November 17th, 2006

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03:18 am - on The Juice...

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[User Picture]From: beststephi Date: November 17th, 2006 - 06:13 pm (Link)
I'm not saying he is perfect. Nobody is. But comparing him to a killer is, IMHO, wrong. There's just no comparison between the amount of hurt and pain OJ caused and what FG did.

I feel very bad for FG. That he had "all but disowned" his son before he was murdered would make it even more difficult to deal with his death. Now he must live with that guilt for the rest of his life as well. And I don't see money as his motive for suing OJ as you do; I think he wanted SOME form of justice.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: November 17th, 2006 - 07:39 pm (Link)
But that's just the thing.

There's no "proof" that OJ is a murderer. There is proof that Fred Goldman is an ass. Granted there's proof that OJ is an ass too. But OJ didn't sue anyone.

Let assume for a moment that OJ is innocent. In fact lets assume that he's not even OJ. He's just some poor guy who's ex-wife got killed. And Fred Goldman isn't some rich bastard. He's just some average joe who was the father of the ex-wife's new boyfriend, who was also killed. The cops arrest the poor guy. He stands trial. He wins. He goes free. Do we allow the father to keep bringing the poor guy up before trial until he wins? Cuz that's what happened here. Now lets add to that. The father eventually wins and the court awards him 10 times what the poor guy has ever been worth, but the father doesn't share a penny of that money with the ex-wife's family. The ex-wife's family can't even sue the poor guy because he has nothing left and anything he should make in the rest of his life has to go to the father first. Furthermore, any time the poor guy tries to get a job to pay off that debt, the father interferes so that he can't, thus rendering the guy destitute for the rest of his life.

The only reason OJ isn't living on the streets somewhere is that he's OJ Simpson and the law says you can't sue someone out of their pension. If OJ were a construction worker, he'd be homeless and probably have become an even bigger criminal since he'd have no legal options for making a living for himself or his kids.

The ability to sue for wrongful death isn't supposed to be used how it was. Federal law specifically prohibits anyone from trying to overcome common law with criminal law or vice versa (see Ammendment VII). The point of the wrongful death laws is supposed to be so that a family can sue someone who accidentally but non ciminally kills someone. Say if you're supposed to be the guy who makes sure that construction safety harnesses safe, and it breaks down and kills one of the workers. His family gets to sue you. If you intentionally sabotage some guy's harness and he falls to his death, that's not wrongful death, you don't get sued. You stand criminal trial and go to jail if oyu lose. It only worked at all because Goldman is rich and was able to buy his way into making the law work the way he wanted it to. Whether OJ is a killer or not, it is not Goldman's job or right to dispence his own justice. Essentially what he did was see that the guy he THINKS killed his son was found innocent, so he went out and dispensed vigilante justice on his own. The only reason he did it in a court room with a lawyer instead of on the street with a handgun is because he's a greedy bastard and rich enough that he could afford to do so.

If OJ murdered too people he is a criminal and should have gone to jail. The fact that he didn't go to jail, one way or the other should have been the end of the story. But wrongful death suits aren't about justice. They are about compensatory damages. A lot of people, yourself included, like to point at the civil case and say "look, they proved OJ killed someone." But that's never happened. In fact, it specifically didn't hadn't. That's part of how FG got away with it. If he had some how proven that OJ murdered them, then double jeopardy would have applied and OJ would have gone free. In a civil case the court simply has to decide what's more likely that he was responsible or not. They found that it was likely that he killed Goldman (again, not Nicole, thought they did find that it was likely that he attacked her) so they awarded the case to FG. They ordered $33.5million to be paid out by OJ to FG and OJ's kids (who were not actually suing him). It should be noted that after the civil case, the Brown family did sue OJ as well, for custody of the kids, but that court found that OJ was not a danger to the kids as he was not a murderer and had never done anything wrong, and that's why he still has the kids today. That's my base problem here. The case has been essentailly been tried three times. He won two and lost one. That simply doesn't make any sense and is unfair.
(to be continued...)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: November 17th, 2006 - 07:40 pm (Link)

In any case, OJ didn't have 33 million. In fact, at the time he was in debt. He was worth about $800K, but he owed the IRS $650K in taxes and he owed legal fees. So he couldn't pay anything. Typically the compensatory award is supposed to be based on what the victim is missing out on. Ron Goldman certainly wasn't worth $33million, but the logic of the court was that the affection and moral support that he provided for his family was worth that much. Remember, he hadn't actually talked to his parents in a couple of years. But somehow he was providing them with several million dollars worth of love. As such the court found that OJ owed more than everything he had. Under California law, OJ was required to pay RG before he could keep a penny for himself. As he was suddenly persona non grata in Hollywood and the NFL, his career was effectively over. So his only real recourse would have been to get a regular person job and work out the rest of his life and never see a penny since it would have taken his entire life to make up the $33.5million. This would have effectively made him a slave. Which is also constitutionally prohibited (twice, actually... there can be so slaves and you can't sue someone into servitude for you, a common practice in the old days). Since OJ was lucky enough to have a $20,000 a month pension that FG can't leagally touch, he basically decided to live and raise his kids on that. There's no reason to do anything else. He also moved to Florida, because the law there doesn't require him to send anything that he should happen to make to FG.

Oh, yeah, the order from the case is so structured that OJ owes the FG and his exwife $9M first. And then once he pays off that, the remaining $24M is to be split between RG(not the exwife) and OJ and Nicole's kids. That's how much he wanted justice.
[User Picture]From: beststephi Date: November 18th, 2006 - 05:12 pm (Link)
If OJ were just some poor shlub, he would have been found guilty. So none of the rest is relevant.
It probably is a type of double jeopardy what actually happened, but I can't feel outraged, or even slightly annoyed about that, given the outrage that was OJ's criminal trial. It's like when a referee makes a bad call, and the only justice is another bad call in the reverse direction. It's not the optimal situation, but it's the best given what already happened.
From: wooble Date: November 18th, 2006 - 03:38 pm (Link)

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