Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is making it difficult for a capital punishment opponent — such as myself — to remain true to principle.
He’s the young man accused of killing three people and injuring several others April 15, 2013 at the end of the Boston Marathon.
The federal government has ended its case against Tsarnaev, turning it over to the defense team, which is going to argue that his life should be spared.
Tsarnaev’s guilt actually isn’t being questioned by his defense team. His lawyers are going to make the case that the feds shouldn’t execute him, which the Justice Department wants to do if he’s convicted of this terrible crime.
The case to keep him alive seems a bit shaky. Lead defense counsel Judy Clark said Dzhokhar was under the spell of his radicalized older brother, Tamerlan, who died when Dzhokhar ran over him with their getaway vehicle.
I remain opposed to capital punishment, but reporters covering the trial in Boston keep referring to the defendant’s lack of emotion, how he slouches in his chair and how seems utterly detached from what’s happening around him.
Any parent of a young man can relate to Dzhokhar’s outward demonstration of disinterest. It’s what teenagers and young adults do when they’re facing discipline — even when it threatens to end their life.
Tsarnaev is going down. That much is virtually without question. Whether he dies for his crime remains in the hands of the jury.
The family members of those who died deserve justice. They’ll get it with a conviction. To them, at least, justice won’t be delivered fully until Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is executed. While I disagree with that form of punishment, I certainly understand the loved ones’ desire to see justice administered in its entirety.