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.

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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.

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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

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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

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

Podcast: Marathon, Episode 1

At long last, the podcast is here. It’s called Marathon.

How to Listen

• right here on the blog, with the embedded player
• on its host page, Spreaker
• on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to get new episodes

If you use iTunes, please take a minute to rate and review. It will help the podcast gain visibility in the iTunes store, which will create more awareness for the case.


Podcast Description

On April 15, 2013, two bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Two years later, 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death in federal court for his involvement in the attacks. During the penalty phase, I was in the courtroom. I walked in wanting to understand his story. I left unsure he was even guilty, let alone deserving to die. Since that day, I have been researching and writing about the case, trying to understand what really happened. His is the tale of an immigrant, a Muslim, an American, a kid I almost knew and certainly would have liked. Marathon explores that story and its legal, historical, and political context, all for a singular purpose: to save a life.

Episode One: The Narrative of the Case, Part 1

How important is the accuracy of a story? When it’s a matter of life and death, it turns out the details matter quite a bit. Heather is joined by “Attorney Dad” Tom Frizzell to talk about the four narratives of the case: the one told by the media, the one told by the prosecution, the one told by the defense, and the one that went unspoken. Continued in Part 2.

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