May 8, 2013

Taking Revenge on a Corpse

Steve Thorngate, Christian Century


A funeral director in Massachusetts is struggling to find a community willing to let Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev be buried there. It's sobering to belong to an ostensibly advanced, decent culture in which people find it reasonable to take revenge on a corpse.

And what is this about if not revenge? When death-penalty supporters argue against criminals' right to the basic dignity of continuing to be alive, they can speak with a modicum of plausibility about preventing future crimes. Tsarnaev's already dead; he's even less of a threat to the public than a killer who gets life without parole. But there's still some dignity we can take satisfaction in denying him.

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TAGGED: Death, Tamerlan Tsarnaev


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