So, today, May 15th, 2015, a day which happens to be my mother's 63rd birthday, the jury in the Tsarnaev bombing trial sentenced a young man to die.
I live here.
Not in Boston. no. But in the Bay State. I'm in town once or twice a month. I'll never be fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but I run. I have friends who were there when it happened.
When the attack happened, I was at my partner's house, which is in Wisconsin, and I spent... days... following the unfolding events.
What I'm saying is this is my back yard.
I have lost family members to murder. I am opposed to the death penalty nevertheless, for a variety of reasons I don't feel like discussing here.
This hurts. This all hurts. This isn't the decision I think should have been made. But I am proud of my home for bringing this man in alive, and for providing due process and a civil trial (and there was pressure to do it otherwise.) I am also, simultaneously, deeply saddened that we have chosen a course that I think reflects lingering barbarism in our society.
I read this.
85% of Boston residents would have preferred a life sentence, and so would I. Even understanding that it would have had to have been a life sentence in protective custody, which amounts to a life sentence in solitary confinement.
Is that more humane than death?
I don't know.
I do know that I am not one of the twelve people who will have to live with the decision that was made today, and I know also that I am a coward, because I am grateful for that fact.