Boston Strong: Determining The Fate of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

This week marks the start of the trial deciding the fate of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, which will determine his guilt in the killing of 3 and the wounding of hundreds.  If Dzhokhar is proven guilty, the jury will then work to determine whether his crimes make him deserving of the death penalty.

This all started on April 15, 2013 when Dzhokhar and his older brother Tamerlan placed two pressure cooker bombs near the finish line on Boylston Street of the Boston Marathon.  The two bombs went off only 12 seconds apart, causing chaos among runners, spectators, and law enforcement officials.  Three days later, the brothers engaged in a firefight with police after they shooting and killing an MIT security guard after stealing an SUV.  In this fight, Tamerlan was killed and Dzhokhar escaped, but the surviving brother was found in nearby Watertown and arrested after hiding in a boat.

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After over a year and a half, Dzhokhar will finally face a judge in Boston to hopefully bring the perpetrator to justice.  The first phase of the trial will to be to determine the guilt of the brothers.  There is little doubt that the evidence shows the Tsarnaev brothers were responsible for the bombings, so this phase will most likely move quickly to the verdict.  The second phase, however, carries more interesting debates and deliberations which are necessary whenever there is the possibility of the death penalty.  Tsarnaev will have one of the most prolific federal defense attorneys on his side, Judy Clarke, who is an expert in defending criminals against receiving the death penalty.  She has successfully spared Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph, and Tucson shooter Jared Loughner from the death penalty.

Though Dzhokhar was at least a conspirator in the bombing plot, a major argument for the defense is that his brother Tamerlan was the mastermind and Dzhokhar was practically under his control throughout the whole ordeal.  This might shake some responsibility off of the younger brother who ran over his brother with the stolen SUV in his escape from the April 2013 police shootout.  In addition, most people in Boston don’t support the death penalty for Tsarnaev, and would rather him serve a life sentence without parole.  The problem with this is that even though capital punishment is illegal in Massachusetts, Tsarnaev will still be facing many federal charges which could allow for the death penalty to be handed down anyway.

This case will take a while to unfold, as a plea deal has not been reached and jury selection may take longer than usual, and thus it will be some time before a verdict is determined.  The importance still remains, however, to bring to justice the terrorists who brought fear and chaos to the city of Boston, and that will undoubtedly be the end result. 

#BostonStrong

 

— Porter Bowman. School News Editor

Posted by on January 9, 2015. Filed under World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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