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October 3
[ 2006-10-03 08:00 ]

October 3

OJ: "absolutely, 100% not guilty"
1995: OJ Simpson verdict: 'Not guilty'

England have

OJ Simpson has been found not guilty of the murders of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman.

The jury took less than four hours to reach a unanimous decision in the trial that has gripped America for an entire year.

Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were stabbed to death outside her Brentwood townhouse on June 12 1994.

Former black American football star Simpson was arrested soon after the killings but insisted from the start he was "absolutely, 100% not guilty".

Judge Lance Ito ordered OJ Simpson be released "forthwith" ending 473 days in custody.

In a statement, Jason Simpson expressed his father's relief that "this part of the incredible nightmare that occurred is over".

Orenthal James Simpson's fate has become essential television viewing for the American public ever since 95 million Americans watched police give chase to his white Ford Bronco on the day of his arrest.

Prosecuting lawyers produced evidence such as a pair of gloves - one found at the crime scene, the other at OJ's apartment - and emphasised OJ Simpson's violent relationship with his ex-wife.

The defence criticised the integrity of the Los Angeles Police Department, and the authenticity of their evidence.

Summing up, defence lawyer Johnnie Cochran alluded to an institutional racism which the jury had the power to redress.

"Maybe you are the right people at the right time in the right place to say: 'No more'," he said.

There had been fears a guilty verdict would spark repeat performances of the violent LA riots of 1992 after the acquittal of four police officers, filmed beating a black motorist.

But as the verdicts were returned, the crowd cheered so enthusiastically mounted police officers struggled to control their horses.

The prosecution admitted they were profoundly disappointed with the verdict.

Chief prosecutor Gill Garcetti said: "Don't look at this case as being how most cases are handled. Juries do the right thing - nearly all the time."

Members of the victims' families were distraught: Fred Goldman, father of Ronald Goldman, said the day of his son's murder was the worst day of his life, and today was the second.

"I deeply believe that this country lost today. Justice was not served," he said.

Johnnie Cochran dismissed claims that his counsel had 'played the race card'.

"We choose to call it the credibility card," he said.

The pitch invaders didn't stop the touring side from winning

1979: Anti-racists tackle South African rugby tourists

Artificially 1969: FilmTheTheAA   Seven people have been arrested for invading the pitch in the South African Barbarian's opening game against Devon.

But although several thousand anti-apartheid campaigners were expected to converge on Exeter in protest against the rugby tour, the final turnout did not number more than 300.

After beating Devon in a match that suffered little disruption, the touring side then received a standing ovation from a 2000-strong crowd.

The 24-strong rugby squad has been at the centre of a sporting controversy since it was invited to tour Britain and Ireland by the rugby Home Unions Committee.

While the Barbarian 'Quaggas' are multi-racial, consisting of black, white, Asian and mixed race players, critics say such tours are just window dressing.

Peter Hain, chairing the Stop All Racist Tours Campaign, has accused the rugby authorities of trying to "hoodwink" the public.

He said: "Rugby in South Africa is still being organised on an openly racial basis with only a few black stooge players decorating international touring sides."

In the lead-up to the tour both the Sports Council and government have called for the invitation to be withdrawn.

The British Government supports the 1977 Gleneagles Agreement which discourages Commonwealth countries from any sporting links with South Africa.

It has also raised concerns that the tour will damage Zimbabwe-Rhodesia negotiations and ultimately lead to Britain's expulsion from next year's Moscow Olympics.

But a statement by the Home Unions in response to the Government's position has defended its decision to allow the tour to go ahead.

It argues there have been positive changes in South African rugby since 1977 because of the effectiveness of its policy of continuing contact.

And speaking before today's match, Devon skipper John Lockyer stressed that because the South African side was a multi-racial team he saw it is a breakthrough for South African sport.

He added: "We're being criticised for playing against the South Africans, yet nobody seems to condemn the staging of the Olympic Games in a repressive country like Russia."


unanimous: in complete agreement(无异议的)

acquittal :a judgment of not guilty(宣判无罪)

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