Boston bombing produces mixed reactions

Following the Boston massacre that took place Monday, April 15, the public’s attention has centered on the suspect that is been held in custody.

The Boston Marathon bombing suspect was captured Friday night in a boat in a suburban backyard following a bloody encounter that left a cop dead and brought a historic daylong manhunt that shut down the entire city.

The arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and the death of his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, during a 200-bullet police gunfight ended five days of terror brought upon by the two bombs at the marathon’s finish line that killed three people, wounded 176 and left the city of Boston plagued with fear.

The Boston Police Department posted on its Twitter account, “CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won,” the Boston Police Department said on its Twitter account.

That same day, Boston residents and cops flooded the streets of Watertown, Mass., to cheer and celebrate.

However, as more information surfaces regarding the background and personality of Tsarnaev led, the community seems to be divided with mixed feelings toward one of the alleged perpetrators of the tragedy.

In the days following the Boston Marathon bombing, the Tsarnaev brothers were perhaps the most hated and dangerous men in America. This hatred was communicated through the different social media platforms, where the anti-muslim racist comments prevailed.

However, it seems that once Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Twitter feed and picture were released many members of the community began to feel sympathy for him. After all, he looked like an average light-skinned teenager who did not precisely fit the terrorist description we envisioned.

Perhaps, it is the notion that the suspected attackers are followers of the Islamic faith and, hence, were motivated by a radical ideology that made it easier for us to understand their motives and accordingly pin blame and hatred.

However, further compassion has been channeled toward the boy when his friends and acquaintances described him as a nice and personable kid, with few believing he could be involved in such an atrocious act. In fact, the #FreeJahar hashtag was created in Twitter and has been trending following his capture.

It is certainly in our inherent human nature to feel mercy for the young boy, particularly after witnessing the way he was described by those who knew him and seeing his photograph. However, this should not clutter our judgment. Justice should be claimed in the name of the four victims involved in the bombing.

It has been speculated that the death penalty might be in play even though Massachusetts is one of more than a dozen states without capital punishment. The U.S. Justice Department, said that if convicted, Tsarnaev could face the federal death penalty. To date, he has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property.