The Story Of O.J Simpson

The Story Of O.J Simpson

Everything you need to know about the controversial case that shook the nation.

My secret obsession is the O.J Simpson case, and, needless to say, this statement surprises a lot of people. I know every fact about the case, every person involved, and have spent a shameful amount of time watching, then rewatching, The People vs. O.J Simpson on Netflix. I learned a great deal about the case during the forensics unit in my senior year biology class and since then, I've been completely captivated. If you're reading this, then you're probably asking yourself, why is this girl so interested in something that happened before she was even born? In my opinion, a guilty man was wrongfully deemed innocent. The outcome of this case is something that many people, including myself, question even today and it's hard to believe that perhaps our judicial system failed to serve justice. This article includes all of the important facts about the O.J Simpson case, who was involved, and the controversial verdict of 1995 that will perhaps leave you wondering whether or not a guilty man walked.

A Little Background...

O.J Simpson was popularly known for his football career. Simpson won the Heisman Trophy in 1968 then went on to play in the NFL, first for the Buffalo Bills and then for the San Francisco 49ers until 1979. After ending his football career, he branched out into acting and sports broadcasting where he became even more of a beloved public figure. In 1985, Simpson married Nicole Brown and later they had two children within their seven years of marriage. During this seven-year span, Simpson was investigated numerous times for domestic violence. In 1992, Nicole filed for divorce but the abuse didn't stop there. She called the cops a total of eight times before her death; there are chilling 911 recordings of Nicole pleading for help while Simpson tries to break down her door.

The Murder

Nicole Brown was found brutally murdered along with her friend, Ron Goldman, outside of her condo in LA on June 13, 1994. When officers investigated the crime scene, they found a black leather glove. Once the bodies were identified, officers attempted to reach Simpson at his estate but he was out of town at the time. When they reached his estate, they noticed blood scattered around Simpson's Ford Bronco and a second bloody glove that seemed to match the one previously found at the crime scene. This gave detectives reason enough to issue an arrest warrant for O.J Simpson, and he became the prime suspect in the case. Simpson enlisted the help of popular defense attorney, Robert Shapiro, to represent him along with Simpson's close friend, Robert Kardashian. Robert Kardashian wasn't a practicing attorney at the time, what's interesting is that Simpson urged his friend to renew his license to practice so that their relationship would now fall under attorney-client privilege. Simpson's lawyers convinced the LAPD to let him turn himself in once the arrest warrant was issued, but he never did. Instead, Simpson fled with the help of his friend Al Cowlings and this ultimately led to the infamous car chase on the LA freeway between O.J Simpson with a gun to his head and the LAPD following closely in pursuit.

The Trial

Lasting an excruciating nine months, the trial was exhausting, to say the least. Deputy District Attorney Marcia Clark was designated to represent the state of California against O.J Simpson. Defending Simpson was a group of accomplished attorney's including Robert Shapiro, Robert Kardashian, Alan Dershowitz, and civil rights advocate, Johnnie Cochran, who joined the team later. No expense was spared by Simpson to ensure that he had an airtight defense. The trial was televised which goes to show the media's investment in this case and for months on end- people were glued to their televisions. The prosecution believed that they had a strong case despite the lack of known witnesses to the crime and their inability to find the murder weapon. Marcia Clark relied a great deal on DNA evidence for a conviction, but at the time very few people were familiar with this science. Clark had Simpson's DNA at the crime scene and evidence of a long history of domestic violence, but the defense was able to successfully poke holes in the prosecution's case. The arresting officer, Mark Fuhrman, proved to be a violent racist after denying allegations on the stand. Despite Simpson's DNA found at the crime scene, the black gloves did not fit when he was asked to try them on in court. This was a poor move made by the prosecution and Simpson's attorney, Johnnie Cochran, turned their failure into a successful catchphrase- "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit." Simpson's defense relied heavily on the argument that he was framed due to racist motives. It was because of this emotionally fueled defense and the prosecution's inability to effectively present their evidence that O.J Simpson was acquitted of all charges at the end of the trial. Despite months spent in the courtroom, it only took the jury a couple of hours to come to a conclusion.

