Dr. Sam Sheppard on Trial: The Prosecutors and the Marilyn Sheppard Murder

By Jack P. Desario; William D. Mason | Go to book overview

Seven

The Sheppard Team Presents Its Case

With the conclusion of the opening statements, Bill Mason and his assistants felt confident that they had achieved a strategic advantage. While acknowledging that Terry Gilbert had made a well-organized presentation, stating his convictions with passion and sincerity, Mason believed that Gilbert had promised to deliver too much. Perhaps Gilbert was starting to believe his own hyperbole and the misrepresentations he had made to the public. Mason knew it was a tactical error for anyone to overstate a case in the opening statement. Jurors have good memories, and they would expect the Sheppard team to substantiate all claims. Of course, Mason would remind the jurors of any unfulfilled promises made by the Plaintiffs, knowing that an unfulfilled assertion or claim in a critical element of the case can undermine the integrity of the whole case.

Gilbert had made a number of bold claims. He had condemned the behavior of law enforcement officials, legal officers, and the media, blaming them for a miscarriage of justice. He had misrepresented the marital relationship between Marilyn and Sam Sheppard. He had promised that powerful new technology would prove Sam Sheppard's innocence. Finally, Gilbert had promised to identify the real murderer. Based on the evidence and the testimony he had accumulated, Mason knew that all of these assertions could be challenged, and in some cases refuted: He could clearly demonstrate the expertise and care exercised by the law enforcement community; numerous witnesses would dispute Gilbert's characterization of Sam and Marilyn's marital relationship; and the results of the new technology Gilbert promised were not incontrovertible and definitive. Despite this general sense of optimism, Mason knew that most trials were emotional roller coasters, with moments of both elation and despair. There were also always some surprises.

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Dr. Sam Sheppard on Trial: The Prosecutors and the Marilyn Sheppard Murder
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Dr. Sam Sheppard the Prosecutors and the Marilyn Sheppard Murder on Trial *
  • Contents *
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments x
  • Prologue 1
  • One - The New Prosecutor Faces an Old Controversy 5
  • Two - An Unlikely Setting for Murder 13
  • Three - Did Sam Murder Marilyn? 38
  • Four - Putting Together the Pieces of the Puzzle 57
  • Five - Final Trial Preparation: the Emergence of the Prosecutor's Strategy 71
  • Six - Opening Statements: Setting the Stage 80
  • Seven - The Sheppard Team Presents Its Case 99
  • Eight - Science and Suspects: the Plaintiff and Efforts to Raise Reasonable Doubt 142
  • Nine - The Prosecutor Speaks 200
  • Ten - Dr. Sam Sheppard— Portrait of a Murderer? 232
  • Eleven - Closing Arguments and a Verdict: the End of a Legal Era 309
  • Appendix A 328
  • Appendix B 336
  • Appendix C 340
  • Appendix D 342
  • Appendix E 354
  • Appendix F 360
  • Appendix G 363
  • Appendix H *
  • Appendix I *
  • Appendix J 373
  • Appendix K 377
  • Index 380
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