Jeffrey Dahmer’s of Milwaukee Cannibal as people also know call him trial is one that is most often spoken of in classrooms in Law schools. Criminal law history is important for understanding the concept of modern criminal law and nowadays court trials. Milwaukee Cannibal’s case is one of the most gruesome ones and it was covered by all major televisions and broadcasted on CNN. Public was disgusted and horrified with things this person had done. Before his arrest, people were horrified and afraid that something just like that can happen to them.
Jeffrey Dahmer was an American killer, sex offender. He was convicted of murdering, raping and dismembering bodies of seventeen young men and boys up until 1991. It is believed that the number of victim is higher. Many of his murders included necrophilia, cannibalism and preserving parts of victims bodies. Later was found out that his ultimate goal was making a shrine of victims skulls and boiled heads.
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After his arrest, he waived the right of having an attorney and confessed to all 16 murders, interrogation lasted 60 hours and he described all his crimes. He said that if he was creator of that chaos, then the only thing that makes sense is that he tells it all and put a stop to it.
Even though Jeffrey was diagnosed with multiple mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, personality and psychotic disorder, he was found sane at this trial, probably because of severity and gruesomeness of his crimes. He was convicted for 15 out of 16 murders and sentenced to 15 indefinite imprisonments on February 15th 1992. Assault on one of these 17 men was attempted murder, thanks to whom they caught Jeffrey. To this 15 life imprisonment sanctions, one more was added later for the murder he committed in Ohio.
Documentary about Jeffrey Dahmer
In November 1994, he was beaten to death by another inmate in prison.
Trials to celebrities and famous persons always have the most media coverage because people are interested in the outcome of the trial more than regular trials, that is why sometimes cameras are allowed in courtrooms that record entire trial. Judges can forbid cameras in their courtrooms which wasn’t the case in this Phil Spector’s trial.
Phil Spector was an American record producer and musician who was charged for murder of an actress Lana Clarkson who was found dead in his mansion. Her body was found on a chair with a single gunshot in her mouth. Spector gave his statement to Esquire magazine, he said that Lana kissed the gun.
Adriano de Souza, Spector’s driver called 911 from his mansion and said that Spector killed someone and came through the back door of the mansion holding a gun. Prosecution provided court with documents of previous events, where Spector also pulled a gun on four women and threaten them. Spector remained free because of his 1 million dollar bail.
First trial ended with hung jury and Specter changed at least three teams of defense lawyers. Retrial started on 20th October in 2008 with Judge Fidler presiding one more time. Nineteen days later, how much was needed for the jury to decide, Spector was found guilty for second degree murder, additionally he was found guilty for using firearm while committing a crime, which added four years more to his sentence.
After second trial Spector was immediately brought into custody and sentenced to 19 years in prison in the California state prison system. During the second trial and sentencing after that Phil was unable to speak due to throat papilomas. Spector’s lawyers filed numerous petitions and appeals but all were declined.
Phil Spector is serving his sentence in the California Health Care Facility in California State Prison since 2009, he will be 88 years old before becoming eligible for a parole.
This case as well as many other trials to celebrities became inspiration for a movie that is called Phil Spector and was produced in 2013 by HBO.
Orenthal James Simpson is professional football player and actor, he was tried twice for the murder of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lye Goldman, who was alleged lover of hers. This case was one of the most publicized ones in American history and history of Criminal Law in general. After both trials Simpson was acquitted and found not guilty.
Media coverage of this case is the thing that is maybe the most interesting thing, since Simpson was a famous person, his fans and public in general didn’t believe he could do it. It is almost sure thing that the media influenced the verdict. The public was interested in the outcome of this trial therefore a TV camera was allowed in courtroom, also there were constant interruptions and yelling by the visitors, that all surely influenced on the jury decision, after all they all were a part of the public that was interested in this case.
Jury in this case consisted of 10 women, 2 men of which 9 were black people, 2 were white and 1 Hispanic person. This composition of the jury clearly sympathized with O.J. Simpson more than with an unfaithful white woman.
Team of the most professional Los angeles Criminal defense lawyer was hired to defend O. J. Simpson, other than a high profile and very expensive defense team, Simpson allegedly hired two attorneys specialized in DNA evidence to discredit prosecution’s evidence. They claimed that DNA evidences were planted by police officers. His high profile lawyers tried to indicate that these two persons were killed by some drug addicts.
Prosecution were sure they have a strong case even without murder weapon and without any witnesses of the crime since they had strong physical evidences, however they Simpsons defense team succeeded in their job and at the end O.J. Simpson was found not guilty. DNA evidence of Simpson’s blood was on the list of prosecutions evidences as well as Simpsons glove. After he was found not guilty, families of victims wanted a civil trial in which their closest relatives were awarded with approximately 33 million dollars. O.J. Simpson later wrote a book “If I did it” in which he describes how he would murder his wife hypothetically, and in that way he admitted that he had done it.