why do we, as society, have to pay for his sorry ass to rot in jail for the next 60 plus years until he died or old age?
So that he doesn't do it again. We as a society get the benefit of safety in return for the money and the other costs. That's kind of the way it works.
Given how good forensics is getting, that's getting to be increasingly hard to do. That's why I said with certainty. In this case, he is, or was cooperating with the federal authorities before he clammed up and from what it looks like, it's pretty much a given he IS guilty of setting the bombs with the intent to kill and main civilians.
Okay, it doesn't matter how much forensic science has advanced when the average education of a jurist is famous for being at or below average. Colleagues of mine put the education level of the average jury in my county at 8th grade. This book
supposedly puts the education level of the average juror at closer to 12 years. My guess
, although it's not supported by research at this time, is that jury education level corresponds to average education level in the area of the trial - which isn't a problem if you're being prosecuted in, say, Cambridge... It is
a problem if you're being prosecuted in an area that has prevalent socioeconomic problems. Like, oh, say, a poor minority neighborhood...
Have you ever tried explaining advanced biology and chemistry concepts to a high schooler? Have you ever tried to get someone who Doesn't Get It to understand what DNA actually is, what RNA is, what different types of chemical reactions do? Our justice system is often only as good as its jurors, and if the jury is inclined to be awed by the fact that someone on the stand can take a can of air and measure how many 'dead body fumes' are in it, it doesn't actually matter if the science behind it is bad. Conversely, if the jury is disinclined to believe that you can actually accomplish something even with science (see above, re: dead body fumes), it doesn't matter how good the science is behind it.
The US justice system needs significant
revision before it can ever, ever be trusted to prove someone guilty beyond a doubt.