New Years Q&A!

Spreaker | iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher

New Years Q&A

In a special New Years installment, Heather and Tom tackle recent questions from readers and listeners. We discuss where Heather has been, prospects for Dzhokhar’s appeal, alternate theories of the case, rehabilitation for prisoners, implications of Dzhokhar’s sentencing statement, our hopes for the case going into 2018, and more.

Continue reading “New Years Q&A!”


A Scholar’s Impression of the Tsarnaev Motion to Appoint Counsel on Appeal

So it begins.

On February 17th, Dzhokhar’s lawyers filed a motion requesting that appellate counsel be appointed to handle the case going forward. This is big news. While I am at work on my next post, I thought it was worth sharing the impressions of the document written by our contributing death penalty scholar, Margo Schulter. To follow along, you can click below to access the document in PDF form:

Motion to Appoint Counsel on Appeal

From here, I’ll give the floor to Margo.

Continue reading “A Scholar’s Impression of the Tsarnaev Motion to Appoint Counsel on Appeal”

Appeal Update, Site Changes and What’s Next on the Blog

Hello and happy 2016! I apologize that I’m not coming to you with a new post of case analysis, but there’s been some developments in both the case and the blog, so I wanted to address those fairly quickly before moving on. Rest assured I have been hard at work on the research and planning, as new information is still coming to me regularly, and I will be getting it out soon. But first…

Appeal and Case Updates

The law has spoken. Okay, for now.

Continue reading “Appeal Update, Site Changes and What’s Next on the Blog”

What’s In an Appeal? The Process in the Tsarnaev Case So Far


Artist’s rendition of how his year has felt to me.

As we near the end of 2015, I must reflect on what a tumultuous year it’s been. At this time last year, I saw Dzhokhar’s trial approaching like a tidal wave coming from a long way off. A year ago, I still believed in the inherent success of the U.S. justice system. I thought whatever the outcome of the trial, I would have to shake my head sadly and walk away from this case, despite my strong feelings about it. I thought nobody cared what I had to say about Dzhokhar, the tragic turn of events that befell him, or what might happen to him in the future.

It’s funny how much things can change in a year.

To close out this strange, stormy 2015, I thought it would be a good idea to address the current actions of Dzhokhar’s defense team, now that the post-conviction proceedings have begun. If you have been reading this blog, then I suspect you are not just interested in this case but hopeful about the appeals. Rest assured, I am still researching and investigating other aspects of this case, and I am eager to return to them when the time is right. However, after attending the first postconviction motion hearing on December 1st, I thought there was no better time to go over what’s been filed and argued so far.

Continue reading “What’s In an Appeal? The Process in the Tsarnaev Case So Far”

Death Penalty Abolition, Accidental Terrorists, and What’s Next

I cannot stress enough how overjoyed I was at the quantity and quality of responses I received to my previous post about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and what I observed at his trial. In addition to great reasoned and academic responses, I received a number of links to articles and videos to topics that bear relevance to this case, and I wanted to have time to discuss some of them in a dedicated space. It’s my hope this format will keep anything from becoming too buried in the comments section and keep the academic discussions flowing. Then, at the end of this post, I’ll talk a bit about my future plans for this blog.

This infographic depicts the kind of company America keeps in being one of the countries that still employs capital punishment.

Continue reading “Death Penalty Abolition, Accidental Terrorists, and What’s Next”