OJ Simpson Goes Free, Again

 

The verdict is in and the juice is loose! Again!

Get ready for reality TV. Come October parolee OJ Simpson will be on the prowl.  Ladies lock your doors

Of course on the bright side, now he will finally be free to find the murderer who killed his wife.

Just in time for Throwback Thursday, the Juice was back in the news again yesterday  and once again Americans were transfixed by a double murderer.

Wall to wall coverage of his parole hearing along with the post verdict roundup proved we are still seriously OJ Obsessed.

The popularity The People vs O.J. Simpson, the mini series that riveted both viewers who lived through the infamous double murder and those who only grew up hearing about it proved the staying power of this story.

The FX show may have been ripped from the headlines , but the OJ Murder Trial made the headlines every day for over a year.

For followers of the actual trial it was a major commitment. The verdict that  caused both joy and rage, came 16 months after the gruesome killings in June 1994. After slogging through 8 months of  often tedious testimony that unfolded on TV for 8 hours every day, the verdict was reached with unbelievable speed.

Talk about transfixed.

 

OJ Trial Not Guilty NY Times headline 1995

When the stunningly swift verdict was read the NY Times reported that much of the nation, President Clinton included, stopped work to listen to the verdict. NY Times October 4, 1995

Transfixed

 

OJ Trial 1995 editorial 1995

The Simpson Double Murder Trial captivated an OJ obsessed nation. 1995 editorial NY Post

In the late summer and fall of 1995  the O.J. trial took over my TV everyday.

Bedridden with a bad bout of Lyme Disease, I was able to join  the millions who were glued to their TV’s watching  the  Trial of the Century.

There were no smart phones, no Facebook,  Twitter, no streaming media. Cable TV was the only game in town. The gavel to gavel coverage could be seen on Court TV and CNN,  the only 2 networks covering the case nationally. Fox News and MSNBC  had not yet been launched.

The trial would become a daily melodrama and I knew all the players  big and small on a first name basis as if characters in a favorite TV show.

 

NY Post headline 1995 OJ Trial Marcia Clark

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. Often bombarded with sexism, prosecutor Marcia Clark was scrutinized during the trial on everything from childcare to hair and makeup. NY Post September 27, 1995

 

OJ Trial Johnnie Cohran NY Post headline 1995

Johnnie Cochran a man with a mission who jumped at the chance to make the OJ trial a broader discussion about policing and race. NY Post Sept. 28, 1995

 

OJ Trial Nicole Simpson Daily News headline

Nicole Simpson. NY Daily News January 27, 1995

 

NY Post Headline 1995 OJ Trial Denise Brown

Nicole’s sister Denise Brown was a sympathetic witness when she told the court she had been physically abused by O.J. too. NY Post Feb. 4, 1995

 

OJ trial The Case Against Him NY Post Jan 1995

Prosecutor Chris Darden: “He Killed Her Out of Jealousy”Jan 25, 1995 NY Post. O.J. Simpson surrounded by his dream team, Johnnie Cochran, Robert Kardashian and Robert Shapiro

 

NY Post headline OJ Trial Judge Ito 1995

The Fuhrman tapes were controversial and Judge Lance Ito nearly had to recuse himself. In a bizarre twist, the Judge’s wife Peggy York one of the highest ranking women in LAPD at the time was once Mark Fuhrman’s supervisor and on the tape Fuhrman says many disparaging things about her. NY Post August 16. 1995

 

NY Post headline 1995 OJ Trial Fuhrman Racist

Rogue cop Mark Fuhrman is heard spewing the “N” word throughout the tapes and when called to the stand, he pleads the fifth and the prosecution sees its case implode. NY Post August 30, 1995

In the evening I watched as the news media rehashed the days events in court, listening with earnest as CNN’s legal Greta Van Susteren,  and Court TV’s Dan Abrams dissected the days story. Still not sated, I  read with relish as the story was reported in the daily N.Y.newspapers.

It was the most dramatic courtroom verdict in history and after months of testimony and high drama, it came with breathtaking speed.

Jury’s Out

OJ Trial Jury Out Daily News Headline 1995

NY Daily News September 30, 1995 . “The Jury’s Out”

After 8 months of testimony O.J.’s fate was in the jury hand and for once the famous courtroom was all  but empty with the cameras turned off.

