OJ proves rule about winning in the court of law

September 18, 2007

There was considerable discussion on tv about OJ Simpson’s new arrest and problems and why Americans were responding to this with some level of smug satisfaction. One pointed out that he has successfully evaded responsibility in most of his life.

There is little doubt that most American’s consider him a killer despite the innocent verdict. Of course, the civil case that found him legally liable is some basis for this, but the real reason for this guilty verdict is his continual series of trials in the court of public opinion. These he has consistently lost, including the coverage of the trial that freed him from the murder charge.

The lesson for crisis communicators and issue managers is clear–here is one of the most clear cut cases available that there is a vast difference between the court of law and the court of public opinion. OJ certainly would rather win in the court of law because it avoided life in prison or worse. But to live in the prison of eternal public judgment is no picnic either. Companies, celebrities and organizations need to pay more attention to the court of public opinion than they traditionally have.

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2 Responses to “OJ proves rule about winning in the court of law”

  1. Econo-Girl Says:

    The smugness is a shame since OJ seems to have been ripped off by some sleaze.

    I would think the value of a judicial system would be its insulating power against the court of public opinion, which is often wrong. That would also be the value of a civilization.

  2. Stacey Says:

    I’m sorry, but you think that OJ was ripped off? I believe that guy obtained OJ’s junk by legal means. I believe he bought them and legally had the right to own them. Just because the stuff used to belong to OJ, does not mean that he eternally has the right to them. That’s as absurd as claiming that you still have the right to a car you sold to someone else.


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