Let me start by saying this. I minored in journalism in college for many years and am well aware of the need for objective vs. subjective narrative when writing. Let’s call this an Op Ed.
That being said, fuck Orenthal James Simpson.
I like to pride myself as a feminist. To be clear, not a “femi-nazi” like a lot of Tapout shirt wearing, Menthol smoking 20-somethings who still go to their local high school parties like to throw around like an insult. I don’t think women are better than men, and I don’t think men are better than women. Feminism at the core is the equal treatment on all fronts for everyone, regardless of gender. Plain and simple. So,
Question 1: If the roles were reversed and Nicole Brown Simpson was accused of the murder of OJ Simpson – would she have gotten acquitted? Let’s say the exact same details down to the glove, location, timing, everything you can think of – and the only difference would be the bodies. Do you think Nicole Brown Simpson would have been able to walk away from prison time? Like, a lot of prison time?
If you weren’t aware, OJ Simpson is currently on serving 9-something years of a maximum 33 year sentence for “conspiracy to commit a crime, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon, two counts of first-degree kidnapping with a deadly weapon, two counts of robbery with use of a deadly weapon and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.”
So no, Juice didn’t run a stop sign and bop somebody else’s car.
(It’s taking everything in me to not make a “the juice has gone bad” pun) He held someone up at gunpoint and went to jail for potentially 33 years, and still receives a $25,000 a month pension from the NFL.
If OJ is granted parole, he could be released back into the public as early as October 2017. All four members of the board must agree unanimously, and if not, 2 commissioners who have been watching via-telecast will cast their votes (4 out of 6). If it’s ultimately a tie (3-3), the hearing will come back into session in January.
I sat down on my couch with the TV running on low-volume in the background while I did some busy work on the computer until 1:00 PM (the time the broadcast began.) What struck me initially was the fact OJ looks like he has lost (what was an alleged) 70 pounds, and that he hasn’t slept since he’s been incarcerated. I almost felt bad for him, although he seemed personality-wise to be in good spirits. The members of the board made multiple statements regarding the treatment of his hearing would be like that of any other prisoner and would disregard the 1995 trial (for you know, the whole murder thing)
I tried to remain neutral and objective. I poured myself a cup of coffee, turned all my extraneous electronics off and focused. Once his lawyer began to speak, however, I just about lost my mind. Let me elaborate on two of the points he made in OJ’s defense that stuck out the most to me.
The victim of the robbery forgave him, so it’s ok and he should be released
OJ requested books and other educational learning materials for fellow inmates
Both of those sound like pretty decent things, right? In theory, sure. Why not. Joseph Stalin had a dog while John Wayne Gacy used to kill them – you don’t see me advocating for Stalin (or Gacy, to be fair. Fuck clowns.) The point being, actions speak louder than words ∗unless∗ the words are coming from the face of a man who the majority of society is in agreement killed two people.
But Katie, he was acquitted! He was never convicted, you can’t hold that against him!
I can, and here’s why!
Not familiar with the face? That’s Robert Kardashian (yes, like those Kardashians) who has gone down in history as the man who single handedly guaranteed OJ’s acquittal in the murder trial. Netflix has a documentary that I highly suggest you watch, aptly titled, Kardashian: The Man Who Saved OJ Simpson. To condense a lot of information, when OJ “returned” home after the murders he brought a bag with him that was caught on newscaster tape to be bulging with unknown objects – many speculated to be potential evidence in the murder case (clothing he was wearing that night, DNA evidence, objects, etc.) The tape also caught Robert Kardashian, who was an estranged friend of Simpson at the time, slowly intercepting the bag from Simpson’s assistant in an extreme attempt to remain casual and then literally walking away with it on camera with the objects inside never to be seen again. When the tape was played back and suspicions and questions arose, Kardashian played as innocent as he could and tried to brush it off as nothing more than regular luggage – every. single. time. (while simultaneously reinstating his license to practice law so that everything from that point on he discussed with OJ would fall under attorney client privilege and he would not have to disclose it to anyone)
Question 2: Still want to keep up with those Kardashians?
