The recent parole of O. J. Simpson brings a lot to mind. At one time O.J. was the most popular Black man in America, but now is among the most hated by White America.
We all know that O. J. was acquitted in 1995 for the double-murder trial of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, in 1994. During the 21-month trial most Whites believed he did it, while most Blacks either didn’t believe he did it or didn’t care.
Before this tragic event O.J., who was the greatest running back in collegiate history and the second-greatest back in NFL history behind Jim Brown, was riding these accomplishments to the top of the popularity charts as an actor in movies and TV commercials. His outgoing personality made him lovable to men and women, Blacks and Whites, and he took it straight to the bank earning more money in these two fields than he did in football.
But then it happened.
Nicole Brown Simpson was murdered with a friend, Ron Goldman. The Los Angeles Police Department said O.J. did it, but after 21 months of the most popular trial in U.S. history, he was found not guilty of both murders by the jury. That set White America ablaze because they strongly believed he got away with murder, which ended his career in movies and TV commercials. But O.J. memorabilia was still popular and became one of his main sources of income. This led to a very stupid decision by O.J.
After being told by friends that another group of his friends were selling his memorabilia, he confronted them at a Las Vegas hotel where they allegedly were selling them. One man had a gun and ordered everyone to stay in the room until O.J. checked the goods out. That was all the authorities needed to give him 33 years for breaking and entering, kidnapping, and using a firearm. Clearly, he was sentenced for murdering his wife and her friend, even though the judge couldn’t say that.
O.J., after serving nearly 9 years, was recently given parole July 20 in which he should be free of jail by October of this year. Anything he does that the authorities believe is out of line, he goes back to serve the rest of the 33-year sentence. The parole board vote was unanimous, 4-0.
In several reports, O.J.’s prison warden said that he’s been moved to an isolated area of the prison for his safety. He said he didn’t want any of the criminals in the place to try to earn a name for themselves by killing O.J.
O.J. served most of his time in the general population of the prison.
He said he is looking forward to spending time with his family, which includes his four adult children, who have supported him throughout both trials. Two of those adult children he had with Nicole; one is 30 and the other is 27, both running their real estate business in Florida. The other two was with his first wife, Marguerite Whitley. He doesn’t know where he’s going to live when he gets out, most likely California.
Nicole Brown Simpson’s family won a $33.5 million civil lawsuit against O.J., but how much has been paid is not known.
Did he do it? I don’t have the slightest idea. If he did he’s being punished for it with two rulings against him despite the not guilty verdict in his 1995 murder trial. I still have a problem being able to file a suit after a person is found not guilty by a judge and jury. Civil trials should only be for when a person is found guilty or an out-of-court settlement is reached. If he is not guilty, then he’s due for some refunds, some “special treatment” in the hereafter because he is being punished like a guilty man here on earth in this life.
Former Courier city editor Dennis Schatzman covered the O.J. murder trial for the Black Press, gaining national recognition. He was working for the Los Angeles Sentinel at the time.
(Ulish Carter is the former managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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