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(NECN) - Massachusetts does not have a death penalty and the decision by the federal government to pursue capital punishment in the case of the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect is re-igniting the debate over the punishment.
We were joined by representatives on both sides of the issue.
Renny Cushing is from the organization “Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights” and is opposed to the death penalty.
Shaunna O'Connell, state representative from the third Bristol district is in favor of the death penalty,
Cushing said, “The death penalty doesn’t do the one thing we all want, and that’s to bring back the loved one and restore the limbs of those who were hurt in this tragedy.”
He said that justice can be sought without the death penalty.
O’Connell said it isn’t a matter of wanting to bring back the victims, but is a matter of sending a message that will be no toleration for someone who sets out to kill as many Americans as possible.
She said that a thoughtful jury will be sought out.
She said, “People, when they attack us, we have got to send a message that we are not going to tolerate that.”
O’Connell said Tsarnaev had all the rights and freedoms Americans enjoyed and still chose to kill people.
Cushing said that he believes the trial will be fair, but it will be a challenge to put together the jury.