In late January of last year, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it would be seeking the Death Penalty in the case against Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Many were outraged. Carol Rose, a lawyer, journalist and executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, wrote a stirring piece titled "Vengeance is not justice," where she eloquently expresses that "We should not let anyone shake us from our commitment to due process, fair trials, and respect for human life."
Attorney General Eric Holder recently called for a national moratorium on the Death Penalty until the Supreme Court has the opportunity to weigh in on this matter.
While I, like you, would never hurt or wish harm upon anyone, I am having a hard time finding forgiveness for pathetic lives like Tsarnaev. Or maybe I have felt a moment of sadness as to what went wrong with a seemingly regular kid, but it's only that -- a moment of sadness. I certainly have no lasting mercy for him.
How can I, after analyzing the inhumanity of this pre-meditated, cold-blooded murder and mayhem, rightfully oppose the worst possible punishment for this ingrate?
The thought process that went into planning this horrendous blood bath was ingenious -- target those that are physically almost superhuman and kill them, or better still, incapacitate them by blowing up their limbs; go after the innocent bystanders at a do-good event and wreak havoc. Sickening.
If someone came after my family and dearest friends with serious harm on their mind, I know I would do anything to save my loved ones -- most likely even the unthinkable. Can the opponents of the death penalty, even though they find it reprehensible, emphatically claim that they would never take anyone's life even if it were for self-defense or the defense of their loved ones?
Rose writes: "In a very real sense, this trial is about us, the people of Massachusetts, and whether we will sacrifice our values and our commitment to justice in the face of terror."
This trial, to me, is about each person who was violated that day and for every other person who has to live -- for the rest of their lives -- with the guilt and helplessness of not being able to protect their loved ones.
I am no saint; I am sick and tired of people pretending to be martyrs and standing up for the rights of the sinner. Recently, there was a similar outrage over the Jan. 16 execution of Dennis McGuire. The defense attorney and other sympathizers decried his execution by lethal injection, apparently gone wrong for a few minutes, as "inhumane and agonizing."
I too felt a pang of sadness until I found out that this butcher was responsible for the inhumane and agonizing kidnapping, rape and killing of a 22-year-old, newly married, almost 8 months pregnant woman in 1989. McGuire confessed that he raped Joy Stewart viciously and stabbed her twice in the neck, and that "the first time it hit a bone so he pulled the knife back out and stuck her again." Do I feel sorry for Dennis Mcguire? Yes, I do, but only because he breathed and lived for 25 years after this nauseating act whereas Joy and her unborn baby did not live to see another day because of this heartless monster.
Look, I understand that the death penalty should never be taken lightly. I also understand that it is certainly not a deterrent, but that is not the purpose of the death penalty. The death penalty is simply to rid the earth of scumbags like Tsarnaev and McGuire who have gone out of their way to mutilate another.
A Feb. 2 Los Angeles Times editorial declared,
"Cases like this (the Boston Marathon bombing) test our strength as a mature democracy, and as a people who believe in justice. That's not to say convicted murderers and other perpetrators of egregious crimes shouldn't face severe punishment. Life without parole is the correct response in these extreme cases. It punishes the criminal while protecting society from future acts of violence. As a nation that believes in justice, we should drop our embrace of the death penalty as a relic of the barbaric past."
But if life without parole is the ultimate punishment, why is it that almost every single death row inmate has repeatedly filed for a stay of execution, opting desperately for life behind bars instead of death. That's because life is precious and even the most deplorable human being gets it when it comes to preserving his own. David R. Dow, a distinguished professor at the University of Houston Law Center and an acclaimed Death Row Lawyer, in an interview with The Nation, had this to say about his clients: "Let me be clear: most of my clients want to live. Most of them prefer a life of virtually no freedom to no life at all. Underlying this preference is a hope, however faint, they might one day get out." Sadly, there is not the slightest glimmer of hope for the victims and their loved ones.
I do not seek vengeance ordinarily, but when extraordinary things are sometimes done to innocent people, vengeance unfortunately is as close as it gets to justice. What is truly more barbaric: deliberately raping and chopping a mother to be, staging a vicious attack to blow up life and limb in the name of (un)holy Jihad, or ensuring that the innocent victims get a fair shot at justice? When you strip away the fancy legal jargon, the drama of defending the monsters and the glamorization of the dignity of life toward all, the picture is grimly simple: an innocent victim(s) who did not stand a chance against a malicious perpetrator with the sole purpose of causing the ultimate harm. I am sorry, but I see no choice other than to side with those who were handed the death penalty by a savage animal. I strongly support the "right to life" -- of the victim. Vengeance is sometimes fair.