Friday, October 26, 2007
Media makes its position known about the death penalty
Mark Twain once said that “There are only two forces that can carry light to all the corners of the globe... the sun in the heavens and the Associated Press”, but over the years the media has become even more powerful than he claims. It has gained an influential place in our society and sublimely manipulates our thoughts and opinions daily on many issues, including the death penalty. Through use of statistics, slander and diction the media has touched the hearts of many Americans and influenced them to believe in the death penalty. The media has succeeding in convincing the public that capital punishment is the only viable solution to the intensive amount of crime in our society. Support for the death penalty is known to have increased over the years mainly because of media reports. Sixty-three percent of the overall population is reported to support the death penalty. According to David Niven research conducted at Florida Atlantic University has proven the influence of mass media on the death penalty by analyzing the affect of various media articles on individuals thoughts about capital punishment. It is unfortunate that the media is trusted so blindly and can persuade the jury’s verdict on cases. This has caused innocent criminals like Joseph O’Dell and Dobie Williams to be put to death. Overall, the media’s portrayal of criminal cases and death row inmate’s through pre-trial narrative argues for the effectiveness of the death penalty, therefore bolstering support for capital punishment.