A long road ahead for all
If it is true that Dzhokhar Tsar- naev, 19, ran over his wounded 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, with an SUV in his haste to escape police early Friday morning, it is the closest thing to justice yet seen in the entire saga of the Boston Marathon bombings.
By what’s now known, it was Tamerlan who had first become bitter and disaffected with the United States and drew his younger brother into a vicious plot. Their act of terrorism resulted in three innocent people dead and 170 wounded, including at least 13 who suffered lower-body injuries that required amputations. That Dzhokhar may have been dragged into the plan in no way excuses him. If he packed those bombs with explosives and shrapnel and looked at the men, women and children around him as he put it in place to explode, he deserves to be tried, convicted and given the death penalty. But for now, the image of him driving over the brother who goaded him into becoming a murderer will have to do.
No short cuts along the American way
The road to ultimate justice is going to be almost as long and arduous as the road to recovery faced by the people maimed in Monday’s explosions. As an American citizen, even a despicable one who turned on the country that gave his family asylum and offered him an opportunity to succeed beyond any Chechnyan’s wildest dreams, Tsarnaev is entitled to the protection of the Constitution. That means any conviction and punishment must come with due process.
Understandably, there will be people who call for swifter, more severe punishment — something more in keeping with the mercy the bombers showed their victims.
But that is not the American way. And it is important that terrorists not only be brought to justice, but that they not be allowed to pervert a system that has made America what it is for more than two centuries.