Justice: Is it Really Being Served ? Crime is a very serious issue in todays society that istalked about through many different methods, media, televisionprograms, etc.. Clarence Darrows speech, Address to thePrisoners in the Cook County Jail displays a very strong feelingon whether or not criminals in jail our really at fault fortheir crimes or if its the fault of those people on theoutside, those not in jail. Once being a lawyer himself anddefending criminals like Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, bothnotorious murders, Darrow has a strong insight on hard corecriminals and the legal system. He utilizes his experience andknowledge along with the appeals of pathos, logos and ethos, togain the respect and opinions of his audience.Darrows main purpose in this speech is to state hisfeelings of disregard for the justice system.
He feels as thoughjails do not serve a true purpose and that people are not in jailbecause they deserve to be but rather because of unavoidablecircumstance. Those who obtain money hold the power and those whoare poverty stricken will be punished, no matter who was at faultor who did the crime. This piece was a speech to prisoners in a Chicago jail andtherefore, it seems as if his targeted audience must have beenthe criminals themselves. However, he must have also beentargeting the politicians and legal personnel for the tone ofhis sentences and the beliefs he stated would do no justice forthose already in prison and must have been intended to influencethose people on the outside.Darrow strikes the pathetic or the emotional appealinstantly in his first paragraph: I do not believe that peopleare in jail because they deserve to be.
They are in jail simplybecause they cannot avoid it on account of circumstances whichare entirely beyond their control and for which they are in noway responsible (862). This statement alone could create anuproar in any prison. Darrow uses great diction in this quote,using it as, a persuasive tool, to slip past the scrutiny ofreaders and sway them toward particular responses. With astatement as powerful as that one how can a person not begin toponder on why these people are in jail and if the prisoners arereally at fault for their crimes.Through the use of tone Darrow triggers the mind intobelieving that the people that are on the outside are the onesthat create the havoc and those on the inside, the prisoners, are mere victims of their ruthlessness. If it were not for the factthat people on the outside are so grasping and heartless in theirdealings with the people on the inside, there would be no suchinstitution as jails (863). The words seem to creep into yourmind making one feel as though he is correct in what he issaying.
It is as if one can hear the power and persuasiveness inhis voice speaking to the prisoners allowing one to have nochoice but to believe him.Darrow targets the emotional appeal in his closingparagraph, The only way to abolish crime and criminals is toabolish the big ones and the little ones together. Give men achance to live. Abolish the right of private ownership of land,abolish monopoly, make the world partners in production, partnersin the good things in life (872). With his style of using harshand abrupt sentences Darrow produces the feeling that if we wouldcreate an equality amongst us all that people would notexperience hardship, there would be no crime, hate andcompetition.
The length of Darrows sentences seem to bring aboutdifferent attitudes and feelings. His shorter sentences seemblunt or terse, where his longer sentences, that delay closure,posses more of a dramatic effect.In addition to stimulating ones emotions, Darrow appeals tothe logical reasoning side of the audience: Whenever the standard Oil Company raises the price ofoil, I know that a certain number of girls who areseamstresses, and who work night after night long hoursfor somebody else, will be compelled to go out on thestreets and ply another trade, and I know that Mr.Rockerfeller and his associates are responsible and notthe poor girls in the jail cell (866). He leads us to believe that it is the fault of the rich and notthat of the poor. If the rich would not be so money hungry andgreedy they would not raise the prices of oil and create thesegirls to not be able to afford it.
In another aspect Darrowacquires us by placing the blame on the government. In Englandand Ireland and Scotland less than five percent own all the landthere is, and the people are bound to stay there on any termsthat landlords give. They must live the best they can, so theydevelop all these various professions- burglary, picking pocketsand the like (869). We must visualize that it is not the faultof the people but rather the fault of the landlords. For theygive the rules and they are the ones who do not set forthadequate salaries to the people.
So long as men are allowed tomonopolize all the earth and compel others to live on such termsas these men see fit to make, then you are bound to get intojail (872). In a simple sense, as long as we create a worldwhere we allow men to rule over us we will never succeed ineliminating the crimes and injustice that take place.The more that is taken from the poor by the rich, who havethe chance to take it, the more the people there are who arecompelled to resort to these means of livelihood (867). Onceagain Darrow manages to state that it is the people on theoutside of these jail cells and there queries that place the pooron the inside. They do not accomplish what they pretend toaccomplish. If you would wipe them out there would be no morecriminals then now. They terrorize nobody.
They are a blot uponcivilization, and a jail is an evidence of the lack of charity ofthe people on the outside who make the jails and fill them withvictims of their greed (872). Another powerful statement that accuses those with the wealth for the misfortunes of those of thepoor leading the poor to be criminals. Again stated earlier, inDarrows eyes if this world could only possess true equality allcrime would be abolished and all jails and prisoners could bedisregarded.
He uses a good choice of words that seem to grab atthe reader allowing the reader to sympathize and feel the pain ofthe poverty stricken, and the prisoners. Through drastic tone andpitch Darrow uses, his quotes are influential and go straight tothe readers heart and mind.The ethos of Darrow is quite a touchy subject. Although hewas a lawyer for several years he obtains no solid evidence, onlywell worded statements and descriptions that place thoughts andvisions into ones head. His words possess great power and onecould be easily influenced by them. It is now in the readers handto formulate their own opinion and decide whether or not their istruth in Darrows accusations. The reader must rely solely on thefact that Darrow is in the legal profession and has insideinformation on what truly transpires.
Darrows theories can be summed up almost as easily as theywere first introduced. He feels that the only way to get rid ofcrimes and criminals is to abandon it all. The only way that thisworld will rid of the misdeed that goes on is to create a pureworld with absolute equality.Social Issues