Mary Ann Easterling said of her late husband, former NFL safety Ray Easterling, “It amazed me to think about what he dealt with every day inside his head”. Ray played with the Atlanta Falcons and helped the team set records that have yet to be broken. Remembered for giving his all on the field, Ray played through injuries and concussions until the threat of paralysis forced him to retire. Due to the repetitive trauma inflicted on Easterling’s brain he suffered from insomnia which led to depression. After retiring he also displayed uncharacteristic behavior such as lack of organization, fits of anger, and episodes of dementia.
Mary Ann Easterling recognized that the erratic behavior displayed by her husband correlated with the symptoms of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a disease discovered by doctor Bennet Omalu in 2002; after he committed suicide Easterling had her husband’s brain analyzed. Ray’s brain exhibited severe damage caused by CTE, which resulted in an inability to control his behavior and emotions. According to the Bennet Omalu foundation, “Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease that afflicts the brain of people who have suffered repeated concussions and traumatic brain injuries.
The foundation also explains, “As CTE progresses, it can cause memory loss, impulsive and erratic behavior, difficulty with balance, impaired judgment, and behavioral disturbances including aggression, depression, and increased suicidality. ” The disease, which can only be indefinitely diagnosed postmortem, has affected many especially those who participate in contact sports. When asked whether he thought OJ Simpson suffered from CTE Omalu stated “I would bet my medical license on it”.
The tell-tale behavioral symptoms displayed by Simpson are the basis of Omalu’s confidence; such symptoms include, “explosive, impulsive behavior, impaired udgment, criminality and even mood disorders”. In the 1994 controversial court case of Orenthal James Simpson, also known as OJ Simpson, the jury justifiably acquitted the defendant because despite evidence convicting him of the crime Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy impaired his mental capacity. Evidence places OJ Simpson at the scene of the murder. Forensic evidence convicts Orenthal J. Simpson of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. During their investigation, police uncovered a plethora of incriminating evidence against Simpson.
According to an article published by USA Today, “blood drops were found alongside bloody shoe prints leading away from the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman; blood was found on a gate at the back of the murder scene condominium; blood from both places contained Simpson’s genetic markers. Simpson had a cut on his left middle finger when interviewed by police the day after the killings”. The cut on his finger and droplets of his blood throughout the crime scene indicate that OJ Simpson murdered both Nicole Simpson as well as Ronald Goldman. In addition to forensic evidence, print and trace evidence also profess Simpson’s guilt.
Bloody shoe prints were documented at the crime scene and according to an analysis by Douglas O. Linder, a professor of law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), “shoe prints found at Bundy [Nicole Brown Simpson’s residence, where the murders took place] were from a size 12 Bruno Magli shoe,” Linder also acknowledges that “the bloody shoe impression on the Bronco [Orenthal James Simpson’s vehicle] carpet is consistent with a Magli shoe” he goes on to explain that Simpson wore a size 12 shoe. FBI analyst Douglas Deedrick testifies that hair found on Goldman’s shirt matched Simpson’s, providing trace evidence for Oj’s guilt.
Both print evidence and trace evidence prove that OJ killed his ex-wife as well as Goldman and used his Ford Bronco to flee the scene of the crime. Finally, law enforcement uncovered a bloody glove at Oj’s residence which matched the single glove found at the scene of the murder. The leather gloves were covered with blood which according to expert testimony given at the trial, recounted by an article published in USA Today, “DNA tests showed blood on glove found on Simpson’s property appeared to contain genetic markers of Simpson and both victims”.
The defense team, however, challenged this evidence when they asked Simpson to try the gloves on during the infamous trial. The gloves covered his hands but were visibly small, however as the prosecution pointed out shrinkage would occur after being soaked in blood. Taking into account shrinkage of the gloves due to being soaked in blood makes OJ Simpson’s guilt of committing double homicide clear. All evidence provided in the case reveals Orenthal J. Simpson to be the perpetrator.
Further solidifying the legitimacy of forensic evidence, testimonies given by OJ and his former friends and coworkers suggest his guilt. Limousine driver, Allan Park, served as a witness during the trial, discounting Oj’s alibi. According to an article published in the New York Times Allen Park testified, “in three drives up and down Mr. Simpson’s block of North Rockingham Avenue, at a time when prosecutors say he killed two people and Mr. Simpson insists he was home, the driver never saw Mr. Simpson’s white Ford Bronco parked on the street”.
Park’s testimony critically damages Oj’s alibi. Contradicting the witness’ statement, OJ continued to assert that he resided inside his home sleeping during the time of Nicole and Ron’s murders. Park also claims that “at 10:56 P. M. , after buzzing several times and getting no response, he saw a black person, approximately 6 feet tall, weighing 200 pounds and wearing dark clothing, walking briskly toward, then entering the largely unlit house”. Park saw Simpson enter his house after the murders of Brown Simpson and Goldman which occurred at an approximate 10:15 pm.
