May 15, 2015

Death for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The jury's verdict is in: death.
With death sentences, an appeal is all but inevitable, and the process generally takes years if not decades to play out. Of the 80 federal defendants sentenced to death since 1988, only three, including Timothy J. McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, have been executed. Most cases are still tied up in appeal. In the rest, the sentences were vacated or the defendants died or committed suicide.

The Tsarnaev verdict goes against the grain in Massachusetts, which has no death penalty for state crimes and where polls showed that residents overwhelmingly favored life in prison for Mr. Tsarnaev. Many respondents said that life in prison for one so young would be a fate worse than death, and some worried that execution would make him a martyr.


sparrow said...

I'm glad I don't have to decide these things - I'm not certain which way I'd come down. Not that I doubt his guilt, but rather on the value or lack thereof in his execution.

Balfegor said...

Many respondents said that life in prison for one so young would be a fate worse than death,

I feel like I have made this comment before, but people who urge a "fate worse than death" as a penalty are deeply, deeply immoral. If you honestly think a punishment is "worse than death" then it's actually evil to want someone to suffer that punishment. "Death" forms the natural boundary point for ethical punishments.

Big Mike said...

Good. If he's dead he can't be pardoned.

Anonymous said...

In other news, the Innocent Project is on the case.

Kevin said...

Even though I HATE standing in long lines, I will make an exception in this case.

I WILL go and piss on this little POS's grave.

Might bring some pork products along to bury there too...

mccullough said...

Boston Strong

Rae said...

Justice delay is justice denied? In this case, to the victioms?

Pfffft. I'll worry about the death penalty after abortion is outlawed.

Rumpletweezer said...

Can a society that is unwilling to commit the ultimate sanction against a criminal like this be serious about surviving?

Wally Kalbacken said...


Twelve said...

Death takes BB King and leaves it to us to squabble over whether to terminate Tsarnaev. I talked to a man last week who insisted that the universe was orderly and logical.

Roughcoat said...
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sparrow said...

It's a fallen world Three

Roughcoat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chickelit said...

Now that the trial is over, get him the hell out of Boston before somebody blows something up to try to free him.

etienne said...

The money spent killing him (millions) could do more good to a nation without a middle-class.

I'm only for the death penalty when cops administer it.

MayBee said...

I feel like I have made this comment before, but people who urge a "fate worse than death" as a penalty are deeply, deeply immoral. If you honestly think a punishment is "worse than death" then it's actually evil to want someone to suffer that punishment. "Death" forms the natural boundary point for ethical punishments.

Yeah, I think it's weird too.

They don't actually believe it is worse than death, or they wouldn't be against the death penalty.

MayBee said...

Or I should say, they wouldn't consider themselves humanitarians and *and* be against the death penalty.

Roughcoat said...


Good point. But I wonder: does anyone really believe that life in prison is worse than death? Or is that just wishful thinking by people who are uncomfortable with imposing the death penalty?

Todd said...

Roughcoat said...

Good point. But I wonder: does anyone really believe that life in prison is worse than death? Or is that just wishful thinking by people who are uncomfortable with imposing the death penalty?

5/15/15, 3:06 PM

I think a fair question to ask of anyone that is "pro choice" is if they also support capital punishment and if not, why not? Does not a defenseless fetus deserve more protections than a criminal that has had his/her day in court and multiple rounds of appeals? Especially if they pull out the canard of "what if an innocent person is accidentally executed?"

etienne said...

Charles Manson refused to attend a parole hearing because he said he was too busy working on his web site.

Prison, especially federal prisons, are quite livable, if you don't get solitary.

Roughcoat said...


Also a good point, but I think raising the abortion issue in this thread is going off topic.


Agreed. Convicts serving life sentences all adapt, after a fashion, to spending the rest of their days behind bars. Otherwise they'd be killing themselves in droves. Which they aren't.

steve uhr said...

McVeigh was convicted in 1997 and executed in Jan 2001. Hopefully this one will also move quickly.

Bob Ellison said...

That is indeed a good point, Balfegor.

One should also apply the KISS principle. Why do people make the argument that life in prison would be worse? It's not because they think it's worse than death. It's because they're simple-minded liars and think that will sway others. It's a dumb argument.

