October 3, 1995
Web posted at: 8:45 p.m. EDT
From International Correspondent Rob Reynolds
LONDON (CNN) -- The O.J. Simpson trial was an unprecedented media sensation in the United States. It was also big news in many other parts of the world. Here is a sampling of international reaction to the verdict.
In Britain, where the Simpson case has been closely followed by the news media, news broadcasts were extended to allow live coverage of the verdict.
"I think a lot of people have looked at American society through the prism of the O.J. Simpson case, seen the racial divisions, seen the issues of access to the judicial system been helped by extreme wealth, and perhaps conclusions have been drawn about the American social system," said ITN Deputy Editor Michael Jermey.
Drinkers in a London bar watched the verdict live and passed their own verdict on U.S. justice.
"It should have been done like a normal trial," said one patron. "It shouldn't have been televised either, made a big drama out if it. It's like watching a soap."
"I think is all blown out of proportion, and it's all a big film really, made for TV," said another woman.
"It's a very bad reflection on the American justice system," said a third patron. "I think the justice system over there stinks." (145K AIFF sound or 145K WAV sound)
Barry Wigmore, a reporter for the British tabloid TODAY, told CNN that most of his countrymen believe the American justice system does not work very well. "It becomes a three-ring circus," he said. "There's more show biz than there is a search for truth and for justice." Wigmore said his paper would be running a five-page story on the verdict Wednesday under the headline, "What a Farce."
In an interview with CNN, Vittoria Zucconi, a U.S.-based columnist for the Italian newspaper La Stampa, said Italians have difficulty understanding the American justice system. "You have Susan Smith not getting the death penalty in South Carolina, the Menendez brothers walking, O.J. Simpson walking, the Rodney King beaters walking," he said. "It's incredible story for us not so much of guilt or innocence, but (of) how does the American system work or not work."
Reactions were similar in other parts of the world. In Brazil, a television commentator said, "What's really on trial is racism in the United States."
News coverage of the trial's finale Tuesday varied among countries. In Germany, the verdict led news bulletins. In Russia, state television largely ignored the story.
In Israel, there was no coverage at all, but not for lack of interest. Television and radio stations were off the air as the country observed the solemn holy day of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
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