Shaw: The right verdict in Boston

I would hate to be on a jury in a murder case, but in the case of the Boston Marathon bomber…

  •  I agree with the verdict. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was rightfully sentenced to die. I know that sounds harsh. There are several good arguments against capital punishment: it is not a deterrent to criminals, it is not humane, and it doesn’t alter the fate of the victims. All valid points.

To me, the strongest argument against the death penalty is the chance of an unjust verdict. That is, an innocent person convicted of murder, sentenced to death, and executed. That has undoubtedly happened. However, in this case that does not apply. There is a 100 percent degree of certainty that Tsarnaev was one of the bombers. His lawyers admitted his guilt, and the visual and other evidence against Tsarnaev is indisputable. So then it comes down to which cases should qualify for the death penalty. I say heinous crimes of planned mass murder. Once again, this case fits. Dzhokhar and his brother Tamerlan coldly, deliberately and methodically planned this terrorist attack to take place during one of the nation’s greatest events – an event I had the pleasure of attending many times as a child. The Tsarnaev brothers researched how to make bombs, bought the parts, constructed the bombs and viciously set them off behind innocent people at the finish line. Their goal was to kill and injure as many as possible. They caused so much pain and suffering for no good reason. Dzokhar may have been influenced by his older brother, but he’s old enough to think for himself. There’s no excuse for Dzokhar’s actions.
The verdict is consistent with the fates of other evil people. Osama bin Laden deserved to be gunned down for directing the Sept. 11 attacks. Trying to capture him alive was too risky. Timothy McVeigh was rightfully executed for bombing the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, where 168 people died and 680 others were injured. Adolf Eichmann was justly put to death in Israel for being a major organizer of the Holocaust, the only execution in the history of Israel. Both McVeigh and Eichmann had trials, and like Tsarnaev, there’s certainty they committed horrible crimes.
What it all comes down to is the punishment must fit the crime. In this case, it does.

  • Good move by the West Fargo City Commission to purchase water from Fargo. The alternative was to build a $126 million water treatment plant without state financial support. Even with water bills generally increasing from $10 to $14 a month, buying Fargo water is much more cost effective.

This is a good example of neighboring cities working together. Moreover, it assures West Fargo residents they will have plenty of water, and presumably, much better-tasting water.

  • Sorry to see David Letterman step down. A truly creative, edgy, human and funny man, who provided lots of laughs. 

Shaw is former WDAY TV reporter, and former KVRR TV news director. He can be heard Fridays, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on WDAY AM radio. Email

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