A Moment In Time!

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Everyone has a moment in time that they will never forget.  It could be the exact moment when you met the love of your life, the birth of a child, or where you were when JFK, MLK, or RFKwas assassinated.  For me, my moment in time is when O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the double murder charges he faced back in the 90’s.  I was in the cafeteria of the Foote-Hilyer building on FAMU’s campus while working in the Admissions Office.

I remember the cheers that erupted when O.J. was found not guilty.  I, myself, was one that cheered the verdict.  Not because I believed that he was innocent but because the American justice system proved to be what we perceived it to be, fair and just.  One must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in order to be convicted.  My own personal feelings on his guilt or innocence are ambivalent.  I fully believe that the L.A.P.D. botched the case and that Marcia Clark and Chris Darden did a miserable job as prosecutors.

In one of the most racially polarizing trials of our times,  the very one thing that stands out to me is that the chain of custody of O.J.’s blood was broken by the detectives working the case.  For a detective to be walking around the crime scene with a vial of the defendant’s blood would have been reason enough for an immediate dismissal of the charges.  However, the racial implications of the case demanded that it proceed.

I also found that the ensuing civil case that followed the criminal case was a gross representation of the American justice system.  To be found guilty by a preponderance of the evidence was a slap in the face of the criminal verdict.  To be forced to pay millions of dollars in a civil case after you’ve been found innocent in the criminal case needs to be closely examined.  Can there be any wonder why O.J. has wound up where he is today?  He has had to outmaneuver the system just to be able to feed his family and lead a resemblance of a normal life.  But then again, we were never going to let him lead a normal life.

Therein lays the double standard of American jurisprudence.  We didn’t like the verdict that was determined by a jury of his peers so we are going to do everything in our power to make your life miserable.  Your every move will be scrutinized.  You go to a restaurant that I frequent and I get up and leave in disgust as if somehow I am better than you.   Somehow, being found innocent means nothing if I disagree with the verdict.  So is there any wonder why O.J. is where he is today?

There is no question about the verdict rendered last Friday.  Everything is captured on video tape.  O.J. got what he deserved.  The kidnapping charges are complete bullshit but when you bring a gun to the party you are going to do some time.  How sad that one of the greatest athletes of our time could spend the rest of his life in jail. 

I don’t agree with the choice that O.J. made in an attempt to recover what he thought was stolen property.  I just pity him that he thought that that was what he had to do.  He had to do it because, although he was found innocent of killing Nicole Simpson and Ron Brown, the American public found him guilty and thus treated him accordingly.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “A Moment In Time!

  1. ptfan1

    Dude, the people to feel sorry for are the vics and their families. They lost their lives. I find it disengenious of you to pick the verdict that you like and then fault America for OJ’s deviant behavior. I do not agree with you either that justice was served at all in the first trails verdict. Remember the law is what the judge says it is (in both cases). I was in a mixed audience as the verdict was read and emotional reaction was clearly racially divided, no one grieved over the vics that day except the families. The vics had no justice on that day.

    No one but OJ drove him to be the arrogant, bullying, asshole that he became. He was given a chance to walk the straight and narrow and he thumbed his finger in Americas face.

    My only wonder in the whole thing was the restraint that the Goldman & Brown families showed. I would have understood if they broke when If I Did It hit the stands.

  2. eehard

    Feeling sorry for the victims and their families goes without saying. Did O.J. do it? Probably so. Neither one of us was there to witness what happened. But in this country you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a man is guilty. You can’t sentence a man to life because you think he is guilty. The prosecution failed to do so. Furthermore, a civil case should not trump the criminal case. If so, why hold the criminal trial in the first place?

    You prove my point by disagreeing with the verdict. How can you possibly convict a man when one of the detectives had a vial of the defendent’s blood in his pocket while at the crime scene? You think all cops are honest?

    I have to agree with you about the book. It was probably the third dumbest thing O.J. did in his life.

  3. ptfan1

    No I don’t think all cops are honest. In fact I know they aren’t. And I was not an eye witness to that crime. Yet the evidnce that suraced during that trial was so overwhelming in my mind I would have voted for conviction.

