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What Is the Difference?

The Code of Hammurabi was one the first code of laws to surface in the premodern world, and many would say the way of law has changed drastically since then. The case with OJ Simpson is a prime example of how we can relate Code of Hammurabi to today’s present culture however. While OJ Simpson controversy happened a while back, it is still relevant because it shows the lack of change throughout the years. It may seem like we have come a long way from the Code of Hammurabi, and in many ways we have, but the uncanny similarities between the two cannot be ignored.

 Just as the Code distinguished the difference in treatment between a higher and lower class, “If a man destroy the eye of another man, they shall destroy his eye…If one destroy the eye of a man’s slave or break a bone of a man’s slave he shall pay on-half his price.” (Code of Hammurabi). In the trial of OJ Simpson, he was not found guilty of the murder charges, that had substancial evidence to believe it was he who did it. Many speculated that, due to his high class, celebrity status, he was treated as though he was above the law. In many aspects, this is what started the conversation in bringing change to the court system. On October 8, 1995, after the verdict was given and the world found out that OJ Simpson would not be going to jail for his alleged crime, “some 2,000 people marched through the Brentwood are of LA to protest Simpson’s acquittal.” Other contributing factors to this injustice, was the court’s way of undoing the mistake it had made by giving a harsh punishment for something small. 

Simpson was accused of robbing a sports memorabilia dealer in Las Vegas. This man testified against him, and Simpson admitted to taking the items but not breaking into the dealer’s hotel room. On October 3, 2008, which was 13 years after he was acquitted of the murders for his ex-wife, and a man by the name of Ronald Goldman, Simpson was found guilty of the charges brought up against him. On December 5, 2008, Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison. The facts of the murder case spoke for themselves, but because he was a former NFL player, a broadcaster, and actor, Simpson was able to get away with what he did. To compensate for this mistake, after receiving so much backlash, the court gave him the highest punishment they could for a robbery. This piece of the OJ Simpson case is what relates our court system/ laws to that of the Code of Hammurabi. If we cannot keep everyone accountable equally, than we are no better than the unfair codes of the premodern time.

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