Skip to comments.Krauthammer: Why We Should Let O.J. Speak
Posted on 11/21/2006 9:29:15 PM PST by RWR8189
Rupert Murdoch has just canceled the O.J. Simpson book and TV special in which Simpson (presumably) describes how he would have half-decapitated Nicole Simpson and stabbed Ron Goldman had "the real killers" not done it first. The cancellation is certainly justified on grounds of decency, sensitivity and, given the universal public revulsion, commercial good sense. But I would have done differently. I would have let O.J. speak.
I thought the outrage was misdirected and misplaced. The attention and money Simpson (and Fox) would have garnered from the deal are not half as outrageous as the fact that every day he walks free. The real outrage is the trial that declared him not guilty: the judge, a fool and incompetent whose love of publicity turned the trial into a circus; the defense lawyers, not one of whom could have doubted the man's guilt yet who cynically played on the jury's ignorance and latent racism to win a disgraceful verdict; the prosecutors, total incompetents who bungled a gimmie, then shamelessly cashed in afterwards; the media that turned the brutal deaths of two innocents into TV's first reality-show soap opera.
Worst of all was the jury, whose perverse verdict was the most brazen and lawless act of nullification since the heyday of Strom Thurmond. Sworn to uphold law, they decided instead to hold a private referendum on racism in the L.A. Police Department.
The result was a grotesque miscarriage of justice. And there it rested, frozen and irreversible. I wanted to hear O.J. speak because that was the one way to, in effect, reopen the case, unfreeze the travesty and get us some way back to justice. Not tangible throw-the-thug-in-jail justice. But the psychological justice of establishing Simpson's guilt with perfect finality.
This is especially important because so many people believed or perhaps more accurately, made themselves believe in O.J.'s innocence. Everyone remembers gathering around the television at work to watch the verdict, and then the endless national self-searching over the shocking climax: not the verdict, but the visceral response to the verdict the white employees gasping while the black employees burst into spontaneous applause.
Pollsters found that nearly 90% of African-Americans agreed with the verdict. Almost a third of whites did too. What better way to eliminate this lingering and widespread doubt about Simpson's guilt than to have the man himself admit it. But for that you need his confession. The fact that he prefaced his "I did it" with the word "if" is irrelevant. Simpson will always avoid unqualified admission if only to avoid further legal jeopardy for, say, perjury.
But has there ever been someone who responds to the murder of an ex-wife a death he publicly mourned and pretended to be so aggrieved by that he would spend the rest of his days looking for "the real killers" to engage in the exercise of telling how he would have cut her throat?
No survivor of a murdered spouse who is innocent could do anything so grotesque. Can you imagine Daniel Pearl's widow writing a book about how she would have conducted the beheading of her husband? Or Jehan Sadat going on television to describe how she would have engineered her husband's assassination? Such things are impossible. The mere act of engaging in so unimaginably repulsive an exercise is the ultimate proof of Simpson's guilt.
Who cares if O.J. profits financially? There is nothing in that injustice and a further injustice it undeniably is that compares to the supreme injustice of the verdict. And exposing the verdict's falsity from the killer's mouth no less is worth whatever price we as a society would have paid in the sordidness of the TV spectacle and the book.
After such an event, anyone persisting in maintaining Simpson's innocence would have been exposed as a fool or a knave. The interview and book would have been valuable public assets to rub in the face of those who carried out the original travesty Simpson's lawyers, his defenders and, above all, the jury and those who continue to believe it.
Here's the television I really will miss now: the cameras taken into the homes of every one of those twelve willful jurists who sprung O.J. free 12 years ago and made a mockery of the law by trying to turn a brutal murderer of two into a racial victim/hero. I wanted to see their faces as the man they declared innocent described to the world how he would have takennonsense: how he did takethe knife to Nicole's throat.
Full disclosure: Charles Krauthammer is a Fox News contributor, among other affiliations.
[::Nodding::] Yup. Yup. And yup.
Once again Charles the K has hit the nail on the head.
