Question No. 1

What is the difference between the criminal and civil court systems? (Half page) 

Both criminal and the civil court system have a very different motive and way of observing a trial and making a final decision. A civil court system is one where the plaintiff sues the defendant for a viable penalty or something that the defendant may have caused in order to harm the plaintiff. In such a court system, the need for reasonable doubt is diminished and in short, just a summary for previous evidence is mostly what is more than enough to win the plaintiff their case without much necessary new evidence. Unlike a civil court system, the criminal court system always has the government as the plaintiff, who prosecute, or fight against, the defendant, who is usually charged with a crime, ranging from first degree assault to a minor robbery or burglary attempt.

In the case of criminal court systems, unlike civil court systems, the defendant must be proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in order to incur a penalty or a fine. The penalty may be jail time up to several years. In a civil court system, the government can either be the defendant or the plaintiff depending on the situation (CivilRightsOrg, 2015). The government does not necessarily have to be one of the two parties in all the cases. Moreover, the penalty in a civil court system, if the defendant is proven guilty, is to pay either a monetary relief, in which the plaintiff is rewarded with cash or other monetary benefits, or the equitable relief, where the plaintiff asks the defendant to do something, or not to do something and the defendant agrees with cooperation.

 Question No. 2

Identify and explain at least 5 key differences as to how a criminal case is different from a civil case. (One Page)

Wrongdoings are considered offenses against the state, or the general public for that matter, and therefore, this implies that despite the fact that one individual may kill someone else, murder itself is viewed as a crime that has been committed against everyone within the general public. As needs be, violations against the state are arraigned by the state, and the prosecutor, not the victim that was involved in the crime of the case, documents the case in court as an agent of the state. On the off chance that the criminal case was instead a civil case, then the plaintiff would record the case against the defendant instead of the state or government, such is the case in criminal courts. .

Criminal offenses and common offenses are for the most part diverse as far as their discipline. Criminal cases will have correctional facility time as a potential discipline, though considerate cases by and large just result in money related harms or requests to do or not accomplish something when it comes to punishments being offered in civil cases. Note that a criminal case may include both correctional facility time and money related disciplines as fines while a civil case may only punish the defendant with an equitable punishment or a monetary punishment, which is paid to the victim, who is also the plaintiff.

The standard of evidence is likewise altogether different in a criminal case versus when compared with a civil case. Wrongdoings should for the most part be demonstrated past a reasonable doubt, which means that in all cases the defendant should be proven guilty in such a way that there is no way to possibly implicate a doubt in his guilt during the court trial. On the other hand, civil cases are demonstrated by settling for the easiest option of confirmation as proof in order to prove the defendant guilty in favor of the plaintiff. For example, the prevalence of the proof, which basically implies that it was almost certainly that something happened in reality is more than enough to implicate the defendant as guilty for the case at hand. The distinction in norms exists on the grounds that common obligation is viewed as less accountable and in light of the fact that the disciplines are less serious.

Criminal cases quite often consider a trial by jury. Common civil cases permit juries in a few cases, yet numerous civil cases are known to be chosen by a judge.

A defendant in a criminal case is, by all means, qualified for a lawyer, and on the off chance that he or she can’t manage the cost of hiring their own preferred lawyer, the state must provide the defendant with an adequate lawyer. A defendant in a civil case, on the other hand, is not provided a lawyer by the state or the plaintiff, and must pay for hiring a lawyer to defend him. If the defendant is unable to hire a lawyer to defend him in court, he will have no option but to defend himself in the court against the plaintiff without any lawyer by his side.  

Question No. 3

Identify and define the terminology used to describe the punishment available in the criminal and civil courts? How do they differ in terms of penalties to the defendants? (Half page)

The contrast between common law and criminal law turns on the distinction between two unique items which law tries to seek after – change or discipline. The object of common law is the change of wrongs by convincing pay or compensation: the wrongdoer is not rebuffed; he just endures such a great amount of mischief as is important to make great the wrong he has done. The individual who has experienced gets a clear advantage the law, or if nothing else he stays away from a misfortune.

Then again, on account of violations, the fundamental object of the law is to rebuff the wrongdoer; to give him and others an in number prompting not to carry out same or comparable wrongdoings, to change him if conceivable and maybe to fulfill the general population sense that wrongdoing should meet with requital. The disciplines that are recognized in common laws are Compensation, which are typically money related, for wounds or harms, or an order in irritation to the offended party. In criminal cases, a blameworthy litigant is liable to Custodial (detainment) or Non-custodial discipline, which are fines or group administration. In uncommon cases, the discipline might likewise wind up in prompting a capital punishment, such as the death penalty. In this regard, it is fair to say that much of the punishments in civil cases are minor in contrast to the punishments that are likely to be undertaken in criminal cases. Hence, the difference of objectives in both criminal courts allows the defendant to be put in harsher and critical situations, which may lead to more harm in one court while the guy may suffer less harm in the other court. If the case of O.J. Simpson is taken into hand, he suffered only monetary costs, which he paid to the victims, while he saved up at least 25 years of imprisonment by being proven as not guilty in the criminal court for the same crime. This is the best example to show the difference and objectives of both courts and how they tend to punish the guilty in the court.


Question 4: Define the elements of murder first degree and a wrongful death lawsuit. 4, A & B = 1 page)

Question No. 4 (A)

  1. Explain burden of proof, and how burden of proof differs between the criminal and civil courts concerning these issues.


