The Sam Sheppard Trial 2000: Journalist Roundtable
The third Sam Sheppard trial will come to a conclusion this week. 1954, Dr. Sam Sheppard was convicted of the murder of his wife Marilyn. In 1966, he was acquitted of the crime in a retrial. His estate, including the son of the Sheppards, Sam Reese, filed a lawsuit in 1995, claiming that Sheppard was wrongfully imprisoned for his wife's murder. This jury has to decide, based on the preponderance of the evidence, whether he was unjustly incarcerated.
The Sheppard case also served as a test for the media. In 1964, the US Supreme Court decided, in a landmark ruling (Sheppard v. Maxwell) that Dr. Sheppard received an unfair trial because of tremendous media coverage of the jurors, as well as what was going on in and out of the courtroom. 90.3's Yolanda Perdomo has been covering the trial, and will discuss the 2000 proceedings with fellow reporters who also followed the case. Joining Yolanda will be John Hagen, a reporter from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Belinda Prinz, a reporter from WJW-TV FOX 8, and Jim Neff, an ex-Plain Dealer reporter and former Ohio State University journalism professor who has been researching the Sheppard story for the last 10 years for his upcoming book "Chasing the Fugitive". They'll be discussion the facets of this civil trial, as well as what the jury will use to make their decision.