Reasonable Doubts: The Criminal Justice System and the O.J. Simpson Case

Reasonable Doubts: The Criminal Justice System and the O.J. Simpson Case

Length: 2404 words (6.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Book Summary
The New York Times bestseller book titled Reasonable Doubts: The Criminal Justice System and the O.J. Simpson Case examines the O.J. Simpson criminal trial of the mid-1990s. The author, Alan M. Dershowitz, relates the Simpson case to the broad functions and perspectives of the American criminal justice system as a whole. A Harvard law school teacher at the time and one of the most renowned legal minds in the country, Dershowitz served as one of O.J. Simpson’s twelve defense lawyers during the trial. Dershowitz utilizes the Simpson case to illustrate how today’s criminal justice system operates and relates it to the misperceptions of the public. Many outside spectators of the case firmly believed that Simpson committed the crimes for which he was charged for. Therefore, much of the public was simply dumbfounded when Simpson was acquitted. Dershowitz attempts to explain why the jury acquitted Simpson by examining the entire American criminal justice system as a whole.
On June 13, 1994, Nicole Brown, ex-wife of O.J. Simpson, was found murdered alongside Ronald Goldman (Dershowitz 19). Chapter one of Reasonable Doubts describes how many people jumped to the conclusion that O.J. carried out the murders. Incriminating evidence emerged that more than pointed to Simpson’s guilt (Dershowitz 21). Soon enough, media reports claimed that Simpson would be charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Simpson’s reluctance to be peacefully taken into custody was illustrated by his famous Los Angeles free-way chase that ended in his eventual surrender (Dershowitz 23). Dershowitz chose to join the defense team when offered the opportunity, claiming that the case could greatly educate people, especially his Harvard law students, on...


... middle of paper ...


...secution had scores of federal, state, and local officials at their disposal, including the FBI and the Los Angeles police department.
The defense succeeded at instilling reasonable doubt in the jurors’ minds. A major difference between the defense and prosecution, as stated by Dershowitz, was that the defense relied on factual evidence and scientific experts while the prosecution utilized witnesses that casted a shadow of doubt upon the whole jury (Dershowitz 97). Dershowitz claimed the prosecution knew they had falsities in their case, but kept them in order to win the case (Dershowitz 96). In all, though many people viewed Simpson as a guilty man, the allegations of police perjury and investigative errors allowed the defense to exploit and capitalize on the faults carried out by the prosecution and ultimately implant reasonable doubts in the minds of the jurors.


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Criminal Justice: Racial Disparity and Discrimination and O.J. Simpson Essay

- Criminal law is based on the principle of actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea. The principle is to the extent that a man is not guilty of his acts, actus in the absence of a guilty conscience, mens rea (Gardner, 2009). To this end, criminal law justice provides that the person alleging the commission of a crime must proof beyond reasonable doubt that the accused person(s) possessed mens rea, if the court is to hold a criminal liability against the accused. In the case of People of the State of California v....   [tags: criminal law, O.J. Simpson Trial, justice system]

Powerful Essays
763 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Simpson Case : Murder Case

- When people think or hear of a mystery case it gets their suspicions going more than likely. Many people have heard or know about the O.J. Simpson case and agree or disagree with the outcome that was settled. Most people believe that O.J. Simpson is guilty, yet the jury found him not guilty. Clearly, these facts indicate that the O.J. Simpson Case continues to confound researchers in today’s society. By realizing the essential facts surrounding this mystery and investigating the various theories regarding the case, one can see that the most obvious answer to this mystery is the amount of money that was involved, popularity, and the attorney to defend O.J....   [tags: O. J. Simpson murder case, Nicole Brown Simpson]

Powerful Essays
1106 words (3.2 pages)

The Simpson 's Murder Trial Essay

- The O.J. Simpson Evidence The O.J. Simpson murder trial, which was held in Los Angeles County Superior Court, involved a former professional football star that was being tried for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Lyle Goldman, a waiter, in late 1995. The trial itself has been considered by many as the most publicized trial in modern American history. However, as in every criminal trial case there are substantial amounts of key evidence that is obtained and is ultimately produced to show that the crime was committed....   [tags: O. J. Simpson murder case, Nicole Brown Simpson]