After the Trial

In post-trial interviews, a few of the jurors stated that they believed Simpson did commit the murders, but the prosecution failed to present the case beyond reasonable doubt. Critics of the verdict claimed that jurors did not properly understand the forensic evidence because many of them didn't even have a college education. Nearly every person involved in the trial wrote a book about their experience, but perhaps what blows my mind the most is that Simpson came forth with a "hypothetical" description of the murders. Simpson's, "If I Did it, Here's How it Happened," is evidence enough that proves a guilty man was wrongfully acquitted. In 2008, Simpson was sentenced to 33 years of imprisonment with a minimum of nine years without parole after he was convicted of an armed robbery that took place in Las Vegas. Most recently, on July 20, 2017, Simpson was granted parole and was released from prison on October 1, 2017.

Decades later the O.J Simpson case is still a topic of discussion, and, in my opinion, an important one at that. It is a testament to the possible failure of our justice system, a system that we as citizens entrust. While it is said that there is no such thing as bad publicity, there is such a thing as manipulating the media and Simpson used this to his advantage in 1995 and now. I will always wonder how different history would be if the glove had only fit.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

SEE ALSO: To My Closeted Self, I Have Something To Tell You

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. (Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.)

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town. Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK. What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives. What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all. Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back; same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others. As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being. My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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I Grieve For Asifa, But I Also Grieve For The Death Of Humanity

May we never rest in peace

As a child, when I went to art class I would always draw vibrant pictures of the different cultures being celebrated around the world and how people of different religions are able to coexist with each other. Those pictures were filled with vibrancy. But today, that vibrancy is dead and with a shroud lying upon it.

Today, there is no peaceful co-existence; there's just tension over the kidnapping, gang-rape and brutal murder of an 8-year-old girl. 8 YEARS OLD. Let that sink in. What does a child normally do an at age of 8? Probably learning how to ride their first bike, trying to color inside the lines of a coloring book, and going to school and dreaming about what they want to do when they grow up.

But, that poor girl didn't get to do all this. She was gagged, kidnapped, drugged, raped, tortured and murdered. All this, under a temple - a place of God, a place of holiness, a place of worship. A place where people come to wash away their sins is where men sinned.

If there is an all-forgiving God, today, I hope that God DOES NOT FORGIVE. I hope that God makes this one exception for the sake of a young innocent child whose only fault was that she was innocent.

I always am proud to be of Indian descent but I can’t explain what I felt after reading about this story filled with hatred and I'm speechless, hurt and heartbroken.

Every time that I scroll through my social media feed is every time that her face haunts me, asking me if there will be justice. And every time I see her face, I feel a gut-wrenching sense of helplessness that I cannot do anything about.

The fact that in 'a social sovereign country', there is an angry mob on two sides of a line - one demanding punishment for all the accused, and the other, siding with the accused parties, justifying the religious sentiment that made for the pretext of the rape.

We - not they - are justifying the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl because of religious undercurrents! WE ARE JUSTIFYING NOT JUST RAPE; BUT, GANG-RAPE. AND ALSO, MURDER. I say 'We' because when the history books are written and when the world talks about the incident - and they will - they won't say 'they' sided with the wrong. They will say: INDIA sided with the wrong! We do not get to excuse ourselves from this!

It's not just the question of a social media post, in the hope that the country's honorable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will have a change of heart and speak up against the horrendous crime and the accused. It's about the fact that there was a government elected with the hope that good days will actually come.But, is this the price that is payed for the good days? For the growing economy, for the job opportunities , and better living standards?

As I write this, my hands are trembling, my heart is pounding and my eyes are tearing up. I am angry and I am hurt. What hurts me is the incident that I wish had NOT happened and yet, it did. What angers me is my own helplessness.

Who do you turn to when one of the accused was a special police officer who requested to keep her alive so he could rape her one last time? Who do you worship when the caretaker of a temple conspired the kidnapping, torture and the murder?What kindness do we seek when one of the accused was invited from Meerut just so he could 'satisfy his lust' by raping an 8-year-old girl?

What do we do when one half of a nation actually justifies the rape in the name of some version of a God they've created?

No amount of words I utter will be enough to explain how I feel - how every woman and child should feel - right now. Today, I cannot write about the land of cultural diversity. Today, I can only lament about the land of communal monstrosity. Today, I grieve, not just for the victim. I grieve for a humanity that no longer exists. I grieve for the unborn children that every woman promises not to have because there is no safety for their innocence. And for the children who will never be able to enjoy their innocence in the sun. And for parents who wish they never had children.

Today, I grieve for her - no, she isn't a Muslim, or a girl child, or belonging to a lower caste. Today, she is India.

And so, I grieve for a world that is perishing because of the lack of humanity. May we never rest in peace.

If you still didn’t understand quite what I was talking about, click here to reveal a story that I hope and pray will be the last of its kind.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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