Monday, 20 October 2008

Justice not for all

In 1994, I was living in San Francisco, going through my first MBA year. I loved the city and the liberty and openess of its residence and appreciated a city with crime rate close to zero. Also with some of the country's top universities nearby, no wonder the intellect in San Francisco is above US average and most people I talked to knew about the then ongoing Balcan war and who Milosevic was. Needless to say that the propaganda against the Serbs was extravagant, long before any war crimes were even mentioned. The jury - that is the press - has condemned the Serbs. I think back then the main reason is that they were supported by the Russians as atrocities were taking place from both sides.
Just at the same time as the Kosovo war - in my opinion the closer we ever got to WWIII - was in its peak, all the 50 TV channels have stopped showing their normal program to broadcast a car chase. Not a hollywood car chase, a real one, but with hollywood flair. OJ Simpson who was accused of murdering his wife Nicole and her lover in their flat fled and a car chase begun that ended up being more famous than Steve McQuinn's in Bullitt. The weeks/months that followed Simpson's case was frontline on newspapers and great money earner for TV stations as it monopolized the news. Jay Leno would frequently start his show with jokes about Simpson's innosence. Credits for these of course were given to Simpson's top laywer team rather than in reality and the american juridicial system. The people's jury though - that is the press again - even though talked a lot about the evidence that was so much against him, focused a lot on racial issues. That simply sold more. Racial discrimination? Please. If anyone suffered discimination back then, it was Nichole for being blonde!

Now, thirteen years later, Simpson is back in court. Guilty this time he was found, on all counts of robbery and kidnapping that could put him to jail for life. Yet, another team of brilliant lawyers are now taking their shot at spotlight fame trying to get the trial annuled based on juridicial mechanics. A little bit like the first time. Circumstantial insufficient evidence, jury's misconduct, etc. Of course there is one element missing since the first time: Nicole Simpson was a blond white model and OJ was black. Too sensitive issue to put in jail for life a black football hero for killing a white girl. Now, there is no racial issue. But everybody is thinking that he should have been guitly the first time. I would really love to hear the new jokes about Simpson.
He will probably be announced innoscent again. What does this mean? That anyone who has fame and a lot of money can kill/rob/kidnap? Or should we not mention past crimes? Or are we to believe that it is possible that he did not kill Nichole? I think it is more likely to believe that he suffers from acute OCD uncontrollable at times. It is convenient for him that he is rich enough to afford the best laywer team. I think the court should impose on him psychiatrical treatment; the best, obviously he can afford it.

Milosevic was killed in his cell. I would bet anything that Simpson will never in his life see a cell from the inside. Sadam's killing was televised. And some other war criminals - mainly americans - will never pass trial. Although the severity of war crimes is googol times greater than killing one person, the judicial system should be fair to all trials. Once again it is proven that it is not. Of course we have to wait and see what the final decision for OJ will be. I bet $10 he will be freed. I also bet $100 that W will never stand trial.

PS: Not many people outside San Francisco, New York and other mega-urban US centers have ever heard of Milosevic, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Serbs and Croats. They have all watched OJ's car chase back in '94. Majority of them voted for W.


george g. said...

Superbly well written!!

elwyn said...

Hi Zeta, you must have been over-dosing on Costa triple-espressos today! I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next Elvis fan, but I have my doubts about the "Milosevic was murdered" one. How, by whom, why? Apart from the fact that he'd long been in poor health, the ICC itself (and the Western countries which support its work) certainly had very reason to keep him alive - at least until his extremely long and expensive trail was over.

Zeta T said...

Elwyn, thank you for pointing out a poor choice of diction. Was killed was perhaps under-researched from my part. Died is better. The point of the posting is not altered. I did not intend to raise a debate about Milosevic but about the poor judicial system and how people's opinion is shaped by the media.

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