Sam sheppard Essay

This essay has a total of 2103 words and 8 pages.

sam sheppard




The media had to much power and are the ones who put Sam Sheppard in jail in
1954. On the evening of July 3, 1954 Dr. Sam Sheppard and his pregnant wife were
having the neighbors over for drinks. They invited them to thier home witch was on lake
Erie. Sam fell asleep on the couch before the neighbors left. His wife, Marilyn, then let
the neighbors out and went to bed herself around midnight. Sheppard woke up to loud
screams sometime later.
When Sheppard herd the screams he rushed upstairs to his bedroom. He saw a
“white form” standing beside his wife on their bed. Sam then tried to attack the form but
was clubbed on the neck and quickly blacked out. He then herd a noise and went racing
downstairs. He then saw the intruder and chased him out the backdoor and onto the
beach, he noticed the man had busy hair. While he was chasing the intruder he leapt at
him and tackled him from behind. They struggled for a few minutes and then Sheppard
was knocked out again. When he came to he was partially submerged in water, he got up
and staggered back to his house and called for help.(courtroom drama)
Sam called his neighbor Spen Houk, the mayor. The police Dan Sam’s brothers
Richard and Steve were called. His brothers then took him to the hospital. The
newspapers however said that the Sheppards sped him off to the family hospital and kept
him away from the investigation. They did not report however that the police at the scene
had no objections with Sam going to the hospital, or the fact that Sam was questioned
three different times on the day of the murder or that he had a full-scale questioning four
days later with no counsel present. Those facts did not matter, the newspapers were
spreading the idea that Sam Sheppard was rich enough and had enough influence to get
away with murder. (Cooper)
For the next few weeks the papers were crazy with Sheppard stories, they were
accusing him left and right. They were continually pressuring the police. They even called
for an inquest. Also, some of the media speculation was due to the discovery of a canvas
bag at his house that included a watch, a fraternity ring, and a key. This made people
believe that he faked a robbery. Then it was revealed that he was involved with another
women, the media went crazy.(courtroom drama)
On July 30, an article called “Quit stalling - bring him in!” was run by the leading
media hound of Sheppard, Lois B. Seltzer. That night police arrested Sheppard at his
parents home on the charges of murder. Outside of the house was a carnival. When
Sheppard was lead out of the house people started to cheer. The grand jury indicted Sam
on August 17, Dan is trial began a month later. Before the trial even started the judge,
Judge Blythin, told reporters that Sam was “guilty has hell”. Sam Sheppard was blamed
with second degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison on December 21, 1954.
(internet site)
Sheppards attorneys were not even able to get into Sam’s house until after the trial
to collect evidence. Corrigan, Sheppards attorney, hired Dr. Paul Leland Kirk. Kirk was
a nationally known criminologist from the University of California. Kirk turned up lots of
great evidence that proves Sheppards innocence. He determined that the killer was left
handed, and Sam is right handed. He also found a spot of blood that did not belong to
either Sam or Marilyn. “He also said that Sam’s story was consistent with the known
facts, and that the technical evidence presented by the prosecution had been worthless.
But petitions for a new trial on the basis of Dr. Kirk’s findings were turned down by the
courts, as were other appeals over the years.”(Bailey)
After Sam’s conviction his mother shot herself and his father died of cancer in less
than a month. He survived in jail by writing to his son, working has a surgeon for limited
pay, letting doctors use him for medical research, participating in athletics and made and
sold religious jewelry. The years in jail were bitter ones for Sam Sheppard, none of the
appeals succeeded. The nations legal system had failed him. He was in jail for a crime he
did not commit, and to boot half of his family was dead because of it, his wife, his mother
and his father. Think about what it must be like to have all the time in the world to think
about something that you did not do, or had no control over.(Cooper)
In August 1961, the young lawyer F. Lee Bailey red the book Sheppard Murder
case by Paul Homes. When Bailey read the book it made him furious at what the state of
Ohio had done to Sam. Bill Corrigna had died the last summer and Sheppard needed a
lawyer. In November 1961 F. Lee Bailey took up the case. In April 1963 the US
supreme court brodened the law of habeas corpus by saying that trial judges were not
guarding the rights of the accused and empowered federal judges to check into every
aspect of trials involving appeals of habeas corpus. This greatly helped Sheppards cause.
Bailey field legal paper after legal paper, most of witch were about Sheppard
wanting to take a lie detector test. He filed a petition to Mel G. Underwood a Federal
District court judge in Columbus. Underwood passed the petition for a writ of habeas
corpus to Carl A. Weinman, the chief judge for the southern district of Ohio. On Janurary
17, 1964 a pretrial conferences started with judge Weinman. While in Manhattan Bailey
met Dorothy Kilgallen and she told him of the off record remarks of judge Blythin. This
was grounds enough for a new trial. (Bailey, courtroom drama)
Finally on July 15, 1964 Judge Wienman handed down his decision on the
Sheppard case. Basically he said that the court had found five separate violations of
Sheppards constitutional rights. He gave the state sixty days to come up with a new trial
and he ordered Sam’s immediate release. The state tried last ditched effort of keeping
Sam in. A week after his release he appeared before the US court of appeals in Ohio and
they ruled Sam free. The case then went to Federal court of appeals in Cincinnati. They
ruled that Sam go back to jail. Bailey appealed to the supreme court and they herd the
case on February 28, 1965. On June 6, 1966 it was announced that Bailey had won the
supreme court case because Judge Blythin had failed to protect Sheppard Dan a retrial
was to be scheduled.(Bailey)
John Corrigan was the prosecuting attorney for the second trial. The prosecution
planned to employ the same strategy has before and cal the same witnesses. But this time
the defense was better prepared with evidence Dan the prosecution did not have a media
carnival on their side.
The prosecutions first witness was officer Robert Schottke. He was a homicide
detective for the Cleveland police and the star witness the first trial. This guy thought he
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