For the most part, I believe in the power of our justice system. However, with the recent guilty verdict of Cynthia Sommer, I hope I'm never on trial for a murder I didn't commit.
Did she get new boobs with her husband's life insurance money? Yes. Did she act like a slut almost immediately following his death? By many standards, sure. Were her actions inconsistent with those of a grieving widow? Probably so. Did she live above her means both before he died and after? Most definitely.
The problem is, there was absolutely no evidence linking her to the arsenic that experts say killed her husband. No.Evidence.End of story.
I've been watching the trial coverage for the last month or so, amazed that the prosecutor was even allowed by law to charge this woman with a crime. I was positive that the jury would find her not guilty. I was wrong.
Seriously, I've been trying to imagine the anguish of losing my husband, being charged for his murder, having every man I slept with following his death testify against me on national television, go without seeing my children or parents for almost two years - and then be found guilty by twelve people that know nothing more about me.
And I'm not totally convinced that Cynthia Sommer didn't kill her husband. However, I think she was convicted before the trial even started. But, hello? Where is the consideration of reasonable doubt? I mean, isn't that the whole point? In criminal cases, don't jurors have to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that someone is guilty (for example, credit card payments for arsenic on eBay)?
I can tell you one thing: If I were on that jury, we would have been deadlocked. There is no way in hell that I would have let a guilty verdict fly. Feeling in your gut that someone committed a crime and proving it are two different ball games. I think that people just naturally want someone to blame.
And I think these jurors made a terrible mistake.