Murphy's Law: Acquitted or Not

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Date Submitted: 08/29/2010 10:55 AM

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RE: Murphy’s Law / How can someone be acquitted in criminal trial, ‘convicted’ civilly?

Murphy, R.W. (1999, March 27). Murphy's law / How can someone be acquitted in criminal trial, `convicted' civilly? The Patriot Ledger, 08F. Retrieved May 12, 2009, from Business Dateline database. (Document ID: 40204955).


In the article, the author is addressing the differences between civil and criminal laws. It examines how one situation could have two separate conclusions of guilty and not guilty. Analyzing as to how a person whom is found not guilty in a criminal case could potentially be liable in a civil case involving the same situation. The author uses the example of the O.J. Simpson’s case in which he was acquitted for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman but guilty on a wrongful death civil suit.


The legal business issue in the article addresses how the law is divided into two parts: criminal and civil. It explains how a criminal case is an offence to the state and a civil case an offence to a person. Concluding with the fact that although O.J. Simpson appear to have confess to the killing, double-jeopardy protects him from prosecution of the same crime after being found not guilty during the first trial.


Although, O.J. Simpson was acquitted for murder, he was found guilty during a civil trial and was liable for the deaths of Nichole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. The families were awarded $8.5 million in compensatory damages. Obviously individual can conclude that the O.J. Simpson and the Los Angeles County’s problems could have been avoided if the murder would not have been committed but at the end of the day court cost was estimated at $9 million for the Los Angeles County criminal prosecution. Individuals can look at this case from two different managerial perspectives. Some can view the cost as unnecessary expense. After all, it was approximately $9 million. These individuals are inclined to...