Let me now lay out the results of the two crimes (murder vs. robbery) and what it really means. In America, material objects hold more value in terms of enacting punishment for wrongdoing more-so than taking the life of a woman (and a man – feminism, remember?)
One of the victims of his robbery, Bruce Fromong, came up to speak. To condense a nauseatingly testosterone-laden speech, he had forgiven OJ for the robbery. Nice, right? He did not hold OJ accountable, as, “he never laid a hand on me.” This is a point that Simpson’s lawyer repeated enough to the point that if his words were a hammer, my head would be cracked open like a faberge egg in a blender. In essence, really, “I know the law says it’s bad and illegal but we’re bros again so it’s cool and that’s why he should get released.”
Not a mandated legal sentence, just this guys opinion. That’s why OJ should get released.
OJ mentioned numerous times he just wanted his “personal” mementos. [Fromong] even goes so far as to say that if OJ were to be released tomorrow and needed a ride, he would be there “in a heartbeat.” Touching. Let’s get back to that in a second.
The board members went on to ask Simpson a series of questions along the lines of, “if you were to be released – where would you go? What would you do? Who would you stay with?” etc. His response was, “Well, I don’t think you want me in Nevada anymore!” and chuckled like he was at a cocktail party – you know, not at the parole meeting for his 9 years of a 33 year prison sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping charges. The jaw clenching part? The board members laughed, too. “I have no comment on that!” one replied, still laughing. Yeah, he’s totally getting the same treatment. It’s not like if any other inmate were to make the same joke with the same charges they wouldn’t be immediately reprimanded.
Point two was that OJ is clearly a good guy because instead of trying to ask for special accommodations for himself in prison due to his celebrity status (illegal anyway, so not really sure how that makes him a saint? I don’t ask for special accommodations in my one bedroom apartment other than electricity so where’s my medal?) he requested that his fellow inmates be provided with better books and learning materials. The action in and of itself is admittedly a good guy action and will ultimately better the lives of who knows how many other inmates. That’s not up for debate at all. However, what I see is that a man who is in jail for orchestrating an armed robbery and is simultaneously a celebrity.
Question 3: Do you think if a “less famous” inmate was in jail for let’s say again the exact same charges were to request the same accommodations that they’d be approved, let alone revered to the same extent that it’s being used in OJ’s defense?
Requesting books and learning materials is a great action. Maybe I’m not being a good Christian and forgiving and moving on – but the dude literally is in jail for armed robbery and kidnapping and almost went to jail for two counts of murder.
(SARCASM ALERT ->) Good for him, I should consider him so thoughtful for not trying to manipulate the system (again)? The same guy who had DNA evidence on the crime scene of his dead wife’s body and even wrote a book legitimately titled “If I Did It” where he “theoretically” talked about how he “would have” killed them “””if””” he did? This same guy? We’re still on him? Great. Yeah. The guy who’s bro-friend bond is so strong that it literally impacted the American legal system? “I think he’s ok.” You do? Great! He’s a classic American icon because of his football career? You bet he is! He’s one of the only NFL players who ever got legal punishment for breaking the law more than a slap on the wrist, in case you’re keeping track (looking at you, Josh Brown of the New York Giants…and Ray Rice…and Brandon Marshall…and Albert McClellan…and – you know what, click here to read not even the full list).
It took me less than 3 minutes to find this website posted by the prison he’s incarcerated at in Nevada. No football jersey number, no annual expected net worth. Look at his inmate number, charges, and remember it when October comes because all four members of the board voted unanimously. Maybe we should all join the NFL, since it apparently makes you above the American legal system. Orenthal James Simpson, coming to a society near you.
PS – I shouldn’t have to clarify, but I will in advance that this has nothing to do with his skin color. OJ could be the color of actual OJ and I’d still think he’s a travesty.