People of the State of California vs Orenthal James Simpson

 

Background

A criminal charge may collapse because of failure to show how exactly the felony could be of relevance to society at large or a representative community in particular. Although murders are tried as criminal offenses regardless of the media circus involved or landmark decisions that can arise, the defendant profile is a one cutoff criterion to be considered by the grand jury to be in a position to issue a solid indictment. Insofar, as there is evidence of repeat delinquency, recidivist patterns, or otherwise major insurgency in areas outside the particular case at issue or jurisdiction involved, and while they still can characterize the persona in material and critical respects, these issues could reinforce the guilty plea or, at any rate, render plea bargaining more productive according to the nationwide extent of speedy trials. For that matter, the case could be criminalized by the very possibility of producing it into precedence, even though the latter can hardly suffice for trying criminal cases per se. The fact that the residual domestic violence case was later tried under the civil-law jurisdiction, which actually ushered in some opportunistic leeway on the defendant’s part (Derschowitz, 1997), could second the conjecture of criminal qualification being nearly as difficult to sustain in general as much reasonable doubt it urges in light of generic evidence ad hoc.

Reasonable Doubt

With some certainty, however, these issues can altogether be qualified as neither sufficient nor necessary prerequisites to either sustain the Simpson case as criminal action or dismiss the charges, with the legal fiction potentially lending extra validity to habeas corpus based acquittal. The latter appellate pertains to arrest details rather than detainment conditions as such. The failure to turn himself in immediately pursuant to police chasing may have been aggravating with an eye on Simpson’s greeting message, reasonably resembling a pre-suicidal confession. On contestant grounds, however, the very denial to disregard the note as confession on the prosecution’s part, or to disavow and withdraw one, on the defendant part, as being fictitiously construed or undermining nolo contendere at any rate, could support a reasonable doubt as per due course without necessarily questioning probable cause or anima mala.

In fact, reducing the latter to animosity or invidia (permanent or ad-hoc jealous rage in particular) as naturally mounting between the estranged or ex-spice, or possibly having served precondition for separation in the first place, would amount to the second-order relevance in overturning reasonable doubt. The core of the probable cause could be more substantively obtained based on the frequency of prior domestic violence reports filed with the police, even though some observers may claim that meager odds of such incidents could cumulate to terminal drama. In other words, there is only a remote correspondence between prior violence and eventual murder outcomes (Dershowitz, p. 82). Regardless of whether statistics alone makes for the bulk of background evidence, it remains to be seen exactly how ex-ante delicti translates to ex-post probability.

In fact, the Bayes’ rule is routinely deployed in tracing through or rationalizing the gap. Still, it is debatable whether the reasonable person presumption, pertaining to jury selection, does involve any special knowledge or ability to perceive scientific criteria while distinguishing between pieces of scientific evidence. On the one hand, the very legacy of ‘not guilty’ rather than ‘innocence’ plea could be related to the positivist scientific method aimed at refuting the null hypothesis of insignificance without constructively substituting any particular parameters. It could be for this reason that the adversarial design challenges the contestants to stand their case without being concerned with detecting the actual felon in the event of defendant pleading not guilty. A relative case merit leading to a weak plea has little to do with judging the absolute merit behind each party’s claim. Under the inquisitorial system, inter alia assigns different weights to testimony being produced by the unbiased and scrupulous witnesses and jurors relative to those deemed involved or acting in neither bona fide nor pro bono. In fact, that applies to the witnesses and jurors reportedly selling their knowledge as part of media circus and litigant hype (Gilbert, 2008). On margin, their prior probable cause could well make part in the qui prodest criterion, as well.

Simpson

Along these lines, it could be as awkward to speculate about any of the parties involved benefitting from the drama ex ante as it would acquiescing to merit behind some reported allegations of Simpson having virtually confessed ex post. Whereas posterior confession that hefty media payoffs included for whatever purpose, is likely in light of double jeopardy (non bis per idem), even so it remains to be seen whether any party to drama blamed it partially or him/herself emotively without owning up to felony. Likewise, the hypothetic drug dealers who supposedly could be either privy to or involved in the killing of Simpson’s ex-wife and/or her visitor, himself reportedly as a drug addict and hence part and parcel to the traffic chain hardly had any direct or indiscriminating interest in what followed next. One may surmise on whether the addict could pose any threat as a paid witness against their going concern, or if he was eliminated spontaneously as an undesired witness ad hoc, in addition to assaulting Simpson’s ex-spouse. These scenarios, however, are in no manner of equal implication to the defendant’s probable cause.

