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Question Everything You Hear About the Boston Marathon Bombing


Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, americans, children, crime, culture, death, dishonesty, education, ethics, family, freedoms, government, media, politics, rights, safety, society, women )

Kit
- 366 days ago - motherjones.com
Shortly after Monday's bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, rumors began to fly about what exactly happened and who was behind it. The New York Post, citing an unnamed federal official, claimed 12 people were dead -->



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Comments

Nyack Clancy (385)
Wednesday April 17, 2013, 4:14 pm
Of course.

After witnessing the events of 9/11 in NYC, I know longer believe what the media has to say.
 

Nyack Clancy (385)
Wednesday April 17, 2013, 4:14 pm
No longer... sorry bout the typo
 

Kit B. (277)
Wednesday April 17, 2013, 4:15 pm
Photo Credit: www.indian express.com

This is an article by Andy Kroll that requires seeing the article as it wraps around the visual photographs. Please do take a moment to VISIT SITE.
The article opens:

Shortly after Monday's bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, rumors began to fly about what exactly happened and who was behind it. The New York Post, citing an unnamed federal official, claimed 12 people were dead and that a "Saudi Arabian national" was a suspect.

But it soon became clear that the initial death toll was two people (later updated to three), and by the following morning law enforcement officials said that they had identified no suspects yet. As for the Saudi national in question, federal law enforcement officials said on Tuesday that he was a witness to the bombing, not a suspect.

Indeed, it's a perpetual lesson of past tragedies: Don't trust what you hear or read early on. Here are eight instances of early information from past attacks that turned out to be wrong:

By: Andy Kroll | Mother Jones |

All of the media outlets are falling all over on another to get the first lead. In fact, at this time anything that might be close to fact is printed and repeated. We have seen this before and will see it again.
 

Arielle S. (313)
Wednesday April 17, 2013, 4:37 pm
Excellent article. Hopefully, we've learned from the past. (But I'm skeptical )
 

Norm C. (74)
Wednesday April 17, 2013, 5:17 pm
What would you expect from a Murdoch owned rag?

But the point about not jumping to conclusions is a good one. I wish some of my libertarian friends would heed it. They are finding conspiracies everywhere and all by the govt. (exactly which one(s) they don't make very clear.
 

Kit B. (277)
Wednesday April 17, 2013, 5:30 pm

Conspiracies are far more interesting than the truth. This is one more human tragedy that will feed nicely into the next conspiracy theory.
 

JL A. (269)
Wednesday April 17, 2013, 5:53 pm
If we don't learn from history, will we ever learn? Thanks Kit for this timely reminder of the need for verified information before we claim things are facts.
 

Gene Jacobson (233)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 9:58 am
Exactly. All that comes out in the rush to print and video after such events is speculation, sometimes so labeled, often not, the "need" to be first out weighs the need, the responsibility to be RIGHT. Our fourth estate is in a sorry state and has been for decades. Incapable of learning from their own mistakes, endlessly repeating them, never apologizing for them or the harm they have done, I have gone from trusting the media in my lifetime which began with Walter, Chet and David, and Edward to not believing anything I see or read until I can confirm it myself from multiple independent sources. The rush to judgment is more important in this age than getting it right. That does not improve our quality of life nor bring us together. Which, for me, puts the media in bed with all those who know they retain power only so long as they keep us separate and afraid of each other. Disgusting de-evolution of this once proud and valued messenger of truth.
 

Dee C. (197)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 11:11 am
The truth always comes out in the end..I truly believe that..So I am not one to listen and or pay too much attention in those early moments of any news..

I think the other problem is there are people who pretty much demand the news/authorities to give something..and foolishly they do..

Thanks Kit..
Noted..
 

pam w. (187)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 11:40 am
Dee is right....if WE weren't so demanding about immediate information, new media might be comforable saying WE DON'T KNOW AT THIS TIME!
 

Kit B. (277)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 12:11 pm

I liked the unpolished and unprofessional sergeant who took questions from the press for West, Texas late last night. He presented the facts as they were known and said, he would not attempt to answer questions that required speculation. Though the reporters were clamoring for a story, he demurred from answering questions outside of what was known facts. All press conferences should be handled like that.
 

