WCU Policy Discussion

User Generated

Glxrr

Humanities

West Chester University

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Consider the following questions in your replies to other discussion posts:

  • Is the article using normative or positive arguments?
  • Are anecdotes being used as evidence?
  • What disciplines or professions are related or interested in the selected policy in issue?

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Discussion 1: The article I selected may be found here- it is a discussion of a pending bill in the Utah legislature involving the public policy issue of capital punishment. Legislators in the state are currently seeking to abolish the death penalty for capital crimes. The article is very fair and the author does not overtly support or oppose the death penalty as a public policy matter, however they present a great deal of information and facts bearing upon the pending legislation. Further, they delve into why the bill sponsors have taken their position which some may find surprising as the sponsors are Republicans in a conservative state- not always the typical anti-death penalty lobby. The author cites interviews with the bill sponsors to explain why they seek to enact the policy change. The legislators use an anecdote as evidence, citing a case of a man convicted of murder who sat on death row for decades awaiting numerous appeals and the toll taken on him, the courts, the prison system, his family and the victim’s family. The anecdote serves to illustrate that the issue is complex and final, with not only ethical and moral but also public financial implications, as well as serving as a source of continual and ongoing stressors to victims, offenders, and their loved ones. I consider the argument to be more normative than positive. The legislators’ position is one of seeking to improve the criminal justice system in Utah through enacting their vision of abolishing the death penalty and focusing on resolving aggravated murder cases by sentencing offenders from 45 years to life. The proposed sentencing guidelines would seek to punish and rehabilitate those convicted and provide victims closure, while relieving the justice system of decades of appeals and legal wrangling. A number of professions and disciplines are related to and interested in capital punishment as a policy matter, including those involved in the legal and criminal justice fields- lawyers, judges, prosecutors, probation/parole officers, victim advocates, prison reform workers, the clergy, the law enforcement and corrections community, social workers and social researchers. Capital punishment is a complex and sometimes polarizing policy issue and it was enlightening to read an article that provided a brief yet convincing argument stating the legislators’ position and why they seek to abolish Utah’s death penalty for capital crimes. McKellar, K. (2021, September 8). Should Utah abolish its death penalty? These Utah GOP lawmakers are going to try. Deseret News. https://www.deseret.com/utah/2021/9/8/22661517/shouldutah-abolish-the-death-penalty-republican-lawmakers-sponsor-billron-lafferty. Discussion 2: https://www.boisestate.edu/innocenceproject/2021/04/14/gov ernor-signs-wrongful-conviction-compensation-law/ The article and policy that I am using regards Idaho State legislation. The article was written by Boise State University’s Idaho Innocence Project. It is in regard to Idaho Code and House Bill 384. The article was completed by the Innocence Project News. The Article expands on the fact that House Bill 384 will compensate those in Idaho that have been wrongly convicted of crimes. The Bill was signed by Governor Brad Little of Idaho on March 3rd, 2021. The compensations aims to offer reparations for time spent in prison due to a wrong conviction. The Bill allows $62,000 dollars a year for time spent in prison wrongly, and $75,000 a year for time spent in prison on death row. The point is to financially compensate those that have spent time in prison wrongly, and to not only compensate in legal and social justice by overturning their convictions, but to be sure that the State takes responsibility by ensuring that once the wrongly convicted are released from jail, they can find economic justice at their front doors. Thus, being able to thrive in society, not only in their new found social capital, but in an element of financial capital as well. Is the article using normative or positive arguments? The article uses both. The article asserts the positive argument hypothesis when explaining the details of the House Bill (384) in its natural etymological state. That is, without alethic dogmatism and the constant persuasion of the author’s bias, and political, ethical and social leanings, conveyed. However, there is an element of normative language in the article too. For example, when the article shifts statements of value such as the explanation of Chris Tapps’ and Charles’ Fain’s compensation being able to offer “comfort” and for years lost by the State. The article also calls the compensation a “satisfying” reality; post jail time for the two. Thus, this is normative and shows what the author and House Bill 384 supports think about the matter. Are anecdotes being used as evidence? There are no anecdotes asserted in the article. There appears to be only legal reasoning and explanatory language in both the normative and positive for their audiences’ purposes. The evidence employed here is the fact of the House Bill passing, and its outcome for two persons whom will benefit from this bill. The positivistic notions of the author’s intention is obvious as they only convey what the reader can know from the policies brief history, and legislative actions from the acting out of the state. However, once subjectivity is asserted, there appears to be existential personal evidence from sense perception experience contrasted by the author’s own meaning of the normative language to express how the recipients of the Bill must feel in regard to being beneficiaries of it. What disciplines or professions are related or interested in the selected policy in issue? The disciplines that are related to the selected policy in issue are law and the criminal justice field. The law is relevant as it was the crux and intrinsic element under discussion by adding House Bill 384 to the Idaho State codes in 2021. Another profession was the criminal justice system. The bill was added as a public policy and legal remedy to help Idaho citizens that were wrongly convicted by the criminal justice process. Not only is the criminal justice system here; mentioned for its negative ontology in contexts, it is also under evaluation for a mention of positive and progressive change and personal state responsibility. Long, Robin, (2021) Governor Signs Wrongful Conviction, Idaho Innocence Project, Boise State University.
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Policy Issue Responses

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Discussion 1 Response
I like your choice of article as it clearly examines a public policy issue while also
utilizing the anecdotes. I took time to read the article and noted that the article takes a neutral
ground concerning the death penalty while also providing vital information concerning the
pending legislation on the abolishment of the death penalty for capital crimes and the reasons
its sponsors are supporting it. I al...


Anonymous
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