Sunday, October 5, 2008

If the glove fits...

The news came over my radio Saturday announcing that O.J. Simpson had been found guilty on all counts. A flood of memories provoked by the juxtaposition of those words: Simpson and guilty. Was it almost fifteen years now when he was the beneficiary of one of the most celebrated miscarriages of justice in modern history? The most celebrated perhaps if not the greatest. For day in, day out, there are more grievous perversions of the system of justice as innocent men, lacking the celebrity and resources of the likes of Simpson, are quietly put away. Some of them may get lucky decades later, when some vital evidence missing at the time surfaces. Many do not. The sordid imperfections that permeate the system are the strongest argument I know against the death penalty. (As an aside, how are those folks who are so pro-life with their Christian worldview usually so profoundly pro-death when it comes to law and order? Not to mention the obsession with rights to carry guns)

Almost fifteen years: the white Bronco, the weird chase, the envelope, the cut on the finger, the horrid slaughter, Judge Ito, the rest. I was spending a lot of time cutting and polishing crystals for my fledgling company using the equipment at the then Amoco Optics. The radio was on the whole time and the trial was a constant fixture, like a soap opera. In spite of the Himalayas of evidence the jury saw fit to acquit. One could really question the efficacy of the jury system.

Is it possible that justice could finally be served, or at least repaid a little? No doubt there will be an appeal. This is America, and, as everyone knows, freedom is always available at a price. Back then, a cavalcade of "celebrity" lawyers whored themselves to get a piece of the action. It was a truly disgusting sight. And it paid off. Hopefully this time it won't happen and the Goldman's will get a semblance of justice at long last.

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