My own vantage point is that of a trial judge, and for me, revisiting the Sheppard case is a chance to ruminate on the relationship between judges and the media and how judges deal with high profile cases. I will consider that subject, and then meander a little farther along and share a few thoughts about what I call hermetically sealed justice - our modem insistence that judges say nothing and juries know nothing. Finally, I will have a few words to say about DNA evidence and the "reliable verdict" ideal that appears to be one of the propositions to which this conference is dedicated. The Sam Sheppard case produced three verdicts. The first one was unreliable because the United States Supreme Court said so. The second one was reliable for its obedience to the presumption of innocence. The third one was inevitable because it is harder to prove innocence than to presume it.
A Distant Mirror: The Sheppard Case from the Next Millennium,
49 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol49/iss3/4