On April 15, 2013 the Boston marathon bombing left three dead, including an eight year old boy, and more than a hundred injured. Twenty one year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan detonated the twin bombs that impacted the lives of so many. Days after the bombing, Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with the police and now, more than two years after the incidents, Dzhokhar leaves the jury with one last decision in his final trial: should he receive the ultimate punishment, the death penalty?
The same jury that convicted Tsarnaev is now deciding whether Dzokhar will receive a death penalty or spend the rest of his life in a Supermax prison without possibility of parole. Tsarnaev was convicted of 30 counts relating to the bombing. Of these, 17 carry the potential for death penalty.
Assistant U. S. Attorney Steven Mellin spoke for the prosecution. He reminded the jurors of the note Tsarnaev wrote right before he was captured. Tsarnaev justified killing innocent people writing, “In this case, it is allowed because America’s need to be punished.”
Mellin describes Tsarnaev as being the perfect example of a terrorist. “Those are the words of a terrorist convinced that he has done the right thing,” Mellin said.
The lead defense attorney Judy Clarke’s main point was that the death penalty is reserved for the absolute worst of the worst. Does Tsarnaev really fall under this category? In her closing, Clarke said she can not explain how a “good kid” like Tsarnaev could find himself involved in such a deadly plot.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty during his trial. He would not take responsibility for his role in the bombing; he claimed only to have done it under the influence of his brother.