BOSTON (AP/WPRI) — The parents of the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings are urging federal authorities to consider taking the death penalty off the table.
Bill and Denise Richard, whose 8-year-old son, Martin, was one of three people killed by the April 2013 bombings at the marathon’s finish line. The family said in a front-page piece in Friday’s Boston Globe that sentencing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death “could bring years of appeals and prolong reliving the most painful day of our lives.”
They wrote that when Tsarnaev fades from the media spotlight and public view they can start “rebuilding our lives and family.”
The Richards never mention Tsarnaev by name and stressed that they are speaking only for themselves.
Governor Charlies Baker weighed in on the issue, saying “any family that loses someone in a circumstance like that — their voice absolutely deserves to be heard and I hope the jury takes their word into consideration. My personal opinion is that Tsarnaev should receive the death penalty but I also said it’s up to the jury.”
The penalty phase of Tsarnaev’s trial starts Tuesday.
Massachusetts doesn’t have the death penalty. However, since the case is federal, capital punishment is an option.
A jury earlier this month convicted Tsarnaev of the 2013 bombings. He was captured on surveillance images placing a bomb just feet away from where Martin Richard was watching marathon runners with his family.
His sister and mother were seriously hurt in the blast, but survived.
Mayor Marty Walsh complimented the Richard Family for having the courage to speak out.
“This is their first public statement and it’s a powerful one. Bill Richard is a dad who lost his son and he’s doing what a dad is supposed to do. And I support him in that,” Mayor Walsh said.Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.