Trial: Prosecuting Miss Emily for Homer's MurderHow can I prove that Miss Emily did murder Homer? My class is doing a murder trial project. I have the role of prosecutor and we are proposing that...

Trial: Prosecuting Miss Emily for Homer's Murder

How can I prove that Miss Emily did murder Homer? 

My class is doing a murder trial project. I have the role of prosecutor and we are proposing that the body is found before Miss Emily's death and I have to write 3 pages about this and i can only come up with the arsenic and the smell around her house.

Asked on by peste19

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e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

You would need to find the poison in Homer's bones. It seems that is the only way to actually prove that Miss Emily killed him. If there were a witness, that would be proof too, I suppose. Maybe Tobe saw her kill him or heard her admit it. 

The presence of the body in the attic is not enough, nor is the story of the poison. That's all "circumstantial". 

sullymonster's profile pic

sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

You would also want to use the druggist as a witness for the purchase of the poison.  Emily refused to tell him what she had bought it for, even though he claims is is a requirement:

The druggist looked down at her. She looked back at him, erect, her face like a strained flag. "Why, of course," the druggist said. "If that's what you want. But the law requires you to tell what you are going to use it for."

Miss Emily just stared at him, her head tilted back in order to look him eye for eye, until he looked away and went and got the arsenic and wrapped it up. The Negro delivery boy brought her the package; the druggist didn't come back.

kwoo1213's profile pic

kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

Tobe is Miss Emily's manservant (who walks out the door and is never heard from or seen again after the townspeople come to the home after Emily has died).  His name is only uttered once by Miss Emily in the story and I believe it is when she instructs him to show the tax collectors out of her home. Tobe did all of her grocery shopping, etc., for Miss Emily and he was in the home all of the time, so he HAD to know what Miss Emily did.  In fact, he probably had a hand in helping poison him since surely Tobe did the cooking for Miss Emily! 

kwoo1213's profile pic

kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

Yes, it would be a difficult case as a prosecutor, for sure.  You'd have to question Tobe as a witness, too! 

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

There is only circumstantial evidence that she killed Homer. That is, all we have to go by is that she bought arsenic, that Homer disappeared, and that there is a horrible odor around her house. Some prosecutors have had success with circumstantial cases; Scott Peterson was convicted on such evidence. But it is not easy.

You would have direct evidence if you could get Tobe to testify against Emily. However, he's most certainly an accomplice; he probably made the tea that she put the arsenic in. So it would not be in his best interests to testify. You'd have to offer him immunity or cut him a deal to get him to talk.

Do some research and find out how long traces of arsenic remain in a dead body, especially in the hair. If you can find evidence of poisoning, your case is a cinch.

Of course, Emily might say that he died of a heart attack in a moment of passion!

kwoo1213's profile pic

kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

You could also point out how Miss Emily didn't leave the house after he disappeared, for one thing, and how no one saw him after the night he slipped into the house after Miss Emily's cousins left.

 

What a cool project to do!  Awesome! :-)

kooper23's profile pic

kooper23 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Yes, it would be a difficult case as a prosecutor, for sure.  You'd have to question Tobe as a witness, too! 

Yes, but if you remember, at the very end of the story, Tobi left, never to be seen again.  You would have to track him down.  And yes, he was most likely a loyal accomplice of miss Emily.

peste19's profile pic

peste19 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

tobe? i dont recall tobe from the portion of the text that is in my book. whio was tobe?

peste19's profile pic

peste19 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

its cool but hard i cant see myself writing 3 pages with these facts, its my first argumentive project. thanks for your response

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