179 years later, a new trial and a different verdict
Catherine Snow, who protested her innocence, was the last woman hanged in Newfoundland
A modern-day jury has acquitted a Newfoundland woman who was hanged after being convicted for the murder of her husband in 1833.
The case, which depended largely on circumstantial evidence, almost led to riots and has troubled jurists ever since.
About 400 people turned out in St. John's this week as a panel of experts tried to set the record straight.
The basics were the same: a judge, a prosecutor, a defence attorney and a jury — the audience.
The only thing missing was a proxy for the accused, 41-year-old Catherine Snow.
Just before her hanging, Snow acknowledged that she was a "wretched woman" but said she was as innocent "as an unborn child" in relation to her husband’s death.
The long-ago trial saw testimony about traces of blood, marital infidelities and a keen wish to have her husband dead.
The circumstantial evidence was enough to convict her.
"The evidence of the affair is so prejudicial, it's impossible to extricate it from the statements ... there's no way she could have a fair trial," modern-day defence attorney Rosellen Sullivan said.
Today’s jury voted to acquit Snow.
She was the last woman to be hanged in Newfoundland — and may also be one of the earliest recorded cases of wrongful conviction.