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Media influence on justice


Choose a specific circumstance when media influences criminal justice.

Include the following in the Outline:
a. What is the circumstance?
b. When did it occur?
c. Who was involved?
d. Location of the incident?
e. Disposition?
f. Do you feel it was a positive or negative outcome? (personal opinion)


Media plays a significant role in disseminating of information to the public. Ideally the public perception towards media is active, and the media tend to receive massive support from the public. Media is so powerful in influencing the way sensitive criminal cases is handled by the state in the court of law. Public perception emanating media coverage and availability of information tend to be a skeptic or positive depending on how media addresses such cases. The media selective coverage of criminal cases and the way information is framed are used by media to influence community perception of the effectiveness of justice system and the degree of just within the judicial system. However, this paper identifies a specific circumstance when media influences criminal justice.

When it comes to the criminal justice system, the media has objectives that are derived from various sources. The media desire to educate, inform and entertain is the backbone of the media business. The media often argue that it is within their jurisdiction to inform the society in case of criminal proceedings. The law backs the media on the ideology of free speech and media (Rothman, 2010). Under such circumstances, the media may influence criminal justice.

In the case of “the people of the state of California v. Orenthal James Simpson”, this was a murder case that spanned for more than eight months. The case received media coverage and was much publicized because of its controversial nature. The case was opened in January 1995, it was held at Los Angeles County Superior Court in California (Hayslett, 2013). O.J Simpson was a professional football star. He was accused of murdering both his ex-wife and a waiter in June 1994.

Both Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson were found on June 13, 1994 in Brentwood area Los Angeles (Hayslett, 2013). The evidence collected implicated O.J Simpson as the murderer. Murder charges could lead to a possible death penalty if convicted. Simpson Failed to turn himself in as requested by the LAPD. Many reporters were waiting to catch a glimpse of Simpson at the police station. However, Sampson failed to turn himself in and instead wrote a note which was suicidal in nature. This believe that Simpson wanted to murder himself prompted both the police and the press to search for Simpson. During his arrest, he was pursued by a fleet of police cars and reporters. Los Angeles News Service followed the arrest closely by a helicopter. Eventually, more helicopters joined in the chase. There was a high media participation the media was also used to encourage Simpson to surrender instead of killing himself (Hayslett, 2013).

His trial was full of media coverage and it attracted the public was controversial in nature and placed the Jurors in a tricky position because their verdict was publicized (Sturniolo, 2014). It is quite imperative to not that there was no witnesses or even murder weapons but the prosecution had a notion they were handling such a strong case.

Before a verdict was made, it was believed that due to much publicity of the case, rioting might occur countrywide. Media and publicity to a larger proportion influenced the court verdict. The judge had arrived at the verdict but because of the sensitive nature of the case he postponed the announcement. The following day he made his verdict during oral argument. The congress men barred press conferences and the jury finally announced that Simpson was not guilty.

In this case of the people of the state of California v. Orenthal James Simpson, many believed in the notion that Simpson might have committed the murder. But because of publicity of the case, racial perception of the public and the fact that the prosecution failure to prove their case led to the jurisdiction arrive at not guilty verdict (Jones-Brown et al, 2014). In my opinion, the jury’s was positive since all the court protocols were observed before arriving at the verdict. The notion that Simpson is guilty or not is not of much concern in relation to what might happen by giving a verdict of guilty.


Hayslett, J. (2013). Anatomy of a Trial: Public Loss, Lessons Learned from The People Vs. OJ Simpson. University of Missouri Press.

Sturniolo, A. L. (2014). The Entertainment Effect: Do Those Within The Entertainment Idustry Receive Preferential Treatment When Facing The Justice System?.

Jones-Brown, D., Frazier, B. D., & Brooks, M. (Eds.). (2014). African Americans and Criminal Justice: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO.

Rothman, J. E. (2012). The inalienable right of publicity.


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