One of the biggest stories in the news for Fall, 1997 is the "Au Pair" trial and verdict. Louise Woodward, a British nanny working in the United States, was convicted of second degree of murder for the death of eight month-old Matthew Eappen. But Judge Hiller B. Zobel reduced the verdict to manslaughter, and Louise was able to walk free. Here are some questions concerning this topic. We hope you'll send us some e-mail expressing your opinions. Remember, students and teachers may discuss your response in class. I you'd like to have your comments posted to the website, just let us know in your e-mail.
1. Do you think Louise actually caused the death of Matthew?
2. Do you think the judge should have reduced the verdict?
3. Do you think a judge should have the power to change a jury's verdict?
4. Even though the judge reduced the verdict should Louise still have been able to walk free?
5. What decision do you think the judge should have made about the verdict?
6. Do you think Louise should have been convicted of second-degree murder by the jury?
7. Do you think Matthew was injured weeks prior to his death?
8. Do you think the jury (or someone else) should have the right to overturn the judge's decision?
9. Do you think this trial should have received a lot of publicity?
10. Do you think the trial was fair? Why or why not?
To The News Discussion Page