By Shivani Patel, Staff Writer
As Dzhokhar Tsarnaev comes back into the spotlight, we, as Bostonians and as humans, are forced to relive the terrors that came with the Boston Marathon bombings. The 21-year-old is accused of killing three people and injuring over 200 by placing two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.
As a city, Boston has more pride than ever for the resilience and hope of its people. However, Tsarnaev left a black mark on Boston history that is not easy to forget. As his trial comes to court, Bostonians are left waiting to hear the decision on the punishment for such an egregious attack.
Unsurprisingly, the death penalty is being considered in this case, as well as life without parole. It is likely that Tsarnaev will not get a plea deal. This begs the question of whether or not the death penalty should even be considered. The U.S. Department of Justice said in January 2014 that the federal government would seek the death penalty against the 21-year-old.
According to The New York Times in an from Jan. 30, 2014, Tsarnaev’s case has been the most publicized death penalty case since the Oklahoma City bombings in 1995. Additionally, Tsarnaev is said to have shown no remorse for committing these terrible acts against Boston, giving more reason for prosecutors to push for the penalty, even though he has pled not guilty to all 30 federal charges levied against him.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. oppose the use of the death penalty, though both support the Justice Department in seeking Tsarnaev’s death.
It is important to note that Massachusetts abolished the death penalty back in 1984. Because this case in taking place in a federal court, the death penalty could still be used. However, I am curious to see whether the penalty will occur in Massachusetts if the death penalty is agreed upon.
The death penalty has so many pros and cons that the decision is a toss-up.
According to the Death Penalty Information Center, the cost of a singular death sentence is around $3 million for taxpayers in Maryland (a state which practices capital punishment). This is $1.9 million more than the cost of a sentence for life in the state. Of course, there’s the classic “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” saying, which applies as well — will Tsarnaev’s potential death bring justice to those who were injured and those who died?
However, some might see the death penalty as justice. Tsarnaev and his brother took the Boston Marathon and turned it into something dark. While they brought Bostonians closer together than ever, they also ripped apart families and communities with the bombings.
We’ll be seeing the outcome of this case over the next couple of months. Personally, I feel the death penalty is in the cards for Tsarnaev.