Powerful Essays
1038 words (3 pages)

The Double Murder Case Of O.j. Simpson Essay

- The double murder case of O.J. Simpson is one that will live on forever and one that will never be forgotten. On June 12, 1994 Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were found dead at Nicole’s home in Los Angeles. According to Doug Linder, it was “most likely a single male that came through the back entrance of Nicole Brown Simpson’s condominium” (Linder). Since they did not have any other suspects they went right to Orenthal James Simpson who was Nicole Simpson’s ex-husband. Law enforcement had seen him as suspicious and they had charged him with both of the murders....   [tags: Crime, Capital punishment, O. J. Simpson]

Powerful Essays
1935 words (5.5 pages)

Evolution Of The Liability Of Reasonable Care Essay

- ABSOLUTE LIABILTY TO DUTY OF REASONABLE CARE: EVOLUTION OF THE LIABILITY OF BAILEE IN COMMON LAW In early days, liability in bailment was absolute. The bailee, having been given the position of owner with regard to third parties, was liable to the bailor, and liability in those days meant strict liability. It was no excuse for the bailee to say that the damage or the failure to return was due to no fault of his own; he was liable in any case. The bailee had to safeguard the goods under all circumstances except against Act of God and enemies of the King....   [tags: Tort law, Tort, Reasonable person]

Powerful Essays
735 words (2.1 pages)

The O.J Simpson Trial Essay

- The American public has always been fascinated by tragedy. Why. It’s in our human nature, as we tend to gravitate towards looking upon other people’s mistakes or failures as if it were as precious and watchable as someone’s victories. Add in an event so tragic being televised, and you have yourself a hit with everyday U.S citizens. The O.J Simpson Trial was a turning point in not only the American judicial system, but it completely changed the thoughts that there was no more racial division in our country....   [tags: american judicial system, tragedy]

Powerful Essays
1293 words (3.7 pages)

The O.J. Simpson Trial Essays

- The O.J. Simpson Trial The O.J. Simpson trial was one of the most recognizable cases in American history. It went on for nine months. There were 11 lawyers representing the O.J. and 25 working around the clock for the largest prosecutor's office in the country. The opinion of the Jury was for the defense, not guilty. I agree with them. It would have been crazy if O.J. was convicted because the evidence was not properly handled or accounted for, the main police officer handling the case was a racist man and the defendant was black....   [tags: Trial O.J. Simpson Essays]

Powerful Essays
415 words (1.2 pages)

Simpson, A Great Football Hero Essay

- O.J. Simpson, a great football hero, made the mistake of his lifetime that becomes the most notorious criminal case ever. Growing up on the West Coast wasn’t serene for Simpson because he was surrounded by gangs. In his high school and college years he quickly rose to be a great football player. During his time he played football in college, he was awarded the Heisman Trophy. After he became an elite athlete in college, he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills. He stayed with them for eight years, then transferred to the San Francisco 49ers (Knapp 1)....   [tags: O. J. Simpson murder case, O. J. Simpson]

Powerful Essays
1531 words (4.4 pages)

Is O.J. Simpson Guilty Or Not? Essay

- Is O.j. Guilty Or Not??. well it all started out like this,O.J. was at a club, and Nichole was there also. They met, and a couple days later they started to go out. While still married to Margerite Whitly. The papers didn't go through yet for a divorce, so legally he was still married to her, while going out with Nichole. The Evidence Against O.J. Simpson Mark Fuhrman said he saw a knife box on the ledge of the bath tub,and it wasn't collected for evidence, but the prosecutors say we have the knife that was from the box, that we didn't need the box....   [tags: O.J. Simpson]

Free Essays
841 words (2.4 pages)

The O.J. Simpson Trial Essays

- The O.J. Simpson Trial On June 12,1994, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were murdered. Their bodies were discovered outside Nicole Simpson's condominium. Nicole Simpson was the estranged wife of the famous football player and T.V. star O.J. Simpson. The people directly involved with this case are Judge Lance Ito, the prosecution lawyers, Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden, the defense lawyers, Johnnie Cochran, Robert Shapiro and Robert Blasier , the jury and the defendant, O.J. Simpson....   [tags: Simpson Trial Murder Case Essays]

Powerful Essays
1624 words (4.6 pages)