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civil and criminal law

Damian M. was charged with the murder of his wife, Sharon. After a lengthy trial in criminal court, he was acquitted by a jury of his wife's murder. Sharon's parents were convinced that Damian killed their daughter, and so they then brought a civil case against Damian for the wrongful death of their daughter. The jury in the civil case determined that Damian was responsible for the death of Sharon.

As a training exercise, you are asked to provide an analysis of how both a civil and criminal case could be brought against Damian for the death of his wife. Discuss possible explanations for the different outcomes in the cases - that one jury found that he had killed Sharon and the other did not. In your discussion, you need to address the following issues:

- Explain the differences between civil and criminal law, such as standard of proof, who brings the case, and the basic possible punishments/repercussions for the defendant who loses the case.
- How might the different standards of proof contribute to different outcomes (finding that Damian did or didn't commit kill Sharon) in the cases?

Solution Preview

Civil law is law that covers disputes between independant indivduals. This means that if someone feels that they have been wronged by another, and they can't resolve the matter by themselves, they can use civil law in order to bring the matter to court to have a judge or a jury decide the matter for them. Because civil law covers mostly matters between individuals, the punishment for the guilty party usually cannot go beyond a monetary compensation to the victim. For civil cases, usually individuals and not the government can bring the cases although some civil cases may exist between government and individuals depending the issue. The burden of proof for such cases are a preponderance of the evidence which basically means that the evidence shows that one party is more guilty ...

Solution Summary

Explain the differences between civil and criminal law

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