McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

National News

January 31, 2014

Tsarnaev death sentence brings no peace

McALESTER — The days following the April 15 bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon were some of the darkest, saddest and emptiest days of my life. The event traumatized Massachusetts in a way Oklahomans might understand, having lived through the horrors of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Timothy McVeigh was eventually executed by the federal government for his role in orchestrating the 1995 terrorist attack. And as the brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev emerged as the prime suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, I began to wonder if, when caught, they too would get the death penalty.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died during police pursuit four days after the Marathon. Multiple news outlets reported Thursday that the federal government will seek the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

If Dzhokhar is found guilty and executed, I’ll sleep no better.

Our Declaration of Independence states that “all men” are created equal, and that they are endowed with “unalienable rights.” “All men,” not just Americans, according to our nation’s founders, have rights that cannot be taken away.

First among those inalienable rights is the right to life. The state cannot execute someone — anyone, no matter the crime nor the nationality — and still claim to be true to the founding ideals of our nation.

One common argument for the death penalty is that killing someone who has killed provides justice for the victims left behind. But victims of a crime aren’t allowed to be jurors for that crime’s trial, nor can they preside over that crime’s trial as a judge.

Crimes aren’t committed against individuals; they’re committed against the state. Killing someone because of the pain he or she has caused another is vengeance, not justice.

And for those who can’t make that distinction, one need only look at the state of prisons in our country to realize that a life in prison is a far crueler, more vengeful punishment than a quick execution.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National News
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.