CJ 560 3-1 Final Project Milestone One: Draft of Background

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The O.J Simpson Murder Trial


This milestone will allow you to complete the Background portion of your final project.

Use the case you identified in Module One to complete this assignment. In this milestone, create a draft that addresses the following:

  • Facts: Provide a clear, succinct, and accurate summary of the key facts of the case. For instance, on what date(s) did the crime occur? Who was involved? What weapon was used (if there was one)?
  • Timeline: Develop a clear, accurate timeline of your controversial court case that summarizes the decision of the court. Specifically, the timeline of your case should include:
    • The legal issues
    • The judicial proceedings
    • The procedural history
    • The holding(s)
  • Verdict: Defend, with evidence, your position on the court’s verdict. In other words, did the court issue the most appropriate verdict in the case? Why or why not? Ensure that you communicate your defense clearly and effectively.
  • Type of Court: Explain where (local, state, or federal court) the case was tried, specifically including whether the case was tried in civil court as well as criminal court. Why was the case tried in civil court, or why was it not?
  • Similarities: Explain the similarities between the procedures in the criminal trial that occurred and the procedures in a civil trial (whether actual or potential) for your case.
  • Differences: Explain the differences between the procedures in the criminal trial that occurred and the procedures in a civil trial (whether actual or potential) for your case.

To complete this assignment, review the Milestone One Guidelines and Rubric document.

The O.J Simpson Murder Trial

People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson was a criminal case that took place in the LA County Superior Court. Mr. Simpson, a former NFL player, was tried in 1994 on two accounts of murder (CNN, 2013). He was accused of stabbing and slashing his estranged wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman. The two were found stabbed to death, and O.J Simpson immediately became a person of interest; Simpson failed to turn himself in, but later on, a police pursuit ensued.

The trial lasted for almost eleven months. Simpson pleaded not guilty, and in October 1995, O.J Simpson was acquitted on both murder accounts. After the murder trial, the families of Goldman and Brown filed lawsuits against O.J Simpson. In February 1997, the Jury made a unanimous decision that Simpson was found responsible for double homicide (CNN, 2013). The two families were awarded punitive and compensatory damages that totaled to $ 33.5 million.

Substantive Law V. Procedural Law

Procedural law is made up of a set of rules that govern the proceedings of the court in civil and criminal lawsuits as well as administrative proceedings. The rules ensure consistency and fair practice in the due process (Cuadrado, 2012). Substantive law is also a statutory dealing with legal interactions between individuals or people and state. While procedural law lay the rules and procedure of a case proceeding, substantive law outlines both the rights and duty of the people. For instance, in procedural law, arrests must be made but on probable cause, and if a person is convicted, they have the chance to appeal (Cuadrado, 2012). Unlike substantive law, procedural law lacks deciding power. While procedural law is regulated by statutory law, substantive law an Act of Parliament. Both laws dictate how people should act, and they also work together to ensure that proper procedures are followed in trial, whether in a criminal or civil case.

CNN (2013). O.J. Simpson Fast Facts. Retrieved January 23, 2020, from https://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/12/us/o-j-simpson-fast-facts/index.html

Cuadrado, C. (2012). Presentation Unit 1. Procedural Law. Introducción al Derecho Procesal. Retrieved January 23, 2020, from https://rua.ua.es/dspace/bitstream/10045/20706/2/PROCEDURAL_LAW.pdf

Kadian-Baumeyer, K. (n.d.). Substantive Law vs. Procedural Law: Definitions and Differences. Retrieved from https://study.com/academy/lesson/substantive-law-vs-procedural-law-definitions-and-differences.html

Procedural Law. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/procedural_law

Substantive Law. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/substantive_law

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