This paper considers a trial on the murder of an influential rapper Biggie Smalls aka Notorious B.I.G., whose name is Christopher Wallace. The murder happened on the 9th of March, 1997, only six months after another famous rapper, Tupac Shakur, was shot to death. These two murders remain unsolved and seem to be related to each other. Being professionally orchestrated, these deaths were connected to the big war between “East Coast” and “West Coast,” the two powerful gangs of the hip-hop industry. There is a theory that the murder of B.I.G. was the retaliation for Tupac Shakur (Duke, 2011). As the FBI records (2011) state, “It is alleged that the WALLACE murder was in retaliation to the TUPAC murder. TUPAC worked for DEATH ROW records when he was shot (west coast) while WALLACE worked for BAD BOY records (east coast). Both were worth millions…” (p.2). Despite numerous witnesses and tremendous media attention and theories, no one has ever been formally charged with Wallace’s murder. The case remains officially unsolved, as the police have searched for details for years, but have not achieved success.
The FBI. joined the case after five years the murder happened. The reason for this was mainly the belief that an LAPD officer was a part of the murder. According to the FBI records (2011), “LAPD Officer ? and other alleged LAPD officers were Mob Piru Blood gang members that worked with and affiliated with DEATH ROW records…this was orchestrated by his good friend and other LAPD officers that associated with” (p.2). The Piru Blood gang had ties with the Death Row label, and there were several police officers identified as involved in this gang (PBS).
The synopsis of the events that happened on March 9 is as follows: BIGGIE is shot and killed while leaving the Petersen Automotive Museum party in Los Angeles (Winton, 2017). The killer drove a Chevrolet Impala to an intersection, opened the car window, and fired multiple shots at Wallace’s passenger seat area. It was stated that “Shortly after the murder of BIGGIE, an anonymous person placed a telephone call to New York and stated that a person identified as involved in the killing” (FBI records, 2011, p.12). Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, filed a $ 400 million lawsuit against Los Angeles city after a hearing. It is worth noting that Search and Seizure procedures are necessary throughout all examinations, as one of the defense’s accusations was to ignore evidence that was sufficient to arrest the suspects (Duke, 2011). Consequently, irregularities in these processes have led to large-scale lawsuits.
Opening and Closing Statements
The purpose of the opening statement is to present the case and the overall strategy used to support the claim or the defense. The plaintiff and the defense present core arguments and evidence which is going to be used. Robert Frank’s opening statement consisted of the plaintiff’s vision of the case and their expectations to the court and the jury. The lawyer based it on the rivalry between the record labels and the BIGGIE’s murder resulted from the professional orchestration of the crime by LAPD police officers. Thus, although the murder had happened and Christopher Wallace was dead, the case presented by the plaintiff was inconsistent and fallacious. The closing statements are made by the same parties and present a summation of the whole trial process. The sides reiterate their core arguments and evidence to support their own side in the case.
The Types of Questions Asked on Direct Examination
Direct examination defines the questioning of an expert witness by their own attorney. The types of questions used in this type of evidence gathering are extensive and are asked to allow investigators to develop credibility in the defendant. According to Biggie’s case, lawyers could only ask superficial questions to the main parties. For example, their attitude towards the victim, the details of the crime night, and whether there was evidence of their arguments.
Important Points for Cross-Examination
Cross-examination is carried out in order for witnesses for the defense to provide evidence to an authorized representative of the opposite side. In this case, the state governor argues for the incompetence of the witnesses due to their criminal record. Consequently, their position on the night of the kill can be skewed in components such as date, time, location of the main participants, and follow-up after shots. The prosecution uses cross-examination to prove the unreliability of the witnesses right up to the final statements. The witnesses who were in the car of the killed man can support the prosecution’s case. On the other hand, the police, investigative specialists, and FBI officers who dealt with the evidence are leaning towards the defense’s case.
Duke, A. (2011). . CNN. Web.
FBI Records. (2011). . FBI. Web.
Winton, R. (2017). . Los Angeles Times. Web.