Marathon Monday will never have the same ring to the residents of the state of Boston ever again. Once known for bringing the community together for a friendly competition among friends, neighbours and athletes alike, the Boston Marathon is now a day to ponder human nature and just how evil it can be. On April 19th 2013, the world watched as the city of Boston went under lockdown, its neighbourhoods resembling a ghost town from the latest horror movie, while police went on an full fledged man hunt to capture the Tsarnev brothers who were found responsible for the bombs exploding at the finish line earlier that day.
Tamerlan and his brother Dzokhar Tsarnev were what seemed to be average immigrants to the US. Tamerlan was on his way to becoming a prized boxer while Dzokhar was known by his classmates as quiet and calm. But beneath these seemingly normal exteriors lay very conflicted spirits caused by varying reasons at the time. These issues lead them to devise a plan to bomb the Boston Marathon and assume they would get away with it. The bombs were made at home in pressure cookers and they were set off at the finish line as marathon runners were completing their race and their loved ones were waiting to cheer them on. Through this plan, these brothers killed three and injured 264 people.
Police immediately set out to find the perpetrators while the people from across the world sat glued to their television screens and twitter feeds waiting for the moment when the police would announce that they had been captured. During a shootout Tamerlan was shot and killed but his brother kept going until he was arrested and taken under custody to the hospital for injuries.
On Wednesday July 10th 2013, Dzokhar faced his victim’s families for the first time during his pretrial hearing. Many of the families that were present in the court wanted to be there to seek the peace of mind which they have been waiting for since April. Hearing that the man who coldheartedly injured and murdered a loved one would be sentenced to a lifetime in prison or possibly given the death penalty may appease their hearts. One can only wait and see what will happen to this 19 year old who seems to have lost his way in life.
His options are pretty simple, attorney Judy Clarke who had also represented Timothy McVeigh in his trial, is pulling all the string in order to avoid the death penalty. She hopes that she would be able to come to an agreement with the government by asking Tsarnev to cooperate and provide information he may have about other attacks or attackers. This same tactic was what she used to get McVeigh and the Unabomber life sentences instead of the death penalty. While on the other side, seeing as this is a federal case, the death penalty could be applied if there is significant evidence agains Tsarnev and the juror’s decision is unanimous. It’s safe to assumed that we will all be watching and waiting to see what will be the outcome to one of the biggest disasters of the year.
This year brought with it a series of tragedies from school shootings to bombings, and many begin to wonder what could possibly lead someone to want to take away the lives of innocent people in such an insane way. As we become more and more interconnected in the world, it seems that many have found a way to turn a good thing into a killing machine. Things such as YouTube and Google that are used for our leisure, are used by Tamerlan Tsarnev so he could watch extremist videos that encouraged him and his brother to go through with their attack. How do we move on from this as a community and what would be the right punishment for such a crime? In a state that hasn’t given out the death penalty in almost 70 years, the judge and jury have a difficult task ahead of them. On the one hand, if this case doesn’t deserve the death penalty then what kind of case would? While on the other hand, a life sentence could be seen as sufficient suffering for him, at least he would have to spend the rest of his life thinking about what he did while living under difficult circumstances. It will be a difficult decision to make for the judge as 19 year old Dzokhar Tsarnev awaits to hear his fate in court throughout the next few months.