Patterico's Pontifications

8/20/2006

The O.J. Posts — Part One: Introduction

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:32 pm

[This is Part One of a series of posts on the O.J. Simpson trial.]

A lot of you folks responded to my recent post in which I told you how I had predicted a guilty verdict in the O.J. case. One commenter reminded me that I have told you in the past that I have a few stories about the case to tell. So I thought that, over the next few days, I could tell some of my O.J. stories. I’ll start tomorrow; today is merely the introduction.

I don’t mean to build this up too much; I certainly don’t pretend to have any key insights that will astound and amaze you. But I do have a small bit of insight into some issues in the case. So if you’re one of those people who is still fascinated by the case even though it is more than 10 years old, stick with me over the next few days. If you’re not — well, maybe the guest posters and I will be able to come up with something else that will interest you.

I should say that I come at this with a perspective: I think O.J. Simpson is guilty of the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. I think he got away with murder. Part of the object of these posts is to explore why.

I should also say that, while I am a Deputy District Attorney, I was not one at the time of the trial. I have no vested interest in making excuses for the District Attorney’s Office. I am a big fan of Vincent Bugliosi’s. I read his book “Outrage” with great interest, and agreed with most of his severe criticisms of the prosecution case. I think that Marcia Clark and Chris Darden made several highly questionable decisions and I’m not afraid to say so. I do not know Clark or Darden. (I do know Bill Hodgman, but he had heart trouble early in the case and did not have the same level of involvement that he otherwise would have had — which I think is a shame, for reasons I’ll explain in a future post.)

But despite the fact that I think Clark and Darden screwed up the case, I still think they proved it beyond a reasonable doubt. Tomorrow I’ll explain why I don’t think it made a difference to the jurors.

P.S. My site has a disclaimer on the sidebar that says that everything I say on this site is said in my personal capacity, not my official capacity, and does not necessarily reflect the views of my office. I think that it bears repeating here, given that I am talking about events and people relating to the office, albeit the office as it was over 10 years ago.

32 Responses to “The O.J. Posts — Part One: Introduction”

  1. The whole OJ Trial was rigged just like with MICHEAL JACKSON

    krazy kagu (c6e87a)

  2. This should be interesting. I was sick at the time and watched almost all the coverage of the case. I do not believe that OJ killed Nicole or Ron, and I do not believe the prosecution proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt. (I’ll withhold saying who I think did and why.)

    antimedia (3e6943)

  3. I’m not sure one can ever say a trial is rigged (not to say it doesn’t happen) just because of an outcome.

    I can say that unless you have ever served on a jury, you have no idea of how difficult it is to get a group of 12 rational sane thinking individuals.

    I have served on three juries in California, and been an alternate in a fourth. The deliberation room was extremely eye opening.

    About all I can say is that after that experience I am never surprised by what comes out of a jury trial.

    If you are disheartened by jury trial results, then when you get a jury summons you had better darn well go serve rather than try to get excused.

    Charlie (22cc32)

  4. No sooner than I post my comment about “not being surprised” comes antimedia with their comment “I do not believe that OJ killed Nicole and Ron”.

    And this from a person who states they watched almost all of the coverage. Note that they dis not say they didn’t think OJ was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but the out and out believe he was not guilty.

    Antimedia is more than welcome to his/her opinion. However, it just validates my point.

    The amazing thing is that beyond suspending common sense and disregarding science and logic, to believe that OJ was not guilty you have to also believe that many people conspired to frame OJ. So many people would risk there careers and throw away all integrity to “get the man”.

    It’s actually amazing that we even get as many convictions as we do.

    However, I suspect that conviction rates have gone down and will continue to go down based on the dumbing down of our society and juries looking for the CSI level of evidence.

    Charlie (22cc32)

  5. Bugliosi once related the following information during a radio interview:

    On the night of Nicole and Ron’s murder, a female eyewitness saw a white Ford Bronco speeding away from Brentwood, driving recklessly and running red lights. This eyewitness called 911 and gave the speeding Bronco’s license plate to the dispatcher.

    The plate later came back as being registered to O.J. Simpson.

    Tweedledum and Tweed… um… Darden and Clark originally placed this woman on their witness list. But when the eyewitness sold her story to the tabloid show “A Current Affair”, D&C decided the witness had compromised her own credibility and struck her from the witness list. This despite the fact that the witness’ testimony was known to have been independently corroborated by the resulting DMV registration search (not to mention the record of her 911 call).

    I am not a subscriber to urban legends, conspiracy theories, and such, so I’m interested know whether Bugliosi’s allegation has any merit or whether it can be safely tossed into the same category as alien anal probes and the risks of eating Space Dust while drinking Pepsi.

    DubiousD (c8782b)

  6. …whether it can be safely tossed into the same category as alien anal probes and the risks of eating Space Dust while drinking Pepsi.

    Now why do you want to go and steal Antimedia’s thunder like that?

    JD (044292)

  7. I will probably catch hell for this.

    Since 1986 I have refused to serve on juries. I say I have such disgust for the entire system that I cannot be objective. One side or the other will challenge you off even it the judge will not.

    Since that is the truth I feel no qualms about saying so.

    When called for jury duty you will probably sit in the courthouse and then go home without having been questioned or spoken to at all. Tear up the free parking voucher, pay your own fee, and spit to lessen the taste of the day.

    Some will say I am not meeting my civic obligation. Too bad! Is it my obligation to serve a system I feel is utterly corrupt and useless?

    As an aside. I have several black friends in Los Angeles where I worked during the OJ trial. At lunch I was amazed to hear them agree that they had never met a black who thought OJ was innocent. Meanwhile every media was blaring exactly the opposite i.e. the vast majority of blacks thought he was innocent.

    K (f31147)

  8. as for antimedia — this white, politically conservative person would have voted for acquittal based on what I saw and read of the trial at the time of the trial happening. To me the big turning point was the non-fitting of the glove. I will never understand what the heck the prosecution was thinking in having OJ try on something without knowing what the result would be.

    but question for antimedia: What the heck did you have that laid you up for over a year?

    seaPea (8e9cc0)

  9. SeaPea:

    Odd that you don’t recall that later, they had OJ try on a brand new glove of exactly the same brand, model, and size… and it fit perfectly. The actual murder glove had been soaked in blood, then when it dried, it was slightly tighter; the Olympian struggle that OJ went through trying to put it on was acting.

    Oh, and of course, he admitted owning a pair of those gloves in that size… which he could not produce.

    (For God’s sake, the Bruni Magli shoeprints, the bloodtrail with both OJ’s and the victims’ blood — his own blood on the same side as his badly cut finger, which he also never adequately explained — bloodstains in his Bronco, victim’s blood in OJ’s house, OJ’s blood at the scene, and the low-speed chase with a passport, disguise, and wad of cash in the car should have been enough to convict right there and then.)

    Oh well; each of us has his own reality map, SeaPea.

    Patterico:

    I’m very much interested in your take. Like you, I believe OJ killed Ron and Nicole in a cold rage, having convinced himself they were having an affair (whether true or false)… and despite being separated from Nicole, I believe OJ was a domineering, controlling person who became so blind with fury at being made a fool of that he murdered them both.

    And I believe the jury acquitted because they had decided to acquit before the trial even began, and nothing anybody said or did would have changed that. I have a black acquaintance who agreed that OJ killed them; but he said he celebrated when OJ was found not guilty, because “finally a brother got away with something, for a change.”

    I believe the case was lost the moment Garcetti (it was Gil Garcetti, right?) allowed a change of venue to downtown LA. It was structurally the same as if we’d accepted the Taliban’s kind offer to “try” Osama bin Laden themselves.

    Dafydd

    Dafydd (6e94cd)

  10. When called for jury duty you will probably sit in the courthouse and then go home without having been questioned or spoken to at all.

    When I was called for jury duty, yes there was a bit of sitting around, but I was on two panels over ten days and found the experience strengthened my confidence in juries. Well, I was just the alternate on one, a rather juicy date rape case. The other case was a robbery case. The thing that disturbed me about both (and both were aquittals) was how horrible the prosecutors seemed. Maybe they weren’t typical cases, but in the robbery case the defendent had lost his job while sitting in jail over Christmas and they literally had no evidence except two liars – the alleged victim and her cop boyfriend, and it actually sounded like the off duty cop boyfriend had beaten up the guy and then invented a charge that he stole his girlfriend’s cell phone (they never even showed the cell phone in court).

    I guess it would take too long to get into the details, but the entire jury was dumbfounded that the prosecutor wasted our time with LITLERALLY no evidence except two obvious liars. And the date rape case was incredibly flimsy as well. When we were interviewed for the panel they kept asking us if we’d be willing to convict based on just one witnesses testimony (who also turned out to tell us all kinds of lies). Which I guess is concievable, but they were searching for jurors who would lower the burden of proof.

