Episode 1: Wrongful conviction


Raegan: Welcome to the first episode of criminal, my name is Raegan Coffee.

Kaeleigh: My name is Kaeleigh Tuck.

Gavin: My name is Gavin Freeman.

Kaeleigh: In this episode we are talking about cases that have ended in wrongful conviction.

Gavin: There have been several cases that have ended with wrongful conviction, there is even a case that we will be talking about that ended in wrongful conviction in 1673. https://www.stmuhistorymedia.org/case-of-thomas-cornell-the-murdering-of-his-own-mother/

Raegan: (talk about what wrongful conviction is)

A wrongful conviction is a conviction of a person accused of a crime which, in the result of subsequent investigation, proves erroneous. Persons who are in fact innocent but who have been wrongly convicted by a jury or other court of law.

Kaeleigh: (talk about how wrongful conviction pulls into a case)

When wrongful conviction plays a role in a case it normally causes someone to go to jail for a long period of time for a crime they didn’t  commit

Gavin: (talk about the history of wrongful convictions in cases)


Raegan: (introduce Thomas Cornell Jr.’s case)

Seventy-three year old Rebecca Cornell’s last moments on this Earth have had to have been one of the strangest moments ever. In early February 1673, Rebecca was found burnt, with flames all around her, lying some distance away from the fireplace in the downstairs room of her house. Hours before this occurred, Thomas her son had spent more than an hour talking with his mother when he decided to go upstairs with his wife and kids. He had left his mother peacefully sitting by a large fireplace in her bedroom smoking a clay pipe.  A possible reason for what could have happened on the night of Rebecca’s death is that she could have been murdered by a person or a group of people because two days after Rebecca’s death, John Briggs, Rebecca’s brother in law, claimed he was visited by Rebecca’s ghost, who stated Rebecca was trying to tell her brother-in-law that her death was no accident. She failed to accuse the specific person of her death, but told Briggs that it was someone. Briggs took his testimony to the court and told the officials what he had seen.

The jury was wrong in accusing Thomas for the murder of his own mother. However, the jury’s information about Thomas that led to his conviction was mainly based on Thomas’s relationship with his mother. Their relationship was filled with bitterness and hatred that was badly fueled with financial conflict. There was no one there to see the death of Rebecca, nor was there a murder weapon found at the scene. To this day, this mystery has not found the proper reason as to what happened to Rebecca Cornell for her tragedy on February 8, 1673.

Gavin & Kaeleigh: (discuss Thomas Cornell Jr.’s case)


Kaeleigh: (introduce William Jackson Marion’s case)

William “Jack” Jackson Marion and his friend, John Cameron, traveled to Gage County, Nebraska, in search of work in 1873. While in Gage County, Marion purchased a team of horses from Cameron, making a small down payment for the purchase. The men then traveled together with the team of horses through Beatrice, Nebraska. After they passed through Beatrice, Marion was seen traveling alone with the horses and Cameron was not seen again. Shortly thereafter, a body was found in nearby Odell, Nebraska, with three bullet holes in the skull.The body was decomposed, but it was wearing clothing similar to that which Cameron had been wearing when he was last seen. The sheriff was certain that the body was Cameron and that Marion had killed him. Once located, Marion was brought back to Beatrice, Nebraska, where he was tried, convicted, and ultimately hanged for this murder on March 25, 1887. Four years after his hanging, Cameron reappeared, alive and well, in LaCrosse, Kansas.

The National Registry of Exonerations

Raegan & Gavin: (discuss the William Jackson Marion’s case)

Wrongful conviction pulls into this case because Marion was innocent of Cameron’s missing/death case. Marion was hung and killed for nothing.

Gavin: (introduce Bill Wilson’s case)

“Bill Wilson was wrongly convicted in December 1915 of the first-degree murder of his former wife Jenny and their child in 1912 based on bones that were found. He was convicted even though six witnesses, including her sister, testified at his trial to seeing the two alleged victims alive after they were allegedly murdered. Bill Wilson was sentenced to life. After Wilson’s conviction a curator from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC examined the bones and determined they were aged bones from four different people. Bill Wilson’s attorney eventually found the alleged victims alive and living in Indiana, and Wilson was pardoned by Alabama’s governor in July 1918 after 5 years of wrongful imprisonment, including 17 months held without bail prior to his trial. In 1919 he was awarded $3,500 compensation by Alabama’s legislature. However, a probate judge named as a trustee of Wilson’s account stole most of the $3,500.”


Kaeleigh & Raegan : (discuss Bill wilson’s case)


Kaeleigh:  (introduce serial podcast)

Sarah koenig is the creator/host of serial, Sarah is a journalist who was contacted about Adnan Syed case. The woman who contacted Sarah about Adnan case is Adnan best friend’s sister, she wanted the podcast to bring awareness to Adnan case. She was hoping that this would help Adnan get a retrial, and help him get his freedom.  

