* Re Larry King's phone call from O.J. Simpson, Oct. 4:
Has O.J. ever heard of the defendant taking the stand and telling his story? If he didn't have the time to do this cowardly deed, the whole world wants to know: Where were you, O.J.? Napping? Chipping golf balls? And while you're explaining that, let us know why you held the gun to your head on the freeway escapade, and what did happen to the contents of the garment bag? And how did this inept L.A. police force plant all this blood and hair evidence and get rid of the "real killer's" evidence?
We're waiting, O.J.
* Wasn't that thoughtful of Simpson to call "Larry King Live" to explain why the limo driver saw him walking into the house. With all the other far-fetched suggestions the Dream Team raised, I'm amazed we never heard this one in court also.
O.J., what I'd really like to hear is why you were such a horrid wife-beater. Please don't insfult Nicole anymore with your comments.
* Major chutzpah of the century: Simpson, who didn't have the guts to take the stand in his own defense, using the Larry King show to spew out lies about what was and wasn't said in the trial. Thank goodness CNN replayed what limo driver Allan Park actually said in court, refuting completely Simpson's spurious allegations.
EDITH A. SMART
* I just read that Simpson has finally used his voice after a year and a half. He has admitted on a talk show (although he didn't stick around for any questions) that he was the "shadowy figure" in his front yard a short time after the double murders. I never doubted that it was him, but if I remember correctly, Park testified that after he saw the "shadowy figure" the lights went on in the house. I guess if my memory is correct he works around the house, packing, showering, putting out the luggage, in the dark. However, that still doesn't explain why he never answered the ringing of the bell--couldn't find it in the dark?
Enough already of this orchestrated posturing. If this person cannot answer directly about some very legitimate questions, then keep him off the airwaves. I sure don't want to hear him expressing his outrage against Marcia Clark for the rest of my life.
MARY E. BANGERT
* O.J. is negotiating a pay-per-view? He'd have to pay me.
* Now that Simpson is a free man, he will soon be asking us to pay-per-view for his testimony that he failed to give on the stand. I would encourage all races not to support this outrageous act to raise money. What a scam! How stupid do you think we are? I would encourage all citizens to act like the jury did, and begin citizen nullification of this rich and famous killer.
ANDREW R. EINHORN
* Simpson juror Brenda Moran stated that the trial was about murder and not spousal abuse (Oct. 5). Isn't murder the ultimate spousal abuse?
Considering their shameful verdict, the Simpson jury's arrogance is not to be tolerated. The same goes for Johnnie Cochran, who did more to set back racial harmony than anyone else in American history.
* The outcome of the Simpson trial underscores one of the critical weaknesses of our court system: Juries cannot deal with large doses of technical information. A juror demonstrated this in her news conference when she quoted but one single statement of forensic pathologist Dr. Henry Lee, saying, "There is something wrong here." A juror in information overload will retain kernels that are simple and digestible, even if they are more generalized or emotional than factual.
* I've been following the Simpson trial from the beginning and I do believe there was reasonable doubt to find him not guilty. Guilty or not, I don't understand why people cannot accept the jury's verdict. These citizens have given up nine months of their lives, completely isolated from TV, radio, newspapers, let alone family and friends. They haven't been exposed to all the sideshows and innuendos that the rest of us have. Isn't it hard enough to get people to do their civic duty of jury service, and now after all they've been through, they're referred to as "racist."
* Our jury system will survive and we can walk away from this "Trial of the Century" knowing:
* No TV in the courtroom in the future.
* Gag orders on all attorneys.
* Gag orders on jurors and witnesses.
* Laws to prevent book publishing until a verdict has been reached.
* Maybe there should be a formal, public investigation of the LAPD by a grand jury or some federal agency.
At least one Simpson juror has stated that she believed the police planted evidence. Isn't it a bad idea to allow this notion to float out there unanswered?
It is a serious charge to say that evidence was planted. That charge should not linger in our minds without being addressed. Otherwise, doubts and recriminations will poison everybody's thinking.
GEORGE WILMER WALDEN
* As a black American I was somewhat amazed to see that the rendering of the not-guilty verdict in the Simpson case evoked as much celebration as the announcement of the ending of World War II. "Something is wrong!"
JOSEPH D. MITCHELL SR.
* Please tell me why is it OK for an all-white jury in Simi Valley to acquit four police officers after watching the video of these officers beating an African American, and yet criticize the jury for acquitting Simpson on a case based on circumstantial evidence that was gathered by racist cops.
I had prayed on my knees and asked God to please let O.J. be convicted if he was guilty and acquitted if he was innocent. This was also the prayer of many who wanted justice to be served.
SHIRLEY SCOGGINS DANZY
* Re the irrational rush to judgment by many Americans, a few questions:
How many of you condemned the black jurors before hearing what they had to say about their decision, before asking the three non-black jurors why they voted not guilty? How many of you ignored for years the protests that the disproportionate arrest, conviction and sentencing of black people were evidence of a broken criminal justice system, but now call for the overhaul of the same system because one black man had the money to avoid conviction?
How many of you imperiously condemned the black people who cheered the verdict, but you cheered the bombing of Iraqi cities during the Gulf War?
And how many of you who protested the battering of Nicole Simpson snickered and joked and cheered when Lorena Bobbitt cut off her husband's penis?
Check yourself, America.
MICHAEL A. ESTES
* The media is so focused on black and white opinions of O.J. Why haven't the media polled Southern Californians who are neither? The opinions of Asian Americans, Latin Americans and others are just as important to Los Angeles because they provide perspective outside the typical black and white racial views. I'm sick of the media constantly focusing on race relations as if other colors didn't exist.
* When I came to this country, I did not understand what racism was all about. After hearing blacks speak especially in the aftermath of the Rodney King and Simpson events, the message I am getting is that blacks have been on a mission of revenge for the years of oppression and slavery and that every confrontation with a white, every victory over a white, regardless of how it was achieved, and any wrongdoing, real or perceived, by a white against a black is seen within this context and therefore reacted to differently.
I am sure other minorities have been victims of police misconduct, and yet I have not seen repercussions as severe as when the victim is black. I believe that as long as the ghost of slavery is not exorcised, racism will continue to wreak havoc on the American society.
EFREN S. VALENZUELA
* As with all decisions, there will be both winners and losers. In the Simpson decision, apart from the obvious, the loser will be the people of Los Angeles, from the result of the LAPD being criticized and ridiculed in the trial, thus now making their job that much harder to accomplish.
The winners will be the truly racist in this society. Their belief systems will be strengthened and their numbers might increase.
* Did someone forget to inform the general populace that in this country a person is innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?
It is fascinating that when a verdict does not go the way we believe it should, the system failed. But the eyes of the world were on Judge Lance Ito's courtroom and nothing wrong occurred that would cause the system to fail--everything was done properly. The weak link was the police, it is there that the system broke down, but the courtroom corrected the problems as it is meant to do. The prosecution's case had holes in it, holes the defense used to create a reasonable doubt. Thus, because the prosecution did not prove their case, O.J. is innocent.
This case was not about the LAPD. Sure, there are bad police officers, but it is unfair to say every police officer is a Mark Fuhrman. This case also was not about O.J. the wife-beater, it was about the murder of two people.
I am sickened by those who interject race into every equation, who presume something about another human being simply because of their own background and that of the other person.
O.J. is innocent and the system did not fail.
RICHARD L. LACEY