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.

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