Dexter Rogers

Dexter Rogers

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The juice finally gets squeezed from OJ Simpson

The juice finally gets squeezed from OJ Simpson

NFL Hall of Fame running back OJ Simpson will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. Simpson was convicted in a Las Vegas courtroom on twelve counts of robbery and kidnapping. Simpson, along with several cohorts, burst in a Las Vegas hotel room seeking to secure memorabilia from those who reportedly stole it from him.

Nicknamed “The Juice” during his playing days Simpson was known for his elusiveness on the field. Unlike the past Simpson couldn’t elude the courts this time because the judicial system finally managed to squeeze the final drops of freedom from the “The Juice.”

Some suggest Simpson didn’t receive a fair trial and he was convicted based on his past. I believe the latter, along with the racial composition of the jury, and shady media coverage spelled the end for Simpson. Let’s examine.

During the1995 murder trial Simpson had a male judge in Lance Itto. The jury was comprised of nine African Americans, two white, and one Hispanic. Simpson hired marquee lawyers to fend for his freedom. Also, despite being accused of murder Simpson still was liked by many.

This time Simpson faced an all white jury comprised of nine females and three males. He faced white female judge in Jackie Glass. More importantly Simpson has faced a segment of white America still fuming he was acquitted of murder. Simpson’s image over the years has been severely damaged as a result.

I paid little attention to the happenings in Las Vegas because I knew he’d be found guilty and unofficially retried for his 1995 murder acquittal. If one objectively looks at the most serious charges of armed robbery and kidnapping I don’t see how the system could justifiably throw the book at Simpson.

Armed robbery is when a person(s) has a weapon who seeks to take property away from someone that doesn’t belong to them. Simpson never had a weapon when he entered the hotel room where his property was. How could Simpson be charged with armed robbery if he wasn’t armed?

Also, Simpson was seeking to recover items that were stolen from him. How could Simpson be convicted of robbery when he trying to secure items that were his in the first place?

According the Associated Press the judge gave the jury instructions consisting of 45 items: item number 15 stated even though the accused (Simpson) wasn’t armed with a weapon(s) because he was present in the hotel room where weapons were present the accused is be considered armed.

The Associated Press also revealed jurors were asked about the Simpson’s 1995 murder acquittal during prescreening. Five of the jurors stated they believed Simpson either committed the murders or had something to do with it. Despite their answers the jurors were selected and allowed to decide Simpson’s fate.

It wasn’t possible for Simpson to get a fair shake because of the jury’s preconceived notions. A Simpson conviction was inevitable.

I think it’s interesting how the media uses race to toil with our collective psyches and subconsciously engineer our minds to think one way or the other.

Most can also remember where there were for the reading of the verdict October 4, 1995 when Simpson was set free. I vividly remember AC Cowlings driving Simpson’s Bronco. People lined the highways holding “Go OJ Go” signs. The vast majority of those cheering for Simpson were white. But when the verdict was read in October of 1995 many of those who cheered Simpson grew to despise him because they believe he got away with murder.

Some in the African American community thought Simpson disenfranchised himself suggesting he wasn’t “one of us.” But when he was acquitted many of those African Americans who initially dissed Simpson were glad their brother won his freedom.

The latter set media coverage set the precedent for how Simpson would be treated the last thirteen years. He couldn’t triumph over a biased all white jury, the present allegations and a tarnished reputation. Simpson didn’t stand a chance.

Though I think Simpson got shafted he isn’t totally exempt from blame. We are primarily products of the choices we make: Simpson choosing to secure his property via force was a mistake. Simpson knew people were out to get him. He should've called the police, filed a report, and went from there and avoided the limelight. It’s too late now.

This verdict was about payback. Even if Simpson had two Johnnie Cochran’s in Las Vegas he was still going down. The Las Vegas jury did what Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden couldn’t do in 1995 and that’s put Simpson away.

I guess the judicial system finally succeeded in squeezing the final drops of freedom from the man formerly known as “The Juice.”

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