OJ Simpson and the Question of Blaming...

Douglass Drozdow-St.Christian (stchri@MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA)
Wed, 6 Jul 1994 10:47:41 -0400

like everyone not tucked safely away in a box somewhere, i have been
following, though not carefully, the developments in the oj simpson
hearing and i am struck by something i had never thought of before...

this whole process of suppression of evidence and were the police acting
constitutionally and so on is not about simpson's guilt or innocence or
even about the crime he is accused of committing but about the process of
accusation itself...

simpson's lawyers are not proclaiming his innocence from the rooftops but
rather are arguing that the states process of blaming was unfair to the
accused...this strikes me as a fascinating question of what constitutes a
crime in the US, on the one hand, and what counts as evidence of
malfeasance on the other [ in Canada the argument over inappropriately
obtained evidence is less complex because suppression requires that the
defense show the introduction of the evidence would bring the
administration of justice into disrepute, which allows trial judges more
leeway in allowing evidence which would be suppressed south of the border]...

my point?

blaming seems to be about

a] recognizing that a sanctionable act has occured
b] link person x to that sanctionable act through evidence or
c] making a public declaration of that link in the form of a
direct accusation

what seems to be happening in the simpson case is an effort to redirect
a] from the murders to the how simpson was brought to be involved in the
investigation of b]. the arguments regarding suppression of evidence have
been fascinating precisely because they do not speak to the evidence of
simpsons involvement but to the restrictions on the process of blaming

is this unique to the US, i wonder?

anyone out there have any insights/suggestions etc about blaming in other