Victims of the Boston Marathon bombings were finally handed a semblance of closure after convicted killed Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was handed the death sentence under federal law by a jury.
Tsarnaev was handed the death penalty, to be carried out via lethal injection, after a jury deliberated for only 14 hours, and after the sentence was handed down, victims of the families reacted with relief and mixed feelings – and those who had publically opposed the death penalty, like the parents of eight year old victim Martin Richard, left court without speaking to the press.
The Richard family wrote a front paged column in the Boston Globe and claimed:
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.
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.
Firefighter Michael Ward, who was one of the first on the scene to treat the victims on April 15th, 2013, spoke after the verdict and was uncompromising in his views, claiming that justice had been served.
Michael, who was off-duty at the time of the attacks but was on the scene, said:
He’s going to go to hell. That’s where he wanted to go,
I remember when those bombs went off and I remember the vile, disgusting thing that this person did,
This is a matter of justice. No one’s here celebrating. If you ask 10 people you’ll get 10 different opinions,
But ultimately, justice has prevailed today… He wanted to go to hell and he’s going to get there early.
Tsarnaev was sentenced under federal law after the state of Massachusetts outlawed capital punishment in 1947, and despite opinion polls suggesting that a life sentence was favoured for the man who killed three people and injured 260 others, the jury disagreed.
Liz Norden, who saw both her sons lose a leg in the bombings, claimed she would be there ‘every step of the way’ if afforded the chance to watch Tsarnaev die, and said she felt her kids finally had some justice.
No matter what the sentence, it cannot undo the devastating consequences of that day, but at least now, the families have some closure, until, as the Richard family fear, the numerous appeals start.