Criminal Justice

"Not Guilty"


The Cato Institute's Tim Lynch notes that 15 years ago today the verdict came down in the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial. As Lynch writes, "White America had a hard time accepting the fact that the police would lie about their actions [while] Black America had a hard time explaining away the evidence of Simpson's guilt." For a detailed look at the facts of the case, see Lynch's 2003 Reason article "Juice Misconstrued."

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  1. Just to get it out of the way: The cops definitely lied, and OJ definitely did it.

    1. And vice-versa.

    2. And neither thing had any effect on the outcome. I suspect that 90% of us know he did it, including the jurors, but the verdict was all about proving who is in charge. What was hard to swallow, as it often is in a free country, is that we are not created equal – many of us are idiots, and virtually anybody might be tonight’s designated driver.

      1. No, the verdict was about how a bunch of blacks and one stupid white woman were to ignorant to understand DNA evidence. Plus the blacks have a history of refusing to convict another black of a crime. Just like 98% of blacks support Obama, they are all ignorant racists.

        1. So you have that in common, then.

          1. Hey fool, stating a fact doesn’t make someone a racist.

            Stupid asshole.

    3. Reality takes a holiday.

    4. The police framed a guilty man.

    5. What did the police lie about? The only thing I recall was the detective (Mark something or other) said he “never, ever used the N word”, and they had him on tape saying it during an interview about a book he was writing.

  2. Nyah, nyah, nyah, NYAH, nyah!

  3. “Now this is the bloody glove that OJ supposedly wore on the day of the murder, and as you can clearly see, it does not fit…oops, get me another glove”

    “I think…uh, CUT! Can I take another stab at it?”

    “Now the real killer banged his head on this air conditioner. I know my way around my own house – I wouldn’t have done that” BAM!

    1. That was the stupidest presentation of evidence I ever saw. I’m surprised O.J. didn’t try to put the glove on his foot, saying: “I ain’t neva had no fancy glove like this before massa.”

      Undergrad degrees, law school, trial experience. All for nothing.

  4. Cops lie all the time. And OJ killed two people. The evidence was pretty overwhelming. However, the circus may have distracted the jury enough to explain the acquittal, and the prosecution screwed up several things.

    1. I’m thinkin’ that OJ was involved with the murders but the prosecution effed-up by going for the slam dunk. They would’ve got him on a lesser charge.

      Reasonable doubt sounds plausible in this case.

      OJ lucked out…

    2. Oh shit! The Chewbaca defense wins again!

  5. I take it Lynch is a lawyer. No one else could get misread this so badly.

    Evidence didn’t enter into the Two Americas’ reactions to the OJ verdict. Almost no one followed the trial. (Ask anybody what the evidence was. They have no fucking idea. They know a glove joke and the word “Ito.”) The verdict was a standalone TV event with no legal backstory.

    So Black America was all “Woohoo!” because OJ was the black guy on the show, and White America (the one that’s on TV, and that lawyers live in) was chiding “White America” (where the crackaz are) for being all “WTF Black America? I thought we were cool. I guess I might as well be a racist now, ’cause you guys are, and White America is bitching at me about it. Fuck all y’all.”

    It was a clear day.

    1. I did follow the trial. The evidence was more than conclusive:

      + HIS blood was found in the crime scene.
      + HIS vehicle was full of Nicole’s and Ron’s blood, near the brake and gas pedals.
      + OJ had a cut in his right hand, presumably from the struggle.
      + The timeline fitted.
      + He took his time while his driver waited for him to take him to the airport – a LONG time.
      + Kato Kaelin testified someone jumped the fence and ran alongside the house where he was staying.
      + The bloody glove had his DNA as well as blood from the victims.

      A more streamlined prosecution would probably have nailed this, even with the incompetence of judge Lance Ito.

      1. Plus the whole white Bronco chase, not exactly the actions of an innocent man.

        But “Black America had a hard time explaining away the evidence of Simpson’s guilt”? Nope, it was trivially easy: just yell “racism.”

      2. Correction – he had multiple cuts on his hand, the same hand that corresponded to the glove left at the scene, cuts he said were caused by his cellphone (????). This is one of the most damning pieces of evidence since it cannot be explained away by racist cops planting evidence. Of course, if you’re not a conspiracy nut, all the other evidence is more than overwhelming.

      3. The problem was the DNA evidence couldn’t be trusted after the cop hid behind the 5th when asked why blood was missing from the vile. I think that more than Furman sunk the case.

        When you have one cop caught in a lie, another hiding behind the 5th over the missing blood, doubt arises.

    2. Almost no one followed the trial.

      You’re kidding, right? It was subject to relentless, nauseating, wall-to-wall coverage. People talked about it constantly.

      1. This is true. I personally didn’t follow it, and I had to make an effort not to follow it. But then, I was completely not surprised by the verdict – a couple years after the Rodney King riots – either.

  6. I agree wholeheartedly that the prosecution team was severly incompetent. I also believe that the jury still would have found Simpson not guilty no matter what evidence the prosecution presented.

  7. I was in 8th grade when that happened. Christ, I’m old.

    1. Re: Warty,

      I was in college. Christ, I’m older.

