- Jan 22, 2019
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OJ Simpson was found not guilty of murder in a court of law. As far as the law was concerned, he didn't do it. He was innocent. It was as though he was never even there.
Still, Simpson was ordered to pay Ron Goldman's family over $33 million dollars after losing a civil suit against him.
Rittenhouse can very easily lose a civil trial...
You're comparing apples and oranges Cannon Shooter. That analogy is incorrect.
Simpson's defense was that someone else committed the murders. There was no question that Ron and Nicole had been murdered (non-justifiable homicide), the question was only who did it. There was circumstantial evidence that OJ did it, but the state failed to carry the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that OJ was the person responsible. In the civil trial, the circumstantial evidence that OJ was the person who committed the murders satisfied the lower burden of proof. That is a major distinction between the two cases.
In Rittenhouse's case, there was no dispute about the fact that Rittenhouse was the person who shot and killed the 2 people who died, and the events leading to the altercation (it was on video, after all). The question in the Rittenhouse case involved a pure question of law -- whether his actions under the circumstances satisfied the legal definition of self defense under Wisconsin law. Unlike the OJ case, there was no circumstantial evidence for the jury to consider. So the lower burden of proof in a civil trial does not matter here, as there is no dispute about the facts being proven. The wrongful death claim would turn on a single element involving a pure legal issue -- that the killings were not justifiable under Wisc. law -- which has been answered. The case would not survive dismissal (or summary judgment, at worst). In fact, Rittenhouse could probably recover sanctions and attorneys' fees for having to defend such a frivolous case.