Well it has taken exactly 13 years, but finally OJ Simpson is facing some serious jail time. The jury in Las Vegas found OJ guilty on all 12 charges. By my reckoning he is looking at 25 years and up. when he gets sentenced in early November. OJ Simpson is 61 years old, so this latest skirmish with the law is likely a ‘death sentence’.

After the verdicts were read, bail pending appeal was denied, and OJ Simpson and his co-defendant Clarence Stewart (54) were cuffed and led from the court.

It is hard to have much sympathy for OJ. The 1995 trial for the death of his ex wife Nicole, and an innocent bystander Ron Goldman was turned into a media circus. With a heavily stacked black jury, who exhibited a combined IQ that would not have qualified membership to MENSA (150), OJ walked.

He wasn’t quite as lucky in the civil trial that ensued. He was found responsible for the deaths, and ordered to pay $33.5 million to the Goldman family. Of course the Goldman family have not seen a dime of this money. OJ moved to Florida, and because the judgment was in California he has managed to avoid paying. This incidentally makes no sense to me. I am pretty sure that if I stiffed Visa or MasterCard, skipping states would not prevent them from hounding me.

Simpson tangled again with the Goldman’s, when he tried to pull a fast one with a Ghost written book If I Did It. This book supposedly was a fictional account by OJ of how he would have killed the two people. The Goldman family were, and rightly so, upset at the prospect of OJ benefiting from their grief and launched a law suit. The results of which were a mixed bag. OJ lost the rights to the book, but in the convoluted case the Goldman’s were also forced to publish the book. That was one of the stipulations. Many saw the publication of If I Did It as a sell out, now the Goldman family were profiting from the deaths. Fred Goldman lost a lot of friends through this book. Well, let me clear the air on this one once and for all. Fred Goldman was put in a situation where he had no options. To win the case, he had to publish, but at least with him in control, there was the wriggle room to put in some commentary.

This brings us to this latest OJ, I am above the law, fiasco. At first glance it would seem that OJ is set to spend his remaining years behind bars. A place that many people think he should by now have had 13 years of practice at! But is that so? Likely not, an appeal is already in the works. One of the the subjects is going to be the make up of the jury, the LA Times says:

Simpson’s attorneys pledged to appeal. His longtime lawyer, Yale Galanter, cited jury selection as one basis for a new trial. The defense has charged that prosecutors purposefully excluded African Americans.

While celebration may be too strong a description, I will bet there are few tears being spilled in the Goldman family right now.

So what went wrong for OJ Simpson this time? Actually a number of things. No dream team of lawyers, or expert witnesses, the dream team members are either dead or not returning OJ’s calls because of unpaid bills. No media circus, no-one cares if OJ spends his life in jail, OJ is yesterdays news.  And maybe the biggest reason of all? Everyone sees this as vindication of the legal system. It failed in 1995, but 13 years later it is working just fine!

Simon Barrett

http://zzsimonb.blogspot.com

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