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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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Seven-year-old Jane Richard showed off her new prosthetic leg four months after Boston Marathon tragedy.

Jane Richard, the little sister of 8-year-old Martin Richard and the youngest victim of the Boston bombings, today revealed her inspirational recovery as her family broke their silence to speak out about their loss.

Exactly four months since losing their son, Bill and Denise Richard, from Dorchester, Massachusetts, said that they still feel the agony of Martin’s death every hour of every day.

But they added that they are inspired by the bravery of little Jane Richard, who lost a leg and needed 12 surgeries after she was hit by the blast as she cheered on runners at the finish line with her family.

They released the heartwarming photograph showing Jane Richard smiling as she stands on her new leg, which she uses with the help of crutches.

When Jane Richard was discharged from hospital a few weeks ago, the family returned home for the first time since April 15; they had made a pact not to sleep there until the family could return together.

“As so many things have been, returning home without Martin certainly made that important milestone bittersweet, but we know he was with us, as he is every moment of every day,” the family said in a statement released on Thursday.

“An hour doesn’t go by that we don’t feel the agony of Martin’s death and the senseless way it came about. The pain is constant and even the sweetest moments can become heartbreaking when we are struck by the realization that <<Martin would have loved this…>>.”

“But it is not all heartbreak for our family, as we are making progress on this long, difficult and painful road forward… Jane continues to be an incredible source of inspiration – and exhaustion. The loss of her leg has not slowed her one bit, or deterred her in any way.”

They said that the brave little girl walked into the home with her crutches on her own .

While she is getting more comfortable with her prosthetic leg, she is unable to wear it all the time – but when she does “she struts around on it with great pride and a total sense of accomplishment”.

Jane Richard showed off her new prosthetic leg four months after Boston Marathon tragedy

Jane Richard showed off her new prosthetic leg four months after Boston Marathon tragedy

“Watching her dance with her new leg, which has her weight primarily on the other leg, is absolutely priceless,” the statement said.

They also provided an update of Henry, the family’s eldest child who escaped harm when the family went to cheer on marathon runners near the finish line four months ago.

The youngster has “continued to be strong, attentive and protective of all of us”, the family said, and has enjoyed a busy summer of camp trips and spending time with friends.

Both of the children will return to school in a few weeks, while their parents, Bill and Denise Richard, said they will start using that time to explore how they can honor Martin’s memory.

“Throughout all that has happened, we have worked hard to maintain our bond as a family,” they added.

“With the love and support of family and friends, including those who were total strangers just four months ago, we feel like we are succeeding.”

The parents did not mention their own recoveries; Bill Richard sustained a shrapnel wound and hearing loss, while Denise needed surgeries for a head injury, which left her missing sight in one eye.

Jane Richard is believed to have been standing on the marathon fence next to the big brother she idolized when the first of two bombs detonated near to the finish line.

Images from before the blast appear to show Bill Richard, a community organizer, holding his youngest children up on the railings as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allegedly plants his backpack bomb just behind them.

Jane Richard’s eldest brother Henry, 12, managed to escape from the bomb attack uninjured.

It isn’t clear whether any of the women in the photograph is the children’s mother, school librarian Denise Richard, who sustained head injuries and had to undergo brain surgery following the attack.

After her injuries, local reports noted that Jane Richard is an enthusiastic Irish dancer who has attended classes at the Clifden Academy of Irish Dance in Milton since the age of three.

Neighbors said Jane Richard looked up to her older brother and they both attended the Neighborhood House Charter School in Dorchester, where their mother served as the school librarian.

The bombs, described by experts as makeshift anti-personnel devices, were made from pressure cookers packed with shrapnel and ball bearings to cause the maximum injuries to bystanders.

Police believe they were planted by brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26. After their images were released by the FBI, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in an ensuing gunfight with police.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found hiding in a boat outside a home hours later and was treated in hospital for an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the neck. He remains in federal prison in Massachusetts and is charged with 30 counts, including 17 that carry the death penalty.

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The family of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in the Boston marathon bombings, has revealed the heartbreaking moment their daughter Jane awoke two weeks after the attack and learned her brother had died.

Jane Richard, 7, lost her leg in the April 15 blast, while her mother Denise, 42, suffered head injuries, her father Bill, 42, was hit by shrapnel and her brother Martin lost his life.

Only her oldest brother, 12-year-old Henry, escaped without injury.

