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Columns : The Federal Voice

No Mitigating Factors for Tsarnaev

Some acts are so heinous and their perpetrators so twisted and dangerous that only one punishment can bring justice.

May 22, 2015  |  by Jon Adler

As the jury deliberates on the sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, we are being inundated with mind numbing "expert" news consultants spouting gibberish about mitigating factors. To illustrate how misguided these self-appointed experts are, please consider this:

Two years ago a female pit bull named Cruella gave birth to a litter of eight puppies. This was her second litter in two years. Cruella was brought to the United States from a war-torn, third-world country. She's a retired fighting dog whose current dual purpose is to guard a drug stash house and produce pups.

Cruella shattered the peace of her neighborhood every chance she got with her lunatic loud barking. In particular, she became increasingly hostile and loud in the presence of police officers, who were constantly called to the house in response to complaints.

Cruella's owners have a dog license, so she's legal. When the runners alerted that the police were in the area, Cruella was always on a leash. Although she seemed to relish growling and flashing her teeth at the police, she didn't attack or bite an officer.

By way of background and family lineage, Cruella was a part of a litter spawned from two fighting dogs. They were abused pups, starved and beaten, and they learned to channel their rage into the fight pit.

Cruella amassed a good win record, but then she managed to survive a crushing defeat. So she was relegated to guarding crack houses and breeding. Her first litter only yielded four pups, and three of them were immediately dished off to other drug houses. One pup, Madness, stayed with her. True to his name and his mother's charm, Madness excelled in fighting and shared his mother's disdain for law enforcement officers.

As if on a mission to spawn more cop-hating mutant mutts, Cruella had that second litter. Eight were born, four died shortly after birth, and three were killed for showing unsatisfactory fighting potential. That left one raging pup, Lucifer. Given Madness' impressive winning record and tenacious fighting skills, he was selected to be Lucifer's mentor.

The young Lucifer could be seen following his older brother Madness around dutifully, soiling everything in his path and growling at anyone within line of sight. Lucifer gradually became what his DNA, upbringing, and surroundings would predict: a killing machine.

Almost a full grown adult at 22 months, Lucifer was ready for all-out war.

That opportunity came when Madness' and Lucifer's owners and Cruella disappeared the two young fighting dogs hungry and angry. The two broke free of their feeble restraints and escaped from the crack house. Guided by their hunger and their savage training, the two were on a quest to find food and wreak havoc. After scouting the neighborhood, they found a target: a 2-year-old boy in a stroller.

And they wreaked havoc. Madness and Lucifer surrounded the stroller and proceeded to attack the toddler. While Madness and Lucifer were unrelenting in their savagery, the toddler's mother and a bystander were able to fight off the animals. A radio car had quickly responded to the incident, and Madness immediately attacked one of the officers as he stepped out of the vehicle. His partner drew her weapon and fired three times, quickly putting an end to Madness' lethal attack and Madness. Lucifer ran away when he heard the gun shots.

About an hour later, animal control found Lucifer and stopped him with a tranquilizer dart. They transported the unconscious Lucifer back to their command and secured him in a reinforced steel crate. Two days later, Lucifer was euthanized.

To recap, Lucifer was born with bad DNA, came from a line of abused animals, suffered inhumane treatment, was influenced by his mother and older brother, and wasn't a fully developed adult yet. Irrespective of this horror story, there was no hope for Lucifer to change. He was justifiably euthanized because he attacked a child and other innocents without any provocation.

As you may have guessed, the story of Lucifer is an allegory to the story of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and I'm a dog lover, so it pains me to compare that terrorist with a canine. But like Lucifer, he acted without mercy, killing three people at the Marathon, including a child; wounding 264 with his bombs; and murdering a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer as he tried to escape justice.

Jurors may have to wrestle with their religious principles over sending Tsarnaev to death, but nothing else. There are no mitigating factors that should save this vicious terrorist from being euthanized.


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