1. Further explore this assignment by adding an additional TWO academic resources and TWO public criminology resources to those you used in the written assignment. This means that for this presentation you will be drawing upon eight total resources (four you already used in the written assignment and four new ones that you’ll add for this assignment).
2. The additional resources should change / enhance your analysis beyond what you provided in the written assignment.
3. Develop your presentation to accomplish the following:
· Summarizing the findings of the resources you use relevant to the topic of the assignment.
· Describe and assess the topic you’ve chosen — provide more detail on your topic than is provided in the documentary, and explain how your analysis and research helps the viewer to better understand what has been covered as of now.
O.J Made in America Episode 5 Analysis
O.J: Made in America is a documentary that starts with a “verdict” and concludes with an incredible display of contradictions that are both sorrowful and parodic and, in the end, deeply tragic. The title of the episode finale itself is “the verdict is in”. The jury finally gives their judgment and closes the case. In the O.J Simpson trial, one of the lead detectives stake the stand, “Tom Lang,” and his partner have every decision they made scrutinized by the defense down to the very smallest of the details. It is a grueling cross-examination accusing the detectives of their sloppy police work. In this episode, the director, “Ezra Edelman,” tracked O.J from slums to the pinnacles of stardom, and also from a case of brutal murder and the grueling case that was seen as a very perplexing folly. These felonies placed him in Nevada in the “correction facility”. But the story has all of its twists and turns, which makes it a very dramatic and much-highlighted case. The documentary, most importantly, leaves its audience with an impression that the verdict that was called in on O.J Simpson did not change the cause.
It highlights how O.J’s determination and his hard work, along with his abilities, took him from the slums and poor areas to the white-collar society among the stardom and popular people. Being black was a tough journey, but he managed to make his way into the elite society of the country. But when he stood the trial, he became an outcast among the same white-collar people who were mostly white or white Americans. He also became a ray of hope” for all the black people living in the United States. Previously, most of the legal systems and cases were seen to be rigged when it came to black people, and the cases have been stacked against them. But during the trial and till the last verdict and everything that he worked for with his skills and abilities was dependent on the legal system and the decisions that would be made for him. (de Maria, 2016) The 5th episode begins with the world-famous “not guilty” verdict, which ripped the historical lines that existed in the United States regarding race. And this verdict was heavily seen dependent on it. The verdict, the decisions, and the case were seen to be having no impact on the differences and racial challenges the society was facing. Instead of going towards the right path and trying to remove these racial differences between black and white people, it deepened them (Scott, 2016). The differences were seen as growing on both sides because of the case. It highlights how the judges took just a few hours to give their verdict and to give their judgment.
This is examined on a deeper level. This was a much-hyped and famous case that troubled everyone; everyone wanted to hear the verdict and produced a national surge of adrenaline. It was obvious, and everyone thought that he was guilty, but it took rather a different turn. Everyone in the court was strictly asked to remain silent to not say a word or a sound but to hear the verdict. It was an out-of-body experience for everyone, and everyone was astounded. In the episode, all the characters were played really well; it was as if everything was real. The importance of the verdict was shown when everything in the country stopped, the long-distance telephone calls stopped, and even the stock exchange market stopped because people wanted to hear the verdict. O.J was not guilty of the murder, and every judge announced their verdict. It highlighted the differences that existed among people. It essentially changed the beliefs of people that have cast doubt on the concept of their justice system, and it became an event that more than any other recent event of history, measured the difference between being black and white in America.
