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      Bought Justice: Why Some People No Longer Trust Our Legal System
      Because so many wealthy defendants seem to escape punishment for their crimes, a great many people no longer trust our courts and juries to see that justice prevails. To begin with, there was the famous case of O.J. Simpson. Most of the evidence presented in his trial for murdering his wife Nicole pointed to his guilt, but the former NFL star could afford a dream legal team headed by the very famous and expensive criminal lawyer Johnny Cochran and including the legendary defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey. Those high-price lawyers convinced a jury to acquit Simpson on all charges. Closer to home was the recent case of Richard Scrushy. Attorney Donald Watkins, who headed Scrushy's defense team, has been lawyering so successfully for so many years that he is rich enough to make serious bids to buy NFL or NBA franchises. When Watkins got through in court, we were stunned to see the jury rule that Scrushy had done absolutely nothing wrong; so the former head of Health South walked away from his multi-million dollar fraud case with no punishment at all. The most disturbing case of this sort was, of course, the Michael Jackson case. The super-rich rock star brought a very expensive legal team into his recent trial on child abuse charges, and -- even though Jackson is a creepy guy with a history of being accused of child abuse and even though the prosecution presented tons of evidence to show Jackson had been guilty of some quite perverted conduct -- the expensive lawyers got Jackson off with zero punishment. Apparently Jackson is wealthy enough to safely abuse little boys, Scrushy has enough money to rip off his stock-holders for milllions of dollars and go unpunished, and O.J. can carve his wife to death with a Rambo knife and count on his NFL and movie money to buy him a brilliant attorney to bamboozle the court and the jury into letting him off scot-free. It's no wonder some of us no longer trust courts and juries to do the right thing.