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Opinion & Editorial

Life Sentence for Tsarnev

Written by Maddie Vaziri’16

It took Dzhohkar Tsarnaev seconds to place his backpack of explosives on Boylston Street; it will take years for the 264 people harmed by bombs to recover. It took only four days for Tamerlan Tsarnaev to be released from his crimes in death; it will take a lifetime for the families of the 3 killed in the Boston Marathon Bombing to cope.

How can the enduring impact of the Tsarnaevs’ crimes be answered with a fleeting, painless end? Capital Punishment gives Dzhohkar Tsarnaev an easy way out. Since his life is condemned either way, a death sentence would really be a get out of jail free card.

Tsarnaev’s crimes will fester within him for the rest of his life in jail, just as the the victims of the bombing will carry their sorrow for the rest of their lives. The court system could offer no better justice than the symmetry of this reprisal.

The brothers’ mother was a supporter of jihad, and they both turned to radical Islam as they aged. Jihad is a muslim term for a struggle of faith, and in modern times, it is used to justify many acts of terror. The commitment to radical-Islam frees many jihadists from the fear of death.

It is likely the Tsarnaevs experienced this liberation as they planned their attack. Both must have accepted death and perhaps the idea even satisfied their life’s ambition : capital punishment would fulfill Tsarnaev’s objective and even his sense of duty.

The prosecution is heavily gunning for a death sentence. It shows the court images of Dzhohkar flashing his middle finger and frame him as, “unrepenting.” This may be true, but a swift death will not change that. He will have no time to think about his wrongs let alone repent them.

The Richards family, who lost their 8-year old son in the bombing, instead is asking the jury to avoid the capital punishment. They would rather Dzhohkar disappear from their public and private lives and fear the years of appeals would bring only painful reminders.

Our hunger for revenge cannot blind us from serving true justice. Justice will be for the Tsarnaev brothers to never again disrupt the lives of the victims. Justice will be Dzhohkar’s life spent in prison with the horrors of his actions weighing on his conscience as he matures. Justice is not the quick, easy way out Dzhohkar had planned.


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