Tag Archives: OJ Simpson

O.J. out of prison … what now?

Orenthal James Simpson no longer is locked up in a Nevada prison, but he’s hardly what you’d call a “free man.”

The former college and pro football star served a nine-year prison sentence on an array of charges stemming from an altercation he had with some guys over possession of some football memorabilia.

But … then there’s that other crime with which he’ll be associated until the end of time. His former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman were stabbed to death in 1994. Simpson was the prime suspect. Police arrested him and charged him with double murder.

What ensued next was the most overexposed, overcovered and overhyped trial of the 20th century. Jurors heard months of testimony and after four hours of deliberation, they acquitted Simpson of killing the two victims.

Oh, it doesn’t end there.

Nicole and Ron’s families — the Browns and Goldmans — filed a civil suit. Another jury ruled that Simpson was “liable” for their deaths. They awarded them $33.5 million in damages.

Then came the scrape that put The Juice behind bars.

The Browns and Goldmans have been unable to collect anything from Simpson during his time in prison. His NFL pension is protected. The Hall of Famer couldn’t work, quite obviously, while he was locked up.

O.J. gets parole

Well, now he’s out. He’s free to earn some outside income apart from his pension if he’s so inclined. The question now becomes: Will the Goldmans and the Browns renew their quest for some semblance of the cash that the jury awarded them when they found Simpson liable for the gruesome deaths?

Don’t expect them to collect all of it. And at this point, I wouldn’t even bet on them getting any of it, given Simpson’s proclivity for hiring top-drawer legal advice. I mean, his criminal defense team got him acquitted of the murders despite overwhelming circumstantial and physical evidence that he committed that hideous crime.

My own wish is that O.J. Simpson vanishes from the public stage. It’s not likely to happen, given the ubiquitous nature of social media and this guy’s lust for attention.

Another wish would be for Simpson to make good on his post-acquittal promise to search for as long as it takes to find Nicole and Ron’s killer.

Oh … wait!

A ‘conflict-free life’? Not even close

I had hoped an earlier blog item I wrote about O.J. Simpson would be my final one on the subject. I was wrong. Simpson had to say something during his parole hearing that compels me to offer a brief response.

He was paroled after serving nine years in a Nevada prison. A jury convicted him of assault and robbery in connection with an altercation stemming from Simpson’s attempt to take back sports memorabilia. Yeah, he was acquitted of that other crime, too, the double murder of his wife and her friend.

Then he told parole commissioners that he has “led a conflict-free life.”

The nation’s eyebrows raised.

One of the lawyers on his Dream Team defense, F. Lee Bailey, today said that other than the admitted cases of battery of his then-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson — who was stabbed to death — that O.J. has led a life free of conflict.

Hmm. Interesting, don’t you think?

It kind of reminds me of the time the late Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry said that when you take away the murders that occurred in his city, Washington’s crime rate wasn’t all that bad.

OK. Now I’m done with O.J.

I hope.

O.J. gets parole; now, just disappear, will ya?

The Nevada state parole board did what most experts thought it would do: It granted Orenthal James Simpson parole after serving about nine years in the slammer.

O.J. Simpson was sent to The Joint for a crime unrelated to another one for which he was acquitted — and which the vast majority of Americans believe he committed. A jury convicted Simpson of assault, theft and assorted other felonies relating to his effort to recover some sports memorabilia.

The other crime? The one for which he was found not guilty? That was the double murder of his former wife and her friend.

OK. Simpson gets paroled. He’ll have to behave himself while he walks among the rest of us. If he messes up, he goes back to prison.

What I wish now is for Simpson to vanish. I want him away from the public glare. He’ll get a chance to cash in on that $25,000 monthly pension he gets from the National Football League. He was, after all, once a damn good football player.

I also believe he was guilty of the crime for which he was acquitted. That has no bearing, though, on the parole board’s decision to set him free.

I just want the media to turn to other matters. Indeed, I am hoping that this is the final thing I’ll ever write about O.J. Simpson.

Now, O.J.? Get to work looking for the “real killer” of Nicole and Ron.

Waiting for O.J.’s parole decision

Orenthal James Simpson was acquitted of a gruesome double murder.

Then he was found “civilly liable” for the deaths of his former wife and her friend.

And then he decided to take back some memorabilia and was convicted of robbery and assault. He’s been in prison for several years and is now on the verge of getting paroled for that crime.

An amazing debate is taking place: Does he deserve parole or should he be kept locked up because of the acquittal of that previous crime? Give me a break! O.J. Simpson’s parole status should be determined solely on the basis of the time he has served for the crime for which he was convicted. Period. End of argument.

