There’s a very good chance that former NFL great O.J. Simpson will be a free man by the end of 2017.
Simpson is scheduled for a hearing in front of the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners in Carson City, Nevada tomorrow, July 20 via video from the Lovelock Correctional Institution. Simpson was convicted in October 2008 on 12 counts that included conspiracy, burglary, kidnapping, robbery, assault and coercion, all with a deadly weapon for his role in a October 2007 robbery attempt in a Las Vegas hotel room.
In the robbery, Simpson took hundreds of pieces of memorabilia from two men. Simpson and his accomplices brandished a gun during the incident and the former football star told others in the room that no one could leave. Simpson indicated that he was trying to retrieve items that belonged to him which included family photos.
Fast forward to 2017. If a simple majority of the four commissioners vote in favor of parole, Simpson will be released in early October.
The parole board will give judgment on Simpson based upon his time spent in the Nevada facility and not based upon the murder case in the 90s.
For those tardy to the party or not even born yet, Simpson was charged with the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Simpson was acquitted on the murder charges but lost a $33.5 million judgment in civil court for the deaths of Brown and Goldman.
Alan Dershowitz was a member of Simpson’s defense team that included Robert Shapiro, F.Lee Bailey, Robert Kardashian, Gerald Uelmen, Carl E. Douglas and Johnnie Cochran in the case many dubbed the Trial of The Century. Dershowitz once wittingly said: “The defendant wants to hide the truth because he’s generally guilty. The defense attorney’s job is to make sure the jury does not arrive at that truth.”
Fully and full of quotes, the scriptwriters for the 1996 American film Jerry Maguire could only wish to come up with something so pointed.
But I digress!
Dershowitz has been in the news as of late. Dershowitz recently tried to publish an opinion piece in The New York Times that U.S. President Donald Trump likely did not attempt to obstruct justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey. According to a recent interview with the Washington Examiner, Dershowitz reached out to the New York Times in June to the paper to present an opposing view.
Always opinionated, I chatted with Dershowitz on a recent episode of Scoop B Radio about race.
Dershowitz explains his feelings on representing African Americans in the courtroom over his career particularly during the O.J. Simpson case where race was a previaling theme. Did race hinder or hurt Dershowitz in representing Simpson both professionally or personally?
“Personally not at all,” Alan Dershowitz told me on Scoop B Radio. “It was a very important case it was a case that told us a lot about the racial situation in America. When I got into the case he was facing the death penalty.”
Check Out Alan Dershowitz & Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson on Scoop B Radio
“Over my long career I’ve represented lots and lots of African American people; both defendants and others. I was in the Civil Rights Movement, I was down south in the early 60s. So that, part of it was very easy for me. For me the biggest thrill was having the chief counsel on the case being an African American and having all these white lawyers really working for a really brilliant, terrific, African American lawyer.”
The African American lawyer Dershowitz was referring to was the late Johnnie Cochran.
In his closing arguments in the Simpson trial, Cochran famously stated: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”
“He really was in charge,” Dershowitz said of Cochran.
“That sent a powerful message to people watching. That also sent a powerful message to the jury. So I had worked with lots and lots of African American lawyers before, but this is a case where some of the world’s prominent white lawyers in the country, F. Lee Bailey, Bob Shapiro, Barry Scheck were all working for our leader who was an African lawyer, he was the leader, Johnnie Cochran.”
Cochran was the only attorney in Los Angeles ever to receive both the “Civil Trial Lawyer of the Year” Award and the “Criminal Trial Lawyer of the Year” Award. In 1995, he was named “America’s Trial Lawyer of the Year” by The National Law Journal, as well as being named one of the “Headliners of the Year” by Time magazine.In 1999, he was named one of the “Top 50 Trial Attorneys of 1999” by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Dershowitz is currently a Harvard Law professor. He’s penned books like: The Best Defense (1982), Chutzpah (1991), The Advocate’s Devil (1994), Supreme Injustice: How the High Court Hijacked Election 2000 (2001), The Case for Israel (2003) and Taking a Stand: My Life in the Law (2013).
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