A retired American football player, football broadcaster, spokesman, and actor, O.J. Simpson was born on the 9th of July 1947. Simpson was held and criminally charged for the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman. It was a lengthy legal tussle that was held in the Californian superior court.
Felman (2002) says that the Los Angeles case had such publicity to earn the description as the case of Simpson against the people. The lengthy trial however saw Simpson acquitted. It lasted for a whole nine months and was deemed the longest trial ever witnessed in the history books of California’s courts. In his defense, O.J. Simpson had hired such a team experienced in court cases with such esteemed profile.
This esteemed high profile team was led by Robert Shapiro, a capable and learned person in matters of the law. Robert Shapiro had participated in diverse cases to earn him the distinction of a high profile figure. Later on, the high profile team was led by F. Lee Bailey and Jonnie Cochran. A display of wit and excellent mental ability characterized F. Jonnie Cochran when he exercised his ability to convince jurors that the DNA evidence adduced in court was as a matter of fact not solid evidence against Simpson.
Aeseng (196) notes that Cochran convinced the jury that the evidence was diversely defective. This was coupled with the newness of this kind of scientific innovation and discovery in the law courts as a reliable tool to adduce evidence. In addition F. Jonnie Cochran’s arguments weighted to his advantage the blood evidence that it had been contaminated and had no reason to be sustained as solid evidence against Simpson in the murder trial.
This and other evidence adduced in court were overwhelmingly refuted under the able leadership of Cochran to the defense of Simpson. The defense team argued that the Los Angeles Police Department at diverse times and in diverse circumstances associated with the investigations and handling of evidence clearly involved in such misconduct as to warrant their evidence invalid according to (Felman, 2002).
Ito (1995) chronologically documents that Simpson married Nicole Brown on February 2, 1985 with whom they had two children, but later divorced in 1992. It was not until 2nd June 1994 that Simpson’s former wife, Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman were found dead and Simpson acquitted of any criminal charges in a controversial court case thereafter.
However, Jury findings pointed to Simpson as liable for the death of Ronald Goldman. Jury verdicts from previous trials like the one that culminated on 3rd June 1995 known as “the trial of the century” and subsequent ones acquitted OJ Simpson of both murders. Shosana (2002) points out that these verdicts drew conflicts and confrontations coupled with divergent feelings along racial lines.
It was not until 1995 that OJ Simpson was pronounced not guilty of the deaths of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman after a series of cases such as the civil trial for wrongful death on February 5th 1995, with related litigation on September 5th 2006, and his alleged confessions in his book “If I Did It” 2007. According to Ito (1995), a series of events led to the arrest of OJ Simpson.
This was when the Los Angeles Police Department had been convinced that Simpson could turn himself up to the police. Interestingly, these charges had no bail. In addition to the charges could placing Simpson in the possible risk of murder, Simpson’s arrest was marked with media coverage that suggested suicide. The police were in a dilemma. They had to get him by all means. His freedom was a case where lawyers had convinced them to wait for him.
It was a scenario involving the media, the police, and spectators in their hundreds if not thousands. A chase for O.J. Simpson ensued involving an estimated twenty helicopters and other vehicles. The chase was never characterized by any incident of exchanges of gun fire, though the weapons were held by either party. It came to an end at around eight P.M when a few minutes later Simpson surrendered to the police.
According to Linder (2010), incriminating evidence on the involvement of OJ Simpson on the murders testify to the act. A witness had seen him walk with his dog and incriminating evidence of gloves found at the scene and outside his home was evidence of his involvement.
A series of events testified and provided evidence incriminating OJ Simpson of the murders. On the said date, Simpson’s attempt to call Paula from his cell phone as Charles did, did not see OJ Simpson on the fateful were not successful. According to Linder (2010), OJ Simpson combined home violence with overwhelming brutality against Nicole Brown, evidence of his brutality towards her.
In addition to witness accounts of people seeing a man of the description of OJ Simpson in the scene of murder on the fateful day, his personal effects such as his white cap, his call history testified against him. In addition, Simpson lied to Paula on his attempt to call her from his Bronco, and Allan Park’s schedule to take Simpson to the airport on the fateful day failed (Linder 2010). Linder continues to document the facts that Allan’s endeavor to buzz Simpson’s intercom received no response.
On further investigations, Linder (2010) argues that hair was found consistent with Simpson’s hair at the murder scene and on Ron Goldman’s shirt. Other evidence that point to him as the culprit included fiber consistent with that of the carpet in the Bronco were found on cap at Bundy’s residence, blood evidence dropped near shoe prints at Bundy’s when statistically analyzed showed that about 0.5% of the population could match that of OJ Simpson’s.
