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

2396 WordsJun 23, 201810 Pages
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…show more content…
Dershowitz explains that two very different Simpson trials were carried out: the trial before the jury and the trial before the public (Dershowitz 140). Dershowitz also supplies the strong assertion that television coverage of a trial brings “greater accuracy, less bias, and more direct observation of the trial” (Dershowitz 147). Many people believe that the aspect of money can determine how a case is carried out (Dershowitz 149). In any given case, the prosecution has more resources than the defense. The defense team in the Simpson case included twelve lawyers while the prosecution used nearly fifty (Dershowitz 150). In addition, the prosecution had unrestricted access to a vast amount of federal officers. They also had the judge on their side and the majority of the public supporting them. Due to his careers in professional football and acting, Simpson was a rare defendant that had enough money to legitimately compete with the prosecution (Dershowitz 151). Dershowitz claims the American legal system is never on a relatively level playing field between the prosecution and the defense, often leading to police and prosecutors to slack due to their used to winning (Dershowitz 152). Within the book, Dershowitz poses the question of whether prosecutors and defense attorneys are advocates for justice, or only for their clients. The reason for lawyers choosing a client can
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