Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Putting O.J. Simpson in jail for his involvement in an attempted robbery of stuff he actually claims was his in the first place will do irreparable damage to the football great's "search for the real killers." Without O.J. scouring the golf courses, strip clubs and low-rent autograph shows of this wonderful nation, nobody will be doing anything to bring these mysterious murderers to justice.
With the "real killers" free from O.J.'s relentless pursuit, one can only assume they will be free to kill again. Basically, if we put the one-time rental car pitchman in prison, we must all fear for our lives.
Of course, those of us not in the Los Angeles jury pool who actually believe Simpson murdered two people and miraculously got away with it will probably just go about our normal lives. Some of us will even feel a little safer because while O.J. probably wasn't going to murder us, with him you never know.
After getting away with murder, most people would count their blessings and live as quiet a life as possible. Fortunately, O.J. Simpson can't stand being out of the spotlight so after not being convicted for killing his wife and her friend, he continued to commit crimes just so we would pay attention to him.
O.J. behaves so poorly that Ashley and Jessica Simpson have done the last name proud in comparison. Even Papa Joe Simpson -- famous for making creepy comments about his daughter's breasts -- seems like a swell fellow in comparison.
O.J.'s latest escapade (which followed "The Juice" getting in trouble for stealing cable) was a convoluted tale involving guns, sports memorabilia and collaborators racing to turn on each other. Mostly it seemed like a fairly minor incident that should not end with anyone going to jail for a long time.
But, when the police and most Americans assume you got away with two murders, they tend to be eager to get you for something else.
Basically, whether you did it, didn't do it or didn't do it and wrote a book about how you would have done it, it's not smart to get in any sort of trouble after you get acquitted for murder. Simpson, however, seems incapable of living a quiet life of obscurity.
Once a football and television star, Simpson was so famous that he got put into movies despite not being able to act. Because he seemed like an extremely amiable fellow most of the country even took a "wait and see" attitude when O.J.'s ex-wife and her friend turned up dead.
Even as evidence piled up against the one-time Heisman Trophy winner, many of us liked him so much, we simply assumed he could not have done it. A Los Angeles jury felt the same way, letting Simpson off the hook despite his blood being all over the crime scene.
If you remember that trial, Simpson's only defensive strategy was the entertaining, but scientifically useless "if the glove don't fit, you must acquit" gambit. Generally, the ability to rhyme does not score you points in a courtroom, but in L.A., apparently, Dr. Seuss would have made one hell of an attorney.
Desperate to stay famous, Simpson resorted to releasing a book explaining how he would have committed the murders, that he still claimed to not have committed. This worked for a time, or at least it worked better than his ill-fated, straight-to-DVD reality show "Juiced," in which he he played "Punk'd" style pranks on people.
Now, Simpson faces life in prison for a crime he may not have committed and which may not have actually been a crime. You could get mad about the injustice of that or simply look at it is as the scales of justice falling back into balance.
I'm not really sure what to think, I'm just happy that our legal system works well enough that you can't murder two people, then continually break the law for years without eventually getting into trouble. If we're lucky, maybe Phil Spector will rob a 7-11 and Robert Blake will become an incompetent pickpocket.
Daniel B. Kline's work appears in over 100 papers weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.