Letters to the Editor

No death penalty for Tsarnaev

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty of murderous terrorism in Boston.

One well-known political commentator said, “If ever there was a case for the death penalty, this is it!”

Yes, I agree, it was a horrendous crime. But I do not believe the death penalty is ever a valid option. Life in prison without parole is much more severe, especially for a young person like Mr. Tsarnaev.

However, my objection to the death penalty is on principle, not on this case only. It is morally indefensible to give the state the power of life and death over its citizens. It is all too often that the verdict in these cases is decided on emotion or even bias rather than on solid evidence. Eyewitnesses can be wrong, and photos and videos can be faked. Circumstantial evidence is too flimsy. Police evidence can easily be tainted.

We have seen hundreds of verdicts overthrown in these days by new scientific ways of weighing evidence or simply applying the evidence without the original emotion or bias. Only God has the authority to take a man’s life. The veneer of civilization is too easily cast aside by the mob to ever trust a human life to its mercy.

Jeanie Warner