The announcement by federal prosecutors that they will seek the death penalty against the man accused in the Boston Marathon bombing came as no surprise to people who lost limbs or suffered other injuries in last year’s attack.
But the victims and their families expressed a range of emotions about the decision Thursday to seek the execution of a 20-year-old former student prosecutors accuse of committing one of the worst terror attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2011.
“It shows people that if you are going to terrorize our country, you are going to pay with your life,” said Marc Fucarile, of Stoneham, who lost his right leg above the knee and suffered other severe injuries in the bombing.
But the grandmother of a 29-year-old woman killed in the attack said she isn’t sure she supports the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, yet she fears that prison wouldn’t be enough punishment for him.
“I don’t know, because it’s not going to bring her back,” said Lillian Campbell, grandmother of Krystle Campbell. “I don’t even like to discuss it because it makes me so upset. She was my granddaughter and I miss her so much.”
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision, announced Thursday, was widely expected. The twin blasts last April killed three people and wounded more than 260. Over half the 30 federal charges against Tsarnaev carry a possible death sentence, including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill.
In a notice filed in court, federal prosecutors in Boston accused Tsarnaev, who moved to the U.S. from Russia about a decade ago, of betraying his adopted country by planning and carrying out a terrorist attack without remorse.
“Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received asylum from the United States; obtained citizenship and enjoyed the freedoms of a United States citizen; and then betrayed his allegiance to the United States by killing and maiming people in the United States,” read the notice filed by U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz.
Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty. No trial date has been set.
In the notice, prosecutors listed factors they contend justify a sentence of death against Tsarnaev.
They cited allegations that he killed an MIT police officer as well as an 8-year-old boy, a “particularly vulnerable” victim because of his age. They also cited his alleged decision to target the Boston Marathon, “an iconic event that draws large crowds of men, women and children to its final stretch, making it especially susceptible to the act and effects of terrorism.”
Tsarnaev’s lawyers had no immediate comment.
In an interview with ABC, Tsarnaev’s mother, Zubeidat, who continued…