Raegan: (explain Adnan case in serial)

A high-school senior named Hae Min Lee disappeared one day after school in 1999, in Baltimore County, Maryland. A month later, her body was found in a city park. She’d been strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was sentenced to life in prison. The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness, Adnan’s friend Jay, who testified that he helped Adnan bury Hae’s body. But Adnan has always maintained he had nothing to do with Hae’s death. Some people believe he’s telling the truth. Many others don’t.

Gavin: (explain why wrongful conviction can be pulled into Adnan’s case)

Wrongful conviction can be pulled into Adnan’s case because the jury used his ethnicity against him a example is that they asked him if his parents knew that him and hae were together they did this because they knew they weren’t supposed to be together since there different ethnicity backgrounds.  

Kaeleigh: (explain how the cases pull together)

Adnan case and the cases we talked about have similarities, one being that in the cases there are wrongful conviction, also the evidence in all theses case are very limited.

Gavin:(explain episode 1)  

This podcast was about wrongful conviction and how it played apart in adnan’s case. And this i a big deal because it can put the wrong person in jail it can cause them to use years of there life.

Raegan:(explain next podcast)

Up next on criminal you will hear more in depth about Rebecca Cornell’s last moments on this Earth. You will hear previous interviews with Thomas and hear his side of the story.


Does Money Equal Happiness?

Do you think money buys happiness? Are people without money not happy? How does the money make you happy? These are questions that most people without money ask themselves. In The Great Gatsby, these questions are answered. Most of the characters in the book are rich and all of them are depressed. In The Great Gatsby, symbolism using the characters shows that money can’t buy happiness.

Image result for money

In the book The Great Gatsby, the theme money can’t buy happiness is conveyed by the character Daisy. In the book, Daisy is married to Tom who belongs to a rich family, which means Daisy is wealth. Throughout the whole book Daisy is the center of most of the drama. This make Daisy very emotional. “Suddenly, with a stained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily.” in this quote it shows how emotional she is. The next quote is when Daisy, Tom, Gatsby, Nick, and Jordan went into town to a hotel. “‘Now see here, Tom.’ said Daisy , turning around form the mirror,’ if you’re going to make personal remarks I won’t stay here a minute.'” This shows Daisy being stressed out because her husband and the guy she is having an affair with in an argument. Arguments and emotions are things that money can’t change.

In the book The Great Gatsby, the theme money can’t buy happiness is conveyed by the character Tom. Tom’s character is a character that born into a wealthy family, and he is also married to Daisy. Throughout the story Tom is having maritally issues and this is the cause of a lot of stress. A quote from the book say “I’m suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr.Nobody from nowhere make love to your wife?” This shows that Tom is worried and stressed about losing his wife, this is something that can’t be changed by money. The next quote is about the same thing as the last quote “What kind of a row are you trying to cause in my house?” This shows although Tom is rich he doesn’t have a perfect life or marriage.

In the book The Great Gatsby, the theme money can’t buy happiness is conveyed by the character Gatsby. Gatsby is a newly rich man who lives in West Egg, and he is also in love with Daisy. In the book it says “I’m going to call up Daisy to-morrow and invite her over here to tea.” This shows that Gatsby is still messing something even with all the money he has. The next quote is ” If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream.” This quote shows that the only thing that Gatsby truly wanted was Daisy.

The theme money can’t buy happiness fits so good with this book. This book filled with very rich people yet not one of them seem to be happy. This book truly shows no amount of money can fix personal problems no matter how hard you try.


Setting Quiz

  1. The American Dream is seen in the section about east and west egg because they are very wealthy and are living in big beautiful houses.
  2. The Valley of Ashes symbolizes poor people working and trying to reach the American Dream.
  3. The ironic use of white and red in the Manhattan Apartments is red is normally  symbolizes with love but in Tom’s apartment he is having an affair on his wife. Then for white normally symbolizes purity which is not shown because Tom is cheating on his wife.
  4. In the Great Gatsby, there is a place called the East and West Egg, this is where the rich people live in the book. When they describe the East and West Egg in the book they use colors to symbolizes the rich, clean, and fancy lives they live. With the description of the the East and West Egg it is a great representation of the american dream. This is shown because the people that live there are rich and live in nice and big houses with their family.

Dangers of Social Media

Do you think social media is dangerous?

About 77% of Americans use social media, and most of the people that consist of 77% view social media as a second nature. With social media being such a important part of peoples life sometimes it is hard to realizes the dangers of social media.

