As we enter the next phase of the Boston Marathon bombings trial, the defendant’s objective on April 15, 2013, and our objective in deciding his punishment should not be one and the same.
On that April day, we suffered the loss of limbs but not life. For this reason, we will always support those whose loved ones are with us only in spirit. The defendant’s actions nonetheless caused us severe pain and suffering, changing our lives forever. 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.
Our opposition to the death penalty is both intensely emotional and profoundly practical. During the past two years, our beliefs have been challenged and our opinions have been as fluid as our emotions. After much thought and debate, we believe that the best outcome would involve two things: 1) Guaranteeing that the defendant will not be able to hurt anyone else, ever again. 2) Assuring that he disappears from our collective consciousness as soon as possible.
Under our current justice system, we believe that the best way to move forward and achieve our goals is a life sentence in prison without the opportunity for parole or appeals. It is time for us to invest our energy and resources in the future instead of in the past. We recognize that our desire for life imprisonment supports the best interest of the two of us and our family. We hope you can understand and respect our position, and in return promise to continue to listen thoughtfully to opposing views as this public discourse continues.
Jessica Kensky & Patrick Downes