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Public Affairs BLOG

The Hearing of the Century

Today, four members from the Nevada board of parole commissioners will meet in offices in Carson City to discuss the possibility of OJ Simpson, one of the most famous men behind bars, being released on parole. Simpson has served just 9 years of his original 33 year sentence for armed robbery, although this is not the case he is best known for. He was famously acquitted for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman, despite there being considerable evidence against him.

OJ was once arguably the most popular sporting hero in America, loved by the masses. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Simpson now resides in Lovelock correctional centre with a broken reputation, his acquittal causing ripples of outrage across the world, especially after he was found guilty less than two years later in a civil trial, when new evidence came to light. Should OJ be released this year, he would supposedly return to a ‘normal’ civilian life. How normal could his life really be though? Once loved, now loathed by many, his entrance to the real world will most likely be anything but easy. Although Fred and Kim Goldman, understandably, feel that Simpson will never feel the full wrath of justice, it is entirely possible that he will never fully feel ‘free’ in this life, the reputation of a brutal murderer always hanging over his head, causing those once close to him to disengage and distance themselves from such a controversial character.

Christopher Darden, one of the key prosecutors in the murder trial of 1995, is calling for the board members to outright ask Simpson if he did commit these heinous murders, all those years ago. Although not relevant to this particular trial, Darden (and I’m sure many others) feel the families of the victims and indeed the public, deserve the answer to the most asked question of the 90’s. I am curious to know whether people would be more likely to accept OJ back into our society, after a public admittance and apology, or if the confusion towards his guilt will give him even a small amount of protection. Is honesty always the best policy? Of course I must say here that it is not confirmed whether him admitting to committing these murders would technically be ‘honesty’, as of course he was never officially found guilty in court. However, it probes at larger questions in our society about honesty and forgiveness. I think there are a lot of people around the world who would say they could never forgive OJ for what they believe him to have done. But they may have the smallest amount of respect for him finally ‘admitting’ his crimes, giving some (stressing the word some), peace of mind to the families of the victims.

In my opinion, honesty is always the best policy, regardless of the consequences for oneself. However, OJ and his reputation may just be beyond help and bringing up the past will only hurt the people close to this case again, when I’m sure they’ve tried so hard for the last 21 years to put the horror of the trial behind them.

Georgie Lee, Sales and Marketing Intern

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