    But yeah, it would take too long to bore you all with the details of those cases. I’m just saying, the things I learned from jury duty was that most of the jurors took their duty pretty seriously, it was a rather interesting experience, but Cuyahoga County, Ohio, has prosecutors willing to try and ruin people’s lives even when they have no case, although I had always been taught their duty is to seek justice.

    I certainly won’t make generalizations about all prosecutors based on that, but it alarmed me.

    LoafingOaf (9f37aa)

  11. As far as the OJ case, that jury obviously didn’t take their job seriously, but that wasn’t a normal jury!

    LoafingOaf (9f37aa)

  12. if o.j. didn’t do it, who the fuck did??
    @antimedia:
    you’re not gonna tell us who you think did it and why? at least write it down and put it in your safe deposit box, so that when you die, the secret won’t be lost to the rest of the crackpots who care what you think.
    @seapea:
    don’t you know that if you don’t want a glove that otherwise fits to go on, it won’t go on? you were taken in by that? maybe you can find a bag to fit over your head.
    the d.a. effectively threw the case, like i said the other day, by pursuing a racial agenda which conflicted with and ultimately overcame the justice agenda. the racial agenda manifested itself many times; trying the case downtown instead of where the crime occurred, race-conscious judge selection, even the overnight delay after the verdict came in, before it was announced, ostensibly to give the city time to prepare for another rodney king-style upheaval if the verdict displeased rioters of color.
    this topic is going to bring some rare and special nuts out of the woodwork. maybe o.j. himself will post on a treo from a muni golf course. what’s kato up to these days? is lance ito still on the bench? if so, why doesn’t some bagel shopowner/lawyer run against him?

    assistant devil's advocate (3d89a2)

  13. Odd that you don’t recall that later, they had OJ try on a brand new glove of exactly the same brand, model, and size… and it fit perfectly. The actual murder glove had been soaked in blood, then when it dried, it was slightly tighter; the Olympian struggle that OJ went through trying to put it on was acting.

    Not to mention that OJ was pulling that nasty, crusty glove on over a rubber glove. Try that sometime. It ain’t easy. Darden was an idiot for pulling that stupid stunt.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  14. I watched exactly 1 minute of the OJ trial. I tried to watch the closing arguments but it got too boring 1 minute into it. I was still ticked off at having to watch that stupid, 20 MPH car chase instead of the Knicks/Rockets playoff game. At the time, I worked 5am-12 every day and I was listening to Howard Stern a lot so I got all my info on the OJ trial from him.

    I don’t really believe this, but what if the Simpson DNA at the murder scene was actually OJ’s son and OJ is really being very noble and protecting his son?

    That would be ironic.

    Veeshir (5f9b87)

  15. Is everyone sitting down? For once I concur wholeheartedly with charlie.
    I sat on a jury for an open and shut under-cover drug bust in “The Badlands” here in Philly. The defense attroney used an O.J.-esque defense, “The case is so open and shut it must have beed a frame-up”. In his argument the defense attorney outright lied about the conditions of the neighborhood, I almost raised my hand to tell the judge that. (Seriously, what is a juror to do if he KNOWS one of the attorney’s has made a false staement/argument?) The jury deliberation started with one person saying, “I don’t know what you people think, But I don’t thinkhe did it, lets vote and go home…” Another person said, “I don’t trust the police anyway”. Another, an African-American woman, said, “I don’t truat the police officer, he looks ‘shadey’ to me”. I almost pulled my hair ou screaming-He’s an UNDERCOVER cop, what do you want him to look like”!!- The fellow was African American, short and muscle bound, shaved head, stud in one ear. When he put on a scowl he looked pretty tough.
    My other experience was as a prosecution witness for a mugging that I witnessed and reported on my cell phone while in my car about 30 ft away. The defendant had picked up an object- brick, bottle, rock- I don’t remember because I was watching his face as he raised it and walked toward my car. The defense attorney asked how I knew the defendant hadn’t been “helping” the victim who had “fallen on his own”, and maybe he was “waving me down for help”. I wished I could have demonstrated for him the scene…

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  16. […] Patterico’s Pontifications » The O.J. Posts — Part One: Introduction Bugliosi once related the following information during a radio interview: On the night of Nicole and Ron’s murder, a female eyewitness saw a white Ford Bronco speeding away from Brentwood, driving recklessly and running red lights. This eyewitness called 911 and gave the speeding Bronco’s license plate to the dispatcher. The plate later came back as being registered to O.J. Simpson. Tweedledum and Tweed… um… Darden and Clark originally placed this woman on their witness list. But when the eyewitness sold her story to the tabloid show “A Current Affair”, D&C decided the witness had compromised her own credibility and struck her from the witness list. This despite the fact that the witness’ testimony was known to have been independently corroborated by the resulting DMV registration search (not to mention the record of her 911 call). I am not a subscriber to urban legends, conspiracy theories, and such, so I’m interested know whether Bugliosi’s allegation has any merit or whether it can be safely tossed into the same category as alien anal probes and the risks of eating Space Dust while drinking Pepsi. Comment by DubiousD — 8/20/2006 @ 9:13 pm […]

    » OJ redux deaux » The O.J. Posts — Part One: Introduction The Race Card: Just another WordPress weblog (b5d641)

  17. […] [This is Part Two of a series of posts on the O.J. Simpson trial. Part One is here. Also, be warned that the extended entry has harsh language.] […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » The O.J. Posts — Part Two: The Jury (421107)

  18. Hi,
    First off, the role of a jury is not to figure out who did the deed if the accused did not. The job is did the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused did the deed.
    As to the glove fitting – the prosecution gets up and says we will show that the glove will fit OJ’s hands. When it doesn’t we suddenly hear all sorts of explanations and excuses. If I was on the jury I would have considered all the ex post facto arguments as apologetics.
    There were other reasons I would have acquitted, but I’m waiting for the other posts to see if any of them are addressed.

    seePea (751079)

  19. I think that most of the jurors believed that the American criminal justice system is unfair to blacks. They thought that penalties are more severe for blacks than for whites, and blacks are more likely to be falsely convicted or convicted of worse crimes while whites are more likely to get off without a penalty or convicted of lesser crimes. Because they see the criminal justice system as corrupt they felt no moral objection to playing the same game except this time it was to the benefit of a black accused of commiting a crime against whites.

    itsblackandwhite (82e870)

  20. LoafingOaf: I certainly agree. Most jurors are going to (figuratively) bust a gut to reach the correct verdict.

    If the matter was sitting around and boredom I would have no quarrel with the system. I was trying to show why my attitude almost never matters, you usually won’t get anywhere near actual jury selection anyway.

    I look upon the matter as akin to driving an unreliable car. At some point you do not tell your mechanic to install another engine just because the headlights usually work well. I think our legal system is such a car.

    Like others I formed an opinion about who killed Michelle. OJ did it, but not on impulse as many believe. It wasn’t his son as someone suggested – DNA testing can easily decide between OJ and his son (if the proper tests are done).

    Altogether I thought the OJ trial was the perfect storm of incompetence, deceit, and delusion. Nothing about it made me regret my decision about jury duty and the legal system.

    K (f31147)

  21. seePea,

    1) do you believe Elvis Presley is still alive ?

    2) was the moon landing faked ?

    3) were the Smurfs real, or do you acknowledge they were merely a Belgian cartoon strip & American TV cartoon ?

    Thank you.

    Desert Rat (d8da01)

  22. Hah! I can’t say I’m surprised by the reaction to my comments.

    I was sick with pneumonia at first, and then I was laid off. Ending up watching almost the entire trial. The prosecution didn’t prove its case, plain and simple.

    I’ve served on several juries, been the foreman on one, so I can assure you, I listen very closely to the testimony. I will never convict someone due to emotion, so don’t even bother trying the usual tactics. If I don’t think the prosecution proved its case, eleven angry jurors will not change my mind. I value our jury system too much to let emotion put people in prison.

    That said, the jury I was foreman on resulted in a conviction, as did one other. One was plead out before we finished deliberations, and one was plead out before we were seated. So all four juries I’ve been on resulted in convictions (just in case you think I one of those stupid nutters you claimed I must be.)

    Note – I did not say that OJ wasn’t at the crime scene. I said he didn’t kill Nicole and Ron. I also said the prosecution didn’t prove their case, which is self-evident from the verdict, wouldn’t you say?

    OJ’s son, Jason, killed Nicole and Ron. When you think about all the DNA evidence, think about that for a minute. OJ’s son had means, motive and opportunity. OJ barely had time to rush to the scene, see what his son had done and then hurry home to catch his flight.

