Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should die for killing those people during the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, a federal court jury ruled today.
I know a lot of Americans are cheering the decision. I’m not one of them, but perhaps not for the usual reasons.
I oppose capital punishment on principle. I’ve noted that already on this blog and I stand by my belief.
However, if there ever was a case that challenged that principle, the Tsarnaev case stands out as a serious test. The testimony as I understand it was riveting in the extreme. The pictures of the victims, including the young boy who died in the blast, were gut-wrenching.
I don’t pity Tsarnaev in the least and my desire to see him live has nothing to do with wanting to spare his life because of some sense of grace. He needs to seek that himself, which he is not likely to do.
Death for this young man, though, is going to be seen as a “victory.” Tsarnaev’s perverted view of his Muslim faith means he’ll be welcomed into the after-life as a hero. Do we want that for him? Of course not.
I crueler fate would have been to lock the young man up in a super-max prison, keep him in solitary confinement for 23 hours every single day and let him ponder for the remainder of his time on Earth precisely what he did to those innocent victims.
As a non-Muslim, I do not want to give Tsarnaev the satisfaction of obtaining that so-called “victory” by sticking a needle in his arm and watching him die.
The death sentence means a probable lengthy appeals process. Civil liberties groups will intervene on his behalf. Perhaps his legal team will think it can get the death sentence reversed. Every court hearing is going to dredge up more misery for the loved ones of those who died and for the victims who were injured — some of them grievously — by the terrorists’ blast. They do not deserve the endure more pain.
Then again, perhaps Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will waive his appeals and await his fate.
Whatever. If we want to punish this man to the hilt, he would suffer more by rotting in prison for the rest of his miserable life.