Sunday, December 01, 2013

death penalty and the u.s. government

in 1995 a young man named timothy mcveigh set a bomb to a federal building in okalahoma city, which left 168 dead. in 2013 two young men named dzhokhar tsarnaev and tamerlan tsarnaev set a bomb to a running marathon event in boston, which left 3 dead. in the later case, one of the assailants, tamerlan, died days later when authorities met up with the brothers in their hiding place in watertown. 

what do they have in common? they are both cases in which federal prosecution comes into play and which the death penalty was immediately suspected to be a recommendation, due to their targeting multiple innocent lives. but their states, oklahoma and massachusetts, have different experiences and views on death penalty. while okalhoma is one of the leading capital punishment states (they execute for rape, for example), massachussets is a state in which capital punishment was declared unconstitutional way back in the early 1980s and whose last execution took place in the mid 1940s. 

the u.s. government is in predicament. on one hand, it wants to make case out of these types of crimes. on the other hand, it’s a government that wants to distance itself from capital punishment (mcveigh was the first one in 40 years, for example). 

so, the issue is proving to be complicated: