Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may receive the death penalty based upon his actions taken during the Boston marathon bombing, but it’s possible the policies of President Barack Obama may not allow the federal level enforcement of capital punishment.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s sister, Ailina Tsarnaev, was arrested for making a bomb threat of her own.
In 2014, President Obama directed the Federal Justice Department to investigate how the death penalty is enforced throughout the United States. Including the Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, only three federal death row inmates have faced capital punishment since 2001.
If a jury finds Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty, a separate penalty phase would determine the form of punishment. The Federal Justice Department has given no indication that they plan on pushing for a death sentence, although Attorney General Eric Holder had previously stated a year ago that “[t]he nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision.”
“There would be now, in my judgment, no reason for the government to reverse course and not let 12 citizens decide if the death penalty is appropriate,” said Larry Mackey, a former Justice Department prosecutor involved in McVeigh case. At the same time, a jury based in Massachusetts may lean against giving Dzhokhar Tsarnaev the death penalty since the state abolished capital punishment back in 1984. According to Syracuse.com, others argue that a death sentence will lead to years of court appeals, and even the method of execution may come into question.
Out of the death row inmates executed in 2014, several died in ways that many would consider inhumane. The first reason this problem has occurred at all is because of the European Union’s 2011 ban on the export of one of the key chemicals used in lethal injections, which has forced the states to experiment with a different cocktail of drugs.
The second reason is that some are questioning whether lethal injection is, in fact, the most humane way to kill a person. A botched execution in 2014 had the inmate suffering for 43 minutes after the drugs were administered. Writhing and clenching his teeth in pain, the man eventually died of a collapsed vein instead of the drugs, and some claim he was “tortured to death.” Due to these types of incidents, some have even suggested bringing back the firing squad or the guillotine as a more “humane” method of execution.
According to Gallup, “six in 10 Americans favor the death penalty for convicted murderers, generally consistent with attitudes since 2008.” According to a NBC News poll, “one in three people say that if lethal injections are no longer viable — because of drug shortages or other problems — executions should be stopped altogether.” The majority, two-thirds of Americans, believe an alternative method for the death penalty should be implemented, with 20 percent for the gas chamber, 18 percent for the electric chair, 12 percent for firing squad, and eight percent for hanging. Out of those who oppose the death penalty entirely, 70 percent think lethal injection should be the only option made available.
Do you think Dzhokhar Tsarnaev deserves the death penalty based upon his involvement in the Boston Marathon bombing? If so, how should the execution be administered?