      1. I had already been a failure for 15 years when it happened. I’m really, really old.

      2. I was in college. Christ, I’m older.

        Fuck, I was in college, too. ?Usted es viejo? ?Mierda!

      3. Don’t you people call it universidad? Or…wait….wait…it’s empenada, right?

        1. What do muffins have to do with this?

          1. You bastard. I’m suing you for hate crimes against the handicapable.

    2. I was working my third job after law school. I’m fucking ancient.

    3. 8th grade for the 15th consecutive year?

      1. Warty kept getting older, but those middle school girls stayed the same age.

        1. Yes they do. Yes they do.

    4. “Lane, I’ve been going to this school for seven and a half years. I’m no dummy.”

      1. That comment makes you roughly my age. I wonder whatever happened to Savage Steve Holland.

        1. I know, right? He’s just cranking out dreck for Nickelodeon these days. Probably cashes his checks at the Burbank liquor store on the way home.

          A nation turns its lonely eyes to you, Mr. Holland.

      2. I consider this movie to be really fun, but being 4 years old at the time of its release, I cannot commiserate with you. Staaaaannnn Darsh.

    5. I was in 7th grade, and the teacher turned the TV on as the news of the verdict was announced. I remember the black kids cheering.

    6. Senior in high school here…

      This makes me feel almost as old as teaching college students who were born after the USSR ceased to exist.

      1. I don’t like thinking of you as human.

        1. 99% of our DNA is identical. Mwahahaha.

          1. But it’s that other 1% that counts.

    7. I was a Freshman in college. OLD OLD OLD I AM.

    8. Pikers – I’d already been at the Fortune 500 Evul Corporashun for 6 years when this was happening, and my wife had just had our third (and FINAL) carbon-based life form.

      She sat at home and almost went insane, nursing a baby and watching the OJ trial. Good times…

    9. 9th grade, the teacher’s name was Larry Storch. Anyone who gets this reference is really old. “Thanks dad! For a pop culture reference I will never need.”

      1. Fucking Agarn was your teacher? That’s pretty cool.

      2. Did you ever kick the cannon and blow a leg off of his desk, causing him to jump and roll to the ground?

    10. Jesus Christ, if you people consider yourselves old, I must be positively decrepit. 8th grade? College? I recall watching some of the circus of a trial in my hotel room while on business travel.

  8. It is sad to me that OJ finally got prosecuted on an absolute bullshit charge and most people are ok with it because, you know, he deserved it because he got away with murder.

    Something tells me that OJ would have eventually gotten railroaded by some other group of people looking to make a name for themselves as the people who “finally served justice.”

    1. No, I think this was just like getting Al Capone for tax evasion: not a bullshit charge (Capone claimed he made his money with a used furniture business), just minor compared to his real crimes.

    2. It’s sad to me that you are a typical racist, ignorant black.

      1. Delayed justice, sloopy. Not a pretty way to end OJ’s walking-around-free time, but if we had to wait until karma finally caught up to him, we might be waiting until he dies.

        1. I just hate to see the system perverted a second time to cancel out a prior fuck up. He should rot in prison, but not for that bullshit set-up in Vegas.

          And JohnD…really? That Vegas deal was a scam and a publicity stunt by OJ’s previous business partner. The crime he was convicted for there was a pair of murders 12 -13 years earlier, and I don’t like the system being manipulated to right an injustice.

          I can guarantee you a wrongfully convicted person won’t get the same treatment by our “justice system” as a wrongfully aquitted one would. Call me a typical racist, ignorant black for thinking that if you want to, but know that I’m not typical, racist, ignorant or black.

          In baseball, what you did there would be called a Golden Sombrero.

    3. OJ finally got prosecuted on an absolute bullshit charge

      So armed robbery and assault for barging into someone else’s hotel room with a couple other guys and brandishing guns is a bullshit charge?

  9. Watch the 30 for 30 “guy flipping through tv on the day that OJ ran” documentary June 17, 1994. It was f’ing good.

  10. White America had a hard time accepting the fact that the police would lie about their actions[…]

    Question: They lied about things that mattered or about things that were trivial?

    Because one of the most recognizable parts of the mythology is that the glove was planted (which in fact it wasn’t, considering just how sloppy a killer OJ was.)

  11. The whole trial was taken to its stupid pc conclusion.

    1. Trial moved from West L.A. to downtown to get blacks on jury.

    2. Woman and black man for DA’s. Much better senior da’s passed over.

    3. Asian Judge. Weak and was rolled over by defendants team. Much better judges available.

    4. Racist white cops processing key evidence.

    How could any other verdict happen.

  12. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

    I am innocent and the police aren’t even looking for the real killer anymore, at least I am. I know he’s out there on a golf course somewhere.

    1. Nice try Juice. We all know where you’re writing from. Don’t bend over to type.

      1. Do you seriously think a former pro football player is gonna get pushed around? He’s a big fucking dude. He’s probably got several bitches by now. Except for Ray. Someone shanked him after he left OJ. I believe he’s still looking for the real killer.

