The Associated Press is reporting that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted on all charges Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombing by a federal jury. The question now is whether or not he will receive the death penalty.
The article reports:
Tsarnaev folded his arms, fidgeted and looked down at the defense table as he listened to one guilty verdict after another on all 30 counts against him, including conspiracy and deadly use of a weapon of mass destruction. Seventeen of those counts are punishable by death.
The verdict – reached after a day and a half of deliberations – was practically a foregone conclusion, given his lawyer’s startling admission at the trial’s outset that Tsarnaev carried out the terror attack with his now-dead older brother, Tamerlan.
Tsarnaev‘s defense lawyer, Judy Clarke, has argued that Tsarnaev, who was nineteen at the time of the bombing, committed the crime because he was under the influence of his older brother, Tamerlan. That may be so, but it doesn’t excuse what he did. Tsarnaev had (and has) free choice in choosing his actions, and now he is being called to take responsibility for those actions.
Whatever happens to Tsarnaev, the victims of the bombing will never be able to go back to where they were before the event–the loved ones will still be lost and the major injuries will still be there. Executing Tsarnaev will not change anything that has happened, but I am not sure anything will be gained by keeping him alive either.