ON AIR: Kerre McIvor Mornings

9AM - 12PM

Jack Tame: America resuming federal executions is barbaric and uncivilised

Author
Jack Tame,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Saturday, 27 July 2019, 9:40AM
Photo / Getty Images

When I was a kid, I remember sitting at my great grandma’s 100th birthday and listening to my Dad make a speech where he listed all the things she’d lived through.

It was 2003. I was 16. And here, sitting at my table was a woman who could remember the great war. Who was born well before women in her home of Britain had the right to vote. Forget Apple computers and Tesla electric cars. My great grandma could remember the excitement of the Titanic from before it sunk. 

If you’ve got young children, or young grand children, it can be such an interesting exercise to pair them up with the oldest person in your family and compare each others’ experiences. Sometimes I find myself thinking about what I’ll wow my great grand children with. Yep, I was born before household computers were the norm. I remember the time well before social media. I even remember thinking my younger sister’s cell phone and text messaging habit was a passing fad. 

I find it interesting to consider some of the social and societal things too. Zoos for example, will they still exist in the same form in a few hundred years? I love going to the zoo. And zoos do amazing conservation and protection work. But is it entirely inconceivable that there will be some big push against them in decades or centuries to come? That humans will come to think of zoos as being barbaric? Maybe not.

Speaking of animals, I think the same with meat. Is it possible that if I make it to 100, I’ll be sitting at a table with my sixteen year old great granddaughter, dazzling her with tales about how just a few short years ago, a majority of people on this planet ate real animal products? That’s right, not synthetic steaks or plant milks but real meat! Real dairy! From a cow and everything!

It’s fun to play this game. But I’m sorry to bring it up for macabre reasons. The U.S Justice Department is resuming federal executions. Numerous states in America have always executed people under state law, but after a long hiatus and a temporary ban, the federal government has scheduled five executions and is resuming its practice of capital punishment.  

It’s one of those interesting contrasts between America and Europe. The EU is fundamentally and absolutely opposed to capital punishment, it won’t sell anything to any country that it believes is assisting in a state killing its citizens.

To be fair, this isn’t just a Trump thing. I’m not pinning all the blame on him. And I’m also not advocating for dangerous criminals to be released onto the street. 

But I think a state that decides through a considered judicial process to kill one of its own citizens against their will, is the very definition of barbaric. It feels like a practice from the middle ages. 

Truly, a state that executes people is uncivilised.

Perhaps one day our great grandkids will look back and wonder how we humans ever let it happen.

ON AIR: Kerre McIvor Mornings

9AM - 12PM