20 years ago today 21 year old me settled to watch my beloved (at the time) NY Knicks and Patrick Ewing try to take down Akeen Olajuwon's Houston Rockets in the NBA Final...until it was pre-empted for the now infamous low speed Bronco chase involving the LAPD and OJ Simpson. Simpson was turn himself in for questioning after the brutal double homicide of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman. His actions, even before this bizarre spectacle, curious to say the least.
Even then I remember how ridiculous it was to see people waving at him over bridges and holding Go OJ signs when it was the aftermath of a brutal double homicide. The other thing I can vividly recall thinking to myself was that there was never going to be another Naked Gun movie, which was about as random as it bets.
The trial was a sad spectacle of justice and misdirected accusations of race, and dreadful performances by most of the lawyers, some of whom like Marsha Clark and Chris Darden cashed in their miserable performances for jobs in the media, or as authors as everyone wanted a fleeting piece of fame.
It was fodder for late night TV with Jay Leno being the worst offender with his parody of Dancing Ito's that poked fun at the inept Judge Lance Ito. Kato Kaelin drew laughter in open court for his cluelessness as a witness, even though he was key in the pursuit of justice. Johnny Cochrane's theatrics that went unchecked by the courts. Chris Darden and Marcia Clark's inept lawyering and making OJ try on a glove that had obviously shrunk.
A condemnation of cameras in the courtroom at its best and a gong show to justice at its worse. The final straw may have been a jury that lacked any sense of logical thinking by buying into faux racism while being too stupid to understand the basics of DNA evidence.
20 years later, after religiously following the case on CNN, and reading several books on the case, can't say that the public perception of the justice system has changed as HLN does a deplorable job of sensationalizing tragedy like Trayvon Martin, Casey Anthony and the Steubenville rape trial to name a few.20 years later people do not forget the OJ Simpson chase and trial.I found myself reading updates on the main characters, a term I use because this played out like a bad TV movie. I found I did not care what happenedo to Kato Kaelin, Marcia Clark, Chris Darden or F Lee Bailey. I cared about the victims and 20 years later they are still dead, faded names from the last. Sadly, they did not get the same tribute. Their names, by the way, were Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Smith and they died in horrific fashion. Remember them when you look back to 20 years ago today.