Parents Of Boston Bombing Victim Ask Government To Not Pursue Death Penalty Against Dzokhar Tsarnaev

In an open letter in the Boston Globe today, Bill and Denise Richards, parents of eight-year old Martin Richard (above), who was killed in the Boston Marathon bombing two years ago, requested that the government not seek the death penalty against bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev, who was recently convicted on all 30 counts he was charged with.

For the Richards, the request for preserving Tsarnaev’s life isn’t out of a liberal view on sentencing, but rather to bring what would otherwise turn into a lengthy appeal process to an immediate close, allowing the family to move on. They wrote:

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. We hope our two remaining children do not have to grow up with the lingering, painful reminder of what the defendant took from them, which years of appeals would undoubtedly bring.


As long as the defendant is in the spotlight, we have no choice but to live a story told on his terms, not ours. The minute the defendant fades from our newspapers and TV screens is the minute we begin the process of rebuilding our lives and our family.

The Richards family made clear in their letter that the conditions under which they’d support the Department of Justice waiving the death penalty for Tsarnaev would include life without any possibility of parole, and his rights waived entirely to any future appeals. The second portion of Tsarnaev’s trial will begin next week, to determine what his sentence should be.

[Boston Globe]