On Monday January 5th, the jury selection for the trial of the Boston Bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, began ushering in what will be most likely end up being a very lengthy and emotional trial. Tsarnaev, along with his brother who was killed by police, is accused of plotting (and carrying out) the deadly terrorist attack in Boston that began on April 15th, 2013 at the Boston Marathon finish line with two bombs that killed 3 people and injured at least 264 more. Boston’s days of terror ended on April 19th after a lengthy firefight throughout Boston’s suburbs that claimed the life of an MIT security guard. Tsarneav’s guilt isn’t questioned in the minds of most sane people. The greatest question now is whether or not he will be executed for his crimes. The death penalty is on the table. It will be up to the jury to decide whether or not to sentence him to death.
Mr. Tsarnaev should be put to death for his heinous crimes. While the death penalty is a point of controversy on both sides of the political spectrum, this should be a case where America stands united. Mr. Tsarnaev attacked America. He killed Americans. He placed a backpack with a bomb next to a child, and watched it detonate. The only form of justice conceivable here is the death penalty. If a country declares war and attacks America, we attack back just as hard. Why should it be any different now? Why should we afford this man the luxury of safely living out his life after what he did? We shouldn’t. Doing so would only insult the victims of this dastardly terrorist attack.
This trial is slated to cost millions of dollars. Already we’re spending too much money on a terrorist. Are we really going to have to fork over millions more for medical care, food, housing, etc. for the rest of his life? This money could go towards actually helping Americans in need, not some terrorist who wants to destroy our way of life. Allowing Mr. Tsarnaev to spend the rest of his life in a cushy jail isn’t justice; it’s stupidity. Why should we “reward” this man for attacking America by allowing him to live? Even without his freedom, just the fact that he is still alive is an insult to every single victim who died, was gravely injured, or spent a day locked at home, or school, in terror.
Some moralists, in their cushy houses, safe from attack, preach that by executing this monster, we are stooping to his level. They claim that we occupy the supposed “moral high ground,” and that we shouldn’t continue the cycle of violence by executing Mr. Tsarnaev. It is perfectly acceptable to not want to kill someone. It normally isn’t in our nature to kill people. However, this isn’t a normal circumstance. Mr. Tsarnaev didn’t rob a convenience store, or even shoot someone in the heat of the moment. He detonated two bombs and tried to kill as many police officers in a gun battle as possible. This isn’t about morality. This is about justice. This is about sending a message to the world that if you attack America, you will pay with your life.
As the trial starts, we should remind ourselves that we are at war. We are at war with terrorism. Mr. Tsarnaev, for all intents and purposes, is an enemy combatant on U.S. soil. He is proof that this war is not being fought in a far distant land, but rather in our own cities and streets. He is proof that radical Islamic terrorists can strike in America without warning. We cannot afford the luxury of arguing about the moral high ground, and whether or not executing a terrorist somehow makes us equal to them. They prey on our bickering. They, like so many of our enemies before them, rely on the fact that we abhor war and violence. They know that these arguments sap the will to fight. It is an insult to the world to consider “morality” in the case of an enemy that will place a bomb by a 5 year old. Those who think that executing a terrorist is the same as blowing up a bomb in a crowded street don’t understand the reality of the world we live in. Morality only works if the enemy you are facing has some sort of morality. Mr. Tsarnaev and the like do not.
America has faced this situation before. In WWII, we fought the Japanese in a very different manner than the Germans. The Germans, while they committed atrocities, fought on the battlefield with some sense of morality. They wouldn’t deliberately target doctors. Often times, fighting would cease between the two sides so they could collect their dead and wounded. The Japanese would kill with impunity, disregarding any Western moral rules for war. They would deliberately wound doctors so as to kill the ones that would come try to help the fallen doctor. They executed prisoners of war in the most gruesome ways imaginable. (Sound familiar?) We adapted and we overcame. We can do the same today, but only if we start to accept the reality of the world we live in.
Mr. Tsarnaev is a terrorist. He is a murderer. He attacked America. There is no question he is guilty. The only question left is not if he should be put to death, but how.
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