Just Ax Yourself the Real Questions
Lizzie Borden was just a very misunderstood young gal, she only wanted to ax her parents a question. But really though Lizzie Borden is famously known for the accusations of the murders of Andrew and Abby Borden, her father and stepmother. Although Lizzie was acquitted of the crimes of the murders of her father and stepmother, she is doubtlessly guilty; she just can't be found guilty with a lack of evidence to prove means, motive, and opportunity to find her guilty of her crimes in the american justice system. With the law team of the century by her side, they were able to convey that there was no confirmed murder weapon, so no means to commit the crime. They were also to show a lack of motive and opportunity, even though they were there. The American justice system was designed to have 100 guilty people go free rather than have one innocent person go to jail, this is why we have “innocent until proven guilty” in our justice code. The defense must be able to prove or convince the jury of means, motive and opportunity of a crime for them to find someone guilty of murder. “With a lack of forensic evidence, all they were able to prove is that Andrew and Abby were murdered with axes, but the ax for the crime could never be found (Bio.com Movie).” Yes, they did find a newly broken hatchet on the borden property, but it did not
have any visible sign blood or hair from Andrew or Abby. So it could not be classified as the murder weapon, and with no other weapon ever to be found, we are already without a means for Lizzie committing the crime. “It was known that the Borden sisters did not get along great with Abby Borden, but there wasn't any known hatred that would have lead to murder, especially to their father who they claimed the sister would gain financially from (source C, biography.com).” The biggest motive most people try to pin on lizzie is that she killed her stepmother and then her father in that specific order to gain the most from his assets. Lizzie did end up in a good place financially after receiving half of his 500,000$ net worth. This would be the strongest argument against Lizzie, but they could not find any evidence of it being premeditated. So they could not press this as 100 percent motivation to commit the crime. So now we are loosely without means and motive. Doug Linder of University of Missouri states that “Lizzie spent a lot of time in the household, and rarely ever left besides for church functions….Lizzies uncle from Iowa was also visiting the Bordens at the same time, but was not at the house visiting other family (1).” This would present Lizzie with a lot of opportunity to commit such a crime that took place inside of her house. But why would you wait years and years, with no sign of premeditated planning, and then go and commit a bloody crime in your household when you have relatives from out of state to commit the crime. Even though her opportunity gives her the chance and time frame to commit the crime its still shaky and can't be fully held against her. A shaky opportunity, a motive you can't prove, and no actual murder weapon that they can prove was used in
the crime is why Lizzie Borden was acquitted and set free. Unable to prove means, motive and opportunity, even though almost everything points to Lizzie, is why she became a free women because the American justice system, as flawed as it may seem, still held up and she remained innocent until proven guilty, which she was not found to be. It wasn't until 1966 with the court case of Miranda vs. Arizona that brought light to the fact that you had to be told all of your rights when you are being arrested, but it has still always been an expectation that every US citizen know their rights specifically laid out to them in the Bill of Rights and following amendments to protect themselves with their full rights with the law. “Lizzie Borden was not told all of her rights when she was bought in to be interviewed, and on top of that she was high of pain killers from a recent surgery (Bio.com movie).” Everything she said in her interview should have been thrown out for her trial because she was not told her rights, and she was not made aware that everything she said could and would be held against her and that she wasn't told she could and should have had her lawyer present for all of it. On top of everything she was also not in the right state of mind being in a state of euphoria from her pain killers that she had been taking, therefor all the information should have thrown out right there and then. If such information had been used an actual trial today everything would have to thrown out and the case dismissed because individuals inalienable civil rights had been broken.
It is widely believed that Lizzie was found not guilty only because she is a woman. Which is a very reasonable way to view this situation because in this time it was viewed that woman couldn't commit any such horrendous crime. It was also viewed that Lizzie having a jury of all men helped to the stereotype that men didn't see woman as violent and able to commit such crimes, and that there was no that she could have have been strong enough and strong willed enough as a woman to go through such and act. Whether Lizzie actually killed her parents or not, she was not acquitted simply because she was a woman, she was acquitted through having very good lawyers that helped to show that there was not enough evidence in this case to lock her up for life on the counts of murder. Many of the stereotypes of Woman not being able to do such things may, and were probably all involved, but they are not why she was found innocent. Did the ends justify the means? since no one was ever found guilty in this case, the person who murdered Andrew and Abby Borden would probably answer yes to that question. Whoever killed them killed them for some reason: whether it be for financial reasons or for vengeance or simply mental illness, got away with it all scot free. Lizzie was the only person ever brought to trial in this murder case, and they found her not guilty because of a lack of evidence and a botched investigation. The American Justice system held up, and every living persons were held up in the end.
"The Trial of Lizzie Borden." The Trial of Lizzie Borden. Doug Linder, N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
“Lizzie Borden.” Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, 2014. Web. 2014.
“Lizzie Borden: Guilty or Not?” Interview by Daylene Stelpflug. 1988: n. pag. Print
“The Lizzie Borden Trial.” The Lizzie Borden Trial: Selected Photographs. University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law, n.d. Web. 2014
“The Strange Case of Lizzie Borden.” The History Channel. The History Channel. Histories Mysteries, 1999. Television.
“The Trial of Lizzie Borden: Selected Maps and Diagrams of House and Vicinity.” The Trial of Lizzie Borden: Selected Maps and Diagrams of House and Vicinity. The University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law, n.d. Web. 2014