OJ Simpson "The trial of the century"

IGotTheMessageIGotTheMessage United States
You don't need me to tell you much about it. It is probably the single most famous criminal trial in American history. It captivated the nation like no other case before it, nor since and sharply divided Americans at the time.

If you were alive at the time and old enough to understand what was going on, what are your memories of the trial? What do you think of it today?

Discuss...

Comments

  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,097
    Well, like you I have an interest in true crime and criminal trials. In fact, I studied Law at Masters level for two years.

    I'm not fully up to speed with this case in particular as I'm much more familiar with UK law and criminal trials.

    That said, I've heard from a friend that the reason Simpson got off the murder rap was because the glove used in the double stabbing had shrunk after it had been stored as a piece of evidence. Hence, it was too small to fit Simpson's hand. Ironically, this sounds a tad like the Cinderella story more than a serious criminal "trial of the century".

    I think Simpson was later successfully sued civilly where the burden of proof is much lower of course. He was later jailed for a violent armed robbery and is still serving time for that.

    On a personal level I think of course that he's guilty as sin of that double murder.
  • Posts: 19,339
    I had no interest in it whatsoever.
  • Posts: 1,825
    When I was a kid, Simpson was one of the top (American) football stars of his day, and a celebrity off the field. He didn't just fade away once his playing days ended and became an actor and never really left the spotlight.

    It was a shock when the Bronco chase happened, I guess because of his status prior to that. But once everything came down it seemed like, yeah, it was possible. It was one of those cases where somebody you thought had it all and how could they do that?

    The trial was a circus. It was before the rise of social media and immediate Internet updates, but looking back it was such a precursor to what we have now. It was a lead story daily and all the attorneys, the judge and minor people like Kato Kaelin became instant celebs out of it. It was reality TV before that was a term.

    I recall the day of the verdict because it happened on my birthday. Everybody was expecting a guilty verdict and it was pretty shocking to hear "not guilty" and the aftermath.
  • 001001
    Posts: 1,575
    barryt007 wrote: »
    I had no interest in it whatsoever.

    Me 2. It was a farcical circus.
  • Posts: 5,292
    "Trial of the Century" ? How about the Nurenberg war trials ? Aren't there more worthy of the title ? OJ Simpson's trial was just a big circus.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    BT3366 wrote: »
    The trial was a circus. It was before the rise of social media and immediate Internet updates, but looking back it was such a precursor to what we have now. It was a lead story daily and all the attorneys, the judge and minor people like Kato Kaelin became instant celebs out of it. It was reality TV before that was a term.
    I agree. I'll always remember it as the start of this 'celebrity reality circus' which we seem to live in on a daily basis now. The next year it went onto the Michael Jackson child molestation allegations (which repeated again in the early 00's).
  • IGotTheMessageIGotTheMessage United States
    edited July 2017 Posts: 191
    @Gerard

    Well, the Nuremberg trials were a number of trials, not one. You could say the Adolf Eichmann trial in 1962, but the OJ Simpson trial actually garnered substantially more media attention in the United States. The media frenzy with the Simpson trial was virtually unparalleled in America.
  • Posts: 1,825
    Right. I also could've mentioned all the precursor stuff that preceded that like the Amy Fisher case and Amy Smart and such that helped give rise to that sort of thing that people really got into these tabloid-like cases that were capturing people's attention.

    O.J. just sent it right over the top.
  • IGotTheMessageIGotTheMessage United States
    Posts: 191
    The Simpson trial engendered an almost remarkable intensity of feeling amongst people on different sides as well, which fueled the coverage of the case. There are plenty of other cases which have captured the public's attention, but not like the OJ Simpson case.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    The Simpson trial engendered an almost remarkable intensity of feeling amongst people on different sides as well, which fueled the coverage of the case. There are plenty of other cases which have captured the public's attention, but not like the OJ Simpson case.
    True, and that polarization of views is very symptomatic of what we see regularly now. An unyielding and uncompromising divergence combined with increasing personal vitriol. Fascinating, yet quite troubling for society.
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe Given the circumstances
    Posts: 7,344
    BT3366 wrote: »
    Right. I also could've mentioned all the precursor stuff that preceded that like the Amy Fisher case and Amy Smart and such that helped give rise to that sort of thing that people really got into these tabloid-like cases that were capturing people's attention.

    O.J. just sent it right over the top.

    Amy Smart? What was she up to?
  • Posts: 5,292
    BT3366 wrote: »
    Right. I also could've mentioned all the precursor stuff that preceded that like the Amy Fisher case and Amy Smart and such that helped give rise to that sort of thing that people really got into these tabloid-like cases that were capturing people's attention.

    O.J. just sent it right over the top.

    Amy Smart? What was she up to?

    He probably meant Pamela Smart :

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamela_Smart
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,097
  • Whirlybird_FanWhirlybird_Fan Sydney, Australia
    Posts: 43
    I was in my early 20s when it happened.

    I thought the publicity it generated was incredible (it brought out more interest in me than it really should have); I wonder if there was one single Los Angeles place of business that DIDN'T have this showing on TV at the time.

    For what it's worth, I am not sure (as of this day) of Simpson's guilt or innocence in this matter.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 10,982
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  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited October 21 Posts: 16,097
    I was in my early 20s when it happened.

    I thought the publicity it generated was incredible (it brought out more interest in me than it really should have); I wonder if there was one single Los Angeles place of business that DIDN'T have this showing on TV at the time.

    For what it's worth, I am not sure (as of this day) of Simpson's guilt or innocence in this matter.

    It was called the Trial of the Century for very good reason. As it was a US trial it was televised and thus shown all over the world and dissected and analysed daily as it was playing out. I was fairly young at the time but I do remember it being talked about on TV here in the UK.

    That's interesting that you're not sure about Simpson's guilt or innocence. I always got the impression that he was guilty and managed to get away with it because he was rich and could afford the best defence attorney money could buy. The fact that he was later successfully sued civilly after being found liable for the murders suggests he was guilty. Of course the burden of proof is much lower in civil cases (as likely as not that it happened). Then there's the fact that he was convicted and imprisoned for armed robbery and kidnapping back in 2008. He's currently out out of prison on parole after having served part of his 33 year sentence. Although this was of course a separate offence it does tend to show his violent and criminal nature after the fact so I could well believe that he'd be guilty of those two murders as well.
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