The saga of the O.J. Simpson murder case, which began on June 12, 1994 came full circle on October 4, 2008, when a jury in Las Vegas, Nevada convicted Simpson, not of murder, but of robbery and kidnapping in a seeming unrelated case. Readers will recall that Simpson was charged with the double murder of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman via brutal stabbings. The arrest and prosecution of Simpson in the case and attendant media coverage could arguably be termed the “trial of the century”.
It seemed, at the time, an “open and shut case” as to Simpson’s responsibility for these murders to this observer from the sidelines, but through apparent errors in process by the police, errors in judgement by the prosecution team and an aggressive, high priced defense team (including F. Lee Bailey, Barry Scheck, Robert Shapiro, Robert Kardashian, Alan Dershowitz, Gerald Uelmen, and Johnnie Cochran) that was able to polarize the jury on the issue of race, Simpson was acquitted of the murders on October 4, 1995. A civil action against Simpson was subsequently brought by Fred Goldman, Ron Goldman’s father and the Brown family, in which the jury, held to a lower standard of guilt than the criminal jury, found Simpson responsible for the deaths, and awarded the plaintiffs $38 million for the wrongful deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
In the intervening years, despite his pledge to find the “real killer”, Simpson does not seem to have done anything with the assets and resources at his disposal other than to possibly “search for the real killer” at prime golf resorts and in Las Vegas casinos. Simpson sold his home in California and bought a home in Florida, because Florida homestead laws would shield his home from asset seizure, and Florida is a golf paradise. Despite a reported $30,000 a month pension for life from the NFL, Simpson through his greed and avarice has continued to market “O.J. Simpson” with no evidence that he as ever tried to find “the real killer”, with no evidence that he has done anything to insure the well being of his two youngest children, who have had to live with the horror of finding their mother’s bloodied, dead body when they were five and eight years old, respectively. Simpson has continued to hide assets, and shockingly to pen a book titled “If I Did It” in which he describes how the murders could have happened. Simpson has continued his pursuit of the “good life”, surrounding himself with friends and associates that at best could be described as sponging, double dealing low lifes, his avarice and lack of judgment is what led to the recent robbery and kidnapping charges, and his possible life in prison.
Writing in his blog, the constitutional expert, Jonathan Turley, who I believe is an intelligent and decent man, who is a protector of our constitution tells us he has trouble with how this has all come down:
There is very little room for sympathy for Simpson who literally got away with murder in California — largely due to the worst prosecution team ever assembled by mankind. However, there are a couple of troubling elements here. First, the prosecutors in my view over-charged the case and a life sentence would be far out of line with the actual crime here. While the jury rejected his claim that he was seeking to retrieve his own property, it is notable that this was not some strong-arm robbery. Simpson did not hide his identity and openly sought to take back his property. He used the wrong means, but committed a crime — and a tort if sued later. However, the count stacking in the case seems driven by his celebrity status.
Second, I am very bothered by the anniversary. The court should have timed the case to avoid such a potentially prejudicial coincidence. Recently, I had a judge specifically schedule a trial to avoid any possible chance that the trial would occur around 9-11 due to some terrorism elements. Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass should have done the same. To her credit, she refused to allow attorney David Cook to testify. Cook, an attorney for the family of Ronald Lyle Goldman, was asked by the prosecution to search for Simpson’s assets to satisfy the $33.5 million civil judgment against him.
In a literal interpretation of the law, I believe Turley is correct, but I cannot help reading between his lines, and conclude that he, like I, am satisfied that justice has finally been served. It may not have been as per the normal rules that should govern our conduct in life and law, but in my view, it is a “natural resolution” in harmony with man and the universe. If calling this justice presents anyone with difficuly, then just attribute it to Karma. One reaps what one sows in life, sometimes it may seem apparent to us that some who sow greed or violence, never seem to be held accountable for their behavior, but ultimately, it is all worked out via Karma. Justice is my aspiration, Karma is my salvation.