Thanks Charles, now, is it OK if we never hear about OJ again? One of the best things Rush ever did was "No OJ, none of the time"!
Krauthammer is probably right. The idea that we would have then been subjected to months of OJ is disturbing and tiring, but the number of people who believe he is innocent is also disturbing.
Great writing! I saw this as a crass book promotion, but maybe Charlie is right.
Wrong, what's next, cooking with John Wayne Gacey?
If OJ had admitted his guilt and said he killed her because she was playing the whore with all of california in front of his kids, I would have had sympathy for him. He still would've been jailed for murder, but at least I would have understood.
He's never said that, so my guess is that it wasn't the case.
Krauthammer's right. OJ doing this "if" thing is conclusive about his guilt.
I still remember all the 'students' at GWU jumping up and cheering when the verdict was announced.
OJ still can speak - let him put a video up on YouTube.
The jurors came to the correct verdict. It's become rather obvious that the blood evidence was tainted and that establishes reasonable doubt. He could be guilty as sin but it's very hard to prove that using tampered blood.
The jury may have not have reached the correct verdict with the correct reasoning but they did, nonetheless. get the verdict right.
FWIW, the civil jury got it right too. There are separate standards for the two types of law. In the civil case, the prosecutors just needs to prove a preponderance of the evidence while a criminal trial requires guilt be on a reasonable doubt. The civil jury also heard about the Bruno Magli shoes which the criminal jury did not hear.
Don't blame the jurors. They did their jobs correctly. Instead, blame the LAPD who, in their rush to nab O.J. Simpson, planted his blood at the crime scene in order to throw the case their way and were caught (pardon the pun) red-handed.
"Machete Sharpening Tips" by Jason Voorhees.
The possibilities are endless.
I'm getting ready to dump television, this would have made it that much faster.
Picnicking in Fort Marcy park
Krauthammer's right. OJ doing this "if" thing is conclusive about his guilt."
The guy giving police a long chase and ending up with (iirc) holding a gun to his own head was pretty conclusive, but that was often ignored in what followed.
Slam dunk without the blood.
Jury nullilfication means just that.
Since O.J.'s victims were a different race (and one was also Jewish), why couldn't he be tried as a "hate crime" or denying Ron and Nicole their "civil rights"?
It worked against southern racists who killed blacks, so why not blacks who kill whites?
This is silly. Does Krauthammer expect them to show remorse, regret, embarrassment? Sorry to burst your bubble, Charles, but all you'd see on the faces of these "willful jurists" is a laugh-in-your-face leer. Simpson is a hero to these folks because they know he's guilty and they got him off, not because he's innocent and they protected him from an unjust conviction. The applause was for sticking it in The Man's eye, and the applause will be even louder when OJ himself tells the world it's true.
Not strong enough for me. It's more than "the fact that every day he walks free" that is the travesty here; it's that this monster has not been EXECUTED for butchery of two human beings that offends me, society and the country! (Please excuse the "shouting".)
Taxidermy with Ed Geins. The person "Psycho" is based upon.
Just like Bush skipping out on the Air National Guard. May be true, may be not but when fake evidence is introduced, you have to give a reasonable doubt or there would be no reason to fake the evidence.
Cutting to the chase, I think he did it but I also think the jury had reasonable doubt to conclude otherwise. There was no confession, no murder weapon found, nothing (at the time) to prove Simpson was at the scene other than the blood evidence and the blood evidence was planted which we later found out was a frequent method of L.A. cops. Later the Bruno Magli shoes pretty much sealed the case but that was only established at the civil trial, not the criminal one.
The car chase and suicide threat didn't look like innocence, did they? :>)
I don't want to hear another word about OJ until somebody cuts his head off.
The prosecution was incompetent. Judge Ito a joke. Marcia Clark supposedly slept with her prosecution partner during the trial. What a California circus.
The cops actually planned and planted that video of Simpson trying to escape.
