Reply To: Question for White Males, Explain Your Obsession with O.J. Simpson


I fit the first criteria (white male). Not sure if I fit the second one (obsession). I think I just find the whole thing bewildering. OJ's "guilt" was made almost sure from the start and the "not guilty" verdict was presented by the media as effectively a miscarriage of justice. Living in Japan at the time, some of the more openly talkative Japanese said they couldn't believe our system. So certainly, around the world, because the media implied that he was guilty, so I can say personally that a "not guilty" verdict did not leave a good impression on most of the world. So one issue is the influence of the media. We are, in principle, supposed to assume innocence before proven guilty. There was reason to suspect that OJ was involved, but could also have been a bad drug deal. Who knows? Living abroad, I had little time or resources to study the matter myself at the time. However, one of my good friends at church (who is black) emphasized the point that "the glove doesn't fit". I recall some arguments about that, but a glove that doesn't fit a big hand is certainly problematic to a conviction. If that was all they really had, it wasn't really evidence. I don't know if there was any DNA test, they could have done that with a worn glove. ... Moreover, in the past, it is true that the press had a habit of publishing the face of a black man whenever there was merely an allegation of a crime, but not the white person (for a similar crime). So that did persuade me that maybe there were problems with the prosecution. I think the mainstream media did not help matters in this case; neither in projecting initial guilt nor in projecting a critical assessment of the trial. The bewilderment is in the later arrest and convention of OJ in a theft. OJ essentially disappeared from public view for a long time, though not from the public mind. Having been a very public figure in a very public trial, if he is not guilty (and the defense does to some extent militate against guilt), much of his later life would have been a terrible injustice. So it is still possible that he was not guilty of the first crime and guilty of the second, in all fairness. I also don't if there would have been anything that such a public figure could do once something so tragic happens and you wear a "scarlet letter" forever onward. The rest of the world and most I guess in the US saw him as guilty. What can he do to rehabilitate his image if he were not guilty, even after a trial? So, is he guilty of killing his wife, well ... I don't know. If it didn't do it, it is a cross that he had to bear, and it seems he had trouble bearing it, though that would be hard on anyone. Guilty or not, he lost almost everything. So was the theft a product of years of resentment for something he is innocent of? Possibly. If he is guilty, then he really is a rotten person using the lawyers and subterfuge to evade justice. The trouble is, we'll never know now in this life. Maybe if there is heaven and the pearly gates, we can know the truth, but on this side of the river, we can only speculate. I don't know that answers your question, but that is my personal take on this troublesome affair.

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