Here we are, almost 15 years after former football star O.J. Simpson was in the middle of what was known as the “Trial of the Century,” Simpson finds himself on the defense side of more criminal charges. Simpson is facing charges of six felony counts for his part in a robbery of sports memorabilia in a Las Vegas hotel room.
This time around, the trial is hardly the “trial of the century” status his first criminal trial represented, but many around the country have their opinions. When Simpson was first arrested for these charges one year ago, people began to form their opinions almost immediately. Many heard people say, “he’ll get convicted this time,” or “he’s not getting away now,” or even it was a setup and that people are out to get him after he was acquitted years ago. It went as far as having the judge say to jurors not to use this trial to punish O.J.
Yet the trial goes on and a potential impartial jury has been selected. But how impartial could it be? Simpson back in the a court of law, but it’s more like a court of public opinion. O.J. Simpson is a public figure, someone finding himself the brunt of media focus over the past dozen years, where is publicity has been as massive and slanted in some cases. Now jurors will be asked to put that aside, almost as if they never heard of O.J. Simpson. But can they forget the trial? The evidence? The bloody gloves? Perjury of Mark Furman? The racial tensions? The civil judgement? The sensationalism created in the media?
The Constitution garuntees every defendent a fair trial, but will that be possible? If he name was Henry James and he was previously acquitted of double murder in a lot less publicized way, then maybe. If the jury was made up of 12 people who are fairly new citizens and/or 18 and 19 year olds who virtually have no memory of the first trial and the impact it had, then maybe. But this trial, as with any trial will not be perfect. Attorney’s will try to get it as fair as possible though.
Not for nothin’, I’m not going to say he was guilty last time around, or even this time around. It’s not for me to decide. You can think O.J. was guilty or not guilty, but it isn’t for you to decide either. In 1995 it was up to Los Angeles prosecutors to convince 12 people that he was guilty, just as this month it is up to Clark County prosecutors to convince a jury of his guilt.
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