...or guilty on the basis of the merits of the case?
Does it matter? Oh wait, I should explain. For those who have been living under a rock for awhile, OJ Simpson has been on trial for bad things done in a hotel room under the guise of a man who wanted his keepsakes back.
Some think that he did it to get them before they were seized by the family to whom he owes a rather large civil suit settlement, some think he did it because he thinks he's above the law and won't ever land in jail. After all, he escaped a lot of damning evidence and testimony and didn't go to jail for a double murder 13 years ago (mostly because the prosecution screwed up, but still).
So why would he think that he would end up being found guilty for robbery and kidnapping right?
I'll admit it, when I heard late Friday night that the jury in his latest case had a verdict, on the 13th anniversary of his acquittal on murder charges, I sucked in a large breath and held it. Would it be the same as that October morning when I stood in a crowded conference room with co-workers to hear the verdict? Well, I wouldn't be 7 months pregnant and I would be at home fighting off sleepiness, that certainly would be different. Would there be that Hall of Famer smile of victory again at escaping a jail cell?
I'll admit it. I watched carefully when the verdicts came back guilty with a little bit of shock and I cracked a wide smile when he turned and the camera caught those cuffs being put on him. The fleeting thought of "It's about time" floated through my head before I chided myself for being harsh.
But then I thought about all the other things that Simpson has done, either personally or has alleged to do, or has been found guilty of. He promised to work hard, vowing to find the real killer and then spent his time on the golf courses. The joke that he had already found the killer by looking in the mirror made the rounds.
He was found responsible for the murders via a civil judgment and ordered to pay millions to the family of one of the victims. That family has had to fight for every penny - naturally, if you were found guilty via civil suit and innocent in a criminal case you'd fight too, right? But it was almost comical with the hiding of assets, the taunting comments that they can't touch his NFL pension and then moving to Florida in order to keep them from seizing his residence.
He owes money and has a tax lien against him in California. He pirated his satellite television service and owes fines and court fees for that. And then there was the book that posed the hypothetical question and answer, "If I Did It", and the comments by a close friend who wrote a book that basically says Simpson admitted that he killed his wife and her friend.
He's done a lot of questionable things as he smiled his way through everything in the last 13 years and, in my opinion, decided he was above the law. That while he got caught he would most likely get out of this, despite his accomplices working a deal and testifying against him.
But now he gets to sit in a jail cell for the next (roughly) 60 days to contemplate it all until he is formally sentenced. I did have the fleeting thought as CNN showed the type of cell Simpson will be put in that they'd better put the guy on suicide watch because otherwise he won't make it to sentencing. I'm sure they'll have their eye on him, and maybe Simpson will have a breakdown. Something engineered to look like he's mentally unfit to serve that sentence - they should have thought of that before he stood trial. Then he could have slipped away again. I know, that's awful of me to think that, but it did cross my mind.
Meanwhile the lawyers are working to appeal on the basis that the jury was biased against their client. The jury makeup was white with one Hispanic individual - they're not only going to work that angle but also that the jury was influenced by a court case that ended 13 years ago.
Come on, you want to find someone who doesn't know about that case, then they'll have to hand pick some kids that were in utero back then and isolate them for the next few years while they reach maturity. No, I don't plan to offer up my kid as one of those. And the lawyers are grasping at straws.
OJ is going to jail. Finally. He and his lawyers should be happy the whole thing happened in Nevada and not in California. As it is, he may spend the rest of his life in prison. In California a little thing called 'special circumstances' would have come into play because of the use of a weapon in the commission of a robbery and in the commission of a kidnapping - the jury would not only have found him guilty, but they would also have the job of recommending whether or not he would face the death penalty. I think it might also have been a automatic life sentence as well, but I could be wrong about that.
So, let's pull out a single glove in honor and wave it as OJ deals with the Nevada penal system. See ya OJ, 'cuz you're finally going to jail. Where, I believe, you have belonged for quite some time. I do feel bad for the Goldman family who is still trying to secure that settlement from Simpson for the death of their son Ron, but I know they would really have preferred that Simpson had been in jail all this time too.
Karma does catch up sometimes, doesn't it?