ALTHOUGH a jury took very little time both to find Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty and to decide he should get the death penalty, it is likely to be many years before he is executed - as lawyers embark on a series of appeals.
Last month, Tsarnaev was convicted of 17 capital charges and was sentenced to death for six counts. He was found responsible of the deaths of Krystle Campbell, Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu and Sean Collier. The jury took more than 14 hours to reach the sentence.
Some of the families of those killed or injured hoped Tsarnaev would receive a life sentence so they would never hear his name in the media again with an upcoming appeals that could take years to play out, as the case is automatically appealed to a higher court.
The Justice Department is currently reviewing all execution procedures following the botched state execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma in 2014.
The federal government has executed three of 80 federal inmates since the federal death penalty was reinstated in 1988 none since 2003. Among those who are still on death row are Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber; and Jared Loughner, who killed six people while attempting to assassinate Representative Gabrielle Giffords. The cases have been tied up with appeals or defendants have died or committed suicide, the New York Times reported. There are currently 61 people currently on federal death row.
Bill and Denise Richard lost their 8-year-old son Martin during the bombings. The couple wrote a front page opinion column in the Boston Globe advocating that the DOJ take the death penalty off the table in exchange life in prison while waiving Tsarnaev's rights to appeal.
"We know that the government has its reasons for seeking the death penalty, but the continued pursuit of that punishment could bring years of appeals and prolong reliving the most painful day of our lives," the couple wrote. "We hope our two remaining children do not have to grow up with the lingering, painful reminder of what the defendant took from them, which years of appeals would undoubtedly bring."
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