Death on the street of America is becoming all too commonplace, but in the case of Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev the death sentence imposed upon him has actually created issues for Bostonians, who oppose putting him to death.
A poll conducted by the Boston Globe indicated an overwhelming opposition to killing Tsarnaev with 15 percent of the city’s residents wanting him executed and fewer than 20 percent throughout the state.
However the national figures are different, with 60 percent of Americans wanting to to receive the death sentence he received from a Federal jury on Friday.
As the “Globe” reported, no one felt sympathy for 21 year old Tsarnaev, they just did not want him martyred and felt that a life in prison would be worse than death for the bomber.
Still others, interviewed around the city Friday night and Saturday, reflected the region’s historical aversion to the death penalty.
Neil Maher, who spent his teenage years in Boston and returned this weekend for his class reunion at Boston College High School, said the verdict had surprised and disappointed him.
“They ought to demonstrate a little humanity,” said Mr. Maher, 66, who lives in Frederick, Md. “Killing a teenager’s not going to do anything. I think it’s just a kind of visceral revenge. I think that in three years, the people of Boston and the people on the jury will feel bad about this decision.”
Like many others, he could not square the death sentence with the sense of Massachusetts exceptionalism that has pervaded Boston since 1630, when the Puritan John Winthrop said this spot in the New World would be “as a city upon a hill — the eyes of all people are upon us.”
Mr. Maher, walking in South Boston on the waterfront, lamented that Massachusetts seemed to be losing its lofty goals and a piece of its unique identity. “The Chinese put a lot of people to death, and we put a lot of people to death, and almost nobody else in the world does,” he said. “It’s kind of a brutal thing. And for this to happen in Massachusetts …”
At the site of the bombing, Jessica Brown, an editor for a technology company, stared at the finish line while a companion from out of state took a photograph. The sentence had taken her, too, by surprise.
“I really thought they were going to do life in prison,” said Ms. Brown, who expressed some philosophical doubt about the death penalty.
“It raises the question of, should we react to murder with murder?” she said.
For her, the question hit close to home because she lives in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, near Bill and Denise Richard. The couple’s 8-year-old son, Martin, was killed by one of the bombs — but they nonetheless made an open plea to the government to drop its pursuit of the death penalty and send Mr. Tsarnaev to prison instead.
Source: NY Times
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