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LAW (sheapard v. united states) - Case Study Example
Major Charles A Shepard of the United States Army was convicted of murdering his wife Zenana Shepard at Fort Riley Kansas. Shepard was accused of murdering his wife by poisoning her with Bichloride of Mercury. The motive seemed to be that Major Shepard was in love with another woman and wanted to make to be with this woman…
In 1933 Major Shepard files a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari. A Writ of Certiorari is a document in which the losing party files with the Supreme Court asking them to review the case from a lower court (Techlaw Journal, 2008). This can be done when the petitioner is dissatisfied with the decisions of the lower courts including the US Court of Appeals. A Writ can be granted at the discretion of the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court being the highest Court in the Nation has the right to not accept the petition and there has to be some kind of compelling reason for acceptance. In Shepards Case the Writ of Certiorari was granted.
US Supreme Court Judge Cardozo reveals to the court that circumstantial evidence was used to prove to the jury the Major Shepard was guilty. According to the judge a conversation with Mrs. Shepards nurse Clara Brown, Mrs. Shepard asked the nurse to find her a bottle of whiskey. She then asked the nurse if there was enough left to prove the existence of poison. The nurse then states that the Mrs. Shepard accuses her husband of poisoning her.
The Judge then states "The admission of this declaration, if erroneous, was more than unsubstantial error. As to that the parties are agreed. The voice of the dead wife was heard in accusation of her husband, and the accusation was accepted as evidence of guilt. ...