To think that someone with this record of murder and mayhem will never again be able to harm anyone if imprisoned for life rather than face the death penalty, as reported by the Catholic Herald, is incredibly naïve; considering prison guards who might be hurt, other prisoners who might be proselytized, and the bounty of propaganda that could emanate from the prison over a lifetime; it is unbelievable that men who are as highly educated and (presumably) aware of the ways of the world can continue to take this position when the only proper action is the excercise of capital punishment, which is completely supported by Church tradition, as well-detailed in the Lampstand book, Capital Punishment & Catholic Social Teaching: A Tradition of Support.

Each one of our books is a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available at Amazon, go to

An excerpt from the Herald article.

As the trial of Boston Marathon bombing defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev went to the jury, the Catholic bishops of Massachusetts released a statement reiterating the Church’s teaching on the death penalty.

If convicted, Tsarnaev could be sentenced to death or to life without the possibility of parole.

The Catholic Church opposes the death penalty except “if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor”, but such cases “are very rare, if not practically non-existent”.

In Tsarnaev’s case, the Massachusetts bishops said, the defendant “has been neutralised and will never again have the ability to cause harm. Because of this, we … believe that society can do better than the death penalty”.

Tsarnaev’s trial in federal court in Boston began on March 4, where prosecutors have presented evidence that he and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, planted the bombs that exploded on April 15 2013, near the finish line at the Boston Marathon. The attack wounded more than 260 people and killed eight-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester, 29-year-old Medford native Krystle Campbell, and Lu Lingzi, 23, a Chinese national studying at Boston University.

Later, Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier was killed as the brothers attempted to escape from the Boston area.

From their opening statements, his lawyers admitted that Tsarnaev participated in the crimes.

Instead, in an apparent attempt to avoid the death penalty, the defence centred their arguments on demonstrating that older brother Tamerlan was the mastermind behind the plot and that then 19-year-old Dzhokhar was merely a follower.

In their statement, the bishops acknowledged the profound effect of the bombings and their aftermath on the Boston area.

“The Boston Marathon Bombing trial is a painful reminder of the harm that impacts many people even beyond those who are killed or maimed by violent criminal acts,” the bishops said in their statement.

The statement also addressed the specifics of the Tsarnaev trial and reiterated Catholic Church teaching on the use of the death penalty.

“Given that the defendant, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is being tried in federal court with the possibility of capital punishment, and that the bishops have testified against capital punishment in the past, we feel it is fitting to clarify the Church’s teaching regarding the use of the death penalty,” it said.

Retrieved May 12 2015 from