Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Boston Marathon bomber trial ends with guilty verdicts; what next?

Tsarnaev's Mug Shot (via Wikipedia)
Today, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was pronounced guilty on all 30 counts associated with his role in the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013, by far the worst massacre attack since the events of September 11th. Next: Sentencing. How do Bostonians feel about the death penalty? They will work through that in the intervening weeks and maybe months (I'm not sure).

Although I live in California, I have a personal connection to all of this. I was in Cambridge during the manhunt that ensued a few days after the bombing due a conference I was attending for university social media managers. In fact, I left the very building at MIT where the Tsarnaev brothers started their rampage about 60 minutes prior. I was staying in Cambridge, and had to go into lockdown mode with the friend who was hosting me during the Manhunt the next day. We got to go out basically after the Mayor of Boston, the late Thomas Menino, tweeted, "We got him. #oneboston".

I'd like to take a moment to pause. Many lives were lost, an entire region's sense of safety and confidence was shaken, and we learned a great deal about how terrorists can indoctrinate young Americans. It actually speaks so much to how do we educate our children and our teenagers, how do we provide them with opportunities and engage them in and outside of school, particularly those who are from low-income families that have some level of dysfunction (as was the case here). I'm thankful to live in a municipality that takes this complex set of issues very seriously.

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