Victim's Family Asks Govt to Let Tsarnaev Have Life Sentence

The family of Martin Richards, the youngest victim killed in the Boston Marathon bombings, has written a public request asking the Government to withdraw its request for the death penalty.

"We understand all too well the heinousness and brutality of the crimes committed. We were there. We lived it.... "The defendant murdered our 8-year-old son, maimed our 7-year-old daughter, and stole part of our soul. 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 Richards want Tsarnaev to accept a sentence of life without parole and waive his right to future appeals.

AUSA Carmen Ortiz responded with a non-answer.

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    I wish more of the victims and the country (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 17, 2015 at 01:16:46 PM EST
    at large had such an insightful approach - the merits of the death penalty aside, what is really going to minimize the further pain the families and victims suffer?

    Heartbreaking letter.

    It's not a non-answer (none / 0) (#1)
    by CoralGables on Fri Apr 17, 2015 at 01:11:54 PM EST
    Just not the answer you or I might prefer. There are other victims and victim's families from that day who prefer the death penalty stay on the table. And still others that have spoken with the prosecution but have not made their opinion on the topic public.

    I do applaud the Richard family on their letter which received top billing in the Boston Globe.

    whatever else you want to say (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by CST on Fri Apr 17, 2015 at 01:20:16 PM EST
    The globe clearly has an opinion on the subject.

    Support for the death penalty in this case is now 30% in "greater Boston" and 26% in Boston proper.


    And it's only dropped since the trial started.

    The sister of the cop killed has also voiced her opposition to the death penalty.  FWIW.


    Carmen Ortiz needs a kill (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Fri Apr 17, 2015 at 02:54:59 PM EST
    Her career plans require it.

    So she's going to push ahead with the death penalty regardless.

    What is the $tory? (none / 0) (#5)
    by RickyJim on Fri Apr 17, 2015 at 05:18:16 PM EST
    If the government agrees to a life sentence now, how much money would the government have thrown away by failing to agree to a plea bargain ahead of time?  How much will a penalty phase cost?  Are there any good figures on how much does it cost to incarcerate somebody for life versus the cost of all the appeals in case we have a DP?

    I wonder how much (none / 0) (#6)
    by itscookin on Fri Apr 17, 2015 at 05:34:04 PM EST
    maneuvering it took to have the sentencing phase of the trial start the day after the marathon?

    No maneuvering at all (none / 0) (#7)
    by CoralGables on Fri Apr 17, 2015 at 05:42:10 PM EST
    unless you see a judge saying, "we'll start a week from Tuesday" instead of next Tuesday as maneuvering.

    he didn't want a plea bargain (none / 0) (#8)
    by thomas rogan on Fri Apr 17, 2015 at 07:09:19 PM EST
    If he took a plea to LWOP, people would still think him a monster.  By letting this trial happen, his image is rehabilitated and even if he gets LWOP some soft hearted sorts will want this nice boy to get a pardon or clemency after about twenty years of good behavior.  That wouldn't happen if he didn't get to tell his story to the world in a trial.
    And I bet that now that he is known to the world as a poor innocent he will get softer prisons.
    His lawyer is no dummy, as is said here.

    I wonder if you're right (none / 0) (#13)
    by TycheSD on Sat Apr 18, 2015 at 07:48:18 PM EST
    The accepted wisdom is that Ortiz/the government refused to accept a plea deal.

    Isn't she the U.S.A. whose minions hounded (none / 0) (#14)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Apr 18, 2015 at 08:36:49 PM EST
    Aaron Schwartz to suicide?

    Every Wehrmacht needs its Witchfinder General, I suppose.


    I admire the parents (none / 0) (#9)
    by christinep on Fri Apr 17, 2015 at 07:25:10 PM EST
    so very much. Mere words cannot convey my respect and love for people who have moved with the unfathomable pain visited upon their family by this defendant and who have prevailed in their humanity.

    I respect the family, too, (none / 0) (#10)
    by itscookin on Fri Apr 17, 2015 at 08:00:59 PM EST
    but if you read what they wrote, it's not about showing mercy for the defendant. It's about putting him away out of the limelight as quickly as possible and throwing away the key. Part of the deal they want him to make is that in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table, he gives up his right to appeal.

    Less flummery, please, Christine. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Apr 17, 2015 at 10:20:26 PM EST
    The way I read their letter, they want the trial over so they don't have to fixate on it anymore.  Their lives have been ruined and they can't heal, to whatever pitiable degree is possible, until "Danny's" trial, appeals, and whatever else his attorney can dream up, have run their course.

    They want "Danny" thrown into a hole from which not even the voice of his attorney can escape.


    I hear you, BUT... (none / 0) (#12)
    by christinep on Sat Apr 18, 2015 at 01:07:43 PM EST
    Whatever reason or compilation of personal feelings (anguishing or something else) may have caused their rejection of the death penalty, it all comes down to rejecting execution as a solution.  From narratives and stories from other horrors told by surviving victims over the years, many walking victims could not get to the point of rejecting the primitive revenge or bloodlust response that blares something like an eye-for-an-eye.  That is why I consider their personal journey and public response to be laudatory.

    "It all comes down to..." (none / 0) (#15)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Apr 19, 2015 at 10:55:28 AM EST
    That's your interpretation.

    In the old days, when justice or an approximation of justice was swift, the execution of a murderer arrived quickly.  A victim's family could move on.

    That's no longer true.  Boston's aggrieved families will watch the spectacle drag on for decades.  Timothy McVeigh's relatively swift demise was an exception.


    Victim's rights as codified by Clinton (none / 0) (#16)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Apr 19, 2015 at 11:00:58 AM EST
    In response to the trials of the conspirators being moved out-of-state, the Victim Allocution Clarification Act of 1997 was signed on March 20, 1997 by President Clinton to allow the victims of the bombing (and the victims of any other future acts of violence) the right to observe trials and to offer impact testimony in sentencing hearings. In response to passing the legislation, Clinton stated that "when someone is a victim, he or she should be at the center of the criminal justice process, not on the outside looking in."

    i.e., just another "free speech zone" to Carmen Ortiz.