Gov. Baker, Mayor Walsh talk to 22News about sentencing for Tsarnaev

Richard family had asked that death penalty not be considered

BOSTON (WWLP) – There is a definite sense of excitement throughout the city of Boston in advance of Marathon Monday. City residents and visitors wearing Boston Marathon jackets in this year’s colors and those of years past have been moving about the streets of the city throughout the day Friday. Athletes are wearing their pride to participate in this international event.

But aside from that really fun energy throughout the streets and messages in storefronts, there are also noticeable signs of the tragedy that happened two years ago.

A simple memorial sits at the finish line. It reads “We will never forget them. God bless Sean, Krystle, Lu Lingzi and Martin.”  There are symbols of hope and healing: bright yellow daffodils in blue “Boston Strong” pots that line Boylston Street.

Of course, one of the most painful reminders of the past is the ongoing trial. Phase two, the penalty phase for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev begins Tuesday. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh told 22News that he understands why some victims hope for a prison sentence, as the appeals process with the death penalty could drag this tragedy on for years.

“I watched a lot of people come back to the finish line and stand out there, which was difficult for them to do. Now to relive it through the trial, I’m sure they want this piece behind them so they can truly move on with their lives,” Walsh said.

The parents of Martin Richard wrote a piece in Friday morning’s Boston Globe asking that prosecutors end consideration of the death penalty, saying that the appeals process would prolong their pain. Governor Charlie Baker told 22News that he personally has favored the death penalty in the case, but he knows it’s not up to him.

“My personal opinion is I felt Tsarnaev should receive the death penalty, but I also said I thought it was up to the jury. The Richard family, the victims’ families, their opinions on this are a lot more important than mine,” Baker said.

The Richards wrote “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.”

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