Tony Norman’s column about how he is changing his opinion on the morality of televising executions has some excellent points (“Put the Horror of Executions on Public View,” July 25). While I would not want to watch it, if people today watched these executions, there could be a great deal less public support for the death penalty.
I also think that, for example, very explicit movies like “12 Years a Slave,” “Amistad” or “Schindler’s List” can serve to remind people of the horrors of the past in ways that may help prevent similar horrors in the future. It makes me sick to see what humans do to each other, even in fictional films where I know the person being harmed is an actor. The real thing is even worse.
I think graphic pictures of aborted babies can serve the same important function of “un-sterilizing” the horror of what some human beings are capable of doing to other human beings. Unfortunately, today we have romantic-comedy movies celebrating abortion (“Obvious Child”), people filming their abortions (Emily Letts), and smiling celebrities wearing “I had an abortion” T-shirts (Gloria Steinem). Those who used to take photos of themselves smiling next to lynching victims in the past haven’t gone away, they’ve just decided to smile about the killing of new victims.
I welcome the day the state neither kills nor permits the killing of human life, as guilty as the criminal or as unplanned or disabled as the baby happens to be.