Do not misunderstand me. I don’t give a damn about Simpson. I don’t care if he is denied parole or is granted his freedom after serving a substantial portion of the sentence he was given for the crime.

I also happen to be one of millions of Americans who believes he got away with murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in 1994. The law, though, saw it differently. After months of testimony and televised drama, that Los Angeles County jury decided in hours that he didn’t do the crime.

The system functioned as the law intended for it to function. Did it produce the desired outcome? Not in my view. But that’s just me.

That case is done. The other one for which he has spent time in the Nevada prison is still playing out — and that’s the case upon which the parole board should determine whether he walks out or stays locked up in The Joint.

Look at it this way, too. If he is released, he can resume his search for Ron and Nicole’s “real killers.” Oh, wait … 

O.J. returns — sort of — to the spotlight

OJ

Orenthal James Simpson might be getting out of prison soon.

The Nevada parole board has granted Simpson parole for some of the crimes for which he was sentenced to prison five years ago. He’s going to remain behind bars, though, until he becomes eligible to be paroled for the rest of the crimes.

So, what will he do once he walks out of the slammer?

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/31/oj-simpson-parole/2603497/

Here’s a thought: He ought to seek to repay the African-American community that cheered his acquittal in 1995 for the double murder of his former wife and her friend.

Simpson went to prison on charges stemming from an altercation he had in Nevada over some sports memorabilia. I don’t begrudge his becoming eligible for release on those charges.

It’s the double murder and his acquittal of those charges that continue to eat at many millions of Americans.

The jury’s finding of “not guilty” was the result of brilliant defense work by Simpson’s legal team led by the late Johnnie Cochran. That the former football star walked on those charges infuriated most Americans … but cheered a significant minority of Americans, namely, African-Americans who were glad to see Simpson remain free.

More than 20 years later, it remains a fair question to ask: Why cheer this man’s acquittal only on the basis that he, too, is black?

For his entire adult life, there can be no finding of evidence that O.J. Simpson gave back to the community from which he emerged to attain athletic stardom and, to a lesser degree, a level of celebrity as a film actor.

Indeed, I saw something just this weekend about Simpson wanting — get ready for this one — to date Kris Jenner, the former wife of the late Robert Kardashian, another member of Simpson’s superstar legal team.

Eventually, Simpson will walk out of prison. He’ll be free to do whatever he wants — as long as he doesn’t violate the terms of his parole.

He ought to start his road back by giving something to the community that cheered him when — in my view — a jury let him get away with murder.

Then again, he did once vow to look for “the real killers” of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Is that pledge still on the table?

 

Why not just accept grand jury verdict?

Maybe the onset of old age is making me more circumspect about some things.

Such as when the criminal justice system renders a decision many folks find repugnant. Meanwhile, I have grown to just accept it as the system doing what it’s intended to do.

The grand jury in Ferguson, Mo., delivered a verdict this week that has many folks reeling. It found that a white police officer, Darren Wilson, did not commit a crime when he shot a young black man, Michael Brown, to death this past summer.

At one level I thought perhaps Wilson overreacted when he confronted Brown one night in the St. Louis suburban community. Brown wasn’t doing anything. Wilson wanted him to stop. Brown threw his hands in the air and the policeman shot him.

Well, that’s not what the grand jury heard in testimony. So it delivered a decision that some believe is unjust.

I won’t go there. I truly have no sure-footed opinion on who is right or wrong. Why? I wasn’t in the grand jury room. I didn’t hear the evidence. I didn’t see the faces of the people testifying before the panel. I didn’t have all the facts to ponder.

We’re all spectators.

That hasn’t stopped some folks from grandstanding.

At another level this case reminds me a bit of the outrage that followed the 1995 verdict in the O.J. Simpson murder case. My reaction then was similar to what it is now. That was nearly 20 years ago, so I cannot claim “old age creep” back then.

But my initial reaction to the acquittal was that the jury got it wrong. I still believe Simpson got away with murder.

Then I wrote a column in which I surmised that after many weeks of testimony, all the hoopla and courtroom histrionics, only the 12 people in the jury box had seen and heard all the evidence. Only they knew what none of the rest of us knew. I didn’t agree with their verdict, but I accepted it. The system did its job.

Then, as now, the rest of us were spectators.

I’m not going to wring my hands over this latest decision. However, I do hope it spurs a serious community conversation in Ferguson, where African-Americans think their government doesn’t represent their interests sufficiently.

The folks there have the tools to fix the problem. They can do so at election time.