Legal system worked right in Goff case

Published 9:37 am Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No one will ever know exactly what went on behind closed doors between Bill and Megan Goff. Only two people ever knew what happened that fateful March 2006 night when the wife and mother shot her estranged husband 15 times.

We may never know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, whether it was cold-blooded murder or a battered woman protecting her family.

But a jury of 12 men and women had a clear answer.

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We do know that she has been convicted by a jury of her peers once and a judge once, although the first verdict was rightfully tossed out by the Ohio Supreme Court over inadmissible testimony.

The day she was sentenced, her attorneys filed a motion seeking a third trial, this time alleging flaws on the jury instructions. The same set of instructions that the defense itself helped write.

If the judge doesn’t grant that motion, then the attorneys are asking him to reduce the charge to involuntary manslaughter, something that could have happened in both trials but did not.

Assistant Prosecutor Brigham Anderson has filed motions against both and hits the key points that the instructions were sufficient and that the jury chose not to hand down a manslaughter charge because the facts of the case.

These legal motions by the defense are nothing more than a last-ditch effort to get a verdict they want. The taxpayers have already had to pay for the state’s side of two trials. They should not be asked to pick up the tab a third time without sufficient evidence that Goff didn’t get a fair trial.

So far, we haven’t seen proof of that.

It is difficult to say justice was served in this tragic case because two children have essentially lost both their parents, but the legal system functioned as it was designed.

Megan Goff got a fair trial by a jury of her peers. She must now live with the verdict and her actions.