In a statement released on Thursday, the family revealed Jane awoke two weeks after the attack “with difficult questions that needed to be answered”.

“There are not words to describe how hard sharing this heartbreaking news was on all of us,” it read.

Amid the tragedy, the family is celebrating the progress of little Jane, who has now undergone her eleventh surgery to close the wound on her left leg and to eventually prepare it for a prosthesis.

Jane Richard has battled infections in hospital and faces more surgeries after losing her leg below the knee.

“While she has more trips to the O.R. ahead of her, last night’s operation marked an important milestone,” the statement read.

The family of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in the Boston marathon bombings, has revealed the heartbreaking moment their daughter Jane awoke two weeks after the attack and learned her brother had died

The family of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in the Boston marathon bombings, has revealed the heartbreaking moment their daughter Jane awoke two weeks after the attack and learned her brother had died

“If things go well, Jane could be ready to transition to the rehabilitation stage of her recovery in the next few weeks.”

Bill Richard is recovering from his shrapnel wound and is hopeful that he will regain hearing he lost from the blast, while Denise is recovering from her surgeries, but is still missing sight in one eye.

Henry Richard has returned to school, “which gives him a needed sense of routine and normalcy”, the statement, which was uploaded to the family’s website, said.

The Richards also took the time to thank members of the public and authorities for their help throughout “our very darkest hour”.

“We want to thank the people who quickly got to Jane and addressed her injury in the street because they saved her life,” it read.

“We also salute those who stood guard over Martin’s body so he was not alone. Those officers will never know how comforting that was in our very darkest hour.”

Jane Richard is believed to have been standing on the marathon fence next to the big brother she idolized when the first of two bombs detonated near to the finish line.

Images from before the blast appear to show Bill Richard, 42, a community organizer, holding his youngest children up on the railings as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev plants his backpack bomb just behind them.

Bill Richard and his son Henry, 12, managed to escape from the bomb attack uninjured.

The bombs, described by experts as makeshift anti-personnel devices, were made from pressure cookers packed with shrapnel and ball bearings to cause the maximum injuries to bystanders.

Police believe they were planted by brothers Dzhokhar, 19, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26. After their images were released by the FBI, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in an ensuing gunfight with police.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found hiding in a boat outside a home hours later and was treated in hospital for an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the neck. He remains in federal prison in Massachusetts and is charged with using a weapon of mass destruction.

For updates from the Richard family, visit their blog.

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An amateur video has revealed how off-duty firefighter Matt Patterson came to the rescue of 7-year-old Jane Richard in the Boston Marathon terror attack which killed her 8-year-old brother Martin.

Matt Patterson wearing a red T-shirt is seen rushing to the aid of little Jane Richard, who lost a leg in the attack and remains hospitalized in a critical condition.

Jane Richard is seen sitting up and then lying in the middle of the road, moments after standing on the sidelines where she was photographed alongside her brother Martin.

The photograph reveals how Jane and Martin Richard were standing just yards from terror suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Following the bomb attack others are filmed standing around stunned but Matt Patterson leaps into action.

Just before the explosion the firefighter had been enjoying a meal with his girlfriend in a nearby restaurant.

Matt Patterson wearing a red T-shirt is seen rushing to the aid of Jane Richard, who lost a leg in the Boston Marathon attack and remains hospitalized in a critical condition

Matt Patterson wearing a red T-shirt is seen rushing to the aid of Jane Richard, who lost a leg in the Boston Marathon attack and remains hospitalized in a critical condition

“This child for some reason just jumped at me – it was tunnel vision,” Matt Patterson said.

“I could see the damage. I could see that she needed a tourniquet. She needed surgery, it was obvious from what I saw.”

“I go up to a business guy and ask for his belt, he hands it over without hesitation. I have to stop the bleeding. I am making the tourniquet and another man comes and I ask him to hold it for pressure. I’m looking up and down the street – looking for where I can bring the child to an ambulance or more care.”

Matt Patterson and the other man ran with Jane Richard to a waiting ambulance. The girl has lost a leg and remains in a critical condition in hospital but is expected to survive her injuries.

Yesterday it emerged Jane Richard is an enthusiastic Irish dancer having attended classes at the Clifden Academy of Irish Dance in Milton since the age of three.

Several Irish dance groups are now raising money to support her.

