BOSTON (CBS) – Former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said he was not surprised to learn that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence was overturned on appeal, but that “it still hurts” for everyone impacted by the tragedy.
A three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston issued the decision on Friday, ruling that while Tsarnaev’s life sentence remains in tact, the penalty phase must be retried.
Davis, a WBZ-TV security analyst, was Boston Police commissioner at the time of the bombings.
“I’m completely disappointed that this has gone the way it has because of the pain this brings for the people that were affected by it – the victims, their families, everyone that was there. The police, the emergency medical people that responded to the scene,” Davis said. “Five people lost their lives there. Every one of their relatives now has to go through this again and relive it. I understand the process; I’ve been in this system for a long time. I know how it works. But it still hurts.”
The April 15, 2013, attack killed three people and injured more than 260 others. MIT Police Officer Sean Collier was killed in the aftermath of the bombing. Boston Police officer Dennis Simmonds suffered a head injury during a shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers and died almost a year later.
Davis said that while he understands the decision, he doesn’t “think in the long run it’s going to make any difference.”
“Tsarnaev went in and confessed to these crimes,” said Davis. “What they’re trying to do is make a play for leniency here on the sentence. I believe when a jury looks at this again, they’ll understand the enormity of what this man did to this community and the victims.”
Reacting to the panel saying that the decision does not change Tsarnaev’s life sentence, Davis said “I just hate to say that I’ve heard that before. As time goes on, things change.”
Still, Davis added “Eventually, we’ll come to the right conclusion.”