We all but predicted it would happen, and, in fact, it did. Seventy-year old inmate No. 1027820 was granted parole yesterday.
After serving nine years of a thirty-three-year prison sentence for kidnapping and robbery, O.J. Simpson got his “get out of jail” card. Attorney Alan Dershowitz – who helped defend the former NFL football star in the murder trial of his wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman – offered up some advice for Mr. Simpson upon this most auspicious occasion:
O.J. if you are listening to me — become private. Don’t be in the public light. They don’t want to see your face. Live in quiet obscurity.
In a world filled with social media, what are the chances of that? How about zero, zilch, or in New York parlance – fuhgeddaboutit. The Juice has sought the limelight for the better part of his life. He’s as addicted to fame and attention as much as a heroin addict is hooked to smack. In a way, fame is Mr. Simpson’s heroin. That attitude of being permitted to do whatever he wants because of who he is, almost certainly is what propelled him to feel he could get away with everything and anything – even murder.
Aside from his athletic prowess, O.J. seems to have refined his Hollywood acting career while behind bars. He’s mastered the role of the innocent, aggrieved martyr whose eyes flood with tears as the verdict is announced. It’s as if he has an internal sensor: Three, two, one — cue the tears.
I’ve not complained for nine years. All I’ve done is try to be helpful… and that’s the life I’ve tried to live because I want to get back to my kids and family.”
Simpson’s daughter, Arnelle, 48, pleaded with the board to release him.
“We just want him home.”
You could almost hear Linda Ronstadt’s “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me” playing in the background. By all means, take him home Arnelle and keep him locked inside for the good of the public.
Speaking of the public — few people believed Mr. Simpson was innocent back in 1995, and fewer still believe that today. The group FiveThirtyEight which does stats upon stats upon stats found the following:
In the two decades since Simpson was acquitted by a majority-black jury, the racial gap has narrowed significantly. In two recent polls, more than 50 percent of black respondents said they thought Simpson was guilty — up from about 20 percent in most polls before, during and right after the trial.
This graph pretty much tells the story in the court of public opinion (click to enlarge):
No matter what people think, Simpson is set to be released from prison as early as October 1st. What are the odds that he will be analyzing football on ESPN just as soon as the jailhouse door slams behind him? I wouldn’t take that bet and neither should you.
Or maybe O.J. Simpson will become a model citizen, take up Pilates and become a Buddhist monk. If so he just might run into a few choice words from the Buddha that would serve him well:
Three things cannot be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
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