Survivors, witnesses and the general public are all split after the man behind the Boston Marathon bombing, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, won his appeal against the death penalty. Tsarnaev was sentenced to die for his role in the 2013 terrorist attack, but on Friday, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to reconsider this sentence, according to a report by The Associated Press. Now commentators seem to be evenly split over whether this was the right decision.
A panel of three judges determined Tsarnaev's initial trial did have issues with potential juror biases, and he may have received the death sentence in error. They ordered his appeal to go on to a new-penalty phase, determining how Tsarnaev will repay his debt to society. In the ruling, the judges wrote: "But make no mistake: Dzhokhar will spend his remaining days locked up in prison, with the only matter remaining being whether he will die by execution."
Still, upon seeing the story circulating on social media, many took this to mean that Tsarnaev had been spared the death penalty for sure, and they had mixed feelings about it. Some questioned whether or not the state had the right to execute criminals, while others argued that it had a responsibility to do so.
Many of the commenters also pointed out their connections to the Boston Marathon bombing — whatever they happened to be. Some were witnesses, others lived nearby, and some had even known loved ones to be injured or killed in the attack.
A survivor of the attack, Adrianne Haslet, was one of the loudest in the outcry over Tsarnaev's successful appeal. Haslet was a professional dancer when she ran the 2013 Boston Marathon, and the attack injured her so severely that her left leg had to be removed from the knee down. She made a triumphant recovery — even completing the marathon on a prosthetic leg in 2016 — and she does not believe Tsarnaev should be given any more chances.
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Right back atcha motherf*cker. I’m so livid at today’s ruling by the federal court. First and foremost, I cannot emphasize enough, without a shadow of a doubt, that the criminal justice system needs a complete overhaul to stop racial profiling, and the death penalty is used in far too many cases of injustice. AND. The death penalty should be used in this particular case. This terrorist admitted in court he was guilty of crimes committed against our country. He confessed, with his brother, to a man who testified in court that their plans were to drive to New York and bomb the city too. This terrorist gave the finger when asked if he felt guilty. AND. The warden of the jail where he would be housed for life testified that, indeed, other terrorists have committed crimes on the World Trade Center through messages on pipes of the jail. I know, this sounds crazy. But that is why I stood by the death penalty in this particular case. He is a threat to all of us and he needs to die. I cannot imagine the comments I’m about to get for speaking my mind, but these have been my thoughts since I testified. I’m not a woman with a grudge, I’m a human with a brain. #bostonstrong Also props to me for putting his ugly face on my Instagram that’s freaking growth if I’ve ever seen it!!! I’m ready to testify again. LFG 💪🏼🇺🇸
"I'm so livid at today's ruling by the federal court," Haslet wrote on Instagram. "First and foremost, I cannot emphasize enough, without a shadow of a doubt, that the criminal justice system needs a complete overhaul to stop racial profiling, and the death penalty is used in far too many cases of injustice. AND. The death penalty should be used in this particular case."
Haslet was not alone, but her feelings were not unanimous, either. Here is a look at how social media has reacted to Tsarnaev's successful appeal.
Change of Heart
As a Bostonian, I lost 0 sleep over the Boston Bomber receiving the death penalty.
I won’t use his name b/c he shouldn’t have fame.
But after watching Just Mercy, I feel uncomfortable with our government dictating who dies.
I’m okay that he’ll spend his life rotting in prison.— Roxy Striar (@roxystriar) July 31, 2020
Its no dispute that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev carried out a terrorist attack and though I'm generally against the death penalty, his case is hard for me to argue against its use. He willfully sought to murder as many as he could and thus forfeits his humanity.https://t.co/5ZCnqv39p1— Chris Sampson (@TAPSTRIMEDIA) July 31, 2020
2)not to take revenge action on behalf of the victim by committing an act of murder itself. Murder by any state must be made illegal in the civilized world and it must not be allowed to hide behind its sovereignty regardless of its power even if it's— Av. Cemil Gursel (@AdaletGursel) August 1, 2020
And now we rule against the death penalty for the Boston marathon bomber! I am embarrassed that you get to call yourselves AMERICANS!— Norman Bates (@NormallyWasted) August 1, 2020
i don't care for the death penalty. never have. but i live three blocks away from the marathon finish line. If I'm on Boylston St and pass Glouscester St, the cross street he turned onto, I always wonder at which point he detonated the bomb once he was out of range. NO MERCY.— Malcolm Travis (@MalcolmTravis2) July 31, 2020
If the death penalty is not going to happen we should make sure he is in general population of the most ruthless prison holding the most evil of inmates so they can take care of him !!— Edwin Boykin Gates (@BoykinGates) July 31, 2020