Boston bomber Tsarnaev gets death for 2013 marathon massacre


Personally, I’m of the opinion that a lifetime of solitary confinement is more cruel and inhumane than an execution.


On one hand a random guy kills some random people with a piece of explosive and shrapnels, and we call it terrorism and indulge in an orgy of righteous wrath and clamor for revenge disguised as justice.

On the other hand random guys kill some random people with pieces of explosives and shrapnels, and we call it signature strikes and don’t even bother reading it in the news anymore. And nobody gets tried for murder, or even negligent killing.

Like if some lives were worth more than others…


Interesting point. It might stand to reason that putting someone in the stocks may be more humane than life imprisonment or solitary. At least in public stocks you get some fresh air, and your eyes won’t go bad from not being able to focus at distance.

I don’t think the death penalty is worth while punishment. It’s almost universally used in a vindictive way, and I can’t really imagine it solving anything better than life imprisonment.

On the other hand, I’ve been thinking lately that there might be a place for tarring and feathering in the criminal justice system these days. I think it might be an appropriate punishment for fraud and crimes of conversion. The humiliation aspect works whether or not the convicted is a psychopath or sociopath because it doesn’t depend so much on empathy or understanding social cues. You get uncomfortable effects from the punishment itself, and if it’s carried out relatively severely, weeks of people recognizing that person as a professional liar and a thief.

It’s a way to not need to imprison people that marks them as unsuitable for doing business with, and doesn’t last forever like a tattoo or a marking scar. We wouldn’t actually be using hot tar that scalds the feathers into the skin. Perhaps liquid sutures or something like that. Something that would adhere to the skin until a few layers of skin work their way off naturally after several months.


Yeah but when we make mistakes (Which we strangely seem to do with non-white folks a lot), we can let them out of the cell…someday. Once they’re dead, that’s a bit harder.


Back then, the petroleum tar we know as tar now was not used for this purpose. Pine tar, a different substance with way lower melting point and some grades being liquid at room temperature, was likely used instead.


Bear in mind that historically tarring was often fatal, and stocks were intended to facilitate public raping as punishment.

Not what I’d call more civilized.


Interesting. I thought they just used petroleum tar like bitumen or asphalt, and that they didn’t care about injuries. My conception of the wild west is pretty brutal.

I mean, main street duels at high noon didn’t happen, because people aren’t that stupid in real life. But I would have expected that a mob of people angry at a snakeoil salesman wouldn’t be very concerned about badly scalding a shyster who swindled them out of their liquor-and-oats money to the point of fatal injury.

@MikeTheBard True, and I wasn’t thinking that death or rape would be the purpose either. But yes those are valid concerns. I’d think that the modern stocks would have a few officers and a perimeter so that people can’t walk up and bash the immobilized convict in the face. Maybe a chickenwire screen or something so they aren’t struck by thrown rocks.

My point is, prison has become a warehouse for holding the lifers, and bootcamp for gangs, and it shouldn’t be either of those things. For the lifers, there needs to be a more humane way to house them, and for the non-lifers, there has to be a plan for rehabilitation, otherwise people going into the system as screwups come out with lots of knowledge and skills and motive to continue criminal activity as well as gang contacts and membership.


Something like this?


Wow, Scandi-hoovia does everything better than us… Except start multiple simultaneous wars of economic convenience. The US is pretty much the best at that.


If you believe in God, death isn’t a penalty. If you don’t believe in God, death isn’t a penalty.

If it is, then we must all be guilty of something. But, I’m not the least bit surprised he got death. It’s a death-qualified jury.


I am so anti death penalty and anti ‘revenge’ when it comes to our justice system it ain’t funny. Psychotic breaks, Stockholm, and a million other things can make people do bad things. But exacting a pound of flesh for every violent act that cost a pound of flesh isn’t justice.


Not everyone is repairable.

How do you figure that? Many people believe in a god also believe in judgment. Certainly if hell exists, that is a penalty.


This is bullshit. The Unabomber did not get a sentence that was this harsh.


Wha? How did I miss this?


But that’s putting all the focus on the individual who did the crime, which is bad for a variety of reasons. The crime itself should be the central focus, and it has connections to many different people. This thing happened, it was terrible and it affected many people - including all of us, in some very small way. Justice means addressing the ways we are all affected, and trying to repair as much social, emotional and material damage as possible. Revenge does not usually serve those ends.

Restorative justice is about approaching these situations with the priority of healing all those affected. An excerpt from the linked article:

[...] restorative justice asks:
  • Who has been hurt?
  • What are their needs?
  • Whose obligations are these?
  • What are the causes?
  • Who has a stake in the situation?
  • What is the appropriate process to involve stakeholders in an effort to address causes and put things right?

This contrasts with the traditional criminal justice, which seeks answers to three questions:

  • What laws have been broken?
  • Who did it?
  • What do the offender(s) deserve?


Bullshit? I dunno about that.

First off the Unabomber didn’t hurt nearly as many people. So one could argue the severity of the crimes was different.

But he (or his lawyers) also successfully did a plea deal. Which is actually one of my sore spots with the death penalty, too often it is used as leverage for a plea deal. But anyway, the plea deal is why the Unabomber didn’t face the Death Penalty.


Yes, of course a modern sentence in the stocks would have officers present to prevent any contact and certainly prohibit violence, but still allow the perp to be subject to those citizens who wished to exercise their first amendment right to speech.

Certainly closer to restorative justice than capital punishment or life in solitary.

Certainly less harsh than what the founders would have considered “cruel or unusual.”


This cocksucker and his fertilizer brother turned one of the most positive places in the world, the finish line of a marathon, into a scene of carnage.

I’m against the death penalty, but you wont be seeing me soliciting petition signatures on behalf of this shithead.


People who believe in God tend to believe he forgives, and that this life is just a dream anyway. How bad is murder if this life is just a dream? God can forgive that. Religious people will readily admit that they can’t understand God’s mercy, nor predict upon whom he will bestow it. Given that people in death-row tend to become repentant, there’s no guarantee you’re sending anyone to hell. It’s actually kind of arrogant to assume you can.


Absolutely true. But we don’t know which ones are which until we start the repair.