The Controversy Over O.j. Simpson’s Innocence

On October 3, 1995 after what has been described by many in law as “the trial of the century”, Orenthal James Simpson commonly known as OJ was acquitted of the double murders of his ex-wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman after an intense 9-month trial which gathered public attention on levels that had never been seen before. When the judge asked Simpson if he was going to plead Guilty or Not Guilty, he replied that he was “Absolutely, 100 percent Not Guilty”. The result left half the world astonished as due to the overwhelming amount of evidence everyone believed the case was a slam dunk for the prosecution and left the other half overjoyed as their idol who they felt had been wrongfully accused was finally being freed. After years of debate a clear decision has never been made, Did OJ Simpson get away with Murder?

One of the most significant reasons that had people's minds made up was that Simpson had no alibi for the night of the murders. On the night of the murders, detectives went to Simpson's estate to inform him that his ex-wife had been murdered only to find he was not home as Simpson had taken a flight to Chicago late the previous night, instead they called him and told him the tragic news. He never asked how she died during the phone call leaving people the question Did he already know what had happened to Nicole? He was brought in for questioning next day. Simpson’s initially claimed that he was asleep at the time of the murder. His defence later changed that alibi multiple times never sticking to one throughout the trial. One of his alibis was that he was practising golf outside his home. Rosa Lopez; a neighbour's housekeeper, claimed she saw his car parked outside his house at the time of the murders. Lopez later confessed under oath that she could not remember if Simpson’s car was there or not. A driver also claimed they saw Simpson racing on the road at the time Lopez claims the car was parked outside his house. If Simpson was innocent, why would he not have a solid alibi? Why would he change it so many times?

Another reason which had people questioning Simpson’s innocence was, he had the motive. Simpson had been previously known to beat Nicole throughout their marriage, one of which lead her to be hospitalised on January 1st, 1989. A previous 911 recording from Nicole was leaked during the trial where she could be heard shouting “He’s going to kill me”. She also kept a box of possessions to be opened if Simpson ever killed her. Inside were photos of her face black and blue after a beating with records of his domestic violence included also. With such a strong sense of violence towards his wife, Did Nicole get her killer right instead of the Jury?

And finally, people believed Simpson did it because of the crime scene and DNA evidence. The crime scene was very messy as there was a clear struggle between the victims and the killer. Nicole was found collapsed on the stairs with her head barely attached to the body, Goldman was found nearby against a tree with his beeper from the restaurant he worked at. Nearby the bodies towards the front entrance cap and glove belonging to the perpetrator, were left at the scene. This is incriminating as a receipt belonging to Nicole Brown Simpson was found at her apartment from a 1990 trip to Bloomingdale's in New York. Simpson was also on that trip. The gloves were also very rare as only 200 to 240 models of those gloves were ever sold. Simpson had been previously photographed wearing those exact pairs of gloves in that exact size and that hat at football games and public events from 1990 to 1994. There were also mountains of DNA evidence against Simpson that the defence could never explain including; Fibres found on the abandoned hat at the crime scene matched the carpet from the Simpson’s Car, Simpson’s Hair could also be found on the hat. The killer dropped blood at the crime scene which after testing showed matching Simpson's blood type. Police also noticed Simpson had a fresh cut on his left hand the day after murder, Simpson never gave a solid answer as to how he got this cut and changed his story of events multiple times. Fibres found on the abandoned glove at the crime scene matched the carpet in Simpson’s car. A blood trail could be found starting from Simpson’s car leading to his driveway, the foyer of his house and ending in his master bedroom of Simpson home. The blood was a mix of both victims and Simpson’s. A sock was also found on his bedroom floor with blood on which matched Nicole's. With all this evidence it is hard to imagine that anyone else could have possibly committed these crimes.

However, people who believe Simpson was innocent believe racist police officers planted all this evidence because Simpson was in a biracial marriage with Nicole Simpson. Throughout the trial the “Dream Team” defence presented several conspiracy theories to the Jury. The one that made the most noise and could be viewed as the main reason as to why Simpson was acquitted was that Detective Mark Furman and a few other detectives planted all the evidence to frame Simpson. Many African Americans viewed Simpson as an icon and believed that he was innocent out of adoration and conspiracy theories and not the facts, people also believed that Simpson was framed as Detective Mark Furman who found the glove and hat that was left at the crime scene was a known harsh racist, during the trial a tape recording was discovered of him saying racial slurs and threatening to plant evidence to get black people arrested and admitted to doing this previously. If he done it before could he have done it again? The Rodney King murder also played a major role in the trial. Rodney King was an innocent black man who was beaten and killed by racist LAPD officers. Many black people thought other racist hate acts could have manufactured all the evidence purely because Simpson was a successful black man. This is plausible but highly unlikely after the thought as it would be nearly impossible for the LAPD to have collected Simpson’s DNA quick enough to frame him as the whole world was immediately on this case.

Based on clear proof evidence and no conspiracy theories, I believe that he committed the crimes. I believe, if the murders happened in 2020, he “absolutely, 100 percent” would have been charged guilty this can be backed up by a poll taken in 2015 by the Washington Post which shows that “A full 83 percent of white Americans said that they are 'definitely' or 'probably' sure of Simpson's guilt. By contrast, 57 percent of black Americans agreed.” Meaning if Simpson had been put on trial recently he would have had a higher chance of being prosecuted, Racial tensions between the people8 and the LAPD also would not have been as high as a significant time has passed since the murder of Rodney King compared to 1994 where the heartbreak was still fresh. 

16 December 2021
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