18 January 2010

Susan Powell and presumption of innocence

If you live in Utah, you know about the Susan Powell disappearance. If you don't know the details of this case, here's a quick rundown:

-Early last December, the entire Powell family were reported missing by extended family members.

-On December 7, the father, Josh, returned to his home with his two children, saying he was returning from camping and had left his wife, Susan, at home. Camping in the west desert in December? With two young kids? On a Sunday night? Weird.

-Susan remained missing. She didn't show up for work the next day, and her purse, containing her keys, and cell phone, were left at her home. Her car was also left.

-The police questioned Josh and his children.

This was all over a month ago. As of today, there is no sign of what happened to Susan.

And as far as I can tell, 100% of Utahns have convicted Josh of murder in their minds.

Based on what?

It seriously makes me mad that people can't be even halfway rational when it comes to this case, or really, any case in which a married woman goes missing. Immediately the public decides the husband is a murderer, and it's all downhill from there.

Sure, in many cases the husband did, in fact, do it (Mark Hacking, for example), but that doesn't mean it's okay to jump the gun and decide someone is guilty before there is any evidence of that fact.

I'm not sure that falls into the category of "righteous judgment," you Mormons out there.

And sure, in this case, Powell may just be very, very good at covering his tracks, and eventually he will be found guilty. But until then, what is served by publicly hanging this guy? It's been reported that he is planning on moving from the state and selling the house, which only enrages the "hang him!" crowd more.

But you know what? If I were him, I'd move, too. No reason to stick around a state where everyone is convinced you're a murdering, lying sack of dog poo.

That's my soapbox rant for the day. If my wife ever goes missing while I'm out doing something weird, I'd like to enjoy the presumption of innocence from my friends and neighbors. Powell deserves it, too.


*Liese said...

I agree...to a point...I agree that he's definitely innocent (until the officials prove otherwise). However, I wouldn't trust him considering his judgement with OTHER circumstances. Example: Midnight winter camping trip with small children? Not my idea of awesome decision making.

Matty Gibb said...

Could not agree more. It's not just in cases of wives disappearing either. It's any time that somebody gets publicly charged with doing something wrong. People automatically assume it's true. It's like they don't even know that the information they receive is filtered and selective.

Sharon said...

I am usually not one to jump to conclusions prematurely, but there are just too many things that don't add up in this story:

1. The wife told co-workers and friends, "If anything every happens to me, it's Josh."

2. They had been having marital problems.

3. He rented a car when his own van was impounded by the police to look for evidence. When he returned the rental car, it had over 200 miles on it, but he won't say where he was or what he was doing...

4. After he talked to a family friend the day the family was discovered to be missing (and that would mean his wife was missing), he took over 2 hours to come home.
If I heard my husband were missing, I'd be home as soon as I could be. He told investigators he was "just driving around West Valley".

5. There's the wet spot in the carpet with 2 fans blowing on it that he has no explanation for...

There are just too many things that don't add up...

Mandi said...

I agree with you, sweetheart, and I want to go on record right now as saying, "If anything happens to me, please presume my husband innocent until proven guilty." :P

But seriously, though, Bran and I have a great marriage, as evidenced by our awesome Taboo skillz.