Sony executives were bribed and their studio used to film "the chase"/
The jury was doing the mirror image of what happened to Emmet Till. Sure, in Emmet Till's case the white jurors couldn't prove that the white men who came looking for the young black boy and took him out of the house at gunpoint were the same ones who beat him to death and dumped him in a river. I mean, no one saw the actual murder, so the jurors had to let the men go, because they said they let Emmet go after scaring him, so somebody else must have beaten him to death. The O.J. verdict was payback for centuries of crap like this.
The standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, not beyond all doubt.
O.J. is as guilty as Emmet Till's killers, and he got off for the same reason -- malignant racial solidarity -- and the verdict is just as disgraceful. I understand that African Americans have suffered in America, but two wrongs don't make a right.
A big laughline from Cedric the Entertainer in Barbershop is when he talks about things black folks know are true but can never, ever admit in front of white folks, and amongst them is "O.J. is guilty." Blacks laughed in the theater because they all knew it was true. (And the joke worked on another level, because Cedric the Entertainer knew that white folks would see the movie, ironically being let in on the gag.)
What Krauthammer doesn't seem to realize is that the best prosecutor on Earth couldn't have won that case, not after Garcetti allowed change of venue to downtown LA. Can't have rioting over a Simpson conviction, now can we?
Personally I don't believe that 97% of blacks think OJ is innocent. I think a number of that percentage knows he did but are just happy that he got away with it.
He may be walking free, but his two kids know he murdered their mother. And he knows it.
God what a great article.
I found that part of Charles K's column to be silly too. They wouldn't care if they found out he did it--they already know he did it but chose to vote not guilty.
They were the real disgrace.
It depends on what's in the interview, and thats something only Fox and Judith Regan would know. I agree though, if it is in some way a 'confession', then it should have aired. If its not, and its just OJ trying to cast blame somewhere else then it shouldnt. I think its more likely that it was the later, and thats the real reason Fox caved. They knew what kind of reaction they were going to get after people realised they'd been had.
I do think thought theres a good case to be made that it should just have been aired in the interest of 'free speech' itself. I dont want moral arbiters like Bill O'Reilly deciding what should or shouldnt be shown on television. I dont mind a boycott, but Id like to be able to decide for myself whether I watch it or not. I think there may be a backlash against the 'culture warriors' over this.
That's correct. It was over from that point.
I don't believe that most blacks necessarily thought that Simpson was "innocent", per se, as much as he was legally "not guilty". At the time of the trial I had two black co-workers who were spinning all manner of conspiracy theories about how someone other than O.J. might have committed the crime. One of the guys, however, finally admitted to me that the real "bottom line" for him was that O.J. had just as much right to hire an expensive mouthpiece to get him off as any white murder suspect (e.g. the notorious T.Cullen Davis in Texas, Klaus Von Bulow, the Menendez Twins, etc).
Personally, I'm still waiting for the Federal Civil Rights trial of Simpson (after all, that's how the Feds handled white "jury nullification" back in the Civil Rights Era). I'm waiting and waiting and waiting.
Remember, he still has kids and he wouldn't have admitted a thing!
I cannot bear to see O.J's face for more than a few seconds. I could not watch it. But Krauthammer once again brings a unique perspective to current events.
I think you are exactly right.
I was thinking the same thing myself.
He will be a pariah until he dies, and that is at least some punishment.
I don't want to hear any more from him or about him.
More disturbing still is the number of people who simply think it should be legal to kill white people.
There is never any shortage of morons whose understanding of "reasonable doubt" is based on watching too many television shows. There was not reasonable doubt, and the jurors did not reach the correct verdict. O.J.'s guilt was proven beyond dispute, but the brazenly racist jury let their hatred of white folks carry the day.
Great post. That has got to be the feeling of lots of blacks but what immedidately strikes me is I never read it in the MSM - only here.
I wanted to see their faces as the man they declared innocent described to the world how he would have takennonsense: how he did takethe knife to Nicole's throat.
I believe that a number of those jurors would maintain that their verdict was right even if OJ is truly the murderer because, well, it works out to white people have more money than black people.
He doesn't get 3.5 mil for YouTube