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Victims of Boston bomber appeal
17 Apr 2015 22:10
The parents of an eight-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bomb attacks have asked prosecutors to take the death penalty off the table for convicted bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in a letter published today.
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Bill and Denise Richard said instead they want to see Tsarnaev, 21, sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.
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A jury unanimously convicted Tsarnaev of carrying out the worst attack in the United States since the 9/11 hijackings and is set to deliver his sentence Tuesday.
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The Muslim immigrant of Chechen descent, who became a US citizen in 2012, faces either life in prison or the death penalty for the April 15, 2013 attack.
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But the parents of Martin Richard appealed to the Justice Department not to seek capital punishment.
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"To end the anguish, drop the death penalty," the Richards wrote in an emotional letter published in the Boston Globe.
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They referred to the misery the attack caused their family, including injuring their daughter whose leg was amputated after the bombings.
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"The defendant murdered our eight-year-old son, maimed our seven-year-old daughter, and stole part of our soul," the parents wrote.
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"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."
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They also asked that Tsarnaev waive his right to appeal so they can try to move on.
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"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."
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