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
, 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.