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20 Biggest Trials of the Past 20 Years, from O.J. Simpson to Scott Peterson to Casey Anthony

It’s our delight to introduce a guest blogger Nicolas M. German who is a DUI attorney in Denver, Colorado.

Many criminal trials have simply been sensational to people throughout the years. And here is a list of 20 most hyped trials that have taken the American media by storm in the last two decades. A large part of the credit for popularizing the trials goes to the criminal defense lawyers like Geman DUI attorney.

Jack Kevorkian

He was famous for assisting terminally ill patients to end their lives until in 1998. A video showed him injecting people with some lethal substance. That resulted in his conviction, bringing down the curtains on the illustrious Dr. Death who died in 2011.

Rae Carruth

Rae Carruth, a footballer in the National Football League, was a partner in crime for killing his pregnant girlfriend at a traffic crossing by blocking her car and helping the hired gunmen shoot at her. He is serving 18-year prison term since 2001.

Martha Stewart

The trial that lasted for a year between June 2003 and July 2004 saw the fall from grace for the businesswoman, television personality, and writer charged with financial misappropriation and insider trading.

Michael Jackson

Jackson’s arrest in November 2003 started the high profile trial for child molestation and other charges against him that created sensations of all sorts on the media until it culminated in the star’s acquittal from all charges in June 2005.

Rod Blagojevich

Facing corruption charges, the trial of Rod Blagojevich, former Illinois governor lasted for two and a half years from December 2008. The charges included soliciting bribes to fill up the vacancy of the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.

I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby

Scooter Libby was the chief of staff of Dick Cheney and had to face conviction in the trial for leaking information about Valerie Plame, a CIA agent to N.Y. Times. The act, seen as a betrayal of the national cause stirred the media and people alike.

Saddam Hussein

The trial of the Iraqi dictator between December 2003 and November 2006 was one of the most covered by the American media. Although the trial was highly controversial, surrounded by charges of a farcical trial, it gained significant media attention.

Scott Peterson

The two years of the Scot Peterson trial (April 2003 to March 2005) had several elements of high drama that kept people drawn to television and newspapers closely following it. Convicted of murdering his pregnant wife, Scot is serving in prison facing death row.

Kenneth Lay and Jeffery Skilling

The Enron scandal gained immense notoriety among all white collared crimes of the time as the duo of Kenneth Lay, and Jeffery Skilling masterminded massive securities, accounting, and wire fraud that spelled the doom of the $100 company. The trial began in July 2004 and lasted till October 2006.

Tom Delay

As the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Tom Delay had every reason for getting press coverage. However, he was in the news for all wrong reasons when facing a six-year trial from September 2005 to January 2011 facing money laundering charges.

John Allen Muhammad

Charged with homicide for killing ten people and injuring three others in sniper attacks carried over three weeks in October 2002, John Allen Muhammad got the death sentence after a one year trial between October 2002 and November 2003 and finally killed by lethal injection in 2009.

O J Simpson

With the O J Simpson trial began the practice of round-the-clock media coverage with the police chase in a white 1993 Ford Bronco SUV. The pursuit was estimated to be watched by an audience of over 90 million. The newspaper USA Today described the trail as 'most publicized criminal trial' in history. Simpson an NFL player, actor, and broadcaster was accused of murdering his ex-wife and her friend. However, in 1995, Simpson got acquitted on both counts of murder.

Bernard Ebbers

Bernard Ebbers, the founder of the telecom giant WorldComm, was at the center of accounting and financial fraud for several billion dollars. He had to face 25-year prison term in the trial that took place between August 2003 and July 2005.

Phil Spector

The celebrated music producer had to face trial between 2007 and 2009 for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson who he claimed had committed suicide at his place. Cameras followed the trial closely. Finally in a retrial in 2009 he was proved guilty of murder.

R. Kelly

The ten-year-long trial of the R&B singer R. Kelly began in 1998 when he was charged with child pornography and caught in the act with a 13-year-old girl. But the trial ended in 2008, and the singer got acquitted of the charges.

Lindsay Lohan

The celebrity was at fault for violating the terms of her probation arising from two incidents of drunken driving in 2007. In the 2010 trial that attracted a record number of television viewers, Lohan was sentenced 3-month jail term and rehabilitation.

Casey Anthony

2011 was the year of Casey Anthony trial that became a national sensation as the young mom faced charges of murdering Caylee Marie, her two-year-old daughter. The trial garnered huge television coverage as the verdict acquitted the 25-year-old mother.

Dr. Conrad Murray

Another sensation trial of 2011 brought television viewers on their feet when Dr. Conrad Murray, who like Michael Jackson's physician was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter that killed a celebrity. The extensive television coverage that it received helped the TV channel HLN to attain 98 percent ratings in October 2011.

Jodi Arias

Jodi Arias's trial that began in 2013 has attracted the attention of television channels that are banking on the young and attractive woman's capabilities of taking the viewership and ratings to record heights. Arias is facing charges of murdering a close confidant.

Officer Johannes Mehserle

Police officer Johannes Mehserle was accused of gunning down Oscar Grant III on the morning of New Year's Day, in 2009 at Oakland. The officer claimed that Grant had resisted arrest which was contrary to the eyewitness account that claimed the officer urging Grant to turn his back before shooting him. In July 2010, the court found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter and he served a jail term for two years.


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