Massachusetts Bishops used the Boston Bombing trial as an opportunity to restate the church's strong opposition to the death penalty. A portion of their statement says:
"The Boston Marathon Bombing trial is a painful reminder of the harm that impacts many people even beyond those who are killed or maimed by violent criminal acts. Given that the defendant, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is being tried in federal court with the possibility of capital punishment, and that the Bishops have testified against capital punishment in the past, we feel it is fitting to clarify the Church’s teaching regarding the use of the death penalty. The Church has taught that the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are “rare, if not practically nonexistent.”
The defendant in this case has been neutralized and will never again have the ability to cause harm. Because of this, we, the Catholic Bishops of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, believe that society can do better than the death penalty."