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Friday, July 3, 2015

From the Midway: Welcome back OJ, we've missed you

Thursday, September 27, 2007

(Photo)
Boy, it seems like only yesterday since the media circus bombarded all of us with the twenty-four hour news coverage of the OJ Simpson murder trail. Do you remember the water cooler conversations that enticed the whole country during the early 90's?

I sure do; you couldn't get away from it. I have to admit that this case had always fascinated me. I was like everybody else, hearing the facts of the case and trying to determine in my own court of opinion whether OJ had committed the murder of Nichole Brown and Ronald Goldman.

I had intended to go though this case with you fact by fact. But that type of column would take too much time and space. Needless to say, over the course of that trial my opinion changed from innocent to guilty.

There were so many facts that I could not deny - Simpson's first flight from justice to Chicago on the evening of the murders, the limo driver account of the agitation of Simpson prior to the airport, Kato Kaelin's testimony of the sounds heard behind the guesthouse, where later the police would find a bloody glove, the evidence of blood from the victims in Simpson's white Bronco, the confrontation Simpson had earlier that day with his ex-wife at their child's school, the fact that there was a large amount of cash and a disguise kit found in the Bronco after his second attempted to flee in the infamous slow-speed chase, the bloody shoe prints found at the murder scene and in his bedroom.

The time of death of the victims matches the time frame from when he and Kato stopped at McDonald's and the time the limo driver picked him up for the airport. Then there was the driving to the murder scene, killing the victims, driving back and cleaning himself up and throwing away the blood spattered cloths, plus the fact that he had cuts on his hands after his trip to Chicago where he claimed that he broke a drinking glass and cut himself that way.

Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden did not meet the prosecution's responsibility of proof beyond reasonable doubt in the case. They may have been too busy passing notes and playing footsy to take the case seriously. The lynch pin of the case fell when the prosecution had Simpson put on the gloves. That was their biggest mistak. When OJ struggled to put the gloves on, it was over for the prosecution.

The whole world was watching when Johnnie Cochran gave his famous speech - " If the gloves don't fit, you must acquit." That statement was masterful, and the jury members had seen with their own eyes the reasonable doubt. The fact the gloves did not fit was what won Simpson his freedom.

And no one was as surprised as Simpson himself that the gloves did not fit. Some have speculated that the blood soaked gloves may have shrunk since the crime, and also it was evident that Simpson was wearing latex gloves when he put on the evidence. But whatever the reason the gloves did not fit, it was enough to deliver a "not guilty" verdict.

Simpson was not as lucky when it came to the civil trial. The Goldman and Brown families won that case and Simpson had to pay $35 million to the families, which he still has not paid.

It is from there that I find developments really interesting. Simpson still professes his innocence with a tongue- in- cheek smile. For over a decade, he has been looking for the "real killer" at every golf course from California to Florida.

I can't understand why he still has a fan base and women who throw themselves at him. One of the most oddball things I've seen on television has been when Simpson was signing autographs at a Horror Movie convention. Did he ever star in a horror movie? None that I am aware of, but he sure lived one.

With recent events currently unfolding it is hard to separate the fact that Simpson was found not guilty of murder in a criminal court from the fact that he was found guilty in the civil case and the court of public opinion. So we have to remember that in this country, you are innocent until proven guilty, even if you're OJ Simpson.

Mike Leckband
From the Midway