What Goes Around, Stays Around?

Charges and allegations of assault and violence dogged O.J. Simpson before his ex-wife Nicole Brown’s throat was slashed in 1994, and one of myriad issues raised in connection with her murder and his trial.

I heard a report last night saying that the rate of NFL players assaulting their “loved ones” is about the same rate as it is for males in the general U.S. population. This article contains a stat that could be seen as disputing the one I heard last night:

“In all, domestic violence accounts for 48 percent of the league’s violent crime arrests, compared to just 21 percent among average American males, according to an analysis by Five Thirty Eight.”

Go figure.

http://www.ibtimes.com/nfl-domestic-violence-timeline-look-major-incidents-arrests-1994-1690807

Pistorius, Simpson Parallels — and Not

The premise of how eerily similar Olympian Oscar Pistorius’s case in the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp is to that of  the 1994-95 O.J. Simpson case in the slashing murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her acquaintance Ronald Goldman — including this one,  OSCAR PISTORIUS TRIAL PARALLELS OJ SIMPSON’S TRIAL TWO DECADES EARLIER posted today on eCanadanow.com — has circled the globe many times over since Pistorius shot Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year.

And, indeed, there are some similarities, such as:

  • Both of the accused were famous sports heroes,
  • Both of the victims (or at least one of the victims in Simpson’s case) were beautiful blonde women, whom the accused either supposedly loved or at one time loved,
  • Trials in both cases captivated large numbers of the public
  • Trials in both cases were televised.

That’s about where the parallels end, though.

It seems to me that much more was different than similar in those cases, including:

  • Pistorius admitted that he fired the gun that killed Steenkamp, Simpson not only denied wielding the knife that slashed Brown and Goldman, he claimed to have been in Chicago, a couple thousand miles away from Los Angeles where Brown and Goldman were murdered.
  • A single judge weighted the evidence and delivered the verdict in Pistorius’s trial as opposed to 12 jurors in Simpson’s trial,
  • Nothing I read or heard about the Pistorius case raised the notion that anyone tried to play the “race card,” unless someone wants to try to make something of the judge, Thokozile Masipa, being black and Pitorius white. So far as I know, no one did.
  • While Pitorius wasn’t convicted of premeditated murder, neither was he acquitted and walk out of the courtroom a free man as Simpson did. Instead, Judge Masipa, found Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide. Although he has yet to be sentenced, culpable homicide generally carries a sentence of five years in prison.

It seems to me that all these two cases really had in common was that the defendants were celebrated athletes accused of killing beautiful blonde-haired women they either loved or formerly loved. But, what kind of headline would that make?

http://www.ecanadanow.com/world/2014/09/14/oscar-pistorius-trial-parallels-oj-simpsons-trial-two-decades-earlier/

Simpson Verdict 3rd Most ‘Impactful’ TV Moment?

Here it is, nearly 20 years after the O.J. Simpson murder trial and I must say I truly was surprised by a couple of facts in this June 14, 2014 CNN story:

5 surprising facts about O.J. Simpson’s slow-speed chase.

… here are five things that might surprise you about the infamous Bronco chase.

Fast facts: O.J. Simpson

1. The Bronco chase and subsequent “not guilty” verdict are among the most memorable TV moments in the past 50 years.

The Simpson verdict was the third most “universally impactful” televised moment of the last 50 years behind the September 11, 2001, attacks and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, according to a survey by Nielsen and Sony.

Big shift in attitude toward O.J. Simpson

Simpson’s white Bronco chase came in sixth, behind the Challenger space shuttle disaster and the death of Osama bin Laden.

The survey scored each big televised event based on how many people viewed the event live, how many could recall details about where they were during the event and how many people who could remember talking about it with other people.

READ: High-profile acquittals

2. The Bronco chase dominated sports coverage on a day with major sports news.

On June 17, 1994, legendary golfer Arnold Palmer played his last round at the U.S. Open, the World Cup opened in Chicago, the Rangers celebrated winning the Stanley Cup, the Knicks played game five of the NBA finals against the Houston Rockets, and Ken Griffey Jr. tied Babe Ruth for the most home runs hit before June 30.

ESPN covered the other big sporting news, but jumped back and forth for frequent updates on the chase. NBC continued coverage of the NBA finals, but the game appeared in a small box in the corner while Tom Brokaw anchored coverage of the Bronco chase.

It just kind of blows my mind that the Simpson verdict ranks so high — just after the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks and Hurricane Katrina — as the most “universally impactful” televised moment in the past 50 years. What about the Supreme Court selecting the U.S. president in 2000? Or the green flashes of “Shock and Awe” as the U.S. attacked Iraq on March 19, 2003? Or the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination of President John F. Kennedy? Or the Aug. 8, 1974, resignation of President Richard Nixon?

Just amazing — if true.

Simpson Two-Week Breather Haiku

Judge leaves for two weeks.

A vacation well deserved.

Relax, bank the rest.

Needless to say, I breathed a sigh of relief — not because I would get a break from coming up with a daily haiku, those came so easily, writing them was far from a chore. The relief I felt was from the daily demands and stress of trying to stay ahead of the Simpson tsunami and spend much needed time and attention on the rest of my job.

A Welcome New O.J. Simpson Account — With Pictures

A photojournalist I met well before the infamous 1994-95 O.J. Simpson criminal trial invited me to Like the new Facebook page for his project, OJ “Trial Of The Century” Through The Lens Of A Black Press Photojournalist,

At this point this project is a work in progress, but the creator, photojournalist Haywood Galbreath has impressive plans.