Ruth R. (209)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 12:12 pm
Thank you Kit. This puts everything in a different perspective.
 

Ruth R. (209)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 12:13 pm
Question the other news -- too.
 

Kit B. (277)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 12:23 pm

I agree with that Ruth, we can not rely on the "news" to present us with "just the facts". Now more than ever we should question what agenda each news corporation is serving.
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 12:32 pm
TU Kit. Have not believed any of it since the assassination of JFK...and it's gotten worse ever since. Such audacity on the part of the media!
 

Theodore Shayne (56)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 3:54 pm
Armed drones over America? Controlled internet and smart phone access? RFID chip implantation on a national basis? Opened and occupied FEMA camps for all the undesirables like the poor and the physically or mentally challenged? That's a scenario that I wouldn't rule out. How probable it is in the next couple of years remains to be seen. Let's hope I'm dead wrong on this.
 

Ge M. (216)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 4:11 pm
Kit, double standards. I am not rushing to blame a particular terrorist group, I am waiting to hear the results of the investigations. However, I have little doubt of the religion of such a group.

An Egyptian cleric is saying that it is too amateurish for Al-Qaida but that it is a message to the West. Whilst it is obvious that the press are rushing to print whatever they think, a calm clear claim by a Muslim that he believes it is an attack by Muslims against America and this should be considered as a positive indication of the type of terrorist that should be looked for, possibly home grown.
 

Ge M. (216)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 4:13 pm
By the way, how do you know that the Saudi didn't do it, I have seen articles claiming that one did and others claiming that he didn't. I don't know and neither do you.
 

Eternal Gardener (700)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 5:10 pm
News should trigger critical thinking...wish we could rely on it more to be objective.
 

Freya H. (287)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 5:52 pm
More proof of the saw that a lie travels around the world while Truth is still lacing up her Reeboks.
 

Kit B. (277)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 7:06 pm

So true Freya. Of course, people will always see and hear what they choose, the facts or truth be damned.
 

Beth S. (315)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 8:46 pm
It's a very good point. For instance the media told us that Timothy McVeigh was a "Christian," and when he was interviewed he said "Science" was his god. There are still unsettled questions about McVeigh having had Islamic terrorist connections helping him with the planning.

There's also the issue that much of American liberal media has self-censored a lot of news about foiled terrorist plots by Islamic radicals, so that most of the American public doesn't realize the true threat they are under, as Obama, Holder and their good friends from CAIR have gone to great lengths to de-couple "Islam" from "terrorism."

Several major news agencies have also bowed to CAIR's demands that the media no longer use the word "Islamist" in their reporting, because people might get a negative opinion of Islam (imagine that). (http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/ap-caves-to-cairs-demands-revises-stylebook-for-term-islamist-will-no-longer-be-used-to-describ/question-3621653/)

So I would agree that questions about the Boston bombing will likely remain for a long time to come.
 

JL A. (269)
Thursday April 18, 2013, 9:23 pm
Question Everything You Hear About the Boston Marathon Bombing

Seemed to need repeating.
 

Alexandra R. (329)
Friday April 19, 2013, 12:08 am
Another media white-wash .. does not surprise me .. we, the general public might NEVER hear who the true murderers are despite clear CCTV footage, etc .. the media is indeed an EXTEMELY powerful propaganda tool .. used by those in power to confuse and then control the opinions of the masses ..

I quote:
"A whole industry of propaganda is aimed" at convincing potential terrorists that their intended victims are worthy of death, said Arie Kruglanski, a psychologist at the University of Maryland who has researched the roots of terrorism. [History of Human Aggression: 10 Ways Combat Has Evolved]

"Part of the ideological persuasion to get them to do these things is to reduce the humanity of the victims," Kruglanski told LiveScience. "So the victims are perceived not as other human beings, but rather as vermin, as subhuman creatures."

Radicals tend to speak their minds, making them EASY ENOUGH to identify in the community, Kruglanski said, though not all of those radicals would ever turn to terrorism in any case. Detention centers and prisons also run de-radicalization programs for suspected and convicted terrorists.

Typically, these programs run along two lines: direct and indirect, Kruglanski said. A direct approach would be to confront the terrorist's belief system.

