19 April 2013

Revenge vs. justice for terror suspects

This evening, after a very dramatic 24+ hours, the authorities in the Boston area finally captured the second suspect in the marathon bombings. The first suspect - his older brother - was killed last night in a shootout with police.

The captured suspect, Dzhokar Tsarnaev, suffered at least one gunshot wound and lost a lot of blood, but hopefully doctors can patch him up well enough to survive and face justice.

Not everyone is happy that the younger Tsarnaev is alive. This morning, I discussed the case with a conservative acquaintance I'll call Judy (not her real name). Judy was relishing the death of the older Tsarnaev and she couldn't contain her excitement as she assured me that the police would kill the younger one as well.

Unfortunately, that kind of reaction is not unusual. Many people react to tragedies with such knee-jerk responses. In doing so, they're really seeking revenge rather than true justice.

I told Judy that I'd rather see the suspect taken alive. I explained that by taking him alive, we could potentially get lots of important information from him - his motive, whether there were other accomplices or even a terrorist cell in the area, and more. Then we could make him face his victims and their families in federal court, and lock him up so he can't harm anyone else.

Judy didn't want to hear it. She just wanted blood. "They'll kill him," she said, nodding her head, apparently trying to reassure herself. "They'll kill him," she repeated.

And I was thankful that Judy doesn't work in law enforcement.

No comments:

Post a Comment