by Mary W Maxwell and Cheryl Dean
Lately, Gumshoe News has published numerous articles about the man convicted, at age 29, of the Port Arthur Massacre, Martin Bryant, and the man convicted, at age 21, of the Boston Marathon bombing, Jahar (Dzhokhar) Tsarnaev. They have so much in common:
- Both were set up to commit a big terrorist event.
- They didn’t commit it. A very experienced team did.
- Both were vulnerable young men, unlikely to win big public support — M because he is not the full quid, and J because he is from a little-known ethnic minority.
- Both have a Mom who was pushed into urging them to confess. Pushed by you-know-whom.
- Both have a bereaved Mom. M’s lost her husband 3 years before Port Arthur. J’s lost her son Tamerlan.
- The media has demonized both boys. (Perhaps M takes the cake here.)
- One had Damian Bugg as prosecutor; the other had Carmen Ortiz. What more need be said?
- Both were in solitary for a long time.
- M changed his plea from innocent to guilty after a time in solitary confinement. J first pleaded innocent and never actually changed it, but after his conviction he gave a scripted ‘apology.’
- Both were described as gentle by friends who knew them before the ‘incident.’
- Immediately the media was ready with a complicated presentation of the tragedy.
- The Australian event led to gun control; the Massachusetts one involved lockdown.
- The real murderers attempted to kill M and J at the point of capture.
- M had no trial. J’s defense lawyer started the trial by saying “He did it.”
- Both are allowed no visitors in prison. (Why not?)
- Both judges put some of the documents under seal. (Why?)
- Both on the day of the event did additional crimes, e.g., M set fire to a car and kidnapped someone; J robbed a carjacker’s bank account and killed a campus cop.
- The defense team was in cahoots with the prosecution.
- Media never mentions that intelligent persons have raised reasonable questions about the event.
- Both J and M were severely injured and hospitalized.
- Persons who showed skepticism were accused of disrespect for the victims.
- In each case there was exculpatory evidence but it wasn’t presented. For M, the fingerprints of the real gunman on the tray at the Broad Arrow Café, and for J, the white backpack.
- In both cases the judge deviated wildly from normal practice.
- We hate to say it, but, in both cases, most folks in the local population were willing to assume that the media reports of the case were true.
Got any ideas of how to get around these awful problems? Write to us at Gumshoe. And please see the petition to get a coronial inquest “for Marin Bryant’s sake and all our sakes.”
— Mary W Maxwell lives in Australia and Cheryl Dean lives in North America. They have not met each other but are singing from the same hymn book.