Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Death Sentence Breeds Discourse



Tsarnaev receives death sentence

Chris Bierwirth , Contributing Writer

Since Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death on May 15th, Bostonians and the broader world have been expressing dismay at the sentence. The death penalty is seen by many as a violation of human rights, and its administration violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Many human rights organizations, politicians, and activists have spoken out against the death penalty being administered to the Boston Marathon Bomber. Most notably, the family of Martin Richard, the young boy killed in the bombings, spoke out against the sentencing of Tsarnaev to death. They argued that a life sentence would provide more closure, in anticipation of the long and drawn out appeals process that the death penalty involves. The human rights organization Amnesty International has also protested the the death penalty, calling it a major violation of human rights. Other notable protesters have been the residents of Boston, only 15% of residents want Tsarnaev put to death, compared to 60% nationwide.

The question of whether or not the federal government is overreaching in this instance has been brought up by many. In a state where executions are not allowed, should the federal government have the right to overrule the state’s laws and perform an execution? Many argue that a life sentence for Tsarnaev, who is only 21, would be a much worse punishment. Furthermore, the death penalty may give others the change to make Tsarnaev a martyr since he will die for his twisted cause. This sentence also raised the important question of how juries in death penalty cases are selected. When the death penalty is pursued, the jurors must be in favor of the death penalty to serve. This creates a jury that is not representative of the majority of residents, something that may infringe upon the idea of a jury of peers. All in all, this death sentence raises important concerns that need to be addressed before our country can move forward regarding the archaic system that is the death penalty.