As we struggle to delineate the upper limits of the United States justice system, ideas of human rights and financial concerns render the situation much more complex than ancient forms of punishment and torture. The trial and conviction of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev brings this conflict to the forefront.
It's easy to believe in redemption for yourself. I mean, come on, you aren't that bad. But, do you believe redemption is possible for everyone?
Support for the death penalty is support for the government having the power of life and death over its citizenry. It's not a power the people should support, especially when the government in question has as troubled a record with legislative matters of life and death as the United States.
The jurors sealed Tsarnaev's fate last week, choosing death. A story is indeed powerful, but instead of focusing on America's adversaries, it is time we asked how America's media have told this story and to what effect.
People who focus on death as an appropriate punishment for the offender seem to focus on the offender. People who say that the death penalty should not be applied seem to focus on who we are as a nation.
How then can we reconcile the wildly disparate and seemingly arbitrary outcomes in such cases? How can we be sure that the ultimate punishment is reserved only for the "worst of the worst?"
The Boston bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has been sentenced to death. The 21-year-old man who accompanied his brother on a journey of violence and terrorism will now live out the years of his appeals process until a lethal injection is administered to end his life. Certainly there are no winners.
It was no surprise on Friday in Manhattan federal court when convicted Osama bin Laden lieutenant Khaled al-Fawwaz received a life sentence for terrorism. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan had done this twice before.
Jury duty is a valuable form of community involvement. Without jurors there would be no jury trials, and without jury trials we would lose an effective and fair way to seek justice and hold members of the community accountable.
Somewhere between the piercing bright lights, the hum of the cameras, and the editing room floor lies only bits of truth, you just need to know what to look for.
I am a Muslim Sufi. But I am first an American writer, and for me freedom of expression is undebatable, except when it embodies a direct call to immediate violence against others.
Because of the unacceptably high possibility of an erroneous conviction, I am a reluctant opponent of the death penalty. Reluctant, because some murderers undoubtedly deserve to die.
The Unites States' continued commitment to capital punishment makes it unusual among developed nations.
On some social media pages a parallel world exists, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is viewed as innocent, not guilty; A parallel world where Tsarnaev has achieved near rock star fame
The brave members of the Tsarnaev jury have been relentlessly exposed to the grim face of death and extreme injury caused by the defendant. Before reaching the momentous decision that confronts them, they deserve to hear directly what the victims think and feel.
In cases like Holmes and Tsarnaev, we ask ordinary citizens to go beyond their assumptions and biases, manage their conflicting emotions and take on the difficult task of determining punishment for two heinous crimes that cry out for retribution.