Will Boston Bomber Get Death Penalty?
There never was a question of guilt. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense admitted as much on the first day of trial. Yesterday, the Boston jury handed down its decision: The 22-year-old who helped his brother plant pressure-cooker bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013 is guilty on all 30 counts. Seventeen of those charges are punishable by the death penalty. Now, the most important part of the trial begins — deciding whether Tsarnaev will get life in a federal prison or be executed. “This [bombing] reminds us, once again, that this is not ordinary crime, it’s not even [an] ordinary enemy; these are people who are irredeemable,” political analyst Charles Krauthammer said on Fox News. “Nonetheless, I personally generally oppose the death penalty with some exceptions. I would rather not make him a martyr. Let him serve all his life and contemplate his deeds for decades.” For conservatives, it boils down to one question. Should jurors consider the effect Tsarnaev’s death would have on radical Islamists looking for martyrdom, or should the punishment match the crime?
Footnote: Tsarnaev’s mother said, “America is the real terrorist and everyone knows that,” adding, “My boys are the best of the best.” That explains some things.