The Boston Annual Marathon in the USA is one of the oldest marathons in the world, held since 1897 (Ray, 2022). On April 15, 2013, more than 24 thousand athletes participated in the event (Ray, 2022). At 14:49, an explosion occurred in the northern part of Boylston Street near the finish line of the marathon, directly opposite the main grandstand (Ray, 2022). It happened three hours after the finish of the first of the runners who took part in the competition, but there were still a lot of athletes waiting for their turn, and hundreds of spectators stood on the sidewalks.
A few seconds later, a second explosion occurred 170 meters up Boylston Street (Ray, 2022). As a result of the terrorist attack, three people were killed: a Chinese graduate of Boston University and two US citizens – a young woman and an eight-ear-old boy; more than 260 people were injured (Gates et al., 2014). The incident was called a coordinated terrorist attack. During the FBI investigation, it was determined that improvised explosive devices that were in backpacks left on the ground in a crowd of spectators exploded at the marathon. According to surveillance cameras, the police identified two suspects in the terrorist attack. They turned out to be US citizens brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (Ray, 2022). The investigation did not find the terrorist organization with which the Tsarnaev brothers were associated.
The explosive devices that went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon were manufactured in the house of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. They downloaded the instructions for making a bomb from the Internet, from where they also took publications and appeals of jihad supporters. According to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the bombings were revenge on the United States for its actions in Afghanistan and Iraq (Ray, 2022). The terrorist attack during the Boston Marathon was committed by the brothers on the basis of religious extremism.
Type of Murder
This case falls into mass murder, since the main method of religious terrorism in this case is assassination. Boston Marathon Bombing Case was carried out by an armed group of two people, this terrorist act is characterized by demonstrative targeting, therefore it was effective for targeted psychological impact on a narrow audience. During this terrorist act, physical violence was used. Individuals were deprived of their lives and inflicted injuries and other bodily injuries, which indicates that this case is a mass murder.
Effect on Criminal Justice System
On April 8, 2015, a jury convicted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on all 30 counts of organizing a terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon and committing mass murder (Gates et al., 2014). The legislation establishes penalties for citizens who have committed this act. The circumstances of the cases may vary, but as a rule the violator is punished with life imprisonment. However, on May 15, a jury sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death (Ray, 2022). The case affected the possibility of imposing this type of punishment, which is not usually resorted to by the criminal justice system.
Effect on Community
The mass murder committed during the terrorist act exerted strong psychological pressure on large masses of people, both those who were directly affected by the tragedy and those who watched the development of events. An atmosphere of general fear, suspicion, anxiety and psychological pressure was created in the community. Its members had a feeling of the inevitability of new such criminal actions, as well as a sense of uncertainty, submission, complete defenselessness, and expectation of another horror and tragedy.
Gates, J. D., Arabian, S., Biddinger, P., Blansfield, J., Burke, P., Chung, S., … Fischer, J. (2014). The initial response to the Boston Marathon bombing. Annals of Surgery, 260(6), 960-966.
Ray, M. (2022). Boston Marathon bombing of 2013. Web.