Bill and Denise Richard lost their 8-year-old son from the blast of the Boston Marathon bombing, but they still believe Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death penalty should not be an option.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, two of the Richard children were victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. Their 7-year-old daughter was maimed in the attack, but her injuries were not fatal. Their son, Martin Richard, did not survive the blast.
Already, experts are saying that if Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death penalty is handed down, it could take years before any execution takes place. In the meantime, there would likely be many legal appeals where family members affected by the Boston bombing would be reminded of the loss of their loves ones. Although they are still in the process of mourning, Bill and Denise Richard explained they simply want to “end the anguish, and look toward a better future” instead of yearning for Tsarnaev’s death.
“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,” the couple wrote for an articled published in the Boston Globe.
“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.”
Jennifer Lemmerman, whose brother was a police officer killed by the Tsarnaev brothers, said on social media that she was against the death penalty just like Bill and Denise Richard.
“Whenever someone speaks out against the death penalty, they are challenged to imagine how they would feel if someone they love were killed. I’ve been given that horrible perspective and I can say that my position has only strengthened,” she wrote on her Facebook account.
Former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan notes that the positions of people like Lawrence and Bill and Denise Richard will likely hold sway with the jury during the penalty phase of the trial. According to CBS, former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis says he is in favor of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death penalty, but the Richard family is giving him second thoughts.
“I think ultimately it should be the jury’s responsibility, but I think this is a moving situation that again the Richard family is looking out for the best interest of their children, and that’s a compelling argument.”
What do you think about Bill and Denise Richard’s argument? Do you think Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should receive the death penalty?
[Image via CBS/Richard Family Blog]