BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts officials have been giving their reactions to a ruling by a U.S. Appeals Court to vacate the death sentence for the Boston Marathon bomber.
The panel of judges in Boston issued the decision on Friday, about six months after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyers had argued that the intensity of the media coverage at the time had made a fair trial impossible.
In 2015, Tsarnaev was convicted of 30 charges in connection with the attacks at the Boston Marathon, which killed three people and injured more than 250 others.
Mayor Marty Walsh said the community of Boston will never forget the tragic events of April 15, 2013.
"Precious souls were lost, and countless lives were changed forever. Since the first trial, we have always known that the perpetrator of that horrific violence would never leave the four corners of a prison cell," said Walsh.
"I have always supported the judicial process, and regardless of the ultimate outcome in this case, my focus will always be on supporting the families, the survivors, and all the people of our great city," Walsh continued. "Nothing will ever replace what we lost in 2013. But with each new day, the Boston community continues to find new strength and healing in one another. That’s something that no one can ever take from us."
Senator Ed Markey said his heart was with the families and loved ones of those who died in the attack; Krystle Campbell, Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu, and Officer Sean Collier; and the hundreds of survivors.
"Their strength, optimism, and resilience was a beacon for all of us as both bodies and spirits healed in the weeks, months, and years after the attack," said Markey in a statement. "Today, as news of a new penalty trial breaks, I return to the words of the Richard family who spoke so powerfully about how we can and must move forward:
‘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…
'As long as the defendant is in the spotlight, we have no choice but to live a story told on his terms, not ours. 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.’
"Let the defendant remain forever behind bars with no possibility of parole so that all those who suffered loss that day don’t have to once again hear his name, see his face in the news, or be forced to relive that heinous day," Markey added.
"The Boston Marathon bombing was an act of terrorism that devastated families and residents across the Commonwealth and beyond," tweeted Gov. Charlie Baker. "Victims and their families deserve justice and I hope this case is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Retired Officer Dic Donohue, who was injured in a shootout with one of the Marathon bombers, said he was not surprised about the reversal of Tsarnaev's death sentence.
"I’ve been expecting this since the trial and the initial appeal," he said. "And in any case, [Tsarnaev] won’t be getting out, and hasn’t been able to harm anyone since he was captured... I guess the only surprising part is that it is in 2020."
(Photo: Getty Images)