juror #3: Sure, whatever it takes to get me out of here.

Juror #4: Well that does it.

August 9th 1974 12 PM Texas Supreme Court, Austin Texas

People of the State of Texas versus Mr. Richards

Judge: The jury has come to a decision.

Juror #4: Your honor the jury has come to a decision that Mr. Richards is guilty on assault and both accounts of second degree murder, and should be sentenced to death.

Judge: Thank you, This court finds Mr. Richards guilty on assault and second degree murder, and will be sentenced to capital punishment by the state of Texas.

[Mrs. Richards begins to cry and scream and is escorted out of the court room]

One Month Later

[Juror #3 Goes to buy a ticket to a baseball game]

Juror #3: A hundred dollars are you out of your mind?

Tickets salesman: Yeah we’ve had to raise our prices since taxes went up.

[ Juror #2 drives by the half built field on main street with a sign that says “project held off until further notice”]

[ Juror #4 goes to a grocery store where he runs into Mrs. Richards wearing all black, as he thinks to himself was justice really served?]

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