Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has confessed to the Boston Marathon bombings from his hospital bedside following what sounds like intense questioning every few hours from authorities. Apparently, he told the interrogators that Tamerlan (his dead brother) was the one who instigated most of it and that they acted alone, motivated by religion.
He was charged with the crime yesterday from his bedside and may face the death penalty. But what good will that do?
It's not that I don't think he deserves it. He does. He deserves to face the death penalty three times (one for every person he is accused of killing) and then once again for MIT police officer Sean Collier who was just doing his job when the Tsarnaev brothers allegedly shot him in cold blood. But if what Dzhokhar says is true, if Tamerlan was the driving force behind it all, then he got off pretty easy.
That's the problem with the death penalty. It's the easy way out. Timothy McVeigh's victims have to live forever with the terror and pain he inflicted on them in Oklahoma City, but McVeigh got to leave this Earth.
I suppose if you believe in hell, then the death penalty is great. But for those who don't? For those who believe death is just the end of existence and total blackness, it just seems too easy to let these boys off that way.
Besides, it's what they want. Part of the reason it's so hard to deter suicide bombers is that they don't care if they live or die. Clearly Tamerlan and Dzhokhar felt the same. Some even speculate that Dzhokhar tried to commit suicide, hence his throat wound.
I have no idea what the ideal punishment would be. I know what I wish it were -- constant, endless torture and pain -- but I also know we would never condone that in this country. Instead, we give them death, an end to their suffering and anger.
I am just not sure there is enough punishment in the world to match what Dzhokhar has done or make him adequately pay. He deserves to die once for every person he is accused of killing, for every limb he is accused of blowing off, and every child he filled with terror. That's what he deserves. There is not punishment enough in the world.
Do you think the death penalty will help here?
Image via Boston Police