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Boston College Expert: Death Sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Robert Bloom



Tiziana Dearing is an associate professor whose research and teaching interests include poverty and inequity, especially in urban environments, and social justice in public policy. She comes to the School of Social Work from the world of practice, where she led a number of anti-poverty organizations, including Boston Rising, a start-up anti-poverty fund, and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston, where she was the first woman president.  In 2012, Dearing was appointed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve on Governor Patrick’s Commission on a Cashless EBT Payment System.  She blogs regularly forThe Huffington Post and WBUR’s (NPR Affiliate) Cognoscenti and provides frequent media commentary to both local and national outlets on topics such as nonprofits, philanthropy, and social justice.


"Two thirds of MA didn't want this. There’s going to be a group of people who are going to be mad at the jury for closing this out for everyone the wrong way. 

Legal proceedings will keep him and the pain front and center at what will feel to the collective community like capricious and random moments. What we know from trauma and healing, capricious and random reminders of the thing that caused you trauma are not helpful. They re-open wounds. 

Everything is different, of course, when you talk about the people who were direct victims. We all felt victimized but those of us who were not maimed, those of us who were not given PTSD, those of us who were not physically or mentally harmed, we don’t have the same claim. For the rest of us, the sooner we move on, probably the better. From a healing perspective, we’re better off when he goes away and it doesn’t get to keep coming back into our collective psyches except for when we are talking about our own history.  

This verdict leaves both the victims and the broader community exposed to re-trauma. It may be harder for a community to heal when the outcome was different than what the majority of people would have wanted. It’s OK and appropriate to understand that the broader response to this may well be different than the responses that individual families who were harmed will have. We can’t superimpose our collective reaction on individuals who had a unique and individual experience with this violence.”




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