The title is the question: have there been any parties or groups that believe O.J. Simpson is innocent of participating in a gunpoint confrontation with sports memorabilia dealers?
His defense team made the claim that it was just an argument between friends that didn’t constitute a crime. Some people, though none on the jury, agree.
I think OJ is a murderer who belonged on Death Row.
But while I don’t think he’s “innocent” this time, the “kidnapping” charge struck me as bogus, and I doubt he’d have done much (if any) jail time if this were the first time he’d ever been in trouble with the law.
I am not an expert on the law in Nevada but I heard an expert mention that the kidnapping statute in Nevada is much more strict than in other states. In other states he would probably be charged with a crime such as criminal restraint (worded different from state to state). Which is still a serious charge but isn’t as bad as kidnapping. From what I understand he was charged properly under Nevada law.
I’ve been thinking something similar - the kidnapping stuff is ridiculous.
In the UK carrying guns would be a very serious offence, but in the context of Nevada it might not be so unusual.
It looks as if he has been hung out to dry, which he might deserve for past offences - but not for what looks like a fairly harmless bit of idiocy.
My guess is that the sentence will be radically reduced on appeal.
It was not just carrying a gun. It was stealing from a person using a gun. That is armed robbery. The victims were not free to leave due to violence or the threat of violence. In most states that would be called criminal restraint or improper restraint. In Nevada it is kidnapping. Not a harmless bit of idiocy.
I don’t know if there are any Nevada attorneys around here but I doubt the sentence will be reduced. Generally an appeal will determine if the trial was conducted properly. If it wasn’t then a new trial will be granted. If it was, the sentence stands. If the sentence was within the guidelines of the statute I don’t see how an appeals court can change the sentence. Maybe there are some weird rules in Nevada I am not aware of.
ETA: my opinions of the case were formed by reading news stories. I did not watch the trial. I have no opinion as to the strength of the evidence. Just commenting on the issues brought up.
How did this sports memorabilia dealer end up with the stuff that OJ claimed was his in the first place? Was this all stuff that was auctioned off a few years ago to settle the Goldman civil settlement?
I think a 5 year sentence makes more sense. 33 years is serial murder time.
OJ got the break of his life during the murder trial. How one can squander such an opportunity by robbing someone at gunpoint is beyond me. Just let the guy have the memorabilia, geez
Simpson claims the stuff was stolen from a storage locker.
33 is the most that he could have gotten. 6 is the least. 9 ain’t so bad, it’s tempered, in my mind, and I think he can, with good behavior, be out in 5.
In the sentencing phase of the trial, the judge said the evidence was overwhelming, with security tapes showing Simpson and friends, entering and leaving the room, and audio tapes of the incident, as well.Plus testimony.
And they did the deed at the point of at least one gun, with Simpson himself shouting out that nobody leaves the room, which evioked the kidnapping charge.
Simpson and codefendant Stewart could each have been incarcerated for life for these crimes. While Simpson must serve at least 9 years and up to 33, Stewart will be eligible for parole after 7 and 1/2 but could remain for 27 (the difference being an additional deadly weapon charge against OJ.) With a similar sentence, surely you don’t think Stewart has been “hung out to dry” for Simpson’s '95 acquittal.
That’s not likely to matter to much for some of the charges–even if the guy had flat-out stolen the things from OJ’s home, the moment OJ walked into the room and yelled “Okay, none of you get to leave,” he was guilty of kidnapping. He would have been guilty even if he had been in the wrong hotel room and it was a bunch of people holding a prayer session.
I just have an IMHO for the OP, no facts…
It seems bogus to me that they got the co-defendants to testify against OJ, rather than perhaps the other way around. Why didn’t they give OJ the deal instead? The judge lost credibility with me when he went out of his way to say that it wasn’t because of the “trial of the century.” We all know that it is illegal for the judge to have a bias to convict OJ because of his previous murder trial. That the judge made such a big deal out of it makes me somewhat suspicious of his motives.
Is there some evidence to suggest it was those four defendants who took the initiative in the crime, approaching OJ to propose a heist?
I bet he lost even more credibility with you when he came to trial dressed as a woman.
You’re aware it’s the jury that does the actual conviction and that they did so based on what they referred to as a preponderance of evidence? Did the judge’s bias allow something inadmissable? Regarding mention of OJ’s previous trial, I’d not seen her make a big deal of it but if so that’s certainly worth considering. By all means, please share where she overstepped her bounds. How was she to address the 800 lb. gorilla in the room? What level of admonition not to discuss vs acknowledgement the past sensationalism would have no effect in her court would please and satisfy all observing parties?
alterego, you did state that this was simply “IMHO”. Understood. If though you’ve links to substantiate malfeasance then they undoubtably deserve full attention.
lieu, continue in another forum if you like, this is just a higher level explanation of my views: OJ did not, and could not possibly have, received a fair trial given what we know from cognitive science. I bring studies of eyewitness testimony, where the eyewitnesses are remarkably suspectible to the priming effects (e.g., subconscious effects on decision making) of interacting with a person who has beliefs about the people in the lineup or beliefs about what the witnesses answer should be. If the judge was seriously concerned about this gorilla, so was the jury. The law has not evolved to help OJ in this situation.
My views are of course biased towards giving the OP a bit to chew on, given that no doubt pretty much everyone (including myself…) thinks he needs some jail time. That doesn’t make him guilty or the trial fair.
You are correct that many many studies show that (1) eyewitness testimony–at least when the suspect is someone the witness doesn’t already know–is extremely unreliable,and (2) that both the witness and the jury mistakenly think that it is very reliable. Witnesses are very very overconfident about the accuracy of their memories “that’s the guy, I’ll never forget his face as long as I live.” And juries tend to give this testimony a great deal of unwarranted credence.
But I don’t see how we get from that to “OJ could not possibly have received a fair trial.” I did not follow the trial closely. But many commentators who I trust have said that the evidence against OJ was not just eyewitness testimony and that it was overwhelmingly against him. Furthermore, OJ was represented by able counsel rather than a public defender. My own view is (1) that he is clearly guilty of the crime, and (2) his trial was more fair than most.
constantine, I use eyewitness testimony as an example of priming more generally, but not as any statement about the eyewitnesses in this case. I am painting an air of bias in the courtroom that neither the judge, jury, witnesses etc… had much control over. It was the trial of the century after all - who could forget that? I further think the judge made it worse, particularly if he provided instructions to the jury to not consider OJ’s previous trial in their deliberation, or made statements about the previous trial in court before the jury made their decision. I don’t know if either of those are the case though.
A simple demonstration of this priming principle: Have you ever tried not to think about something? It’s a self-inflammatory negative cycle!
alterego, I would prefer that this forum suit us both just fine. Are you saying that essentially no trial can be fair it it includes eyewitness testimony since that all has the potential to be tainted, biased conclusions reached through investigations utilizing cognitive science?
From what I read that wasn’t the dominant reason cited, even mentioned actually, for their inclination to convict. It was in large part the audio recordings in conjunction with the video evidence.
Upon review I see your addition. How should the judge have handled the extraordinary events of the previous trial? Surely having endured such should grant no one a hall pass for felonious behavior.
The judge should NEVER have mentioned it or allowed it to be mentioned in his court room. Not per any law that currently exists of course, but per the way brains work and the right to a fair trial.