Justice has been served.
Nearly two years removed from the horror that was the Boston Marathon bombings, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev stood still as the word “guilty” resonated 30 times through the courtroom as he heard his future grow bleaker and bleaker with each repetition of the word.
The trial may be over, but the impact Tsarnaev left will never be over.
The penalty phase date is yet to be decided, and could begin as soon as next week. With the guilty verdict on all 30 counts, the jury will decide between life imprisonment or the death penalty.
The initial reaction from many, and understandably so, is to run enough electricity through Tsarnaev to light the city of Boston, but in reality that may not be the best idea.
Supporters of Tsarnaev have suggested that he thought he was headed for great things in the afterlife by carrying out this terrorist action. Reason being is due to the fact that the goal of actions such as the bombings by self-identified extremists would be to commit a crime against Westerners as a service to their God so they may die (in good conscience, in their eyes) serving their God.
If that’s the case, maybe it is not such a bad idea to grant Tsarnaev life imprisonment.
You would be hard-pressed to find a prison anywhere in the United States that would treat this criminal well. In all likelihood, I would imagine that within days he will be transferred to a high security prison with little to no human interaction just so he isn’t strangled by another inmate’s bed sheets before the first week is over.
But I have a very hard time believing he was such an extreme religious fanatic. I’ve been wrong before, but there were multiple opportunities Tsarnaev had to die for his God, namely after he ran his brother over with an SUV and proceeded to drag him 20 feet to his death.
And I could not help but be taken aback when I heard the defense that he was so misguided and was simply following his brother’s wishes out of sheer admiration for him.
I look up to my older sibling, but that certainly would not prompt me to commit some of the unspeakable actions that Dzhokhar did.
And the other defense that I’ve grown simply exhausted hearing is that he should be given a little bit of lenience because he was only 19 at the time.
In my near 21 years of existence in this world, I’ve learned that part of being a man is taking responsibility for your actions, no matter what they are. And if Dzhokhar is old enough to even be an accessory to a crime that killed four (including an 8 year old), blew the limbs off of 17 and proceeded to injure 240 more, I’d like to think it’s pretty safe to say he’s old enough to spend his life in prison or have barbiturate, paralytic, and a potassium solution put through his veins.
No matter what sentence is decided, justice has been and will be served. The actions of Apr. 15 2013 and the subsequent days will never be forgotten. They have impacted far more than just Boston. There will never be a time frame to move on, but justice will ease the pain as time passes. Boston is one of the toughest cities in the world, and its resilience will continue to shine, even through these dark days.
This town has been and will continue to be Boston Strong.