Further Notes on Dr. Matthew Levitt’s Tsarnaev Trial Testimony: Junk Psychology, Islamophobia, and Bad History, Oh My!

It's time to dive into some court testimony. I can think of no better place to start than with Dr. Matthew Levitt. As you may recall from my previous post, Dr. Levitt was an expert witness called by the government to discuss the “jihadi materials” found on the laptop of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. I have a few… Continue reading Further Notes on Dr. Matthew Levitt’s Tsarnaev Trial Testimony: Junk Psychology, Islamophobia, and Bad History, Oh My!

Junk Psychology and Courtroom Islamophobia: A Breakdown of Motive as Presented in the Tsarnaev Trial

I’ve been thinking a lot about motive lately. When I was in school for creative writing, I was taught all characters need motivation. Without it, they act in wanton and unbelievable fashion, and you will lose your readers because depicted events just won’t feel “real.” That’s the trick to being a good fiction writer: you… Continue reading Junk Psychology and Courtroom Islamophobia: A Breakdown of Motive as Presented in the Tsarnaev Trial

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

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Did Not Get a Fair Trial, and Here’s Why

The verdict is in: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will die by lethal injection. At twenty-one, he will become the youngest person on death row, sentenced in a state without the death penalty. Even among those directly affected by the Boston Marathon Bombing, there isn't so much a sense of victory as one of unease. In a city… Continue reading Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Did Not Get a Fair Trial, and Here’s Why

Yesterday, I Saw the Boston Marathon Bomber

I stood mere feet from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. I don’t mean the fateful day of the 2013 Boston Marathon; I had the good luck to be outside the city on that day. Or any time previously, although we apparently traveled in similar circles: he lived in Cambridge; I worked there and lived nearby for awhile. I… Continue reading Yesterday, I Saw the Boston Marathon Bomber