We’ve put two new pieces of art in our kitchen, and they are really brightening the room.
The piece above is some of Russell’s work. Entitled Turtle, it’s a minimalist depiction of three young women looking at something. We love the colors and the scene. I think the piece shows Russell’s special talent for capturing the human form in everyday settings.
The piece below is called Portrait of Rico by one of Russell’s fellow Cranbrook MFA graduates, a gifted artist and nice guy named Billy Kang. I saw it at the Cranbrook Open Studios event and bought it on the spot because the colors, and the placid expression on the subject’s face, just make me smile.
It’s serendipity that both pieces feature the same yellow hue, which we think looks terrific against the red brick walls of our kitchen.
On Friday a jury concluded that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should receive the death penalty for his involvement in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Last month, the same jury found Tsarnaev guilty of planting bombs that killed three people and maimed and injured hundreds more, as well as the killing of an MIT police officer. The jury then heard evidence about the appropriate punishment for his crimes and deliberated for three days before unanimously concluding that death is the appropriate sentence of Tsarnaev’s placement of a bomb that killed an 8-year-old boy, Martin Richard, and Lingzi Lu, a graduate student from China. By all accounts, the jury took its job seriously and soberly and carefully considered Tsarnaev’s childhood and cultural background, as well as evidence that his older brother was the mastermind of the bombings, before deciding that the death penalty was appropriate.
Tsarnaev’s crimes were terrible and unforgivable. They were terrorism in the truest sense of the word, because they were not targeted at any specific person. Their only purpose was to kill and hurt people indiscriminately, harm the reputation of a venerable American institution, and cause the general populace to worry that they might be risking their lives whenever they attend or participate in a mass sporting event or rally. There is simply no justification for the commission of such crimes. Whatever his upbringing, anyone who can rationalize placing a bomb in a crowd and killing wholly innocent people is a bad man who deserves to be punished.
Nevertheless, I’m opposed to the death penalty for Tsarnaev, as I am in other cases. I don’t think we need to show terrorists overseas how tough we are, and in any case I doubt that they pay much attention to the workings of the American justice system. I also don’t think killing Tsarnaev is going to dissuade others from committing acts of domestic terrorism, just as the execution of Timothy McVey for the Oklahoma City bombing didn’t stop the Tsarnaev brothers from proceeding with their crimes. A death sentence simply ensures that we will spend huge amounts of time and money on appeals and will be reminded of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his awful crimes every once in a while, when his case is reargued and reargued again in court.
I’d rather we just throw this evil man into prison and leave him to rot, alone and forgotten, for the rest of his miserable and misbegotten life.