Letter: Woodward trial

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The Independent Online
Sir: Ten years ago, aged 19, with a group of friends I spent the summer in the United States.

We stayed in various locations: Boston, Virginia, New York; with friends, relatives and some in "live in jobs". All of us entered the US armed with fake ID, which showed us to be over the age of 21. We all used this ID to enter bars illegally.

We stayed out all night, partied, and probably didn't show the required commitment to our paid employment. Many of us may have professed to dislike our employers and indeed our jobs.

Luckily, none of us fell foul of a couple barely 12 years older than ourselves who had forgotten what it was to be a teenager. Luckily, none of us found ourselves in circumstances which, our not being able to explain them, might have indicated our guilt in a capital crime in many US states. Luckily, none of us were made convenient scapegoats for what may have been a horrible accident or terrible crime.

It is a frightening concept that we must rely on luck rather than justice ("The crowd holds its breath for Louise", 4 November).

EIBHLIN PAYNE

Basingstoke, Hampshire

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