12) Simpson Synopsis

If one had doubts about the malaise affecting the character of American society, the OJ Simpson Affair should lay them to rest. Simpson’s lawyer had asked the basically minority jury to ignore the “tainted” evidence, and to send the racist judicial system a message. That they did. The intended message was to clean up the bad elements in the corrupt and racially prejudiced system. The trial certainly demonstrated that lying and manufacturing of evidence was within the scope of at least some officers in the L.A.P.D.

Yet, in this case the “message” apparently received by most in the predominantly white society was not quite the intended message sent. As perceived in the “white community” the verdict seemed to read: “It’s cool to slaughter two innocent white humans if it helps to demonstrate our resentment towards white dominated society.”

After all, if OJ was really innocent, would his lawyer, Johnny Cochran ask the jury to “send a message”? If the evidence in the case really indicated that there was reasonable doubt, then Simpson should be set free. What would be the message? In a sense, Cochran himself, had to have recognized Simpson’s guilt. In fact, it might not be too surprising if O.J. himself turned out to be the only one firmly convinced that he didn’t do it. OJ’s longtime friend, Ron Ship, testified at the trial that Simpson had confided to him after the murders that he had dreams that he killed Nicole. Is it possible that rather than face the ugly truth, in his own mind, he was convinced that it was only a dream!

The evidence presented in court, appeared to leave no doubt that Simpson was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If we set aside the blood evidence, which the defense so vociferously challenged, and the DNA which was probably too complex for the jury to comprehend, there still remained a “mountain” of evidence left sufficient to establish guilt which the defense failed to either discredit nor deny.

Undeniably, trial evidence confirmed that a good measure of ineptitude exists within our criminal justice system. The actions of the officers in the field, the officials in charge, the personnel in the labs, the judge, and even the members of the prosecution were held to question. Some officers, were shown to have lied on the stand, and one of course, Furman, stood out as having prejudicial attitudes towards blacks in the past, as well as having inclinations to “plant” evidence. What else is new!

While the defense seemed able to cast suspicion everywhere on evidence collection and laboratory procedures, the overall conspiracy theory presented implying that so many of the various individuals involved in the case suddenly came together and decided to risk their careers to “hang” a man, ostensibly because he’s black, must have come from some comic book. The thought that an officer, or a team of officers, would go around planting evidence before they knew of the suspects whereabouts, or possible alibi is ludicrous. By any such action they could immediately and unnecessarily place themselves under suspicion of serious misconduct.

Tapes proved Detective Fuhrman to be a hideous embarrassment to the LAPD, and witnesses portrayed Detective Vannatter as having lied on the stand about initially viewing Simpson as a suspect, and having lied, or at least, misrepresented the truth in order to obtain a search warrant. In no way, however, after many months of exhaustive search by the “Dream Team”, was any evidence uncovered that would link any member of the so-called “conspiracy” to the planting of evidence. Nor, was any proof presented that anyone purposely lied about the actual evidence presented by the prosecution. It would appear that the “conspiracy theory”, critical to the dismissal of the blood evidence, was based solely on the character weaknesses of two of the many participants in the justice system involved in the case.

Aside from appeals to race, to political activism, and frequent intonations of religion, the defense case seemed to rely on a myriad of “could haves”, and “might have beens” rather transparently contrived to establish “reasonable doubt”. An honest examination of the evidence seems to confirm that there was actually no doubt, at least reasonable doubt, that OJ Simpson did, indeed, commit the crime for which he was accused.

We may set aside the overwhelming body of blood evidence which the defense seemed to spend an inordinate share of time attempting to discredit. The defense strategy apparently, and successfully calculated that if this evidence could be tainted in the eyes of the jury, that then somehow, perhaps through guilt by association, the rest of the evidence would also be viewed as suspect, or even irrelevant. After all, when a witness in the trial is shown to have lied about one thing, wasn’t the jury instructed to question or ever disregard further testimony by that witness regarding anything else? The same logic does not apply, of course, in both cases. Aside from the “race card”, we may discern here the “Dream Team’s” real “ace in the hole”; the selection of a jury which included but one member with a college degree.

