Wednesday, December 10, 2008


It took a long time for justice to be served. I'm talking about how long it took for O. J. Simpson to get a measure of just deserves for the brutal murders of his ex-wife, Nicole and her friend, Ron Goldman. 13 years to the day after a jury in Los Angeles acquitted O.J. of murdering the couple, a jury in Las Vegas deliberated 13 hours before convicting him of 12 felonies stemming from the September 13, 2007 armed robbery and kidnapping of two sports memorabilia dealers.

In his murder trial, the nearly all black jury had already made up its mind long before it retired to deliberate on the verdict. After a short time of schmoozing around to make it look like they were actually deliberating, the jurors returned to render the acquittal. Never mind the overwhelming evidence against Simpson. Never mind that nearly all of Simpson's close associates were white. As far as the black jurors were concerned this was pay-back time for white America with its unjust criminal justice system. Groups of blacks were shown across the country on TV, cheering Simpson's acquittal.

In today's, Jonah Goldberg had a column in which he wrote about the changing attitudes between the time of the murders and the present time. Here are some exerpts from Goldberg's column:

On Oct. 3, 1995, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. But few people today still defend his innocence.

Black intellectuals insisted that racist cops or "the system" routinely railroaded black men, so why, they asked, should white America doubt that was happening to O.J.? To Wilbert Tatum, editor of the black weekly Amsterdam News, Simpson "became every black male who's ever been involved in the criminal justice system." While liberals parroted the Simpson line that the system was the criminal, conservatives denounced the acquittal as proof that the system was broken from the other end.

"Fear of being called racist transcended everything in the newsroom," wrote the New Yorker's legal correspondent, Jeffrey Toobin -- only after he deemed it was safe. "Our caution and fear, however, misled. The case against Simpson was simply overwhelming. When we said otherwise, we lied to the audience that trusted us."

Now Simpson is finally going to prison. Alas, not for murder but for, among other things, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping. This time everyone appears pleased. The evidence against Simpson is hardly more damning than the billion-to-one DNA evidence last time.

Adding to Goldberg's thoughts, I think what has happened is that many of his former black supporters finally got fed up seeing Simpson living the good life in the Florida sunshine, playing golf every day with his white buddies, and partying nights with his white chick girlfriends. His only black associates appear to be those who took part in the robbery. Also, unlike the circus atmosphere in the murder trial, this time O. J. was confronted with an all white jury, a no-nonsense judge, and a competent team of prosecutors.

Simpson was sentenced to a maximum prison term of 33 years. It will be nine years before he will be eligible for parole. Most experts agree that the parole board is unlikely to grant him parole because of the public's angy perception that Simpson got away with murder. O. J. should have been sentenced to death or given life without parole for the murders. In the unlikely event that he will be released in nine years, by then he will be an old man. If he's not paroled he will probably die in prison. Good!!!

The judge insists that in sentencing Simpson, she did not take into consideration his history in the criminal justice system. I find that somewhat hard to believe. It is unlikely that the jurors considered his murder acquittal because, just as in the murder trial, the evidence against O. J. in the Las Vegas robbery was overwhelming. No doubt, his appeal will be based on the fact that he was tried by an all-white jury and that the murder acquittal weighed heavily on the minds of the jurors, thus preventing him from receiving a fair trial.

No comments: