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Summary of the Trial of O.J. Simpson

I am very interested in criminal law and have even thought about it as a career.

O.J.Simpson in court

O.J.Simpson in court

O.J. Simpson, a former star NFL running back and celebrity, was arrested for a double murder in 1994. He was apparently out of town when the murder of his ex wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman occured, but a treasure trove of evidence connected him to the crime. Simpson had cuts and bruises up and down his arms, dried blood on the inside and outside of his car, and a match to a bloody glove that was found at the crime scene. All the evidence clearly point to him, and on top of that, O.J. was having serious issues with his wife before divorcing her and continued to stalk her even after he was given a restraining order. Simpson even had several physical altercations with Nicole Simpson that provided the necessary means and motivation to the prosecution that he was in fact very capable of murdering his wife and her friend.

Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman

Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman

All of this evidence was brought together for O.J.'s trial in 1994, and knowing he faced an uphill battle, Simpson hired what people referred to as the dream team of lawyers including Robert Shapiro, F. Lee Bailey, Johnnie Cochran, and others. During the course of the trial, they argued that O.J. was being framed for murder because he was black and due to the recent events of the time surrounding the L.A. Riots and Rodney King. Even though the case was seemingly air tight, Simpson's lawyers were able to instill some reasonable doubt in the jury about the possibility that racism or a frame up were involved in O.J.'s case. This was also aided by Simpson's famous glove that did not fit his hand when he tried it on at the trial. The reason of course that it did not fit was that the glove had shrunk after it was covered in blood. O.J. also helped to convince the judge and jury that it could not be his glove by acting as if he could not get it on his hand. Observers later said that Simpson's demeanor and actions during the trial, especially the trying on of the glove, were perhaps the greatest acting job a person has ever done in court.

O.J. Simpson famously trying on the gloves

O.J. Simpson famously trying on the gloves

After a trial that lasted over a year, O.J. was found not guilty of on all charges on October 3, 1995. Some declared the final verdict as the biggest travesty of justice ever, while others considered it payback for the acquittal of white officers involved in the beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles. After the trial, the police never seriously looked for another suspect who could have commited the double murder because they knew that despite the verdict, O.J. was guilty. As for Simpson, he was free but almost universally despised by the public for his actions and later, was even found criminally liable for the death of his ex wife and her friend in civil court. He was ordered to pay millions in restitution to the Brown and Goldman families, but to this day has not covered the bill.

O.J. Simpson standing between defense lawyers F. Lee Bailey and Johnnie Cochran

O.J. Simpson standing between defense lawyers F. Lee Bailey and Johnnie Cochran

In 2008, O.J. and a few friends broke into a Las Vegas hotel room to steal back memorabilia that was taken from Simpson after the trial. He was caught in the act, and sent to prison, but was released in 2017. Now, O.J. lives in Florida in a million dollar house and is often seen golfing. He even has a twitter account were he comments on different issues and news stories. Still, O.J. Simpson is all but universally despised by people all around the country.

O.J. Simpson speaking at his parole hearing in 2017

O.J. Simpson speaking at his parole hearing in 2017

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Brett Nicholas

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