There is a reason trials are still conducted. It is not only for the purpose of enforcing the law, but to reinforce social mores. One could hear repeated appeals to those mores in Judge Glass' remarks. It helped, as she said, that the entire crime and the post-crime party during which O.J. and his co-conspirators celebrated their "accomplishment" were recorded on audiotape. Many other norms, laws and standards have been recorded in a different sense -- from the Ten Commandments to the common law. As humanity progressed (or regressed), becoming more self-sufficient, we have felt it unnecessary to be constrained by anything, or to be held accountable to anyone.
Such thinking goes something like this: If you have a problem with anything I do, believe, or think, it's your problem, never mine. There is no overarching creator/authority, and so I am entitled to do as I wish. This life is all there is and so who are you to deprive me of anything I think will make me happy, happiness now being the highest and only goal of humanity? Good feelings, not well-doing are all that matter today. Who earns cover stories in popular magazines because of their virtue?
Even if he serves the minimum sentence, which is unlikely, life is effectively over for the 61-year-old Simpson. He received justice for what he did this time and retroactive justice for what a civil court concluded he did to his wife and Ron Goldman. Simpson got what he deserved. That should provide some satisfaction to the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson, whose "stolen property" is beyond recovery.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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