Evaluate the author’s intended audience, the author’s credibility,
On March 1st, 2012, Mr. Tod Robberson, a editorial writer for the Dallas Morning News, wrote a editorial about how George Rivas makes the best case not to have the death penalty.
I don't agree with Mr. Robberson. He bases his claim on the fact that Rivas welcomed execution and calling it "freedom". Robberson makes the argument that giving Rivas the life-sentence would be worse than killing him had been. Once again, I disagree.
First, the whole premise that Rivas welcomed death is outright wrong. If he had wanted or wished for death, he would have just shot himself, like his fellow Texas 7 escapee, Larry Harper, who committed suicide, rather than be captured and re-incarcerated. Instead, for 11 years he chose life by surrendering, instead. He fought against death during his
trial. He fought against death with his appeals and asked to have his
sentence commuted from death to life. None of these are the actions of a person willing to chose death/freedom over life.
Second, Living criminals harm and murder, again - executed ones do not. Rivas was a known murderer, and had escaped prison once. If
he had gotten life without parole, he could have escaped again.
Thirdly, Mr. Robberson credentials don't support the fact that he is an expert on this topic. He's a former foreign correspondent with 25 years' experience covering Latin America, the Middle East and Europe - not a death penalty expert.
And lastly, Robberson's audience is used to him writing about drug trafficking, border issues, immigration and international affairs; not about a domestic issue like the death penalty.
Tod Robberson does a good job at making a argument against the death penalty without arguing that it's inhumane. But he needed to do some homework.