MayBee said...

I'm against the death penalty because I just don't like it.
I'm not protest-in-the-streets against it, but just run of the mill against it.

I don't like the "What if we get it wrong" argument against it, because people (as we well know) are frequently wrongly or accidentally killed by police action. Is it worse than try someone and sentence them to death when they are innocent, or to accidentally shoot a hostage who is being held or someone who has a cellphone and not a gun?

Jason said...

Amazing that we can kill this cockroach but not Ramsi Binalshibh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, even though unlike them, Tsarnaev was a U.S. Citizen.

Among the many perversions of libtardism is this: Foreigners wind up getting a better shake under the libtard-run justice system than Americans do.

Fandor said...

"Patriotic" inmates might take it upon themselves to execute terrorist Tsarnaev.
"Stuff" happens in prison world.

Sammy Finkelman said...

What may have helped in the verdict is that he personally placed one of the bombs, and that bomb killed an 8-year old child.

It probably went along with the guilty verdict.

They couldn't put all the blame on his brother.

Like he has no capacity for telling the difference betweeen right and wrong.

Also he had not a shred of regret for at least a year and a half.

Later, he was forced to admit that nobody deserved that.

Qwerty Smith said...


Saying that they believe life in prison is worse than the death penalty is the strategy anti-death penalty people use to convince others or themselves that they are tough on crime.

I'm not sure whether they are right or wrong, but I am pretty confident that most people would rather see their children sentenced to life in prison, rather than death. And presumably, this is not because they wish to ensure that their rotten kids suffer as much as possible.

furious_a said...

Paraphrasing from memory here, but...

"A devout Christian would sanction neither Abortion nor Capital Punishment. A callous Pragmatist would sanction both.

But it takes years of therapy to arrive at the default Liberal position."

--P.J. O'Rourke.

Smilin' Jack said...

Many respondents said that life in prison for one so young would be a fate worse than death....

It would be if he were my cellmate.

Fabi said...

Hog-tie this animal and put him in a concrete room with an exploding pressure cooker filled with rusty nails. Let him enjoy the sixty-minute timer as it counts down.

Gabriel said...

Many respondents said that life in prison for one so young would be a fate worse than death.

Actual Death Row prisoners do not appear to believe this, given their efforts to get their sentences commuted--and neither do death penalty activists, who also campaign against supermax and life imprisonment.

Thorley Winston said...

I feel like I have made this comment before, but people who urge a "fate worse than death" as a penalty are deeply, deeply immoral.

I agree that they’re immoral as well but that’s because people who say they oppose the death penalty because they think life in prison is worse are usually lying.

MaxedOutMama said...

I think the defense had an impossible task unless they could put Tsarnaev on the stand to say that he had reconsidered, and now believed that he should not have committed the bombing. It seems obvious that he would not say that.

So the defense claim that his participation was influenced by the older brother doesn't get any support - the older Tsarnaev has been dead for some time, and it appears that the younger Tsarnaev still holds the views that he did when he wrote the note in the boat.

I guess the defense is going to start the appeals on the basis that the judge should have granted the change of venue. It's the best they've got.

Lydia said...

I'm with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on this -- it's a "fitting punishment":

“Dzhokhar Tsarnaev coldly and callously perpetrated a terrorist attack that injured hundreds of Americans and ultimately took the lives of three individuals: Krystle Marie Campbell, a 29-year-old native of Medford; Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate student from China; and Martin Richard, an 8-year-old boy from Dorchester who was watching the marathon with his family just a few feet from the second bomb. In the aftermath of the attack, Tsarnaev and his brother murdered Sean Collier, a 27-year-old patrol officer on the MIT campus, extinguishing a life dedicated to family and service.

“We know all too well that no verdict can heal the souls of those who lost loved ones, nor the minds and bodies of those who suffered life-changing injuries from this cowardly attack. But the ultimate penalty is a fitting punishment for this horrific crime and we hope that the completion of this prosecution will bring some measure of closure to the victims and their families. We thank the jurors for their service, the people of Boston for their vigilance, resilience and support and the law enforcement community in Boston and throughout the country for their important work.”

The Godfather said...

