"The Trial"

The O.J. Simpson case is a great example of "justice" today. We've been hearing that this isn't supposed to be the Mark Furman trial, but the truth is that every person and legal entity involved, especially if in front of a camera, is on trial to some degree. Most of them lost my confidence long ago.

I was bored with the case from the day of the slow speed chase. I had no idea how much worse it would get. THe best that can be said is that The Trial is O.J.'s punishment for having money. (I tend to respect people in inverse proportion to their wealth.) The trouble is that the rest of us, especially the jury, have to suffer with him. Some don't recognize that they're suffering. Perhaps that's the worst that can be said of it.

What percent of the people reading this could imagine getting this much attention if we were suspected of murder? If I was on trial with that kind of evidence against me, I doubt I would last a month. I wonder if we'll ever know the total expense of the trial itself, the televising of it, and the person-hours spent watching it.

We may never really be very sure whether he committed this specific crime or not, and it seems clear that reasonable doubt is developing. If found guilty, whatever his sentence, we must keep in mind that we punish the whole person, not just the ("proven") murderer. Therefore we should judge what we're more sure of in his whole life, not just this case (which we generally do if we're not in court). Sport figures, especially football player, boxers etc. aren't likely to rate as heroes for me. Wife-beaters rate quite a bit lower than that. I understand he ran some kind of program for kids, but afraid to guess what they might have learned from it. But then each of us has some kind of deficiency in others' eyes. You're probably noticing some of mine right now. It would get very tricky to try to legally judge a person based on their whole life. Maybe we need more of the "social pressure" kind of judgements. But first I think we need to break down some walls, both physical and virtual, so we get to really know each other. See also Criminal Justice


Send me your thoughts.
Dan Robinson, danrob@efn.org, Eugene, Oregon
My home page: http://www.efn.org/~danrob/