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 Sams 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 Sams 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 Sams 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. Kirks findings were turned down by the courts, as were other appeals over the years.(Bailey) After Sams 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 Sams 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 …