Letter: Louise Woodward

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The Independent Online
Sir: Stephen Jakobi (Letters, 4 November) regrets the "loose-or- noose" option chosen by Louise Woodward. But if the juror Stephen Colwell is telling the truth, then Louise was not convicted because she chose "loose-or-noose", but because the jury culpably denied her that option.

Colwell says (report, 4 November) that if other charges had been available "then potentially manslaughter may have been the verdict" implying a reasonable doubt of murder, which should have led to acquittal. He says, "There's no way we could . . . say `We think she did it, but we're going to let her go' ", implying a prejudice in favour of conviction, regardless of the charge.

Whether Louise's option was a proper one or not, the jury never gave it to her. Instead they allowed themselves the most impermissible option of all. They tried Louise Woodward for manslaughter and then convicted her of murder.

JOHN HEAWOOD

York

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