Justice for victims of Boston Bombings

Boston-bombings victims

Boston-bombings victims

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev would have graduated this week with the rest of the class of 2015 at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Instead, he is facing the death penalty, and a well deserved one as that, thanks to having low moral standards and consistently making wrong choices like all terrorists do.

After 10 weeks of drama and often grisly testimony from more than 150 witnesses, including survivors with missing limbs and an grief-stricken father who spoke of watching his young son die on the sidewalk in front of him, a jury sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the death penalty for his role in the deadly 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Tsarnaev showed no reaction throughout the verdict, which came a little over two years after a pair of pressure-cooker bombs exploded in a crowd of sports enthusiasts and unsuspecting spectators near the marathon’s finish line in April 2013, killing three (plus one policeman from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a few daus afterwards) and injuring nearly 300. Among the injured are 17 amputees, many of whom took the stand against Tsarnaev with bomb shrapnel still embedded in their bodies.

Seven women and five men made up the jurors who convicted Tsarnaev on April 8, 2015 on all 30 counts related to the bombings. They heard approximately three weeks of testimony in the penalty phase of the case, in which they were asked to determine the proper sentence between life in prison without parole and the death penalty for his crime.

Though Tsarnaev pled not guilty, his attorney Judy Clarke admitted her client’s role on the first day of the first phase of the trial in March, and reiterated such throughout the trial, even until the closing statements in the penalty phase. “I’m not asking you to excuse him,” Clark told the jurors. “There are no excuses. I’m not asking you for sympathy.” However, Clarke did plead for “mercy” for her client, asking jurors to spare his life in spite of the “senseless and catastrophic acts” he committed. She cast Tsarnaev, now 21, as a troubled teenager from a dysfunctional family who came under the sway of his radicalized older brother, Tamerlan. The defense argued that his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died from wounds sustained during a shootout with police days after the bombings, plotted the attack and built the bombs, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who had been abandoned by his mentally ill parents and was flunking out of college, merely followed. “If not for Tamerlan, this wouldn’t have happened, Dzhokhar would never have done this but for Tamerlan. The tragedy would never have occurred but for Tamerlan. None of it,” she declared.

Though Tsarnaev often appeared dispassionate in court and did not take the stand on his behalf, the defense called Sister Helen Prejean as its final witness, a Catholic nun who opposed the death penalty and inspired the film “Dead Man Walking,”. She told the jury that in one meeting she had with him, Tsarnaev had expressed sympathy for the bombing victims. “He said it emphatically. He said, ‘No one deserves to suffer like they did,’” Prejean said. Apparently, she is not aware of ‘taqiyya/kitman/muruna’, the Muslim deception technique to lie and temporarily violate Sharia Law to fool the infidels that Muslims often utilize against non-Muslims.

Throughout the trial, prosecutors successfully proved that Tsarnaev as a cold-blooded killer who deceived even his closest friends about his jihadist mentality and remains unremorseful about what he did. They argued he was an “equal partner” as his older brother, both of whom walked carried out an attack aimed at inflicting terror and causing maximum casualties at one of Boston’s most celebrated public events. The government again and again showed the jury surveillance video of Tsarnaev dropping a backpack that contained one of the bombs behind the family of 8-year-old Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the bombings, and of him casually buying milk 20 minutes after the attack. They also showed the video of Tsarnaev flashing the middle finger to a security camera in a court holding cell prior to his July 2013 arraignment as proof that he remains unremorseful and defiant. Mr. Steven Mellin, one of prosecutors, said of Tsarnaev ‘s behavior “No remorse, no apology,” and insisted there was no other “just” punishment for what he did than the death penalty.

The jury’s decision to condemn Tsarnaev to death was a huge victory for the federal government, who pursued the sentence in spite of misgivings among some victims and family members of those killed. Among the most notable opponents of the death penalty: Richard’s parents, who, in a statement published on the front page of the Boston Globe, pleaded for prosecutors to accept a plea deal of life in prison for Tsarnaev to “end the anguish” of the trial and likely years of appeals. There was also strong opposition from residents of Boston, where many people oppose the death penalty on moral or religious grounds. Even after some of the most heinous testimony in the trial, a WBUR poll of Boston residents found that 62 percent of them favored a life sentence for Tsarnaev.

Tsarnaev will be formally sentenced at a hearing in coming weeks, where victims will be allowed to give impact statements and address the defendant. And Tsarnaev, too, will be given the opportunity to speak, though it’s unclear if he will.

Nevertheless, there were still many mysteries around the bombing plot, such as the location(s) where the two pressure-cooker bombs were built though it was assumed that it was at the Tsarnaev family apartment in Cambridge, and the role of Katherine Russell, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s wife in the plot. According to defense evidence, Russell was copied on many emails that Tamerlan Tsarnaev sent to his brother containing jihadist videos and writings. And in early 2012, just after Tamerlan Tsarnaev traveled to Russia to pursue jihad, someone using Russell’s computer, if not herself, to search on the internet with search phrases such as “rewards for wife of mujahedeen” and “If your husband becomes a shahid, what are the rewards for you?”. Needless to say, someone using her computer was interested in rewards and compensations for matyrdom, a well-known Muslim tradition to have Muslim terrorist organizations, either state or non-state sponsored, such as the princes of Saudi Arabia, Hamas, or Hezbollah, handsomely compensated the suicide bombers’ families and relatives for the attack, as history has shown. Though strongly implicated in the plot, through her attorney, Russell has denied knowledge of the plot and Russell herself was never called as a witness in the trial (her mother, best friend, and former roommate were); she has never been formally cleared by federal investigators, either.

A number of former teachers and friends testified, tearfully at times, about the kind and gentle “Jahar”, as he was called, an intelligent young lad who seemed having great potential for success in spite of his dysfunctional family. In complete shock and disbelief , they testified about Tsarnaev’s hopes and dreams of becoming an engineer or a lawyer.

While the jury heard testimony about the relationship between Tsarnaev and his controlling, officious older brother Tamerlan, the defense did not definitively answer the questions of why and how a 19-year-old college kid who spent most of his time smoking pot and playing video games with his friends became a terrorist. “If you’re looking to me for a simple and clean answer as to why this young man, who had never been arrested, who had never sassed a teacher, who spent his free time in school working with disabled kids. If you expect me to have an answer, a simple, clean answer as to how this could happen, I don’t have it,” Clarke informed the jurors in her closing statement. Needless to say, most people with more than half a brain and IQ’s higher than their shoe sizes ‘have it’, that it has everything to do with Islam, the Koran, the brainwashing, the jihad mentality, the dreadful-but-now-familiar ‘allahu akbar ‘ , the murderous and toxic ideology that devalues human lives, denigrates women, and embraces pedophilia.

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