Let’s now examine the “other evidence”; the evidence left essentially unchallenged by the defense. No one other than OJ could be found with a motive to commit the murders. The 911 tapes aptly displayed OJ’s rage, and Nicole’s fear. Nine separate instances of calls for help by Nicole Simpson due to domestic abuse were reported. On one occasion, OJ himself pleaded “no contest” to abuse charges in court. Pictures of a badly bruised Nicole following one of the abuse instances, were displayed before the jury. It should not be left unnoted that OJ stood to benefit financially from Nicole’s death. It brought an end to support payments, as well as an opportunity to gain custody of the children.

The judge had ruled that the jury should give consideration to domestic abuse as a potential motive in the case. Yet, contrary to the Judge’s instructions, the defense implied to the jury that domestic abuse should not be viewed as relating to a motive for murder. The first jurist to speak publicly following the verdict, a Mrs. Moran, said that she believed the defense, apparently not the Judge, in refusing to consider spousal abuse as having anything to do with motive or the crime. A strange logic it is, indeed, to choose to believe the lawyer charged with defending his client, rather than to trust the judgement of the judge charged with the job of interpreting the law impartially. Actually under California law, it is not a requirement to establish motive in order to establish guilt. However it does help to do so, and it certainly should have been an important factor in this case.

The gloves discovered at the Bundy and the Rockingham sites may actually be the most vital indicator of OJ’s guilt. No smokescreen involving laboratory mistakes or police planting of evidence can eradicate the undisputed fact that Nicole Simpson had purchased two pairs of the identical make and size of those found at the scene of the crime. Sales receipts established that the gloves were purchased at Bloomingdales Dept. Store in New York. The manufacturer of the gloves testified that only 250 gloves of that particular unique style and size were made. It really matters not then that Det. Furman may have transported one glove from Bundy to Rockingham, or even that there was any blood at all on the gloves, or that “the gloves didn’t fit”! Photographs presented in court showed Simpson wearing gloves of that identical style at football games. We have only to consider the odds that if someone other than OJ committed the crime he must have been one of the only 250 owners of those gloves! A fair estimate would be at least 100,000 to 1, considering there are over 250 million people in the United States, and since the defense implied it could have been someone from a foreign country, we might even add 6 billion to the equation. So much for reasonable doubt!

If the glove were not enough, we have the size 12 Bruno Magle Shoe footprints found at the scene of the crime. Simpson’s shoe size is 12, and testimony indicated that he favored Bruno Magle Shoes.

A ski cap left at the scene at Bundy was discovered to have hairs on it matching Simpson’s.

Next, we have a number of witnesses poking holes in OJ’s alibi as to where he was at the projected time of the murders. Alan Parks, the chauffeur hired by Simpson to transport him to the airport, testified that he did not see OJ’s Bronco parked at the curb as he drove up to the Rockingham residence. He was looking for the address on the curb where OJ’s Bronco was supposed to have been parked. Parks arrived at 10:35, found the house dark, and nobody answering when he rang the bell. The defense, while reluctant to put O.J. on the stand, but anxious to establish OJ’s alibi, appeared somewhat confused, but nevertheless maintained that he was home at the time the chauffeur arrived, either chipping golfballs on the lawn, resting, or cleaning up and getting ready for his trip. Parks testified that after waiting for about 15 minutes he observed a dark figure about Simpson’s size crossing the driveway and entering the front door at 10:50 P.M. at which time he noticed the lights go on inside the house. Minutes later O.J. answered the buzzer, and appeared at the door. House guest, Kato Kalen testified that he heard loud thumps against his wall at about 10:45 P.M. The prosecution speculated that the noise was due to OJ hopping the fence and bumping against the overhanging air conditioner in the narrow passageway between Kato’s room and the wall, in order to avoid being seen by the chauffeur waiting at the front gate. No explanation was offered by the defense to explain the noises which caused Kato to think that there might have been an earthquake. An earthquake? No! But perhaps the prelude to a good deal of shaking to come in our social and judicial systems.

