In criminal and civil cases, prosecution is to prove the relevance of evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Only in this case, the prosecution work can be called successful. However, there are cases when it is rather difficult to prove the relevance of evidence beyond reasonable doubt. Burden of proof is
In the case of OJ Simpson, the prosecution had to prove that the defendant was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that prosecution had to present such relevant evidence that the defense could not disprove any fact.
Prima facie is another term that will be used in the case analysis. Prima facie means presentation of strong relevant evidence, which can support the claim. However, prima facie may refer to evidence, as well. Prima facie evidence is the evidence that cannot be disproved.
The case of OJ Simpson was rather significant for the prosecution of crimes in the United States of America. It showed that burden of proof does lie on the prosecution and it is necessary to find all the relevant evidence when investigating the case. In my opinion, the case showed that prosecution may also make mistakes, as well as that in some cases criminal judges are not as fair as civil ones.
Both attorneys were significant to consider for the jury. Although, the attorney of prosecution was too self confident, he still could present relevant data. The point is that during the opening statements, the jury did not know anything about the case. Hence, they should have believed both attorneys.
Establishing/Challenging a prima facie case for murder
During the trial, it has been many witnesses. However, only some of them turned to be significant. One of the most significant witnesses for the case was Allan Park – the limo driver. He stated that while waiting for OJ Simpson, he saw a man crawling to OJ Simpson’s house. In some minutes, OJ Simpson went out of his house and sit in the limo. Having testified so, Allan Park almost proved that he saw OJ Simpson coming back home after the murder. The point is that eye witnesses are the most relevant in every case; such witnesses are trusted more.
On the other hand, there is another significant witness, presented by OJ Simpson’s dream team. Kato Kaelin was one of the friends of the Simpsons. At the stand, he said that he and Mr. Simpson have been going out for Big Macs French fries. However, Kaelin could not explain what happened next and where OJ Simpson has gone. Another relevant evidence was the telephone call made by OJ Simpson. The prosecution proved that OJ Simpson was calling his girlfriend after 10 PM from his car phone. On the other hand, the dream team could not prove what Simpson was doing in his car and why he was calling from there when he claimed to be at home that time.
Hence, I suggest that these witnesses and evidence showed that OJ Simpson was guilty. On the other hand, it is known that the jury did not take into account all these facts and OJ Simpson’s dream team won the case.
There has been much evidence presented by the prosecution and defense attorneys. The prosecution showed the glove that OJ Simpson wore when killing his ex wife and her friend. On of the gloves has been found on the crime scene, whereas the other was found in OJ Simpson’s house while search. Moreover, the glove contained Simpson’s DNA. This could have been the main evidence in this case. However, the dream team of OJ Simpson tended to point out that evidence was a fake. One of the arguments they presented was that OJ Simpson was an African American and the detective, who had been questioning him, was rude and used the “n” word. The racist issue was the main evidence to deny all the prosecution claims.
It has been already stated above that the dream team of OJ Simpson tended to point out that the detective investigated the case was racist, and all the evidence was fake. The point is that racism is one of the sharpest issues to consider and topics to talk about. On the other hand, the dream team of OJ Simpson did not fear to use it. Moreover, they asked for the procedure on polygraph and asked the detective whether he had ever used the “n” word. In front of the jury and the entire country, he answered negatively. That was the lie. He has been accused in racism and incompetence.
Another factor that was significant in this case was mass media. This started even before the trial. The country has been divided into two after the live chase of OJ Simpson. The entire country watched how police was trying to catch him. I suggest this was the point when the case became divisive in the United States of America. Since that time there has been those who were for OJ Simpson, and those, who were against him. There is no wonder why so many books have been written on this issue. The point is that thanks to mass media this case has become one of the brightest cases on the last decade of the twentieth century in the United States of America. In my opinion, mass media has played a significant role even when the verdict had been proclaimed. Even almost twenty years after the case remains actual and people talk about it.
This case is significant for the study of criminal justice and criminal prosecution. When analyzing the case, it is easy to see all the mistakes the prosecution has done. As I have already said, the first mistake was the opening statement. When analyzing the case and reading transcripts, it is easy to realize that a prosecution attorney should not be self confident. Obviously, it is a significant part of every job. On the other hand, he was too sure about the prosecution victory.
Another significant lesson learned from this case is that witnesses and evidence may sometimes become irrelevant when speaking about some discrimination that might have taken pace during the investigation. The racial factor was the one that helped OJ Simpson’s dream team win the case. It is known that criminal prosecution failed to prove his guilty. On the other hand, this has been done by civil prosecution. Hence, we see that sometimes the racist factor works and sometimes it does not. It is significant to take into account when building opening and closing statements, as well as presenting arguments, evidence and witness.
Bosco J (1996) A problem of evidence: How the prosecution freed OJ Simpson. William Morrow and Co.
Bugliosi V (1997) Outrage: the five reasons why OJ Simpson got away with murder. Island Books
Burden of Proof. Legaldictionary.com
Dough Linder (2000)The trial of Orenthal James Simpson. Retrieved from http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/simpson/simpson.htm
Jones T. L. (n.d) The murder trial of OJ Simpson. Retrieved from http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_murders/famous/simpson/index_1.html
Schiller L (1997) American Tragedy. Avon
Toobin J (1997) The run of his life: the people vs OJ Simpson. Avon