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Eight days after 8-year-old Martin Richard was killed in the Boston Marathon attack, his family still has an anxious wait for news on his little sister, Jane, who has lost a leg and remains in a critical condition, it has emerged today.

Jane Richard, 7, is believed to have been standing on the marathon fence next to the big brother she idolized when Monday’s blast took place.

Father Bill and mother Denise – who also suffered head injuries – are having to remain strong for Jane, who is fighting “multiple injuries” from the terror attack after losing a leg.

Bill and Denise Richard buried their second oldest son, Martin, in a private funeral today while Jane remains hospitalized.

“The outpouring of love and support over the last week has been tremendous. This has been the most difficult week of our lives and we appreciate that our friends and family have given us space to grieve and heal,” Bill and Denise Richard said in a statement.

“A private Funeral Mass was celebrated this morning with immediate family. We laid our son Martin to rest, and he is now at peace. We plan to have a public memorial service in the coming weeks to allow friends and loved ones from our community to join us for a celebration of Martin’s life.”

Jane Richard is an enthusiastic Irish dancer having attended classes at the Clifden Academy of Irish Dance in Milton since the age of three.

Several Irish dance groups are now raising money to support her.

Jane Richard, 7, an enthusiastic Irish dancer, is fighting “multiple injuries” from the Boston Marathon attack after losing a leg

Jane Richard, 7, an enthusiastic Irish dancer, is fighting “multiple injuries” from the Boston Marathon attack after losing a leg

“She is just a beautiful little girl. We taught her since she was a baby, pointing her little toe,” Eileen Dillon Dinn, owner of the Clifton Academy, told the Irish Voice.

“We are just in a state of shock and disbelief. The Richard family is lovely. They went to the marathon as a happy family, and then this happened. We don’t know what to say.”

Jane Richard loved to learn all the new moves at the academy, according to her teacher, and was on the sidelines at the recent Irish World Dance Championships in Boston dreaming that someday she would get the chance to compete.

“She’s a beauty, always smiling,” said Dillon Dinn.

“Jane really lives to dance.”

Jane Richard’s eldest brother Henry, 12, and father Bill managed to escape from the bomb attack uninjured.

Images from the scene appear to show Bill Richard, 42, a community organizer, holding his youngest children up on the railings as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev plants his backpack bomb just behind them.

It isn’t clear whether any of the women in the photograph is the children’s mother, school librarian Denise Richard, 43, who sustained head injuries and had to undergo brain surgery following the attack.

A spokesman for the family said he was unable to confirm the identities of those in the marathon image or provide an update for Jane Richard’s condition given she is under a privacy order.

The Children’s Hospital of Boston did not identify the 7 year-old girl they said was still in a critical condition.

However, previous reports of the injured suggest that Jane Richard is the only one of 11 or so youngsters injured in the terror attacks that fits the sparse description.

The family were watching elated runners cross the finish line on Monday.

Bill Richard is a former marathon runner himself so the young family liked to support other participants in the event, according to friends of the family.

Neighbors said Jane Richard looked up to her older brother, Martin, and they both attended the Neighborhood House Charter School in Dorchester, where their mother served as the school librarian.

Tracey Monroe, a bystander who came to Jane Richard’s aid in the moments after the blast, told WCVB.com: “I saw her laying in the street. I held her head in my hands and I tried to rub her and comfort her. I asked what her name was and she said Jane.

“She was just a baby and so badly injured and scared. But she was so incredibly brave. I saw him [Martin Richard] and at that point I knew he was gone. I’ll never forget them – that little girl, she was so brave.”

The bombs, described by experts as makeshift anti-personnel devices, were made from pressure cookers packed with shrapnel and ball bearings to cause the maximum injuries to those caught in the blast.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whose older brother and suspected accomplice Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in the manhunt to track the bombers down, has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction against persons or property.

The Boston Marathon bombing killed three and injured more than 200, 48 of whom were still in hospital today, three in a critical condition, according to Reuters.

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Bill Richard returned to his house in Dorchester, Massachusetts, looking like “a walking dead” after losing his 8-year-old son Martin, and wife Denise and 6-year-old daughter Jane were seriously injured in Boston Marathon attacks.

Martin Richard had just got ice cream with his family and had returned to the finish line with them watching runners cross the finish line when he was killed by the second of two terrifying blasts that went off 12 seconds apart at the marathon’s finish line just before 3 p.m. on Monday.

