the parents of the youngest victim against the death penalty

Will Bill and Denise Richards’ heartbreaking appeal have an impact on the court ruling? In a letter published in the American daily The Boston Globe, the parents of the youngest victim of the Boston attacks ask prosecutors “to abandon the death penalty” that they demand against the accused, Djokhar Tsarnaeïv.

This Chechen-born Muslim faces capital punishment for the attacks that left 3 dead and 264 injured on April 15, 2013, when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the city’s marathon. He was already convicted on April 8 of the thirty charges brought against him. He is also found guilty of fatally injuring a policeman during the manhunt during which his older brother and accomplice Tamerlan Tsarnayev was killed.

“As long as the accused is in the spotlight, we have no choice but to relive the story on his own terms.

Martin Richard’s parents

In their letter, the parents of Martin Richard, killed at the age of eight, explain that the last two years have been the most “trying of their life”. “Our family mourned, buried our young son, fought wounds and endured numerous surgeries – all while trying to rebuild lives that will never be the same again,” they say. During the first phase of the trial, the father had to say that he saw immediately that Martin could not be saved, and had chosen to go to the hospital with his sister Jane, who was also injured on strike. She was saved, but one leg amputated.

Bill and Denise Martin say they are in favor of an agreement that would see Djokhar Tsarnayev, 21, end his days in prison, without the possibility of release, if he waives all his rights to appeal. “The accused murdered our 8 year old son, mutilated our 7 year old daughter, and stole part of our soul. We know the government has its reasons for asking for the death penalty, but the continuation of this punishment could lead to years of appeals, and prolong reliving the most painful day of our lives. We hope that our two other children will not have to grow up haunted by the reminder of what the accused took from them, which will undoubtedly be the case if there are years of appeal, ”they write. , before adding: “As long as the accused is in the spotlight, we have no choice but to relive the story on his own terms, not ours”.

Other relatives of victims call for capital punishment

Federal prosecutor Carmen Ortiz reacted to this letter by indicating that she could not comment on its contents. “But I’ve already assured both Bill and Denise, I care deeply about their perspective and that of other victims and survivors,” she said in a statement. However, other parents of victims have spoken out for the death penalty, such as Liz Norden, mother of two boys who lost their legs in the explosions.

Theoretically, the death penalty has not existed since 1984 in the state of Massachusetts, of which Boston is the capital. But as it is an “act of terrorism with the use of a weapon of mass destruction”, the Tsarnayev case falls under federal justice. The second phase of the trial, during which the jurors will have to choose between the death penalty and life imprisonment, is to start next Tuesday and last at least four weeks. Normally, Bill and Denise Martin’s letter should not influence jurors, as they are prohibited from reading articles related to the case. They have even been asked not to attend the Boston Marathon which takes place on Monday.

(With AFP)


the hostage who neutralized the terrorists

He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thursday, April 18, around 11 p.m., on Brighton Avenue in Boston, Danny, a young entrepreneur of Chinese origin aged 26, had just put his brand new black Mercedes 4 × 4 along the roadway to respond to a text.

He suddenly finds himself, gun to his head, forced to let up the Tsarnayev brothers, authors of the Boston bombing, who have just coldly killed a policeman not far from there, in Cambridge.

The incredible composure of this unlucky motorist, reported on Friday by the Boston Globe – and who asked to be cited by his American nickname – alone made the savage team of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnayev abort, saving many lives .

When the two men invite themselves into Danny’s car, the assassination of Officer Sean Collier turns their plans upside down. Listening, Danny hears his captors conversing in an unfamiliar language, but grabs the word “Manhattan”.

Do you know about the Boston bombing? It’s me who did it.

“Where are we going?” He asks shortly after. “New York,” replies Tamerlan, who loads mysterious packages with his brother in the trunk. Suitcases, Danny thinks. They are in fact several homemade bombs, the model of those set off on Boylston Street the previous Monday.

“Don’t do anything stupid,” Tamerlan said intimately. Do you know about the marathon attack? It’s me who did it. And I just killed a policeman in Cambridge. ”

The next ninety minutes, writes Eric Moskowitz in the Globe, “resembles a Quentin Tarantino film” and its burlesque dialogues between disoriented killers.

Danny, who wonders how he is going to be able to get out of this situation alive, talks to his captor about the comparative virtues of cars, cellphones and girls, as he drives west, a gun resting on his head, followed by Djokhar in a second stolen car.

Until Tamerlan discovers the vehicle has run out of gas. If they want to reach New York without delay, they must refuel as soon as possible. Here is a Shell station on Memorial Drive in Cambridge. Djokhar leaves to pay in cash, while Tamerlan, visibly tired, relaxes his attention, handling the fuel pump in one hand, a GPS in the other, his revolver stored in the storage compartment.

I am not a hero

“I don’t want to die,” the young hostage, from central China and freshly graduated from Northeastern University, recalls. I still have too many dreams to fulfill. ”

In a flash, he ejects from the vehicle, slaloms between the fuel pumps and disappears into the darkness, pursued by Tamerlan’s curses. Who surely measures the gravity of this moment of inattention.

Danny reaches a second gas station across the street and dials the police emergency number, 911. His phone, left in the cabin, will be used to track the two fugitives, soon cornered in Watertown. Where Tamerlan is to be killed, run over by his younger brother trying to escape … with Danny’s 4 × 4. A week later, the discreet hero of those dramatic hours fears that his real name will appear in broad daylight, when he will have to testify under oath. “I am not a hero,” he confesses. I just wanted to get out alive. ”

Dzhokhar Tsarnayev was deemed sufficiently “transportable” Friday to be moved from Beth Israel Hospital in Boston to the federal high security prison at Fort Devens, sixty kilometers from the city.


Rick DesLauriers, the Boston sleuth

As discreet as he was effective, the boss of the FBI in Massachusetts oversaw the hunt for the Tsarnayev brothers.

By Maurin Picard

Rick DesLauriers gives a press conference on Friday after the arrest of one of the Tsarnayev brothers, suspected in the deadly Boston attacks.
Rick DesLauriers gives a press conference on Friday after the arrest of one of the Tsarnayev brothers, suspected in the deadly Boston attacks. STAN HONDA / AFP

He is the great, very discreet man of this manhunt with an unexpected outcome. Less solar than Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, less stocky than impressive State Police Hercules Timothy Alben, Special Agent Rick DesLauriers led the hunt for the two Chechen brothers with an iron fist, while Boston was sinking into psychosis. Wearing the gray or blue suit-jacket of an official like a second skin, the somewhat frail boss of the FBI in Massachusetts has become a public figure, at the turn of two martial sentences: “It is now a global investigation, assures t he in front of a forest of cameras. We will find those who did this and we will go to the ends of the earth if we have to. ”

The quiet determination, the firmness behind the smile let exude a reassuring professionalism in this 53-year-old man born in Longmeadow (Massachusetts) and raised in a Catholic environment. No lost gaze or ill-contained anger:

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