A couple of points:

1. If you want to sentence Mr. T to a "fate worse than death", I could arrange it -- but the Supreme Court would call it "cruel and unusual punishment" -- and they'd be right. It's not what life imprisonment means.

2. I'm not a big fan of capital punishment. I wouldn't go to an execution, for example, even if the victim had been a loved one.

3. As I've commented before, with terrorists the best argument for execution is that another bunch of terrorists won't then be able to take hostages to kill if Mr. T. isn't executed. But the legal system will spend so many years and so many dollars before executing T., that this is probably irrelevant.

4. It would be satisfying, don't you think, if the judge, having announced the death sentence imposed by the jury, pulled out his Dirty Harry 44 magnum, and executed the slime ball?

rhhardin said...

"Killing Dzhokhar only gives him the martyrdom that he wants."

Hey, win-win.


rhhardin said...

Strictly speaking it shouldn't have been a criminal matter at all.

Just a military thing and a firing squad.

Mountain Maven said...

He deserves it.

OTOH. If the majority of voters favor the death penalty why do we let the SJW's hold it hostage with endless and dishonest stays, appeals, protests, etc.

Holder is right, we are a nation of wimps, for not standing up to the OWS nihilists and their lapdog politicians.

Either execute the deserving expeditiously or warehouse them. It's cheaper.

Kyzer SoSay said...

I think that in cases like this, if no procedural or technical appeals are brought up within 90 days, the convict should be executed by firing squad at dawn on day 91. There is zero doubt he placed the bombs, and zero chance that we got this wrong somehow. Probably a minority of death penalty cases are this certain, but for the ones that are, this should be the speedy end of the line.

richard mcenroe said...

Wait till the little F***er starts his Mansonesque website from inside his cell...

Dr.D said...

I like what Kyzernick said, but I would make one change. Instead of 90 days, I think it should be 30 days with execution on day 31.

Basta! said...

I would like to point out that the last several referenda to reinstate the death penalty in Mass. won by a majority, but the legislature wouldn't pass a bill to do it. One of the things Romney ran on for governor was to reinstate the death penalty, and once again the legislature shot it down (in 2005, I think it was). So, it's wrong to consider people in Mass. as overwhelmingly anti-death penalty. In fact, everyone I've talked to about Tsarnaev said execute him.

Christy said...

Firing squad, half of whom are women. Equality!!! Halves the chance of virgins.

walter said...

Maybe he can be placed in a prison with the same level of internal security as Dahmer's. In fact, maybe Dahmer's last residence has some openings.
Lethal injection seems far too civil.

I prefer he be forced to play a game of "don't set down the pressure cooker".

Original Mike said...

Good riddance (of course he'll probably be around for decades).

Big Mike said...

Speaking of being sentenced to death, Johnny Depp has flown his dogs out of Australia.

CWJ said...

"Many respondents said that life in prison for one so young would be a fate worse than death"

This is nothing but sanctimonious cant. Clearly the inmates themselves universally appealing their death sentences don't believe it.

Paul said...

Drown him in pig fat.

That is what he deserves.

clint said...

"Big Mike said...
Good. If he's dead he can't be pardoned."

Or traded for a hostage to be named later.

Big Mike said...

@clint, I recently read Chris Kyle's American Gun: A History of the US in Ten Firearms, and was struck by the story of Oscar Collazo. He and another Puerto Rican attempted to assassinate Harry Truman and did succeed in killing a Capitol policeman and wounding another. In 1979 Jimmy Carter commuted Collazo's sentence to time served and he went back to Puerto Rico where he was hailed as hero. I can picture the same happening to Tsarnaev.

JCC said...

The proper sentence I think. The jury had the stones to follow through on the logic of their verdict. There really was only one possible sentence for the acts as described in the indictment and conviction.

"...a stinging rebuke to the assertion by Sister Helen Prejean, a Roman Catholic nun and renowned death penalty opponent, that he was “genuinely sorry” for what he had done."

Good. Sister Prejean lied under oath, a disgrace to her office. It's heartening to see the jury recognized her perfidy.

Be said...

