Elaine Rosenberg Miller
As Americans wait for the commencement of the next phase of the Trump impeachment proceedings, I am reminded of the O.J. Simpson Trial.
June 12, 1994.
Two knifed, bloody corpses are found outside the front door of a Brentwood, California condominium.
One victim was Nicole Simpson, the former wife of famed football player, O.J. Simpson. The other was Ron Goldman, a man whose name would soon be well known.
Who had killed them? What was the motive?
A few hours later, a mesmerized nation watched a white Ford Bronco weaving down the California highways, followed by a flank of 20 patrol cars.
News reports revealed that O.J. Simpson was in the vehicle being driven by his friend, former football player, Al Cowlings. An estimated 95 million television viewers watched the slow chase.
Finally, the live streaming overhead news helicopters followed the Bronco into the Brentwood neighborhood and onto the driveway of a residence. O.J. Simpson emerged from the vehicle. He was subsequently arrested and charged with two counts of first degree murder.
The trial lasted eleven months.
Evidence, including matching blood samples taken from Simpson and the victims was introduced linking Simpson to the murder scene. Additional evidence was admitted that he had a history (44 incidents) of brutally beating his ex-wife.
Simpson was represented by a team of 9 lawyers, including Harvard professor, Alan Dershowitz.
His lead lawyer, Johnny Cochran was a flamboyant, media savy attorney who attacked the DNA evidence as “sloppily handled”, accused law enforcement of planting evidence and “played the race card” with the majority minority jurors.
The trial was a daily circus carnival.
Within four hours of the judge instructing the jurors and sending them to deliberate, they delivered a verdict of “Not guilty”
(Many books were subsequently written about the trial. Among the best was Vincent Bugliosi, former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney, prosecutor of the Manson Family’s “Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O.J. Simpson Got Away With Murder.”
The O.J. Simpson trial fundamentally changed the American public’s opinion of the legal system and lawyers. The televised proceedings diminished the respect for the rule of law for years to come.
The Simpson trial, it may be said, has led to a public tolerance of procedural and evidentiary abuses by some members of legal organizations such as the FBI, CIA, IRS as well as the Fake News and the Democrat party led House of Representation impeachment farce.
He got away with, so, they thought, could they.