O. J. Case Offers Much Food For Thought

Although many points in the editorial ``O. J., `This Lost Person,' '' June 22, are well taken, I find the main theme troubling. I too deplore the ``mindless celebrity mentality'' and the ``perverse jeering quality'' in some commentary. However, the editorial validates the following line of reasoning, which is an obstacle to dealing with domestic violence: Because Mr. Simpson was well-liked and respected by teammates, friends, and colleagues for real reasons, this must be the ``real'' person. How could such a charming, nice, successful person be doing terrible things to those closest to him? This thinking makes it difficult for both society and individuals to deal with the ugly problems underneath.

Evidently the judge in the 1989 case, in which Simpson pleaded no contest to beating his wife so badly that she was hospitalized, couldn't believe such a ``nice'' person was much of a threat, and allowed Simpson to have counselling by phone with the therapist of his choice. According to professionals, perpetrators should never be allowed to design their treatment.

The editorial cites Simpson's plea to protect his children as evidence of the ``real O. J.'' This is one statement in a self-serving note that overall is a classic example of a batterer's mentality. He minimizes the problem and ducks responsibility for his actions. Where was this concern for his children when he beat up and allegedly murdered their mother?

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Those of us who don't live with violence must be sensitive to beliefs that make it more difficult for those who do. Focusing on the good in a personality is helpful for motivation toward good behavior, but unhelpful when it adds to incredulity about a serious problem. Joan Sanders, Flossmoor, Ill.

O. J. Case Offers Much Food For Thought

Congratulations on your level-headed, unsensationalized editorial. I find it refreshing that the Monitor was able to simply report the information in a calm, responsible way.

I have been shocked by two examples of attempts to prejudice O. J. Simpson's case. The first was when a microphone was taped to the top of the defense table on June 21. Communications between attorney and client are absolutely privileged, and I am appalled at the stupidity of such an action.

Another example is the release of a tape allegedly between Nicole Simpson and the Los Angeles County Police Department. It was reported that Mr. Simpson could be heard in the background screaming obscenities. That tape was evidence, and should never have been released to the public.

It would not be surprising if Simpson's attorney moves the court for a change of venue. It may be almost impossible to find enough jurors who still have the needed objectivity to give Simpson a fair trial. Jennifer Wentz, Cupertino, Calif.

O. J. Case Offers Much Food For Thought

The article ``Show-Biz Flair in Simpson Arrest Leaves L.A. Looking For Meaning,'' June 20, about the extensive numbers of viewers watching the Simpson chase on television, overlooked one major contributing factor to this phenomenon. The greater Los Angeles area had no choice in what we watched. All the networks and their affiliates were broadcasting the same live coverage.

We believe our freedom of choice has been taken away by the media's intrusive coverage. We subscribe to cable and have two news channels available if we wish to watch the news 24 hours a day. However, we should not be denied access to other programs. Naturally, we took the only alternative left and turned the TV off. Howard Soice, Linda-Joy Soice, Mission Viejo, Calif.

O. J. Case Offers Much Food For Thought

I heartily cheer your objective and sane coverage of the O. J. Simpson affair. In England the media are not allowed at the crime scene and are prevented from discussing details of the case until such time as it is practicable and safe. Let me recommend a similar leash on our media with regard to crime, fair trial, and punishment.

I would not consider this a violation of human rights, because of the potential benefits. (I'd like to see members of the media who feel as I do apply self-discipline to such situations.) Unchecked speculation and irresponsible and dangerous acts resulting from morbid curiosity are not my idea of human rights. John Meyer, San Pedro, Calif.

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