    Lets assume that some of the evidence was planted, that does not mean he didn’t do it. I didn’t have a reasonable doubt at the end of the trial.

    As for the civil trial my mother predicted that it could happen as it did , I on the other hand was totally ambivilant to that trial as I felt justice was not served in the criminal trial.
    I do not feel that OJ is a sympathetic figure in any way. Justice still has not been served for Nicole and Ron. the real vics.

    And I feel so sorry for his kids that they have such a rotten father. What a tragedy their lives have been already.

  4. eehard

    I don’t think that my intent was to paint O.J. as a sympathetic figure. Rather that of a broken man who was never able to reclaim his life after being found not guilty. It is incumbent on the police to conduct an honest investigation which in my personal judgment, they did not.

    How would you feel if you were on trial for your life and cops had acceess to your DNA on the crime scene? The odds wouldn’t be in your favor whether you were innocent or not.

  5. fakename2

    I wouldn’t say this was a pivotal moment in my life, not like the assassination of JFK or 9/11, but I indeed remember the day when the verdict came in. I was at work in New Orleans, and we were glued to the TV in the middle of the day. When the Not Guilty verdict came in, it was not at all like what you describe at FAMU. It was more like a stunned silence.
    I didn’t even remember the DNA thing…what I remember is the glove. In the immortal words of Johnny Cochran (may he RIP), “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit”. And there is the deal…the trial became about the LAPD more than about OJ. If the LAPD hadn’t screwed up, I believe OJ would have been found guilty. Don’t you? So what has happened since is justice, in my view. You seem to be saying that OJ was forced into this desperate lifestyle after being hounded by the civil trial and the public’s perception that he was guilty despite his acquittal in the criminal trial. If that were the case, then OJ could have retired to a life where he kept a low profile and focused on things like raising his kids. Instead, OJ kept being OJ–convinced that he was ten feet tall and bulletproof, and now his delusions have caught up with him.

  6. eehard

    Have you lived in every city in the U.S.? LOL I think that the LAPD blew the case. That is why this trial was so polarizing. Being a black man in this country I have a natural distrust of the police as I’ve been a vicitim of police harassment, as well as my brothers. I hate to bring race into the discussion but I think my feelings are pervasive throughout the black community as a whole.

  7. fakename2

    Rofl, ee. Here’s my life history :). I was born in Tennessee, moved as a child and grew up in western North Carolina. After graduating from high school, I moved back to Tennessee (Memphis). After Memphis, it was New Orleans, Des Moines, Norfolk, Fort Lauderdale (actually, Oakland Park), West Palm Beach, and now, Tallahassee. So if I try to tell you about LA, you’ll know I’m making it up.
    “Being a black man in this country I have a natural distrust of the police…” I understand that better than you might think, and I don’t know how you ever get past that. I just know that you do have to get past it, however you can.
    One of my best friends’ father was a police officer in Birmingham, and worked for Bull Connor. And liked it. Thinks America was on the right track then. To this day. And he’s now 80 years old. My friend is torn to pieces by this. She loves her father, but is ashamed of him. I don’t know how you get past that either. But I know you have to.

  8. eehard

    I’ve been fortunate enough to have been born in a time when I have witnessed changes in America’s views on race. Including my own. As for the police, I think with increased sensitivity training they call me sir before ordering me down to the pavement. LOL Now if they could just work on “you fit the description” I’d be a little happier.

  9. fakename2

    Rofl at “you fit the description”, but of course it really isn’t funny. You fit the description because you’re black and male. Did you ever read the book Black Like Me? If not, you should. You can hide all sorts of things, but not the color of your skin, and as long as that is a factor in anything, none of us, white or black, will ever truly be free. We are all chained to the past in some way.
    I do believe that you and I are living in a time of transition, and the election of Barack Obama is the first step in freeing us from those chains of the past. Our parents keep those chains attached, but one day, our children (hypothetically speaking, since I never had children) or our children’s children will be wondering what the big deal was. You and I will not live to see that day, but it is coming. You and I are living through the hard part–the transition. But we are making a future that will be better than the present we live in. A future that is free from anger and guilt. When skin color is no different from eye color. We have to work hard, I think, to make that happen. That is our duty. Sorry to get on my soapbox 🙂

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