    Pick up the book OJ is Guilty, but not of Murder some time and read it. If that doesn’t give you second thoughts, you’re not being objective.

    The police never investigated Jason, because they were fixed on OJ from the very beginning – and for good reason. There was lots of evidence tieing him to the crime scene. But being at the scene of a crime does not prove you committed the crime. It only proves you were there. OJ is guilty of concealing the commission of a crime but not of committing the crime himself.

    BTW, I’m white, Anglo Saxon and conservative/libertarian/independent, and I think some of the comments here about the jury are downright insulting. What gives anyone the right to criticize the jury when you haven’t sat through the entire trial and considered all the evidence? What I see is a smug arrogance that has nothing whatsoever to do with the careful deliberation you are charged to engage in when on a jury.

    If there is a problem with our jury system, this is much more likely to be the cause then all the so-called reasons surmised by those who didn’t serve on those juries. There is no more serious or difficult job we citizens have than to deliberate the fate of a fellow citizen, and those who belittle that process without having sat through that trial and heard every bit of evidence the jury heard should be ashamed of ourselves for judging our peers.

    antimedia (bb6e02)

  23. The reason some of the comments here are so insulting to the jury is that it was obvious they didn’t take their duty seriously. The speed of their verdict, combined with some of the more idiotic statements (somebody else is running around with his DNA, for example) leads to the conclusion that (a) this wasn’t a very smart or plugged-in jury (they never kept up with current events) and (b) the fix was in before the trial started.

    This isn’t the same thing as saying the prosecution did a great job of proving its case. But the problem started with venue and just got worse from there.

    sharon (63d8f8)

  24. Antimedia:

    OJ’s son, Jason, killed Nicole and Ron. When you think about all the DNA evidence, think about that for a minute.

    Great Scott! Do you mean to tell me that Jason is a clone of OJ?

    Dafydd

    Dafydd (6e94cd)

  25. […] [This is Part Three of a series of posts on the O.J. Simpson trial. Part One is here; Part Two is here.] […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » The O.J. Posts — Part Three: The Timeline (421107)

  26. Antimedia: First, there is a difference between saying the prosecution did not prove their case versus saying OJ was not guilty.

    You flat out believe he was not guilty. That’s cool, you are entitled to your opinion.

    I’m sorry, but I’m entitled to my opinion too, and in regards to this case, you are a “nutter”.

    Oh, and by the way, if your scenerio was true (which it is not), then OJ was guilty of accessory to murder, obstruction of justice, and numerous other charges.

    I do have other questions for you: Was the US in anyway involved in 9/11? Were there other explosives planted in the towers that brought them down? Did a plane not crash into the Pentagon? Was UA 93 shot out of the sky by a missle?

    Charlie (72b728)

  27. […] [This is Part Four of a series of posts on the O.J. Simpson trial. Part One is here; Part Two is here; Part Three is here.] […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » The O.J. Posts — Part Four: We Really Could Have Used Bill Hodgman (421107)

  28. Think OJ is innocent? Okay, trick quetstion, no one with a brain does. But read on……

    What in the world went wrong at the criminal trial? Why did the civil trial go the other way? These and many, many other questions are answered in detail at Patterico’s blog in a 6-part series starting here.
    My favorite is part six which inclu…

    Independent Sources (dd41d6)

  29. […] What in the world went wrong at the criminal trial? Why did the civil case go the other way? These and many, many other questions are answered in detail at Patterico’s blog in a 6-part series starting here. […]

    Independent Sources » Blog Archive » Think OJ is innocent? Okay, trick quetstion, no one with a brain does. But read on… (dd41d6)

  30. OJ is a cold blooded murderer proven beyond any doubt. People who want to argue are not worth any consideration and are simply stupid people. It’s a fact of life that we must accept. Some people in this world are just plain stupid and I think the OJ jury could be a poster for that for decades to come

    Dave Angel (52172d)

  31. If people think a court jury trial cannot be rigged set-up or fixed for the accused to fail then try getting justice in a courthouse in orange county. Evidence of innocence can be immediately removed deleted altered and tampered with from record with the immediate back hallway conference with both public attorneys and court reporter. This can be followed up with them presenting a printed document with false rigged set-up fixed framed evidence for the jury to use against the accused and convict. Planting false evidence on the accused inside the courtroom is fact. Rigged scales of justice.

    MOLINA (484f7d)


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