Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Free OJ

It never fails to surprise and amuse me at how un-American we American’s can be and how quick we are to ignore the rights that our forefathers fought and died so we could have them.

Case in point: O.J. Simpson is on trial, once again. This time it’s for robbery and kidnapping instead of double homicide, but he’s on trial again none the less. He’s accused of breaking into the hotel room of a man who had a bunch of O.J.’s personal memorabilia, holding him at gunpoint and stealing it from him. O.J. claims that he was merely stealing back family heirlooms that were stolen from him.

Every discussion I’ve had about the trial has involved at least one person who has put forth the following opinion: Well I hope they convict him, even if he’s innocent, because he should be in jail for murder anyway.


The sad part is that these people who express these opinions and the water cooler tag-a-longs who nod their heads in agreement are essentially wishing that old OJ be denied some of the most important rights we as Americans have. We are innocent until proven guilty. We have the right to a speedy trial before a jury of our peers.

It appalls me that there is no outcry over this rush to judgment. Why is it that our country has a segment filled with righteous indignation any time any time there is a perceived injustice involving a person’s right to carry a gun, but no outcry over like the Gestapo-like treatment many feel OJ should have to endure?

I honestly think that we’ve been so spoiled here in the land of the free and home of the brave that we take for granted what it means to be free, and the bravery of those who fought to make and keep us that way.

What makes our country great isn’t the right to own a gun, it’s that we cannot be falsely imprisoned, that we have a chance to defend ourselves against accusations made against us. The original OJ Trial, when he was accused of the murder of his wife and her alleged boyfriend was decided upon by a jury of twelve. They, unlike those of us who only got the highlights on CNN, listened to all of the testimony, all of the evidence and they decided that he was not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Does that mean that OJ didn’t do it? No, of course not. What it does mean though, is that as a citizen of the this nation, that he was deemed innocent. They didn’t rule that he was likable. They didn’t rule that he was a good man. They didn’t rule that he wasn’t capable of murder. They didn’t even rule that he was innocent beyond all doubt or question. He was proven innocent beyond a reasonable doubt.

The public, largely influenced by the media-created clusterfuck coverage, had their own verdict though. OJ, in the hearts and minds of the American people is, was and always will be guilty as sin. Just like the Salem witches.

Which brings us back to this current trial, the facts of which most of have not bothered to learn, and the overriding opinion that once again, OJ is guilty—and even if he isn’t, that this jury should punish him for crimes that he was “guilty” of in the past. The same people who display the yellow, Support Our Troops ribbons and will tell anyone who will listen how they honor the ideals and principles the men and women of our military fight for, so casually and hypocritically want this man to be convicted whether he is guilty of this most recent crime or not.

We are spoiled by umbrella of freedom under which we live. It protects us from the rain and reign of tyranny and oppression. Because we have never experienced those things, we take our rights for granted, and we so absentmindedly and willingly are willing to fling them aside whenever and wherever it feels appropriate.

We poke holes in our umbrella of freedom and they may be small holes, but we keep poking away. We think that a drop here and a drop there don’t matter. Soon enough though, those little holes will widen, they’ll join together and become larger holes. It’s raining out there America. Why are we so eager to get wet?


Don Vito said...

And let's never forget the really important, if not the most important American values - 6 times a pro bowler, 11,236 rushing yards (when the game was played on the knee killing astroturf of the all purpose municipal monsterdomes of the 70's), 13,378 yeards from scrimmage and a 4.7 yards per carry average for his career average.

PenguinsWalkAmoungUs said...

It's because it's so easy not to care when it is someone else. It's because we're so apathetic and complacent as a society that we can't even get off our asses to elect people we really want in office, let alone do research on trials beyond fifteen-second sound bites. But, to be fair to those who are so quick to say he should be convicted even if he isn't found guilty, it's because the concept of all men being created equal (a key point of our constitution) has gone out the window. Some (meaning those who can afford good legal counsel or are famous) are more equal than others nowadays. If it was any other schmoe--not OJ Simpson--he'd be convicted by now. A lot of people are tired of the judicial system appearing to work for the criminals instead of the victims. Even more are sick of it being twisted and altered and reshaped for celebrities. If he's found guilty, he should go to prison. If he's not, great. But it's hard to debate the law when it's different for people like him and Paris Hilton and insert-random-celebrity-here.

Anonymous said...

Um, perhaps you are not aware that OJ was, in fact, found guilty in civil court? The criminal trial was a travesty of justice ... and she was his EX-wife. :P