Who is OJ Simpson?
OJ Simpson gained fame as an American football star and, later, as a actor.
He became the NFL’s fastest player to gain 1,000 rushing yards in a season and the fastest player to gain 2,000 rushing yards in a season.
The running back gained the nickname “Juice” as a play on OJ due to his power on the field.
Simpson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995.
He married Nicole Brown five years after retiring from the sport in 1985.
They had two children together, Sydney Brooke and Justin Ryan.
Their marriage lasted seven years, during which Simpson was investigated by police for domestic violence a number of times and pleaded no contest to spousal abuse in 1989.
Brown filed for divorce in February 1992 citing irreconcilable differences.
What happened to Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman?
On June 13, 1994, Brown and a friend, Ronald Goldman, were found dead outside Nicole’s home in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles.
Brown had been stabbed multiple times in the head and neck, and had defensive wounds on her hands.
Both had been dead for about two hours before they were found at 12.10am.
A single bloody glove was discovered at the scene.
Detectives went to Simpson’s home to tell him of his ex-wife’s death and found a white Ford Bronco with blood in and on it.
He was not there, having taking a flight to Chicago late the previous night.
A second bloody glove was then found on the premises which was later linked to the first glove found at the murder scene, with blood from both victims.
A warrant for his arrest was issued, and after a standoff where Simpson threatened to kill himself, he eventually surrendered.
What happened in the OJ Simpson trial?
Following a series of hearings to determine if he should be brought to trial, after the dismissal of a grand jury due to media coverage possibly influencing neutrality, he was brought to court on July 22, 1994.
When asked how he would plead to the two murder charges, he broke courtroom practice and said: “Absolutely, one hundred per cent, not guilty.”
The prosecution expected a conviction supported by DNA evidence.
They maintained that Brown, after putting her children to bed was getting ready to go to bed herself.
She opened the front door, they argued, and was grabbed by Simpson and attacked with a knife. Goldman then arrived during the attack, the prosecution said, and was also stabbed with a knife.
They argued Simpson left a “trail of blood” – a line which was splashed across many front pages during trial coverage.
Simpson’s lawyers claimed he had never left his house that night and he was not physically able to carry out the murders.
They said Goldman was a fit young man who put up a fight, whereas Simpson was a 46-year-old man with chronic arthritis.
He was made to put on the gloves, which seemingly did not quite fit – leading to the famous line uttered by his defence: “If the gloves don’t fit, you must acquit.”
What was the jury’s verdict and why did the case go to a civil lawsuit?
Simpson was acquitted of the murders by a jury at 10am on October 3, 1995.
In post-trial interviews with the jurors a few said they believed he did commit the murders but the prosecution had failed to prove their case.
In 1997, 20 years ago, the parents of Goldman brought a civil lawsuit against Simpson for wrongful death.
Brown’s estate, represented by her father Lou Brown, brought a suit against Simpson in a “survivor suit”.
The trial took four months and was not televised.
The jury awarded Brown and Simpson’s children $12.6 million from their father as recipients of their mother’s estate. The victim’s families were awarded $33.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages – therefore finding Simpson responsible for the murders.
Where is OJ Simpson now?
In September 2007, Simpson was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada, and charged with numerous felonies, including armed robbery and kidnapping after a group of men led by him entered a room at the Palace Station hotel-casino and took sports memorabilia at gunpoint.
In 2008, he was convicted and sentenced to 33 years imprisonment, with a minimum of nine years without parole. He is serving his sentence at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nevada.
The Juice will be released within three months after the parole board decided he can be released in October.
Pleading for his freedom a visibly-aged Simpson, wearing a blue shirt, said: “I am sorry things turned out the way they did. I had no intention to cause a crime.
In a show of remorse, he later apologised to his victim and friend Bruce Fromong.
Simpson said: “I couldn’t be more apologetic for what Bruce went though.”
Fromong, testifying for his friend, later said: “OJ is my friend, always has been and I hope will remain my friend. He never laid a hand on me.
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