In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev...

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is depicted sitting in federal court in Boston Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, for a final hearing before his trial begins in January. Tsarnaev is charged with the April 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. He could face the death penalty if convicted. Credit: AP/Jane Flavell Collins

A letter opposing capital punishment for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev probably comes from a good heart, but the argument isn't compelling ["Death penalty isn't justice, it's revenge," April 23].

I believe that capital punishment is a celebration of life. It's a statement by a humane society that murder is profoundly intolerable. We must be certain that an abomination isn't repeated against other innocents.

Capital punishment is also self-defense. If a criminal were killed in the commission of an atrocity, this would be justified by the law. When our society executes a capital criminal, we are defending the collective whole.

Capital punishment is an eternal memorial to the victims of a capital crime. The terror the victims suffer is unimaginable. When we courageously internalize the horror of the victims' last living moments, the human heart can only scream out, "Never again!"

I ask that our society and its citizens consider the kind of world they wish to live in and the extremely challenging tasks that confront us when we seek to build that better place.

Bill Binnie, Lake Grove

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