With the persistent coverage given to court cases by cable television networks and the 24-hour news channels, people all over the world are able to keep track of a variety of cases. Every so often, the public will hear evidence that seems to create an air-tight case against a defendant, but that defendant winds up going free.
The public’s perception of a case can sometimes differ from what the jury hears, but that does not stop people from developing strong opinions. Over the years, there have been many defendants who have been able to walk out of courtrooms free after their trials were over, but there have been a few unpunished crimes that still have people scratching their heads.
O.J. Simpson – 1994
The 1994 double murder case against former football star O.J. Simpson seemed like a slam dunk to the public. There was plenty of evidence to connect Simpson to the murder scene and put him in the general area of the murder at the time that it happened. But people all over the world were shocked when Simpson was acquitted of all charges by a jury. He later lost the civil case, but Simpson never served time for the murders that so many people were convinced he had committed.
Lorena Bobbit – 1993
Lorena Bobbitt is famous for mutilating her husband’s manhood in response to what she claimed were repeated, sexual attacks. Bobbitt admitted to mutilating her husband and then discarding part of his body in a field. Despite her admission, Bobbitt was acquitted.
Casey Anthony – 2011
Casey Anthony was a single mother who was accused of killer her daughter Caylee. Despite an overwhelming amount of evidence linking Casey Anthony to the murder, and the lack of emotion that Anthony showed during the time that her daughter was reported missing, a jury acquitted her.
There have been several attempts by groups of people unrelated to the case to get Casey Anthony re-tried, but the law does not allow it. As of 2014, the outrage from the verdict is still a topic of conversation on social media sites.
Los Angeles Police Department – 1992
When four Los Angeles police officers were videotaped beating an African American motorist named Rodney King, the entire country was in an uproar. The film was played over and over again on the news, and the case even captured the attention of the United States Congress.
When the four officers were acquitted of all charges, riots broke out in Los Angeles and around the country. Rodney King himself went on television to try and stop the riots by asking everyone to just get along.
George Zimmerman – 2012
In a case of conflicting stories, 28-year-old George Zimmerman was put on trial for murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The initial outrage regarding this case occurred when the police initially refused to arrest Zimmerman for the murder. That outrage was only compounded when a jury in Florida acquitted Zimmerman of all charges.
The legal system does not always see things the same way that the general public does. Mass outrage often occurs when a defendant looks guilty to the public, but that defendant is eventually acquitted. These kinds of incident always leaves people wondering how the defendant got away with it and shakes the public’s faith in the legal system.