Simpson Jury, TV Interview
Re “Why Some Juries Judge the System,” Commentary, Jan. 24:
Now we know how team Simpson got O.J. off. Gerald Uelmen gave us the scoop in his column. It’s there in black and white. He knew that blacks are suspicious of the “system.” He knew that there is a 47% acquittal rate in the Bronx, versus 17% nationwide. He knew that he could confuse the vagaries of “jury nullification” and “reasonable doubt.” He knew they could throw out untrue and unsubstantiated implications and allegations of wrongdoing on the part of everyone and the jury would likely buy it.
Then the jury, not voting on innocence or guilt, would return a verdict based on their personal experiences of suspicion (with a little exploitation by the lawyers)--not guilty. Brilliant. Sickening. Obscene.
And this guy is a professor of law teaching future lawyers? Lord help us.
* Uelmen states: “The jury is the most democratic institution we have left in America.” And yet he assails the increasingly popular notion of “majority rules,” which he believes would “disenfranchise” minority jurors.
I believe his argument is as contradictory and convoluted as was his defense of O.J. Simpson. The rule of the majority happens to be the very essence of a democratic institution as exemplified by the Congress, the Senate and the Supreme Court. The court’s rulings are hardly ever unanimous as Uelmen is well aware and, more often than not, the difference is but one or two votes. Is the court minority disenfranchised?
He further confuses when, in an earlier paragraph, he puts the acquittal rate for black defendants in the Bronx at 47.6% and goes on to say that 66% of blacks believe the judicial system to be racist. I can only guess that these percentages reflect the same kind of deep, three-dimensional contemplation of our nation’s problems that is the hallmark of Uelmen’s alarmingly specious reasoning.
* On Oct. 10, Uelmen wrote, in commenting about the possibility that the Simpson jury reached its verdict in part because of a racial bias, that the idea was “preposterous” and “extraneous baggage.”
On Jan. 24, he writes that minority-dominant juries all over the United States acquit black defendants at a rate twice that of the nation as a whole in all cases, specifically mentioning Washington, the Bronx and Detroit.
My goodness, professor, what happened in those 3 1/2 months? Learn something, did you? And what does crow taste like?
* In “Simpson Set to Give Deposition, Tell Story on TV” (Jan. 20), you report that “according to knowledgeable sources, most of Simpson’s expenses in the wrongful death suit are being paid by the underwriter of his homeowner’s insurance policy.”
Can one of your readers advise me where I can obtain similar insurance? I’m concerned that I might find that I murdered two people one evening on my doorstep.
* Re “Simpson Skirts Murder Queries in TV Interview,” Jan. 25:
O.J. wants to be “left alone” with your $29.95.
* Re “Is the Public Still Hungry for Simpson News?” Jan. 28:
Yes, but only the bad news that befalls him.
* To those who say we should just forget all this messy murder trial business and embrace Simpson as though nothing ever happened I can only say this: The court of public opinion is righting a wrong perpetrated by a flawed judicial system. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. If a famous white man had brutally murdered two young black people in the prime of their lives and left behind an airtight trail of blood evidence and then was set free by an almost all-white jury, the city of Los Angeles would have been reduced to ashes.
Nobody has burned anything down and they’re entitled to an opinion on a rotten verdict. If Simpson lives to be 1,000 he will still be a pariah to most people. He might as well get used to it. Simpson’s color has absolutely nothing to do with how most people feel. The trial was televised! We all sat in on the trial and heard all the evidence firsthand just like the jury. Just because the jury ignored the evidence doesn’t mean the rest of us have to.