One of the most famous murder cases in the United States is the trial of O.J. Simpson for the murders of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. A jury found Simpson not guilty of murder, but the families of Goldman and Brown Simpson took him to court in a wrongful death civil trial, and the families won. You may wonder how Simpson could be not guilty of murder yet still liable for the deaths of the two victims. Bustle explains that while you have the right to not face trial more than once in Texas for a crime, that does not prevent private citizens from taking you to court for civil issues.
Winning a civil case is far easier than winning a criminal case, which is what happened in the Simpson situation. While the jury in the criminal case could not convict him because they felt the defense introduced reasonable doubt, the civil jury did not have those same standards.
Furthermore, the civil law system and the criminal system are separate entities. Civil courts award monetary damages while criminal courts provide punishments. The civil suit could not send Simpson to jail, but it could and did obligate him to pay money to the victim’s families.
If the jury finds you not guilty in a murder case, then you may think your troubles are over. However, it could just be the beginning if the victim’s family decides you are guilty and wants to see justice the only way they can through a wrongful death lawsuit. This information is for education and is not legal advice.