Difference Between Civil and Criminal Actions

Topics: Criminal law, O. J. Simpson murder case, O. J. Simpson Pages: 3 (1028 words) Published: May 14, 2012
Civil and Criminal Actions 1

The Differences Between Civil
and Criminal Actions

Civil and Criminal Actions 2

Civil actions protect individuals rather than the public. Civil actions protect the people, the injury in civil actions is primarily towards the individual, causing no harm to society. While criminal actions prohibits conduct that causes or threatens the public interest, defines and warns people of the acts that are subject to criminal punishments, distinguishes between serious and minor offenses, and imposes punishment to protect society and to satisfy the demands for retribution, rehabilitation and deterrence. (Lippman, 2007)

In this paper, I will discuss the differences between civil and criminal actions, referring to the distinction between crimes and torts. I will specifically be addressing the goals and objectives of a civil case versus a criminal case, the differences in remedies and outcomes sought, how the commencement of each action differs and how the players in each system differ. In addition, I will be discussing the O.J Simpson case which was trialed in both the civil and criminal courts. I will discuss the elements of crime that are relevant to this case, as well as providing an indication of whether the murders were mala in se or mala prohibita.

Civil and Criminal Actions 3
Differences Between Civil and Criminal Actions
“We the juries in the above entitled action find the defendant, Orenthal James Simpson,not guilty of the crime of murder.” (Linder, 2000, par. 29) O.J Simpson was acquitted for the two charges of murder, for the killings of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson, but later convicted in the civil court using the preponderance of the evidence test applicable in civil cases that had wrongfully caused the death of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. The jury ordered Simpson to pay compensatory damages of $8.5 million and punitive...

References: Linder, D. (2000). The Trial of Orenthal James Simpson. Retrieved from http//:law2.umkc.edu
Lippman, M. (2007). The Nature, Purpose, and Function of Criminal Law. Contemporary
Criminal Law: Concepts, Cases, and Controversies. (pp. 2-6). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
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