Ron Ship, another witness, and a long time friend of OJ testified almost tearfully that OJ had confided to him that he feared taking a lie detector test because he had dreams, following the murders, that he killed Nicole.

Another witness, called by the defense, who had happened to be in the vicinity at around the speculated time of the murders, testified that he saw a white vehicle resembling OJ’s Bronco driving away from the crime scene.

Judging from the actual evidence, it would appear that there is little doubt that OJ Simpson was indeed the killer, and that the trial culminated in a heinous miscarriage of justice. While the verdict apparently had much of the Black Community cheering, the bulk of the White population was left shaken, gasping, and wondering: why? How? What most of us thought would be the end, now appears to be more like the beginning! From one viewpoint, Americans may now have to face up the “R” word.

The defense team and the jurists who freed OJ vehemently deny that race had anything to do with the verdict. Cochran, the head lawyer on the defense team, steadfastly maintained that it was simply a matter of police incompetence and corruption. Nevertheless, one member of the “Dream Team”, Robert Shapiro, accused Cochran of “playing the race card from the bottom of the deck.”

Public remarks of some of the jurists following the verdict seemed to indicate that the defense’s tactics of discrediting some of the evidence somehow allowed them to automatically dismiss the rest. Another factor which seemed pivotal according to the post verdict remarks of the jurists was the “gloves didn’t fit” thing. In regard to that, few seemed to note that, fit or not, they were of the size (extra large) which OJ would normally use. OJ was wearing latex gloves on his hands already as he tried to fit the evidence glove over them. And, of course, anyone who has ever attempted to put even slightly snug-fitting gloves on, should immediately realize that it would be no problem to make it appear that they wouldn’t fit; particularly if one’s life depended on it!

Now that we’ve just about beaten this thing into the ground, it’s time to get to the important question, which is not was OJ innocent or guilty? The real question is: Who, or What is to blame for all this? After all this is America, and we are Americans! Without someone, or something to blame, it’s just no damn fun.

The Media? Please let’s not fall for this cop-out. Of course, the Media played it’s part, but that’s their job. We don’t want to fall into the trap of blaming the knife for the killing rather than the one who wields it.

Police corruption and inefficiency? More baloney! Of course, we need reform, and lots of it. Regardless of how much better we can become, there’ll always be flaws to be exposed and exploited by shrewd or unscrupulous lawyers.

Inept prosecution team? Nobody’s perfect. Notwithstanding the mistakes, they did a good job overall. The evidence was all laid out for anyone to see.

Stupid jurors? Stupid, maybe, but not blind! Pissed, and apathetic, they hardly bothered even to deliberate. But were we to blame them, we’d still have to ask: why is it so? We all know that a jury in Santa Monica would undoubtedly have rendered a different verdict. But that would still be begging the question. We need to deal with: why a jury in Los Angeles? The devastating fact remains. A jury primarily consisting of minority members of society, chose to ignore the obvious; to excuse a hideous crime inflicted upon two “white” citizens. They apparently chose to believe what they wanted to believe. It hardly requires a peek beneath the surface to realize that for a group of individuals charged with such responsibility to behave in such a manner; to dismiss to obvious, to shun serious deliberation, to display such negligence towards an issue involving the taking of human lives, that they must certainly have been driven by a deep-seated resentment or hate.

From whence stems this resentment? Who’s to blame? Perhaps a parable applies here. Try to picture the self-absorbed, neglectful father, whose son is caught stealing a baseball glove so that he could participate in a game with his playmates. Is the father, or the child most to blame for the crime? Sure, the kid took the glove. Yet, if we really want change we’d best look towards the father!

It’s no secret that one out of every three black men in their 20’s is a ward of the penal system. Should we bother to place blame, or should we look to our system with it’s ghetto schools, it’s overwhelming inequity in the present distribution of wealth. Do we wish to pour more resources into our burgeoning prison system, or into better equipped schools and families with children. It’s hoped here that someday soon American voters will extract their heads from the sand and opt for seeking a solution instead of the blame. While there’s still a shred of democracy left, let’s get wise, get out and vote for taxes!

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