Sunshine31-Also, I want to say that sometimes the defendants file for bankruptcy so the victims can not collect any money.
In the Bernard Goetz case, he was acquitted of attempted murder because the jury felt that these men harassed him and he shot them in self defense. These men were serial criminals with a long rap sheet and Goetz was a previous victim of a mugging.
After he was only found guilty of possessing a firearm without a permit and sentenced to less than a year, the victim that was paralyzed as a result of Bernard Goetz shooting him filed a civil lawsuit against Goetz.
The jury awarded the victim 18 million dollars, but Goetz had filed for bankruptcy and the victim was unable to collect any money.