Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber was convicted today on thirty counts of various things, including murder. (I can’t help wondering if he was charged with the manslaughter of his own brother, fondly nicknamed “speedbump.”)
I believe he should not be executed. Doing so would make him an instant martyr in much or in all of the Muslim world. The belief would develop quickly that he was framed, railroaded, or “manipulated by the CIA” – a favorite. The relevant events are already being misreported in the French media. Think of how they are being treated and will be treated in Pakistan. (That’s the country were lawyers demonstrated about a year ago in favor of the death penalty for apostasy.)
It’s true that there is no chance he will be executed right away but ordinary public opinion is not very familiar with theh idea of long appeals.
Of course, if Tsarnaev is sentenced to the alternative, life without possibility of parole, the same rumors will be spread but they will soon vanish because a guy rotting away in a small clean cell is not as exciting as a real “martyr.” No execution, no martyrdom! No prospect of execution, no continuing interest. The t-shirts are already in press.
I don’t know for sure but I suspect that the President has the power to commute a death sentence in a federal case like this one. When the time comes, I hope that whoever is president then will make the right political decision. This is a case where the mercy of some and the rational analysis of others should lead to the same conclusion.
One might poll the victims and their families though.