For that matter, if it were him, driven by jealousy and possibly intoxicated, who murdered her, spontaneously or otherwise, all of these possibilities should have been ranked based on punitive priority, as well as credibility. Suffice it to put him liable for leaving both unaided, in the event it can be demonstrated he was the last to have shown up in her estate. Based on the testimony suggesting that he was observed in the dark, speeding away from the crime scene, the eyewitness ought to have been put on polygraph as to whether he or she had known that the time slot they specified was the actual time the murder had been committed. Prior knowledge in this instance could have reduced the witness pool while delineating suspects more carefully.

In the meantime, what makes one believe he probably was there, prior to the drama or following it that night? Remote observation testimony as per car vintage, a cutlery piece found, and footprints of his size, appear to have constituted the body of evidence. Some extra detail pertains to the sounds one onlooker identified as those of beating (hurling thumps), plus dog barking plausibly characteristic of extraordinary events. Whereas the latter was reported by the neighbors, a former piece was obtained from a family friend and Nicole’s former common-law sex mate who ended up patrolling the aforementioned estate for ill-articulated reasons. Whereas the defense was able to mitigate the detail of beating sounds with reference to Simpson exercising earlier or later that night, the knife artifact was downplayed as a possibly doctored piece traceable to the evil intent and bias on the part of either the coroner or the racist police officer. In fact, the latter person’s testimony was overturned on the strength of his reportedly racist bias, with an eye towards the evidence of using the respective rhetoric in the preceding decade or so. Although that can hardly amount to a major dismissing point, insofar as racist and sexist pretext could have been fostered regardless, not least vis-?-vis jury representation, still the voting statistics in this setting may not prove enough to re-poll or dismiss the jury with no proven prior episodes of bias in hand. In any event, the police witness fared on nolo contendere, which did not get the case any further than sparing the officer perjury and the case of judicial fiction.

The residual evidence pertained to the rare-to-find vintage footwear that the defendant was shown to have exhibited on his photos, despite his prior claim in the negative. The very frequency of that incident, which is about 300 pro 300 million people in the US, could alone suffice formally to lead the jury to indict. On the second thoughts, that fact only begs the issue of bounded rationality in solving crime or enforcing law and formal institutions at large. For one thing, the reasonable person may be rational enough to neither gauge some of the more subtle if latent evidence nor the very methods used to obtain and analyze it, while readily buying into the more intuitively plausible findings that prove far faultier than the post ergo propter fallacy.

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The paper now treats some of the counter-intuitive issues pertaining to analysis and profiling so as to qualify prima facie response on the part of the jury. Suppose a holistic evaluation by a reasonable person (or compos mentis) is centered around a limited number of profiling criteria (Turvey, 2012, p. 123). Some of these were mentioned above: alcohol abuse, the rare-vintage footprint match, estranged spouse animosity, sports scam record as delinquency, cutlery piece identified, quasi pre-suicidal message construed as prior plea, blood DNA test (not nearly as prompt and in due diligence back in the 1990s), glove match or mismatch, and related bar personnel’s lethal involvement therein. All of these can be ascribed as specific and varying probabilities, along with the relevance weights, to arrive at a total score. Whatever it is, a complex event is multiplicative rather than additive or averaging with respect to the individual or dimensional odds involved. The jury may or may not prove capable of arriving at an integral big picture linking all of the profiling instances, yet for aught one can always know is the mechanic prior probability of a complex or composite event based on individual odds:

That holds for presumably independent or ‘orthogonal’ criteria, even though these might prove jointly distributed in actuality. For instance, blood test might second the alcohol use habit, and a celebrity background in sports could fit just squarely into a propensity to buy exclusive footwear, whereas carrying a knife might or might not be suggestive of deviant predisposition.

The paper now turns to a straightforward thought experiment along the lines of the trait inference (Turvey, p. 122). Suppose the jury confronts no specific statistical reports or prior ad-hoc probability assessments. Even under completely inconclusive standalone evidence, which amounts to near 50 percent odds on either end as per each dimension, with sufficiently many criteria on hand, one arrives at a rather corner-type composite probability. For instance, a total of five criteria would yield a complex event whose occurrence is only 1/32 accidental. A profile like Simpson’s featuring some eight criteria could formally be accepted as (1-1/256) or near certainly unique. Of course, formal treatment like that claims limited validity, but the average reasonable jury, or the jaded and unaided reader’s eye would accept that toward the indictment odds.

Certainly, one can go further to try additional formal tests, based on the same prior odds and a unity value as posterior materialization status. Along the lines of a Student t-test (Hayter, 2012, pp. 381-383), a value of  image4.png obtains, which proves distributed as the number of observations for any singular criterion. Again, with about five or more of them, the gap between the priors and the posterior assessment proves significant, so that jumping to a conclusion is risky. If one is to confine the analysis to a single profile, his/her judgment is biased towards accepting the flawed line of reasoning. Same goes for a chi-squared test (p. 432), which proves to be distributed monotonously with respect to the number of variables of profiling criteria: image6.png. Consequently, the inefficiency bias can be rejected for any number of criteria large enough, as per any level of significance desired.

