Recent reports have begun to detail the efforts of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyer to prevent his client from receiving the death penalty, a task the defender is said to be fully launching into this coming week. Upon full examination of the situation, it is clear that said attorney has the right idea in regards to fighting for the 21-year-old to retain life in prison versus being executed for his crimes.
The events of April 2013’s Boston Marathon had a tremendous lasting effect on not only those directly involved, but the United States of America as a whole. The damage that was done in terms of those who lost their lives, those who were injured, and the destruction of people’s faith in humanity overall is a daily process for many individuals to deal with. For this reason, many individuals believe that the Boston Marathon bomber should undoubtedly be executed in regards to the crime he helped commit (alongside his now deceased brother, Tamerlan). While this method of thinking is without question entirely warranted due to the pain and grief that those associated with the event have had to deal with, as they want the Boston marathon bomber to receive the ultimate suffering for that which he has caused, it does not in the end make the most sense in regards to truly punishing the man for what he has done.
Yes, allowing the Boston Marathon bomber to be put to death would be forcing him to suffer the ultimate sacrifice for the hurt he caused: death. However, there are two reasons why this is not the best solution. First of all, if Tsarnaev is put to death he will not have to sit in a prison cell every day for the rest of his life and relive the reason why he was put in there in the first place. Of course, there is the speculation that when someone dies their existence continues on elsewhere, but this topic of discussion is besides the point. Based on the notion that when an individual’s life ends there is nothing else left for them, the Boston Marathon bomber would be set free from his own misery and having to live with what he has done until his death occurs either naturally or via some other infliction.
As well as this, it is worth mentioning that the death penalty does not really mean anything in the end anyway when it comes to the United States. Even if the Boston Marathon bomber does receive this sentence, he will most likely not actually be put to death but rather sit on death row for the rest of his natural life. Indeed, the death row list of California contains some 749 inmates, ranging from serial killers to child murderers. Most of those sentenced for execution end up with nothing more than a life sentence due to spending their entirely life waiting to be put to death, which makes the situation the same as being given a life sentence in the first place. While family members and the like get some initial satisfaction out of hearing a judge and/or jury state that an offender has been given the death penalty, their elation soon wears off after realizing that this individual will not actually be executed forthwith but rather sit on death row until their time runs out for one reason or another that does not relate to the act of them being killed by the state.
The attempts of the Boston Marathon bomber’s lawyer to keep Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from receiving the death penalty may be received by many as unjust and disrespectful to those he killed and harmed during the horrific events of 2013’s Boston Marathon, but in the end make quite a bit of sense. It is not that the man does not deserved be punished for what he has done, but executing him would be both punishing him in the wrong way overall and also turn out to be a fruitless effort in the end.
Opinion by Rebecca Grace