AP Photo: Bombing victim leaving the hospital
The Boston Globe reports that religious leaders in Boston are conflicted on the sentence for Dzhokar Tsarnaev. Tsarnaev was found guilty on all counts for the Boston Marathon bombing and was sentenced to death last week by a federal jury.
Catholic, evangelical, and congregational faith leaders largely rejected the death penalty, but churchgoers and some leaders expressed conflicted feelings around the juror’s decision.
From the article:
“You don’t want to see another life gone, but when you know the family, you’re sad,” said Kathy Costello, 54, a member of the Dorchester church and a teacher at Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy, where Martin went to school.
Writing for CNN, Jay Parini feels no conflict in opposing the sentence. Parini is a writer and poet who teaches at Middlebury College in Vermont, but he expresses his opposition as a matter of his Christianity.
Referring to the Sermon on the Mount, Parini criticizes Tsarnaev while firmly identifying the death penalty as state-sanctioned violence.
From his op-ed:
I have no sympathy for him. He killed and maimed innocent people, believing that this violence would somehow make up for the violence to Islamic people wrought by American bombs. But violence is never the right answer.
Capital punishment is murder by the state; it cannot be justified. It will do nothing to comfort anyone who suffered from the horror perpetrated by Tsarnaev. If we allow ourselves to get sucked into the violence that has been done to us, we in turn become that violence.
Have you struggled with this ruling? As a Christian, do you think the death penalty is ever appropriate?
Posted by David Streever