Tsarnaev, Boston Marathon Bomber, condemned to death

Abbey Saxer, Reporter


Used with permission/ Nicolaus Czarnecki  MCT Campus


People gather on April 15 around the memorial on Boylston Street for the marathon bombing that occurred in 2013.


     April 15, 2013 is a day in which, according to the “New York Times,” “the worst terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001,” occurred. On this day, two pressure cooker bombs exploded at the annual Boston Marathon at 2:49 p.m., erupting 12 seconds apart from each other. The bombs were placed by two Chechen brothers, Dzhokhar, 19,  and Tamerlan, 26, Tsarnaev. The bombers found out how to construct the bombs in an “Inspire” magazine article written by a member of al-Qaeda. Other than the explosives themselves, the bombs are easy to construct with household items, and they wounded 264 individuals and killed three at the Boston Marathon.
     After the bombing, there was a manhunt for the two brothers. Tamerlan was shot multiple times by police, and then run over in a hijacked car by Dzhokhar, killing him. The next day, April 19, a man in Watertown, Mass., found Dzhokhar in his backyard; the police arrested him and took him to the hospital to fix bullet wounds. In the initial interrogation, Dzhokhar claimed Tamerlan was the “mastermind” behind the bombings. He said they were motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they were not connected with any terrorist group. In the interrogation, Tsarnaev mentioned their plan to bomb Times Square in New York as well, but they did not have the chance to because of the manhunt.
     Two years after the attack, Tsarnaev, now 21,  is undergoing the trials. April 8, 2015, he was found guilty of all 30 counts for which he stood trial for, 17 of which are punishable by death. The counts range from conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, to shooting and killing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, to car hijacking. Tsarnaev is now on trial to see if he will face life in prison without the chance of parole or be executed. The defense says Dzhokhar is guilty, but death penalty is not the answer because he was drawn in and scared by his older brother, Tamerlan. After showing a picture of ADX Florence, the prison in Colorado he would be sent to if incarcerated for life, the defense team said he would suffer more in prison than having the “easy death” of lethal injection.
     A recent poll of 229 given by the station WBUR shows 62 percent of Greater Bostonians are opposed to the death penalty for Tsarnaev. This may be due to the fact no one has been executed in Massachusetts for 68 years; since it is a federal case, Tsarnaev will be able to be executed even though Massachusetts has not allowed the death penalty since 1984. According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, when given the choice between the death penalty and life without parole for Tsarnaev, 56 percent of Americans were for death. This poll also showed more men support the death penalty than women, 64 percent to 49 percent.
     There is a very specific process that needs to be followed before someone can be put to death. According to Capital Punishment in Context, the defendant must go through a normal pre-trial: arrest, arraignment, preliminary hearing, grand jury (normal for many criminal cases), indictment and a hearing on pre-trial motions. The only difference in the case of Tsarnaev’s trial, and any trial with the possible outcome of



2015-05-19 08:13:43