Palm Beach Trial

The Case That Was Not Heard The prosecution had strong evidence against William Smith but could not use it in court

After 10 days of wrenching, confusing and graphic testimony, it took the six-member jury only 77 minutes to find William Kennedy Smith not guilty of raping a woman at his family's Palm Beach estate last Easter weekend. The swift decision raised questions about the prosecution's case, which boiled down to pitting the accuser's harrowing tale of being pinned to the ground and violated against Smith's equally vehement denials. Many prosecutors would have dropped the case as unwinnable. Why then did State Attorney David Bludworth and Moira Lasch, his chief felony attorney, decide to press ahead?

Smith's lawyer, Roy Black, and some...

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