The case was about the homicidal murders of Simpson and Nicole. Nicole was married to a man who was black, raised to stardom, and was a famous athlete, warren Thal James Simpson. However, he was not present at the crime scene, and it was said that he was not linked to their deaths but was handcuffed and taken by the police in custody (Tobias, 2016). Then it became a mega-media story. Simpson was considered a fugitive; he was running from the police in the United States and was also cheered by many people. Everyone was hooked on this case. Everything came together on the case, race, celebrity, beauty, wealth, and perjury. But O.J ped not guilty, and the trial went wall-to-wall on media. Because of all the weight and burden the case carried, it was very important not only for the O.J but also for the people and the differences that were seen in the society. The verdict narrowed these differences and has helped in healing them. Form the deadly menace of racial and ethical differences. Confesses to expecting the jury panel would concur that O.J. was clearly guilty; on the day of the trial, he was stunned by how profoundly the case touched into national, racial grief. The weight this case carried was bigger than anyone. This episode and the verdict that was shown shows, however, it impacted, and its aftermath had been. It revealed a number of hard facts and realities regarding the condition of the racial differences and the racial relations in the United States as well as how far the state needs to go to overcome these issues as they were and still are somehow embedded in the roots that need to be rooted out.
Even after the verdict, he was not anymore accepted in the white-collar and elite of the society because of the case. Instead, he went back to his roots and his background, where he was accepted with open arms by the people. They embraced him and looked after him. All his wealth, fame, and stardom were taken away, but he was still cheered by his community and black people. Even though most of them admitted that he did it, the detectives that were on the case and the evidence they gave made everyone believe that he was the one who committed the murder, but the case was never about the murder when it started gaining such a highlight and spotlight (Lasitter, 1996; Tobias, 2016). It started turning into a trial that was more about the system. The system that has treated black people unfairly in history. Black people believed the system had been against them for years and that the racism was systematic, so the case had caught a different twist rather than the O.J Simpson’s murder. It caught this much importance also because it was about a black man killing or murdering a white woman. It had an incredible divide in the country but especially in Los Angeles. African Americans were on one side while the white-American were on the other side. And when the verdict was called, whether many of the black people believed he was guilty or not, but a black man had won the case. Despite all the facts that were going against him, still, the case was given to him because black people believed they had never won the case in the legal system or the court.
At the end of the episode, O.J Simpson said to people, “Please remember me as the Juice. Please remember me as a good guy. Please.” But the director gave Made in America the twist. The verdict changed nothing at all; it had no long-run impact on society. It is seen as a form of injustice that was done to the family of Nicole and Simpson. It did not bring any change to systematic and institutional racism. People are reminded thereafter of the impact media and the hype it can cause. The case more than a systematic issue can be seen as a “Status Shield” (Perloff, 2016). In the aftermath, the jury was also framed in every type of stereotype. They were called ignorant and bore every kind of stereotype that society called upon them. In the episode, the characters showed that the white community of the United States took the verdict personally in a way that any other case can affect them. The juries could be seen under the burden that the law enforcement agencies the legal system were never true to black people (Lasitter, 1996). That burden had caused them to take verdict in favor of Thal James Simpson. The jury can be seen as sincere to the people of the United States, but their verdict changed nothing. This was a legitimation of pent-up racism that Americans had to have a whole back since the 1950s. And this racism is still embedded in the system and institutions in every form today. O.J Made in America” makes the society stand in front of a mirror to look at their reflection and to understand the problems that are embedded in the society. It serves its point and is directed beautifully and has done justice to the story.
Scott, A. O. (2016, May 19). Review: ‘O.J.: Made in America,’ an Unflinching Take on His Rise and Fall. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/20/movies/oj-made-in-america-review.html
de Maria, M. (2016, June 19). O.J.: Made In America Episode 5 Recap. Refinery29. https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2016/06/114315/oj-simpson-made-in-america-episode-5-tv-recap
Tobias, S. (2016, June 19). O.J.: Made in America Finale Recap: The Verdict Is In. Vulture. https://www.vulture.com/2016/06/oj-made-in-america-recap-season-1-episode-5.html
Perloff, M. (2016). Hey, there goes OJ: A study of money and power, racial conflict and injustice in the Los Angeles of the past half-century. TLS. Times Literary Supplement, (5919), 18-20.
Lassitter, C. (1996). The OJ Simpson Verdict: A Lesson in Black and White. Mich. J. Race & L., 1, 69.