Killing Killers

Monday , 7, March 2022 5 Comments

This week’s ARTICLE focuses on the U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) 6-3 decision to overturn a Federal Appeals Court decision to throw out the jury’s death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the two brothers responsible for the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing which led to the deaths of three spectators and a police officer.

The Federal Appeals Court had ruled that the trial court erred in its handling of media publicity before the trial. The Appeals Court had ordered a new sentencing trial (note this didn’t mean that Tsarnaev would be aquitted or release; rather it merely meant that his death sentence could be changed to life in prison). The Federal Government asked SCOTUS to reinstate the trail court’s death sentence. SCOTUS reinstated the death sentence of the jury in the trial court.

Just to be clear, the article focuses on the question of Tsarnaev’s punishment: life in prison or death sentence). I found it interesting how President Biden’s administration characterized its stance on the situation (horrible act, but questions use of death penalty, etc.)

The use of Capital Punishment is an ancient argument. And I’m not going to rehash it here. I will say we are one of only a few industrialized nations that still uses it. I guess one important key for me is whether or not we (as a nation) want to kill human beings for killing. Again, I’m aware that this is a pretty simplistic manner in which to condense a VERY complex topic, but hey, it’s my blog:)


5 thoughts on “ : Killing Killers”
  • Lindsay Paulus says:

    I think you raised a very important question that I had not thought about in that way before, do we want to kill human beings for killing? If we punish someone by killing them, the same thing that they were incarcerated for, does it make it right? I think that this topic involves a lot of important discussion and thoughts from not only people in the criminal justice system, but also us as a country when it comes to our morals. This is a very complex topic that needs to be further talked about and have awareness brought to it so that we are able to find the best conclusion.

  • Abigail Hendrix says:

    It’s interesting that so few nations still use this type of punishment. I think that shows that it is not necessarily something that people want to do. Though I think most people do not put a lot of thought into it as we grow up hearing it being used, it seems so normal. When actually asked about using it though I think people have to think more and question their own feelings about it. More attention to this topic could help to find a better solution.

  • Emma Ciriacks says:

    I did not know how few countries use the death penalty but I am not surprised the US still uses it. President Biden’s administration,though understand what Tsarnaev did was horrible,they are hesitant on the use of this punishment.The idea of killing the killer is a weird concept to think about. If this punishment was carried out, we are killing a man just as he did to those other people and yes, what he did was horrible and there is no excuse for his actions,but what are we really getting out of this by killing him?

  • Logan Braasch says:

    I remember this happening quite vividly. I heard before the trial that the family of the 8-year-old boy who was fatally injured did not want Tsarnaev to get the death penalty because a ruling like this would make them relive the events of that day. The victim’s family heavily lobbied for a life sentence before and during the trial to avoid the lengthy appeals process. I can understand the validity of procedural errors the U.S. Court of Appeals cited when Tsarnaev’s death sentence got thrown out. Judy Clarke is an excellent defense attorney—possibly one of the best ever and has worked more federal death penalty cases than any other criminal defense attorney. Notwithstanding the slew of executions the Trump Administration carried out as his predecessor, Biden had no justifiable reason for requesting SCOTUS to reinstate the death penalty. Biden’s campaign promise was to work to abolish capital punishment; nevertheless, he sought death for Tsarnaev. As alluded to, the United States is in the less than 1/3 of all countries that still practice capital punishment: Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Egypt and Iraq take the same initiative. Also, if Tsarnaev would be sentenced to life, that would likely save taxpayers millions. It seems to be about the mega publicity surrounding the case. Despite the moratorium on federal executions, this case shows that the Biden Administration seems self-contradictory on their death penalty stance.

  • Jenna Onley says:

    I did know that there were still a few states in the US that still have the death penalty but I didn’t know that other countries didn’t. It doesn’t surprise me that the US still has it but in this case there definitely needs to be more discussions revolved around this case. Yes, he did a horrible thing but the death penalty is a very important thing to talk about to see if we want to take a killers life. I feel like most people would want him to suffer for what he did and killing him wouldn’t have that suffering like being in prison his whole life.

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