Statement from Indiana Abolition Coalition on the Sentencing of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

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A jury has recommended the federal government execute Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. If sentenced to death, the government will kill him here, in Indiana.

The Indiana Abolition Coalition opposes the execution of Tsarnaev. We urge all Hoosiers to tell the federal government, “Not in my state.”

The execution would occur in Indiana because the federal government operates its death chamber at the United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute. The federal government has executed three people this century. Tsarnaev would join 61 other men awaiting execution by the federal government.

At this point, it is unclear how the government would execute Tsarnaev. Individual states that retain capital punishment have had trouble finding lethal injection drugs. Western democracies that previously supplied the drugs oppose the practice, and U.S. companies are reluctant to have their medications used for executions.

Federal executions have been relatively rare. No one was executed by the federal government in the 1970s, 1980s, or 1990s; three were killed since 2000.

Capital punishment is also relatively rare in Indiana; our state has not executed anyone since 2009. Yet, over a dozen face possible execution.

The Indiana Abolition Coalition opposes the execution of Tsarnaev and of all Americans. We believe there is no purpose execution can serve that life imprisonment cannot serve equally or better. Its implementation in the case of Tsarnaev would be solely for the purpose of vengeance. We do not believe this is a legitimate reason for killing in a civilized society.

We call on all Hoosiers to oppose Tsarnaev’s execution and help end executions in our state.

-Doris Parlette for the Board of Directors


I am a member of the board of directors for the Indiana Abolition Coalition. Our mission is to build consensus to end the death penalty in Indiana through education, collaboration and activism. For more information, visit us at indianaabolition.org or facebook.com/IndianaAbolitionCoalition.

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