With all the forest fires raging in California, and all the ongoing political dissension over Obamacare, Trump Jr., Putin and all things Russia, to say nothing of Hillary’s past still making the news in her present, we get a small respite in the shape of one O.J. Simpson, who may take the edge off of the really important news for a little while at least.
There may be more than one person who really knows if O.J. was guilty of murdering his wife and her friend all those years ago, but we really must get over keeping that question uppermost in our mind. He was found not guilty, and unless you have new evidence to show otherwise — which won’t really do any good since you can’t try a person twice for the same crime (double jeopardy you know) — we must all learn to just let it go and accept the verdict that was handed down.
So O.J. is now up for parole, which he may or may not be granted, but the decision, if in the negative, should not have anything to do with that gruesome murder of the past. We all probably spent enough of our precious time watching parts — or even all — of that infamous trial that ended on Oct. 3, 1995, with a verdict of “not guilty” for the Juice.
Whether or not we personally believe he was guilty, we need to let that go. The reason he is currently serving time has nothing to do with the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, but because he was convicted, in 2008, on the charges of kidnapping and armed robbery, along with 10 other charges. Prosecutors said he stormed into a hotel room and took memorabilia (that he claimed was his) by force. The “known” details may or may not be true.
One of our columnists, Gordon Martines, wrote in this issue of being the arresting officer in that incident. He tells of how all the records he created and the forms he filled out in regard to that arrest have disappeared. Even O.J.’s recorded confession somehow managed to just disappear. But whether one believes that or not, Gordon has no reason to lie about such a thing; besides, it has always been his intention and his desire to reveal the corruption that exists within METRO — where he served for several decades with honor. I have no reason to doubt the facts as he has presented them. Obviously, if his facts are true, all the versions of O. J. Simpson’s arrest that have appeared in the media and that conflict with Gordon’s story are just created versions to conceal certain facts.
We all now know about something called “fake news.” Apparently it has been around for a long time without our calling it out as such. If one takes a story and adds in just enough of the truth to give it the right flavor, many will believe it at face value and spread the word throughout the Internet until the very fact that it has been repeated so often gives it the ring of truth. No doubt we’ve all been fooled at one time or another — but I still believe that even if something seems to have a ring of truth that pleases us on some level, most of us would really still prefer to know the truth. I know I would, and I know that the Las Vegas Tribune seeks to ferret out the truth behind any story worth telling. We may not all see things the exact same way, but we are all dedicated to exposing corruption where we find it, which is why we carry many of the columnists we do.
O.J. has to live with himself, regardless of what he has done — or not done. I do not know if he is guilty of murder. That may have to always be between himself and God. But if he was found not guilty, we have to deal with him as a not guilty man. And if he is paroled, we have to deal with him as a legally free man.
As I said, this may not be the biggest news of the day, but it probably is to Mr. Simpson. We can only hope that O.J. has a handle on his impetuousness and his anger by now, and will be able to live the rest of his life in such a way as to not cause his children and himself any more pain, suffering, and misery. Perhaps he will fade into the background and we will never hear from or about him again, unless some journalist, hoping to attach his or her name to a possible big name story, decides to write a column about him some years from now, perhaps titling it something like, “O.J. at 80: Where is he now?” Or “O.J.’s deathbed confession: He swears he didn’t do it!”
This is a country that is supposed to assume innocence until proven guilty. But sometimes, of course, courts (lawyers, judges, juries) make mistakes. Thank goodness there is yet another court that doesn’t make any mistakes — ever. There will come a day when a man (a person) will stand alone with no lawyer to defend him or cast aspersions upon him. His deeds will be known. He will have earned the judgment of guilty or not guilty without any help or hindrance from anyone but himself.
So what we all think does not make it so. And what a person says cannot erase the truth. I’m glad there’s a God who can sort it all out in the end.
Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.