This "dialogue" approach can work, Kruglanski said, but not for terrorists, who are very firm in their beliefs, or for leaders who don't appreciate criticism of their interpretations."
 

asfsf asdsds (0)
Friday April 19, 2013, 12:13 am
I loved the post
 

Ge M. (216)
Friday April 19, 2013, 4:28 am
Kit, you couldn't even say that the 2 suspects look like Arabs. That's not questioning what the media or even the FBI say, that is looking at the CCTV and discussing it with several intelligent people who have travelled abroad to Arab countries as well as others, including a convert to Islam.

Perhaps rose tinted glasses affects the view you have.

 

Nyack Clancy (385)
Friday April 19, 2013, 4:38 am
Yea- how about all those Muslim passports they found at Ground Zero? Perfectly amazing, that in all that rubble, thousands of feet off the ground as a plane burst into flames, Muslim passports gently floated to the ground.

Isnt that something?
 

BMutiny TCorporationsEvil (465)
Friday April 19, 2013, 5:07 am
Latest I have just heard, is that the two identified were two brothers, age 19 and 20, from CHECHNYA {nobody woulda guessed that one!}, here on a visa since a year; one of them is now dead after a police chase, possibly from his own grenade. Weirder and weirder. One still at large, at this moment. And they killed and tried to kill cops, too.
 

Alexandra R. (329)
Friday April 19, 2013, 5:47 am
I agree BMutiny! Who would have guessed they're from CHECHNYA ..!

I quote:
"Chechnya is predominantly Muslim. Most of the Chechens belong to the Shafi'i school of thought of Sunni Islam, while a minority belong to the Hanafi.

Some adhere to the mystical Sufi tradition of Muridism, while about half of Chechens belong to Sufi brotherhoods, or tariqah. The two Sufi tariqas that spread in the North Caucasus were the Naqshbandiya and the Qadiriya (the Naqshbandiya is particularly strong in Dagestan and eastern Chechnya, whereas the Qadiriya has most of its adherents in the rest of Chechnya and Ingushetia).

Some of the modern Chechen rebels are Salafis, but these form a small minority of the group and are often viewed suspiciously by non-Salafis who protectively guard their national customs against encroachment.

According to some, the view of the Chechens as being an obsessively pious, intolerant, fundamentalist Muslim group is highly correct."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Weirder and weider indeed, BMutiny, with one still at large and they did kill and tried to kill cops .. May there be no more victims in Boston at the hands of these armed and dangerous cop-killers from Chechnya .. and may the terrorists who planted the boston bombs face justice and soon.

 

Kit B. (277)
Friday April 19, 2013, 6:25 am

Yeah, well as this article is about using some common sense. We just might wait for the whole story to unfold before we pretend to be news reporters or journalists.

"looked like Arabs"???? I do realize that you have some very deep issues that need outside counseling, please get the help you need, Gillian. Some of us do not wish to drink from that cup of hate.

 

Tammy Baxter (9)
Friday April 19, 2013, 7:06 am
thank you for reminding us not to believe everything the media says
 

pam w. (187)
Friday April 19, 2013, 10:24 am
"Looked like Arabs?" I've traveled the world and have seen MANY people who ''look like Arabs'' and are not!
 

Shawna S. (43)
Friday April 19, 2013, 12:02 pm
Some news programs/articles are like very poorly done reality shows. All drama, no fact. Believe what you hear/read when all is said and done.
Thanks Kit :")
 

Terrie Williams (753)
Friday April 19, 2013, 12:25 pm
CISPA passed in the house...they sighted the Marathon as being the 'determining' factor on passage......get the frigging picture now? Been watching this crap for the last 48 hrs straight no sleep. Really peculiar things stick out here and there at all three sites. Like military assault vehicles and personnel....at the \finish line and at the young men's home. Over head pic...from drones. Side pic taken at the finish line not focused on the backs of runners but on the blast itself. Haven't shown that one again (pulled from their lineup pics they keep showing). Yeah....lots of questions ....some will never be answered (declassified) until we are all dust.

I trust no one. Least of all the media or the government at this point.
 

