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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev And The Death Penalty: Where Do Millennials Stand On The Issue?

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was recently found guilty for the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

On April 15, 2013, Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, set off two bombs nearby the finish line, killing three people and leaving 264 others wounded.

Within minutes, a day of celebration and joy turned to tragedy and fear.

For the Boston community, Marathon Monday is like Christmas morning. It's the one time of the year when the whole city rallies together to cheer on the courageous runners daring to run the 26.2 miles toward the city center.

In places of cheers and camaraderie, Tsarnaev and his brother delivered sheer terror and confusion to all those affected.

Now, the fate and future of the Boston bomber rests in the hands of a jury of his peers.

They will decide whether to sentence Tsarnaev with the death penalty or life in prison.

Capital punishment has been declared unconstitutional in Massachusetts since 1984, but because Tsarnaev was convicted on a federal level — and the United States does permit execution in federal cases — the life and potential death of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev rests in nation-wide limbo.

Will he die… or will he live?

Tsarnaev's actions may have wounded us, but they didn't defeat us. Instead, the Boston bombing gave America the chance to prove how resilient we are as a community.

And from town to town and city to city, we did just that.

The Tsarnaev bothers conspired to tear America apart that fateful April morning. Instead, their acts of terror brought us closer together.

It gave individuals the chance to prove their heroism and save lives. It gave our hearts the chance to prove how compassion and love conquer all.

Those who'll rule on Tsarnaev's jury most likely weren't standing at the finish line in Boston that day.

His lawyers weren't there. The judge wasn't there. And while a jury is taxed with deciding if Tsarnaev's crimes are worthy of life in prison or the death sentence, it's also worth noting how Millennials feel.

On the exterior, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is not one of us. But stripping away everything he's done, he is one of us.

He was 19 at the time of the bombings, and while he committed unspeakably violent acts against innocents, he was 19.

His defense has painted him as a boy following in his big brother's footsteps; they've argued ad nauseam it was Tamerlan who masterminded the attacks.

Though it's impossible to shed Dzhokhar of any and all blame — he was convicted guilty on 30 of 30 counts — many have been outspoken about condemning death with death. “What does it solve?” they've asked.

So, Elite Daily put the question to the very future of our country: Millennials.

What do we believe? Should Dzhokhar die for what he did? Or should he spend the rest of his days in a jail cell, haunted by the horror he caused and the hope that rose in the face of despair?

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Although I think that Tsarnev does deserve the death penalty in every way possible, I don't believe he should receive it and should instead be behind bars for the rest of his life.

I believe that if he was given the death penalty, he would be perceived as a martyr or a hero of sorts in his faith's eyes.

I personally don't want someone who caused such turmoil and heartbreak to the city I love, in anyway, to be looked at in a positive light by anyone.

“No punishment will bring back the people who were killed, the limbs taken, or the light he took from the city that day, but I think the death penalty would be giving him what he wants: the easy way out.

He feels no remorse and, I think in a way, he wants to receive the death penalty. I don't believe the courts should grant him that.

Of all reasons, the fact that the Martins, who tragically lost their 8-year-old and have advocated in The Boston Globe that Tsarnev should not get the dealth penalty – is reason enough to not give him that punishment.

“The Martins, perhaps most impacted by the tragedy, deserve this wish.” — Amey Owen, 25

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“Ultimately, I do not believe that Tsarnev should be condemned to death. I do not support the death penalty. I cannot think of a more excruciating punishment than being left alone with one's thoughts for a lifetime.” — Rocco Bagnarol, 22

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I absolutely think what he did is worthy of the death penalty; if there was ever a time for it, I would say he certainly ‘deserves' that.

But I also think that spending the rest of his life in prison would be more miserable than a death sentence, as he would have to spend each and every day of the rest of his life thinking about what pain he has caused so many others.

In my opinion, he deserves that.

“Does the punishment really matter? Either way he's obviously going to be punished for his brutal actions, but I would say yes, it does.” — Alyssa Langer, 23

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“I don't think it really matters because he would be in custody for the rest of his life anyway, and because if he does get the death penalty, he most likely wouldn't be executed for another couple of decades.

So either way, he'll still be in custody forever.” — Ady Basurto, 23

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“Yes, in my opinion what he did is worthy of the death penalty. However, I don't think there should not be legal uncertainty between state and federal law. It impedes on people's natural human rights to a fair trial when there are two different sets of rules covering the same jurisdiction.” — Dini Sofillas, 23

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What that man did was a terrible thing and it impacted the lives of an entire city in a horrific way.

He deserves punishment for that, but I personally refuse to condone the death sentence. Murder is never appropriate, whether it is committed by a criminal, or by the government absent some urgent need to protect individuals who are defending themselves and others from serious injury or death.

“I don't feel that we as a community should have the right over whether or not an individual should live after a situation has been put under control and the criminal is no longer a threat. It feels archaic to me. With that said, I can't imagine what the families of the victims have gone through and how that may dictate their thoughts on the matter; I do not intend to offend them with my opinions.” — Jake Edmister, 26

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How dare someone mess with our city, hurting hundreds of innocent people and even killing some. Now Tsarnaev faces life or death in his trial. I don't think he deserves to be murdered – I don't think anyone does. What he did was terrible, and the lives he took can never be recovered.

“Those he affected might never be the same again, but that doesn't give us the right to take another life. Killing him will not undo what he's already done. Killing him will not make us feel better. The only way to recover our hearts is to be resilient; something I know Boston is great at.” — Alyssa Santo, 23

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Citations: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev found guilty in Boston Marathon bombing (CBC News)

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Frank Macri

Contributor

Frank Macri loves talking about sexuality and life purpose so much that he wrote a book about it. For free insight on how to fire up your spiritual libido, head to www.TheFrankLife.com.
Frank Macri loves talking about sexuality and life purpose so much that he wrote a book about it. For free insight on how to fire up your spiritual libido, head to www.TheFrankLife.com.

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