5 Famous Cases With Surprising Verdicts

5 Famous Cases With Surprising Verdicts

5 Famous Cases Where The Outcome Shocked The World

  • The Trial Of Lizzie Borden
  • California v. Simpson
  • Florida v. Zimmerman
  • People v. Michael Jackson
  • The Trial Of The Bundy Militiaman

Several famous cases with surprising verdicts have shocked the nation and the world. Sometimes it seems very clear how a case might play out but then the final verdict at the end surprises everyone. These are just a few of the cases where the outcome was unexpected.

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1. The Trial Of Lizzie Borden

The trial of Lizzie Borden is one of America’s most noteworthy murder cases. It involved the ax murders of Andrew and Abby Borden, Lizzie’s father and stepmother. Tensions had been high in the family before the murders, and Lizzie was considered a prime suspect. In spite of the strange and contradictory answers Lizzie gave during questioning, she was famously found not guilty of the murders. Although it is unlikely anyone will ever know for sure, she is largely considered guilty in the public eye.

2. California v. Simpson

In what was perhaps the most famous shocking acquittal of all time, former NFL player O. J. Simpson was found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend. Both were discovered stabbed to death outside Brown’s condo in Los Angeles and Simpson was arrested following a widely-televised low-speed chase. This case was especially noteworthy because of how it was viewed differently by African-Americans as compared to other groups. African-Americans felt Simpson was discriminated against by the judicial system because he was black, as HuffPost notes is an ongoing issue in America. The majority of African-Americans rejoiced at the verdict, while whites and Latinos largely felt he was guilty.

3. Florida v. Zimmerman

George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder for the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an African-American teenager, in Florida in 2012. The jury found that, although there was no question whether Zimmerman had confronted and shot Martin, that he had not actually broken Florida state law. The law in question, known as a Stand Your Ground law, allows individuals to use deadly force if they feel their life is in danger. However, Zimmerman’s apparent racial profiling of Martin and the fact that he initiated the encounter cast doubt on his innocence. Many Americans felt Zimmerman was guilty of murder, but in the end, he was acquitted.

4. People v. Michael Jackson

The 2005 criminal trial of pop superstar Michael Jackson held national attention like nothing since the aforementioned O.J. Simpson trial and it is considered among the most famous cases with surprising verdicts. Charges were brought against Jackson for allegedly molesting thirteen-year-old Gavin Arvizo. A guilty verdict was expected by many, but Jackson was ultimately acquitted. This was largely because of several testimonies by other celebrities that the Arvizo family had tried to extort money from them and individuals who had been friends of Jackson since childhood testifying that he had never molested them.

5. The Trial Of The Bundy Militiaman

A militia group consisting of members of the Bundy family occupied federally-owned land in protest regarding cattle grazing rights in 2016. The legal issue had actually been ongoing since 1993 and came to a head with this protest, during which the perpetrators were armed. Due to the militia’s actions, they were largely expected to receive some kind of punishment, but they were ultimately found innocent because there was not enough evidence to prove the charges the FBI had chosen to bring against them.

The justice system can be dramatic and unexpected at times. These famous cases with surprising verdicts are all excellent examples of how any court case can go unexpectedly.