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The Claus von Bulow Case

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Martha Crawford known by the name sunny was a wealthy woman living a luxurious life. Her marriage to Alfred had earned her the princess title, and she had inherited a fortune of around 75 million dollars. Regardless of these riches, Sunny suffered from depression that resulted to an unstable mind. On 21st December 1980, sunny went into an irreversible coma, and whether her husband killed her, or committed suicide remains a mystery (Dershowitz 31).

In 1982, the court tried Sunny for attempted murder. The evidence presented to the court was that Sunny had high blood sugar and her insulin levels were high. The exhibits contained the needle used and the insulin vial used to try killing his wife. The persecution provided this evidence to incriminate Von Bulow. The court found guilty of murder and jailed for 30 years. Von Bulow appealed and hired a Harvard law professor to represent him in court (Cyriax 1).

The evidence presented to the court was obtained through illegal methods. Sunny’s family had employed a private investigator to look into their daughter’s coma. The private investigator found that Von Bulow locked a closet left open before Sunny went into a coma. The private investigator hired a locksmith to pick the lock and lied that he owned the house. They found the key to the closet and obtained the main evidence to the case. The private investigator had obtained the evidence illegally and would benefit from Von Bulow’s conviction (Cyriax 2).

Medical experts were involved in the appeal. Eight university professors testified that the cause of the coma was due to a combination of factors rather than insulin.  The hypodermic needle used as evidence had insulin coat on the outside, not on the inside of the needle could be dipped in insulin and not as a result of injection. The experts also argued that the flesh on the victim could have wiped the needle of the insulin thus discrediting the evidence. The charges against Von Bulow did not hold thus dropped due to evidence acquisition and the lack of conclusive evidence against Von Bulow.

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