Justice for O.J.?

October 6, 2008

They finally got Al Capone on income tax charges, and O.J. finally gets his, too:

The columnist George Will has often remarked that Barry Goldwater won the 1964 presidential election, but that “it took 16 years to count the votes.” Ronald Reagan’s 1980 election was a victory for Goldwater conservatives.

In that same spirit, O.J. Simpson has been found guilty of the murders of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.

It just took 13 years to reach a verdict.

[. . .]

O.J. Simpson is appealing his conviction. He could theoretically find 12 jurors to declare him not guilty. But most of the rest of us found him guilty long ago.

Did O.J. have a fair trial? Or could he even get a fair trial in any jurisdiction in the country, at least as we have defined judicial fairness?

Don’t get me wrong. I won’t lose any sleep over O.J. being in prison. I’m one of the ones who think he’s going 13 years too late. But that’s my point. A jury is supposed to consider just the facts of the case at hand: Do the facts presented provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed the crime the state says he did? Nothing else is supposed to be considered, unless it offers evidence of a pattern of behavior.

But as a juror, I don’t think I could have done that. If you think someone got away with murder and has been smirking about it ever since, how do you put that out of your mind and deliberate objectively?

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