Friday, March 25, 2011

Non-Jury Duty

This week I have become obsessed with the Brad Cooper murder trial that is going on in Raleigh.  (just Google Brad Cooper trial if you want to see all the news articles)  

I remember when this happened back in 2008 because I was working in Cary right near where everything happened.  This lady went missing.  Her husband said she had left the house to go jogging.  All these posters went up everywhere to try to help find her.  A few days later a guy walking his dog found her body in an empty new construction area not too far from their home.  

The media started reporting that the couple was going through a divorce.  They said there were affairs involved and he was controlling.  There was a custody battle for the kids between the father and the dead wife’s family.  The family won.  Then he was arrested for murder.  At that time I totally thought he did it from what was reported in the papers.  I was so mad and thinking why do all these men have to kill their wives?!  Why don’t they just divorce them and move on??

Well the trial started last week and all the reports I read things just didn’t add up in my head.  I thought there was no way he could have done this (even though the media was still spinning it like he did).  So I started listening to the trial live for the past few days.  

There has been no hard evidence against this guy!  I am starting to feel really bad for him.  He lost his job, his family, his life basically and been in jail for almost 3 years based on gossip!  These housewives and all of the dead wife’s family have been saying they just know he did it.  It is all based on their feelings and gossip about the guy.  The police have presented NOTHING as hard evidence that he did it.

I can’t even go into it all because I could go on for hours.  Nothing adds up.  All the testimony so far has made Nancy look kind of bad- shopaholic (complaining about $300/wk allowance, running up $40,000 in debt, and supposedly spending $3000 shopping in just one day), drinker, gossiper, cheater, etc. your textbook case of "desperate housewife” and I’m not talking about the kind on the TV show.  (which is sad because she is dead and not able to defend herself)  Brad doesn’t look so good either.  He cheated too, but he looks way better than her at this point.  

But that isn’t even the point to all this.  The issue is did he kill her? And there is no evidence that he did.  And the defense hasn’t even presented their side yet.  Plus there are so many little weird details that should have been looked in to and answered not pertaining to him as the suspect.

I mean he could have done it.  He has the motive.  I probably would have wanted to kill her (based on what has been said in court so far) had I been in his shoes and he does look a little creepy, but that is all just MY OPINION and that is the only thing that has been presented against him so far- people “feeling” it in their gut that he did it and all of Nancy’s bad talk about him to her friends.  I sure hope he doesn’t get convicted based on that.  

It all makes me wish I was on the jury (I know I couldn't have been because I already knew about the case, but still).  At the same time glad I’m not on the jury because I would be DYING to talk about how stupid and crazy this trial is!  And they aren’t even supposed to have an opinion about it all at this point!  I’ve never been on jury duty or even been to court.  Maybe I should have gone into law.

Do you guys have any crazy court stories or opinions on the case?


Stephanie said...

That sounds frustrating. We've had cases where I live similar to that, but usually it was the husband. Then again, any smart woman would never go on a jog by herself. That's just too dangerous. But that's my opinion.

I hope it all pans out for the better. =]

Jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

I don't have an opinion on this case because I honestly haven't been following it. There is a lot more to it though than what is being presented even on the live court TV broadcast (or whatever they call that network now). It doesn't surprise me that there is not very much evidence, many cases are based entirely on circumstantial evidence and really it doesn't take much to convince a jury (unfortunately in some cases). People are so into the CSI effect where they believe that there is or would be hard evidence like a fingerprint or DNA, etc. That isn't how real cases work. The majority of the time there is no or very little hard evidence like this. The other statistic I'll throw out there is that it is HIGHLY likely that it was her husband or lover who murdered her. It is extremely rare for someone to be murdered by a stranger. I'm just saying what I know from studying criminal justice. The person closest to the victim is always the first "suspect" even though they don't call them that in the beginning. I want to get jury duty too. But I doubt I'll ever be chosen, I know too much about law.

Melissa Leeanne said...

There are many inadequacies in our justice system, from police behaviors to the bias in the jury, overworked court appointed attorneys to bad policy. I don't know if you're a fan of This American Life, but you should listen to this:

It, atypically, focuses on one story, the story of a man wrongfully incarcerated and the man who dedicated his life to getting him out, and it manages to highlight many of these inadequacies in a way that keeps you really engaged.