From the Archive: Opinion: O.J. Simpson: Morally guilty, but legally not


Shield Archive

The Shield flag Oct. 9, 2021.

Carol Hudson, Opinion Editor

Message from 2021-2022 Editorial Staff: 

The first issue of The Spartan Shield was published Oct. 15, 1968. The Shield Staff is celebrating The Shield’s 53rd birthday by digitally republishing stories from The Shield Archive. The following opinion about the O.J. Simpson trial was published Oct. 9, 1995. The jury on Oct. 3, 1995 famously found  O.J. Simpson not guilty of the murder of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman. The following story has not been edited by the 2021-2022 staff.

Story from The Shield Archive: 

The trial of the century is over. And although I, for one, will be glad when I will be able to turn on the evening news or pick up a newspaper and not see the name O.J. Simpson, I am sickened at the realization that because one racist cop was involved in the investigation a murderer is a free man.

And what is most appalling to me is not only is he a free man, he is looked upon as a hero by many in the Afro-American community. This is beyond my comprehension. 

The Trial of the century is over and Simpson walked. There was no rioting in the streets. Oh, there were a few NOW members protesting, but no riots. Perhaps there should have been. 

Perhaps every woman in this country who has ever been physically or mentally beaten down by a man should have taken to the streets and screamed “No more!” “No more verbal degradation! No more emotional abuse! No more pushing or shoving! No more kicking in the stomach! No more punching in the face! No more murder! No more murder!”

You see, this was not a trial about race or racism. It was a trial about murder. It was about the murder of a woman who had a documented history of being abused.

The murder of a woman who thought she had done everything possible to protect herself, and when she realized she had not, she left evidence–pictures of her badly-beaten body. 

It was about the murder of a woman who told friends “He’ll kill me someday and he’ll get away with it”

It was about the brutal and passionate murder of this woman and a man who was performing an act of kindness. Murder. It was about murder.

I believe this. And I have spoken to many people who also believe this. I believe this not because I am a racist, but rather because I am a humanist. I value human life.

And whether Simpson was black, white, or gray–there were too many unanswered questions for me to see him as an innocent man. Too many unanswered questions which point to no one–NO ONE–but Simpson.

Question number one: Why did an innocent man flee law officials in the infamous “White Bronco Ride” and then threaten suicide? I cannot buy the premise that he feared police brutality. 

I am not denying police misconduct exists; however, I would think it would be incomprehensible for any police officer to not conduct himself professionally given the celebrity status of Simpson.

Question number two: Who else in sunny southern California owned a pair of those very exclusive gloves (as identified by the manufacturer) with a motive to kill Nicole and Ronald Goldman?

The fact the gloves did not fit is not proof they were not his gloves. Fine leather shrinks when wet. These blood-soaked gloves would not be in the same condition, nor the same size, as they were before they were involved in such a brutal slaying. 

And, if these were not his gloves, the defense could have easily proven it by presenting Simpson’s gloves. That would have been the most logical solution to this glove question. “Here are Simpson’s gloves–now whose are those?”

But they didn’t. Am I to believe the most brilliant legal team ever composed is not as smart as I am?

Question number three: If not Simpson–then who?

If you know anything about violent crimes, you know this was a crime of passion and rage. The manner and the rage with these wounds were inflicted tells us this crime was committed by someone who passionately wanted these two people dead.

This was not a drug hit. If not Simpson, then who else would brutally and passionately murder Nicole and Ronald and with what motive? He had a motive. The proof is in the aforementioned photographs of a badly beaten Nicole. 

And regardless of what the jury says, this trial was about nothing else but a documented history of serious domestic violence which escalated into murder.

These are a few of the questions which I, and many other people, still have concerning Simpson’s innocence. This is my opinion; however, it is a fact that a jury of his peers found him not guilty in a court of law. 

It is a fact that the prosecution–whose position was mortally wounded by Mark Furhman–failed to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. (It is commonly stated that a 10 percent doubt is considered reasonable, anything beyond 10 percent is not).

Mark Furhman contaminated every bit of evidence the prosecution had (not literally, but rather symbolically) with his horrible racism.

The jury did not find enough evidence, in their opinion, to convict. One juror even stated she believed he probably did it, but because of Furhman, she could not be without a reasonable doubt. The system worked for Simpson. But it failed, as Ron Goldman’s father so eloquently put it, this country. 

The jury, who was told not to form any opinion whatsoever before they heard every bit of evidence and the closing arguments, was out a very short, less than four hours, period to determine this. This does bother me and a lot of other people.

Although they found him not guilty, and they were exposed to all of the evidence presented, did they already have an opinion formed? We all remember hearing a female jury member say immediately after the trial that they were there nine months and that it was not going to take them another nine months to come to a verdict. 

Should they have deliberated longer? I say yes. Would they have reached a different verdict? Probably not. 

The trail of the century is over. Let’s all walk away learning a few things.

First, if you feel strongly about this and you do not feel the jury made an intelligent decision–the next time you get a notice to serve jury duty, don’t try to evade it.

It’s kind of like the people who complain about elected officials but don’t vote. Second, whenever we think of this trail, let’s remember what it was about. Domestic violence which escalated into murder. No more!

And finally, let’s learn that racism does exist and it is an ugly, detestable creature which we can no longer tolerate. No more! No more! No more!