Nora CarpenterBensonPeriod 71/02/18Novel Write Up The book I chose to read was The Run Of His Life: The People V. O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin. The book is 496 pages and was published by Random House in 1996. This book relates to the topic of crime in sports because O.J. Simpson was a former NFL running back who was tried on two counts of murder for the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. O.J. and was found to not be guilty. For my topic, I am focusing on how professional athletes are more likely to commit serious crimes and are treated differently than regular, everyday people. People believe he was treated differently because he was a professional athlete and was given “special treatment.” One of his many lawyers claims it is because he is “the O.J. Simpson.” The book describes how O.J. has had a troubled history his entire life , but has been able to get away with it. He was first arrested at the age of 16, for fighting/stealing and spent a weekend in Juvenile Detention. After he was visited by his idol Willie Mays, he was motivated to stay out of trouble and he actually managed to for a long time. However, in 1989, he was arrested for battery against his former wife that had left her hospitalized. Police were called to the house eight times to settle domestic disputes and each time they would talk to him and leave without arresting him. In the book, it states that O.J was sentenced to 120 hours of community service, two years probation and spend 30 days in jail. However, he ended up not having to do any of these, but instead began counseling. O.J. was able to get off with an easier sentence because he was so well-liked and was a very good athlete. A normal person would have been required to go through with the initial sentence that was given. Simpson was then arrested for 1st degree murder on June 17, 1994. His attorney received a phone call in which Simpson was required to surrender by a certain time. O.J. refused to give himself up and chose to run away with a friend and had left a suicide note. He returned home later that night and was taken into custody. He went through a very long trial and was acquitted of the murder charges on October 3, 1995. The author, Jeffrey Toobin, is very blunt about how he feels about the trial and how he believes that O.J. is guilty. He believes the evidence proved Simpson was guilty and the prosecutors made the wrong decision. Toobin claims that O.J. “knew the ending before anyone” and that he was “tipped off to the not-guilty verdict the night before it was announced.” Toobin includes many credible interviews that help further develop his reasoning as to why he feels O.J. should not have been acquitted for the murder charges. O.J. was said to have hired the best attorney for the case because he played the race card during the trial. The jury included more minorities than white people, which helped him in the end. Although there are multiple books written about the trials, Toobin focused on the how the defense used the topic of race and how it was the main reason that the jury decided to not find him to be guilty. The reason the defense used the topic of race was because the trial was constantly on the media and many people believe the LAPD was racist at this time since they had many issues regarding race and the African American community during this time. Overall, Toobin believes that being a very well-liked athlete/person and without the help of his defense attorney, a jury that had more minorities than white people, and the use of race as their main defense mechanism, the prosecutors would have focused on the actual evidence that was found and O.J. Simpson would have not been acquitted of the murder charges. The main people that Toobin described in the book was O.J. Simpson and his defense attorney, Johnnie Cochrane. Simpson faced many conflicts throughout his life, especially ones with the law. He is most known for his trial regarding the death of his ex-wife and her good friend, in which he was arrested with 1st degree murder. Simpson knew that more minorities would side with him during this trial, which led him to hire a very charismatic and well-liked African American civil rights lawyer. This decision was said to have completely changed the course of the trial and affected the outcome tremendously. After reading the book, I agree with the author because he includes specific evidence that shows how Simpson should have been found guilty, but the racial issues that were brought up throughout the entire trial and him being a very good and liked (by both whites and minorities) professional athlete decided the outcome. I believe that O.J. made a smart decision for picking Cochrane as his defense attorney, but his troubled past and the evidence should have determined whether or not he was guilty. Johnnie Cochrane was a celebrated and liked lawyer among African Americans, since his main focus was civil rights. He made sure the Jury had more African American and Latinos, and less white people. Cochrane played the race card whenever he possibly could throughout the entire trial. Although I believe O.J. should have been tried based on the evidence that was presented during the trial, the defense attorney’s decision to use race as the main defense mechanism was very intelligent and helped shape the trial and its outcome. Considering his background and multiple disputes with his ex-wife, I agree with the author in the sense that the jury should not have mainly focused on the racial points that the defense attorney used or him being a well-liked professional athlete to determine whether or not he was guilty, when there was a lot of evidence that proved he was guilty.The topic of Crime in Sports was clearly presented throughout this entire book since O.J. Simpson was a former professional football player who has been arrested and in trouble with the law many times, but has gotten away with it. The author describes how Simpson had gotten away with smaller sentences that were given to him and had not been arrested for domestic disputes until the eighth time that police had arrived to break it up. By reading this book, it has further shown how being a professional athlete can cause a person to commit more crimes and how they are able to get away with crimes more easily than regular people. O.J. was a very good running back in the NFL and was very well-liked by people. In the trial over the 1st degree murder charge, it was always on the media and people sided with him because he was so well-liked (by all races). In all, I believe that popularity and being known plays a role in the outcome of a trial. I believe that the book The Run Of His Life: The People V. O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Cochrane was appropriate for the topic that I chose. It helps further develop my belief that there is a high crime rate in professional athletes and that they are given special treatment when it comes to determining the consequences they should face when convicted. The book is describes how O.J. had committed many crimes throughout his life, but never faced the consequences that a regular person would have. In trial, there was clear evidence that he murdered both his ex-wife and her friend, however, the prosecutors acquitted him. I would recommend this book to others because it has a very different and interesting viewpoint on the O.J. Simpson trial, compared to the many other books that have been written about it. The author uses many credible sources to back up his opinion on the outcome of the trial and why he was found not guilty. This book related to my topic very well and help to further my research about it since it described what I was mainly focusing on.
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