The announcement Thursday that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will face the death penalty if convicted was not a surprise.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the government will seek death for the 20-year-old suspect. He and his brother allegedly carried out the terrorist bombings that killed three and injured more than 250 people at last April's marathon.
His brother was killed during the manhunt that followed the bombings.
According to USA Today, Holder will seek the death penalty because the crime was committed in an "especially heinous, cruel and depraved manner."
Our only problem with Holder's decision is that, as practiced today in the United States, the death penalty is a very expensive nondeterrent. Unless a defendant voluntarily waives them (as Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh did), there are endless appeals that cost taxpayers a fortune.
A middle-aged mass murderer who gets the death penalty has a better chance of dying of old age than actually being executed.
And, let's be honest, the prospect of dying 20 years from now by lethal injection is not going to deter a person who has so little regard for life that he sets off bombs indiscriminately.
Many of this terrorist ilk are suicide bombers - doesn't sound like death will deter them.
No, a much simpler - and cheaper - solution is to lock them up for good in some grungy hole and make their lives more miserable than those of the victims they maimed.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.