The People v. OJ Simpson

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Last night, the final episode of The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story aired. After a thrilling, tense and exciting series made up of ten episodes and an all star cast, I know I was not alone in feeling the disappointment that it was all over. 

Now, obviously we know that OJ got off with a "not guilty", despite having a different result in civil court shortly after. I am totally undecided as to whether he did it or not, but I feel like for most of me thinks that he does. The statistics about his blood samples, the gloves, various other DNA samples and the fact that Robert Kardashian, his best friend, thought he did it just seem to sway it for me. But with all of the evidence that the prosecuting team kept putting forwards to the jury, why did OJ end up being "not guilty"?

Of course there are a number of reasons; it was a case run by people's emotions, rather than by people taking in the cold hard facts. It was a case that turned into a media circus- people seemed to forget that two people had been murdered. It was all about racism in the end. Furthermore, the majority of the jury was black, and so the race card played by the defending "Dream Team" won them over, of course it did. 

But one other factor played on my mind, and it only clicked with me in last night's final episode. 

Was the case affected because Marcia Clark, head prosecuting lawyer, was a woman?

It was like a light bulb going off in my head. Suddenly everything fell into place and it all made sense to me. If, instead of Marcia Clark, a white male had been leading the prosecuting team, would things have gone differently? 

Now, think about every time Marcia appeared in court (this will be easier if you watched the series, or the live trial!). Every time she requested the judge (who was male) didn't do something, didn't grant the defending teams request and so on, she was ignored. She was talked over. She was mocked, for her attitude, her stony features, even her hair do! Both the jury, the public and the men in the courtroom (because yes, she was the only woman!) had no respect for her! They saw her as a joke, and I feel that this played a big role in swaying the jury's opinion. 

It also didn't help that her partner Chris was a man and was black. The black members of the jury didn't like that he was trying to put a member of their community away when he should be on "their side", so this turned them towards the defence. In addition to this, Chris always went against Marcia too- because she was a women?- and this lead to many holes being made in their argument, such as the glove incident. 

It was obvious from the get go that race affected this case above anything else, and the defence team played their cards well. I feel they got extremely lucky and were very good at bluffing their way through things- ultimately they were just opportunists, who took things and twisted them into something that worked for them. However, feminism and sexism really played a huge role in this trial too. Not only did we see all of Nicole's previous domestic abuse cases being lightly dismissed by the police, we saw the abuse of Marcia- and now, upon reflection, we see how little respect she had in court, even from the judge. If she had been a man, had more respect, I feel certain the case would have played out a little differently. 

Did you watch The People v. OJ Simpson, or even the real life trial? What are your thoughts on the case? Let me know in the comments below!

Love from,
Florence Grace


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