Marathon #7: Let’s Do the Math

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Let’s Do the Math

What is an alibi defense, and does Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have one in regards to the charges for which he was convicted? Attorney Tom Frizzell returns to break down trial transcripts and help Heather determine whether Dzhokhar was involved with gathering the bomb-making materials that were used in the Boston Marathon bombing. Despite what was reported in the media, the information on the record is far more exculpatory than one might expect.

Continue reading “Marathon #7: Let’s Do the Math”

Marathon #6: A Crash Course on Chechnya

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A Crash Course on Chechnya

In the final installment of our historical series, Eric Bowsfield joins Heather to talk about the history and evolution of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s home country, Chechnya. The region and its people have a fascinating but tragic past, facing centuries of violence and oppression at the hands of the Russian government. Together we navigate the hallmarks of imperialism, Russia’s conquest of the Caucasus, stereotypes of the Chechen ethnicity, and how all of this was used by the prosecutors against Dzhokhar at trial.

Continue reading “Marathon #6: A Crash Course on Chechnya”

Marathon: Islamophobia!

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Islamophobia!

Eric Bowsfield returns to help Heather hash out the issue of Islamophobia and how it affected the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. We discuss the basics of Islam as a religion, the definition of Islamophobia, and the difference between Islamism and Jihadism. Then, we break down the academic career of Dr. Sebastian Gorka, a top aide to President Trump with a history of being an Islamophobe, an anti-Semite, a member of a pro-Nazi group — and an expert witness for the prosecution in Dzhokhar’s case.

Episode Extras

Continue reading “Marathon: Islamophobia!”

Marathon: Historiography and the Bombing

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Historiography and the Bombing

Historian and fellow investigator Eric Bowsfield joins Heather to talk about historiography. We discuss how the discipline gives us the tools to study the Marathon Bombing and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s court case as a historical event. We also share our own firsthand knowledge of living through the bombing and the lockdown of Boston four days later, demonstrating how we ourselves are primary sources of these moments in history.

Episode Extras

Heather’s interview on The Young Jurks

More information on:
Historiography
Bias
Confirmation bias
Historian’s fallacy
Presentism
Moral Relativism
Hindsight bias
Hanlon’s razor
Occam’s razor

Heather as a Guest on Boston Radio Show The Young Jurks

Just putting out a quick post in case you missed my announcements on Twitter and Facebook: on Saturday night I was featured as a guest on the Boston radio show The Young Jurks.

You can listen to the interview archived on Facebook by clicking the image below (I could not for the life of me get the embed option to work with Facebook video, sorry):

theyoungjurks

Thanks very much to host Mike and the whole crew for such a thoughtful conversation! I hope it sheds light on the details of the court case and Dzhokhar’s chances on appeal. We also discuss some of the behind the scenes stuff with my blog and podcast and a bit about what readers/listeners can expect coming up. 

You can also check out The Young Jurks on WEMF Radio and all the usual podcast sites, including iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and IHeartRadio.

Marathon: Bonus #1 – Audience Questions

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Bonus #1 – Audience Questions

Attorney Tom Frizzell returns to dive into submitted questions about the Boston Marathon bombing and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s case. He and Heather sink their teeth into constitutional law as they tackle the impact the case has had on the American legal system, and discuss how many times Dzhokhar may have had his constitutional rights violated.

Episode Extras

Wicked Local Southborough:
Meltzer: Tsarnaev Should Have Been Tried Under Massachusetts Law

Marathon: The Narrative of the Case, Part 2

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The Narrative of the Case, Part 2

Heather tackles some “alternative facts” about the note found in the boat after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s capture. Then attorney Tom Frizzell returns to finish up our discussion about the narratives presented about the case in court: what we do and don’t believe, our current theories about the events in question, and what can be expected for Dzhokhar’s case on appeal.

Episode Extras

Wicked Local Plymouth:
LETTER: Revolt against false leaders

Exhibit photos of the note found in the boat:
one | two | three | four

Relevant blog posts:
Who Killed Sean Collier? The Bike Man – regarding the eyewitness placing Dzhokhar at Collier’s car
Who Killed Sean Collier? The Gun, parts one and two – regarding the origin of Collier’s murder weapon
What’s in an Appeal? – regarding the Johnson II Supreme Court ruling

Trial transcript:
March 2, 2015 – Hearing on motion in limine regarding the use of Tamerlan during the guilt phase

Court document:
Defense Motion (10/30/15) – regarding Johnson II and statements indicating Dzhokhar did not have a bomb detonator