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Dzhokhar in the Deck

Marc Munroe Dion on

Many people, some of whom hold public office, want the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of a pair of brothers who bombed the Boston Marathon in 2013, killing three and injuring more than 200 others.

The bombing took place in the state where I live, Massachusetts, and, as a working reporter, I had my piece of the story.

The governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, wants to see Tsarnaev dead. In addition, Baker wants the death penalty for cop-killers. Although he is not a particularly strong Republican, Baker is enough of a Republican to be in favor of death.

I've never liked the death penalty, not because I'm a "criminal coddler," but because you can't take the death penalty back.

If you jail a woman for 30 years, and she does 20 of those years, and DNA evidence proves she was wrongly convicted, you can free her, and any half-competent attorney should be able to get her several million dollars in exchange for two decades of her life.

The dead stay stubbornly dead, even if it is later discovered they were innocent.

 

What is it we want when we say we want Tsarnaev dead?

Do we want revenge? I might not agree with that, but I understand it just fine. "Scratch me, and you'll bleed," runs the old warning.

You can't want revenge if you're a Christian, though. Turn the other cheek, the Good Book says, although the cheek business is about as popular with Christians as the business about not drooling when your neighbor's wife sunbathes in the backyard.

Or is it garbage disposal? Tsarnaev is a sofa with busted springs. He's no good to anyone, and he never will be, and so we might as well just drag him to the curb, and let the government take him away.

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