Jane Richard, 6, lost a leg in the explosion and his mother Denise is in hospital after undergoing brain surgery.

Martin Richard’s older brother, 12-year-old Henry, escaped injury while his father suffered minor shrapnel wounds to his legs.

According to the Boston Globe, Martin Richard may have cheated death after walking out to embrace his father who is an avid runner but wasn’t competing in the marathon because of an injury.

When Bill Richard walked on, Martin turned back to rejoin his mother just as the bomb exploded.

Neighbors said Bill Richard returned home still wearing hospital scrubs on Monday night, struggling to come to terms with how, in a few seconds, his family had been ripped apart.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Bill Richard said: “My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston. My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries.

“We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin.

“We also ask for your patience and for privacy as we work to simultaneously grieve and recover. Thank you.”

Martin Richard, right, pictured with his mother Denise, sister Jane, older brother Henry and father Bill

Martin Richard, right, pictured with his mother Denise, sister Jane, older brother Henry and father Bill

According to NBC News, Bill Richard told a local official that 6-year-old Jane would have also died if not for the heroic efforts of first-responders.

Jane Richard had run in a children’s race on Saturday, neighbor Beth Nagy told NBC. She had won a medal and was “all excited”.

Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts recounted what happened at the marathon after speaking to a traumatized Bill Richard.

“The kids were all up on the barrier as runners flooded in,” Stephen Lynch said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

“They were all focused forward and the blast came from the back and the side.”

“The dad is a runner, but he wasn’t running yesterday,” Stephen Lynch said.

“They were there to support some of their friends who were running.”

Bill Richard is a popular community leader in Dorchester, a Boston suburb. Martin Richard was a keen baseball player, climber and runner and was a member of Savin Hill Little League team.

Martin Richard was among at least three people killed in the bombings. Another 176 were injured with some 17 fighting for their lives. CNN reported that at least 10 victims have needed amputations.

At least nine of the wounded are thought to be children, including a 2-year-old boy who suffered a head injury.

When Bill Richard got home on Monday evening he was unable to speak or even look at his friends and neighbors who were gathered because he was so upset at the death of his son.

He came home for around 10 minutes at 10.30 p.m. to get some clothes.

Bill Richard is on the St Marks Area Main St Group, a local traders association, and his wife Denise is on the neighborhood watch board. The family is well known in the community and attends a nearby church.

Denise Richard also works at the local Neighborhood House Charter School, where Martin and Jane attended. The school’s flag flew at half-mast on Tuesday.

In a statement, the school described Martin Richard as “a bright, energetic” boy who had “big dreams” for his future.

“The Neighborhood House Charter School is mourning today the loss of our beloved student Martin Richard, during the tragic events at the Boston Marathon yesterday,” the statement read.

“He was a bright, energetic young boy who had big dreams and high hopes for his future. We are heartbroken by this loss.

“We are also praying for his mother Denise, our school librarian and sister Jane, another Neighborhood House Charter student, who were seriously injured yesterday. Our thoughts are with his father Bill Richard… and older brother Henry. They are a wonderful family and represent the very best this city has to offer.”

Martin Richard was a former student at the nearby Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy.

In a statement today, the school said: “The Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy community is offering its every prayer for the Richard family during this heartbreaking time. Martin was a former student of the Academy and was a kind, caring, and loving young boy who had great excitement for learning. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy.”

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Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy from Dorchester, Massachusetts, waiting at the finish line to give his father a hug, was among three people killed and more than 152 injured when two explosions rocked the Boston Marathon in the worst terrorist atrocity since 9/11.

Martin Richard died after the first of two bombs hidden in trash cans were detonated within 12 seconds of each other during the Patriots’ Day bank holiday yesterday.

Seventeen of the injured are in a critical condition and CNN reported that at least 10 victims have needed amputations. At least 8 of the wounded are thought to be children, including a 2-year-old boy who suffered a head injury.

Another was 11-year-old Aaron Hern, of Martinez, California, who was hit by flying shrapnel in his thigh as he waited for his mother to cross the finish line. He is being treated at Boston Children’s Hospital and is expected to undergo further surgeries.

