O.J. Simpson: The Murder Trial that Rocked America
Only a few high profile trials have received as much attention as the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial, which ruled the media headlines for many years. A popular actor and pro-footballer, O.J. Simpson was charged for the double homicide of Nicole Brown Simpson, his ex-wife and Ronald Lyle Goldman, a waiter. The incident occurred in June 1994 and the trial lasted for eight months. The criminal trial began in the court back in November 1994 and an initial verdict was announced in October 1995. At the time, the O.J. Simpson murder trial was touted to be the most publicized trial in the country’s history and was closely followed by all.
A popular celebrity in the 70s and 80s, O.J. Simpson had retired from the National Football League (NFL) and turned to sports casting and acting. On the night of the incident, both Nicole and Ronald were found dead outside her condominium in California. Both bodies were discovered on the entrance way to the condo. Crucial evidence was found that suggested the involvement of OJ Simpson and it was suspected that he was responsible for both of the murders. Upon giving him an option to turn himself in, O.J. Simpson did not report to the police station as notified, but he instead assembled a team of high profile lawyers, including his close friend Robert Kardashian. They addressed the media with a public note from Simpson himself.
The murder trial of the century
As the most publicized case in U.S. history, it is believed that the state of California spent well over $20 million on this trial alone as it started to garner more attention than the infamous Charles Manson murders. In 1995, O.J. pleaded “not guilty” to both counts of murder. The prosecution was convinced that Simpson was behind the murders despite a minimal amount of evidence linking him to the crimes.
They did use the DNA evidence found in the bloody footprints, hair samples and different clothing articles at the crime scene and from his home. To prepare for his defense, O.J. Simpson brought together a formidable legal team including Robert Shapiro, F. Lee Bailey, Johnnie Cochran and Alan Dershowitz. After several months of intense trial proceedings, the jury announced the verdict of “not guilty” on both murder counts. Despite the telling DNA evidence, the lack of conviction was blamed upon mismanagement of the case by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
In 2007, Simpson was arrested on six charges of assault, conspiracy, burglary and robbery. With an initial bail bond set at $125,000, Simpson pleaded not guilty to the charges of assault, robbery and kidnapping. His bail amount was doubled in January 2008.
By September that year, O.J. Simpson was found guilty on 12 counts of armed robbery and kidnapping. Simpson was then sentenced to a term of 33 years in prison. However, he will be eligible for parole after serving 9 years.
In 2009, his team of lawyers re-appealed to the court but the sentence was upheld by the Nevada Supreme Court.
In July 2013, he received parole for some of the charges levied in 2008 but other charges are still in place. Simpson remains in prison.
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