Survivor couple joins Richards in opposing death penalty

Boston Marathon bombing survivors Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes have joined Bill and Denise Richard in calling on the Justice Department to drop its quest for the death penalty. Kensky and Downes were newlyweds who each lost their left legs in the attack; Kensky later lost her right leg as well. They write:

In our darkest moments and deepest sadness, we think of inflicting the same types of harm on him. We wish that he could feel the searing pain and terror that four beautiful souls felt before their death, as well as the harsh reality of discovering mutilated or missing legs. If there is anyone who deserves the ultimate punishment, it is the defendant. However, we must overcome the impulse for vengeance.

In January, the couple was the subject of an in-depth story by The Boston Globe’s Eric Moskowitz on Kensky’s decision to have her badly damaged right leg amputated. I find it meaningful that neither the Richards nor Kensky and Downes indulge in any dubious reasoning that life in prison would somehow be “worse” for the bomber. They just want it over. Who is anyone else to judge?

A magnificent gesture by a family that has lost much

Martin Richard
Martin Richard

In case you haven’t seen it yet, Bill and Denise Richard have written a magnificent essay for The Boston Globe asking that the government drop its quest to execute the Boston Marathon bomber. (In deference to the Richards’ decision not to name the bomber, I won’t either.)

“For us,” they write, “the story of Marathon Monday 2013 should not be defined by the actions or beliefs of the defendant, but by the resiliency of the human spirit and the rallying cries of this great city.”

This is #bostonstrong.