I have a classification of human beings that I use only in exceptional cases—I call it the “get off my planet” category. People who have attained “get off my planet” status include Steve Smith, who raped and murdered a six month old, Timothy McVeigh, who blew up a daycare and caused the deaths of 168 people, and as of April 19, Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev, who is currently on trial for the Boston Marathon bombing.
Unlike the harem of girls who believe “Jahar” to be innocent, and just happened to be photographed in the very wrong place at the very wrong time dropping a very coincidentally suspicious bag that strongly resembled the bomb remnants discovered by forensics next to an eight-year-old who would be dead within a few minutes, I believe Tsarnev and his now-deceased brother to be extraordinarily guilty, and I feel as though the only fitting and just punishment for Tsarnaev is his swift execution.
“But Christine, isn’t this hypocritical of your pro-life beliefs?” Nope. There’s nothing in common between an innocent unborn child and a man who placed a bomb next to an eight year old in a crowd full of people, resulting in the death of three and the maiming of dozens, who then eventually shot a cop, stole a car, and for good measure, ran over his brother, locked down a major metropolitan area for a day, and broke into a boat. One committed no crime. The other committed dozens.
“Wouldn’t it be better for him to suffer in prison for the rest of his life, thinking about what he did?” Yeah, no. That would require Tsarnaev to actually show remorse for what he did—which so far, he has done nothing of the sort. Right before he was apprehended, he scrawled a note on the inside of the boat, saying that those who died were “collateral damage” and that the attacks were in response to American military action in the Middle East. He also referred to his brother as a martyr. Because, really, who can forget the time that Joan of Arc placed a bomb in the middle of a crowd of people on Patriot’s Day, went on the run from authorities, stole a car, was apprehended by police, engaged in a firefight, and eventually was ran over by a car driven by her brother? #martyrstatus
“But he was only following his brother’s orders.” Who. Cares. First of all, this has not been proven. Secondly, Jahar was 19 at the time of the attack and in college. At 19, one would hope that one has developed the mental acuity to determine that placing a pressure cooker full of shrapnel in a crowd of people is not a good idea, regardless of what one’s brother may suggest. Jahar was also a newly naturalized American citizen—and here in America, we don’t generally put bombs in crowds to protest what the government is doing overseas. (Should we add another question to our citizenship test?)
There’s also that pesky group of “Free Jahar” groupies on Twitter. These girls are clearly not all there mentally, but come on—they are going to enhance any prison experience that Tsarnev might be sentenced to. Sentencing him to life in prison would be sentencing him to a life of free meals, housing, and letters/visits from female admirers. Meanwhile, Martin Richard, Lu Lingzi, and Krystle Campbell have already been sentenced to death and their sentences carried out for the crime of wanting to watch a marathon.
Life in prison wouldn’t be a punishment for Jahar Tsarnaev. Assuming he is found guilty during his trial, the only fitting punishment is the one he gave his victims: death.
Christine Rousselle | Providence College | @crousselle