Beth S. (315)
Friday April 19, 2013, 12:55 pm
Kit,

Not sure why you have to resort to ad hominem attacks on Gillian. Insofar as the core issue goes, Chechnyans, the vast majority of whom are Muslim, are rather ferocious in their terrorism and treatment of their women, if the many accounts from the Russians on this score are accurate. So this is surprising to no one who knows anything about them. The M.O. is not dissimilar to the many attacks by Islamists occurring daily throughout the world. Yet you seem to bend over backwards to preempt anyone from even THINKING about articulating the possibility. Hence, your posting of this piece.

One interesting thing the news noted after the marathon explosion was that "many Muslims were praying that the perpetrators of this crime 'were not Muslim'." It seems alright to you, therefore, that it's okay for Muslims who actually understand that the Quran and Hadiths preach violence and hatred against non-Muslims, and this terrorist attack might certainly be in the domain of Muslims/Islamists to think and articulate this probability. Yet if someone non-Muslim says makes essentially the same connection -- but wrong ethnicity -- you treat this as intolerable error, worthy of psychiatric treatment. It seems to me that your bias is as every bit as strong, if not significantly stronger than Gillian's, and your intolerance for people voicing their opinion that is contrary to yours surpasses many.

Every time a violent, terrorist incident happens, almost EVERYBODY jumps to the possibility/probability that Muslims are the most likely population to perpetrate terrorism. And yet you fault Gillian for being like virtually everyone else in these suspicions, and for the sin of mistaking their ethnicity.

I think you can do better than that.
 

Jo S. (457)
Friday April 19, 2013, 1:37 pm
Thanks for the heads up Kit. Unfortunatly I have learned the hard way!
Noted & shared.
Thanks, Kit.
 

bob m. (32)
Friday April 19, 2013, 2:03 pm

Thanks Kit.... now if I'm not mistaken agencies like CNN are And always have fallen all over themselves to bafflegab what's before our eyes and keep everyone ina state of somnabulistic food source.
BUT SOMEHOW THE USE OF KITCHIAN WEIRDING WAY WILL SORT OUT TRUTH FROM FICTION... ESPECIALLY IF IT ALL CAN BE LAID AT THE FEET OF WHITE, MALE CRISTIAN JEWISH INTRIGUE.
TRILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.............
Sorry caps.
 

Allan Yorkowitz (461)
Friday April 19, 2013, 3:50 pm
The possibility that these brothers were converts to Islam is becoming a stronger incentive.Their time in Turkey is still vague. Being from Russia does not help their cause either - Chechnyans are large Muslim supporters. Having a background like this, is unsettling.
There is every possibility Kit these were "home grown" terrorists as Gillian said.
 

Kit B. (277)
Friday April 19, 2013, 6:47 pm

So nice that some of you actually waited until the guy was captured. Now maybe we will actually learn the facts, or is supposition more fun?
 

Pat N. (8)
Friday April 19, 2013, 10:30 pm
CNN seems to be getting crazier with every extreme situation. Our Canadian CTV did a good job on this story. I was going to watch the BBC and PBS but had things to do. Finally in the evening put on 10:00 PM news and saw they had caught the young man. Such a tragedy.
 

John Gregoire (248)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 5:14 am
Conspiracy theorists just salivate for such horrendous events...and many of them are members of the media! I turn it off when they start speculating or interviewing each other and their "experts".
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 5:39 am

Indeed John, and so the dangers of speculation before the facts are known.
 

paul m. (93)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 5:56 am

Noted,,,,, Who ever done this dispecable act are only Dirty Murderers with no respect for life...
 

Nancy M. (219)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 1:27 pm
Now conspiracies about some government military contractors. Go figure.

Thanks for the article Kit. We have learned this over and over again. Nyack mentions 9/11 but recently we have also had Trayvon Martin and the Newtown shootings. WhileOk to listen and even report what you have found out and believe, I suppose, but always use some qualifying language- person of interest not suspect, for example.

 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 2:32 pm

True Nancy. unless or until this young man, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is tried in a court of law he is supposed to a suspect. We either have laws or we do not. The smart thing to do is wait for him to speak with the police and hope we do actually get the story. Though that will not necessarily be the answers we want, at least we might his side of things.
 

Nancy M. (219)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 3:25 pm
Person of interest- I was referring to the Saudi who was questioned. One network called him a suspect.

