I’ve noted I believe the death penalty for Dzhokhar should be on the table. The idea that society has no right to execute a person is for another day. Let’s just keep in mind we do it every day in our war against terror when we use our drones to execute perceived threats. Today I want to talk about the Boston Globe’s push to save Dzhokhar from execution.
I’ve often noted the Boston Globe’s march-in-step propaganda machine: first the editorial or the spotlight and then like a leaky faucet the drip when all its reporters and columnists fall in line with the company line. It always seemed so much like the old Soviet Union or today’s new Russia media.
Last September the Globe editorialized against seeking the death penalty for Dzhokhar. Here’s its argument: “In addition to the extra cost of capital prosecutions . . . death penalty cases drag on for years, through numerous appeals. Such lengthy proceedings would ensure that the Marathon bombing case lingers in the spotlight, compounding the sense of injury to victims. Many people would feel compelled to defend Tsarnaev . . . Years of proceedings, and their potential culmination in a death sentence, would also give Tsarnaev what he and his brother apparently sought: publicity and notoriety.”
A week ago the Globe argued that Attorney General Holder’s decision was regrettable because the “trial will drag on much longer” and “that he’ll eventually get the martyrdom he apparently sought.” It also said that since many are against the death penalty executing Dzhokhar would cause division among the people of Boston taking away from the “generous spirit” and ” tempered response” of the people of Boston to the terrorist attack.
Today, following orders, we find another article telling how it is folly to seek the death penalty by Columnist Kevin Cullen. As best I can make out his argument, using a little reverse psychology, he suggests we are doing Dzhokhar a favor by putting him death. Cullen argues a much worse punishment is life in prison. Reading it I found myself scratching my head trying to figure out if that is the case why are Dzhokhar’s attorneys working so hard against his interest by asking the death penalty not be imposed.
It seems to me the cost factor is hardly a reason for not making the right decision. I didn’t read anyone in the Globe, or for that matter any other media, suggesting putting on such an extensive and expensive prosecution of an 84 year old man should not have occurred because of its cost. Whitey could have been tried in California for gun possession and put away for life. Was it wrong for the Boston U.S. Attorney to bring the case here and expend the funds necessary to try him for the many crimes he committed? I think not nor did anyone else, sometimes the cost has to take a back seat to justice being done.
Even if we consider the cost factor, I suggest that the longer Dzhokhar lives the greater the cost will be to the public. He’ll be spending the rest of his life filing appeals. Not only that while he lives so will his cause and while alive he will stay an issue and attract adherents. Will we have hostages taken by some radical group which will demand his release in exchange for the hostages lives?
The idea we should hold back punishment because he will become a martyr does not hold water. He’s already a martyr to those looking for one. Keep in mind martyrdom, like the words “Arab Street”, means little. Nothing follows from acting one way or the other because of those words. Osama bin Laden was the late great martyr. What has followed from his killing other than a diminishment of his movement and influence?
Two basic reasons exist for executing Dzhokhar: deterrence, make it clear to others that if you murder on American soil by an act of terrorism you too may die; and kindness to most of the victims. Keeping Dzhokhar alive will serve as a perpetual reminder of his actions. The victims and their families will continually have to relive their horror each time another appeal is filed on his behalf. There will be no closure. How many times have we heard victims say after a murderer is executed that they can now go on with their lives?
Truly bereft of arguments for not executing Dzhokhar, the Globe now comes up with a brilliant new argument which flows from the writings of Cullen. This is really a beaut. Cullen suggests: “Putting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death is, in the end, putting him to sleep. That’s not much of a punishment.”
Reading that I find myself at a loss to figure out what all the brouhaha over the death penalty has been about over the years.Why had the Globe been so much against it. If we are to become a kinder and gentler society, as the Globe seems to urge us to become, isn’t it better that we treat Dzhokhar with kid gloves by executing sending him off on a long sleep, perhaps one with dreams, rather than be cruel and evil by imprisoning him for life.