Monday 11 December 2017

Killing Tsarnaev would just make him a martyr, says Irish runner

An Irish runner who was lucky to avoid injury in the Boston Marathon bombing does not want the bomber put to death.

Robert Whyte, who had finished the marathon in 2012 before the deadly explosion, said he opposes the death penalty "in any circumstances".

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (21) faces either the death penalty or life in prison after being found guilty of the bombing which killed three people and permanently maimed and disfigured dozens more.

"The death penalty would only make him martyr for the fanatics," said Mr Whyte, a shopkeeper from Kenmare, Co Kerry.

"And the death penalty is not going to bring back the people he killed.

"I hope he never sees the light of day again outside a prison. In America, a life sentence really does mean life," he said.

The Irishman was back safely in his hotel before the bomb went off at the finish line of the race.

Just hours after the explosion, his wife Andrea had told the Herald that her husband's speed had saved him and her too.

"Thank God Robert is a fast runner," she said.


Councillor Eugene Coppinger, a member of Clonliffe Harriers athletic club, was also in Boston on the day and rejects the death penalty as a punishment for the killer.

He had been watching the race live on television in his hotel in Boston to track the times of his 12 Irish and 12 British runners when the bombs exploded. "It's the verdict that was expected. I'm totally opposed to the death penalty. Condemning him (Tsarnaev) to death would not achieve anything.

"He will receive a number of life sentences. And life is life over there. I'd agree with a life sentence," he said.

Cllr Coppinger, an Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor, is travelling to Boston with another group of runners who will be taking part in the marathon later this month.


Promoted articles

Entertainment News