Yes, at this point Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a suspect.
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 3:31 pm

I don't know Nancy, I got the sense that he was questioned more for political reasons than because there was any evidence. Once again, not being a part of the inner workings of the investigation, I have no clue to what they are doing or why.
 

Nancy M. (219)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 4:09 pm
Makes sense. I didn't perceive him to be a suspect but one news netowrk did call him that.
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 4:21 pm

While waiting for events to take place the networks generally make things up to try to hold on to the listeners/watchers. At least that is my perception of what I see so commonly.
 

Robert O. (12)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 5:03 pm
We have to make sure that we also don't let mass media sensationalism and fear mongering cloud our judgement and blind us to the truth. Thanks Kit.
 

Alexandra R. (329)
Saturday April 20, 2013, 8:51 pm
This is probably as much as we are ever going to find out (I quote):

"As Dzhokhar was being captured, three people in New Bedford, Massachusetts, were also taken into custody for questioning over the blasts.

Lieutenant Robert Richard said two men and a woman were being questioned by the FBI "on the assumption there is an affiliation with suspect number two".

It has also been revealed that Tamerlan attracted the attention of US authorities two years ago - apparently after contact from the Russian authorities.

The FBI said its agents interviewed him in 2011 at the request of a foreign government, but that the investigation found "no derogatory information", according to an official.

The brothers' uncle Ruslan Tsarni has claimed Tamerlan was radicalized by an Armenian convert to Islam.
Maret Tsarnaev, the men's aunt, said Tamerlan had recently become a devout Muslim who prayed five times a day.

Speaking to reporters at her home in Toronto, Canada, she also said the older brother was married and had a daughter in the US."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We might never find out who were their accomplices, etc.

I cannot help but wonder how many more of these atrocities before the media have successfully numbed/suppressed the masses to tolerate atrocities as an everyday occurrence, like it has become for many in Chechnya and in many other violent countries.

 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 8:16 am

That is the problem, Alexandra. That is also the reason I selected this article. Neither the father or the uncle has even seen or associated with these two young men for years now. The uncle lives in Boston, and I think we must consider that anything he says is first an attempt to protect his family from repercussions by these horrible crimes.

What we do not know, is far more than what we do know. We live in a country that has a legal system, we proclaim that all are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Currently the media is filling it's news cycle with assumptions and not facts. To heal from the grief the living victims, the families, the city Boston and this country need facts, not publicity seeking people that have their own agenda.

I am not privy to the actual information of the investigation, and I doubt anyone other than the policing agencies are knowledgeable about what is being learned.

We may not like waiting for the truth, but we have no choice but to do just that. Until that time, I consider the rest to be nothing more than speculation and assumptions, which can also be labeled as gossip.
 

Alexandra R. (329)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 1:11 pm
Kit, though I obviously agree with you that one should always endeavour to stick to facts and not spread gossip; and I'm sure most people, would agree that facts have degrees of accuracy.

Unlike you, I do not see facts as quite so 'black and white' as what it would appear you seem to view facts.

Facts have degrees of accuracy. Even facts spoken by the two men themselves would have degrees of accuracy rather than being the 'ultimate' white/black clear truth.

But clearly the accuracy of say their family's facts about them, though not as accurate as hearing it from their own mouths, would most likely qualify to be termed a fact due to containing sufficient accuracy despite them trying to twist the facts to some degree to satisfy their own agendas.

The likelihood that say their family's facts about them can distinctly qualify to be classified 'gossip' or speculation' or 'assumptions' is rather small.

Though I cannot speak for the legal system in the US, I doubt any fair legal system would completely disregard family and friends' facts about suspects as 'pure gossip, assumption, speculation' in other words.. they would rather award such facts with as close as humanly possible a weight and consider them accordingly when deciding the verdict.

Better ask Gillian on this one actually, as I do know she is rather experienced and qualified in the legal, logical, moral, psychological aspects followed in UK courts when reaching a verdict based on facts presented with a variety of accuracy.
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 1:32 pm

As I said and find needs repeating and repeating. We do not have much in the way of FACTS for this case. This is far from black and white. We in the United States do believe and follow the rule of law, our law. We do not convict based on rumor, assumptions or innuendo. What we do not know in case is volumes.