In addition to an ebook in different format, “I also am working on a documentary and stationary photo exhibit as well as a traveling photo exhibit to tour different cities and talk about my experience in the trial next year,” Haywood said when I asked about the status of his project.

Here are a couple of his Status Updates from that page:

Photo: I want to establish in the beginning that my journey to being the only photojournalist in the world to have daily access to the O.J. Simpson double murder trial the “trial of the century” and the largest murder trial in the history of America. Was and still is a spiritual journey.  As they say in a faraway place and a faraway time I chose to follow Christ.  </p><br /> <p>I also chose to believe in the power of the one I call the Great Spirit God.  I could not have accomplished what I accomplished in covering that case without God making a way for me or faith, hope and love of which it speaks about in first Corinthians chapter 13 in the bible.</p><br /> <p>As we take this journey, me telling my story about what it took to do it and what I saw take place in and documented taking place in the courtroom in regards to the O.J. Simpson double murder trial.  I want to reiterate once again to everyone that for me it was and still is a spiritual journey. I truly believe that God ordained me from birth to make the journey for his Glory and to help his people.  </p><br /> <p>When I explain to you things that took place in my life and in reference to my coverage and documentation of the trial. I believe you will come to understand and believe also.  What I hope the most is that you the reader will realize that what God did for me God will do for you also!

I want to establish in the beginning that my journey to being the only photojournalist in the world to have daily access to the O.J. Simpson double murder trial the “trial of the century” and the largest murder trial in the history of America. Was and still is a spiritual journey. As they say in a faraway place and a faraway time I chose to follow Christ. 

I also chose to believe in the power of the one I call the Great Spirit God. I could not have accomplished what I accomplished in covering that case without God making a way for me or faith, hope and love of which it speaks about in first Corinthians chapter 13 in the bible.
As we take this journey, me telling my story about what it took to do it and what I saw take place in and documented taking place in the courtroom in regards to the O.J. Simpson double murder trial. I want to reiterate once again to everyone that for me it was and still is a spiritual journey. I truly believe that God ordained me from birth to make the journey for his Glory and to help his people.When I explain to you things that took place in my life and in reference to my coverage and documentation of the trial. I believe you will come to understand and believe also. What I hope the most is that you the reader will realize that what God did for me God will do for you also!
 
Twenty years ago this past August judge Lance Ito made a decision that was actually a major precedent. A major tilting of the moral arc toward that which is just. The decision was to permit the Black Press of America to have a photo position setting beside mainstream media daily in the O.J. Simpson double murder trial a major criminal court case.I am quite sure the judge did not make the decision lightly and he paid for it in many ways through his treatment by mainstream media. That decision the judge made that day. Only the most involved in media and the gathering of news images understand the precedent that was made with that decision.You will come to understand more about what I’m talking about in the book.

                                                          * * *

So far as I’m concerned, Haywood Galbreath personifies persistence and determination. He first crossed my radar in during the 1993 Reginald Denny-beating trial.  I mention Haywood several times in Anatomy of A Trial, including his request to staff a separate camera pool to represent African-American-owned and operated news organizations.

“But the Denny judge, while sympathetic, denied Galbreath’s request because he had submitted it after the trial had begun and logistics were already in place,” I wrote. “Galbreath didn’t make that mistake twice. …”

Although Haywood could be disruptive and was sometimes a pain, I came to respect not only his persistence, but his exemplary skills with a camera.

Although he has always maintained that the black perspective on the American condition and issues is different and stressed the importance of photographing events and situations from a black perspective, his recent comment says it best:

“I was of the strong opinion then and I am of the strong opinion now that anything that takes place in America, black Americans in all walks of life as well as Black Media if they choose to should have the right to have the same equal access as mainstream media.”

I eagerly await Haywood’s documentation of the Simpson trial as he photographed it.

Trial Do’s and Don’ts ‘Suggestions’

Orientation –

 Rules and guidelines for the press.

Will they all heed them?

9/2/94

Starting with the 1992 Rodney King beating trial, the first high-profile in which I was involved as a court-media liaison, I prepared a list of court and trial policies and rules and held a meeting in advance with the media who planned to cover the trial. Each trial after that, and there were several, the list and the meeting was more detailed and sophistic. By the time the Simpson case was underway, the rules and guidelines was in the form of a booklet and the meetings was an “orientation”. Although we urged attendance and indicated that failure to do so could result in consequences, such as the possibility of less than favorable courtroom seating during the trial. But even attending the orientation and getting the booklet didn’t guarantee that they would (1) look at the booklet or (2) be mindful of the contents.

A Camera Silencers Mandate

Cameras are noisy.

Which ones will Ito approve?

All must use sound blimps.

9/1/94

By September 1, 1994, Simpson judge Lance Ito had decided that the pool cameras in his courtroom were too noisy and needed to be silenced with rather pricey equipment called hard blimps or he wouldn’t let them in. The photographers weren’t happy, even those with news organizations that had hard blimps. Most professional news photographers had the much less expensive soft blimp, which is a sort of leather sack the camera can be put in. Soft blimps muffle, but don’t do as well at deadening the sound of the camera shutter as hard blimps.  It’s harder to operate cameras that are encased in ridged hard-sided hard blimps, and the opening for lenses isn’t large enough for their longest lenses.  But hard blimps became the ticket for camera access to Simpson courtroom proceedings.