The decision is in. Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death for his part in the April 15, 2013 bombing that left three people dead and 260 wounded. Tsarnaev was found guilty on April 8, 2015 of 30 charges, and in the sentencing part of the trial, the jury had the choice of life in prison with no chance of parole, or the death penalty.
How a “civilized” society treats those convicted of a crime, is a reflection of the society itself. A penal system based upon the ideal of reforming the convict, would have a maximum sentence that would still allow for the release of the felon after it was deemed that he/she was no longer a risk to society. A system based on punishment as a means of teaching an inmate, and society as a whole, that his/her actions were wrong, would have a maximum sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole. A punishment of death for a person convicted of a capital crime speaks to a society that still values vengeance as a course of action.
On a note scrawled on the interior wall of a boat in which he was hiding before his arrest, Tsarnaev claimed the Boston Marathon bombing was in retribution for U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Boston victims were “collateral damage” as were Muslim victims in the U.S. wars.
If the Boston jury’s decision to have Tsarnaev die for his crimes was based on “an eye for an eye”, then it can be said that where revenge is concerned, the only guaranteed result is that both sides end up being blinded.
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