Identifying Misleading Information in an
Argument Please respond to the following:

Consider the following argument: There are many arguments for the
elimination or modification of current U. S. drug laws, but one of the most
persuasive involves what negative effects drug laws are having on society in
comparison with the effects of the drugs themselves. In the past ten years,
most forms of drug use have dropped significantly, especially among teens.
Despite this, non-violent drug offenders accounted for 21.1 percent of the
federal prison population. First time drug offenders serve, on average, a
sentence three months longer than kidnappers, nine months longer than burglars,
and thirty-three months longer than sex abusers. In 1992, the average cost of
keeping an inmate in either state or federal prison was about $20,000 per
prisoner per year. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the
world, with 455 prisoners per 100,000 population. It is maintaining these
prisoners at great expense in an environment where they are unlikely to develop
a socially constructive attitude. Perhaps it is time that we reconsider our
attitudes toward those who choose to use drugs; failure to do so may cost
society even more than it already has.

Please include question in with answer.

Determine whether or not the argument uses any deceptive statistics. Give
your opinion on whether or not the argument has persuaded you. Explain why or
why not.

Determine the primary ways in which statistics or authority are used in
your current position in developing persuasive arguments, and provide examples
of such use.


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