This is not a new phenomenon: real-life crimes always have inspired true crime narratives and fictional accounts. But since the late 20th century, this has occurred more quickly, with greater frequency — often before a trial has even ended. According to criminologist Gregg Barak , the O. Meanwhile, reactions to the verdict largely fell along racial lines.
O.J. Simpson's return: what we've learned in the 20 years since the trial of the century
Throngs of white Americans responded with shock, dismay — even anger — while crowds of black Americans responded with elation. A historical analysis of the links between a late 19th-century murder case involving a white, upper-class woman and the O. Simpson trial — with each accused of double murders — offers an opportunity to explore the intersections of race, class and gender in popular crime narratives. In August , Andrew Borden, a wealthy businessman, and Abby, his second wife, were hacked to death in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts.
Accused of killing her father and hated stepmother, their year-old daughter Lizzie Borden was the subject of exhaustive media coverage. A century before O. Like the Simpson case, the legal strategies of the prosecutor and the Borden defense team were subjected to much media scrutiny.
Most of the evidence against Lizzie Borden was circumstantial; in the end, Borden was acquitted by an all-male jury that may have found it difficult to believe a respectable spinster could commit such a horrific crime. Yet Lizzie Borden was never able to escape the stigma of having been accused of murder. Upon being set free, she found herself ostracized by former friends. Like Borden, Simpson was able to use his class and wealth to his advantage.
But he was also excoriated during — and after — his trial. By the s, Simpson seemed to have done just that.
A middle-aged O. Despite some incidents of domestic violence, Simpson had been able to maintain this genial reputation — until he was accused of the murder of his white ex-wife and her friend. The horrific nature of the crimes made it unlikely that he would survive with his reputation untarnished.
However, with the accusation race became a factor.
Different Reactions To O.J. Simpson Verdict Shows How Racist America Really Is
Shah — Oxford, Aberdeenshire. Simpson's acquittal and notes a divide along the lines of race and class. Racism , Verdict , Reactions , O. Verdict Highlights Racial and Economic Divide. NBC Nightly News.
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Simpson trial was like a long, electronic who-dunnit novel with the country turning every page at the same time, right to the end. Today, the page with the verdict on it, and America was watching.
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In New York City, a power surge as the verdict came, the equivalent to , televisions turning on at once. Across the country, a surge of human reactions. But wild celebration at Howard Law School in the nation's capital. Unidentified Man 1: Johnnie Cochran, especially, did a tremendous job of putting a reasonable doubt in the jury's mind.
O'NEIL: From a shelter for battered women in Chicago, a surprising reaction: cheering his innocence but worrying the verdict sends the wrong message about spousal abuse. Unidentified Woman 1: You know, as they see that O.
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