CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
But this morning, O.J. Simpson was punished for other crimes: last year’s kidnapping and armed robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers at Palace Station.
After hearing a statement of remorse from Simpson, whose voice quavered as he spoke, District Judge Jackie Glass imposed a sentence that will keep the former football star behind bars between nine and 33 years."
It was of course an ironic ending, where a different trial produces a verdict so different than the one expected in the original "Trial of the Century" in 1995.
There was another case, many more years ago, which captured the nation's interest almost as much, where the nation never got the trial that many really wanted.
I'm referring of course to the unconditional pardon of Richard Nixon by Gerald Ford in 1974 for all crimes committed while he was President.
Directed by Ron Howard and adapted by Mr. Morgan, the film revisits the televised May 1977 face-off between the toothy British personality David Frost and the disgraced former president Richard M. Nixon three years after he left office, trimming their nearly 30-hour armchair-to-armchair spar into a tidy 122-minute narrative of loss and redemption that, at least from this ringside seat, would be better titled “Nixon/Frost.”
The trailer for the movie ends with one of the most dramatic Nixon quotes from the interview, "When a President does it, then it is not illegal". Watch for it here.
Now here's the original quote by Nixon from his interview with Frost; again, it comes at the 2:45 mark of this clip.
Big difference of course in how the line is delivered and portrayed.
As in the O.J. verdict that ultimately came, the payoff from the "trial" that ultimately came was anti-climactic.
Again, all this comes to mind at this time since as Mark Twain reminded us so long ago, History may not repeat itself, but it sometimes rhymes. And of course it's pardoning season again, and it is a whole new century.