Boston Bomber Trial: Was Justice Served?
At the 2013 Boston Marathon the world watched in horror as two pressure cooker bombs went off, killing 3 people and injuring 264 others. The acts of terrorism rocked a nation just starting to feel safe again. The bombs were set up close to the finish line and went off about 12 seconds apart, 200 or so yards apart. The FBI quickly got involved, and with the help of pictures and video soon zeroed in on two brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. After the photos were released to the public the brothers killed an MIT policeman, carjacked an SUV, and started a gunfire exchange with local police, Tamerlan was shot several times and then run over by his brother in the SUV, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
On May 15th, 2015, the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev came to an end with a sentence of death by lethal injection. He states himself to be unrepentant, smiled and pretended his fingers were guns, shooting at people even as he was led away. The 21 year-old radical Muslim stated when apprehended that the US was killing innocent people in his home state, and to hurt one of them is to hurt them all, his motive was revenge and hatred. His guilt was apparent, his lawyers only argument was that he was under the spell of his brother, the only thing remaining is to see if he will actually undergo lethal injection.
For decades the death penalty has been debated in courtrooms, lawschools, colleges, living rooms, and wherever else people gather to talk. Is it moral? Is it ethical? Is it legal murder? Is it a just punishment for those who have committed heinous crimes? Those are questions that people can, and do, argue for years, but one fact remains unchallenged, it’s expensive.
In a trial where the death penalty is requested, the costs are $1 million more than a trial in which prosecutors seek life without parole. Death penalty cases are automatically appealed, another expense for the state to bear, usually an additional $800, 000. The costs of imprisonment, trial, and appeals for death penalty cases can cost up to $3 million more than cases that do not request it. Juries often waver for days on cases where the death penalty is sought, they may believe a person is guilty, but not be willing to sentence them to death, an important question during jury selection, but minds can change when the option is actually in your hands.
Is it justice? Maybe. Is it closure? For victims and families testifying for numerous appeals, it seems to keep the pain fresh and raw, rather than giving a person time to heal. Is there a better way? That is a question for the ages. For as long as there has been crime, society has used a form of the death penalty. Those who commit heinous crimes have been stoned, torn apart by lions and bears, hung, shot by a firing squad, electrocuted, have their heads cut off, and lethal injection. For as long as there has been legal killing there have been people protesting it, the debates will not slow anytime soon.
Photos captured from video on youtube.com and aol.com