Judith Boza - Teen Aspect - July 4th, 2022
Beyond Reasonable Doubt. As repeated in many courtrooms, this statement holds the legal standard of proof necessary to accurately and successfully find a criminal defendant guilty of a crime. Like many others, I've heard the phrase used frequently and have always attributed surpassing reasonable doubt to obtaining justice in any logical way possible. An attorney may obtain justice through the use of sentiment when retelling a client’s story to the jury throughout the process of their opening and closing statements. An attorney may utilize DNA and forensic evidence found at the scene in order to conduct a precise and moral retracing of the crime. An attorney may play with the power of credibility when establishing their client's integrity to their story through direct examinations and testimonies. But only the best kind of attorneys know that it isn't sentiment, evidence, or even credibility that wins a case. It is the jury's perspective of those same elements that have proven to enable a lawyer to prevail in the courtroom.
(1) Orenthal James Simpson, famously known as O.J, or, “the Juice,” married Nicole Brown in 1985. Seven years later In 1992, she left him and filed for divorce. On the night of June 12, 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, a man who the press speculated she was pursuing at the time, were both found stabbed and slashed to death in the front yard of Mrs. Simpson’s condominium in Brentwood, Los Angeles. They found crucial DNA evidence that supported their idea that Mr. Simpson had been involved in committing these Murders. Simpson pleaded not guilty on both accounts of murder, and on January 29, 1995
the trial of people vs. O.J Simpson began.
Considering the affairs that took place that night, as well as the uproar it incited from the public, the details of Mr. Simpson's alleged murder were what many spectators found most shocking. A year before Nicole Brown was discovered dead at the crime scene, a diary recalling her abusive marriage with Mr. Simpson was discovered in Nicole’s safe deposit box. (2) Along with her diary dating back to 1978, photos of her bruised face and multiple apology letters from Simpson were found in the box. About sixty instances of alleged physical abuse and threats made by Simpson were written in the perspective of Nicole Brown in scratchy handwriting within the pages of that diary. Mrs. Brow recalls a time she remembers O.J Simpson “punching” and “kicking” her in their hotel room for hours while she tried to escape in one of the diaries excerpts.
Despite evidence that dated before the attested crime was committed, there was an unsettling amount of DNA evidence found that made investigators on the scene raise an eyebrow. (3) Hair evidence consistent with that of Simpson’s was discovered on Ron Goldman's shirt, one of the victims that were found slaughtered at the scene. Shoe prints from a size 12 Bruno Magil shoe were found to have left a bloody impression on the carpet of the home, making it extremely suspicious to detectives on the scene that Simpson wore a size 12 shoe. It was also reported by police that the alleged killer left a trace of blood near shoe prints that led to being the same blood type as Simpson's. A blood type that only about 0.5% of the world's population could match. More blood evidence was found in the foyer, master bedroom, and driveway of Simpson's home. And if that was not convincing enough, a sample of blood on a pair of socks in OJ's home was proven to be consistent with that of Nicole Brown.
With evidence as incriminating as those found at the crime scene of that catastrophic night, many would come to the inevitable conclusion that Orenthal James Simpson was undeniably guilty of the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Despite what seemed to be a unanimous presumption among many Americans, attorneys Robert Kardashian, Robert Shapiro, Johnnie Cochran, F. Lee Bailey, and Alan Dershowitz accomplished what many believed was utterly impossible. The police's poor handling of the case was one of the defense council's primary arguments. The Los Angeles police department was brutally attacked and discredited by Mr. Simpson's attorneys, alleging they did not carry out a thorough, appropriate investigation. In his address to the court, Johnnie Cochran made the bold claim that the primary police officers engaged in the case were racist. He said that by hiding important pieces of evidence, such as the bloody glove, inside Mr. Simpson's home, police detectives attempted to convict him of the crime. This led to the infamous court scene in which O.J. Simpson attempted to put on the murder gloves found at his residence but was disappointed to find it did not fit. (4) On a recording, Detective Mark Furhman, who discovered the bloody glove and other pieces of evidence, is heard dropping racist slurs as he casually discusses fabricating evidence and setting it up as proof to put black men in prison. When questioned if he was responsible for fabricated evidence in the Simpson case, he invokes the Fifth Amendment. Twelve juries reached a decision following months of deliberation and several witnesses in the criminal trial. In regards to both murder charges, Mr. Simpson was found not guilty. Due to the DNA evidence provided and how plainly the evidence led to Mr. Simpson, the verdict shook society.
As I analyze this case, I am certain in my conviction that Simpson's innocence is not due to any lack of evidence or witness. O.J. Simpson was proven innocent beyond a reasonable doubt through the efforts of the attorneys on the case, who shifted the jury's perspective via what initially appeared to be leading evidence. Simpson's legal team took the burden of proof, embraced it, and delivered a convincing argument that not only claimed that the police handled the case improperly, but that the same mishandling of evidence was racially motivated against Simpson. In contrast to the prosecution's use of persuasion, Simpsons' legal team made use of perspective, which allowed O.J to achieve such a significant victory in this case. Trials are a form of communication. Spoken with few words, it is that same intangible and hidden language a lawyer uses to address the jury that creates the distinction between an attorney and a good attorney.
History.com Editors. (2019, February 20). O.J. Simpson acquitted. HISTORY. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/o-j-simpson-acquitted
Bates, D. (2020, September 29). Nicole Brown Simpson’s secret diaries revealed. Mail Online. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8783929/Nicole-Brown-Simpsons-secret-diaries-reveals-horrific-abuse-suffered-hands-OJ-Simpson.html
The O. J. Simpson Trial: The Incriminating Evidence. (2019). Umkc.edu. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/Simpson/Evidence.html
Granderson, L. Z. (2016, June 17). O.J. trial exposed blatant racism inside U.S. police departments. Andscape.