Poll: Majority of Boston Residents Are Against Giving Death Penalty for Marathon Bombing Suspect

According to a recent poll, the majority of Boston residents believe that, if convicted, Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should go to jail instead of receiving the death penalty.


The survey was conducted by WBUR, Boston’s NPR station, and concluded that 62% of those polled opposed the idea of Tsarnaev being put to death. What’s interesting about that number is that it’s actually increased since Tsarnaev’s defense team has admitted his guilt. During the fall of 2013, a Boston Globe poll had 57% of Boston residents supporting life without parole. That was before Tsarnaev’s lawyer, Judy Clarke, had admitted that her client played a role in the attack.

The death penalty has been outlawed in Massachusetts since 1982, but the state maintains a more right-wing bent than most realize: 5 of the last 6 Massachusetts governors have been Republicans. Nonetheless, numerous attempts to reinstate the penalty have been rejected by the legislature.

WBUR’s poll has become public at the same time that many are discussing Utah’s recent reinstatement of the firing squad as a potential death penalty option if lethal drugs are unavailable. While many have condemned Utah’s move, there’s been very little discussion about the lack of moral difference between the state murdering someone via drugs or murdering them with guns. The death penalty is still legal in 34 of states. Over two-thirds of the world’s countries have abolished it.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close