According to a Boston Globe poll, the residents of Boston would not sentence Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death for his crimes. Instead, a strong majority of Bostoninans believe Tsarnaev deserves life in prison, without parole, which is consistent with the region's overall stance against the death penalty.
Even though Massachusetts doesn't have capital punishment, the federal charges facing Tsarnaev make the bomber eligible for death for his crimes, should U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder decide to pursue them. But despite his eligibility, only 33 percent of Boston residents would go for capital punishment against Tsarnaev, with 57 percent preferring life with no chance of release. That's in contrast to a national poll conducted in May, which found that most Americans overall would like to see Tsarnaev executed.
While the Boston poll indicates a consistency in the city's stance on capital punishment — Massachusetts hasn't executed anyone since 1947 — that doesn't mean the state is entirely invulnerable to the emotional aftermath of gruesome acts of violence. The Globe explains that a previously notorious crime brought the state pretty close to reinstating capital punishment:
In 1997... an attempt to reestablish capital punishment failed by a single vote in the emotional aftermath of the abduction and murder of Jeffrey Curley, a 10-year-old from Cambridge.
In other poll questions, a slight majority Boston residents, 53 percent, believe the federal government could do more to stop similar attacks, while 37 percent disagreed. But a plurality don't think that authorities had enough information to stop the Boston marathon bombings in particular: 43 to 36 percent.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.