Social media can be a very dangerous place. Social media makes it easier for dangerous people to talk to other people. For example, there are several young kids that have social media accounts, this makes it easier for sexual predators to find their next victim. Social media makes it easier for predators to talk to children. In the article “Sexual Predators Like to Use Social Media” the author James L. White states  “He always used Facebook to meet young girls.” about Jack a sex offender. With this quote coming from a sex offender proves even more that social is dangerous especially for children.

There are several dangerous people on social media. There have been times where someone meets someone online and they end up getting raped or killed. One case of this is when a woman killed a man that she meet on PlentyofFish dating site (shared by sfgate.com).

Some people may say sexual predators will found victims no matter if there is social. That statement is partly true because it will happen regardless, but social media means it a whole lot easier for them to contract their victims. In a PureSight article it states that “One in five U.S. teenagers who regularly log on to the Internet says they have received an unwanted sexual solicitation via the Web.”

Social media is not just dangerous because of sexual predator. It is also dangerous because it makes it easier for thieves to access your personal information and your money. According to an article 14.3 million Americans were affected by cybercrimes in 2017, losing a total of $19.4 billion.

Social media has also made it easier for scheme artists to scheme people out of large dimes of money. In an article it states that the average victim of some scheme is between $15,000-$20,000. According to alvareztg.com, 1 in every 3 Americans has already been on the receiving end of a cyber-attack. Of course not everyone that is involved in cyber attack’s lose that much but even if only 10% of those people lost that much money that is still a lot of money.

Someone may say that stealing money will happen regardless to social media. That is partly true but social media is so big that it much it hard to catch these thieves and this is a big reason it is so popular for thieves. Social media also allows thieves to get to all of your information and not just your credit card.

These are only two reasons why social media is dangerous but there are many more. It is very important to understand and know to dangerous of social media so that we can be safe.

By Kaeleigh, a student at Franklin-Simpson High School

Doctor Not allowed to be Apart of Death

Doctors should not be allowed to participate in the executions. Before a doctor becomes a professional they have to swear to the Hippocratic Oath which states that no matter who the patient is or what the patient has done they have to help save and care for them. In the article Doctors in the Death Chamber, Sydney Wolfe said “Participating in the execution of a prisoner is not compatible with being licensed to practice medicine.” This shows that a physician agrees that them doing the execution is against the oath and license. Wolfe also said that “Administering a lethal dose of drugs is the most serious violation of ethics.” This also supports that this is against the oath. There are some people  believe that prisoner deserve a painless and comfortable death that can only be brought be a doctor. One person who agrees with this is Ken Baum as he says “These physicians are not killing their patients; they are comforting them in their final moments of life.” They could train people (who are not doctors) to do this and they can still have a comfortable death. This is why doctors should not be allowed to participate in the executions.

The Foosball Table

How did I get here?

How did this happen?

How did I trip?

On a normal summer day, I was at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club. We were having free time and we were about to go back to the classrooms. Before I went to go to the classroom someone told me that we were going to watch Chicken Little. After I heard this I was happy as all get out. So me being the stupid little 8 year old I was, I was like I’m about to run to the classroom. First of all you know I was happy cause I never run unless I absolutely have too. Since I’m the young Usain Bolt I was running through the hobby about a thousand miles an hour. As you read this I want you to imagine a little 8 year old running their fastest through hobby and then this happened. So to get to the classroom through was a couch and then beside the couch there was a Foosball table. So me being me I was like I can jump over the couch and at the point I wasn’t even thinking about the Foosball table. As I’m in a full sprint, it was the time to jump over the couch. As I jump I realize that I jumped to close.

The next thing I know, my head crashes into the Foosball table. I was hoping that nobody saw what just happened. So I was about to get up but before I got up I feel my head to see if there was a bump. To my surprise there was no bump but there was blood. So for what seem like an hour, I was trying to figure out how to tell somebody. I thought about just going up to them and saying ” I think I just busted my head open” but then I thought they would probably freak out more if I did that. So instead I just lead on the ground and scream as loud as I could.

Before I know it about 10 people started rushing toward me and when they get there, there is already a pond of blood by my head. So after they see this they call 911. About a minute later the police show up and when they got there they made me keep my head still. I tried to move my head and he got all mad so I just laid there with my stiff neck until the ambulance got there. When the ambulance got there they put me on a stretcher and took me out of the building in front of all the classrooms which was so embarrassing. Then got to ride in the ambulance which was like the highlight of my year so that made up for it. That was the story of me being an idiot.

Construction Response

In the poem, “Same Song”, Pat Mora uses diction to convey the character insecure tone. Mora says “frowns at her face” to show that her daughter is insecure with herself. Mora also says “frowns too” this is to show that her son has insecurities. In this poem the main word to show the tone is “frowns” this word is powerful to show the insecurities of the character.