Wedding Cake Model of Justice
The top layer of the wedding cake, in the wedding cake model of justice, is composed of celebrated cases. One of the most celebrated cases of recent times is the case of the People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson. In this 1994 case, former professional football star and then current actor, O.J. Simpson was accused of the murder of his wife and another man. After a lengthy, well publicized trial, O.J. Simpson was found not guilty by the California jury. The trial received media coverage from a large number of media outlets including NBC’s Today, the Los Angeles Times, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Times magazine, Newsweek, and more.
The case of Godfrey v. Georgia, 446 U.S. 420, 100 S. Ct. 1759, 64 L.Ed. 2d 398 (1980) fits on the second layer of the wedding case. This is because it involves the murder of the defendant’s wife and mother-in-law; furthermore, he shot his own daughter. The case made it up to the United States Supreme Court; the question presented was whether or not the imposition of the death penalty against the defendant was arbitrary and capricious. Even though it was a very serious case, it was not well publicized and do not have any well-known people involved.
The third layer of the wedding cake is composed of lesser felonies that can be reduced by the defense to less serious charges. An example of this in the news recently is the case of Missouri man who plead guilty to misdemeanor charges of endangering a child. The original accusation was that the man committed sexual assault, but he was allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge based on the fact that there was insufficient evidence to charge him with a higher crime. Therefore, the defendant was originally facing felony charges but was able to get the charges reduced to a misdemeanor (See Murphy).
The bottom layer of the wedding cake is composed of misdemeanor crimes. Examples in the news recently include the misdemeanor assault Chris Brown faces for a run in outside of a night club. An article appearing in the Washington Post states that he is charged with simple assault; the only reason that this incident received any media attention is because he is well-known (See Alexander).
Alexander, Keith L. “April trial set for R&B singer Chris Brown’s assault case.” The Washington
Post. 19 February 2014. Web. 24 March 2014.
Godfrey v. Georgia, 446 U.S. 420, 100 S. Ct. 1759, 64 L.Ed. 2d 398 (1980)
Murphy, Kevin. “Missouri Teen Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor in Assault Case.” Reuters.com. 9 January, 2014. Web. 24 March 2014.
People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson