Today’s news that the convicted Boston Marathon bomber had been formally sentenced to death didn’t surprise me. That awful atrocity from April 2013 cut short the lives of three people (one was an eight-year-old boy) and left 260 others injured, some maimed. They gunned down a fourth victim during the manhunt that followed the bombing.These were despicable acts perpetrated by two radicalized Islamic individuals. (No, I have no intention of using either of their names.) Today’s proceedings in a Massachusetts courtroom included three hours of statements from victims and families of the victims before the convicted bomber broke his two-year silence.
A number of news reports ran almost identical headlines, asserting that the convicted bomber “apologizes” (here, here, here) … as if an apology – even a genuinely sincere apology – will alleviate the sorrow and pain countless people have suffered at the bomber’s hands.
I read the statement and yes, the perpetrator does admit his guilt and at one point in his statement he says “I’d like to now apologize to the victims, to the survivors” and later, “I’m sorry for the lives I’ve taken … the suffering … the damage … Irreparable damage.” Maybe I’m being uncharitable here, but I don’t buy it.
The statement runs just over 600 words, nine paragraphs. In that short speech, there are 16 references to Allah (by my count) and an additional 3 references to Prophet Muhammed. Toward the end of the statement, he acknowledges he is Muslim and his religion is Islam. I’m told the concept of al-Taqiyya is considered a sacred deception, a license to justify lying in their dealings with infidels (unbelievers).
Why would anyone expect this admitted murderer to speak truth and to be sincere when facing his accusers? By most reports, he has shown no remorse during the trial. In the past, he has been characterized as less than serious about his situation. In my reading of his statement, the only item about which he is serious is his religion. Any possible regret he may have hinted at isn’t for the victims but for the “mercy” he hopes will be shown to himself, his brother and his family.
At least one of the victims expressed similar disbelief. Bostonian Lynn Julian, who sustained traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and other ailments made the following statement: “I regret having ever wanted to hear him speak, because what he said showed no remorse, no regret, no empathy for what he’s done to our lives.”
Perhaps the perpetrator’s most chilling statement comes near the end of his 600 words. He says: “Allah knows best those deserving of his mercy.” One might cede those could be words of a remorseful person, but in my view, the words indicate a diabolical heart full of hatred for the people and country that has afforded him multiple advantages including a fair trial.
No doubt his life will be extended many years as appeals move through the courts. It will be a “mercy” his victims deserved but never received.