Elisabeth Brook: Lack of understanding of 'reasonable doubt' behind Rintala mistrials

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
To the editor:

I was stunned to see the letters to the Gazette that were in favor of not going forward with a third trial in the Cara Rintala murder case. I attended the trial on several occasions as a disinterested party, read all of the transcripts, and by the end of the trial I had no trouble believing beyond any shadow of doubt that Ms. Rintala is guilty of murder. I’m of the belief that any jury that understood the phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt” and had some common sense would have come to the same conclusion.

I believe that people don’t understand reasonable doubt. Some people actually believe that an unknown person just could have run into the home, murdered Annamarie Rintala, cleaned the basement up and then hung around and several hours later poured paint on the body to cover up the evidence, all the while knowing that Cara could come home. Without a motive? Common sense tells us (as well as scientific evidence) that the body was stiff and the paint was freshly poured. These two events did not happen at the same time. Cara Rintala is the only person with motive and opportunity.

We know that the two women had a love/hate relationship.

There were numerous instances of severe fighting and restraining orders being issued. Unlike the picture that the defense attorney David Hoose painted, these fights were not spats. Anything that warrants a restraining order is not a spat. He clearly has no understanding of domestic violence.

I could write pages about this. But, most importantly, it is easy to believe another jury could find her guilty.

So far, the majority of both juries knew she was guilty. If it’s a matter of spending money, I can’t think of a better way to spend it. Cara Rintala is a loose cannon and shouldn’t be free to enjoy life outside of prison walls.

Elisabeth Brook