The prosecution appears to have been determined to convict Bill by whatever means necessary, including dishonesty and manipulation of the evidence.
1. The prosecutor intimated to the court that Bill had wiped off the gun thereby smudging the fingerprints, which was strong evidence of his guilt. The defence showed that the person responsible for wiping off the fingerprints was the police officer who had picked up the gun, not Bill. Yet in Henry Jones’ summary statement for the prosecution, he still attempted to blame Bill for the wiped off fingerprints, saying: ‘There were no fingerprints on that gun. A very significant sign. Isn’t that answered by the fact that a man usually overdoes a thing when he is trying to hide it?’
2. The prosecutor used only the evidence of the embalmer regarding the gunshot residue rather than the evidence of the county physician, who testified at the grand jury that he had seen gunshot residue inside the wound. He also failed to call the autopsy doctors who told the court that the wound was a close contact wound and intimated that this suggested suicide.
3. The prosecutor tried to stop the medical commission’s autopsy report from being admitted in the trial.
4. The prosecutor claimed that Bill’s diary was filled with threats against Haden. It wasn’t (see post 3). Fortunately, the diary entries were read out to the jury so they could judge them for themselves.
The prosecutor seemed determined to win the case even though the evidence did not back up his claims and even though his win would send Bill to the electric chair.
Seemingly, it was election year.