The People vs. OJ Simpson, An American Crime Story– Text Review

Many people know what happened in the OJ Simpson Case–but for those who don’t, it still lives up to the drama it created in 1994. Orenthal James Simpson was an NFL football player who was accused of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Nicole’s then boyfriend, Ron Goldman. The prosecution felt that OJ Simpson was likely upset about Nicole seeing someone new, and he went over to fight with her but he snapped and killed her and her boyfriend instead. The defense team argued that OJ could’ve never done such a thing and said that this was all a ploy by one of the detectives to make a famous Black man fall. The detective was a racist, so most, if not all, of the evidence he found–the gloves, the hairs, and blood–were not accepted by the jury as true. **Spoiler Alert** Because of the defense’s ability to prove that OJ couldn’t have done it, he was acquitted on all charges.

The main focus of the trial were the race issues that were going on between the prosecution and defense. Additionally, the Rodney King riots had just happened a few years prior, so the people of Los Angeles were already upset. The defense argued that this was just the LAPD practicing unfair policing and painted the racist detective to have a personal issue with OJ because he had been to OJ’s house numerous times. They also used the races and opinions of the jurors to their favor because they knew that most Black people didn’t believe OJ did it. They did so by effectively “othering” the other jurors and making them feel like they were racist for not supporting OJ. The prosecution held strong to facts about DNA and evidence that was found at the scene, but they were essentially crippled by the racist detective/officer because he said that all Black people should go to jail and that he’s allowed to beat them senseless. They did not play the same media/publicity game that the defense team played, which left them playing catch up in court. There are power struggles clearly seen in this documentary–between poor and rich and between Black and white. The disparities have a widespread impact on the people involved in the case and living in Los Angeles.

I think that the writers of this documentary wanted us to see that there was more at play in this case than just what happened in the courtroom. They were illustrating how many things worked together to get the outcome of acquittal and that the case was very dramaticized and full of gossip.

I have attached the trailer for those who want to see it.

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