The burden of proof is the mere obligation of the plaintiff or the prosecutor in both civil and criminal laws to proof that the defendant in both criminal laws is guilty. Burden of proof varies in both criminal courts however. In criminal law courts, the claimant must give proof however, the burden may shift to the defendant in situations of Res Ipsa Loquitur, which means that the evidence, whatever it may be, speaks for itself in the criminal situation. In civil law courts, the defendant is merely innocent until proven guilty. This means that the prosecution must prove defendant guilty. In both cases, it becomes clearly evident as to how the defendant has chances of being let go and being prove as not guilty in the matter. For example, in civil law cases, the defendant has a far greater chance of being proven guilty as the burden of proof is less since no reasonable doubt is required to implicate the defendant as guilty and punishable by court in favor of the plaintiff. Therefore, if the defendant actually is guilty, there is very little chance that the defendant will get out of court without being proven guilty. On the other hand, in terms of criminal law courts, the defendant has a very likely chance of getting away with a crime since the burden of proof on the prosecutor is huge since the factor of reasonable doubt plays a very important part. If the defendant is able to create the slightest doubt in the jury as to whether they committed a crime or not, the jury would most likely let them free and prove them not guilty in court since there was reasonable doubt.

Wrongful death claims are considerate activities, for the most part recorded by the bequest or relatives of the perished with the assistance of a wrongful demise attorney, on the premise that respondent is in charge of the individual’s death through a reckless, conscious, or careless act. Wrongful demise claims may be founded on a demonstration that additionally constitutes murder as that term is characterized by the criminal statutes. On the other hand, first degree murder is where a person is accused of killing another individual with active conscience. This terminology is used in criminal law courts only. The prosecutor files such a lawsuit against the defendant in order to prove the defendant guilty and acquit him with severe punishments.

 Question No. 4 (B)

Describe what types of burden of proof were required to be met in OJ Simpson’s civil and criminal trials.

The burden of proof in O.J. Simpson’s trial varied in both the criminal and civil law courts. In the criminal law court, Simpson had to be proven guilty by the prosecutors beyond any reasonable doubt. This meant that the prosecutors had to place O.J. Simpson at the crime scene regardless of whether he was there or not in order to prove him guilty. The fact that all the crime scene was wrongly contaminated before any valid forensic evidence could be gathered concludes that reasonable doubt could never be tarnished whatsoever. The further proof that blood samples were filled in by the police in various locations of the crime scenes due to the evidence of EDTA present in the blood samples after being reexamined after three months further raised doubt of O.J. Simpson’s involvement in the murder of his ex-wife and her presumed boyfriend (XXSASSTERXX1, 2012). Hence, the burden of proof was intense while the actual proof was all tampered and not worth displaying or mentioning in court and during the trial. On the other hand, the burden of proof In O.J. Simpson’s civil law case was entirely another case. O.J. Simpson had to be proven guilty enough to be punishable by court. A footprint from a branded shoe was found on the crime scene and when O.J. Simpson was asked under oath at the court to tell if he owned the same branded shoe, he refused to own any. When it was later revealed through a magazine photo that he actually owned the same branded shoe and had worn it in the photo 9 months before the trial, it was enough to prove him guilty since he had lied to a question under oath, which was a key evidence linked to the plaintiff’s claim. Hence, O.J. Simpson was proven guilty quite easily in the civil law court due to a lack of burden of proof as compared to the immense burden of proof required in criminal law courts. 

Question No. 5

Explain how defendant testimony differs between a civil and criminal trial. Explain how this difference effected OJ Simpson’s involvement in his criminal and civil cases. (1 page)

Defendant testimonies, much like defendant punishments, vary severely in both criminal and civil law court systems. In the criminal law court, a defendant always has the right to remain silent over what he has to say, even when being interrogated by authorities or the prosecuting attorneys. All the while, the defendant also the right to not be a witness to the actual crime, thus the testimony of the defendant is quite flexible and often inaccessible due to the rights allowed to the defendant. However, when it comes to civil law court systems, the testimony of the defendant and the rights that come along with it are quite different than the ones in the criminal court system (Standler, 1998). In civil law cases, the defendant has to cooperate with authorities and the plaintiff attorneys by being available for depositions before actual trials and answering any questions that are relevant to the case at hand. Moreover, the defendant also has to act as a witness to the crime that is at hand at the case of the court and therefore, should answer all questions under oath related to the crime events, even if the defendant does not want to do so.

This difference is quite clear so far and hence, it also becomes clear as to how this difference impacted the decision of the criminal case and the civil case against O.J. Simpson. In the criminal law case, O.J. Simpson did not testify against himself or bare himself as witness to the crime. He also exercised his right to remain silent, even though he cooperated with the authorities as much as possible. This made him harder to implicate as guilty since he would not testify to anything that he had to do with during the crime scene or even near the crime scene.

However, when it comes to the civil law case against O.J. Simpson, it became evident that he would be easier to prove guilty since O.J. Simpson could be summoned to a deposition before the trial to figure out what part he had in the crime that the case was investigating and whether he was guilty of what he was accused of or not. O.J. Simpson also had to testify against himself and had to tell everything in front of a judge in the court, which made it more difficult for him to prove himself as not guilty. This is also where he was asked the question of whether he had owned the same branded shows that were matched with the footprints of key evidence at the crime scene, and he had replied to not owning any such shoes under oath. Had this been a criminal law case, He would not have had to testify in court and hence, such a question would not have to be answered. This question is what implicated him as being guilty since he was later found to have owned the same branded pair of shoes which he had earlier declined to being the owner of.


CivilRightsOrg. (2015). The Difference between Civil Courts and Criminal Courts. Retrieved October 28, 2015, from Civil Rights :

Standler, R. B. (1998). Differences between Civil and Criminal Law in the USA. Rbs2.

XXSASSTERXX1. (2012, May 26). BBC – OJ Simpson the Untold Story. Retrieved from YouTube: