Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, My Exception.

I don’t eat seafood, unless it is fried or drenched in sauce and therefore doesn’t taste like seafood.  I don’t drink vodka, unless it is 2011.  I place ‘i’ before ‘e’, except after ‘c’.  Exceptions.

I don’t believe in the death penalty.  I think that as cliché as it sounds, an eye for an eye truly does make the whole world blind.  Call me naïve, but it seems hypocritical to take someone’s life as a punishment for them doing the same to someone else.  On a smaller scale, it’s like hitting your child because they hit their little brother.  Well, where do you think they learned to hit when they are angry?  What sort of example does that set?  In my opinion, the death penalty puts the government on a pedestal.  It slaps the hand of the common man and says “only we can punish people by killing them.”  Death penalty proponents will say that if this punishment didn’t exist, prisons would not be able to hold everyone and we would all waste our tax dollars paying for their meals.  Well, well, well…sounds to me like a flawed system.

I do not believe in the death penalty.  But I do believe in exceptions.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev took the lives of 4 people and altered the lives of over 264 others.  This young man took a day that was formerly filled with pride and excitement and made it one of tragedy and fear for thousands of people in an unsuspecting city.  He clouded a sunny day with dust and smoke from bombs he made with his own two hands.  He and his brother put nails and sharp objects in pressure cookers with every intention of shredding flesh.  While first responders were tying tourniquets and picking up body parts from the streets, where was Dzhokhar?  Whole Foods – for some milk.  The next day, while law enforcement was working around the clock and countless people were fighting for their lives, Dzhokhar was at the gym.

Dzhokhar’s lawyers are not denying any of these facts.  They are trying, instead, to say that he  does not deserve the death penalty because he was influenced by his older brother.  He’s easily swayed, they claim.  Great, good for him.  I’m sure this has led him to do some stupid things in his life.  I know a lot of people who are easily influenced.  Could I convince them to be terrorists?  No shot.  This is simply not something that can be taught unless the person being taught was already, you know, a terrorist.  Also, I don’t know many people who would intentionally run someone over with a car if they were really such an inspiration.

I’ve been shamelessly keeping up with the trial and reading reports of Dzhokhar’s attitude towards the whole ordeal.  He stares straight at the video footage of the bombings and the photos of limbs blown off and does not show one ounce of emotion.  When people are testifying about the agony of nearly bleeding out on the streets of Boston, or how they tried and failed to save their own friends or children – he doesn’t even have the decency to look in their direction.

It’s difficult to put a finger on exactly how much sauce or bacon makes seafood tolerable.  I can’t exactly pinpoint the day my stomach decided that vodka was no longer an option.  Sometimes ‘e’ comes before ‘i’ even if it is before ‘c’ and there is just no explanation.

I can’t give you one solid reason why I think this young man deserves the death penalty.

All I know is that you, Dzhokhar, are my exception.  These people deserved to live – you do not.