This will be no defense of Bill Cosby, There has been enough septic tank sludge broke free under that former star’s bridge to make defense an absurd, even evil, notion. But I am bothered by some of the left and society in general’s cries when it comes to self incrimination, “BUT it’s JUST a technicality!!!” Really? “Just?”
Dismissing self incrimination as just a technicality is a “the king has no clothes” moment. Our legal system couldn’t exist without technicalities, and that is both a good and bad thing. Specifics matter. We make agreements in court to find truth, and to pave the way for possible civil litigation. I’m not a fan of that last one because it paves the way for what none dare call double jeopardy. But it also keeps court proceedings from becoming fishing expeditions where the legal system will do anything to get at a defendant, to make them look bad in ways that have NOTHING to do with what they are accused of. The mere accusation of what has nothing to do with the prosecution can affect a jury in that way. A defendant testifying against himself opens up that hole to hell.
I understand how uncomfortable this is, how crazily insane the concept that all those claims of rape were consensual is. But obviously we can’t special design our courts to prosecute who we don’t trust, don’t like, feel did SOMETHING so we’ll get them any way we can. How dangerous is that?
Dismissing being forced to self incriminate as “just a technicality” mocks a lot of the hell raised about the justice system by the left. It dismisses some by the right too. The document that showed George W. got special treatment when abandoning the Guard was dismissed on a technicality: not being the same exact document. Despite having the same words on it, according to the secretary on whose desk it sat. That was wrong. But should George have been forced to testify regarding the contents of that document? Now that; despite my natural inclination, I disagree with, As much as I was not a fan: self incrimination.
Back to OJ.
I know: someone who lectured other blacks, hung around physically and philosophical with right wing cranks, unfortunately has been called a “house…” probably deserves what he gets… not to mention the murders. There sure are a lot of public people, and especially public servants, I feel that way about, even what might call murders. (Couldn’t creating a war for personal gain be considered murder in any fair world?)
In OJ’s case the prosecution royally botched the case. As horrific as it may be, the system worked. It didn’t work well, but I put that squarely on the prosecution’s crap laden table.
But we got him. After breaking in and then how many rape accusations?
Then we got un-got him.
He claimed all consensual. Yeah, I don’t believe that either. But you can’t have a justice system where the lawyers make deals then go back on them. That would be a unjust justice system. We have too much of that already. The real problem here is not one jackass getting off, but all the peons who are tricked, are forced in some devious ways, to implicate themselves. Even if they didn’t actually do what they have just implicated themselves in.
Given that dynamic juries convict the innocent even more than they already do.
Let’s not lose track of the fact not being forced to incriminate oneself should always be cause for dismissal. Not because of OJ. For us peons.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years, first published in fall of 1972. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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