By a dual token, the exact same na?ve jury might not be boasting syllogism savvy enough to appreciate such structures as, ‘A implies B and B implies C and so forth through Z; hence, A implies Z.’ Even in the event of perfect transitivity, each of the stages can only claim limited validity, so that the ultimate A to Z correspondence has a meager resultant validity that is actually comparable to the probability of a complex event as the above one.

As far as the crime timing is concerned, a narrow time slot translates into a Poisson distribution based chance probability that is small enough for the complementary event to dominate. Better yet, a good match between the time slots lowers the odds of accidental fit to near nil. Facing the comparable chances of stumbling into the DNA findings other than procedural shortcomings, and nearing depletion on rebuttals, the defense attorney could have every reason to waive direct plea asking for a jury trial. It, based on less-than-conclusive grand jury sentiment, had very little chances of reaching a unanimous consent or strong preference. The mechanisms of coalition formation featuring, among other things, the role of pivotal players, can suggest some peculiar ways of relative vote shares mapping to unexpected effective bargaining powers as represented by Shapley values (McCarty and Meirowitz, 2007). Undercover evidential data mining in liaison to profiling, for example, as with former sports rival peers, could be another instance urging rebuttals toward the onus probandi challenge (Fitzgerald, 2007).

Simpson’s Case

In classic game-theoretic terms, though, it is ironic just how the defense attorney earned acquittal for his principal without having to face the prisoner dilemma of a plea bargain beyond further lis civile. All else held same, that could be due to the very criteria of technical rationality acting to strengthen reasonable doubt, for example, whenever the experts diverge with an eye on the orders of magnitude bridging abuse and murder, or minor misdemeanor as a matter of ‘chilling out’ versus major felony likely accruing to repeat record of getting away scot-free. In Simpson’s case, the defense must have signaled resolute repentance at odds with escalation of nuisance (Turvey, p. 127), for the case to be fully disposable as a matter of speedy acquittal rendering correction superfluous beyond invariant societal stigmatization.

It appears plausible that the very body of reasonable doubt was building up as a quantitative mass based on controversial signals, evidentially and procedurally, on both ends. Innuendos at police fraud, inadequate forensic scrutiny, expert dissent, interrupted and unduly short deliberation or incessant sidebar conferencing, continual assault on the prosecution so as to posit their point as a body of disjoint minutes, and the trial jury balanced with stand-by alternates making for an effective grand jury without measuring up to the weak criteria of one, all served to collapse evidence to counter-evidential non liquet (inadequacy), ne plus ultra (exhaustion of case or jury), or mora (delay acting to sterilize the impression). Add the self-projection or introspective hazard on the profiler’s part (cf. Turvey, p. 128) or ‘defects of the situation’ (p. 135), and consistency collapses under the very factual mass which initially would seem to have complied with the uniqueness and separation pillars of BEA (pp. 129-130).

On the other hand, one could point to manifest indications of Simpson’s guilt with revealed premises as diverse as an unnerved initial feedback on phoned notice of death detail, disguise kit found in his estate, reported complaints of being chased or harassed on his ex-wife part, sheer ignorance of wrongful death accomplices or those likely engaged in aiding and abetting the villains, failure to cooperate on check-up of his physical conditions connected with arthritis, and limitations that could impose on assault or safeguarding capacity, to name a few. The circuit of media circus, featuring ghostwriters, friend phone-tappers, memorabilia interviewers, and otherwise hit men produces very mixed aftermath of his posterior conduct, over and above his dodging on civil-lawsuit ruling.

Concluding Remarks and Afterthoughts

To render the analysis more carefully tailored to the subject matter, the circumstances, and personal background, a host of more involved instruments and procedures could be utilized. Maruna (2010) has stressed some mixed-method approach along the lines of quantitative, qualitative, and hybrid models (p. 123). As it happens, the scope of critique has come in line with the maintained purposes, such as triangulation, complementarities, expansion, initiation, and development all elaborating the parsimony principle (p. 127 ibid). Although some of the less intuitive approaches are more likely to leave the na?ve jury largely unmoved, they ought to be studied with utter scrutiny along the lines of methods rather than settings implicitly carrying through as precedent. When it comes to the law-and-economics implications, the very cost of overlooked methods, as opposed to those heavily if indiscriminately deployed could, in the end, amount to the cost of ‘error types’ (innocence arraigned versus guilt acquitted), as well as the mounting litigant turnover translating into institutional inefficiency and excessive incarceration rates.

In this research paper at issue, the celebrity and media hype may have accounted for some prejudice that did not, however, add much to the way of routine and recurring patterns of bias that plaque BEA in the largely deviant and increasingly litigant societal setup.

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