As I was running in the gym today, I noticed the TVs in front of me flashing varying headlines of the Boston Bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, being sentenced to death by lethal injection. That meant twelve jurors unanimously came to the decision that this young man’s actions, along with his deceased brother, were enough to convict him with the death penalty.
Sadness overtook me. I understand that the bombs that he and his brother created killed three people, including an eight-year-old boy, in the marathon and another policeman in a subsequent shootout, but I just don’t think taking another life would solve any of this. I hate how violence begets violence in our society and how people feel that they have to resort to retaliation with malice for the fight towards justice. I have never believed in war; I believe in peaceful protest and coming to a tranquil agreement, but the moment that people’s lives are in jeopardy, that’s when I have to step away.
There are many possible motives behind the bombers’ actions, but they say that he and his brother were fighting for their extreme Islamic beliefs. This brings to mind the recent outgrowth and spread of ISIS, an Islamic extremist terrorist organization, who believes in religious violence to impose their beliefs on the entire world population. It saddens me that so many lives are being taken… and for what? For God? Supposedly. They’re supposedly fighting for what they think God has taught them as right and just, but the God that I’ve grown to know and love probably wouldn’t be okay with all this violence.
I do not think that it is a good enough reason to kill somebody just because they don’t believe in the same morals or the same God, because there is a reason that someone feels the way that they do, and they are entitled to their own opinions and beliefs. I think everybody’s feelings and thoughts are valid, as long as they don’t use them to hurt anybody. At the same time, I also do not think that handing someone the death penalty would fix many problems. Hearts of lost loved ones are still broken even when “justice” is served… I truly am empathetic for the families of those that have passed away from the bombings, but I know that some of them requested for the omission of the death penalty, and that tells me that they also believe that enough lives have been taken.
If everybody just respected one another’s beliefs and let each other dictate their own lives without meddling into anybody else’s business (see key lesson #1 in my previous post), then maybe we wouldn’t need so much violence in this world. I hope that one day, the death penalty will no longer be necessary in our society, and that people do not have to resort to violence to fight for God or for any other beliefs… because all lives matter.