Submitted By Blouise
ED. NOTE: In Re the FFS Guest Blogger Program
It is a great pleasure to announce the first publication under our Guest Blogger Program at FFS. The way this works is simple. If you have an idea for a column you wish to write for us, send either a query and/or a draft of the article to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our administrators will consider the submission and either refuse or accept (possibly with editorial suggestions) to publish the article. The article may have any byline you wish, either your real name or a nom de plume. If selected, your column may be edited for grammar or layout, but the content is entirely up to you.
Today’s entry is from longtime blog friend Blouise. During the recent discussions of the Ferguson, MO situation, she and bettykath (also a longtime blog friend) started discussing the manipulation of juries in the context of the OJ Simpson trial. Being extremely good guests, they asked if they could start a thread to discuss that matter discretely as to not clutter up the Ferguson thread(s) with OJ talk. Without further ado, here is “OJ Revisited” by Blouise. – Gene Howington, Editor-in-Chief
Back in December of 2014, bettykath and I discovered we shared doubts about the guilt of OJ Simpson in the Brown/Goldman murders. Towards that end, we read the book, “O.J. Is Innocent and I Can Prove It” by William C. Dear, and wished to discuss both our original doubts and points made by the author in his book.
Not wanting to hijack an editor’s thread, I asked Gene if we could have a thread of our own in which the subject of the OJ murder trial could be discussed. He graciously agreed to give us a thread.
The book referenced above is interesting but be warned that the author spends a great deal of time honking his own horn. Never the less, the circumstantial evidence he presents is compelling. The author postulates that OJ was at the crime scene after the murders, but did not commit the murders.
I admit that from the slow speed car chase on June 17, 1994 forward, I lived and breathed the OJ Simpson Murder Trial. I have always thought that the jury got it right. Most people in my peer group thought I was nuts.
Let us look back:
At approximately 12:10 a.m. on June 13, 1994, the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were found in the 10 x 10 foot front entryway to Brown’s condominium in Brentwood, California. Based on the evidence found at that scene and at the home of Brown’s former husband, OJ Simpson, the Las Angeles police and DA’s office suspected OJ was the murderer.
On June 20, OJ was arraigned, pleaded not guilty and was held without bail. A grand jury was convened for the indictment process but was dismissed within two days due to the intense media coverage that the defense claimed would influence their neutrality. A probable cause hearing was then held which gave the defense access to evidence they would not have had had the grand jury remained seated.
The judge ruled there was enough evidence to bring him to trial and the next step in the process required the formal charges for murder and OJ’s plea, “Absolutely, one hundred percent, not guilty.” The Superior Court then moved the trial from the Santa Monica Courthouse to the Los Angeles Superior Court downtown, which widened the jury pool. At the beginning of November the jury selection process was completed with 12 jurors and 12 alternates seated on November 3. We were off and running on January 24, 1995.
There is a good synopsis of the trial itself here for those of you who wish to refresh your memory.
In his book, Dear considers all the contested areas and presents compelling evidence that OJ may have gone to Bundy but only after the murders had been committed. Mr. Dear claims that there was a suspect the Los Angeles police and DA’s office never interviewed and from whom no fingerprints, blood or DNA samples were taken. This suspect was OJ’s son, Jason Simpson, whom OJ went to trial to protect.
On October 3, 1995, after 4 hours of deliberation, the jury returned with a not guilty verdict. Two years later the Brown and Goldman families won their civil suit against Simpson.
“There were a lot of differences between these two trials, but they all pale in comparison to the fact that one jury was predominantly white and the other predominantly black,” says Brandeis University professor Jeffrey Abramson, author of a book on the jury system. “Two juries, two societies, two codes of justice.”
To tell you the truth, I think both juries got it right.
Bettykath and I are now going to have a good time exploring the trial and all things associated with it. Please feel free to join us.