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'The Hunt for the Boston Bombers' documentary - some questions

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posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 06:45 PM
I hope this is the right place to post this, if not please accept my apologies and point me in the right direction! I couldn't find an existing thread about this programme. I'm also sorry this is such a long post

I've just watched a programme called The Hunt for the Boston Bombers here in the UK on Channel 4. It's a documentary with interviews with police and FBI, amongst others; a brief summary is here.

Has this been shown in the US? I'm under the impression that it has been. If so, how can the prosecution of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev go ahead? Surely this would cause a mistrial because it would prejudice potential jurors? The programme was full of material that I'm certain would cause the case to be thrown out if it was in the UK, from the title of the programme itself through the whole narrative of identifying the Tsarnaevs as the bombers to endless replaying of video footage of DT supposedly placing the bomb that caused one of the explosions.

I also couldn't find out if that video footage is the actual footage from the CCTV opposite the second bomb site or something filmed specifically for the show, it was repeatedly implied to be genuine but not explicitly stated to be so.

I admit that I absolutely do not understand how any legal system can allow the systematic prejudicing of the public that the US system appears to allow, whether through the officially sanctioned 'anonymous' leaks we see in so many high profile cases or participation by key officials in a documentary like this before the case has been tried. After it's been tried, no problem. Before? That's all kinds of wrong.

As a comparison, when Welsh police named Mark Bridger as being sought in connection with the disappearance of April Jones, a five year old girl whose body has never been recovered, some experts were concerned that that alone could cause a mistrial. Once he was arrested there was an absolute lockdown on information about the case and details only came out during the trial itself. Bridger is now serving a whole life sentence for her murder, and I feel satisfied that he was convicted by the jury based on the evidence presented against him during the trial and not based on jurors thinking, 'well six months ago I saw the Chief Inspector on the telly graphically describing how Bridger murdered her while a moodily-lit reconstruction featuring a highly convincing Mark Bridger lookalike played in the background'.

This isn't about whether the Tsarnaevs were guilty or not, I have my own opinions on that case that are irrelevant to this thread. This about guilt or innocence being established by a fair trial, not by a systematic PR campaign against people who are still innocent until proven guilty. Especially, it could be argued, in such high profile cases where investigators should be even more cautious about prejudicing the trial, not be being broadcast around the world pointing at pictures of the accused and screaming 'there's the monster, burn him'.

Thank you for any replies, I really would like to see other people's thoughts on this.

posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 07:10 PM
reply to post by Brocade

Prospective jurors will be asked if they had followed the case. If they say, "Oh, no, not me. I don't know nothing about it."
Then they are seated in the box.

That is how that business works here in the US.
edit on 16-4-2014 by Aliensun because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 07:30 PM
I think it is called freedom of press. And they can convict enough innocent men to death row im pretty sure they got this.

posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 11:09 PM
reply to post by Brocade

The police can withhold information from the public during a criminal investigation / prosecution. There are some parts that are a matter of public information - like the probable cause affidavit used to file charges. The PC is generally detailed - This crime was committed - these are facts to support charge.

It was a highly covered event so anything obtained during that time frame that is already in the media can be reported on. The lawyers for each side could request the judge to issue a block to prohibit release of any more information / media reporting on it. It is rare for a media block however gag orders on participating parties can be common.

He is being charged at the federal level so technically they could move his trial to another state. I was involved in an incident when I was subpoenaed for a federal trial in a northern state for crimes committed in my state as well as a few others on the east coast (guy was robbing banks).

The other possibility is how the defendant chooses how his trial will work - Jury verse Judge.

Hope this helps

posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 11:19 PM
Thanks for posting this, S & F. Yes I saw it in the US. That was the first time a video was shown of anyone placing a bag, and no, I don't think it was THE video from the Lord and Taylor store. It was choppy and I hope people will look into it more.

See the day after the bombing the news reported that a video showed someone placing a bag at one of the sites and they claimed to have full facial recognition of the person. Within hours an arrest was reported and a press conference was scheduled. Then a bomb threat was called in across from the courthouse that the suspect was reportedly being brought to. After that, the news said that they got things wrong, the press conference was canceled, and the video was locked up. People would talk about what was on it, but then it would turn out that they didn't actually see it, and was just what they were told.

There are a lot of things about the whole story that bother me but I always thought that, that video was the smoking gun, but because of that, it would never be released. I think that they are trying to cover something up. Something that has to do with that video and the arrest that day.

When I watched those documentaries, I noticed that they are heavy with PR and the officials seem to be trying to cover their asses.


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