Dzhokhr A. Tsarnaev, if he survives his injuries, faces the death penalty if he is tried in federal charges, or life in prison if he is tried in Massachusetts courts.

Execution is probably the more merciful alternative. A life in prison means endless rapes and probably a messy death, like Geoghan’s at the hands another prisoner. Even prisoners like to demonstrate that they are superior to traitors.

Or Tsarnaev could be kept in solitary his whole life. A quick death would be preferable to such a living death.

He is immature and was under the influence of his brother and did not think through the consequences of his actions. They were living in a fantasy world and expected an invisible army to rise from central Asia; they had no escape plan.

But he killed three people, including a child, and maimed scores, and killed a police officer.

What could restorative justice mean in such a situation? What could retribution mean? The best result might be if he would die of his injuries. Then his fate would be up to a higher justice.

PS One always has to wonder if the police got the right people; but as the brothers had both guns and explosives, it is highly unlikely that the police made a mistake.