I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, eyes –
I wonder if It weighs like Mine –
Or has an Easier size.
I wonder if They bore it long –
Or did it just begin –
I could not tell the Date of Mine –
It feels so old a pain –
I wonder if it hurts to live –
And if They have to try –
And whether – could They choose between –
It would not be – to die –
I note that Some – gone patient long –
At length, renew their smile –
An imitation of a Light
That has so little Oil –
I wonder if when Years have piled –
Some Thousands – on the Harm –
That hurt them early – such a lapse
Could give them any Balm –
Or would they go on aching still
Through Centuries of Nerve –
Enlightened to a larger Pain –
In Contrast with the Love –
The Grieved – are many – I am told –
There is the various Cause –
Death – is but one – and comes but once –
And only nails the eyes –
There’s Grief of Want – and grief of Cold –
A sort they call “Despair” –
There’s Banishment from native Eyes –
In sight of Native Air –
And though I may not guess the kind –
Correctly – yet to me
A piercing Comfort it affords
In passing Calvary –
To note the fashions – of the Cross –
And how they’re mostly worn –
Still fascinated to presume
That Some – are like my own –


My brother is doing Life w/out parole in CO. I was hoping that Dzhokar could have a similar benefit towards redemption. (Maybe still possible.)

William said...

There are crimes that deserve capital punishment. It shows a failure of imagination to say that there aren't.

Paul Ciotti said...

According to his mother, who came here ten years ago, went on welfare, was arrested for shoplifting $1600 worth of clothes and then went back to Russia, her son's conviction is a capitalist plot.

walter said... see? He is simply a product of bad parenting...poor boy.

Aussie Pundit said...

The fact that Rolling Stone turned him into a pin-up hero makes me more inclined to want him executed.

Admittedly, I was inclined that way already.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Mass will never get around to actually doing it. 20 years from now he'll be a professor of Muzzie Studies at Harvard.

traditionalguy said...

What about the billions of peaceful Muslims who want to kill as bad as Tsarnaev does? Is it too late to surrender to them like Obama is doing in our name?

Rusty said...

Lethal injection seems far too civil.

Which is why, I think, The state does it and not the families of the victims.

He has forfeitted his right to exist on this planet with other civilized beings. Nothing personal. We're just going to eliminate all your options.

Paul said...

Part of the reason for all punishment is to deter. $300 speeding tickets tend to deter speeding to an extent. 30 year sentences for robbery tend to deter robberies.

What will deter at least SOME Muslims from terrorism? Pig fat.

Gen. Perishing in the Philippines stopped the Muslim uprising by burying terrorist in pig skins.

We need to give it a try.

Biff said...

FWIW, my understanding of the "polls showed that residents overwhelmingly favored life in prison for Mr. Tsarnaev" is that they were the polls taken by the Boston Globe and WBUR (the Boston NPR station), and that other polls failed to yield similar results.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

The Tsarnaev verdict goes against the grain in Massachusetts,

Guess what? Mass murder of civilians goes against the grain of Massachusetts too. And a death penalty against an unrepentant mass murderer is a pretty good way to prevent a 'heroic' repeat exploit by the murderer.

Beldar said...

No clearer example of liberal perfidy can be found than the switch between the liberal party line that led to Furman v. Georgia in 1972, but that they've since de facto reversed since Gregg v. Georgia in 1976:

The arbitrariness of the death penalty as actually administered in places like California, or in the federal system, is now a desired feature toward which all their efforts for the last several decades have been devoted. Previously, of course, it was the systemic feature that supposedly made the death penalty-as-administered cruel and unusual and unconstitutional.

My support for the death penalty is not based on any sort of empirical judgment about its deterrent effect, which will never be provable or disprovable. I'm a retributionist.

But either retribution or deterrence can only happen if the death penalty isn't arbitrary in its administration. We have a meaningful death penalty in Texas, whether you agree with it or not: The death sentences our juries return do indeed strongly tend to survive post-verdict appeals and to be carried out within a matter of a few years.

But I'm genuinely doubtful -- for the reasons that motivated the SCOTUS in Furman -- about the constitutionality of the death penalty as administered in California, other states who do their disingenuous bests in real life to avoid actually executing anyone, and, indeed and alas, the federal system.

Tsarnaev deserves death. The country, though, deserves either a working death penalty, or none at all.