Heather and Tom Frizzell further discuss the July 31, 2020 First Circuit Court decision to overturn Dzhokhar "Jahar" Tsarnaev's death sentence. In this episode, we talk about the remainder of the appellate rulings and the significance of the "smaller" issues, including the far-reaching consequences of anti-Muslim bias, new case details revealed by the decision, and the vacation of three of Jahar's convictions in the guilt phase. We also discuss the political reaction to the decision, next steps for the appeal, and what you can do to help.
In this three-part podcast miniseries, Heather is joined by Tom "Attorney Dad" Frizzell in a bit of a role reversal. Tom plays host and invites Heather to share what she learned in her Master's program in International Studies at the University of Washington. She discusses how writing her academic thesis on Dzhokhar "Jahar" Tsarnaev's case helped her better understand not just the Boston Marathon bombing, but the War on Terror, American foreign policy, and systemic discrimination against Muslims.
Heather is joined by Tom "Attorney Dad" Frizzell and resident historian Eric Bowsfield to discuss their initial impressions on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's opening appellate brief. Then they take a deep dive into Dzhokhar's suppressed hospital confession, the contents of which were kept from the public until October 2018, when they were unsealed by Dzhokhar's appellate team. They look at what's there, what isn't, and the likelihood that the entire narrative of this case was created by overzealous FBI agents illegally interrogating a critically injured teenager.
Heather and Tom dive into developments in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's appeal. In a July 2018 filing by appellate counsel, his lawyers have forecasted some of the many arguments they intend to make on appeal, which may be filed this November. We discuss venue changes; negative pre-trial publicity at the hands of a recently suspended Boston Globe journalist, Kevin Cullen; death-qualified juries; forced confessions; the discovery that prosecutors used secret ex parte filings to suppress information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev's potential involvement in a 2011 triple murder, and more.