It was determine later that Simpson had fresh wound cuts the day after the murders were committed a clear pointer to an involvement in an act of injury, therefore pointing to the murder. Linder (2010) provides a detailed account of gloves that were found at the scene of murder matching his, and the damning evidence of shoes and strange phone calls form Simpson to Paula and Nicole, with notable nervousness of OJ Simpson when confronted with questions about the death victims. Linder (2010) indicates that Glove evidence:
(1) left glove found at Bundy and right glove found Simpson residence are Aris Light gloves, size XL, (2) Nicole Brown bought pair of Aris Light XL gloves in 1990 at Bloomingdale’s, (3) Simpson wore Aris Light gloves from 1990 to June, 1994.
6. Shoe evidence: (1) shoe prints found at Bundy were from a size 12 Bruno Magli shoe, (2) bloody shoe impression on Bronco carpet is consistent with a Magli shoe, (3) Simpson wore a size 12 shoe.
Further evidence alluding to OJ Simpson as the perpetrator of the crime was when he refused to testify in his court case. Linder (2010) says that “Simpson did not testify at his criminal trial. Defense attorneys will almost always call as a witness an articulate client that they believe to be innocent”. Other trials indicated that Simpson had no significant effort in tracking down the killers as Shosana (2002) illustrates.
In addition, “Subsequent to the criminal trial other evidence of Simpson’s guilt surfaced. The most significant of the new evidence may have been photographs of Simpson wearing Bruno Magli shoes. The new evidence, together with much of the evidence considered in the criminal trial, convinced a civil jury that Simpson murdered Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman” Linder (2010). In addition, Simpson confessed in his book “If I Did It” written in 2007.
Adduced DNA evidence seemed to solidly testify against Simpson. Relatively new in determining who and what in tests, blood found at the scene had DNA that doubtlessly pointed to Simpson as the prime suspect. Aeseng (1996) describes the blood samples as confirmed to be his after DNA tests were conducted to identify whose sample the blood could be. Samples are tested and a march conducted to determine the degree of reliability on the tests. They marched well and left little doubt as to whom the blood found at the murder scene belonged.
Ito (1995) sees the blood samples found at different points evidently similar that of Simpson. These blood samples were found in near Simpson’s Bronco, on a pair of sock belonging to Simpson that found on Goldman’s shirt also strongly pointed to Simpson as the culprit, blood collected by LAPD criminologist after several weeks pointed to him, and fingerprints that were blood stained also indicated that Simpson was involved. However the blood evidence was not without pitfalls.
Aeseng (1996) comments that, among the shortcomings included unexplained circumstances in which a blood sample had gone missing from LA County District Attorney’s office. The collection procedures for some blood samples from the scene of the crime seemed flawed and strongly suggested contamination. Other evidence presented in court was refuted as not reliable. The arguments were that certain shoes presented did not match Simpson’s and that he had never won such shoes. They were not his.
Though the case attracted widespread media and public attention, controversy raged on as to whether to afford the case over he use of media cameras a conflict that attracted legal tussles on the professionalism of such a ruing by Judge Ito. Ito (1995) sees this as an issue that could influence the conduct and verdict of the case.
Scandals also rocked the media particularly that of the Times. Felmam (2002) describes it as being labeled an American tragedy; such stories indicated sinister feelings and motives among the authors and publisher of the Simpson story and trial in the media. However manipulations of Simpson’s picture in the TIME magazine, on of the publishers of the Simpson trials that had a racial element in it received public criticism though apologies were also publicly sought for.
During the trial O.J. Simpson pleaded not guilty of the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman on the fateful day. However, other factors apart from the adduced evidences served to influence the verdict of the case. These included wide media coverage and public interest.
These culminated in the dismissal of the grand jury on the 23rd of June. Inclusive in those who testified against Simpson were Jill Shively and Jose Camacho whose occupation was selling shoes. According to Felman (2002), others in the case were the Californian’s Superior Court Judge who Kathleen Kennedy Powell who certified that Simpson’s incriminating evidence was sufficient for his trial, LAPD detective Tom Lange.
Marcia Clark Deputy District Attorney served in the capacity of the court prosecutor. Several witnesses were interviewed as Simpson had requested for a speedy trial. This was evident in the way the jury handled and interviewed witnesses in the case. Those viewing the trial witnessed scenes of protest, with various interruptions evident in the proceedings until the verdict was entered upon.
On October 13, 1995, Simpson was declared not guilty by the jury. This was a deliberation that lasted for only four hours. Though the verdict attracted mixed feelings form diverse quarters, the case had attracted huge media and public attention and had caused such feelings to be rooted in both racial divides. It was a dramatic case (Felman, 2002).
Aeseng, N. (1996). The O.J. Simpson Trial: What It Shows Us about Our Legal System; Walker Publishing Company, Incorporated References
Felman, S. (2002). The Juridical Unconscious: Trials and Traumas in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-00931-2
Ito, J.L. (1995). Chronology of the O.J. Simpson Trials retrieved March 18, 2010, from http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/simpson/simpsonchron.html
Linder, D. O. (2010). The Trial of O. J. Simpson: The Incriminating Evidence. Retrieved March 17, 2010, from http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/Simpson/Evidence.html
Shosana, F. (2002). The Juridical Unconscious: Trials and Traumas in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-00931-2