The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Z_CNHI News Service

February 7, 2014

Death penalty warranted in Boston Marathon bombing case

Editor's note: CNHI newspapers that are not weekly subscribers to Taylor Armerding's column may publish this one if they notify him at t.armerding@verizon.net.

The chances that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will actually be put to death for his alleged role in last year’s bombings at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured 260 are slim and none.

Tsarnaev, who faces 30 federal charges, is being tried in Massachusetts – a state where, according to at least one poll, only a third of the citizens support the death penalty. If he is convicted, it would take a unanimous jury to impose the death penalty. Like I said, slim and none.

But the announcement this past week that Attorney General Eric Holder has authorized prosecutors to seek the death penalty for Tsarnaev has predictably rekindled the debate over one of the most divisive issues in America.

That ought to be a good thing. Issues like this deserve frequent, vigorous debate. But it seems the talking points have become as predictable as the debate itself.

The prosecutors cite the usual list of reasons: Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, who was killed in a shootout with police, intended to kill and/or maim their victims. They planned the attack and were guilty, as prosecutors alleged in court, of a “heinous, cruel and depraved manner of committing the offense.”

On the other side, death penalty opponents note the obvious, that putting Tsarnaev to death will not bring back those who died, nor heal the wounds or restore the limbs of those injured.

Beyond that, they contend that it costs more to put an inmate to death than to keep him in prison for life; that the death penalty is “cruel and unusual” punishment; that it demonstrates a disrespect for life that lowers society to the level of the murderer; that justice should never be about revenge; and that it is “not who we are as a society.” And, in this case, that it will grant Tsarnaev’s wish to be a martyr, while if he is imprisoned for life, he will be forgotten.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
E-edition
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open
Must Read