In the midst of the publicity about O.J. Simpson’s arrest and arraignment for the murder of his ex-wife, I’d like to ask the reader to contemplate a different scenario. How would the public have reacted if Nicole Brown Simpson had murdered her ex-husband? After nine calls to the police for incidents of domestic violence, culminating in a beating that hospitalized her but resulted in no jail time or long-term abuse counseling for O.J., what if she had shot him to death the next time he came to her house and became angry or threatening toward her?
Consider the extreme power disparity between the antagonists in this drama. Consider the message communicated by repeated calls to the police which resulted in no effective deterrent. Consider the impact of O.J.’s statement to the police (contained in the 1989 police report) that “This is a family matter. Why do you want to make a big deal of it?”- and the despair engendered by the failure of the legal system to protect her.