Monday, 21. April 2014
The trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old accused killing three and injuring 260 spectators near the finish line of the Boston marathon won’t begin until November, and while a guilty verdict may seen like a foregone conclusion, the biggest question is whether or not the prosecution will pursue the death penalty.
Video surveillance captured Tsarnaev placing a package near the blast site and using a cell phone just moments before the explosion, and he even took credit for the bombings while on the run, writing a note that said, “I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished. Now I don’t like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but due to said (unintelligible) it is allowed.”
A criminal defense team led by Judy Clarke, a public defender who has defended some of the nation’s most notorious criminals, including “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, is tasked with defending Tsarnaev. Avery Appelman said the defense will need to portray Tsarnaev as an impressionable youth who fell prey to his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed during the ensuing manhunt.
“Tsarnaev was only 19-years-old when he allegedly participated in this horrifying act,” said Appelman. “His cognition is not fully developed, and as anyone with an older brother will tell you, sometimes it’s easy to look up to them even if they aren’t setting a very good example. I’m sure there will be numerous witnesses for both the prosecution and defense that will focus solely on painting Tsarnaev’s mental make-up in a way that strengthens their side’s case.”
Is The Death Penalty What The People Want?
The death penalty may be seen as the ultimate price for one’s actions, but some people view death as an “easy way out.” Life in jail may be a more appropriate sentence for such an unspeakable crime, and many Americans tend to agree. According to a poll by the Boston Globe, 57 percent of readers were in favor of a life sentence for Tsarnaev, while only 33 percent preferred the death penalty. Others believe that the largely Catholic community of Boston will attempt to avoid the death penalty, as Pope Francis has openly opposed the practice.
Lillian Campbell, whose granddaughter was killed in the bombing, said she doesn’t want Tsarnaev to be put to death.
“When they came out with this part about the death sentence … I said, well, I don’t really care what they do with them. Because whatever they do, it’s not going to bring her back,” Campbell said. “I’ll never forget her, ever, no matter how much they say. Or what they do with the guy who did it. So I wouldn’t wish anyone dead. I wouldn’t.”
Related source: CNN