I just heard that O.J. Simpson is set to speak in an attempt to free himself from his armed robbery/kidnapping conviction that could very well keep him in prison for the rest of his life. I don’t really understand the legal mechanism he is trying to use to reverse his conviction, but it involves alleged ineffective assistance of counsel and conflict of interest. I don’t know what his chances are, but this whole thing stuck out at me because of the public sentiment regarding O.J. Simpson.
Frankly, it seemed like a lot of people were really upset when he was acquitted of murder. They really believed he did it (my own mother when reminded of this immediately chants: “Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!”). I have to admit, I lean that way as well…though I put it to rest because the state was simply not able to persuade the jury on the charges. That’s our system and I have to live with that. I’d rather a guilty person (if he really was, which I don’t really know even if I lean that way) go free than an innocent person get wrongly convicted. Regardless, a lot of people were mad about the acquittal and then happy about O.J. losing the civil case. They were even happier when he was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping in this case.
When I thought about all of this, I just had to consider the possibility that he really could have been innocent in this case. Maybe he really didn’t know about the guns. He could have had overzealous employees. I don’t really believe it, but I consider the possibility.
After all, given the upset some people still feel over the murder case, did we just want to see O.J. convicted of something? Even if he didn’t commit armed robbery and/or kidnapping, did we want to see him go to jail anyway because we still believed he’d gotten away with murder and this corrected that situation somewhat? If that were true and he was innocent of this particular charge but just convicted by residual public anger over the other, unrelated case…I would not feel right with that.
However, I have no more power over this case or knowledge about the specifics than I did for the murder case. I have my fears and my leanings, but I am not involved. I just have to leave this to the justice system and hope that justice is served.