Dzhokhar Tsarnaev seems like the perfect advertisement for proponents of the death penalty, an unrepentant mass murderer with the angle of terrorism thrown in. Yet for those against the death penalty, the whole point is that there should be no exceptions. If the state truly respects life, it cannot take it away regardless of the circumstances.
The deeds of the Tsarnaev brothers were gruesome, and the images even more so. It is indeed hard to make the argument that Dzhokhar should live. And even opponents of the death penalty have been reduced to saying that life in prison, in solitary confinement and without possibility of parole, represents a far worse punishment.
But life is a God-given gift, and taking it away, even by the state, should not be condoned. For all those blessed Christians who are pro-life, it is just as sacred outside the womb as it is inside it. And does the life of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hold any value?
Let’s step aside from that question for the moment, and consider another inalienable right, the right of free speech. We have left Nazis march through Jewish communities to affirm that right. We have let people burn the American flag to affirm that right.
Yes, every bone in our bodies screams out to kill Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, especially after seeing the heartbreak of the innocent victims. But maybe, it is just in cases like these where we need to speak out against the death penalty, where it seems to be undeniably called for.