The United States has undergone several past events that had a significant impact on the economy. Some of these events occurred during the last quarter of the century and included the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial, Hurricane Katrina of the year 2008 as well as the 2008 presidential election in the United States. These events had a significant impact on the social, economic, and political life of the American people. Some of the events also resulted in a redefinition of the law. The paper seeks to explore in detail the three events and their impact on the economy of the United States.
1995 O.J Simpson Trial
The Simpson trial of 1995 was a criminal trial of a famous footballer who was accused of murdering his ex-wife and her friend. It was one of the tremendous criminal prosecutions ever happened in American History. On June 12, 1994, the ex-wife of Simpson was found to have been stabbed to death together with her friend, and Simpson immediately became the core suspect of the tragedy. After being notified of the impending charges on him, Simpson did not surrender to the police. Instead, he hid behind a sport-utility vehicle. After they had got the information that Simpson had a gun, the police officers followed the car at a low speed for more than an hour. The attempted escape was captured and shown on national televisions viewed by over 95 million people. That caused many of the Simpson funs to line up on the street to support him. However, the whole drama ended when Simpson reached his home in California, where he was put under arrest and taken into Police Custody.
Simpson was then taken to court on July 22, 1994, and he claimed he was not guilty. On June 24, 1995, the trial of Simpson began where the judges declared that the domestic violence and the divorce that occurred prior in the year 1992 are the main factors that led to the murder. However, those who defended Simpson argued that the evidence had been mishandled, and police were racists. They claimed that the police who found the bloody leather glove at Simpson's house was a racist and wanted to tarnish the name of Simpson to deter him from continuing in his carrier. His defenders also urged that the gloves found could not have been for Simpson since he did not fit them. They also claimed that the police planted most of the evidences in the case. The trial took about eight months, and 150 witnesses testified during the proceedings. However, Simpson did not take the stand and dismissed all the allegations on him.
It is worth reviewing the Simpson case even ten years later since it formed a transitional moment in American history. It brought a transformation in social, racial, and legal history in America. For one to understand the legal systems in America, then Simpson's case is essential. It is difficult to understand the peoples' reactions, and that continues to affect many jurisdictions. Most courts around the world expect cases to be proved beyond any reasonable doubts. The courts nowadays suspect the testimonies given by police. Therefore, the case was of much importance to American law.
The case generated different opinions of law, and the majority came out with the impression that money can be used to compromise justice in America. However, as people may think that money can be used to compromise judgment, what money can help you do is to buy you a chance at acquiring justice, while poverty can only assure you an injustice. The money will offer you a soft ground to get justice. For instance, in the case of O.J, he had the resources he would need to fight and get justice since the policemen and the two prosecutors in the case did not have enough skills allowed O.J to win the case.
However, the challenge with the case is that the system worked, and succeeded in America. That is because it showed what the defense is capable of doing if they are allowed to use all the constitutional protections provided by the Bill of rights and other legal and statutory rules. It reveals what the defense can achieve if they have the resources to access good lawyers and other experts from various specified fields. Nonetheless, the public opposed the system. They wanted a system where the prosecution did not have to prove a case beyond any reasonable doubt. They wanted a system where the prosecutor did not have to follow constitutional requirements and is not obliged to be fair with the evidence. However, the system continued to work even though the public was against it.
Hurricane Katrina 2008 Financial Crisis
Hurricane Katrina that occurred in the year 2008 is the most disastrous that has ever happened in American History. It affected more than 93,000 square miles of land. It was a massive one that even resulted in landfall. Its maximum winds moved to 30 miles and caused the evacuation of more than 75% of the oil platforms. As a result, the production of oil dropped by a third.
The hurricane caused a considerable amount of damage leading to a loss of $125 billion. Insurance companies suffered a loss of about $80 billion. It was destructive to the extent that nearly 300,000 homes were displaced. According to the research conducted by the University of North Texas, the real cost of Katrina was $ 250 Billion. That comprises of the damages caused on the land and the economic impact of the hurricane. The American economy had improved to 4.1% in the third quarter. However, the economy dropped to about 1.7% in the last quarter. That is due to the stop in the production of goods in the area affected by the hurricane.
Katrina affected about 19% of the oil production sites in the United States, including the 113 oil found along the offshores, and oil gas pipelines that were destroyed by the hurricanes. As a result, the price of oil increased to over $70 per barrel. Consequently, the price of gas also increased to over 3 dollars per gallon. Therefore, the effect of Katrina was mostly felt in the price of oil.
The most significant impact of Katrina was on people and animals. More than 770,000 people from their homes. That was the most significant displacement of people ever experienced in the United States. It was a more massive displacement than the one caused by the dust blow migration. Consequently, Katrina also resulted in the death of about 1833 in the United States, with old age being the majority. It is reported that more than half of the people who died during the tragedy were age 60 years and above. Besides, most of the bodies were never claimed after the disaster.
In November 2008, after a campaign period that lasted for about two years, Americans went to the ballot to elect their 44th president. It was a historic event since it was the first time in history that Americans chose an African to be their president. Besides, he was the first sitting senator to have won the presidential election in the U.S. since 1960 when John Kennedy was elected. It was also the American election that registered the highest voter turnout in American History.
The election also resulted in a financial crisis that affected the country, especially in September, when the world markets suffered significant losses. As a result, the government was forced to give several emergency loans to help improve the economic status of the American natives. It forced the government to come up with an emergency economic stabilization Act that helped top avoid collapsing of the economy.
The campaign of the presidential election generated suspicions sin; it was one that involved the highest number of registered voters. However, McCain complained that additional voters were illegally registered. That forced McCain to move around the country, holding meetings to criticize Obama's candidature. However, Obama continued to hold more rallies that attracted the highest number of attendance.
The election was also historic as it clearly showed that Americans were moving from racial politics to one that accommodated all the races in the world. Before President Obama was elected, it had never been imagined that an African could hold such a senior position in the United States. Many people anticipated that Obama would fail in elections since he was an African. It was expected that only whites could contest and win elections in the United States. However, after the election, everything changed since Americans did not vote based on the racial line, but based on ideologies.
Most commentators perceived the 2008 presidential election marked the end of racism in America. Most people also regarded the election as the beginning of the post-racial era, where racism has limited influence or consequences. Obama's victory also marked the beginning of political equality. Therefore, it means that every individual has the right to campaign and participate in the presidential election in the United States, provided one is an American citizen.
Generally, the event marked a significant era in American History. For instance, the Simpson trial changed how people perceived law. After his trial, it was realized that one has to provide substantial evidence and convince the judiciary beyond any reasonable doubts to win a case. Hurricane Katrina, on the other hand, resulted in an economic crisis. Oil mining areas were affected by the hurricanes making the production of oil products to drop significantly. Finally, the election of President Barack Obama also marked the end of an era. It marked the end of racism in the nation.
Deryugina, Tatyana, Laura Kawano, and Steven Levitt. "The economic impact of hurricane Katrina on its victims: evidence from individual tax returns." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 10, no. 2 (2018): 202-33. https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/app.20160307
Marks, Patrice Williams. My Life During the OJ Simpson Trial. Circa Publishing, 2016. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Sm3uCwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT3&dq=O.J+Simpson+trial&ots=dGqeP9Q_wb&sig=aId6cmbY-C-av_ppaCle_mBBbQA
Basana, Sautma Ronni. "Effect of 2008 and 2016 U.S. Presidential Election in the Indonesian Stock Market." PhD diss., Petra Christian University, 2017. http://repository.petra.ac.id/17654/
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