The OJ Verdict, 20 Years Later

I couldn’t get enough of the first O.J. Simpson trial.

In fact, I predicted about a month before the verdict on an overnight show called “Greg and Fran” on the Sun Radio Network that O.J. would be completely acquitted about a month before it happened, and I’ve never been to legal school. Too much reasonable doubt, I thought, had been placed in the jurors minds.

The date I came to that conclusion was my 24th birthday, September 6th, 1995. LA detective Mark Fuhrman had been recalled to the witness stand in the trial that day. Earlier in the trial, Simpson attorney F. Lee Bailey had asked Fuhrman if ever used racial slurs in his work, which Fuhrman denied, thus perjuring himself. When he was called back in September after tapes had surfaced that did indeed prove he used racial slurs, he pleaded the fifth. That is, he asserted his fifth amendment rights against self incrimination as offered to any citizen in the United States Constitution.

When that happened, I knew it was game, set, and match. It probably didn’t help either that D.A. Christopher Darden wanted Simpson to attempt to wear the black gloves found at the crime scene early in the trial, either.

I did think O.J. killed his wife and Ron Goldman, basically a man in the wrong place at the wrong time. When the verdict was announced, I did feel bad for Ron’s sister Kim and his father Fred, who had a look on their faces of complete disbelief. But they were done in by a bad cop who had a racist history, and that created the reasonable doubt in a community still reeling by the Rodney King verdicts a few years earlier.

History has proven O.J. to be who I thought he was. He hasn’t won a major court trial since, and currently sits in Lovelock, Nevada doing time for a robbery in Las Vegas back in 2007, two years away from a possible parole. If he gets out in 2017, he’ll be 70 years old.

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