"This trial has brought domestic violence from behind closed doors into unprecedented public scrutiny," Gandy said. "Domestic violence has been discussed in living rooms, classrooms, barrooms and board rooms across the country as never before. And if public awareness has been heightened, women may have the courage and public and judicial support to stop their abusers."
Gandy said this "trial of the century," as it has been tagged, vividly dramatizes the need for full funding of the $1.6 billion Violence Against Women Act passed last year. The act has been the subject of disproportionate budget cutting by Republicans in Congress. It provides training programs for law enforcement, judicial and administrative court personnel and funding for battered women's shelters and services.
"This case has helped change the law and change our culture," Gandy said. "By putting violence against women in the national spotlight as never before, we have a new law that may mean batterers will no longer be allowed to plea bargain for a puny sentence and a new attitude that will never again allow a celebrity abuser to be lionized by the corporate world."
Although the jury found O.J. Simpson not guilty of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, O.J. Simpson admitted that he was guilty of domestic violence. Despite this admission, O.J. Simpson was allowed to plea bargain for community service, pay a $700 fine and receive psychiatric counseling by telephone. And despite Simpson's admitted abuse, Hertz and NBC Sports signed him up for lucrative TV commercial and sports broadcasting contracts.
The trial has also exposed the racism and sexism that exists within not only the LAPD, but law enforcement agencies nationwide, Gandy said, "and that must be eradicated from our entire judicial system before real justice can be served."