I do not need more rumors or assumptions to know that we do not have the information to make proper deductions about anything in this case.
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 1:33 pm

I didn't realize that Gillian was licensed to practice criminal law in the United States. Oh wait, she is not!
 

Nancy M. (219)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 2:50 pm
Alexandra- in the US court of law, there is No Grey. There is ONLY black and white. Of course "facts" from the family would be considered, but in many ways, they are not facts, but opinion. "My boy is so good he would never do anything like this" is just such an opinion.

Not that I have much opinion in this case yet because we really don't know the evidence. It is not provided to us ahead of time as that would result in an inability to find a jury- the hallmark of the US justice system.
 

JL A. (269)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 3:03 pm
Fact:
Incident, act, event, or circumstance. A fact is something that has already been done or an action in process. It is an event that has definitely and actually taken place, and is distinguishable from a suspicion, innuendo, or supposition. A fact is a truth as opposed to fiction or mistake.

A Question of Fact in litigation is concerned with what actually took place. During a trial, questions of fact are generally left for the jury to determine after each opposing side has presented its case. By contrast, a Question of Law is ordinarily decided by a judge, who must deal with applicable legal rules and principles that affect what transpired.
West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2
 

JL A. (269)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 3:12 pm
Reports indicate the allegations in the press (won't become facts unless determined to be at trial) may be directed at a US Citizen who would be entitled to all relevant constitutional rights (e.g., due process, a fair and speedy trial* with a jury of his peers).
Pre-trial publicity such as is happening with this case is often deemed to interfere with finding a jury for a fair trial.
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 3:21 pm

Add to that anything that is not substantiated fact, provable by independent means, is most often overruled by judge.

I would not expect some thing like a fact to interfere with the building of massive conspiracy theories, it never has before. Why start now? That the yummy desire to attack any thing that might be a Muslim, and you have one juicy bunch of rumor and innuendo, no facts just Bull Hockey.

Now that you posted that same thing all over Care2, Alexandra you might learn that it is proper to attach your source information.
 

Alexandra R. (329)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 4:19 pm
Kit B. (330)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 3:21 pm

Now that you posted that same thing all over Care2, Alexandra you might learn that it is proper to attach your source information.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The facts that I shared further up this thread, even some included from his family, I will once more share the link in case you missed it in my previous comment:

Facts

Nancy M. (209)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 2:50 pm
Alexandra- in the US court of law, there is No Grey. There is ONLY black and white. Of course "facts" from the family would be considered, but in many ways, they are not facts, but opinion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I feel sorry then for the US law and justice system, if what you say is true! To use a silly example, if the family for example said that the suspect was a devote Muslim and he prayed 5 times a day, but the court later hears from friends that he was a devote Muslim, but only prays 5 times per day on a Friday, and therefore throw out the family's inaccurate fact because the family's fact was not white/black enough, then the US court can find themselves powerless to convict, even though quite clearly the friend's and family's fact, though inaccurate were both with a substantiate proportion of truth in it - and if there was an US law to convict someone for praying 5 times per day, they will find themselves unable to convict because no-one gave a white/black accurate fact about the suspect's praying habits! Just because the family did not state the number of days or the specific day on which the suspect prayed 5 times per day, does not suddenly change the fact that the suspect prayed 5 times per day into an 'opinion' of the family. It still clearly remains a fact, though an inaccurate one ..

 

JL A. (269)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 5:41 pm
Neither witness statement would be considered a fact until trial when judge or jury determines whether or not it is a fact. An accused is legally innocent unless and until convicted in a court of law in the US. These are constitutional protections from tyranny that is often considered preferable to a jurisprudence limited to common law.
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 5:51 pm

Oh J L I do hope you cleared through Alexandra or Gillian before posting.

Alexandra your comments have gone from the absurd to the ridiculous. Thanks but we don't need or want your sympathy we are doing just fine with out foreign influence. We do not use, as J L indicated the old and highly unworkable systems. We do have a constitution with our rights spelled out.
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 8:49 pm

Source Alexandra, the actual source. Yeah, you have a video in there, and if that video is your source then do the right thing and post it as the source.

A source on the Internet is the URL for the place you gained information.
 

