Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 13, 2014/ 13 Adar I, 5774

No, death isn't 'too good' for Tsarnaev

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Of all the reasons to oppose the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev if he is found guilty of the Boston Marathon terror bombings, none is less convincing than the claim that executing the murderer of Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard, and Sean Collier would amount to rewarding him.

Seek Tsarnaev's death and you give him just what he craves, runs this argument, which has been made by law professor Alan Dershowitz, criminologist James Alan Fox, and death-penalty critics in the media. Executing Tsarnaev will succeed only in making him a martyr and a hero, they say; it will drive more attention to his cause. "His face would appear on recruiting posters for suicide bombers," Dershowitz warned last year in an essay for The Guardian. "The countdown toward his execution might well incite other acts of terrorism."

This photo from the 2013 Boston Marathon shows accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, wearing a white cap, standing just inches away from 8-year-old Martin Richard behind the barricade near the Copley Square finish line. What appears to be Tsarnaev's backpack with its pressure-cooker bomb is on the sidewalk.

Closely related is the objection that executing Tsarnaev hands a propaganda victory to nihilists who think the key to paradise is to maim and murder in the glare of publicity. If federal prosecutors actively pursue a sentence of death, they'll be keeping that publicity alive, generating waves of fresh media coverage for the jihadist's evil motivations, and boosting his stature among his supporters. But a conviction followed by decades in prison, say death-penalty opponents, would replace that spotlight with insignificance. Within a few years, he would vanish from public consciousness. Deny him the hype and notoriety of death row, and Tsarnaev will molder in obscurity, a role model for no one.



But there are obvious weaknesses with this argument.

Life imprisonment offers no assurance that interest in a depraved killer will dry up, as the grotesque and ongoing pop culture surrounding Charles Manson has repeatedly shown. Nor does executing a mass murderer necessarily hand a propaganda victory to his abhorrent ideology or admirers. Oklahoma City terrorist Timothy McVeigh was determined to cast himself as a martyr in a lofty cause, and many people, including McVeigh's defense team, warned that putting him to death might lead to further attacks by inflamed supporters. It never happened.

Yet there's a much more grievous flaw with opposing capital punishment for someone like Tsarnaev on the grounds that it will cloak him in martyrdom. It implies that society should care less about what justice requires than about not giving other murderers a pretext to seize on. It perpetuates the ugly canard that when judge and jury uphold the rule of law, fairly and rationally punishing the most atrocious of all crimes with the most severe penalty our legal system allows, they are guilty of perpetuating a "cycle of violence."

Putting Dzokhar Tsarnaev to death - assuming the jury, after due process of law, unanimously finds him guilty and determines that he should die - would be an affirmation of our commitment to justice. It would acknowledge the moral awfulness of the choice Tsarnaev made when he set that backpack with its pressure-cooker bomb behind a little boy in the crowd on Boylston Street. It would mete out the only penalty proportionate to the terrible crimes he committed that day, crimes that left four innocents dead, and hundreds wounded: the deprivation of his own life.

Yes, it is always possible that other haters or terrorists might exploit Tsarnaev's execution, pointing to it to rationalize atrocities they choose to commit. But to treat that as an argument against carrying out the death penalty is like treating last April's bombings as an argument against holding another Boston Marathon. Those who commit monstrous acts of extreme evil can always find justifications for what they wish to do. A society that refrains from pursuing justice against its worst criminals lest other criminals turn it into a talking point doesn't thereby become safer. It becomes more vulnerable.

In federal court in Boston today, Tsarnaev's lawyers will argue that they can't possibly be ready for trial until September 2015 at the earliest. And so it begins - the endless motions, appeals, and delays to keep justice from being done. Death penalty opponents often claim that execution is "too good" for capital murderers, and that life imprisonment would be a far more awful fate. Yet roughly 99 percent of capital defendants and death-row inmates use any legal stratagem to stay alive, and Tsarnaev is unlikely to prove an exception. Putting him to death would be no reward. Watch as he and his lawyers go to every imaginable length to make that clear.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

Jeff Jacoby Archives

© 2014, Boston Globe

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast