oa De Rebus - What is truth? Pontius Pilate, OJ Simpson and proving guilt under a supreme Bill of Rights

Volume 1997, Issue 357
  • ISSN : 0250-0329



While the trial of Jesus Christ may not have enjoyed the same television coverage as that of OJ Simpson, both have captured the collective imagination. The accused in the former did not enjoy the protection of a justifiable Bill of Rights. However he was afforded rudimentary rules of natural justice and a trier of fact and Jaw who sought a rational, if not fair, outcome. In both trials the truth was an issue yet the outcome different. Pilate showed concern for the truth yet other factors may have intervened for him to enter a verdict of guilty against Christ. In the case of OJ Simpson different factors may have intervened to subordinate the discovery of the truth, an aim stressed particularly by the prosecution. Indeed in her argument to exclude the evidence that detective Mark Fuhrman had perjured himself by denying his use of the 'N' word, OJ Simpson's prime accuser, Marcia Clark, declared: 'This is a search for the truth. but it's a search for the truth of who committed these murders, your Honour ... � (see Alan Dershowitz Reasonable Doubts (New York: Simon and Shuster 1996) at 35).

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