Few know the devastation of the Boston Marathon bombings better than Bill and Denise Richard—their 8-year-old son, Martin, was killed and their daughter, Jane, lost a leg. In the Boston Globe today, however, the Richards make a plea that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev be spared the death penalty. The Richards ask the Justice Department to take capital punishment off the table and instead imprison him for life without parole, arguing that a death sentence will lead to years of appeals. And if that happens, they have to keep reliving the day of the marathon.
"We understand all too well the heinousness and brutality of the crimes committed," they write. "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." But if Tsarnaev's case remains open, they can't possibly ignore it. "The minute the defendant fades from our newspapers and TV screens is the minute we begin the process of rebuilding our lives and our family." Click for their full essay.