Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s legal representatives have released a statement saying that the Boston Bomber’s execution will be delayed 18 years.
Earlier this week, a fresh-faced 21-year-old entered a court of justice in Massachusets and left a few hours later with a death sentence. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death by lethal injection for his involvement in the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings, which led to the death of five people (including Tsarnaev’s brother) and injured over 250 others.
Earlier today, news broke that Tsarnaev’s representatives were negotiating an appeal against the death sentence given to Tsarnaev. Often appeals against the death penalty are very complicated and take extremely long lengths of time. Of course, if the delay is 18 years (as predicted), Tsarnaev will be nearing 40 by the time he is executed.
Defence attorney Judy Clarke believes that she has two strong cases to make in the appeal. First, by holding the trial in Boston, the jury would be prejudiced against Tsarnaev. Second, Clarke says the defense didn’t have enough time to prepare a case against the death penalty.
Tsarnaev is currently the youngest inmate on death row, but legal experts believe that by the time he faces execution, he will be much older. Jim Fedalin released this statement.
“This guy may be the youngest inmate on death row at 21 but he could be pushing 40 by the time they march him to the death chamber. We are looking at 18 years, possibly longer, before his appeals process is exhausted. By then, who even knows what the legal landscape on federal executions will look like?”
Interestingly, a poll conducted by the Boston Globe indicated that only 15 percent of people in Massachusetts agree with Tsarnaev’s sentence. The death penalty hasn’t been used in Massachusetts since 1947 when gangsters Phillip Belino and Edward Gertson were executed for murder.
There are people who are strong advocates for his sentence, including as Michael Ward, a fireman who helped pull over twelve people out of rubble.
“Ultimately justice has prevailed. He wanted to go to hell and he’s going to get there early,” Ward said.
Only 340 prisoners have been executed by the U.S. Government since reforms in 1790, which equates to an average of 1.5 per year. Tsarnaev has been sentenced to be put to death at the Terre Haute penitentiary in Indiana (known as Guantanamo North due to it’s high density of foreign inmates), where only three people have been executed since it’s opening in 1940. Out of 74 inmates who received a death sentence for federal crimes, only three have been executed thus far. All three at Terre Haute.
Do you agree with the death penalty for Tsarnaev? Do you think life imprisonment is a more fitting punishment? Give your opinions in the comment section.
[Photo Credit: BBC News]