Tags: | dzohkar tsarnaev | death | penalty | boston | marathon | bombing

Boston Globe: 'Spare Dzhokhar Tsarnaev the Death Penalty'

By    |   Thursday, 09 Apr 2015 05:33 PM

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should not receive the death penalty after his 30 convictions in the Boston Marathon bombings because "his lawyers have raised serious doubts already about whether he should be executed," The Boston Globe said in an editorial Thursday.

"He should spend the rest of his life rotting in prison instead," the Globe's editorial board said. "Sentencing Tsarnaev to death would ensure endless appeals, substitute vengeance for justice, and risk letting him become a martyr."

Noting that death-penalty opponents were "kept off the jury," the Globe said that those selected had indicated some support for the punishment "at least in some cases."

Tsarnaev, 21, was convicted Wednesday of the counts — 17 of which are punishable by the death penalty — stemming from the April 2013 bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

The shrapnel that exploded from the two homemade pressure-cooker bombs made by Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, 26, killed three people and injured 264, including 17 who lost limbs.

The charges included conspiracy and deadly use of a weapon of mass destruction — and the also included those stemming from the fatal death days later of MIT police officer Sean Collier.

Collier died as the Tsarnaevs tried to get his gun as part of a plan to head to New York City to plant bombs in Times Square. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed three days after the bombings in a violent shootout with police.

His younger brother was arrested the next day in suburban Watertown after a huge police dragnet. Tsarnaev is a Muslim immigrant of Chechen descent.

The federal district court jury that convicted him after nearly 12 hours of deliberations will begin hearing evidence in the punishment phase of the trial as early as Monday.

Massachusetts banned its state death penalty in 1984.

In arguing for sparing Tsarnaev's life, the Globe slams the argument that the death penalty is "a necessary punishment for the worst of the worst.

"The defense team hammered away at the argument — and backed it up with evidence — that Tamerlan was the primary instigator of the bombing plot, and that he pulled the trigger when MIT police officer Sean Collier was killed days later," the editorial said.

"For jurors who believe execution should be reserved for the worst criminals, the lawyers laid out a clear path to conclude Dzhokhar wasn’t even the worst of the Tsarnaevs."

The Globe further contends that Tsarnaev's lawyers could raise "legal mitigating factors" that could help their client: that he was 19 when the attacks occurred, as well as that "he was apparently a heavy drug user; he had no prior criminal record.

"By themselves, none of these would seem like a particularly good reason to spare him, but taken as a whole, and alongside evidence of his brother’s dominant role, they should plant seeds of doubt," the editorial says.

In addition, the Globe notes that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was executed, while Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, was not. That marks for "mixed precedent" as jurors enter the penalty phase next week.

"Tsarnaev obviously should spend the rest of his life in prison," the editorial concludes. "His defense has already made a good case that he does not meet the exceptionally high standards for a federal execution."

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should not receive the death penalty after his 30 convictions in the Boston Marathon bombings because "his lawyers have raised serious doubts already about whether he should be executed," The Boston Globe said in an editorial Thursday.
dzohkar tsarnaev, death, penalty, boston, marathon, bombing, globe, newspaper, editorial
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2015-33-09
Thursday, 09 Apr 2015 05:33 PM
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