OJ Trial Jury Judge Ito NY Post headline

NY Post September 30, 1995.

 

OJ Verdit NY Daily News

The jury reached a verdict after deliberating less than 4 hours. A transfixed nation would learn the verdict at 1pm. NY Daily News October 3, 1995

To everyone’s surprise,  Judge Ito announced on Monday October 2  that the jurors had reached a verdict but that it would not be announced until 1pm the next day.

The trail of the century turned into the cliffhanger of the century as the longest sequestered jury in U.S. history took a mere 3 hours and 40 minutes to render a verdict, shocking everyone.

Nerves were raw, the suspense palpable and the media had to fill the time as speculation was rampant.

 

OJ Trial Jury Out NY Post headline 1995

At 1pm today the world would learn the verdict. NY Post Tuesday Oct. 3, 1995

Tuesday morning we awoke with bated breath as  the verdict that millions had waited to hear for more than a year would  be revealed that afternoon at 1pm N.Y. time.

TV turned on the juice…it was all O.J. all the time. Networks preempted afternoon programs to carry the verdict live; even sports channels planned live coverage of the reading of the verdict in the courtroom.

Not Guilty

OJ Verdit Extra NY Postheadline 1995

The NY Post put out a special O.J. Verdict Extra Tuesday October 3, 1995

“Suddenly it was pronounced He’s Innocent ! In a stunning verdict the  jury finds O.J. Simpson not guilty of murder in the savage slayings of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman,” the Post reported.

The amazing conclusion to the Trial of the Century, caused an audible gasp to fill the courtroom.

OJ Trial Not Guilty article NY Post 1995

The world stopped cold and stood transfixed to listen to the fate of O.J., then erupted in cheers of joys and gasps of disgust. NY Post Oct. 3, 1995

New York like every American city ground to a halt on Monday October 3 at 1:00.

From my apartment I could hear there was a palpable quiet to the streets.  On busy avenues, in crowded bars, in living rooms and offices, work and play came to a nervous halt at 1:07 p.m. as TV’s and radios broadcast the stunning event. Even on the floor of the Stock Exchange, the N.Y. Post reported,  trading was temporarily disrupted to listen to the verdict.

There was a collective gasp and then shock, surprise, relief, happiness and anger when the verdict was read. Some claimed “it’s a disgrace.”

In Harlem people shook hands with strangers and applauded. “The juice is loose,” one man was quoted  in the Post. “It’s about time the system worked,” said another. Groups erupted in cheers, tears and hugs when the verdict was read.

The O.J. spectacle was black and white proof that America was a deeply divided nation  on race and the trial and its controversial verdict brought that into the light.

Postscript: OJ Gets Parole

It was déjà vu all over again yesterday when I sat watching anxiously as a decision would come down about the future of a dubious OJ. The parole hearing began promptly at an eerily familiar  1:00 pm EST.  The wait for the verdict was short.  Many are upset that the man who most believe killed Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman should be able to walk free from an armed robbery prison term.

Does OJ deserve a second chance? What do you think?

 

© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Advertisements

12 comments

  1. Pierre Lagacé

    I also followed the trial.
    Your reflection about all this is spot-on.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: OJ Simpson Goes Free, Again — Envisioning The American Dream – Community United For Health And Prevention

  3. Pingback: OJ Simpson Goes Free, Again — Envisioning The American Dream – Site Title

  4. Welp, now he can run to his buddy Donald Trump and get a job in his cabinet. Finding the illegal voters or figuring out that Trump won the electoral AND popular votes!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I ignored the story this time. But back then, I remember clearly. We were having a meeting about our ongoing study in grad school, a few (white) grad students and our (white) dissertation advisor and study director. Somebody had turned the radio on because they knew it was coming. The meeting stopped and we all listened like this was the most crazy thing in the world happening, and it did happen. We all looked at each other in stunned silence. Soon I saw on TV and the faces, black and white, stunned and jubilant juxtaposed. Race relations were bad then, just under the surface and still bad. I hope things have changed. Maybe someone has a plan? I mean for Mr. Simpson….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The contrast between white American reactions and Black Americans was stark and really brought to the surface the great divide that still exists in our country.

    Like

  7. I can see it coming. A 10-part series called “OJ in Prison”.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: