Home World U.S. News Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial: Martin Richard’s family against death penalty

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial: Martin Richard’s family against death penalty

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Martin Richard’s parents have called on federal authorities to drop the death penalty as a possible punishment for bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Martin William Richard, 8, was the youngest victim in the 2013Boston Marathon bombings.

Bill and Denise Richard’s son was one of three people killed in the explosions two years ago.

The Richards said an execution sentence “could bring years of appeals and prolong reliving the most painful day of our lives.”

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted last week.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Martin Richard’s parents made their plea in a front-page piece in the Boston Globe on April 17.


“We are in favor of and would support the Department of Justice in taking the death penalty off the table in exchange for the defendant spending the rest of his life in prison without any possibility of release and waiving all of his rights to appeal,” they wrote.

The Richards were injured in the attack and their daughter, Jane, lost one of her legs in one of the explosions.

“The defendant murdered our 8-year-old son, maimed our 7-year-old daughter, and stole part of our soul. We know that the government has its reasons for seeking the death penalty, but the continued pursuit of that punishment could bring years of appeals and prolong reliving the most painful day of our lives,” they said.

Throughout the piece, the Richards never mention Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by name, electing instead to refer to him as “the defendant”.

“I care deeply about their views and the views of the other victims and survivors,” US Attorney for Boston, Carmen Ortiz, said. She refused to go into specifics.

Families of other victims have expressed support for the death penalty.

The court will begin the penalty phase of the trial on April 21, one day after this year’s Boston Marathon.

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