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.