Tuesday marks the 20th anniversary of one of the more televised criminal acts in history. Former professional football star turned actor O.J. Simpson took us all on his adventure in his white Bronco as he “evaded” authorities prior to his arrest for the double murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. Continue reading The Chase
Not for nothin’, but we’re just at the tip of the iceberg for this year. Let’s move on to what else moved and shook us this year.
Not For Nothin’ Top 25 Stories of the Year: (20-16)
#20 – Chinese Earthquake– Just days after one part of Asia was struck with massive deaths of a natural disaster, another major natural disaster struck in China. This one came in the form of the 19th most deadliest earthquake of all time. The Wenchuan Earthquake measured an 8.0 on the Richter magnitude scale and killed close to 70,000. Five million people were left homeless in its wake.
#19 –Joe The Plumber– This years election season gave us dozens of stories to keep us busy throughout the year. But one guy became more than what he should have in the fall. It could have been joked that “Joe the Plumber” had a better chance at winning the presidency than John McCain. After an incidental man on the street meeting with Joe Wurzelbacher with Barack Obama, he found his name mentioned 26 times in the following debate between Obama and McCain. Naturally he became an instant celebrity. Joe, supposedly portraying the average American, would eventually allign himself with McCain and receive a firestorm of media criticism in his 15 minutes of fame. This type of hype has gotten people to higher places, but lets hope we do not have to hear from Joe the Plumber again.
#18 – O.J. Simpson Trial, Again– The law caught up with O.J. Simpson this year. On October 3, he was convicted of robbery, burglary, assault, kidnapping and other felony related crimes in an attempt to retrieve items he said were his from a Las Vegas hotel. Simpson was already made famous from being one of the best professional football players in history, and made infamous by being acquitted of double murder in the mid 90’s. He was sentenced in December and will likely spend the next decade in prison.
#17 – Twilight– Fans, moviegoers, and excited teenage girls were all apart of the phenomenon this year know as Twilight. What was initially released as a series of books and became hugely popular, Twilight was made into a feature length film. Scores of people brought the movie in with a bang that had a hand in reinventing the vampire myth for 2008. The film’s young stars became instant icons and for weeks late in the year there was hardly any movie, actor, or actress more talked about. I guess the good news for some is that, there’s a chance this could be on next year’s list.
#16 – 2008 Hurricane Season – This year, we saw some deadly hurricanes, both of which seemed to have focused on an area already ravaged by Hurricane Katrina just a few years prior. Hurricane’s Gustav and Ike, both thought by some to be the second coming of Hurricane Katrina, were quite damaging in their own right. While not as deadly and destructive as Katrina, the two of them combined for close to 300 deaths and $40 billion in damage to the Caribbean and U.S. Gulf Coast.
Former professional football star O.J. Simpson has been found guilty on all charges relating to his armed robbery and kidnapping case in a Las Vegas court. The 12 charges he and his co-defendant C.J. Stewart are facing could lead them to a sentence of life in prison.
The verdict came 13 years to the day Simpson was acquitted of double murder in the highly publicized case in Los Angeles. This time around, it didn’t turn out as fortunate. Simpson showed little emotion before he was handcuffed and led away from the courtroom. He now awaits a sentencing date on December 5 to find out whether or not he’ll spend the rest of his life behind bars.
The tumultuous case has been quite intriguing from the beginning. First it involves the public figure O.J. Simpson and his disputed history. Then you have a number of people involved rolling over, making deals and testifying against Simpson. People are selling their accounts for six figures, victims are not really agreeing on Simpson’s guilt and law enforcement officers are being called out of character. Whether or not the victims, witnesses, deputies, or law and order system is “out to get” Simpson, this whole thing had to have been slanted from the start even if he was innocent.
Not for nothin’, but because many people are still feeling pretty raw about how his last trial ended up, there was no way he was going to get a fair trial. Not saying that he’s was innocent, that’s not for me to decide, but if strong evidence showed his innocence I doubt it would have made a difference. People were involved in this case to the degree they were involved in it because it was O.J. Simpson they were dealing with. Some type of notoriety would be to gain for anyone involved. I’ll leave it to the sentencing to be proven right. With O.J. technically being a first time offender, then he probably shouldn’t get the max penalty. His chances of fairness increase as the number of people’s opinions decrease.
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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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