Bill and Denise Richard, parents of one child killed and one maimed in the Boston Marathon attack, have a BoGlo op-ed calling for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to receive life without parole. They specifically cite the importance of letting survivors set the narrative of the attack, not Dzhokhar, who will have the opportunity to expose some of his motivations in the sentencing phase due to start next week.
For us, 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. We can never replace what was taken from us, but we can continue to get up every morning and fight another day. 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.
Carmen Ortiz responded, citing the need to keep secrets in her explanation for why the government would still — seemingly — continue its pursuit of a death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
The attorneys in a criminal case are legally bound to keep many matters relating to the case confidential, even from the people most affected by the crimes.
I therefore cannot comment on the specifics of the statement.
A cynic might think Ortiz was unswayed by the Richards’ plea because she judges an execution will help her own career, even if polls show Massachusetts residents oppose the death penalty for Tsarnaev.
Still, I couldn’t help but wonder why she’s citing confidentiality when the next phase of the trial will presumably expose more of the details on the case the government would prefer to keep secret? What confidential reason does Ortiz — or the government more generally — have to want those details to come out?