Simpson’s lie about his location on the night of the murder combined with aforementioned DNA and print evidence convict Simpson of the murders. Input from Simpson’s former agent, Mike Gilbert, also attests to Oj’s guilt. When asked what he did when he found out about the murder of Brown Simpson and Goldman in an interview with Greta Van Susteren, Gilbert confessed, “The first thing I said oddly enough was, ‘he finally did it”. Gilbert explains the time leading up to the murder inspired his reaction, stating “Oj had been very dark and very gloomy and very depressing to be around, which is very unusual for OJ”.
One of the more shocking responses during the interview came after Van Susteren asked Gilbert whether he had any doubts that Simpson murdered Nicole and Ron to which he replied, “Absolutely none”. Mike Gilbert, Simpson’s friend and former manager, states that he believes Simpson murdered his ex-wife as well as her friend. Finally, OJ reportedly admitted to murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. When asked whether Orenthal J. Simspon ever admitted to brutally killing Nicole and Ron, close friend and former manager Mike Gilbert stated, “Initially we all gave him the benefit.
But it was during the prelim that OJ came back into the attorney room and he was sitting there in the LA County Jail and he was bawling. He was just absolutely beside himself. He said you know Mike I believe in DNA and I believe in the science of DNA and I look at this cut on my hand and he said I know had to have done it. But if I did it wouldn’t I know, wouldn’t remember. ” Oj’s confession to the murders once again proves his guilt, and also undermines the stability of his mental health.
In addition to ample forensic evidence condemning Simpson, the testimonies of witnesses, confidants, and Simpson himself demonstrate OJ’s guilt. A victim of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, OJ Simpson should be found not guilty by reason of insanity. Accounts by those around Simpson leading up to the murders suggest that Simpson suffers from CTE. Friend and former agent Mike Gilbert who had frequent contact with Simpson explains, “month leading up to June 12th Oj had been very dark and very gloomy and very depressing to be around, which is very unusual for OJ. Gilbert also admitted in regards to Simpson, “everything about him, his voice and his mannerisms, were completely different. ” According to the Dr. Bennet Omalu Foundation, as CTE progresses, it can cause “behavioral disturbances including aggression, depression, and increased suicidality”. Mike Gilbert’s account of Simpson’s change in personality presents evidence that he suffers from CTE. Expert testimony also attests that Orenthal Simpson suffers from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.
According to an article published by ABC News, “the renowned doctor whose discovery of a degenerative brain disease in football players inspired a hit movie says he believes O. J. Simpson may be suffering from the disease – known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. ” Dr. Bennet Omalu plainly stated “I would bet my medical license on it [that Simpson suffers from CTE)”. In addition to the apparent symptoms, the well renowned Dr. Bennet Omalu’s testimony serves as evidence that Simpson suffers from CTE.
Due to his diminished capacity, brought on by Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, Simpson should be considered not guilty by reason of insanity. According to the Dr. Bennet Omalu Foundation, “The brain of an individual who suffers from CTE gradually deteriorates and begins to lose mass. Brain trauma can also cause the accumulation of a type of protein called tau, which significantly interferes with brain function. As CTE progresses, it can cause memory loss, impulsive and erratic behavior, difficulty with balance, impaired judgment, and behavioral disturbances including aggression, depression, and increased suicidality”.
Because the disease causes the manifestation of these symptoms the person which the disease affects cannot reasonably be held accountable for their actions. According to an article produced by Cornell Law the court established the insanity plea because “on the one hand, society believes that criminals should be punished for their crimes; on the other hand, society believes that people who are ill should receive treatment for their illness.
The insanity defense is the compromise: basically, it reflects society’s belief that the law hould not punish defendants who are mentally incapable of controlling their conduct”. Because Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy damages the brain and interferes with mental processes the disease renders its victims unable to control their actions. Despite his undeniable guilt in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, due to the mental illness he suffered from OJ Simpson should be considered not guilty by reason of insanity and should be given treatment for his condition.
Despite his evident guilt, because Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy mentally incapacitated him, the jury justly exonerated defendant Orenthal James Simpson in the 1994 controversial court case. Establishing OJ Simpson as not guilty by reason of insanity in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman allows the families of the victims to find peace in knowing that the perpetrator no longer lingers among the general public.
OJ Simpson should be placed in an institution where he can be monitored and cared for as he lives out the rest of his life. This resolution allows Simpson to receive the help he desperately needs as well as ensuring the safety of those whom Simpson could hurt if he lashed out again. Renowned for his talent in football, Orenthal James Simpson broke numerous records and received the Heisman Trophy, however at what cost did he acquire his fame?
Bennet Omalu acknowledged “he was exposed to thousands of blunt force trauma of his brain”, damage which Omalu believes resulted in Simpson’s development of CTE. As a society, Americans should recognize and raise awareness of the dangers of repetitive head trauma, associated with contact sports such as football. Emphasizing the dangers of head trauma will help ensure that family members such as Mary Ann Easterling will no longer have to gawk, “It amazed me to think about what he dealt with every day inside his head” after losing a loved one to CTE.