The death sentence handed down Friday to Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev drew a mixed reaction from Tri-City runners who were there two years ago.
Doug Brown, 63, was near the finish line, preparing to pick up his bags when the bombs went off.
“Clearly he was a willing participant (in the bombing), and I couldn’t wait for (the trial) to be over,” said Brown.
The Kennewick man didn’t follow the trial closely, saying he “didn’t have the stomach to read the details.” But he supports the unanimous jury decision to sentence Tsarnaev to death.
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He acknowledged it likely will be years before the sentence is carried out, given the predictable, expensive appeals that will come. And he recognized the death penalty debate but “if we should have it for anybody, it should be for him.”
“I had wondered if this would kill the marathon,” said Brown. “But Boston is bigger than ever.”
Richland resident Maron Wang, 68, was with Brown at the time of the explosion. She saw people rushed from the scene in wheelchairs, their legs struck by the nails that were packed inside the pressure cooker bombs.
Wang declined to share her thoughts on the death penalty. She just hoped that others would be discouraged from doing something so terrible in the future and that nothing like the bombing ever happens again.
“I’m just glad its going to be out of the picture,” she said.
Judy Bell, 68, of Richland, also was in the marathon that day. Though she generally opposes the death penalty, she said she trusts the jury made the right decision.
“It would be hard for me to be on a jury and make that decision,” Bell said. “I’m just relieved this chapter is completed now.”