The Claus von Bulow Case
The defense called nine experts to rebut the state's presumption that Sunny received an injection of insulin. Not one of them said Sunny's comas were consistent with an insulin overdose. Walking a fine line to avoid introducing motive, the defense did not call witnesses who could have testified to Claus' wealth.
On June 5, 1985, Sunny and Claus' 19th wedding anniversary, the prosecution and defense made their closing arguments to the jury. Puccio recounted how all of the defense experts — "the cream of the crop," he called them — had said there were no insulin injections. He pointed out Dershowitz's findings about the false-positive insulin tests on the needle. He painted Maria Schrallhammer as a cruel, vindictive woman who hated Claus because he was just a commoner. But most importantly, he said, Claus' actions showed that he wanted Sunny alive: He called the doctor during her first coma, and he called the doctor when she overdosed on aspirin.
Hamstrung by the Supreme Court and Judge Grande's rulings, the prosecution's case was a bare shell of the one it had presented in the first trial. The prosecutors recounted how Claus had the means, opportunity and (half) a motive to kill his wife. Prosecutors reviewed the damaging testimony of Alexandra Isles and George Cahill, noting that there was a 90 percent chance, as Dr. Cahill testified, that the comas were caused by insulin.
This time, it took jurors four days to reach a verdict: not guilty.
One of the few jurors to speak publicly about the reasons for acquitting Claus said simply, "There just wasn't any proof there. There were many, many loopholes in this whole thing."
The jurors from the first trial were amazed at the result.
"I'm completely disgusted, Winifred Shaw told the Providence Journal. "The system... I don't know, I just don't believe it. I only wish that jury could see the evidence that we saw. But there was a lot that was held back. They didn't get to see everything we saw."