Stephen Brian (24)
Sunday April 21, 2013, 11:18 pm
Hi Nancy and Alexandra :)

U.S. court-systems, last I heard, do recognize testimony regarding character from "character-witnesses". The parents saying "That doesn't sound like our sons" would have a different effect on the case than if they said "Yeah, they would do that". The trouble is that parents are assumed to be biased in the matter so their comments can pretty much only incriminate, not clear, a suspect. All of the other character-testimony regarding behaviour prior to the bombings agrees, though, and that would normally help a suspect. That said, character-testimony only goes so far. Hard evidence normally should trump wuch testimony (though it doesn't always).

Error or falsehood in a testimony does not necessarily invalidate the whole thing. It does suggest that the witness is less reliable than a flawless testimony would be, so the rest may count for less unless independently confirmed.

Unfortunately, we do have the evidence, and with that whatever spin the news-agencies decided to put on it. The surveillance photos have been released through the media, as have character-testimony, reports of resistance to arrest, reports of additinoal explosives found in the brothers' home, reports of plans for more attacks, and apparently a YouTube channel run by one of the brothers promoting a radical form of Islam,
(YouTube channel references here:)
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/21/dzhokhar-tsarnaev-boston-bombing-investigation/2102093/

This is a serious problem in media-reports of crime. I believe that news-media regularly contaminates all potential juries before they are sequestered, and after a mistrial demanding a new jury, a fair trial is impossible for any high-profile case. Honestly, I think there are grounds to appeal practically every high-profile case in the U.S. for decades on the grounds that the defendant was denied a fair trial as the jury could reasonably be expected to have been biased by news-reports. I tend to support freedom of the press, but would be happy to see a gag order on all ongoing investigations and cases until they are closed. (Then the news-media could have a field day before the appeal-process because appeals are handled by professional judges, not juries, so there would be a far smaller threat to the justice-system.)
 

Nancy M. (219)
Monday April 22, 2013, 6:03 am
Stephen- yes, we know that about "character-witness". And it all boils down to the jury deciding which evidence is credible and which is not- including character witnesses. They then decide guilty or not guilty- black or white. And back to the original point here, we don't know all the evidence or "facts", Much is withheld in order to ensure a fair trial.
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday April 22, 2013, 6:10 am

Though as I understand this, after asking a friend who is a criminal attorney, the character witnesses are allowed only for the sentencing phase of the trail. Character has little to do with the crime of accusation. Most of our mothers, fathers, siblings, friends might well say we are wonderful and even give a strong argument, but that is personal opinion and not fact. If the person on trail is found "not guilty" then there is no need for character witnesses. Though I also understand that some judges might allow a character witness if that person is privy to knowledge about the crime.

Nit picking little details here? What's the point?
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday April 22, 2013, 6:18 am

Almost all crimes are subject to some reports by the news, that is their job. Unfortunately, the more sensational the crime, the more news coverage. The minuscule, but often important details of the crime are often with held from the press, to allow for a more comprehensive presentation to the jury.
 

JL A. (269)
Monday April 22, 2013, 7:31 am
So true Kit and Nancy. Such news interviews are sometimes used to impeach a witness, especially if they say something different for police reports and/or in court.
 

Stephen Brian (24)
Monday April 22, 2013, 4:35 pm
Hi Kit :)

I was unaware that character-witnesses were strictly for sentencing and am actually quite surprised by this. Testimony that a crime is completely out of character for a defendant should have an impact on findings of guilt or innocence, especially in cases where the defendant pleads innocence on psychological grounds (being at least temporarily disturbed at the time of the crime). Thanks! :)

I was nit-picking because I Alexandra and Nancy were debating something and it looked like the disagreement stemmed from both arguing correct points, but expressing them so broadly that they overlapped. I figured that a little nit-picking and drawing the dividing line between the two issues would help. Minor details are withheld, but that can still leave the jury biased and deny the defendant the right to a fair trial.

Hi Nancy :)

In the end, there is strictly a finding of "guilty" or "not guilty", but arguments relating to the case can affect sentencing, and even affect to which charges (if there are multiple) a defendant is found guilty. It's not quite shades of grey, but there are multiple black/white issues and they don't all necessarily run the same way.
 
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