Both trials turned into cases before the court of public opinion.
Twenty-two years after O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman, the trial of the former football star still has major social and cultural resonance in the US.
A documentary about his life in the context of race relations in America even won an Oscar this year, and a fictionalized account of the murder trial was a hit cable miniseries last year. Less than two weeks ago, headlines declared “The Juice is Loose!” when Simpson was granted parole after nine years in prison for offenses related to an armed robbery in Las Vegas.
With O.J. in the headlines again, it’s hard not to compare the response to his getting away with murder to the hubbub over the so-called “Hebron shooter,” Elor Azaria.
Before delving into similarities, the differences are clear. Despite his acquittal – famously ill-fitting leather gloves notwithstanding – there is overwhelming evidence that Simpson brutally murdered Brown Simpson and Goldman and had a history of violence against his ex-wife. No matter what one thinks of Azaria’s shooting of a terrorist who had already been subdued after attempting to stab an IDF soldier – hero, murderer, or fatally confused young man – killing someone while in the line of duty is substantially different. Continue reading