An All-American Fugitive
August 22, 2002 1:41 PM   Subscribe

An All-American Fugitive When Margo Freshwater escaped from prison 32 years ago, she began a happy and law-abiding life, becoming a devoted mother, grandmother and wife. Now she's back behind bars . . . And unless she's given a new trial or is granted clemency . . . she will remain behind bars until she is an old woman . . . Meanwhile, the man who confessed to the killing probably will die a free man.
posted by mikrophon (5 comments total)
It's a bitch when your past catches up to you. I really feel bad for this woman, who so obviously cleaned her life up pretty well. And I wouldn't be opposed to clemency. But she had a few chances to do the right thing in the past (i.e. run for help), and she shouldn't be surprised that running away didn't solve anything. I hope I never make such bad decisions.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 2:18 PM on August 22, 2002

I find it scary that some 21 or so states do not allow for ruling reversals based on DNA evidence. Since introduction in VA 10 years ago, over 500 inmates have had reversals based on dna evidence. Scary to think what mistakes those 21 states are trying to keep behind bars....quiet.
posted by omidius at 2:34 PM on August 22, 2002

I wouldn't say her past caught up with her as much as someone else past caught up with her.

She stands trial several times, while her boyfriend confesses, for murder and then a reduced charge of accomplice to murder. She's basically being accused of being a murders girlfriend. A murderer who she and other witnesses testified to in court she was afraid of and threatened by.

The suggestion that the right thing to do in this situation was to run for help is absurd. Who is she supposed to run to? She's already in custody, in court, in the press. She had two realistic options, wait out the trial or run. I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt because she was actually present for these events and assume the trial was going badly enough to eliminate waiting out the trial. In the face of god knows how many years in prison for a crime that it is barely even disputed she's innocent of and a life on the run what kind of fool would choose prison.

She's a hero because she took her life into her own hands, snatching it back from these invisible authority figures we're supposed to depend on to 'help us'. If they exist then they failed her.

It's surprising how often we're told we shouldn't stand up for ourselves and how often those who do, even if it is a terrible mistake, are criticized for not knowing there place. She resisted and ran and when she was caught she went with out a complaint. Hero.
posted by at 3:06 PM on August 22, 2002

I believe prosecutors thought she should have attempted to flee in the time between the first murder, and when the pair got caught. And then when they were caught, she didn't seem to be distressed by Nash. She also kept up a sexual relationship with him during the multi-state killing spree, and she never claimed to have been "raped."

She isn't a hero for standing up for herself, she is a scoundrel for fleeing her punishment for being an accessory to murder. She didn't complain because she new she was rightfully found and brought back to justice
posted by Mushkelley at 3:47 PM on August 22, 2002

Well she seems to have had an unlucky life, but she is neither hero nor scoundrel. This is a bit of a vexed issue really, when I read of nazi war criminals still being caught in their eighties I believe they should be shown no mercy, Ronnie Biggs on the other hand, who was clearly a criminal I have more sympathy for.
This woman I have loads of sympathy for if the account of her life is accurate. If her account of events is true it is astonishing that she should have been found guilty and received such a harsh sentence. That the authorities should invest so much time and money finding her also astonishes me, she does not appear to have represented much of a threat to the public.
If prison is about rehabilitation (is it?) it generally seems to make a pretty bad job of it. This woman appears to have made an excellent job of rehabilitating herself. I do not really see what purpose is served by sending her back to jail, certainly not justice as her previous treatment appears to have been unjust.
It's a crying shame, going right back to her early life and penchant for making bad decisions. I hope someone, somewhere, with enough influence can find some mercy in their hearts and send her back to her family.
posted by Fat Buddha at 4:13 PM on August 22, 2002

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