Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev deserves to die

Mike Barnicle in The Daily Beast (Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: A Death Deserved):

...In March 2003, when Tsarnaev was 9 years old, the United States invaded Iraq. The “cakewalk’ quickly turned into a calamity. Then the calamity turned into a cauldron of Sunni versus Shia...and soon the ethnic and religious hatred within Iraq grew so quickly, was so deep, so intense, that it thrives today. Yesterday, Ramadi fell to ISIS.

And somewhere along the line this Tsarnaev and his brother made the decision to become holy warriors, killers on a mission, claiming they did what they did on Marathon Day in Boston because they were fueled by anger over America’s disrespect of Muslims in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Last week, a federal court jury took the breath out of many when it sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21 now, to death by lethal injection. The verdict seemed to surprise a lot of people because Massachusetts has a national image and reputation of being more liberal than most states, with polls constantly showing the death penalty not favored by a majority.

But juries are made up of human beings, and this jury came to work each day bearing the burden of knowing they held the life of another in their hands. Their work, their verdict, is a tribute to a judicial system that at its best still stands as a glowing symbol to the world. Tsarnaev got more of a chance than he gave any of his victims.

“It was an incredibly emotional experience,” one of the jurors said the other day over the phone. “We sat and listened to all the evidence. And we sat and looked at him every day and his expression rarely changed.

“The evidence was overwhelming. But I believe the video the government showed us of him placing his pressure cooker directly behind Martin Richard told us, told me at least, that he simply did not care who he killed.”

Martin Richard was 8 years old and perhaps 8 feet in front of Tsarnaev when Tsarnaev placed his backpack on the sidewalk directly behind the boy. He knew where he was, knew who was around him, left it there anyway. His twisted mind’s target of opportunity? A child, his parents, and his sister.

“My conscience is clear,” the juror said. “And I don’t know that he has one...

Martin Richard

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