God Sees the Truth, But Waits

by Leo Tolstoy

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In "God Sees the Truth but Waits," is there sufficient evidence to convict Aksionov?

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Near the beginning of the story, Tolstoy provides his readers with sufficient circumstantial evidence for Aksionov's murder conviction.  Below is the evidence.

1. Aksionov is the last person to see the murdered merchant alive.  He dines with him the night of the murder.

2. Aksionov stays in an inn room which is adjacent (right next door) to the murder victim's room.  He could have easily slipped into the victim's room during the night unnoticed.

3. Aksionov leaves very early in the morning--something that is normal for him when he is on a business trip--and the police view that as his fleeing the crime scene.

4. Finally, when the police catch up to Aksionov at another inn, they search his luggage and find a bloody knife in his bag (the other merchant's cause of death was a slit throat).

In the story's pre-DNA evidence time setting, the evidence against Aksionov is so convincing that the court finds him guilty and sentences him, and Aksionov's own wife believes in his guilt.

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