BOSTON (CBS) – The family of 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard declined comment after a federal appeals court vacated the death sentence given to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Instead, the Richard family referred to a previous essay they wrote in the Boston Globe, asking that Tsarnaev not be given the death penalty.

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Mayor Marty Walsh: Focus Is On Families After Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Death Sentence Overturned

In 2015, the Richard family wrote the essay for the Boston Globe. The newspaper republished the family’s remarks on Friday after the decision was announced.

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But now that the tireless and committed prosecution team has ensured that justice will be served, we urge the Department of Justice to bring the case to a close. We are in favor of and would support the Department of Justice in taking the death penalty off the table in exchange for the defendant spending the rest of his life in prison without any possibility of release and waiving all of his rights to appeal.

Martin Richard. (Photo credit: Richard family-Facebook)

The April 15, 2013, attack killed Richard, Lingzi Lu, Krystle Campbell 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.

“For us, the story of Marathon Monday 2013 should not be defined by the actions or beliefs of the defendant, but by the resiliency of the human spirit and the rallying cries of this great city,” the Richard family wrote in 2015. “We can never replace what was taken from us, but we can continue to get up every morning and fight another day. As long as the defendant is in the spotlight, we have no choice but to live a story told on his terms, not ours. The minute the defendant fades from our newspapers and TV screens is the minute we begin the process of rebuilding our lives and our family.”

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No timetable has been established for a potential retrial.