Anniversary Post: OJ Simpson Acquittal

OJ SimpsonOn this day in 1995, OJ Simpson was acquitted for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. It was not something that I followed, but I remember people were very excited about it. I think the interest in it really made Court TV. Some years after that, I lived with his older brother, Melvin Simpson. Melvin absolutely believed that Simpson didn’t commit these crimes. I’m personally agnostic on the matter. It certainly seems like he did, but I have no problem believing the police set him up.

Melvin most certainly killed someone. He used to be a bus driver. In 2005, he was on cold medicine and fell asleep while driving — crashing his bus. An older woman went flying through the front windshield and died. This made national news because of OJ’s past. But I remember Melvin telling me that OJ had complained that the incident was embarrassing him. The point of the story was, “I’m embarrassing you?!” That always made me wonder if Melvin didn’t secretly think OJ had done it.

My overall takeaway from the OJ Simpson trial was that regardless of his guilt or innocence, if OJ Simpson had not been wealthy, he would have been found guilty. But unlike most people who note this, I don’t think that OJ should have gotten worse representation; I think everyone else should get the great defense that he did. The prosecution has effectively unlimited resources. How is it fair to not allow poor defendants the same thing?

Regardless, OJ is back in jail. He got arrested in Las Vegas when I was living with Melvin. Melvin had been invited to go to Vegas, but backed out for one reason or another. He considered that he had lucked out. I assume so. Clearly, OJ was the alpha. Melvin was actually a very nice guy — even if he was a Golden Gloves boxer.

7 replies on “Anniversary Post: OJ Simpson Acquittal”

  1. James Fillmore says:

    What a sad bus story. If only he’d had better sick leave at his job.

    • Frank Moraes says:

      Ha! I had never thought of that. Excellent point!

      • James Fillmore says:

        It’s so awful. Think of the people who don’t get good enough sick pay and what important jobs they do. Health care workers; the people cleaning bedpans at your hospital. Or restaurants! Restaurants! Almost nobody in food services has sick pay. So they show up to work with communicable diseases. And make your food. Mmm. Enjoy that sandwich.

        Why do the people whose work means the most have the shittiest benefits? I’m not joking, I think there’s a real question here. It has something to do with how if the CEO of a grocery-store company takes ten months sabbatical, they’ll get paid, while grocery store workers would not. And yet society functions just fine whether or not some CEO goes on a epic bender. If grocery stores all closed down because workers couldn’t show up, there’d be chaos.

        There’s a big point to this but I can’t quite get my mind around it. Too much baseball has slowed my brain. And that bus story is so sad, I can’t get over it!

        • Elizabeth says:

          It does appear that the most useless member of the company gets the most benefits. Probably because people are irrational and while it is rational to give sick people time off, it is irrationally thought of as being harmful to the bottom line.

        • Frank Moraes says:

          One time many years ago, I decided to make my life simple by just getting a low paying crappy job I didn’t have to worry about. And what I found was that such an employer actually expects more from you. It’s not just that the restaurant workers don’t get paid sick leave; if they call in sick, they may get fired. These kinds of managers (owners) have an amazing level of entitlement — as though their workers should kill themselves for the business’ sake, even though the business literally owes them nothing every time the worker gets paid.

          It’s obviously true that the more you get paid, the better you are treated. But it’s also true (contrary to what all prominent conservatives will tell you) that the more you get paid, the less is expected of you. This is why Carly Fiorina can go around and claim to be a business leader, even though she was a total failure.

          Why is it like this? It’s the same reason that there is a pecking order among social animals. It’s nothing more. We put up with it because we have evolved to put up with it. And it has served us well. But it doesn’t anymore.

  2. George says:

    I knew Melvin Simpson too. I worked with him at the Four Seasons Clift hotel in San Francisco. He was a nice man.

    • Frank Moraes says:

      He was, indeed. I had heard that he had gotten back into drugs and was arrested. I no longer think that’s true. It would have made the news and I have never been able to find anything about it. I suspect he is still driving around in his limo at night and watching judge shows on television during the day. I wish him all the best.

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