We all have rights to a fair trial

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev deserves a fair trial.

I know there are plenty of people who disagree with me, but as horrible as the crime was, we live in a country where the Constitution guarantees him a fair trial.

I had a lengthy discussion on Facebook last night (and continuing into today) about whether Tsarnev deserves a trial before we kill him, preferably the same way he killed the two people in Boston.

First of all, even if he has confessed, he still has a right to a trial. One person kept saying he gave up those rights when he set the bombs, but our Constitutional rights are supposed to be inviolate. The reason they were established was for cases like this one, where people are calling for a lynching.

On March 5, 1770, British soldiers killed five citizens. Attorney John Adams (later vice president and president) agreed to defend the soldiers at trial because this founding father believed everyone has the right to a fair trial. That right was enshrined into the Constitution because of cases like this one, where the accused has committed a particularly heinous crime.

But this is still the United States and we are still a nation governed by laws, not whims. You may want this man dead, but that doesn’t make it right to kill him.

I have been accused of condoning terrorist acts and of supporting terrorism because I want to see this man get a fair trial. I know it comes from emotion, but really, it’s quite a stretch from defending someone’s rights under the US Constitution to being a supporter of terror.

As for the death penalty, I see that as a way to increase the body count by one. That’s about it. I do not condone the taking of a life, especially in a nation where so many innocent people have sat on Death Row.

For one thing, there’s that pesky period at the end of the Sixth Commandment. No footnotes, no exceptions, “Thou shalt not kill.”

Some say the word is more accurately translated as murder, but if you’re pumping poison into someone to stop his or her heart, that’s a deliberate killing, which is the definition of murder.

And as my favorite lapel button says, “Why do we kill people who kill people to prove that killing people is wrong?”

Finally, when we end someone’s life, we rob them of any chance of redemption. I don’t think it’s ever our call to do that.

So, let me say it again, I am not a terrorist and I don;t support acts of terror; I just think this kid deserves his Constitutional rights, just as I do.

 

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