Boston Marathon verdict sparks debate for BSU students

By Stephanie Dawber
News Editor

Now that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been found guilty on every count, the Mass. jury must decide whether Tsarnaev should live or die for the Boston Marathon bombing.

Several students attending Bridgewater State University are at a divide on whether Tsarnaev should spend his life behind bars.

Heidi Belanger, a senior majoring in Communications Studies, offered her opinion why Tsarnaev should receive life in prison without parole. “I’m hoping they do not give the death penalty because the victims of the Boston Bombing need closure so [the jury] should nip it in the bud,” she said.

Belanger explained that since Tsarnaev was found guilty, if he received the death penalty the legal process would take longer than sentencing him to life in jail.

However, many students questioned if 21 year old Tsarnaev should live because of the financial expense. According to the Massachusetts Department of Correction website, “For Fiscal Year 2014, the average cost per year to house an inmate in the Massachusetts DOC was $53,040.87.”

Khalil Washum, a freshman studying Business Management, said, “I think he might get the death sentence. The boston bombing was similar to 9/11.”

Similarly, Enid Cordero, a freshman studying Graphic Design said, “Honestly, I don’t think the jurors will choose the death sentence.”

More students began to express their opinions and beliefs. According to the BBC, “Tsarnaev’s defense lawyers will argue that he was only 19 at the time of the bombings — a troubled adolescent, dominated by a violent older brother who radicalized him.”

BSU students still believe that legally and ethically, Tsarnaev should be held accountable for his actions and the lives lost.

Ariel Okech, a freshman studying Social Work said, “He will probably get life without parole.”

Likewise, Victoria Sarsfield, a senior studying Communications Studies said, “I think he will get life in prison.”

Matthew Jepson, a senior studying BioChem stated, “I’m saying Tsarnaev will get the death sentence.”

Matthew Cobb wasn’t as sure about the final sentence but agreed with Jepson. “Probably the death sentence,” he said.

Stephanie Dawber is the News Editor of The Comment. Follow her on Twitter @StephanieDawber.

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