Nanny Trial: Americans express shock and sympathy
Saturday 01 November 1997
Minutes later the hotel receptionist says: "It is wrong; she's innocent. I'm so sorry" .
There are not many voices in Boston, perhaps not in America, I can hear applauding the jury's verdict. If the defence yesterday was expressing shock and deep disappointment at the decision, it is far from alone. If they want to make Woodward's appeal into a cause celebre, a Guildford Four of the United States, they should have little difficulty. More voices yesterday: "It's awful. It's terrible, I just don't believe she did it," said Kim Taylor, 28, a tourist who was visiting Boston from Colorado. I have a daughter 20 months old. I know how much she falls and hits her head".
Another man on the street, a Bostonian exclaimed: "I think she was hosed . I'm really unhappy. I saw her on trial. I believed her. I really don't think she did it".
Those at the trial who believed she would be found innocent had based that optimism in part also on the feeling that this jury, perhaps any jury, simply would not want to see another life lost, if not actually lost then lost in a sentence in jail. Such sympathetic thoughts apparently did not prevail in the jury room. Outside, amongst the millions watching the trial on cable TV, they did however.
"I was disappointed. Not in the jury, but I didn't want to believe we're sending another kid to jail," said Bob O'Neil, a hotel manager in the city. "It's the second tragedy. The first one is Matthew Eappen. The second one is we're sending this girl to jail."
And there was anxiety too among Americans about how Britons would react to the verdict. The British response, suggested Rich Davenport, has "less to do with the legal system and more to do with it being an emotional issue. I don't think it's fair to blame the American justice system in general. It's just this particular case and the way it was handled".
Even experts in Boston's legal community were astonished and dismayed. Mostly, they lamented the decision, taken by Woodward herself, to opt to deny the jury the chance to deliver a lesser verdict of manslaughter. "It's easy in hindsight to second-guess everything that went on," said defence lawyer Robert Gorege. "But its clear that taking the manslaughter verdict away from the jury - which was supposed to to be a strategic move - has in a way backfired".
- 1 All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Alicia Keys leaks nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
- 5 Clothes store Joy angers mental health campaigners with Twitter exchange on bipolar disorders
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...
£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...
£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...