Martin Richard may very nearly have cheated death after walking out to embrace his father Bill Richard as he went to cross Boston Marathon finishing line

Martin Richard may very nearly have cheated death after walking out to embrace his father Bill Richard as he went to cross Boston Marathon finishing line

Investigators do not know of a motive for the bombers, nor do they have a specific suspect. But last night detectives raided a Boston home after a man, said to be of Saudi origin, was arrested at the scene for acting suspiciously and taken to hospital, where he was treated for burns and shrapnel wounds.

The Boston Globe has reported that Martin Richard may very nearly have cheated death after walking out to embrace his father Bill Richard as he went to cross the finishing line.

But when Bill Richard walked on, Martin turned back to rejoin his mother and two of his siblings just as the first bomb exploded.

Martin Richard’s 6-year-old sister, Jane, lost a leg in the blast and his mother, Denise, is in hospital after undergoing brain surgery. His older brother, Henry, 12, believed to be in the 5th grade, escaped injury.

Martin Richard, right, pictured with his mother Denise, sister Jane, older brother Henry and father Bill

Martin Richard, right, pictured with his mother Denise, sister Jane, older brother Henry and father Bill

According to 7News, a candle was lit outside the family home and the word “Peace” written on the pavement.

Bill Richard is understood to be a popular community leader in the Boston suburb.

Martin Richard was a keen baseball player, climber and runner and was a member of Savin Hill Little League team.

On Twitter, Maeve O Brien called him “the sweetest little boy I’ve ever met”.

As the FBI took over the investigation, authorities shared no information about a motive or who may have carried out Boston Marathon bombings, and police said they did not have any suspects in custody.

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Martin Richard, an 8-year-old boy waiting at the Boston Marathon finish line to give his father a hug, was among three people killed and more than 144 injured in the two explosions.

Martin Richard was standing with his mother and sister, who both suffered horrific injuries when bombs hidden in rubbish bins exploded within seconds of each other during the Patriots’ Day bank holiday.

Boston police closed off the city as a “danger zone” as witnesses described the “unspeakable horror” of body parts flying through the air and shoes that “still had flesh in them”.

At least 17 of the injured people are in a critical condition and it is thought as many as 30 victims may have needed amputations or major corrective surgery on maimed limbs.

Today, the US remained on full alert after the worst terrorist outrage since the World Trade Centre towers were destroyed by hijacked jets on September 11, 2001.

President Barack Obama vowed to hunt down the culprits and “hold them accountable”.

Martin Richard, 8, was waiting at the Boston Marathon finish line to give his father a hug

Martin Richard, 8, was waiting at the Boston Marathon finish line to give his father a hug

In the UK, Scotland Yard confirmed security arrangements were being reviewed ahead of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral on April 17 and London Marathon on April 21.

Video footage showed an explosion going off in the heart of the crowd that had lined the streets of the Massachusetts city yesterday to watch the famous sporting event.

After the blasts, two more suspicious devices were found in the city’s Mandarin Oriental and Lenox hotels. Both were evacuated and the suspected bombs dismantled.

According to the Boston Globe, Martin Richard, from Dorchester, Massachusetts, may very nearly have cheated death after walking out to embrace his father Bill Richard as he went to cross the finishing line.

When his walked on, Martin Richard turned back to rejoin his mother and two of his siblings just as the first bomb exploded. Reports suggest his mother was seriously injured and his sister’s leg was blown off.

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Martin Richard, 8, from Dorchester, Massachusetts, is one of the victims who died in Monday’s Boston Marathon explosion.

Martin Richard was killed as he was standing in line waiting to give his marathon running father a hug.

Losing his life as two explosions tore through the crowd at the finishing post of the Boston Marathon, Martin Richard was at the race to support his dad Bill Martin, along with his mother Denise Richard and two siblings.

Eight-year –old Martin Richard from Dorchester, Massachusetts, is one of the victims who died in Monday’s Boston Marathon explosion

Eight-year –old Martin Richard from Dorchester, Massachusetts, is one of the victims who died in Monday’s Boston Marathon explosion

Friends held a vigil on Monday night at the neighborhood Tavolo Restaurant in Dorchester for Martin Richard and his mother and sister, who suffered “grievous” injuries in the bombing on Monday afternoon.

According to the Boston Globe, Martin Richard had walked out to hug his father as he went to cross the finishing line.

Afterwards, his father walked on but the little boy went back to rejoin his mom and siblings – at which point the first bomb went off.

Reports suggest that Martin Richard’s mother was terribly injured and his sister’s leg was blown off in the devastating explosion.