How Does The Boston Bomber's Sentence Compare To Other Terrorists' Verdicts? Let's Take A Look At The Last 15 Years
After 14 hours of deliberation, the seven women and five men on the jury tasked with deciding whether or not Dzhokhar Tsarnaev receives the death penalty, reached their decision on Friday, around 3:45 p.m. ET. The Boston Bomber was convicted of all 30 charges against him, and the jurors decided that he should die. According to a Gallop Poll from 2013, 60 percent of Americans support the death penalty, and while Massachusetts doesn't use capital punishment, Tsarnaev's case was held in a federal court. So, how does the Boston Bomber's sentence compare to terrorists' sentences?
According to the FBI, terrorism has been around on U.S. soil since the 1920s, but let's look at the cases that have gone down since September 11, 2001. In the last 14 years, the incidents of terrorism have become more significant, well-known, and thoroughly reported. The ends of each of the attacks since 9/11 have varied means, but each was nevertheless illegal and, well, terrifying. From Osama Bin Laden and his team to the Beltway Snipers to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, terrorists have faced different levels of consequence for their actions. Tsarnaev's death sentence wasn't as predictable as you may have originally thought.
In August, 2001, Moussaoui was arrested in connection with 9/11. He was alleged to have been the 20th hijacker (the other 19 died in the plane crashes) and plead guilty before a federal court of conspiring to kill people as part of the September 11 attacks. He is currently serving a life sentence at a Supermax prison in Colorado.
In December of 2001, Reid was arrested after attempting to ignite his shoe on a flight from Paris to Miami. In January, 2002, he was charged with eight counts related to terrorism, and he plead guilty to all. A year later, in January, 2003, a judge sentenced Reid to three life-sentences without parole, and slapped him with a $2 million fine.
The Beltway Snipers
John Allen Muhammad (above) and Lee Boyd Malvo (below) were convicted of killing 10 people and injuring three during their sniper spree that tore through the suburbs of Washington, D.C. in 2002. Muhammed was charged with murder, terrorism, conspiracy, and illegal use of a firearm. In November, 2003, a jury found him guilty of all four counts. The judge agreed with the jury's recommendation and sentenced Muhammad to death. He was killed by legal injection in 2009.
Lee Boyd Malvo was sentenced to six life-sentences without parole.
Amine Mohamed El-Khalifi
El-Khalifi was arrested after he attempted to detonate a weapon of mass destruction on the steps of the Capitol in 2012. He allegedly tried to carry out a suicide bombing mission in honor of al Qaeda . Turns out, he hadn't been in contact with al Qaeda at all, just FBI agents posing as foreign terrorists. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis
In October of 2012, the then 22-year-old attempted to explode a 1,000 pound bomb in front of the Federal Reserve in lower Manhattan. The FBI claims he was intent on committing terrorist attacks. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Sulaiman Abu Ghayth
In March of 2013, Assistant Attorney General Monaco said of Ghayth's capture, "The arrest of Abu Ghayth is an important milestone in our ongoing counterterrorism efforts. I applaud the many agents, analysts, and prosecutors responsible for bringing about this significant case and arrest." Ghayth had allegedly worked alongside Bin Laden for years, and was indicted on charges of conspiring to kill US citizens, to which he plead not guilty. His conviction in March, 2014 resulted in a life sentence.
Looking at these most recent convictions, Tsarnaev's death penalty is unusual.
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