Boston Bomber: Should We Have Let Him Die?

Boston Bomber: Should We Have Let Him Die?

I haven’t written about the Boston Bombings – there’s not much I can add to all that has  been written. A devastating bombing, resulting in horrific deaths and injuries, and emotional trauma that will scar everyone for life. There is no way to make sense of it all.

In the locker room this morning at the gym the women were having a discussion. They were complaining that so much of the taxpayers’ money had been spent on the manhunt, AND then even more was spent on saving the bomber’s life once they captured him. The trial will cost a huge bundle too. One woman said they should just have let him die – they did not have to work so hard to save his life.

I see her point, but ethically – would that have been the right thing to do? Or was saving his life so we can get answers worth it? If he does receive the death penalty (I don’t even know if it’s on the cards or not) – why save his life only to kill him in a year or two?

Just some thoughts – curious to know what you think.

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  1. Angela L. says:

    We have no right to decide who lives or dies. If we begin to think we do then we are no different than the killers themselves. When we try to justify it by our wanting an “eye for an eye” then we are making ourselves into God. If we think this murderer should not be kept alive because it would cost too much, who’s to say the same cant be said for an older person or a child born with disabilities. The line becomes fuzzy when we pick and choose who is worth saving and who is not.

    • Tamara says:

      Your reasoning is flawed. Please don’t confuse victim and perpetrator!

      People are required and entitled to a justice system and to see justice done. A thief must repair what he has done and a murderer must be dealt with.

      Trying and killing a murderer is NOT revenge! It is law and order.

      I wouldn’t worry so much about the tax payers money in this case. It is for everybody’s benefit.

      • sheldan says:

        Tamara, please note that the question was whether the bomber should not be treated, rather than whether he should be tried and, if convicted, punished. Yes, he should be brought to justice in some manner, but there are real problems in just letting him die.

  2. Rebecca Fistel says:

    I just wonder if the bomber, I do not even want to refer to him by name, will give us any truthful answers. I do believe, however, had we let him die, there would have been more controversy about what we might have missed from his possibly revealing his connections. All of this is worse than sad.. My heart goes out to all.

  3. Lady Lock N Load says:

    So perhaps they should not have killed Osama Bin Laden, we could have gotten information out of him.

  4. Rafael Guber says:

    Beyond the moral and Halachic considerations, there are practical ones as well. A living terrorist can share information. We need as much as we can get. It may save lives.

  5. Justice must not only be done, but also seen to be done. By saving his life and trying him in open court, even if he does eventually die by the hand of the state, America shows itself as ruled by law and moral values, not vigilante justice. If terrorists are going to attack us for our way of life, let it be a way of life worth defending.

  6. Echo says:

    I think if we hadn’t done all we could to save him we might never get ANY answers, we would also show ourselves to be on the same level as the people who attacked us.

    I wouldn’t be heart broken at all if despite everything done, a complication from the injury killed him. I also won’t wish him to be strung up and shot in our streets as an example, after his capture. We are set apart by the morals, and checks and balances we abide by. They win if we sway away from those and stoop to their levels.

  7. Our justice system feeds terrorism. These people are willing to lose their lives for their cause. And if they don’t die, then hell, they’ll help ruin our economy by having us spend dozens of millions on their legal defense and prison time.

    While we stand staunchly saying that we can’t be like them, won’t act like them, they’re laughing hysterically at the fact that we treat them BETTER than they treat their own!

    My opinion on the matter is, treat them as illegal combatants. Give them a military trial that includes capital punishment. Military defense lawyers, military judges, on a military base. Cut costs tenfold if not more. I don’t know how the military appeal system works here, but I doubt it’s as cost prohibitive and time-consuming as our regular legal system.

    It doesn’t make sense to treat a terrorist as an American, even if he is one.

    • sheldan says:

      I think that you and I agree on this.

      Unfortunately, the Obama administration seems to be considering trying the bomber in federal court. That is sending exactly the wrong signal to the world. Sadly, this is not the only example of this.

    • sheldan says:

      It seems that you and I are in agreement on this one.

      Unfortunately, the Obama administration seems to be moving toward trying the bomber in federal court. This is probably the worst possible signal that we could send to the world. Sadly, this is not the only time they are making this mistake.

  8. sheldan says:

    Like the comments so far. I was listening to a radio talk show yesterday where it was asked if we should use torture on the bomber. Opinion was divided on the issue.

    I think we should be very careful regarding this issue. We have to walk a fine line between stooping to the level of our enemies and advertising that we treat our enemies better than if the roles were reversed. On the issue of treating the bomber as an enemy combatant, I disagree with the administration’s position that he should be tried through the federal court system. It is obvious that this is a different kind of war and even if the accused is an American citizen, he should face the appropriate tribunal, even if it is politically incorrect in the eyes of many people.

  9. Ethically, I don’t think it would have been right to let him die, no, not if we could save him. And now he’s speaking with police, filling in the blanks, may give the families some sort of closure or at least understanding, may help our law enforcement figure out how to prevent some of these tragic incidents in the future… For better or for worse, our justice system pays to keep some pretty terrible people alive. But I think that if I were a victim of the Boston bombings, or their family members, I would want to hear from this monster, to face him.

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