by | Feb 5, 1995 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

“One good thing about the O.J. trial,” people say, “it’s teaching our kids about the justice system.”

True. Then again, why do we want to confuse them that way?

The fact is, every time the O.J. prosecution calls it blue, the defense calls it yellow. This can be very confusing to a child. I have been studying this trial all week, and have come to the conclusion that, if you were an 8-year-old, you would carefully weigh both sides, then switch to the Power Rangers.

But if you were an 8-year-old stuck watching the O.J. fiasco, your definitions — depending on which side you listened to — would now go like this: A LAWYER IS . . . Prosecution: Someone who saves the common man from criminals. Defense: Someone who saves the common man from prosecutors.

THE JUDGE IS . . . Prosecution: Mr. Sulu of Star Trek. Defense: Same. POLICE WORK IS . . . Prosecution: Endless hours investigating every possible lead, before reluctantly charging someone with a crime. Defense: Carrying around a vial of O.J. blood, looking for a good place to spill it. A CORONER IS . . . Prosecution: A medical expert who works very hard to determine cause of death. Defense: Someone you call 10 hours after a murder and say, “Hey, Sam, if you’re not busy . . .” POLICE PHOTOS ARE Prosecution: Proof of O.J.’s brutality. Defense: Bad developing by Fotomat. 911 TAPES ARE . . . Prosecution: Proof of O.J.’s brutality. Defense: Phony phone calls. BLOOD STAINS ARE . . . Prosecution: Proof of O.J.’s brutality. Defense: Something you wipe your feet on. A “GOOD” WITNESS IS . . . Prosecution: Someone who cries. Defense: Someone who used to drink. THE WORD “OBJECTION” . . . Defense: Comes every five minutes. Prosecution: Comes every two minutes. FOOTBALL MAKES YOU . . . Prosecution: An egomaniac. Defense: Too crippled to deal gin rummy. GOLF IS . . . Prosecution: A weak alibi. Defense: Something you play at 10 at night, in your backyard, with no lights on. MEDIA ARE . . . Prosecution: Disgusting, leech-like creatures who serve no purpose, except when a rumor needs to be leaked. Defense: Disgusting leech-like creatures who serve no purpose, except to make lawyers famous. ARTHRITIS IS . . . Prosecution: A pathetic alibi. Defense: A disease that renders you incapable of doing anything physical, except an exercise video.
“NICOLE . . . KNOW MADDER WHAT, I LOVE YOU” IS . . . Defense: Except from letter that shows O.J. is a good husband. Prosecution: Excerpt that shows not only was O.J. a liar, but he never went to class at USC. THE “CIRCLE OF BENEVOLENCE” IS . . . Defense: Proof of O.J.’s generosity. Prosecution: The distance O.J. could throw people out of his house. FIRST WIFE IS . . . Defense: A loving member of O.J.’s family. Prosecution: A faster runner than Nicole. BLOODY SOCKS ARE . . . Prosecution: Often left on the floor. Defense: Something police officers carry around, for just the right occasion. DNA IS . . . Prosecution: The simple molecular genetic cellular stamping informational double-helix help me chromosomal dioxrebonucleic losing me symbiotic transformixional process . . . which proves O.J. is guilty. Defense: Same as above, which proves O.J. is innocent. BARKING DOGS ARE . . . Prosecution: Proof that O.J. did it. Defense: Oh, come on!

You get the point.

So, yeah, I guess there’s some value for our kids to see courtrooms in action. Then again, they could be watching Superman cartoons in which the Man of Steel uses his X-ray vision to spot the hidden weapon and capture the evil villain.

Personally, I like that way better.


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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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