    2. You might still get the $1,000,000.00 reward that National Enquirer offered for the capture of Nichole’s and Ron’s killer(s) if you decide to give yourself up, OJ.


    3. Loved you in Naked Gun 2-1/2, man.

  13. Ask anybody what the evidence was. They have no fucking idea.

    While true, I am exception. I was an RA for my evidence professor and we read all the transcripts for an academic project.

    I would have voted Not Guilty Beyond A Reasonable Doubt, and, unlike the jury, I had the benefit of watching the news consensus that he did it.

    The reason is that the prosecution offered evidence that the cops had obviously manufactured or mishandled. When that happens enough, you can’t believe any of their evidence; if a person lies to you in their first 5 statements, how do you credit their next 10? All false? 3 false?

    This was a great verdict, because it showed people who paid attention that cops and prosecutors will frame people, will collude on bad evidence, and can be highly incompetent. As the trial went on, local judges authorized more defense expenditures arising from defense claims of police misconduct (forged signatures, testing exonerating DNA samples, examining witnesses dismissed by cops). This was a great, great verdict for the system.

    1. Are you saying you do not think he actually did it? Or are you saying you wanted to let a murderer off just to give a middle finger to some of the prosecution?

      1. Whether he thinks OJ did the crime he was accused of was irrelevant. That has nothing to do with it. The one time I was on a trial it was a guy who I thought, more likely than not, was guilty as sin. But you know what? Prosecution didn’t come close to proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Not guilty.

        1. er, the one time I was on a jury, not the one time I was on a trial.

          Plus the above doesn’t reflect my view on the OJ trial, just to point out that whether he did it or not is irrelevant.

    2. Wow.

      Proof that education does not necessarily bestow logic or reason.

      So you obviously buy the defense that all the cuts on his hand came from a cellphone, that all that f’ng blood was planted, and on and on?

      Gee I want you on my jury when I commit a double, triple or quadruple murder and spill blood all over the f’ing place.

    3. Sorry, there was motive, means, opportunity, physical evidence, and behavioral evidence (the Bronco chase). The alibi was absurd. The prosecution screwed up what should have been a slam-dunk.

      As for a police conspiracy: ha. Who in their right mind believes the LAPD, in the 1990s, would frame a famous football player and movie star? Some nobody, maybe, but a football hero, of any race? No chance.

      1. He was a hero for Buffalo, not LA, and was fucking a white woman.

        Not saying there was a conspiracy, but it’s not implausible that a white racist would consider him uppity and in need of humbling.

        1. It still seems hugely unlikely that someone just happened to frame someone who had motive, means, opportunity, some undeniable physical evidence, a poor alibi, and who acted guilty as hell.

          1. You’re underestimating the urge to frame a guilty man.

            A man’s actions have no bearing on what the cops will do to show your guilt. Even if the evidence is overwhelming, which I think it was in the OJ case (I watched a good chunk of it live from my dorm room – no I didn’t get much of the snatch), that won’t erase a cop’s urge to further prove guilt by throwing in a few embellishments here, or a couple of fabrications there. Busting OJ would have catapulted his career, and that motivation cannot be overestimated.

            1. Ah, but that’s another issue. Frame an innocent man, and he should get off. Frame a guilty one, and he should be convicted anyway, on the strength of the other evidence. And then go after the people who tried to frame the guy.

              And I don’t recall any real evidence any framing was going on, just defense smoke and mirrors claiming it might be so.

              1. “Frame a guilty one, and he should be convicted anyway, on the strength of the other evidence.”

                But the other evidence, no matter how strong, suffers the taint of the evidence from the bad evidence.

    4. Exactly. If the police fake evidence (which the prosecution then presents in court), lie in court, or hide exonerating evidence, the verdict should be an almost automatic Not Guilty Beyond A Reasonable Doubt.
      That crap creates reasonable doubt.

    5. Another racist, ignorant black asshole

  14. The entire trial was a charade and a joke. The utter incompetence of the prosecution was staggering as was that of that imbecile Judge Ito. This “mountain of evidence” horseshit. All that idiotic approach did was give the defense dozens of opportunities to poke holes and establish or at least give an excuse for finding reasonable doubt. What’s more, you can hire professional experts witnesses to testify however you want them to testify.

    I remember particular the Mass Spectroscopy expert with his EDTA “peaks”. Having been a mass spectroscoper at the time I can tell you it was total horseshit. And that idiot stunt with the glove. You would have to be a total imbecile to have thought that was a good idea. Which Chris Darden (and of course Marcia too) most certainly was and continues to be I would suspect.

  15. Best part of the chase was the Stern fan calling in and duping ABC and Peter Jennings.

    1. It’s not the first time or the last time we’ve been had.

  16. I thought the defense claimed the cut in hand resulted from him breaking a glass in his hotel after he heard about the murders. (There was a broken glass in his hotel room). There was also a pilot who shook hands with OJ after the murders who claimed he looked at OJ’s hands and did not notice any cuts on it.

    Also, the prosecution royally screwed up the timeline, Furhman lied on the stand, blood evidence was mishandled, and somehow OJ’s blood degrade after being outside for two weeks.

  17. Oh shit! The Chewbaca defense!

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