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Circumstantial Evidence Rant! - One person's lack of compassion does not equal another's comfort.
One person's lack of comprehension does not equal another's consent.
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Circumstantial Evidence Rant!
My day of rants is apparently not over yet. My next rant regards "circumstantial Evidence". By now you might have heard of today's conviction of "Cynthia Summers" who has now been convicted of murdering her dead husband FIVE years after he died.

What's so strange about this? Well for one thing the evidence against her is mostly circumstantial, stemming from the fact that she wasn't charged or even considered a suspect at the time he died. Had she been, there would have been an investigation.

As it stands, part of the "evidence" used to convict her ist the very fact that there "could have been" evidence in the home but that it was not found because nobody looked for it at the time.

You know, I could have been thinking of assassinating Ronald Reagan at the time he was shot. They better go and arrest me too!

I learned of this apparent miscarriage of justice while watching a video of the hearing in which she was convicted. Given the circumstances I initially assumed the rest. Then in preparing this rant I did some checking and found out I'm not the only person who feels that her trial has been a mockery of justice. Just skimming the results of a google search on the subject reveals plenty.

So what if they found arsenic in his corpse 5 years later? So what if later it was revealed she had been promiscuous before he died or that she got breast enhancement surgery after. This reads to me like sexist logic and circumstantial evidence.

This particularly offends me today because earlier today I was talking with a young man who is very much like me politically except he is FOR the death penalty. In fact the only bad thing he could say about the death penalty is that under the current system it ends up costing more to put someone to death than to house them in prison.

One of my arguments was that those people who most often get convicted are not the ones with the most evidence against them but the cases which are the most heinous, as in this poisoning case.

I'm willing to concede he was poisoned. I'm willing to believe she was cheating on him, but I'm not willing to sacrifice my own "Reasonable Doubt" that even if she wanted him dead (and I'm not conceding that), I'm not willing to assume that he wasn't poisoned by someone else who wanted him dead, quite possibly one of her lovers of five years ago.

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Comments
browneyedgirl65 From: browneyedgirl65 Date: January 31st, 2007 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
If those are the circumstances of the case (I haven't had any chance to look at this beyond this post, and certainly the media can't be trusted to report things accurately most of the time, would have to look through the filings and motions and court transcripts, really), then it should be very likely her case will appeal. Still, that wastes more time, possibly years of her life in prison while this works its way through the courts.

Bizarre...I'll have to google later when I'm not rushing around to leave for work...
sharrainchains From: sharrainchains Date: January 31st, 2007 05:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
We really don't know what the jury saw or heard, but it does seem as if the jury was punishing her for being a sexual woman. I look forward to hearing if there was any more evidence than that he was poisoned, she could have done it, and she didn't behave as if she was sorry he had died. Because those three facts alone don't overcome reasonable doubt for me, either.
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