Fresno runners find closure in Boston Bomber death sentence

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A death sentence for the surviving Tsarnaev brother convicted of the Boston Marathon bombing was handed down Friday.

The effects of the decision are being felt here in the Central Valley. This sentence was watched by so many around the world. Arguments over whether death is appropriate still continue. Either way those left with the physical and emotional scars are glad the case is over.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is now the youngest person on federal death row. Friday, the 21-year-old stood up in court to hear a jury sentence him to death following his conviction on 30 counts last month.

"The only saving grace is that I hope we never have to hear this guy's name again," said Brad Castillo of Fresno. "I just hope he fades into oblivion. I doubt that they're going to put him to death in my lifetime."

Castillo, a runner from Fresno, was in Boston the day of the blast. His brother-in-law, Phillip Gonzalez, was in the marathon ahead of him, crossing the finish line moments before the deadly explosion.

"I didn't know where Brad was, my brother-in-law, I was going 'where in the heck is he, man. I hope nothing happened to him,'" Gonzalez said.

For these runners reflecting back to that terror-filled day is difficult.

"There are some things that I think about," Gonzalez said. "Like the sirens and the people hurting around me, waiting for their loved ones."

Knowing the surviving Boston bomber, the youngest of the two brothers who pulled off the attack, was sentenced to death, there's now closure.

"I want to go back there, though, and feel for the Bostonians," added Gonzalez. "To just be thankful that it's over for them and go run for them."

Both men don't support the death penalty, but the closure is enough.

The parents of the youngest victim pleaded in a newspaper op-ed to avoid the death penalty, while others demanded it.

"That's man's law and that's fine," Castillo said. "I think this guy is really going to meet his maker and that's when justice will be served."

Appeals are almost certain to follow and if the sentence holds it'll likely be years before the Boston bomber is actually given lethal injection.

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