Potential jurors in the death penalty trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have been called back to court this week to face a tough line of questioning. But there is no question more stressful than whether or not, if Tsarnaev is found guilty, could they could impose the death penalty.
The responses from the jurors revealed a wide range of feelings and perspectives on the issue of capital punishment. Here is what they are saying about the death penalty.
(NOTE: All jurors identified by the number assigned them by the court during jury selection.)
He said his roommates "think it's really cool and they very much want me to sentence him to death."
He said he could only vote for the death penalty if the evidence pointing to it was "100%, no doubt guilt" and "rock solid."
Asked twice if he could impose the death penalty, he said, "I'm committed against it."
"There is no way in modern America today that I'm going to vote for the death penalty. I will not."
His general views on the death penalty: "Justice is justice."
"We live in a society, if you break the rules, you don't deserve to live with the rest of us."
"I feel that the death penalty applies in certain cases, I feel like in this case it does apply."
"I believe in the death penalty in this particular situation."
"This whole process made me more religious. I just can't agree with the death penalty."
"I just think killing another man is wrong. And I would be one of the members doing it. I just can't kill another person."
"I would rather do the life imprisonment. I'm against the death penalty. It would have to be as personal as my child. I could not pass on the death penalty."
"I would leave myself open to persuasion, but I would be disinclined."
"Could support it. I'm not for the death penalty, but if somebody did something that called for it, I wouldn't have a problem."
He said the death penalty is "cruel and unusual."
"I'm not one way for death penalty or one way not for the death penalty."
"Here's the thing. This was a horrendous crime — hundreds, thousands affected. The magnitude was significant. At the same time, I do have reservations about the death penalty as a policy."
"The age of the defendant has some weight in my mind. The defendant was 19 when the crime was committed. I look at that as a mitigating circumstance."
"I would have a difficult time [voting for the death penalty]. Let's put it this way: It would go against my judgment that the death penalty is a good idea for society. My personal belief is that the death penalty serves no constructive purpose."
On could he vote for the death penalty, "If there were societal risks, I would say...possibly? It would have to be pretty compelling."
"I think it's something I would struggle with. I'm not sure I have the personal constitution to participate in someone's death."
Asked if she could conceive a situation "so disturbing or morally repugnant" enough to impose the death penalty, she said, "Pretty sure. No."
"I don't object to the death penalty itself. But I could never decide somebody's fate like that."
"I don't feel that it's up to me to make that decision to take somebody's life."
"It is not a logical punishment for any crime. It costs the state more. It carries the burden of being irreversible if the person is found not guilty afterwards. It's proved not to be a deterrent."
When asked if he could conscientiously vote to impose death: "I think it would be difficult for me, but honestly I think I could."
"I'm completely opposed to it."
Asked if she could conceive of any case that would be so shocking that it would change your mind, she said, "No."
"I already feel that he's guilty and he should have the death penalty."
"Theoretically, I believe in the death penalty. It becomes very different when you're looking at you making the decision."
"My views right now in this case your honor is the death penalty is in order."
"I don't think I could sway my judgment. It would take an awful awful lot."
"If I had to do it, I would. But I would need some serious information. That's nothing I would take likely."
"I think more often than not I am opposed to the death penalty … I'd have more difficulty voting for it, but I believe I could do it."
"I don't believe in an eye for eye justice."
"Government shouldn't impose the ultimate penalty."
"When someone does a heinous crime, you don't do the same thing back."
"Yeah, I think if they've done something that warrants the death penalty. That's something they deserve."
"It is my opinion the death penalty should be implemented in this kind of case, without having the trial yet to form an opinion."
"My son is 10, my daughter is 6, when what happened involves kids of that age, it's hard for me not to make strong associations with my own child."
"Right now, I understand my paternal instincts much better than I understand whatever facts that could come out of the case."
"I think the death penalty is valid in terms of being a good punishment, it all depends on the severity of what he did."
"Upon reflection, I strongly oppose the death penalty. I think my answer would be he should not receive the death penalty."
"I feel that if somebody is found guilty and the punishment fits the crime I am for it."
"It was a willful act of trying to harm as many innocent people as possible, including trying to kill them, and that for me qualifies for a heinous crime."
"I have no view either way. I am really in the middle. I would have to hear everything and make an educated decision."
"I was surprised that the death penalty was on the table."
"My view is that death is the ultimate severity in penalty. I wouldn't have a hesitation about sentencing somebody [to life]. I consider that below the death penalty."
"The death penalty itself, this sounds awful, if somebody else did it, it wouldn't bother me. But the fact that it would be me, it would feel bad.
It feels wrong."
"I'm leaning more towards the death. I feel this happened on US grounds. It's unacceptable, and if it comes forward and he's guilty, then yes."
"I'm not really sure it's a punishment for that person. I think it's a punishment for the people in their lives."
"It depends upon whether or not a person intentionally murdered with malice, then I would strongly go for the death penalty. If somebody were say an accomplice, I might go for a life sentence."
"I don't like it. I'm not going to show up at a protest on either side. I'm lucky it's a decision I've never had to make so it's not on my conscience. I'm glad it's something we don't take likely in this country."
Michael Hayes is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Mike Hayes at email@example.com.
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