The acting chancellor of the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth, Gerry Kavanaugh, has issued a statement denying CBS Films access to the school’s campus. The man convicted in the Boston Marathon bombing attended the school and filmmakers were hoping to shoot scenes there for an upcoming movie about the tragic attack.
Reuters reporter Joseph Ax writes that Kavanaugh turned down the request, saying it would be “too disruptive to our campus community.”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a sophomore at the university when he and his brother Tamerlan ignited two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring 264 others.
Scheduled to be released in December, “Patriots’ Day” stars Mark Wahlberg.
Kavanaugh added that the school’s administration had conversed with students, staff, faculty, and other interested parties before they rendered a decision.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a police confrontation in Watertown, Massachusetts, and his brother was convicted and sentenced to death.
The film’s team also asked to shoot scenes in the neighborhood where the police found Tamerlan, but Watertown leaders did not think the filming would be in the best interest of the town.
A spokesperson for the film said they had investigated locations where the actual events took place, but they were intent on respecting those who had been affected by the event.
Two UMass Dartmouth students who were friends of Dzhokhar were sentenced to prison because of tampering with evidence, and another was sentenced for lying to the police.
Alexandra Koktsidis of the Boston Globe quoted Kavanaugh, who said the university is:
“… hopeful that the movie does justice to the many courageous victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy and their families, as well as the public safety officers who demonstrated such selfless dedication to their duty.”
CBS Films stated that they were scouting alternate locations, but were concentrating on making a film that would make Boston proud.
Some students who spoke with WJAR-TV’s Matt Reed on Sunday said they were disappointed that the movie would not be shooting on their campus.
“I think that bringing the movie here would give the public some awareness of what we went through as students,” said Senior Lindsey Menuier.
“I mean this is where it happened so if you tried to film anywhere else it would kind of ruin the whole point of the movie,” said Freshman Kyle Penniman.
Massachusetts does not have the death penalty, but Tsarnaev’s actions were federal offenses, and the federal government can carry out executions. One of the caveats given to the jurors in the trial of the Boston Marathon bomber was that the possibility of the death penalty could not be ruled out.
But the attitudes of the American public and policies in many states have caused a dramatic shift in the way executions are regarded. Opponents see them as “revenge killing by the state,” while legal matters and logistics, such as executions that have been botched and prisoners who have been found innocent after execution, have made some reconsider their stances on capital punishment, according to Brad Knickerbocker, writing for The Christian Science Monitor.